I took a strong shot, and swallowed it hard, letting the much needed tequila wash away the pain of the words still floating around the bar. I stared into the eyes of my ex, who I swore to never speak to again, and my heart sank. He was not a good person, by any sense of the word, but right now in this moment, that was not true. He had finally done with right thing, well as far of a right thing as his twisted mind could justify, and I had to say I don’t blame him. I would have done the same, and my end of the bargain had to be met. “Ok, Ryan, you have one night to hide out here and then I never want to see your no good, too innocent to be on your face, grin step foot into my bar ever again.”
His eyes welled up with tears and I finally saw emotion in him that I had been begging since we had our first big fight. I rubbed my arm where the memory of my terrible bruise tingled. Kyle shot up from his seat in protest, shoving his blonde arm candy to the side, harder than she expected, she hopped on her heals backwards a few times with a forced pouting face that made me want to kick her out of the bar. “Kori, get your ass in the back now,” Kyle was growling at me and pointing to the owner’s office with furry in his eyes, glancing back to Ryan with even a more callous and pissed off face, he seethed, “If you fucking move a muscle, I will fucking kill you.”
I slouched and marched my ass right into the office, where my business partner was elbow deep in counting money from our amazing night at The Saloon. His eyes got wide when the door flew open with me trying to calm Kyle down, “I know this is a bad idea, I know what he is, but come on. How could I not help him out for one night?” My eyes fell into the dusty wood floor and my brown boots, I didn’t want to see the rage anymore in my best friend’s eyes. I hated when I pissed him off, he was like a big brother and sometimes treated me like a defiant little sister, but he always had my best interest at heart and that’s why I kept him around for so long.
Before Kyle could scream out the words that were building on his tongue, Rodney was out of his chair, arms crossed right where his long sleeves had been rolled up, glaring at me with almost the same expression as Kyle, “Kori? What the hell’s going on?”
My eyes were not even attempting to make eye contact when my throat coughed out a name that I wished never would have to be spoken again to Rodney, “Ryan’s here and he’s hiding out here for the night.”
Anger and frustration boiled over in both of the closest people I had to family. Hot tears started to stream as I told the story to Rodney that Ryan had just laid onto my heart. Even with all of the messed up shit Ryan had done, there was a time that I loved him, and that part of me was betraying my better judgement as I pleaded his case, begging for Rodney to not call the cops this time.