Dirty Daddies

Page 7

Eddie swings open the big door of Drury’s and I follow him in. I’ve been drinking on an empty stomach and it’s gone to my head, but I don’t care. Why should I? Nobody else does.
I’ve barely got enough bus money to get home to Lydbrook and the timetable is pathetic here. The last bus leaves about six, and I’m sure I’ve missed it already, but that feels hazy now. Maybe I can bunk up with Eddie tonight. I don’t want him, but I’m sure he wants me, and that’s bound to be enough to get me somewhere to sleep at least.
I’ll kick him in the balls if he tries to grope me.
If he doesn’t let me stay after that, I’ll sleep outside. I’ve done it before. It wasn’t great, but I lived, and I’d better suck it up since I’ll likely be doing a lot more of it later this week.
I point to a bottle of tequila on the back shelf of the bar and Eddie raises an eyebrow.
“You sure we wanna be hitting the hard stuff? The night’s young.”
“Not being a pussy, are you?”
He gives me a smirk. “I’m no fucking pussy. You’ll find that out later.”
The barman eyes me as Eddie points to the bottle at the back, but Eddie slaps his wallet on the counter and I give my most confident expression. I’m almost old enough to drink, what’s a few days?
Then come the words I’ve been dreading. I groan as the barman clears his throat.
“Do you have ID?”
Footsteps at my back give me shivers. “No,” a voice says. “She doesn’t.”
I spin on the spot to launch abuse at the interferer, all ready to tell the nosey sonofabitch to mind his own fucking business, but as my stare crashes into Michael Warren’s, and those dark green eyes bore into mine, I take a breath.
My drunk tongue won’t function properly, my words feel garbled in my throat, but it turns out I don’t need them, because it’s him who does all the talking.
He pushes Eddie with a shunt that surprises me. “What do you think you’re playing at?” he asks him, before taking me by the elbow and pulling me away from the bar. I wrench away on instinct, fists ready to fly, but Michael doesn’t let go.
His grip is firm on my arms, his eyes serious and burning and… pissed at me.
He’s really fucking pissed at me.
“What are you doing here?” he snaps. “You should be at home, making amends with Rosie and Bill.”
“It’s not my fucking home,” I snap back. “Rosie and Bill are dead to me. I’m having fun with Eddie. Fun, Michael. I’m having a good fucking time.”
“And that good fucking time is over now,” he snarls, and the blood rushes to my cheeks. I’ve never heard him swear before.
I feel like the whole place is staring at me. Some posh guy in a suit shakes his head from the table in the corner and it gives me the rage, right in the pit of me. I hate people laughing at me. Judging me. Taking me for a fucking loser.
“This good fucking time is over when I say it’s over!” I hiss, but Michael doesn’t let me go. His grip tightens on my arm and he takes a step toward the door. I feel myself moving, even though my boots are dragging. He’s strong, much stronger than I gave him credit for under that boring suit in his office. He’s still wearing it, but he looks different with his tie hanging loose. He looks… wired.
“This is assault!” I screech, but Michael Warren must be as trashed as I feel, because he doesn’t stop, doesn’t even pause as he marches me out and presses me up against the brickwork outside.
“I’m trying to fucking help you,” he tells me, and his breath is in my face. There’s only a hint of ale, and he doesn’t look drunk at all, not even a little bit. Fuck.
The cold air hits me hard and my legs feel like jelly. I should have grabbed something to eat from Rosie and Bill’s before I came out here, I’ve had nothing since breakfast, and that was just a flimsy slice of toast.
I take a breath and it feels like the wind has been knocked right out of my sails. Not least since Eddie hasn’t even poked his head out to make sure I’m okay.
“You can’t help me,” I tell him but my voice sounds weak and pathetic. I hate how it sounds.
“You won’t fucking let me.”
I shrug in his grip. “So? Just let me fucking go!”
He doesn’t move. “You need to get home to Bill and Rosie.”
“And I’ve fucking told you already! That’s not my fucking home!”
“So where were you planning on staying tonight? With that loser Eddie Stevens? He’s nothing but a waster.”