22. Walking Not Talking
John and I get started on another busy night. I welcome the business with open arms. Anything to keep me moving and keep my mind off how confused and frustrated I’ve become between Patrick and Hawke.
“What’s got you down?” John asks as he fills up a beer next to me.
I shake my head, rolling my eyes, trying to forget the exact reason, until the reason literally slides in through the door.
Hawke’s putting out a cigarette before he strides into the bar confidently with Kid by his side. He runs a hand through his hair, pushing it out of his face before nodding off Kid to save their table.
I glare in their direction and John notices.
“Ahh...roommate issues, eh?” he asks knowingly.
“Something like that,” I grumble.
He chuckles looking from Hawke to me, then back. “He looks pissed.”
“Shit, he’s looking,” John says before widening his eyes and moving away.
Hawke stares straight at me as he approaches the bar. I glare back at him, not backing down from his direct gaze.
He places both his hands on the wooden surface as I take in the view of him in a form fitting black shirt, his sleeves covered in those mindlessly placed tattoos, his hair styled back perfectly with a few pieces hanging like they always do.
I fold my arms across my chest at his threatening approach.
“Why didn’t you come back before your shift?” he asks abruptly.
“What?” What a weird question.
“Why didn’t you come back before your shift!?” he asks again with an aggressive tone, causing a man next to him to look questionably at him then me.
What the hell does it matter and why is he so angry?
“Hawke!” I scold, feeling ridiculous for how he’s making me look right now.
I wave to John, letting him know I’ll be a minute. I need to handle this somewhere that isn’t in front of all of the other patrons and regulars.
I walk around the side of the bar, pulling Hawke by his upper arm to the hallway over by the bathrooms.
“What the hell are you doing here?” I ask, letting his arm drop.
“Having a drink. Why didn’t you come back? I asked you to leave for an hour not the entire day, why the fuck didn’t you come back?” he asks again loudly.
“So I could see you take out your trash? No thanks.” I scoff, eyeing him condescendingly.
He stops himself, grinding his teeth, standing straight and running both hands through his hair while processing what I said.
“Oh.” He narrows his eyes while nodding as if figuring it out. “So, that’s how it is? Okay, Cole.”
“What else would it be? Using people must be your favorite pastime. Lord knows you’ve done enough of that with me.”
“Oh, and you aren’t using me?” he quips back.
“Yeah, I said it. You use me. You use me to give you a high, anything to make you feel alive in your miserable, mundane life. But that’s as far as it goes for you in your perfect, calculated little world. Too stuck up to see the truth right in front of you. Too damn blind to open your eyes. Back to assuming again. Guess I should just go ahead and be who you think I am, huh?”
“You’re such an ass.” I whisper through clenched teeth, feeling myself on the verge of tears.
“You used me to get off with your fucking boyfriend. Do you have any idea how much that bothers me?” he growls, leaning over me against the wall.
I swallow, looking from those passionate eyes to his full lips and back.
He glares into me, seething at the memory of Patrick touching me. He’s jealous.
“His hands on you. Your mind on me. I saw it. Why the fuck you continue to put up with him and his shit is beyond me. I thought I knew you better than that, but I guess I don’t.”
Everything with him has meant way more than what he assumes. I’ve never used him in that sense, I’ve only fallen more into this undeniable feeling for him. I’m afraid of that truth and he’s pushing it out of me.
He leans in closer with a dark look in his greenish eyes, using a hand to brush my hair behind my ear, making me feel the heat of his touch before he brushes his lips against the shell of my ear. “I just wonder if even after you’re married you’ll still need to think of me to get off.”
I shove him from me as hard as I can until he hits the opposing wall of the hallway. He hits it with a grunt, the air leaving his chest.
Piss off, Hawke!” I say before turning and leaving him against the wall.
I stomp back behind the bar and try my best to forget the fact that he’s here, but of course, him and some of his guys all congregate together towards the back, making it clear they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. I could kill him for what he said. He knows just how to get under my skin, toy with me, tease me, but for the most part, I’m fearful that he’s right.
After helping a handful of new patrons, I turn to John, figuring out where I can help him.
“Hey Nic, can you take a tray of shots to the back table for me?” John asks, using the register.
He’s as busy as ever after my little “moment” to go talk with Hawke, so I feel guilty for not helping. That is until I see who it’s for.
My eyes dart over to Kid who’s leaning against the bar sporting a huge grin. “That’d be great, Nic. Thanks so much!”
With a sigh, I take the tray and walk it back to the table all the guys are sitting at. I set each shot glass down for them while Hawke leans back in his chair, one arm draped between his legs, the other hooked on the back of the chair with a girl dressed in practically nothing sitting on his lap. His head is tilted back as he watches me wait on him. There’s an arrogance about the look that’s making me want to break something.
I’m hot inside. Hot with anger.
“You’re the best, babe. Here, I bought an extra so you could do one with us.” Kid smiles, pushing one of the shots towards me.
“Nah, she can’t handle it. She looks like the kinda girl that has a weak gag reflex,” Hawke comments with a flat face, the girl on his lap eyeing me before she giggles.
The guys all laugh at my expense. My eyes narrow as I press my nails into the palm of my hand. He’s such a dick. He’s bitter because I make him jealous, mad because I'm holding back. Now he’s taking it out on me the only way he knows how, embarrassing me.
“I bet she can handle it.” Kid waves his brows with flirtation.
I grab the shot in my hand and throw it back in one gulp. I hate whisky, but you better believe I downed it before them. With my eyes burning into Hawke’s, I slide the empty shot glass until it bumps into his on the table.
“Bring them back up to the bar when you ladies are finished.” I comment with venom on my tongue before turning, leaving them all staring.
I hear Kid laugh then tease Hawke about something, but I’m long gone before I can hear anything else.
I try to keep occupied, but every time I look up, I see Hawke in my line of sight. Couldn’t they just go to a different bar!? He knows what he’s doing. He knows I see him. His floozy slut is getting handsy and he’s apparently taking full advantage of it. Is he really trying to make me jealous? He’s insane if he thinks that’s going to work to win me over. If anything it’s making me more angry by the second.
They walk to the bar together as he orders her a shot. I pretend to be busy so John takes their order, clearly not what Hawke wanted. He makes a display of sticking his tongue down her throat, hands scouring over her body, as soon as I become free. It’s disgusting and it definitely bothers me more than I’m willing to let on.
I finish the night a bit early. John lets me head out as the crowd starts dwindling down, insisting I could head back home after hearing about the coffee shop incident and seeing my rage for the roommate who’s under my skin. I grab my bag, checking to see if I have any missed calls or texts and I see a text from Patrick.
Here. All I get is a “here”. A forced one at that, simply because I “complained” about it. Not to mention the fact that he would’ve arrived hours ago but from the time on the message it appears he just remembered to text me. I roll my eyes, throwing the phone back into my bag and setting it on the counter to clock out.
I look over one last time to see their crew all huddled in the corner, playing darts and sipping their drinks by one of the pub tables. Hawke is just sitting at the table by himself, slumped down, looking down into his drink as his finger runs along the edge of it. He appears to be deep in thought, at least that’s what I’m assuming. I’ve literally seen how much he drank tonight and it wasn’t much.
I throw my bag over my shoulder, turning to leave when I’m met with curious eyes from the old jukebox. Kid is looking at me with a cocked head. My heart rate increases knowing he just saw me staring at Hawke. He gives me a little two fingered salute before heading back towards the guys, knowing I’m leaving, so I give him a little head nod and tight-lipped smile. It’s not like him to be seemingly quiet at my departure, or at any given moment, knowing his exuberant personality.
I brush it off and push through the doors. It’s a rainy, cold night, matching my emotions as I head towards my car. I hop in to start it up but when I do, it turns over. It won’t start. Shit.
I slam my hands on the steering wheel, beyond frustrated, then decide to walk to the bus stop down the road. Maybe I can make the last one on time. I dart out of my car, holding my purse above my head to try and deflect some of the rain, but it’s pointless. It’s pouring and I’m instantly drenched. I hate everything about this day.
As I’m walking along the side of the road, on cue, a car slowly creeps up behind me. I don’t even need to turn to see who it is, I can feel it in the way the hairs raise on my arms, my stomach turns over, my heart skips a quick beat.
“Get in.” Hawke calls out from the window of the old Mustang.
“You know, you shouldn’t steal cars, you can get jail time for that.” I reply with snarky wit.
“Get in the fucking car, Cole.”
“Fuck you.” I reply.
I don’t normally curse like this, but I’m irate at this point. No possible way I’m going to allow Hawke to be the hero of this day.
I’m too stubborn for that.