A Friend for a Funeral

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Chapter 9: Hitting The Bar

It took Adam a few moments to realize what had happened, and he looked back up at George. The man was obviously still fuming over what had happened that morning and needed someone, anyone really, to take his anger out on. He had obviously come to the hotel maybe to talk with his sister and the guy he blamed all his troubles all just happened to be in the lobby. It was likely an urge that George wasn’t able to resist, especially since he had the element of surprise. Adam slowly got back to his feet, and looked back at George who still had his fists raised, as he was clearly eager to go a few rounds. Adam rubbed his eyes for a moment, as he was still a little dazed from the unexpected sucker shot that knocked him down. He help up his hands, trying to calm the matter down rather than make things worse. At this point there was a crowd gathering and making this a full blown scene for all involved.

“Look,” Adam started, pausing for a moment. “I get why you’re upset but you’re clearly talking this out on the wrong bloke.”

“Am I?” George asked, “Doesn’t seem that way from where I’m standing!”

“Come on man!” Adam chided back, “You’re a smart guy. There’s no way you can blame me for what’s going on here. Odds are that will was written up years ago, way long before I came to Paris, or even started working at my Dad’s company for that matter. What happens here isn’t going to change that. So what are we doing here?”

George looked around and finally noticed the scene they were making. He slowly lowered his fists and took a deep breath. Good judgement was finally starting to take control over the man as he started to think like a C.E.O. instead of a spurned grandchild that just got shafted by the old lady.

“I’m sorry,” George finally managed to spit out.

“Everyone break things up!” someone from the hotel’s staff called out as the people started to clear the lobby.

Adam walked up and put a hand on George’s shoulder.

“I don’t know about you,” Adam started, “But I think we need a drink.”

“Alright,” George agreed, “Let’s hit the bar.”

Once the staff realized things were becoming more civil between the two men, they let everyone break things up and go back to work. This was especially true for the hotel workers since George was technically their boss, so they were happy to back away and let it dissipate on its own. Both men walked into the bar, and as they approached the counter it was George who called out as they approached the counter. Both George and Adam took some stools at the bar as George waited for the bartender to arrive.

“Mr. Bouchard,” the bartender said, “What can I get for you?”

“Two glasses of scotch,” George answered, “Two fingers each, and I’ll take a pack of ice for my friend here.”

“Yes, Mr. Bouchard.” The bartender replied, “I assume this can be added to your tab?”

“You assumed correctly,” George confirmed. “We’ll take two menus as well.”

“I’m not that hungry,” Adam admitted as he watched the bartender walk away.

“Doesn’t matter,” George replied, “Order whatever you want, my treat. Take it to go and stash it in the mini bar fridge in case you get peckish for a late night snack.”

“Okay,” Adam said, as he liked the idea. “Thank you.”

“It the least I can do,” George admitted, “The last time I punched someone like that, I was sued for it. I shouldn’t have done that.”

“I’m not going to sue you,” Adam said, “You’ve had a rough day. I would be feeling the same way if I was you. But thank you for ordering the ice.”

“Yeah, it has been a rough day.” George agreed.

“It wasn’t as bad as you thought.” Adam countered.

“What do you mean?” George asked.

“I talked to both women today,” Adam said, “And neither of them look like they want to run this company. They’re nice people that can be reasoned with, and you need to also remember they’re family. I realize you’ll have to get used to one of them just showing up out of nowhere, but from what I’ve gathered she’s a good person who isn’t going to fire you for now reason. You’re also a good CEO. You’ve run this company well over the last decade, and only a fool would want to let you go.”

“You really did your homework,” George said, taking a sip of his drink after it arrived. He watched as Adam ignored his drink and grabbed the ice pack and placed it over the cheek that took George’s sucker punch.

“I didn’t study you,” Adam replied, “Most of this is common knowledge. I happen to know more than the average person cause my Dad has been doing business with your company and this hotel for decades.”

“Then why isn’t he here instead of you?” George asked.

“He doesn’t fly,” Adam answered, which was partially true. “I volunteered to come over because I thought someone should, and also because I was a big fan of your grandmother’s movies.”

“Then how do you know my sister?” George inquired, eager to know more.

“We met on the flight,” Adam answered, “I had no idea she was related to the dearly departed until I bumped into her at the funeral.”

“Wow, that is quite interesting.” George said, trying to evaluate what he was told. “And now you’re dating or something?”

“Not really,” Adam corrected, “We’ve toured the town a bit, had a few dinners but this hasn’t gotten any more serious than that. I’m not going lie to you George, I do like her but I’m not eager to push things, especially considering she’s still morning the passing of a loved one.”

“I appreciate your honestly,” George said, as he took Adam’s drink since he wasn’t going to touch it. “Most men are uncaring goofs that see her as an expense account to cash in.”

“She’s an amazing person,” Adam said, “And you need to realize that she’s not your enemy. She’s your sister and she loves you.”

“I guess I needed to be reminded of that,” George confessed as he finished Adam’s drink. “I can be seem uncaring, but that’s how I have to be when running a company this big.”

“I can understand that,” Adam conceded, “But you shouldn’t push everyone away, especially your new partners.”

“That’s going to take some getting used to.” George admitted.

“Would you prefer she just give everything away to charity?” Adam asked, “I’ve seen bigger fortunes be given to a cat or some trust and the kids are left with bupkiss. While things didn’t go as you expected, trust me, it could have been a lot worse.”

“Fair enough,” George said, as he understood. “Sorry about the punch.”

“Shit happens,” Adam said, as he took the pack away from his cheek. He turned the pack over and applied the colder side back on. “I’ll survive.”

“Try to keep this between us,” George said, “I’m in enough trouble.”

“I’ll try,” Adam said, “But I can’t promise anything. I’m definitely not going to lie her. So just hope this bruise goes away rather quickly.”

“I understand,” George said, as he waved the bartender to come back. “Let’s get some food and more ice for that.”

“Why not,” Adam said as he realized something. George was angry but he was also a tad lost. He was yearning for someone to talk to, someone his own age and not related to him. In other words, someone with no skin in the game.

Since he had no plans, it didn’t cost Adam anything to hear George out and give him what he really needed. A person to vent to and have a drink with. Adam didn’t mind hanging out with George as he didn’t have any ill will towards the man and he definitely felt for him. He also lost his grandmother, and he’d rather have the man take his hostility out on him rather than the girl he’s taken a liking to. And since the extra food was on him as well, Adam decided to order a few extra items for the trip back to his room. Something to share in case Fiona decided to visit later that night to talk.

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