Chapter 5 - Alexandria
Alex hated being on stage, and was thrilled the song was winding down. She climbed the pole one more time, then spun around a couple times, and jumped off. Finally, she lifted her head and pulled the cowboy hat off, flinging it to the side of the stage. She always kept her eyes closed, but tonight something was compelling her to open them.
Slowly, she listened to her instincts, and opened her eyes. They immediately went to the back of the club, and she quickly scanned the faces of the men back there. Almost immediately, they rested on a familiar cropping of short dark brown hair. She scanned down, and found herself caught in the gaze of someone she knew was dark and dangerous. And, this was someone she had hoped to never see again.
She could feel the blood draining from her face, as he continued to stare at her, then suddenly he stood, and started stomping in her direction. She squealed and turned to pick up her clothes. In seconds, she was off, hurrying to the dressing rooms behind the curtain. She was almost there, when a hand clamped down on her arm.
She froze, afraid to turn and look at him. A second later, she had no choice, as she was spun around anyway. She refused to look up, embarrassment and fear holding her eyes to the ground. Her arm was released, but her feet were uncooperative, and she remained in place. She jumped, when suddenly a suit jacket was placed around her shoulders. A tear ran down her cheek, at the thoughtful gesture.
Even if he was being kind, she wouldn’t look up, afraid of the look she would see on his face. Again she had no choice, as he placed his warm finger under her chin, and tipped her face up towards his. She was extremely short, and because he stood so close, she had to crane her neck to see him.
She cringed at the look of fury and horror in his expression. She tried to pull away, but he held her chin tighter. She used her free hand to hold the jacket closed, then gasped as his other hand shot up, to wipe the tear from her cheek. It was no use, as more just fell in its place.
“Mario”, she whispered, as he stared down at her in confusion.
He opened his mouth to say something, but all hell broke loose, as Nick and another man charged through the crowd, trying to reach them. Mario let her go, as he turned to the men and starting yelling. She had no intention of listening to what they were saying, so she used the distraction to her advantage, and hurried backstage.
She didn’t waste any time, just dropped her clothes and hurried to her locker. The jacket came to her knees, so she threw on her runners, grabbed her purse, and ran for the door. As usual, Drew was there waiting for her. He looked her up and down in concern.
“You okay darlin”, he asked.
“No”, she told him. “I really don’t feel well. Can you get me to my car, then let Nick know I left sick”, she begged.
“Sure I can”, he said sympathetically. He then took her arm, and hurried with her to her car. He opened the door and she kissed his cheek, before climbing in.
“Thank you”, she whispered as she shut the door and started up the clunker. It took two tries, but she got it going, and screeched across the parking lot. She was almost out, when she saw the back door fling open. She refused to look that way, as she left the lot and headed to the motel.
When she pulled in, she was actually thankful that Chuck forced her to park around back, behind the dumpster, because her car couldn’t be seen from the street. She turned it off, then sat there for a minute and cried. Why did Mario have to be there tonight? Alex had taken painful measures to make sure she didn’t run into him over the years.
She had loved him more than life when she was just seventeen. But after just six months he had broken her heart, telling her that he just didn’t care for her the way she did for him. It had been a hard thing for her to hear, especially since he was always with her and claiming he wanted to see her as much as he could. But, he had been extremely angry when he ended it, and she couldn’t deny the fury she had seen on his face. She still cried sometimes, thinking about him.
Squaring her shoulders, and wiping her face, she climbed out of her car, and headed for her shed. She just couldn’t get a break, she thought, as she pushed open her door and curled up on her bed. She fell asleep, shaking from the chill, and wishing her dad was still alive. But the face she saw in her dreams was Mario’s, as he looked down at her in horror at the club.