The Bitter Side of Wynter

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Chapter 11

Blaine, smiling over his conversation with Neverending’s lead singer, went back where he’d left Perion. She was not standing where she had been. He looked all around him but couldn’t find any of the girls. He spotted Robb Dyal and Frank Farrell, but couldn’t see Lein or Ronnie. He walked around the room and eventually found Ronnie and Debi at the bar getting champagne. He found the other girls within small groups of partygoers.

Blaine walked back to the bar where Ronnie and Debi sat. “Have you seen Perion,” Blaine asked them.

“Nope. She was going to come by here and get some champagne with us, but she hasn’t shown up yet,” Debi said, answering his question.

“How ’bout Lein,” Blaine asked pointedly.

At the mention of Lein’s name, Ronnie began paying attention to what was being said. He knew how his brother felt about Perion, yet he didn’t want Blaine dogging Lein. After all, falling in love with someone wasn’t a crime. “What are you getting at, bud? Are you saying that wherever Lein is, you’ll find Perion?”

Blaine didn’t back down a bit. “That’s exactly what I’m sayin,′ bud,” he mocked.

“Maybe if you paid as much attention to her as you pay to yourself, you’d not lose track of her and suspect something that isn’t happening,” Ronnie told Blaine hotly, despite feeling like a hypocrite. After all, Lein had told him something exactly like what Blaine had accused.

“Well, I expected you guys would take up for her, for them.” He stalked off, still angry as hell.

“You think they’re together,” Debi asked Ronnie.

Ronnie sighed, looked down at his glass, then up at Debi. “I’ll put it like my mother used to: do bears shit in the woods?”

Debi sighed as well. “That’s what I figured, too. They’re together all right. God help them if Blaine finds them.”

“Yeah. Damn it, I didn’t want them to interfere with us, but they are,” he said.

Debi smiled ruefully. “I know. Both of us sort of feel obligated to fix it for them before we can get going,” she explained.

“Maybe it’ll work itself out. What do you think?”

She took his hand and squeezed it. “Borrowing from your mother, Ronnie, do bears shit in the living room?”

He groaned a little. “I knew you were gonna say that.”

“Well, I don’t want her any more unhappy than you want Lein. If it means breaking up this marriage, then it’s gonna have to be done. I don’t know what she was thinking when she married him anyway. She and Lein have been gone for each other since they met. Damn it, she never listens to me.”

“Neither does Lein.”

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