Blissful Aftermath [ROMANCE]

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Calvin's Quandary

Part 1 of 6

ONE MONTH WITHOUT AUDREY

“I’ve never seen a woman as beautiful as you.” He murmured in a quiet, raspy voice, glancing up at the women from under hood eyes, a sleazy grin on his face after having just slid her a drink from across the bar.

“Thank you.” The woman forced an uneasy smile and turned away from him to continue speaking to her friend, her fingers not even inching toward the drink he had just bought for her.

Calvin frowned at that.

With the seat between them now empty, he slid off his bar stool and moved closer to her, forgoing the seat so he could stand next to her instead; impinging on her private space.

“What’s wrong? You don’t like it?” He leaned in and dipped his ear to whisper directly into her ear, his lips inching higher as she visibly shivered. However, he was too intoxicated to realise that it wasn’t from pleasure but rather, the complete opposite.

“Thank you, but I’m not interested.”

Calvin frowned deeply and moved back a little, not at all fond of her answer.

“I just bought you a drink.”

The blonde woman huffed and turned her head to face him once again, a disinterested look in her eyes.

“And I just said, I’m not interested.”

“Come on.” He tried to persuade her, his lips turning up slightly as he reached out to lay a hand on her shoulder, giving it what he had assumed to be a gentle squeeze but in his drunken state, he must have been rougher than he anticipated as she winced and moved away quickly to get him off her.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” The blonde’s friend, another blonde, rose to her feet and barked lightly, reaching out to grab her friend’s arm and pull her away from him, as if she believed that her friend required protective from him.

Calvin didn’t like that and his lips tugged down into a frown as he held his hands up in the air to show that he meant no harm.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to do that. I guess I don’t know my own strength.” He apologised. “How about I the both of you ladies another round of drinks?”

Both the females frowned deeply and shook their heads.

“I think it’ll be best if you left us alone.”

“Where’s the fun in that?” He mused aloud, his lips curling up but before he could try and make another pass at either one of them, two security guards showed up on either side of him, not wasting any time as they grabbed him from both sides and began dragging him away from the bar and the girls.

“Wait? What’s going on?” Calvin asked frantically, his voice frantic and laced with genuine surprise as he glanced all around and fidgeted immensely, trying to his way out of their uncomfortable hold.

“You’ve clearly had too much to drink, buddy. It’s probably best that you head home before things get out of control.” One of the guards hummed, his voice quiet and his words gentle despite how rough his grip on Calvin was.

“I was only having some fun. I didn’t mean any harm.” He tried to reason but with the way his words slurred together and his body sagged in their arms, he knew he wasn’t convincing anyone.

“I’m sure you didn’t but you still can’t stay here anymore. You need to leave.”

Before Calvin could defend himself further, he found himself sitting on the cold ground outside, turning around to glance back at the two guards that were now stationed outside the building, making sure that he wouldn’t try and make his way back in there.

Calvin huffed and rolled his eyes, having no intention of staying somewhere where he wasn’t wanted.

It was their loss, anyway.

Stumbling around with absolutely no sense of direction, Calvin dropped himself on the closest bench he could find, too drunk and out of it to care that he was probably taking up the bed of a homeless person right now.

The hard wood and cold metal structure of the bench below him were uncomfortable and stiff to sleep on but to Calvin in his drunken stupor, it felt like fluffy clouds were caressing his back however, the same could not be said in the morning when he had finally sobered up and felt like a bed of nails were stabbing him in the back.

A pained groan passed his lips but no one was around to hear him, or that was what he was led to believe.

“There you are!” A familiar voice called out to him, dripping with a mixture of relief and annoyance, as if they had been looking all over for him for a few hours.

Calvin merely groaned in response and rubbed a hand down his face, groggy and disoriented, barely able to blink to make out the figure now towering over him.

Waking up to Kade looking down at him with sorrow and pity in his eyes, Calvin couldn’t help but think it was akin to the way Audrey used to look at him, except hers was more heartbroken and she certainly put up with his shit a lot more than his brother did.

But he had ruined all of that and she was gone now. There was no point dwelling on the past, or that was what he constantly told himself despite not really listening to the words, the sound drowned out by all the memories that would come rushing back

How he wished he could close his eyes and go back to sleep, but nothing was ever that simple, especially not with his brother towering over him.

“I’ve been looking all morning for you.”

“Well, here I am.” He chuckled dryly in attempt at some humour to lighten up the situation, but failed miserably.

“This isn’t funny.” Kade pursed his lips as he glanced down at his little brother, a disapproving look on his face. “I was genuinely worried about you.”

“Well, I’m here so there’s no need to worry.” He resisted the urge to roll his eyes and instead, pushing himself into a sitting position, regretting it immediately when he felt everything around him shake.

His vision faltered, his head pounded and his whole world spun, making him wish nothing more than to drop himself down on the bench once again, no matter how uncomfortable it was. However, that was no longer impossible as Kade had sat down on the bench next to him, spreading his legs and arms out on his half of it.

“Why are you looking for me?” He asked, forcing the words out of his mouth as they felt dry and gravelly.

“What can kind of question is that?” Kade huffed and turned to look at his brother with a hard glare in place. “What do you mean, why am I looking for you? That’s generally what people do when their brother goes missing.”

Calvin huffed and pressed the palm of his hand against his forehead, smacking it lightly in hopes of snapping everything back into place. When it failed, another pained groan passed out of his mouth and he slumped back on the bench, giving up.

He didn’t bother correcting the fact that he had never been missing in the first place.

Kade sighed and handed him a capped water bottle Calvin hadn’t noticed him holding before.

“Here, drink this.” His brother instructed, moving to uncap the bottle before pressing it into his brother’s hands.

He frowned and accepted, not bothering to sit up as he raised the bottle to his mouth and tipped his head back, taking a generous gulp, enjoying the coolness of the water sloshing down the sides of his dry throat.

Oh, how he regretted that as soon as he his throat tightened and he began choking on the water, lurching his body forward to spit out the contents of his mouth, still coughing violently.

“Fuck!” Kade swore loudly as he moved to take the bottle out of his hands and clapping a hand gently on his back in hopes of helping to ease it up.

Calvin continued with the coughing and eventually, it cleared up. Feeling like he was no longer under threat of choking to death, he dropped himself back on bench and turned his head to gaze at his brother.

“You good?” Kade asked as he handed back the water, his lips pulled into a concerned frown, watching his brother carefully.

“Yeah, it just went down the wrong pipe.” He murmured before taking another swig of the water, this time taking smaller mouthfuls so as to avoid another choking hazard, having already learnt his lesson the hard way.

“I worry about you.” Kade sighed and ran a hand down the side of his face, his eyes heavy with buckets of concern, watching his brother carefully.

Calvin frowned lightly. “I just choked on some water. It’s nothing serious and definitely not anything to worry about. People choke on water all the time.”

“I’m not talking about you choking.” Kade huffed.

“Then what are you talking about?” He asked nonchalantly, hoping that they wouldn’t be having a repeat of this conversation yet again.

“I think you know.”

Calvin sighed and slumped his body forward, purposely avoiding his brother’s eyes.

“Do we have to talk about this right now?”

“Well, you never want to talk about it.” Kade frowned deeply.

“What happened to the saying, it’s now or never?”

“That doesn’t apply here, especially since we both know you’d choose never.”

“That’s not necessarily true.” Calvin tried to reason even though both he and his brother knew that they were lying through his teeth. “Okay, fine. Let’s talk about this.”

“You can’t keep doing this to yourself.”

“I’m not doing anything to myself.” Calvin lied again, each one getting worse and less believable than the one before it.

Kade pursed his lips and sent his brother a pointed look.

“It’s only been a month. What do you expect?”

“Well, I didn’t expect for you to be so torn up about Audrey leaving.” Kade hummed aloud.

“Don’t say her name.” Calvin whispered quietly, the sound barely an exhale as his body recoiled within itself at the mention of his ex-wife’s name, forever the woman that had gotten away.

Except, he had been the one to push her away.

-

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Layla Knight

19.09.2020

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