#47 Condescending asshole
The sound of someone clearing their throat behind us scares me half to death. Fuck. Dshawn. I almost forgot that he was behind me. I turn around, catching his gaze. He isn’t happy, to say the least.
“Erm…” I start, not sure to explain the situation. I haven’t seen Finn in a year, and we only hooked up a few times, but it’s still very uncomfortable to have him standing here all handsome and tall, frowning at Dshawn.
“Finn McCoy,” he says, holding out his hand. “And you are?”
“Dshawn Davis,” he replies, grasping Finn’s hand way too firmly. “Shaughna’s boyfriend.”
“Boyfriend?” Finn chuckles and turns his attention back on me. “I honestly didn’t think I’d ever see the day that a man would manage to lock down Shaughna Elmore. In fact, I was hoping this was going to be a social call, but I guess it’s just business after all.”
How does he manage to make the word social sound dirty? Surely he didn’t think that I set up a meeting just to screw his brains out after not having seen him or talked to him in a year? Hell, I didn’t even know his last name until a few minutes ago. To me, he was just Finn, the hot 30-something guy who pulled open the door of a restaurant while I was trying to push it open, causing me to fall right into him. We started talking, exchanged numbers, and hooked up a few times. He wasn’t wearing a suit back then and he never mentioned his job, so how was I supposed to know he works at a bank? Of all the people who could have been in this office, did it have to be someone I slept with?
“Coffee with two sugars,” a female voice says from the doorway. “And one black.”
“Thank you, Alexandra, put them on the desk,” Finn says to the woman who was at the front desk when we came in. “Shut the door on your way out, will you?”
Once she’s gone, Finn motions for us to sit down and walks around his desk to take a seat in his large leather chair. He puts his elbows on the large mahogany table and rests his chin on his folded hands.
“Since Shaughna and I are already… acquainted, how about just skip all the chit chat and jump straight in,” Finn says softly, still that teasing tone to his voice. “Why do you need a business loan?”
Dshawn jumps right in, eager to get off the subject of me and Finn going way back. “We want to open a night club and a fast food restaurant.”
“In this town?” Finn clicks his tongue. “Rock Paper Scissors opened recently and they’re already struggling to compete with established clubs like Animals. What makes you think your club will be able to earn a right to exist in the midst of that fierce competition?”
“A unique concept and a close relationship with the fast food place next door.” Dshawn opens his bag and pulls out a folder. The first page is a picture of the old office building and the rundown restaurant next door. Next to it is an image of what it would look like once we’re done restoring it and turning it into our business. Dshawn made it on his computer with one of the fancy programs they use at the firm. It’s a before-and-after kind of thing.
“Looks good,” Finn admits. “But just because you can work a computer and can pick a good color and name, doesn’t mean that your business is viable. What sets you apart?”
“Theme nights,” Dshawn says excitedly. If you open the folder to the second page, you will find a list of ideas for themes. They range from fun things like an Abba night and karaoke to more sexy things like a masquerade night.”
“Themes?” Finn asks, his voice filled with disdain. “That’s your bright original idea?”
Dshawn launches into an analysis of what sort of thing other clubs do and that this is the one thing that this town is still missing, pulling out stats and examples. I can tell from just looking at Finn that he’s not convinced. In fact, he seems more interested in looking at my boobs than at Dshawn’s research.
“Finn,” I snap, making him look up at my face. “Listen to us. This is a good idea. This club could be huge. A fast food place next door that fits into the concept and that offers deals when you combine it with a ticket to the party at the club… That is interesting and new in this town. Since the place we’re hoping to get is huge, we could have a whole floor to turn into bathrooms. No more waiting in line! As a girl who likes to go clubbing I know how annoying it is to have to wait for half an hour before emptying your bladder. And we won’t be reliant on just the income from the club itself. We could do sweet 16 parties, bachelorette parties, you name it, we can do it.”
“Hmm…” Finn flips through the folder that Dshawn hands him and nods a few times. “Yeah, okay, I have to admit that this a smart idea. How did a waitress like you come up with this?”
I want to scream at him, call him a stupid condescending dick, but I don’t. I can’t. This is Dshawn’s shot at a loan and I can’t blow it. “It’s Dshawn’s plan,” I say through gritted teeth. “I’m just helping him out with the execution.”
“And what do you do?” Finn asks Dshawn. Before Dshawn can answer, Finn opens the folder with the financial statement. “Oh, you work at my buddy’s IT firm. That’s quite the career switch, Mr. Davis. What make you think you’re fit to run a night club? Even a fast food restaurant seems like a bit of a stretch, to be honest. No experience whatsoever and shitty financial statement at best.”
“I-I don’t-” Dshawn freezes, just like he told me he did at the previous appointment. “I know a lot about the business, I’m a q-quick learner and… I mean, what does anyone really know about running a club?”
Finn raises an eyebrow and smirks. “Well, I’m sure that the owner of Animals didn’t go into business with that attitude.”
“Actually, Terrence was a high school science teacher before he opened Animals,” I jump right in, enjoying the look of surprise on Finn’s face.
“So you’re not just a waitress,” Finn muses. “Interesting. Let me guess… bartender?”
“Waitress and bartender with a business degree,” I spit out, getting fed up with him.
“You went to college?” His eyes go wide. “Wow, you really are full of surprises, Shaugha Elmore. A degree, a boyfriend… you’re not the girl I met a year ago.”
“I’ve had my degree for almost three years now,” I say, trying to stay calm. How dare he talk down to me like that? “Besides, it shouldn’t matter what I do for a living or what kind of degree I have. This is Dshawn’s business plan and it’s good. Just take a look over all the research we did and the ideas we have for the place. The location is perfect to attract people from nearby towns, and-”
“I can’t give you a loan,” Finn cuts in, shutting the file in his hands. “Mr. Davis, you have no collateral to put up. No matter how good your plan may be, I can’t give you money when you hardly have any savings and no way to prove that you’re good for the money. Come back in ten years when you’ve got some real estate.”
“So that’s it?” Dshawn asks. “We’re definitely not getting a loan?”
“Yes, that’s it.”
Dshawn gets up and grabs the folders from the desk, stuffing them back in his bag. “Well, then I guess it won’t matter what I say or do from this point on, huh? Because I want to tell you one last thing, Mr. McCoy.”
“And what would that be?” Finn asks snidely, responding to the hatred dripping from Dshawn’s tone.
“You’re a condescending asshole and I won’t have you speaking to my girlfriend like she’s some dumb bimbo. Shaughna Elmore is a smart, independent woman and you’re just a superficial dick in a suit.” Dshawn holds out his hand to pull me up from my chair. “Fuck you, Finn.”
“Right back at you,” Finn sneers. “Give me call when you tire of that little boyfriend of yours, Shaughna. I’d love to take you out again. I remember our hot nights back in the day.”
“Oh yeah?” I ask, happy that I finally get to say my piece. “All I remember is you not being able to get it up.”
“That was just one time!” Finn roars. “And you said it was common and not a big deal!”
I laugh at him. “It’s not common and it is a big deal. Why did you think I never called you again after that last night? Oh, and I lied. You’re not the biggest I ever had. You’re not even in the top 50.”
I can’t hear what Finn is about to say next, because Dshawn has dragged me out into the hallway and shuts the door right in Finn McCoy’s angry face.
“Well, that went well,” Dshawn sighs. “Let’s go home.”
Back in the apartment, it becomes painfully obvious that Dshawn is not just mad at Finn McCoy. He’s furious. At me.
“I’m sorry,” I tell him softly while he puts away his bag and takes my coat from me to hang it on the coat rack in the hallway.
“Do you think that there’ll ever be a time where we won’t bump into guys you’ve slept with?” he asks with a grunt while he takes off his shoes.
“It’s not like this happens every day,” I say, a little annoyed at the tone he’s taking with me.
“Whenever I pick you up at Giovanni’s, I have to see either Hollister or that waiter ogling you and giving me dirty looks,” Dshawn says, counting on his fingers. “A week ago in Rock Paper Scissors this guy came up to you and asked you to go into the bathroom with you for old times’ sake. At Animals you work side by side with that horrible Max guy and I’m pretty sure you slept with that other male bartender too, William or something. Even the owner looks at you like he wants to devour you whole. And I had to actively participate in helping you convince your old fuckbuddy Joshua to break up with his girlfriend.”
“I didn’t actually sleep with Max,” I start defending myself.
“Only because I showed up before he did!” Dshawn roars.
“And I only kissed William, I never slept with him.”
“Wow. Great. I feel so much better now.”
“And you agreed we needed to help Joshua! I never saw him again after that night! And Terrence, the owner of Animals… He’s honestly just my boss.”
Dshawn frowns. “Then why did he tell me the other night when I was having a smoke outside, waiting for you to finish your shift, that you have great tits?”
“He said that?” Fuck, this looks bad. “Well, I guess… I sometimes change my shirt in the club when I’m late. So… he’s seen my bra a few times.”
“You change in front of Terrence, William and Max?” Dshawn asks incredulously. “You’ve got to be kidding me! What the fuck is wrong with you?”
“Don’t talk to me like that,” I warn him. “I just had Finn talking down to me while I tried to keep it together for your sake. I won’t let you speak to me like I’m beneath you.”
“You just ruined my chance at a loan,” he snaps, his eyes filled with hatred. “And all because you slept with half the guys in this city. Isn’t Finn like… 35 or something? You can’t even stick to boys your own age?”
“So when Aston brags about having sex with Annabel, it’s all fun and games, but when you find out that I slept with someone ten years older than me, it’s suddenly disgusting?” I take off my heels and throw them into the hallway. “You’re a fucking hypocrite!”
“I don’t want to talk about this right now,” Dshawn growls. “I need some space. I just want to get out of this suit and have a beer.”
“Fine,” I snap. “I’ll grab my stuff and go home.” I slam the door of the hallway shut behind me and shudder from rage and sadness. I can’t believe he just yelled at me. It’s not my fault that Finn was in that office. I don’t believe that my history with Finn has anything to do with Dshawn not getting that loan. He just doesn’t have any collateral to put up. And yes, it sucks that we run into guys I fucked, but he knew that would happen when he agreed to date me. He knew I wasn’t a saint when he got involved with me.
“What are you doing?” Dshawn asks, joining me in the bedroom. “Why are you putting your clothes in a bag?”
I grab my phone charger from my nightstand and put it in the overnight bag that’s open on the bed. “Because all my fucking stuff is here, and I’ll need some basics.”
“You’re really going home?” Dshawn asks, his voice void of his earlier anger. “Why?”
“You just yelled at me!” I exclaim, zipping the bag shut and throwing the strap over my shoulder. “You just said that you need some space! Well, this is your apartment, so that leaves me with no choice, does it?”
“This is our place,” he insists, grabbing the bag from me and putting it on the floor. “I’m not letting you walk out of here like this.”
“Let me?” I repeat, my voice wobbly. Melchior’s voice sounds in my mind: Do you really think I’m going to let you walk around like this without punishing you? That I will let you get away with wearing a skirt that short when you go out? That I will let you off the hook this time?
Dshawn holds up his hands, catching onto my weird mood swing. “I just mean that I don’t want you to leave. Of course I won’t stop you if you do, but this is our place. Just because we fight doesn’t mean I don’t still want you here. I love you, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be mad at you, right? And just because I’m angry right now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still want to fall asleep in the same bed!”
“Oh,” I breathe, feeling calmer already. “Okay.”
“Will you stay?” he asks, his voice soft. “Please?”
“Yes,” I decide, sinking down on the bed. “I will.”
“Just a warning,” Dshawn says, taking a step closer. “I’m going to touch you in a moment. I can tell that you’re hurting right now, and it’s probably because of something Melchior did, combined with me yelling at you. I’m still angry and we will definitely get into this more tomorrow, but right now I just want to hold you. Is that okay?”
I nod, tears in my eyes. “Yes, I’d like that.”
He immediately moves in and puts his arms around me. I let out a sigh and pull him down onto the bed with me. We’re both not in the mood for sex – I’ve never been a fan of angry sex – but it’s nice that he still wants to comfort me even when he’s angry. And that I still feel better with his arms around me even though I know we’ll be back to disagreeing tomorrow morning.