Upside down

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IV

Sasha follows Roy into a pub. It’s quiet, only a few people drinking coffee and reading their newspapers. Roy takes a seat at the bar and looks for the attention of the woman behind the bar. “Is Billy around?” He asks when she looks at him.

“Who’s asking?” She looks at him wearily. Probably because she can smell he’s a rogue.

“Roy.”

The woman disappears through a door behind the bar, but comes back a few seconds later with a tall, broad silver haired man behind her. Sasha gulps. That is not a man you should mess with. Like at all.

“Roy!” The man beams when he sees Roy. “How are you doing, son? It’s been a while. You had me worried.” While he talks, the man quickly comes to the other side of the bar and gives Roy a hug.

“I’m fine, I’m sorry it took me so long to come back. I was busy.” Roy’s voice is muffled in the neck of the man.

The man looks over his shoulder and starts beaming again. “I can see you’ve been busy! Who’s this lovely lady? Have you finally found your mate?” The man looks inquisitively at her and then his eyes investigate further down to her neck. Sasha feels her cheeks turn red.

“No she’s not my mate.” Roy smiles when he sees Sasha’s red cheeks. “This is Sasha. She’s a friend who needs your help.”

Sasha looks at the ground and fumbles with her fingers.

“Her house burnt down last night and now she needs a place to stay and a job. I thought that maybe you could help her with that.”

Billy frowns, seemingly deep in thought. “I need someone to tend to the bar.” He looks her straight in the eyes. “Do you think you can do that?”

Sasha nods.

Billy walks behind the bar, takes something from a basket and then returns to Sasha holding out his hand. “This is the key to the apartment upstairs. It is furnished so you can move in immediately. I’ll call my daughter and ask her for some clothes and other things you may need to get you started. If there’s anything you need, help with your insurance or the bank, let me know. Alright?”

Sasha nods again. Billy’s face softens a little. “You’re in good hands kid, you’re lucky you’ve found Roy.”

“Thank you,” Sasha replies quietly. Billy nods, then his gaze moves over to Roy.

“You look skinny, do you take good care of yourself, my boy?”

Roy sighs, “I’m having some problems I need to solve. But all will be fine. As soon as I’m out of trouble, I’ll be able to take good care of myself again.”

Billy frowns and shakes his head worriedly, “I hope to see the day that you’ll be burden-free, my son.” He pats Roys shoulder and then turns around back to the door he came from.

Roy leads her through a small corridor that leads to the backdoor, but also to a set of stairs. He walks up the stairs that lead to another door. He unlocks the door, opens it and lets her go in first. “After you, my lady.” He bows a little when she passes him.

Sasha smiles and makes a little curtsy. “Thank you, sir.”

The apartment is not very large, but large enough for her.

“I hope this is good enough for you. I loved living here.” Roy looks at her questioningly.

“At least I’ll have a roof over my head and I can start here. I can always see what to do when I’m back on my feet again.”

Roy nods. “If there’s anything you need, don’t hesitate to ask Billy, he’ll be happy to help you.” He steps in front of her, “with anything.”

Sasha nods. “Thank you Roy. I really appreciate it.”

“If there’s anything I can do for you to help you with your- friend. Let me know, okay? I’d like to return the favor and help you out.”

Roy smiles a little. “That’s very kind, but you don’t need to. It’s the least I could do for putting you in trouble like that.”

Sasha places her hand on his upper arm. “Roy. Let me help you. Please. Don’t hesitate to call me if there’s anything I can do.”

Roy nods. “I will. You go take care of yourself first. Get your life back on track, alright?”

“Will I see you again?” Sasha asks Roy when he is about to leave.

Roy sighs and runs a hand through his hair and steps out the door, but turns to look at her. “I don’t know. For you, I hope not. I’ll only bring trouble with me.

Sasha smiles, gets up on her toes and gives him a kiss on the cheek. “Goodbye Roy.”

Roy looks down and closes his eyes for a second when she gives him a kiss on his cheek. “Goodbye Sasha.” He whispers. He turns and strides away.

When it gets dark that evening, Sasha closes the curtains. She hears a knock on her door and walks over to open it. When she looks up, a young woman smiles at her.

“Hi, I’m Tessa, Billy’s daughter. He told me that your house burned down, so I’ve brought you some things.”

“Oh, that’s very kind of you, thank you.”

Tessa turns to walk away again, but looks over her shoulder, “maybe you can help me out for a minute, there’s still some stuff in the back of my truck. It was too much to carry all at once. I’ve bought you some groceries, my niece donated some clothes for you. I even have an old smartphone. It should be enough to get you through the first days until you have everything settled.”

“I’ll grab the keys and I’ll be right there.” Sasha turns to get her keys and follows Tessa to her truck.

When they are done and everything is brought inside, Tessa plops down on the sofa. “Goodness, I need to work out more, I’m not used to running stairs that often,” she smiles.

“Can I get you something to drink?” Sasha offers.

“Water please,”

“So,” Tessa smiles curiously when Sasha gives her a bottle of water. “How do you know Roy?”

“I met him yesterday. He helped me escape my burning house.”

“Oh, so you’re not his mate. Too bad. Roy really has had no luck in his life. He deserves to find his mate and settle under an Alpha. He’s been a rogue for so long.”

“I’m impressed how he is able to keep himself on the right track. It must be so hard to not go insane.”

“He has had a hard life, still has. When he is ready he will tell you himself, it’s not up to me.” Tessa gets up from the sofa. “I’ve saved the numbers from my dad, Roy and myself on the phone. Whenever you need anything, just call or send a message, alright?”

Sasha nods and walks Tessa out, “I will, thank you so much. I don’t know if I can ever repay you.”

Tessa places her hands on Sashas lower arms for a second. “Oh, you don’t need to. We love to help. It’s not that you can do anything about this, right?”

“Well, thanks anyway.” Sasha smiles.

“You’re welcome,” Tessa turns and walks down. “See you soon!”

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