Having failed at returning what Simone left at the diner to her Alex exhaled and moved from the parking lot of the diner into his car, only to begin pining down the streets of downtown Seattle, and then it occurred to him, neither him nor Julian got a wink of sleep the night before. Alex smiled and checked his watch; it was now nearly 12 in the afternoon, and not a minute later an idea sprang into his head. He’d surprise Julian and take him out to lunch. With this thought in mind Julian took out his cellphone and dialed The Brew’s number.
”Good Afternoon, this is The Brew, how may I direct your call?” Mercury had said upon answering The Brew’s telephone.
”Uh, yes… hello. I was calling to see if Julian Young was in today?” Alex’s voice rang through the receiving end of the phone and he knew he must have sounded nervous beyond hell.
”Oh, you just missed him actually, Julian left about 15 minutes ago. If you want I can leave him a message for you? Just go right ahead and give me your name and number and I’ll let him know you called. Mercury smiled knowing this must have been the guy Julian had spent his morning with.
”Oh crap, really?” Alex breathed heavily upon turning the corner of Knott and 7th. ”No it’s fine, really, if you could just let me know where he went that’d be great.” He sounded scared and worried all at once and throughout the entire phone call he kept getting flashes of Julian in his head. As if he were intoxicated, poisoned with thinking about him in his every waking moment.
”You know, I normally don’t do this. But I feel as if I can trust you, so just give me 2 seconds and I’ll get right on that.” She was very cautious in handing out her best friends’ information, but figured that she could trust this man due to everything Julian had said about him. It was as if Julian had fallen in love with this man overnight. And in a matter of minutes Mercury sighed and returned to the phone. ”Alright, sorry, I was taking a customer’s order. She lied then. ”He lives at the Escala Apartments, floor 7; Room B.” She hung up the phone before he had a chance to say anything in return to her having given him Julian’s information. Thus ending the conversation between her and the mysterious man Julian spoke so highly about. Alex Meza.
Waffle House Timeline
Lake Outside of Seattle
It was nearing sunset when Pandora reached her destination. She cut the engine to her bike and just sat a moment, staring out at the lake and the sun’s reflection on the water. It was peaceful and she liked to come up here and think when things were rough.
After some time, she climbed off her bike, taking out the small bouquet of flowers she had stopped to buy on her way through. Picking her way through the foliage, she came out into a field of flowers…and the lone tombstone resting near the lake edge.
It had been years before Denise would reveal where she had her father buried. Pandora hadn’t known that her father was a Seattle native and it was such a shock when she was told this information. That was part of her reasons for moving to Washington…just to be near her dad.
She paused at the tombstone, staring at the engraved lettering as if willing it to disappear.
It had been her dad’s wish to be buried here as it was an area he liked to visit quite frequently.
She knelt before his final resting place, removing the bouquet she had brought the last time, now shriveled and dead and replaced it with the new. She placed a hand against her father’s name and bowed her head in a moment of silence.
“Hey daddy. Sorry I haven’t come visit in a while. Life’s been hectic as of late.” she murmured in the quiet of nature around her. “So much has happened since the last time we talked. I…met a man. He loves me, crazy as that sounds. Who could love me, right?” she snorted. “But…I think I messed up. He wants something I can’t give him…and now he’s angry with me. He walked out. I should be used to it. Guys have been doing that to me for years. But him leaving…it really hurt.” She sniffed, feeling a wetness on her cheeks. She swiped at it, thinking it was beginning to rain. She was surprised to see they were her own tears.
She sat cross-legged before the tombstone, a hand over her eyes as she really and truly sobbed for what she perceived as a loss. “He’s a great guy. And I don’t want to lose him. But I feel like I already have, dad. And it hurts. I didn’t think I could hurt this much. Not since you left me.”
And she simply sat among the flowers and the lake and wept. If anyone happened along to see her, they would have been deeply concerned.
After some time, she managed to get herself back in control, wiping away the remaining tears. She sat with her head on her knees, staring out at the lake as the sun slowly began to set, her thoughts a jumbled mess.
As the first stars winked into being in the sky, she still sat there. She simply wasn’ ready to face him just then, to see the anger and hurt in his eyes. Maybe it was what he wanted? He had his fun and now he was tossing her away…just like every man before him had done.
She should have been used to it.
But she wasn’t.
Question was…did he still want her in his life? It made her queasy thinking about the negatives…
Her phone vibrated in her pocket, but she didn’t feel like answering it or pulling it out to see who it was. She would check her voicemail later, but for now…she just wanted to be left alone.
Orson was his usual chatty self as they drove away from the house, heading downtown to the Bear It Grill Tavern which always did a great deal on steaks, and the girls weren’t too bad looking there either. A few games of pool, few drinks and maybe bring a lady or two home, that was in Orson’s mind. Brock just wanted to drink to forget the fight he just had, if he could even call it that, with Pandora. Orson kept taking glances at his brother, who didn’t seem to be lifting his mood.
“Cheer up, bro. Night out will do you good, then you go home to your girl and sort that shit out.” Orson was never really one for tact, nor did he even know what was really bugging his younger brother. Brock sat impassively, just staring out the window. A simple “Yeah” was all he offered, and for Orson, that was enough.
Pulling into the parking lot, Orson’s car always got attention. A sleek Aston martin in white.
People stepped aside as Orson brought the car to a stop and then undid his seat belt, looking at the crowd heading in. Some real lookers, but if he knew Pandora’s crowd, he would have spotted Simone and Erica. The girls had earlier decided to go out for dinner, than have left over pizza. Brock got out of the car, and adjusted his belt, patting his back pocket for his wallet, then followed his brother inside the Tavern. At least his brother could keep him occupied for the next few hours, so he could cool off over Pandora.
It was not the usual place you would find Simone and her friend, but Erica had a soft spot for these sorts of bars which came from her child hood. Her father, a prolific gambler and boozer spent much of his time in these sorts of bars, and there was many a night that Erica would be sent to go pick her father up from them. Sadly her father passed away two Christmases ago after a long battle with lung cancer, and so in a way, coming to these sorts of places reminded her so much of him. The smokey atmosphere, the laughter, the crack of the billiard balls. And of course the music. There was a live band performing, so that made conversation a bit tricky. You had to yell over the top of one another to be understood.
Erica and Simone waltzed up to the bar, the leggy blonde getting a few wolf whistles, to which she just threw the boozers a sneer, before leaning against the bar and waiting for the barmaid to come serve her and Erica. Erica, who was always on the prowl for new meat, so to speak happened to spy Orson, who always had a way of standing out in the crowd since he was so tall. She grinned slyly as the barmaid asked for their order.
“JD and coke….and..Simmy, what you want, hun?” Erica asked, taking sly looks at Orson as he had taken Brock around to the pool tables on the other side of the bar. Simone was checking out the cocktail menu and seemed distracted, before she saw something she liked. “Just a margarita for me, thanks Eri.” Simone put back down the menu in the holster and started to check out the action around the bar, while she waited for her drink. Erica was by now salivating over the chance to meet Orson. Soon as their drinks were served, she hooked an arm around Simone and dragged her over to where there were rows of pool tables. At first Simone was oblivious to what was going on, and had not spotted Brock, yet. She almost split her drink as she scuttled after Erica, who was like a woman on a mission. Finally she stopped at a small bar table, with high top chairs. Setting down her drink, she nodded to Orson, who was already lining up a rack of balls, with Brock watching.
Simone turned around and then nearly dropped her drink in shock. It was Brock over in the corner, cradling a glass of beer in his hand as he watched his brother, who obviously was the one that had captured Erica’s attention. “Oh no…” Simone thought. If Brock was here, where was Pandora? Surely she must be close by. Simone looked all about and there was no sign of her best friend. Simone started to wonder, for the look on Brock’s face was not a happy one. The guy looked like he had been dragged along by what must be his brother.
Erica did make eye contact with Orson, after he had made the break at the pool table. She wiggled her fingers at him, and Simone looked at her flat mate like she was acting like a high school girl over a crush. “Eri…we haven’t even had dinner and you are set to pick up a guy.” This wasn’t like Simone usually was, but she had been unsettled by seeing Brock. Erica simply took a sip of her drink, then nudged her bestie. “Food, can always wait.” Typical, Erica was on the prowl. Simone muttered under her breath, as Erica made her move over to where Orson stood, polishing the tip of his cue. “Nice shot.” Erica purred, looking up at the oldest Carrendar brother with big doe eyes of hers. Orson, who never minded the attention of females, raked his hair back with his free hand and said. “Thanks. You play?” This was a good question, and she was happy to answer that she did. “Since I was eight.” This brought laughter from Orson, who was intrigued. “Maybe after I crush my brother, you and I could have a game.” This was said with a wicked grin, since he was half hoping to make a wager with the sexy brunette. Erica extended her hand to shake on that deal. “You’re on.”
Simone watched from a distance, as Brock lined up and took a shot, the crack of the balls resonating thought the noise and conversations. Erica had already gotten in good with Orson, almost forgetting her blonde bestie, and only when she was introduced to Brock, did she point out Simone. That was when it felt like the whole room stopped. That look that Brock gave her, chilled her to the bone. Simone’s thoughts were racing. Something happened with him and Pandora, it must have. Erica kept trying to get Simone to come over, but she felt like her feet were frozen to the floor. Brock, being the gentleman he usually was, decided to cross the floor to her. What was he going to say? She did call him about Pandora, and maybe they had had THAT talk after all.
“Simone…isn’t it?” Brock said, staring her down as he took a sip of his beer. There was something in his eyes, that seemed unsettled. “Yeah, it’s me. Where…where is Pandora?” She asked innocently, figuring that it was best not to pull any punches or try to be funny. “Home…I guess.” His voice had an edge to it, and this had Simone feel like she was under the microscope. Feeling that this was just going to get more and more awkward, Simone came out with what she truly wanted to say. “About Pandora…and..my call earlier. Look, she was really confused about how to handle your request.” Brock looked now like he could shatter the glass he was holding in his hand. “So, you girls all told her not to go through with it, hmm?”
“Hey, I’m all for whatever gets you off, you know.” Simone was starting to feel intimidated, and not liking where this was going at all. First Kristian was on her case, now Brock. Brock on the other hand was ready for a fight. “I don’t know what you girls all think about discussing other people’s sex lives, but I for one don’t like the idea of people telling us how to live.” Now, that was not exactly true, from Simone’s perspective and she retaliated. “She asked our advice, and I told her she needs to speak to you. Hell, I rang you to see if that was the case.” That part was true, and Brock rolled his eyes back and slammed down the glass. “Well…you wanna know what she said? Hmm? She said no. She couldn’t do it. Now, I don’t know if that is what she really wants, or what you girls planted in her head.” Simone had worn a bit of his beer that spilt on her dress. “Asshole! You know what…you and Pandora…can get fucked!”
Furious, she didn’t even say goodbye to Erica, but tore off out of the Tavern at top speed. Tearfully she reached her car, and was madly trying to get the car door unlocked. Erica was still inside with Orson, oblivious to what was happening. Clear to say, she had a one track mind when it came to hunky men.
Brock marched back and took up his cue again, ready to take his next shot when Erica finally noticed that Simone was missing, her drink untouched. “Where is Simone?” She asked, clueless. Brock simply shrugged and went to hit the balls.“Search me.”