« on: June 13, 2016, 10:51:32 AM »
Kara leaned in front of the mirror, finishing up her make-up. The whole day she'd been getting guilt pangs, but the more she thought about it, the less it bothered her. After all, Gerry had made it pretty clear that nothing was going to happen between them. She was single, and a devastatingly handsome man WANTED to take her out. She looked at her reflection in the mirror and smiled, finally satisfied, when the knock came at the door. One last check of her lipstick before she hustled over to the door.
Danny stood on the other end, a white collared shirt open three buttons down with a navy blue pinstripe blazer on top. His chiseled jaw shaved smooth and graced with a grin as he looked her over. "Wow." He said simply.
Kara blushed, red spreading over her sun-kissed skin. She wore a sleek black dress that hugged her curves, a short, black cardigan covering her arms and shoulders. A necklace decorated her long slender neck. A smile crossed her lips as she stepped aside. "Right back at you."
Danny stepped in the two sharing a brief embrace, his lips pressing to her cheek. "How's it going?" He asked her, stepping inside.
She stepped aside and let him come in. "Good! Great to have a night off for a change."
"Aren't you the boss?" He asked her with a chuckle.
"Yeah, dude, but I leave that place in anyone else's hands for too long and that bitch'll burn to the ground." She said playfully.
Danny laughed and looked around. "Your place...it's..."
"It's a ****hole." Kara deadpanned.
"What?" Danny chuckled.
"You and Gerry both. Total bull-**** artists." She shook her head with a faux accusatory look thrown at him. "I dunno, I'm thinking about getting a nicer place. I mean...I've got the money, it's just..."
Danny watched her, having a feeling he knew exactly what she was waiting for. He decided to throw her a bone and change the subject. "Well, what do you say we get going?"
Gerry stood at the bar, hard at work. A lot of the concert crowd had spilled over into the bar. Tonight he was working the Shane. And...how to describe Shane? Every happy, dumb, douchebag coworker you've ever had. Gerry was slinging drinks while he flirted with anything with two legs and a pair of breasts. Gerry was in the weeds, a particularly redneck-y guy whistling for his attention.
"Yeah, I'll be-" Gerry started.
"YO! Let's go!" the Redneck shouted.
"I'LL BE RIGHT THERE! SETTLE THE **** DOWN!"
Tonight was already bad enough, but these people and his "help" tonight were just exacerbating everything. He finished with the customer in front of him, a dozen more demanding his attention. Where the hell was Shane?
Oh. Right. The dopey blonde kid with the surfer boy good looks and hair in front of his face was chatting up some redhead. "Shane!" Gerry called out.
"SHANE!" He tried again.
"HEY *** HOLE!" He called again. That one got his attention. Shane turned to him and opened his arms as if to say "what the hell?" Gerry gestured to the customers. "Play hide the needle on your own time! Let's go!"
Shane reluctantly moved on to do his job. Yep. This was going to be an awful night.
Kara sat in Danny's rented black Chrysler 300. She leaned back in the seat, watching the streetlights pass in the window as Danny talked. "So, there I am, 40 meters over a raging river and they've got me all...strung up for the jump. Heart is POUNDING in my chest. I'd never done anything like it in my life, right?"
She turned to him with a smile, listening.
"I'm thinking 'something horrible's gonna go wrong' and I'll end up that dumb tourist who got killed bungee jumping on his first try." He smirked.
"How'd you do it?" She asked with a shake of her head.
"I just let go. All my worries, all my hold-ups. I decided that I didn't want to waste anymore opportunities to experience something great. If I'm going to have any kind of life worth living...I have to actually live it."
That made Kara smile. It was a damn good motto.
Two wannabe cowboys decided tonight was GREAT night to start brawling. One flat out coldcocked the other. Gerry rolled his eyes and let out a disgusted sound. "Shane!"
Once again, his back up was indisposed. Gerry grit his teeth and moved around the bar quickly. The two burly cowboys grappled each other. Gerry grabbed the nearest from behind and caught an elbow to the face for the effort. He could taste the blood in his mouth as he stumbled backwards. When he realized who he'd hit, the cowboy immediately tried to apologize. Unfortunately, Shane saw the action and vaulted over the bar, knocking bottles and glasses to ground. He plowed into the cowboy, tackling him to the ground.
Danny and Kara sat at the table of a VERY classy restaurant. Her fork scooping up another bite of lobster tail as they talked. "I dunno. I love the bar, and it's not like I'm qualified to do anything else." She said with a shrug.
"Did you ever get to try college?" Danny asked her.
"Community college." She said. "When I got clean, I went and tried a few classes. Wasn't really for me."
Danny nodded, chewing on the immaculately prepared ribeye they'd brought him. "I can understand that." He said. "You ever think about getting out even for a vacation? See some of the world?"
Kara considered it a moment. "I always wanted to, but...man...that ****'s expensive."
Danny chuckled "So I've heard."
"Oh, right. Mister 'my job pays for me to see awesome things' over here." She said with a grin. "What about you? Ever think of settling down."
Danny flashed that smile again, those green eyes alight. "No. Haven't met the right girl yet."
"Ow." she said, feigning offense.
He laughed. "Let's get through the first date before I go deciding if I'm going to toss my life out the window and have a dozen gorgeous babies with you."
Kara recoiled, a wide-eyed stare at him. "A *dozen*?! Good lord man. Keep that thing away from my womb."
The pair laughed as the waiter came and refilled Kara's champagne glass.
Gerry was talking to a cop, his lip swollen. Most of the bar having cleared out after the fight. He'd had to pull Shane off the cowboy, but by that time, he'd already thrown punches.
"Look, Officer...it was a stupid mistake. I tried to break up a fight and the guy though he was getting jumped. Shane saw him hit me and got the wrong idea." Gerry tried to explain.
"Well, you know that guy wants to press charges." he told Gerry.
"What? On US?" Gerry asked incredulously.
"It happened in your establishment, involving one of your employees, so yeah." The officer nodded, finishing his write up. He looked up to the exhausted, frustrated Gerry. "We'll be contacting your employer in the next few days as we work this out. In the meantime, I suggest you control your employees. Have a good evening." He handed Gerry a citation and took off.
Danny was laughing as Kara continued a story. "So, then Gerry gets on-stage and he just BELTS out 'What A Wonderful World' to this crowd. And, like...FULL ON Louis Armstrong, gravelly voice and everything. Amazing." She said. "And there's this old black guy who just leans out behind me, hearing this giant white dude rumbling away at the microphone and he just goes 'Daaaaaamn....cracka got some pipes!'"
The two of them busted up laughing. The date has been much more fun than Kara anticipated. But it didn't escape Danny's notice that her stories were all about Gerry. The last 4 she told were about him. He smiled across the table to her, reading her face a moment.
"So...on a scale of 1-10...how in love with him are you?" He asked her with a knowing grin.
"What?" She asked.
"I'm not blind, Kara." He said with absolutely no malice in his voice. He just smiled. "You only talk about him, and when you do...you light up in the most beautiful way." He said.
"I'm sorry...I shouldn't be talking about-"
Danny held up a hand. "I don't mind. I mean...I had my suspicions when we were all together...but I wanted to be sure." Those green eyes watched her as she moved her dessert around with a fork, not making eye contact. "So...how long?"
Kara sighed, taking a deep breath and thinking. "Um...10?"
"10 years?" He asked with a quirked brow. He knew full well Gerry hadn't been back that long.
"No. Since we were 10." She said bluntly. "I never gave up hope that some day he'd come through that door again and make everything okay."
Danny frowned watching her.
"And then he does and, good news! He's married!" She said, her expression souring. "It was like a kick to the face. I'd waited for him for...19 years. And I get him back, and all he can think of is getting away from me again."
Danny leaned back in his chair, sympathetic eyes staying on her. "That must have hurt."
"It killed me." She confirmed to him. "And I'll admit...I lost my head. I did something stupid. I threw myself at a married man. Tried to get him to leave her then and there. To give up and stay with me." Kara sighed. "I regret that. It was low, it was wrong, and I wish I could take it back."
Danny nodded, neither condoning nor condemning. He lowered his eyes, thinking. "Why isn't he trying to leave this time?"
"He can't go back." She said. "Don't ask me why, because I', not even sure I understand it. He can't go back to her and she sure as hell isn't looking for him, so...I'm hoping he comes around." Her face scrunched up and she sighed, annoyed. "You know, a guy willing to honor his marriage even in the face of it being OVER should be a good thing...but it's just frustrating as hell to me." She chuckled. "Maybe there's something wrong with me."
Danny snickered. "That's got to be frustrating."
She shook her head. "You have no idea."
Danny reached across the table and took her hand gently, giving her a squeeze. "If you ask me...you two are perfect together. And if it's meant to be...it *will* be. I think he'll come around." He smiled. "If he doesn't, he's a fool."
Kara couldn't stop the grin that came to her face. She just laughed. "God...some day, you are going to make some woman feel like a ****ing queen. I just hope she appreciates it."
Danny grinned, it was his turn to blush. "What do you say we get you home?"
Kara nodded, looking at him affectionately. "Thank you for this, Danny."