I woke up on Chiandra’s couch. My head felt like it was inside a kettle bell with someone pounding it with a hammer.
“Ugh,” I moaned.
Chiandra came over to me and said, “So, you’re up. How are you feeling this morning? Like the cat dragged you inside because basically that’s what happened.”
I couldn’t remember much about last night once I started drinking at the bar. “Oh, God...we didn’t...”
“Do it?” Chiandra laughed. “Are you kidding me? First of all, you were slobbering drunk and second of all, I wouldn’t stoop that low. I’m totally over you, Knight, so get over yourself.”
I crossed my arms. At least something went right last night. “That’s a relief,” I muttered. “What happened then?”
“You passed out in the club. Knight, why would you drink so much? Are you really that hung up on Alex? It’s been four years.”
I couldn’t believe she’d bring up Alex. “Are you nuts? I’m not hung up on Alex.”
She shook her head. “You only had a crying jag about him once Devon and I flopped you on this couch then you threw up and passed out. It was pathetic.”
The inside of my head pounded even more and my mouth felt like I’d just drank a bottle of sand. “God, I’m sorry. Did I mess up your floor?”
She sat beside me. “No. Thankfully, I had a bucket handy. Knight, I don’t care what you say, you aren’t over Alex. What gives? He’s certainly over you.”
This news hit me like a line drive to my stomach. “H-How could you tell me that? Do you know where Alex is?”
“Yes...well, I worked with him a few years ago and we’ve been seeing each other ever since. We were just friends at first, but now it’s grown into more.”
My heart sped up, not believing her. Alex would never go for a woman. Would he? “Tell me where he is, Chiandra. I need to see him.”
Putting her hands on her hips, she said, “Why should I? He was so depressed when I first saw him two years ago. I don’t know what you did to him, but he’s doing great now. No way am I going to let you mess with his head again.”
Now I was getting angry. “Are you trying to tell me you’re dating him?”
“We’re even more serious than that, Knight. I practically live with him.”
Blood rushing from my head, my body shook. Alex hooked up with my ex? Did he hate me that much? I still didn’t believe her. “If you’re that close, then you shouldn’t worry about me seeing him. I just need some closure. Tell me where he is.”
When she didn’t budge, I shouted, “Tell me! Or so help me, Chiandra...”
She turned away from me, putting her hand on her face. “Oh alright, Knight! God. This is crazy.”
She sighed then faced me. “I know I’m going to regret this but...you were so freaked out last night, you do need to see him this once just so you can move on.” Biting her lip, she said, “I guess I’ll give you my key to his place. He lives in the fashion district in San Myshuno on top of a men and women’s fashion shop called Leather and Lace. Go there at 5 pm. He’ll be expecting me.” She whipped her finger at me. “But you better be nice to him. Say your peace and go. I’ll be right behind you.”
I was stuck. The words weren’t coming today. How many pages had I got done? And it was a Saturday. My big day to crank out work. But sometimes you couldn’t force it. It took me two years to write my first novel and now this publisher wanted me to churn out the same length novel in six months. I knew it would be nothing but crap. But what could I do?
Slowly, I tried to imagine the next scene and just went with it, not worrying about my word choice. It was a shitty first draft anyway. I’d go back and fix it later.
Walking into the fashion boutique, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Alex owned this? It didn’t suit him at all. He wasn’t into girlie stuff. It looked more like what Chiandra would do, not him.
A part of me didn’t want to see him. What if he’d changed? What if he yelled at me to leave? I just stood there in the middle of the shop, debating on what to do.
Finally, I just said, “Screw it,” and walked up the stairs where Chiandra said he lived. My heart felt as if it was pounding out of my chest. I hadn’t seen him in four long years. What was I even going to say?
As soon as I got up the stairs, I was slapped in the face by a huge print of Chiandra.
“My, God. It’s true,” I muttered. “They are together. This place even looks like she decorated it.” My stomach churned at this thought.
I didn’t see Alex anywhere, so I went over to the bar where another print hung on the wall. I needed a drink to quell the hangover I had.
Then I heard him from the bedroom, calling out, “Hey, Chi! Start making drinks. I’ll be done in a few. I’ve only got a few paragraphs to go.”
I glared toward the bedroom, thinking I was in some kind of nightmare. Alex and Chiandra were together? If I hadn’t heard him with my own ears, I wouldn’t have believed it.
The door swung open and Alex walked into the living area.
“Knight,” he breathed.
Autor's note: Huge thank you to RABOOSKI for designing Alex's shop. If you want to download it, go here: LEATHER & LACE