Status: co-write!

In the Company

Cute Conversations and Hangover Food

After a quick conversation with Tyler I got Rose into the cab, and hugged Tyler before he got into the front passenger seat, and they pulled away from the curb. I exhaled slowly before going back into the apartment and promptly changing into a pair of gym shorts and a tank top. I had nothing to do for the rest of the day, so I decided I would spend it on the couch relaxing, as Rose would text me when she landed.

It didn’t take long for the phone to start ringing again, and yet again David’s number came up on the call display. I picked up the receiver just to slam it back down, knowing Rose would probably be upset if I cussed the asshole out. I was in a shitty enough mood to do it too. Instead I moved the portable phone into my bedroom, turned down the volume on the main phone, and turned up the television. I was determined to not lose my shit on David, at least not until I had the okay from Rose and wouldn’t upset her by doing so.

I dozed off for about a half an hour, before realizing I was bored out of my wits sitting at home alone. I didn’t want to go to the office though, and most of the other things I enjoyed doing weren’t exactly a go-alone type thing. I hated going to the movies by myself, or eating out, or going to a bar or a club… so I was in for a very long week. I ordered some Chinese food in, and in the meantime my cell phone began to ring.

“Hello?” I was a little short with my answer, and immediately felt bad when I heard stuttering on the other end.

“Uh, Ryleigh? Sorry, if this is a bad time I can just call some other time—”

“Patrick?” I sat up properly, feeling my face heat up slightly. That was no way to speak to a client, let alone the fact that I could basically consider the guys friends.


“I’m sorry – now’s fine, I’m just still mad about the whole David thing – that’s why I snapped at you,” I sighed, rubbing my temple and feeling an oncoming headache.

“I don’t blame you… I could punch him out right now too,” Patrick grumped.

“So what did you need?”

“I just want to talk to you… about Rose,” I heard him swallow hard before getting her name out.

“Sure, uh…”

“Can I come over? Or is that too weird?” he asked. I looked down at my gym shorts and tank top before groaning.

“Sure… uh, I’ve just got to get changed and I can order in something—”

“Nah, that’s okay. I’ll bring something – I’m the one inviting myself over and you’re nice enough to let me,” he insisted, and after a few moments I agreed, hanging up and going back to my bedroom. I threw on a pair of jeans, before deciding that was decent enough. Obviously Patrick was a little torn up. The Chinese takeout I’d ordered went straight into the fridge; it would be my lunch for tomorrow. Something about refrigerated Beef and Greens tasted better the next day anyway.

“Hey, come on in,” I opened the door and let him in, seeing the white plastic takeout bag in his hand.

“Italian – I know you like lasagna,” he explained, and I couldn’t help but smile. As much as Pat could be a total ass hat, he could be pretty decent too.

“Thanks, that’s awesome,” I smiled and watched him relax slightly as I got some plates out of the cupboard and started dishing up our food.

“Want a beer?” I asked, and he laughed before nodding and accepting the bottle I held out to him. We settled down in the living room, eating quietly for a few minutes before Pat cleared his throat. He was only ever quiet when he was freaking out or nervous, and I’d only seen him like this once.

“Just start talking,” I insisted, taking another bite of my lasagna. He took a swig of his beer, before letting out a long breath.

“How is Rose doing?”

“She’s pretty broke up over it Pat… she and David had been together for a long time. And especially with the way it happened? I don’t blame her at all. It’s going to bother her for a while,” I answered. Pat nodded slowly, and continued staring down at his food.

“I don’t blame her,”

“It just sucks, eh?” I asked, and he nodded. I felt bad, because even though Patrick hadn’t outright said it, it was pretty easy to tell that all of this had him upset.

“She loved the necklace you gave her,” I piped up, and his head snapped up, a small grin starting to take over his mouth.

“Really? I, uh, I wanted to get her something, but I didn’t know if that was out of line…”

“No, she really liked it. She was wearing it when she left,” I reassured him. Patrick’s smile grew then. The rest of our dinner was pretty quiet and relaxed, and we settled in to watch some TV afterward. Patrick’s phone kept going off, and he was busy texting all the while we watched Batman. At about ten thirty we were both falling asleep, and even though I felt awkward I offered the couch to Patrick. He’d nodded off several times, and I wasn’t sure if he was up to driving back to the hotel he was staying in.

“Thanks… I, uh, might have to take you up on that,” he replied, stretching and yawning. I got up and found him some blankets and a pillow, dropping them on him and making him laugh before cleaning up our plates. He got settled down and into the couch, and before I’d even started to head back to my room he was asleep.

I went back to my room and saw the text from Rose that they were in Brampton, and after the awkward introduction to Tyler’s parents – who’d assumed she was his girlfriend – everything was going fantastic. I quickly replied to her before changing into my pajamas and going to sleep.


“How are you guys?” I asked as I slid into the booth. Claude, Taylor, and Patrick had offered to meet up for lunch, after Patrick returned to his hotel room to shower and change. I was sure that there would be an un-ending amount of teasing about the fact Patrick spent the night in my apartment, but so far I hadn’t heard a word of it. Claude and Taylor looked exhausted, and I had no doubts they’d been out to the bar last night.

“Tired,” Claude and Taylor replied, making me chuckle as I picked up my menu. Suspicions confirmed.

“How late were you two out last night?” I asked, and they both gained sheepish expressions.

“Too late,” Claude finally answered, and I groaned as I shook my head. Patrick laughed, and soon after Taylor and Claude joined in, before we ordered our meals. The waitress looked like she was about to have a heart attack when she recognized the three men at the table, but she managed to jot down our orders without fainting.

“Like three,” Taylor coughed up the information for me, and I couldn’t keep the laughter at bay.
“Oh my God you two… have we not taught you anything? Even Patrick wasn’t out until all hours last night,” I pointed out, and Taylor snorted.

“That’s because he was at your house – doesn’t count,” he shot back. Claude’s eyes widened, and he looked between us.

“I thought it was you and Rose who—”

“God, not like that!” we both cut him off, horror undoubtedly written across both of our faces. Claude’s gaze was scrutinizing as he looked between the two of us before he seemed to accept that fact. We kept chatting until our food arrived, and we started to eat. The boys were always on their cell phones, and usually I wasn’t much better, but Rose was in Canada and I knew she needed as much relaxing as possible, so I wasn’t about to bother her.

“What’s so funny?” Patrick asked, and Claude managed to check his laughter long enough to answer.

“Just Max – I guess Brayden’s a hurting unit,” that piqued my interest, although I stayed quiet while I munched away on my grilled chicken Caesar salad. He hadn’t done anything like that since the stint that got him in enough trouble with his team to need our help.

“Jeez – what’d he do?” Patrick asked, digging into his burger as he awaited the story.

“Well the four of us went out to some bar last night, and Bray was being his usual self until about eleven… then I don’t know what happened. It’s like he just snapped – he was texting somebody. I’m wondering if Jenna didn’t start texting him or something like that. But he started pounding back the drinks like nobody’s business and he and Max stayed out until like four thirty,” Claude answered, and I winced. I didn’t really know who this Jenna was, but I could put enough together to know that she was something from his past that still bothered him.

“No way, Brayden?” Patrick looked shocked, the other two still laughing.

“Yeah, it was bad. I feel bad for Max – he offered to stay back and look after the kid. I betcha he was in misery since he woke up,” Claude relayed. Taylor was still laughing as he continued eating. I stayed quiet, wondering what on earth had caused Brayden to lose control of himself like that.


“Hey, I brought over some food,” I knocked on the hotel room door, and after a moment Max answered. I held up the takeout bag full of McDonalds, and Max gave me a weary smile. I’d cabbed to the hotel with the guys, and while they’d all returned to their own rooms, I’d walked just across the street to get the greasy, hangover food for Brayden and Max.

“Thanks Cherie, come on in,” he opened up the door, and immediately the smell of alcohol hit my nostrils. Undoubtedly the both of them were sweating off everything they’d drank last night. There was an unmoving mass on the far bed covered in blankets, and I knew it had to be Brayden.

“How’s he doing?” I quietly asked, and Max shrugged.

“I don’t know,” he sat down hard on his bed, digging into the takeout bag to find his burger and fries. “He was texting somebody, being his normal, quiet self. Then it was like somebody just flipped a switch and he was pounding back the shots and drinks like nobody’s business. I had to basically carry him to the room.”

I looked over at his bed, hoping that I wasn’t outwardly wincing. “Yikes, something must have really bothered him.”

“Yeah, I just don’t know what it was. Maybe he just needed to blow off some steam, you know? Nobody’s that quiet and reserved all of the time without needing to get some of it off your chest, non?” he explained before tearing into his food. I nodded absentmindedly, before walking over and sitting on the very edge of Brayden’s bed.

“Hey, Brayden, wake up,” I whispered, shaking his shoulder. A low, pained groan came from underneath the pillows and blankets. He moved slightly, but didn’t make any move to get up.

“I brought you some McD’s – come on, it’s like two in the afternoon, time to get up,” I insisted, and whipped the blankets down from his head. I didn’t want to pull them down beyond his shoulders – just in case – and then lifted the pillow off of his head. He winced and covered his head, taking a long breath.


“Yes, come on. We’ll get some greasy food and Tylenol into you and you’ll feel better,” I insisted, and ruffled his hair before standing up. He slowly sat up, wincing as the lights hit his eyes. He gave me a disgruntled look, but I didn’t miss the pain that was just beyond that in those blue depths. I placed the bottle of Tylenol in his hand before getting him a glass of water. He downed two pills immediately, before reluctantly taking the bag from Max’s hands and staring to choke down his burger.

“Just eat it – you know you’ll feel better,” I sighed, and after giving it a disgusted look he dug in. I wasn’t going to push it right now, but I was going to get the answer out of him as to why he’d just ‘snapped’.
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Hey guys!

Sorry I took so long in updating this - midterms have been kicking my butt all over the place! I can't wait for Bex to have her chapter up - she's got some awesome stuff coming up!!

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