Status: co-write!

In the Company

Sharp Objects & ER Visits

After Max and Claude had dragged me away from Ryleigh’s room, I occupied myself in the kitchen, trying to ignore the tense atmosphere that the small apartment was consumed in.

“Whatcha makin’?” Patrick asked coming in.

“I’m still mad at you,” I pouted.

“Oh, come on,” Pat protested. “Is it because I made you get an iPhone?”

“It’s because you fucking threw my phone out of a window!” I whipped around, forgetting I was holding a large knife.

“Calm down,” Pat put his hands up in surrender.

“Sorry,” I shook my head and placed the knife down onto the cutting board. “I’m just… stressed.”

“And wielding large cutlery probably isn’t making that any better,” Max chimed in as he, Claude, and Tyler trooped in. Brayden followed behind, looking like an angst filled teenager.

“Yeah,” I sighed. “It probably doesn’t.” I hesitated before continuing. “Is, uh, Taylor still with her?”

“Yes, he is,” Brayden bit back.

I furrowed my brow at him, upset at his tone. “Don’t even go there, Brayden.” I crossed my arms and leaned against the counter. “You have no room to act like that.”

“I don’t?” he asked. “I’m sure you know about what happened.”

“Yeah, I do,” I frowned. “And you don’t know what was going through her mind because you were too caught up being hurt to listen.” Brayden didn’t respond, so I kept going. “Ry’s been hurt before, Bray. And when I say that, I mean literally. She fell for a guy so hard that she was blind to what was really going on.” Looks of realization dawned on all their faces and were soon exchanged for shock and anger. “She doesn’t want to have her feelings thrown around and then left in the mud at the end of the summer. She was scared.”

“Is that why she left? Oklahoma, I mean?” Tyler chose his words carefully.

I shrugged. “When her parents… died, she went to live with her grandparents. They weren’t overly thrilled, I’m sure she told you that much.” Tyler was the only one who nodded. “She always wanted to get away from the whole small town life. College was her chance. But you could say her ex chased her away.” I turned back to Brayden. “Next time you want to assume someone’s reasonings, get the facts straight first.”

The room is eerily silent for a few minutes and slowly, Brayden gets out of his seat and moves into the other room. Pat’s phone rings and he goes into the hallway outside the door to take it. Tyler edges towards the bathroom and slips in. (The four glasses of iced tea must have caught up with him.)

“So what about you?” Claude asked.

“What about me?” I turned back to chopping fruit.

“What’s your story?” he rephrases. “What were you running from?”

I looked at him with a shocked expression. “I-I wasn’t running from anything.”

“Bull shit,” Max laughed, agreeing with his relatively new teammate. “What was it?”

I took a shaky breath and set the knife down, keeping my back to them. “I think I told you guys my parents divorced when I was pretty young, right? Well, about a year or two after we moved to Dallas… my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. They caught it early the first time around and we thought she beat it.”

“First time?” Max asked.

I turned around and hugged my arms around my sides. “Last Christmas, she went in for a routine checkup. There was another lump.” I blinked my tears away quickly. “I guess when it came time for college, I just wanted away from the sadness. My brother had the military and I wanted something for myself.”

“Mon cher,” Max’s voice was quiet. Silently, he pulled me into a hug and Claude’s hand rubbed my back.

“There are times when I wish I hadn’t left,” I mumbled. “But then I think about how depressed and helpless I felt watching my mom suffer like that and I’m almost glad I did.”

I stood in Max’s arms for a few more moments before someone cleared their throat. Stepping away, I bloated my tears with my wrists and saw Patrick standing in the apartment doorway looking curious.

“We’ll go see Bray,” Claude excused himself and his teammate, but not before pulling me into his side briefly in passing.

Once they were gone, Patrick closed the space between us, standing close to me.

“Is everything okay?” his voice was low and quiet.

“Yeah,” I nodded, hoping I convinced him. “Just… stuff. Really, I’m okay.”

I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn’t believing my crap for one minute and I cringed, turning back to the chopping board.

“Can I help?” he offered.

Surprised he wasn’t pushing me for more information, I nodded. “Just finish cutting the watermelon please.”

Silently, he went to work with my knife and I went about stirring the ground meet for tacos. I had offered to cook dinner for us all, hoping that Ryleigh was feeling better.

My new phone buzzed and I clumsily picked it up off the counter. No message popped up so I assumed it was an email. Unlocking my phone and opening my inbox, I cringed. Too bad that I’d set up my previous email accounts to send to my iPhone.

Waiting to be read was another email from my father. It had been so long ago, but I hadn’t even responded to his first message. I just… couldn’t.

I cursed in Spanish under my breath as I read the message, rolling my eyes at the faulty kindnesses.

And it would mean so much to me and Giselle if you would be there. Your brother has already agreed to come and is even going to be bringing a date. Maybe you and Daniel could coordinate your vacation times? Please, chica, I just want my family there.

I couldn’t be bothered to say that I was barely family to him, let alone correct him on my ex-boyfriend’s name. The man took so much energy from me and I was already tired enough.

“Are you okay?” Patrick asked. “Is it David? I swear to God- dammit!” he cut himself off and I heard the knife clatter to the floor.

“How could it be David if I have a new phone?” I laughed. I expected him to reply, but Patrick stayed silent. “Pat?” I turned around to see my client and friend bent at the waist, holding his head. Red liquid dripped onto the tile floor of the small space. “Oh, shit.”

I grabbed a rag from the counter and wrapped his hand, being careful to cover the cut on his thumb. I held it tight as I rummaged through a drawer for a rubber band, ignoring the sharp breath Pat took when I applied pressure.

“What the hell did you do?” I groaned.

“What can I say?” Pat grunted. “David doesn’t agree with me.”

I snorted a laugh and pointed to a seat. “Sit for a few minutes. If it doesn’t stop, we’re going to the ER.”

I set to work with some cleaning supplies to clean up the blood on the floor. The curse words that had come out of both of our mouths had been loud enough to draw a crowd of our friends- sans Ry and Taylor- and Pat lifted up his hand in explanation.

“That doesn’t look so good,” Tyler said as I continued my work. “You might need stitches.”

“I’m fine,” Pat shrugged, although I could hear his teeth clenched.

“Let me see,” I stood up and tossed the dirty rags into the sick.

Unwrapping his hand and getting a clean towel to rebandage it, I shook my head. “Pat,” I said as nicely as I possibly could while still being stern. “I think the hospital might be a good idea.”

“I’m fine.”

Instinctively, I placed my hand on his uninjured left hand. “Please? For me? So I know you’re okay?”

It looked like he was ready to argue but he reconsidered. Huffing, he nodded.

Relieved, I smiled. “Thank you,” gesturing to the stove, I nodded to our friends. “Eat now and let Ry and Tay know what’s up.”

“Have fun,” Tyler tried singing.

I was sure I was blushing, but I quickly gathered up my purse and slipped my shoes on, leading Patrick down to the ground level and towards the ER.
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My laptop is being a little shit again. Part of me really wants to get it fixed right and another part of me (the cheap part) doesn't want to pay the $200-plus to do it. *le sigh*

Playoffs start for me tomorrow! Woohoo! And I have my semi formal on Friday and I just got back from Chicago yesterday. It's been a good week.

Anyway, let us know what's on your minds, lovelies!