The Player's Ex

Chapter Three


"Darling, you go out tonight and have fun for yourself. I'll be fine here by myself."


It was the night after that all important dinner, which wasn't so bad after all. Hey, I enjoy good quality roast beef. Anyway, Mum and I were relaxing in our swish hotel room, watching a re-run of Jeremy Kyle. And jeez, I thought I had problems.

"Hey Mum, I think you should get one of those DNA tests to make sure you're still my biological mother." I said jokily. Mum lowered the book she was reading and raised an eyebrow.

"Alice, dear, if you want, I can take back my offer of a few hours freedom in New York City?" I quickly raised my hands.

"No, no I didn't mean that! I want to go out! What'll I wear?" She went back to being engrossed in her book.

"What you wore last night, that was nice." I nodded, and mentally added up how long it would take me to get ready. Ok, about two hours, and it was six o'clock now, so I could be out for half eight...

"Hey Mum, how long is a 'few hours'?"

"About five or six hours, however long you need." She didn't even look up at me.

"Will you lend me some money?"

"Mmmhmm, it's over there on the dresser." She pointed a finger towards a few notes of money sitting on the glass topped vanity table. I stared at her suspiciously.

"Mum, when you say 'freedom', does that mean that I'm allowed to go alone?"

"No." Darn. I didn't know the hotel supplied babysitters for teenagers! Mum lowered her book again, and smiled a rather evil smile.

"I've asked that nice porter Eric to accompany you."


"Alice, you have to stop saying 'what', it's more polite to say pardon", she replied calmly, "And yes, I've asked Eric to look after you. Why not? He seems like a nice fellow." I sighed, and flopped back down into the chair.

"Look Mum, I know what you're trying to do. Deliberately throwing myself and a boy together will NOT make me like him! You can't keep doing this! And besides, I'm 17, you shouldn't be encouraging relationships." She put her book down onto her lap, and took off her glasses.

"Alice, don't be ridiculous, I'm not always doing-" I pointed my finger at her.

"Don't lie Mum, you've done this at least three times!" She rolled her eyes at me.

"That's beside the point Alice. I'm not that bad, I just think you should be taking advantage of being young and pretty while you can." I gave her a look. "I didn't mean it like that! Anyway, you should be grateful I'm letting you out. Now go and get ready, you're meeting Eric in the lobby at nine o'clock." I continued to frown at her for a few seconds. I didn't even know Eric, let alone spend an evening with him. Maybe it would be fun though.....Oh well. It's an opportunity to get out of this place, so I'll take it. I grabbed the money off the table, and picked up my dress off the back of the chair.

"Thanks Mum!" I skipped towards the bathroom, and swung the door shut. New York City, here I come!


Approximately three and a half hours later, I was sitting in a little Italian café near Central Park. It was rather quaint really. Little tables covered in white and red chequered cloths were dotted around the room, each decorated with simple flowers, and the odd candle. I stared down into the depths of the little coffee cup the busty waitress had served me, in order to avoid looking at all the loved up couples occupying the rest of the café. Eric had bagged us a little table in the very corner of the room, the only place that had a little bit of privacy. I was grateful for that.

Eric had been waiting for me in the lobby at the dot of nine. He looked so cute in his casual clothes, and I almost felt over dressed in comparison to him. He'd suggested that we go to this little place, and I agreed, hoping that we'd be moving onto to somewhere more lively soon. But so far, all that had happened was we'd drank a lot of coffee, and were now enduring the third or fourth awkward silence of the evening.

"So," Eric said into the silence hanging over our heads, "What brings you to the Big Apple then?" I raised my head to answer, and was once more mesmerised by his eyes. No! Stop that! I mentally slapped myself. Darn, I thought I was supposed to be immune to his charms!

"My, uh, Mum," I cleared my throat. "My Mum's here on business, and asked me to tag along. I didn't mind, I've always wanted to visit New York." I let out a little nervous laugh, and quickly coughed, horrified at myself. What was wrong with me?! Eric seemed to notice it too, as he shifted uncomfortably in his chair and averted his eyes to the ground.

"Where are you from then, Eric?" I asked, desperately trying to distract him from my confused state.

"Texas," He drawled, "But my family live in New York now. What about you?"

"Ireland." He grinned.


"Yeah, why?"

"I have a mate from Ireland, our Mums are old friends. He's over visiting for the first time as well!" I smiled at his excitement.

"Good friend, then?" He shrugged.

"Yeah, s'pose. He's not really my type, but opposites attract, you know?" I nodded.

"What do you mean, he's not really your type?" He leaned in a little closer, and a got a whiff of his cologne. Mmmm.

"He's more of a ladies man than me, use 'em, and dump 'em kind of guy." I gulped. A ladies man. Use them, and dump them....I'd heard that too many times before. Eric frowned.

"Are you ok?" I looked down into my now empty coffee cup, and was horrified to find the tears welling up. Why did I let him do this to me, every time why couldn't I just let go already? I shook my head a little.

"Alice..." I inhaled sharply, and wiped my eyes.

"It's nothing Eric, don't worry about it." He leaned closer to me.

"Alice, please tell me what's wrong."

I looked at him underneath my eyelashes.

"It's a long story." He leaned back into his chair.

"I have time." I sat up straighter, and cleared my throat.

"Ok, well...It started two years ago. There was this guy in my year at school, and we didn't really get along. But then stuff started to happen, and then it turned into a situation where I didn't know if I wanted to rip his guts out, or kiss him to death." Eric gave me a half smile, and motioned for me to continue.

"Anyway, we decided that we liked each other, after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing. He asked me out, and it was all happy endings and rainbows for a while. But not for long." I stopped, and a single tear rolled down my cheek as all the painful memories came flooding back.

"One night in December, two years ago, we were meant to be going to a party, when I got a phone call from my Mum to say that my Dad had had a car crash, and was in hospital. I told him to go to the party, have a good time, while I went to the hospital. My Mum picked me up, and told me on the way to the hospital that my Dad had been hit by some idiot drunk driver, and that he would have to have surgery." I started to cry harder, and leaned on the table for support. "The driver turned out to be my boyfriend's Dad." I stopped talking altogether, and let the tears fall. This was the first time I'd properly talked about what had happened to me, and it felt good, in a weird sort of way. Eric was looking a little shocked.

"Alice, I don't know what to say." I looked up.

"Oh, there's more", I spat out bitterly. "I found out the next day that my loving, caring boyfriend had gotten himself wasted, just like his Father, and had slept with the girl who'd been after him for years."

"He apologised, of course. For both himself and his father. Not that it made any bloody difference, the damage was done. His Dad got time in prison, and himself and his Mum moved away to Dublin. I haven't seen him since."

"The strain of it all drove my parents apart, and I went insane altogether. Because of that one night, I ended up with a broken heart and a broken home. But I should've known better. He'd always been a player, why did I think it would be any different with me? So when you mentioned your friend there, it just brought everything back."

Eric said nothing, and once more, I was grateful for his tact.



I punched in his number yet again, and listened to it ring out.

"...please leave a message..." The annoying lady prattled.

"I don't want to leave a f*cking message," I growled, "I want to speak to him right now!" I shoved my phone into my back pocket, and flopped down on a nearby bench. I'd been standing outside this club for the last hour and a half, and there was still no sign of him. Where the hell was he?! He'd promised that we'd do one more night on the town before I flew back to Ireland tomorrow. And now he just leaves me here? Hardly fair.

I sat on the cold bench, and sulked, watching the people walk by. Partying was no fun on your own, that was for sure. Girls didn't even look at you unless you had a plus one, someone extra so their friend wouldn't be left out. Honestly.

My phone vibrated suddenly in my back pocket, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. I slid the button across the screen and held it up to my ear.

"You don't answer my calls and then you almost give me a heart attack?!"

"I'm sorry Alex, it's just that," It sounded as though he was moving away, and when he spoke his tone was lowered. "I'm a little bit busy at the moment."

"Are you with a GIRL?!" I shouted the last bit, and passers-by gave me funny looks.

"Shut up!" He whispered, "She might hear you!" I rolled my eyes.

"I really don't care. Just get your extremely late ass down to this club right now, and bring the chick if need be." He sighed.

"Fine. See you in about 10 minutes."

"You'd better."



Eric hung up the phone, and came back to the table. I was finished fixing my eye makeup which had gotten ruined during my little crying sesh. He looked down at me a little sheepishly.

"Listen Alice, I've got to go meet my friend, I'm really sorry-"

"Can I come with you?" He looked surprised, and I feared for a second that I had been a little too forward. Then he smiled.

"Sure." I stood up, and slipped on my coat. Eric payed the bill while I collected my belongings, and then we stepped out onto the busy street. He grabbed my hand, and began to hurry down the sidewalk, still packed with people.

"Eric," I shouted over people's chatter, "Where exactly are we going?" He glanced over his shoulder and me, and grinned.

"Fancy experiencing New York's nightlife?"



I wove through the sea of people gyrating on the dancefloor, and went to wait near the door. He'd text me to say that he was on his way, plus the chick. I was a little annoyed at that, because it was going to lower my chances of hitting it off with someone else. Actually, maybe his girlfriend could talk to the friend about nail polish or something, while I charmed the target...Oh, I don't know. I'd figure it out somehow. I scanned the crowd, and then I saw him. he was hurrying towards me, a girl in a purple dress clutching his hand. I felt a little jealous when I saw him. That girl looked beautiful, thick, dark hair, and legs up to her ears. Darn. He always got the best ones.

He smiled apologetically at me as he approached, girl in tow. I watched the girl's long, graceful stride as they came closer. That looked slightly familiar....Then they stopped, just in front of me, and the light was thrown across her face.

Holy crap.

♠ ♠ ♠
Dun dun dun, a cliffhanger! I'm so evil.

If you enjoyed this, please comment, and let me know!

Tara ♥