It wasn’t as if anyone got hurt.
Not physically, at least.
Derek Ward stood just inside the bar, a glass of whiskey in hand, a blank expression on his face. He was 32, graying prematurely. It made his dark hair look like it was dusted with ashes.
It was all that damn woman’s fault. Sasha. The woman he had thought was his forever, his diamond, the mother to his children.
How had he not seen the signs? He found himself asking that same question, every day, every hour. He should have seen it. The way she looked at him–no, more like didn’t look at him.
He hadn’t noticed because he hadn’t wanted to see the signs. He hadn’t wanted to see the loveless stare in her eyes, the disappointment on her face. Hadn’t wanted to see the sympathy and pity in her frown.
He should’ve known she was cheating. Maybe if he’d caught on sooner, things wouldn’t have ended the way they had. He could’ve won her back, some how, some way.
Who am I kidding? he thought.Even if he had gotten a job, and hadn’t drank so much, the damage had already been done. He’d slacked off for several years, and he hadn’t been nice to Sasha during that time, either. He knew his attitude was what had driven her away.
He sipped his whiskey with disdain, grimacing at the taste. Or was it the memories? He wasn’t sure. A year sober, he thought, all down the drain in a single night. All because of Sasha.
The divorce had been brutal, but it had been two years since it had been finalized. Since then, he hardly saw her. She had sole custody of the kids, and Derek had only seen them once in the past two years.
My own fault, though, he thought bitterly. If I hadn’t gotten in a drunken fight with the neighbor, I’d probably still have visitation rights. He closed his eyes briefly and brushed his hair back.
None of these thoughts would be on Derek’s mind if he hadn’t seen her that very night. He had been leaving a diner when he’d spotted her.
Sasha and an older gentleman were outside the club across the street. Derek had caught a glimpse of her face before the old geezer shoved his tongue down her throat.
“Damn gold-digger!” he had shouted, though no one was close enough to hear him. Thinking back on it, he was glad about that.
After that, he couldn’t quite remember how he’d arrived at the bar with a shot of tequila in hand.
Standing under the bar lights, his vision slightly fuzzy, he found himself smiling. Maybe it was the alcohol making him smile, or maybe it was that the only men his ex-wife could get were over fifty years old.
Derek, however, was not in such a position. He scoped out the bar and spotted a girl in her early twenties staring at him. He winked at her, which she must have seen, because she started toward him. Her movement was slightly unstable, an indication she was probably drunk.
When she reached him, he asked her name. He was pretty sure she said “Alexis”, but he could’ve been mistaken, because it was at that moment that the alcohol really kicked in.
The next thing he knew, he was in his apartment, and Allison…Alexia…whatever her name was, was on top of him, topless. He was vaguely aware of movement, but was so drunk, he hardly felt anything. He closed his eyes, just for a second.
When he opened his eyes, it was morning, and he was alone.
Derek sat up, his head immediately throbbing. The room spun for several seconds, then suddenly righted itself. He glanced around his apartment, the feeling that something was wrong settling in.
He stood up, which was the wrong thing to do; the floor lurched up at him, causing him to stumble. “God damnit,” he muttered. Gritting his teeth, he forced himself to stand up straight.
He started searching his apartment, checking to make sure nothing was missing. When he got to his jeans, though, anger swelled deep within him. “God damnit!” he yelled, throwing his jeans aside.
His wallet was gone. Alexandria had stolen his wallet.
So, it wasn’t as if anyone got hurt.
Not physically, at least.