The next day at work I couldn't look Ethan in the eyes, and he was locked in his office the entire time, avoiding me too. But I was glad, after last night, I really didn't know how to confront him, I couldn't handle his constant flirting so I ignored him as much as I could.
"You look kind of pensive today, is everything all right?" Keely asked me while she sliced a piece of cake for a customer. "I'm ok, just a little tired" I smiled at her, but she knew me to well. "If you say so" she turned around, brought the cake to a customer and then came right back to me with a little smirk on her face. "So, I noticed Ethan acting strange today" she said with a knowing smile.
"So?" I shrugged. "So, you wouldn't happen to know why he's avoiding you?" I turned to look at keely. "maybe he is starting to understand that I mean it when I say that I'm not looking for love" .
Keely laughed a little and shook her head "What?" I asked , irritated with her knowing look.
"I think you're dating all these men thinking that you need them for sex, while deep inside of you, a little hurt girl is just looking for someone who loves her" .
Those words hurt "Keely, if I wanted to find true love, I would date E-"
"Ethan" she finished for me "I know Gemma, but who says you need to date a guy to fall in love?"
I just shook my head "Keely you read to many romance novels and watch to many romantic movies, believe me , love is the last thing I'll ever need in my life" I turned around and started making some coffee.
"Hey Baby" Dave's voice startled me and I jumped around to find his big sky blue eyes looking me over. "Hi Dave" I smiled. "So, did you sleep well all alone" He asked with a smirk. "Yep, had my big bed all to myself, well almost, my little kitten has kept me company"
"I can't believe it, you preferred your cat to me?" he smirked
"Hey! Don't underestimate Mr spot! He's cute and very soft, and he purrs" I smiled
"Baby I can be cute, soft, I can even purr if you want me to, but most of all, I can make you come all night long…Your Mr. Spot can't give you that" he winked and I laughed out loud "well, I have another little friend under my bed who helps me with that" I winked back and he squirmed in his seat. "Oh baby now you've got me all turned on at that picture, please tell me you'll go out with me tonight!" He gave me his best begging expression. "We'll see cowboy" I smiled and walked away to help some customers out.
I was serving some coffee to a customer when I felt a hand on my butt, I turned around and slapped Earl Cavanaugh's hand away "Keep your hands to yourself Earl!" I growled. Earl and his two old buddies laughed out loud "Come on baby, you give that ass to everyone, why not me eh?" he smirked showing his yellow teeth "Go home to your wife Earl!" I snapped back at him. I was about to leave their table when he grabbed my arm and pulled me on his lap "My wife is fat and ugly, I'm going to take me some of this gorgeous ass today!" he lowered his mouth to my face and I pushed myself away from him, but he still had a grip on my arm. "Let go!" I yelled.
"The lady said no Earl" I turn around to see who had spoken and saw Dave standing behind me. He looked angry and his hands were balled into fists. "She's no lady Mc. Allister! Everybody in town knows she's a sl-" Dave's fist in Earls face kept him from finishing his statement. He was thrown back by the blow and finally let go of my hand. Dave picked him up by his collar and shoved him against the wall. "Apologise!" he said. But Earl just smiled, his lip now split and bleeding. "I aint apologising to a sl-" another of Dave's fists connected with Earls jaw. "Mc Allister, what's going on in here!" Ethan's voice boomed true the bar as he came towards us, he took one look at my trembling form and his face hardened. "Earl, what happened?" Dave stepped away from Earl and came to stand by my side. Earl kept his hand on his jaw "He punched me twice Ethan!" he pointed his other hand at Dave. "What did you do to him?" Ethan's voice was calm but there was a menacing sound to it. "Nothing, I was just fooling around with your waitress and out of the blue he comes over and punches me!" he said, trying to act like a victim. "He grabbed Gemma, was about to kiss her against her will and then called her a slut!" Dave said slowly. "Is that true Earl?" Ethan asked. Earl shrugged "She was asking for it" he smiled "Everybody knows she likes a different dick every night!" Earl smiled at me and I cringed. Ethan's hands balled into fists "So you confirm what Mc. Allister just said!" he asked. Earl nodded "that little Italian sl-" This time it was Ethan's right fist that connected with Earl's eye. Earl fell to the ground, hard. Then Ethan picked him up by the collar and was dragging him to the door. "Hey! What are you doing Ethan, he's the one who punched me, I didn't do anything!" Earl complained while he was being dragged across the bar. Ethan then picked him up and shoved him against the closed door. "You are not allowed to come in here, you are banished from my bar! And if you ever even look at her again I will kill you" Ethan got in Earls face. Earl swallowed and nodded "Good, now leave and don't ever show your sorry ass in here again!" Ethan opened the door with one hand and shoved Earl outside with the other.
"Are you ok?" Dave asked beside me. And for the first time I noticed that my hands and legs were trembling. "Yeah I'm fine" I turned to get back at work but Ethan's hand on my shoulder stopped me. "Let me see your arm" he said calmly. "What? Why?" I asked but he was already lifting my right arm to get a better look. "that asshole left some marks on you!" he growled and as I followed his gaze, I noticed little red marks around my wrist and arm. "It's ok, I'm ok" I shook my head. Ethan lowered his mouth to my wrist and kissed it gently "Take your break now Emma, I'll cover for you for the next half hour" He let go of my wrist and went to help some customers. Beside me Dave cleared his throat "so… I'm not the only one who wants you in his bed , am I?" he asked while he followed Ethan with his eyes. "I need some fresh air" I whispered .
I walked outside and pulled out my cigarettes. I was trying to quit, but on days like these it was hard not to smoke, so I just gave in. "You never told me you smoked" Dave's voice startled me. I turned around and there he was, his white Stetson in his right hand. His blue eyes twinkling. I could see why girls fell in love with him, but luckily I was immune to his beauty. "I'm trying to quit" I smiled at him. "I see" he smiled and came closer. I took another pull from my cigarette and turned to look at the dumpsters , the ones we had sex behind yesdterday. "Are you ok?" he came even closer and I couldn't look away from those light blue eyes. "I'm fine, Earl is just drunk" I shrugged . He shook his head "Well drunk or not, he doesn't have the right to call you names" He looked serious. "Well, half the town thinks I'm a slut, it doesn't surprise me anymore, I stopped caring about what people think of me a long time ago" I smiled. He put his Stetson back on his head and leaned against the brick wall, looking pensive. "You might not care, but I do" he whispered. "Why?" I asked bored "I don't need your pity" I finish my cigarette and put it out with my foot. "You're a good woman, you love sex, there is nothing wrong with that. But you're not a slut, trust me I know a slut when I see one" His blue eyes pierce mine and I look away again "what would you call me then?" I challenge him. He smiles "You're just a good person enjoying life and loving sex, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that." I snort "Isn't that a slut?" I ask.
"No, a slut is a girl who fucks around with my best friend behind my back while I'm building our home, a slut is a girl who tells my best friend lies just to get him into her bed. A slut is someone like Lydia, who was ready to marry me after she cheated on me with my best friend. Luckily my best friend had a conscience and told me the truth as soon as he found out that the wedding was still on." He looked away and shook his head "Well now you know my story…care to tell me yours?" he asked smiling. Wow! That Barbie Lydia was his fiancé and she cheated on him? And then she goes and tells the whole town I'm a slut! That bitch! "No, I'm not telling you my story, but who was your so called best friend?" I asked. He looked away again and looked pensive…and pained.
Just when I thought that he wasn't going to answer anymore he spoke quietly "It was Ethan" .
What the hell??? "You and Ethan were friends?" I asked incredulous . "We grew up together, our mothers were best friends, our sisters were best friends too…I guess we had no choice, we were as close as brothers" he smiled sadly "Until Lydia decided to play with us" he shook his head and smiled at me.
A creepy feeling came over me "Wait a minute…is that why you're having sex with me? To get back at Ethan?" I asked angrily. He starts laughing "I wish!" he laughed even harder "Baby how I wish that it was true, but sadly it seems Ethan and me have the same taste in women" he put his hand on my shoulder and turned serious again "I didn't know that he felt that way about you until I saw the way he looked at you today" I could see that he was telling the truth so I let out a long breath. "Yeah well, I hope he gets over it soon because as I told you yesterday , I'm not looking for love" He just smiled "too bad, because you're a good woman to love" he kissed me on the cheek , turned around and walked away. I shook my head as I lit up another cigarette. Why can't they just fuck me and leave me alone? I asked myself as I walked to the dumpster to throw the empty cigarette package away. I was about to turn away from the dumpster when a hand on my mouth made me jump. I felt something cold and sharp against my throat…a knife…oh no! "You stupid slut! I'll show you what you're worth!" strong hands were holding me captive and several voices laughed behind me, but the one talking was familiar. His breath smelled of beer and alcohol. I knew who it was even before he turned me around to face him. It was Earl…