“Relax, sweetie,” Kiera said, rubbing her friend’s back. “Even if he has no explanation, don’t give him the satisfaction of knowing it upset you. You’re bigger than this and much stronger than this. And you’ll move on from this. There’s someone else out there for you who will worship the ground you walk on.”
“But I really liked him, Kiera.” She buried her head in her hands, trying to subdue the lump that had started to form in her throat.
“I know, Libs.” She continued comforting her friend. “Okay. Idea,” Kiera said excitedly. “Let’s get out of here for the weekend. Do something crazy.”
Olivia thought about it for a minute. If she refused, she would just stay in her house, faced with constant reminders of Alexander. The more she thought about it, the more appealing getting out of town sounded. “Okay. Deal. What did you have in mind?”
“One word. Gambling therapy.” Kiera grabbed Olivia’s hand and before she knew it, they were on the road, heading for Connecticut and one of the Indian casinos.
“Alex! Wake up!” Tyler shouted as he pounded on the door to his bedroom. Alexander rolled over, his head throbbing from all the liquor he consumed the night before. He looked at the clock. He was going to kill Tyler.
“What the fuck, dude?” he shouted as Tyler barged into Alexander’s old bedroom. “It’s not even ten in the morning, asshole.”
“No. That clock isn’t right. It’s after two in the afternoon. Get your ass up. We’re going to the casino today. Carol’s idea. Dave is coming down to meet us there. Birthday bash for us.”
David was Carol’s husband. They met when she enrolled in the police academy over twenty years ago. They had originally been assigned to different precincts and had started dating. They married a few years later. Now, they were both detectives, David working mostly homicides while Carol tended to work more domestic cases.
“Okay, okay. I’m up. Go find me some aspirin or a Bloody Mary.” Alexander threw off the covers and shuffled into the shower. He couldn’t remember the last time he drank as much. He normally would only have a few drinks when he went out. The previous day was an exception. Based on how he felt that afternoon, he wouldn’t be consuming that much alcohol again for a very long time.
Alexander got out of the shower and walked back into his bedroom to find a tray sitting on his desk with a glass of water, two aspirin, and a Bloody Mary. “Love ya, Ty,” Alexander shouted down the stairs.
“I know you do. Now get your ass in gear. The party bus leaves in twenty.”
Kiera and Olivia sat at a trendy club having a few drinks before going back to try some more of their luck at the tables. So far, it had been a rather prosperous evening for the girls. Kiera had been trying to help Olivia forget about Alexander all day. They got to the casino shortly after lunch, checked into the hotel, and spent the afternoon by the pool. They were now enjoying the evening out at the casino. Sitting at the dark bar, Olivia actually felt okay. Not good. Not fine. But okay. The skimpy black designer dress Kiera shoved at her to wear that evening probably helped. It was nice to see guys staring at her body, especially the long legs that the dress barely covered up.
“Give it to me, Libs,” Kiera said when she noticed her friend looking at her phone yet again. All day Olivia had been constantly checking for some sort of contact from Alexander.
“Okay. Sorry. I promise to stop checking it. Just let me check my e-mail and then I’ll turn it off.” Olivia hated lying to her friend, but she wanted to do one more photo search.
On the drive down to the casino, Olivia found a multitude of photos online of Alexander and Adele. They just looked like they belonged together. Two of the most beautiful people in the world. Olivia wondered what Alexander could have possibly seen in her when he could be with someone as beautiful and stunning as Adele.
She clicked on the search button and noticed another recent photo, presumably from the same function. She clicked on the image and was brought to another gossip website. In the photo, it looked like Alexander was speaking to Adele, leaning into her ear and whispering. Olivia looked at Adele’s face and could tell just by the expression on it that he must have been telling her something rather sweet and endearing.
“Fuck him,” Olivia said, turning off her phone. “I’m swearing off men. Kiera, want to be a lesbian with me?”
Kiera laughed, handing her friend another drink. “Thanks for the offer, but I’m hot on Mo.”
“You should probably do something about that then, Care Bear. He’s one of the good guys. Apparently there’s not a lot of them left.”
“Oh, Libs. Don’t rush to judgment so quickly. At least promise me you’ll give him a chance to explain,” Kiera said as she took a drink from her martini. “And then you can stomp on his balls.”
“I’m not making any promises. All I know is that I need a drink and a distraction. Let’s go dancing.” Olivia got up from her barstool after downing her martini and headed in the direction of the dance floor. Kiera followed.
The girls found their way to the center of the dance floor, club lights barely illuminating the dark floor. The club was rather busy and there wasn’t much room to move, but that was okay. Olivia moved to the rhythm of the music, trying to block out everything that had happened that past week. The girls danced for several minutes before a tall blond man wearing a black button-down shirt and jeans moved toward Kiera and started dancing with her.
“Are you okay?” Olivia mouthed. Kiera gave her the thumbs up signal, to which Olivia signaled that she was going back to the bar.
“Where you off to, beautiful?” a short, built man with blond hair and far too orange skin said to Olivia, standing in her way.
“Um, just off to get a drink, so if you’ll please excuse me…” she replied, trying to move around him.
“Okay, hot stuff. I’ll see you back here.”
Olivia rolled her eyes as she continued to walk past the man, on a mission to get drunk. Kiera had tried her best to help Olivia keep her mind off Alexander, but he was all she could think about.
She approached the long circular bar and placed her drink order. As she waited for her martini, she heard loud laughing on the opposite side of the bar. She turned her head and gasped when she saw Alexander there with several other people, one being Detective Wilder, his sister. She looked a little closer, squinting through her eyes foggy from the alcohol, and noticed that hanging onto his arm was the woman from the photos, Adele.