“I’m pulling rank Connor, this conversation is finished.”
Connor glared at his sister as she stared coolly back. Eventually she raised her walkie talkie to her mouth to speak to the woman on the other end. She put on her cheesiest and most fake smile.
“My apologies for ruining the decorum of your little establishment, I had business to attend to with her date. He will be with her momentarily.”
“You’re being unreasonable.”
“No Connor, I’m doing exactly as I have been told, which is something you should be doing right now.” Kelly’s voice had taken on the quiet icy tone that she often used to signal that she was done talking. “Go and meet Christiana, make her feel at home and for crying out loud, do it with some professionalism.”
Connor wanted to say that he trained to be a soldier, not an actor. He wanted to say that he could hardly do his job when he didn’t know what it was that he was facing. He wanted to tell his sister to take a running jump off a high cliff. But he knew it would do no good. Instead, he clenched his jaw, balled his fists and mustered out the two words he hated saying to his sister.
Kelly nodded and walked off.
Connor took a few minutes. He closed his eyes and went to his happy place. Last night came to mind. He focused on the memory of him and Christie for a little while and then let out a deep breath, pushing down all other emotions and fanning the only one that mattered at the moment, keeping her safe. Once he had his goal firm in his mind, he opened his eyes once more and walked out of the room to the stupidly overpriced hideout that they were all in at the moment and searched for Christie.
He found her pretty quickly. She was at the bar, pouring a pitcher of drink into her glass and swigging down most of the contents the moment she had. Ah, he thought, should probably have not left her near alcohol after what she saw.
He took another moment to ensure that his emotions were in check and then made his way over to her.
“I leave you alone for ten minutes…” he said as he reached her.
“It wasn’t ten minutes, it was more like half an hour.”
“The doc said that you shouldn’t really be drinking.”
“Oh relax Mr Twitchy, it’s a watered down cocktail.” Christie said. “It’s barely drinking at all.”
Connor rolled his eyes at her logic and made a mental note to keep an eye on her for the rest of the day. He helped her off her stool.
“Where are we going now?” She asked.
“Duncan and Katie are just over there, didn’t you see them?”
Christie looked over to where he was pointing and shrugged. “Guess not.”
“Come on, let’s go say hi.”
They were about halfway over to the table, Christie holding firmly onto her pitcher and glass and Connor holding firmly onto Christie, when Kate spotted them and her eyes opened wide in surprise. Within a moment, she was out of her chair and running over to them.
“Guys!” She said, grabbing them both into a hug and not noticing the winces both of them gave from contact to their burns. “I was beginning to wonder where you got to!”
She hugged them again and added in a low whisper. “Duncan’s called Nathan, he’s rich and on a date with the small woman next to him, please play along, I’ll explain later.”
Before either could respond, she had turned and was pulling them the rest of the way to the table. “Look who I found!”
Dave got up to give them both a hug. Now that they were both ready for this, Connor and Christie both maneuvered themselves so as to avoid too much pain (and spillage on Christie’s part).
“Guys, so great you could make it,” Dave said. “Have you met Nathan?”
“Hey,” Duncan gave a small wave from where he was sitting, leaning incredibly close to the small mixed race girl smiling nervously next to him.
“You know, I don’t know if we have.” Christie answered. “But you know who he looks like Connor?”
“Who’s that?” Connor said, smiling at the direction Christie was now taking him.
“That mate of yours,” she said, clicking her fingers in the air. “You know, that one that loves himself, what was his name again?”
“I’m not too sure which mate you’re talking about.”
“You know.” She said. “The really pompous one that thinks he’s God’s gift to women. The one that was always trying to get in my pants… the one that really wasn’t as great as he seemed to think he was. Oh what was his name?”
“Oooh, you mean Duncan!” Connor said.
“Duncan! That’s it.” Christie said, slamming her hand against her head. “Man, he was a tool.” She turned to Duncan, “No offence! Not to say that you are of course, you just remind me a bit of him, you know in the general face area.”
Duncan threw Christie a small smile. “None taken.”
Someone next to him let out a loud laugh and smacked his hand against the table. “Now that, is funny.”
“Oh.my.living.days.” Christie’s whole tone had changed. Connor turned to see what she was commenting on and saw Adam Gammon, the famous movie star sitting next to Duncan.
Christie slammed both her pitcher and glass on the table and turned to Connor. “It’s Adam Gammon, It’s Adam Gammon!”
“I can see that.” Connor said, now beginning to wonder just how watered down those cocktails actually were.
She turned back to the movie star. “I am the biggest fan, you are amazing. I actually love you.”
Connor laughed, “Well, three years of monogamy and attention won’t get her to say it, but star in a few movies?”
Christie waved him off, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m a bad girlfriend.”
Connor felt his stomach twist. “What did you just say?”
Christie stopped for a moment and turned to him, “What?”
“Repeat what you just said.”
Christie’s eyes widened as she realised the words that had come out of her mouth. No sooner had they widened, they softened again and a small sly smile played on her lips.
“If I say it again, will you let me flirt with the movie star?”
Connor beamed down at her with one of his first genuine smiles since he had left her this morning. All previous stresses had momentarily gone, he had waited a long time for this.
“I think I just might.”
Christie’s small smile got bigger until it matched his and she gently wrapped her sore arms around his waist.
“Connor Mayhew,” she said, “the man who has just saved my life. I am a bad girlfriend.”
Connor’s insides exploded. He gently took her face in both his hands and drew her lips to his.
“Christiana Edwards,” he said. “Yes you are.”
His lips met hers and he felt her melt into him as he opened his mouth, brushing his tongue slowly against her own. They both drew back and beamed at each other once more.
“Can I go and flirt with Adam Gammon now?”
“Yes you may.”