Turning Point – Blane at the Bar
It was late, but Blane couldn’t sleep. Last night kept replaying inside his head. The disastrous dinner with Kathleen.
Could he have fucked things up any more?
She’d thrown him out and he couldn’t blame her. He’d been a dick.
And now Kade was there. Staying in her apartment. He’d been in her bed, unconscious from the gunshot wound, when Blane had last seen him. How long would Kathleen let him stay? Was she there now with him, helping him?
Jealousy ate at Blane even as he castigated himself for feeling that way. Kade was his brother, for chrissake. He wouldn’t make a move on Kathleen.
Blane’s cell phone rang and he automatically picked it up from the bedside table. Glancing at the caller ID, his heart skipped a beat. Kathleen.
“Kirk,” he answered.
“Hello, is this Blane?” The voice was male and much too loud.
Blane frowned and turned down the volume, sitting up in bed. “Yes, who is this? Where’s Kathleen?”
“Blane, you’re an asshole,” the man blustered. “If you want to stop being an asshole, you can come get your girl here. Poor thing’s all upset and you just let her go cry her eyes out in some bar with a bunch of strangers. Shame on you.”
It took only a moment for Blane to process what the man had said, the important phrases being “your girl” and “bar with a bunch of strangers.” He was already out of bed and pulling on a pair of jeans while the man continued to ream him.
Blane listened with half an ear, sticking the phone on speaker so he could grab a shirt and pull it over his head. The man’s Texas accent was thick, but Blane caught “purty little thing,” “drownin’ her sorrows,” “sumbitch like yew,” and “acting like a damn fool.” Once his boots were on, he grabbed up the phone again.
“Where is she?” he asked, cutting the man off.
“She’s dancin’ with Jay, o’ course,” the man retorted.
“I meant what bar?” Blane gritted out, holding on to his temper. The man was severely trying his patience, but he got the name of a bar downtown.
“I’ll be right there,” Blane said, ending the call. He grabbed his leather jacket on the way out the door and prayed the cops weren’t patrolling Meridian tonight.
His Jag ate up the miles and Blane was pulling up to the bar scarcely ten minutes later. Kathleen’s SUV was parked outside. The sight of it gave him a twinge. Kade had gotten it for her, a “company” car.
The bar wasn’t crowded and he spotted Kathleen right away. But then again, she was hard to miss.
She was dancing with an older man, maybe late fifties, wearing a sweatshirt and Colts ball cap. Some eighties hit was playing on the jukebox and Kathleen was singing along, completely oblivious to her attire.
Jeans that looked painted on and a red top that had so little fabric, it could scarcely be called clothing. It covered her breasts, barely, and left a neckline that plunged clear to her navel. The back was identical, the cloth wrapping her hips and leaving her arms and sides bare. Blane had no idea how it was even staying on her body. With her just-fucked hair and come-hither eyes, Kathleen was the stuff fantasies were made of. But not one Blane would willingly share.
It took her a moment to realize he was there. The man with her suddenly stopped dancing when he spied Blane. He said something and she turned. Their eyes locked and Blane stalked toward her, ignoring the men who froze and stared at him. His attention was fixed on Kathleen.
Up close, her outfit was even more tempting, the rounded curves of her breasts overflowing their confines. Blane’s jaw locked tight as his gaze brushed her from head to foot. She didn’t seem to sense his disapproval though, or if she did, she didn’t care. If Blane knew her at all, she had something else on her mind entirely.
Shrugging out of his jacket, he swung it over her shoulders. As he did, he processed what her “friends” had been saying. He pinned one with a glare.
“Did you just call me a dick?” Blane asked him.
“I called you a dick three times,” the man shot back with drunken glee. “Ya just didn’t hear me the first two, motherfucker.”
Kathleen snorted with laughter. “Blane,” she said, “meet my three fairy godfathers. Jay, Hal, and Rick.” The men all gave him a grudging nod.
“Come on, Kat,” Blane said. “Let’s go home.”
“Just a second,” she said. Turning to the men, she gave them each a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks for listening.”
“Anytime,” Rick said with a grin, then turned a more serious expression on Blane. “Now you take care of our little girl here, you understand? I don’t wanna see her in some bar by herself again ’cause you’re treatin’ her bad.”
“Yes, sir,” Blane replied evenly. He could tell by the voice that he’d been the one to call. Blane reached for his wallet and tossed a few bills onto the bar. “This should take care of her tab.” Thank God they’d been decent men and not some college kids out to pick up girls. Blane didn’t want to think of what might’ve happened in that case.
When he turned around, Kathleen was already singing and weaving her way to the front door. Blane grabbed her forgotten purse and jacket before hurrying after her. She stumbled and he slipped an arm around her back, supporting her.
She was drunker than he’d ever seen her, and Blane felt it was partially his fault. Kathleen wasn’t a woman to sit at home with a tub of ice cream when she was upset, she drank her troubles away. Blane guessed it was the Irish in her, or maybe it had always been something she’d done. With her father dead when she was fifteen and caring for her cancer-ridden mother until her death, Blane thought she might have found drinking as her coping mechanism long ago.
After a brief argument over her inability to drive, in which she narrowly escaped falling on her face, Blane had her in his car and headed back to his house.
Kathleen immediately forgot the argument, instead sighing in pleasure as she relaxed into the heated seat. Her eyes slipped shut.
“I love Blane’s car,” she said, her throaty tone shooting straight to Blane’s groin. “I love being with him in his car. It’s sleek and powerful, just like him.”
She obviously was thinking aloud, not that Blane minded. His lips twitched slightly.
“Is that so?” he said.
“Absolutely…” She slumped down further in the seat.
Blane thought she might fall asleep, but after a moment, she said, “It’s hot in here.”
He reached and turned down the heat.
“Still hot,” she complained.
The sound of the zipper on her jeans being lowered had Blane tightening his grip on the steering wheel.
“What are you doing?” he asked. As if he didn’t know. As if a part of him wasn’t watching in utter fascination as she slipped her jeans down and off her legs.
Kathleen was petite, so her legs weren’t terribly long, but they curved in all the right places. Blane got an eyeful as she scooted her seat back enough to prop them on the dash, one slim ankle crossed over the other.
“You get like this when you’re drunk,” Blane felt obligated to say.
“Like what?” she asked, all innocence.
Blane shot her a look. The come-fuck-me one she gave in return made his blood heat and his jeans suddenly too tight. He let loose a string of curses and resolutely turned his attention back to the road.
How much further to the house? She’d fall asleep the minute her head touched a pillow, if he could just get her there before she did something he couldn’t resist.
Like take his hand from the steering wheel and place it on her thigh.
Blane stiffened. He knew where this was going and while he was usually all for that, they’d had a fight. He sincerely doubted Kathleen wanted drunken make-up sex. He just needed to occupy her until they got to the house.
She forced his hand to move, caressing her soft skin. Blane bit back a groan, but this he could do. He could stay in control if this was enough to keep her happy. Her hand fell away and he touched her, his palm resting on her thigh while his thumb brushed her knee.
But then she had other ideas…