A Beautiful Mess
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“Oh my god! Did everyone see that?” She punched his arm playfully as she followed him through the living room and into the kitchen, grabbing a bottle of water from his refrigerator.
“Well, fuck, you were like three rows behind home plate,” he said, sitting down at the breakfast bar. “So, spill it. Do I have to kick some guy’s ass?”
“No. It’s all good, Mo,” she sighed. “He’s a guy that works in my building. And I think he could probably kill you and leave no physical evidence. He’s an ex-SEAL and now runs a private security firm.” She left the kitchen and headed up the stairs into her friend’s spacious music room to wait for the rest of the band members to arrive. Mo followed close on her heels.
“Shit! I knew he looked familiar!” he exclaimed. “That’s Alexander Burnham, isn’t it?” He stared at her, wide-mouthed.
“Yeah,” she answered sheepishly as she checked the tuning on her guitar. It was a tradition for her and Mo to play around a little bit with new tunes before the rest of the band arrived. Nothing really ever came out of it, but they had a chemistry when performing together they both cherished.
“So, what’s the deal with you guys?” He started to sound concerned.
“We’ve gone out a few times.”
“Do you like him? I mean, you don’t date people, Livvy. Not trying to sound mean, but that’s never been your thing.”
Olivia had always felt comfortable telling Mo everything. Sometimes his perspective was exactly what she needed. He never had a problem telling Olivia what he thought about anything. That was the cause of a few fights, but they would eventually get over it.
“I know. I usually don’t. But there’s something about him, Mo. I can’t put my finger on it. I even called my shrink to schedule an appointment to start therapy again. All over a guy!”
“Livvy, I’m happy for you.” He pulled her in, wrapping his arms around her. “But, remember. If he hurts you, I’ve got some moves of my own.” He winked after he released her.
“Yeah, yeah. Sure. What are you going to do? Sing him to death?” Olivia laughed and Mo joined in before sitting behind a set of congas and grooving along to the song Olivia had begun to sing.
“Donovan. Grant here. She’s heading out again.”
“Okay. Follow her. And let me know where you end up.”
He pulled into traffic a few lengths behind Olivia’s car and followed her.
Just before nine, Olivia pulled up in front of 28 Degrees, tossing the valet the keys to her Audi. She walked in to see Kiera already sitting at the bar sipping a martini. Olivia joined her, ordering a martini as well.
“To breaking down those fucking walls once and for all,” Kiera said, raising her glass.
“I’m working on it,” Olivia smiled at her friend as she took a sip of her drink.
She glanced around the dark bar and noticed a tall man with dark hair and evil eyes, dressed all in black, walk into the trendy nightspot. He found a few empty stools at the bar opposite where Kiera and Olivia were sitting, giggling about something.
“Donovan. Grant again. She’s at a bar called 28 Degrees. I left the car and came in to keep a closer eye on her.”
“Great. Good work. I’ll be there in five minutes.”
Grant hung up, keeping his eyes trained on his target and trying to pick up on her conversation.
“Wait a minute! You think Mo is cute? What?” Olivia nearly shouted as she took a sip from her second martini. These drinks are going down way too easy tonight, she thought. “I thought you were just flirting with him for fun! I had no idea!”
“Shut up. I mean, we started to get close when you left. We were the Olivia Adler Survivor’s Club.” Kiera winked.
Olivia punched her in the arm. “Stop it. You know I feel bad about that.”
“You should. Bitch.”
Kiera took a sip of her drink, finishing it, and stopped to get the bartenders attention. Suddenly, Olivia felt chills. Turning around, she watched a tall, muscular man with a shaved head walk into the bar, smiling at her as he passed. He walked over to the other side of the bar and joined his friend with the mean eyes. Why are they both wearing black? Did they coordinate their outfits? Olivia laughed at the thought.
“What are you laughing at?” Kiera interrupted Olivia’s thoughts.
Olivia took a sip from her martini. “The thought of you and Mo in the sack.”
“Stop it, Libby. And I call him Jack, anyway.”
“That’s right. I forget that’s his real name.”
“Why do you call him Mo?”
“Well, the night I first met him at Scotch, that bar we used to work at, he introduced himself and I didn’t hear the first part of his name. All I heard was the Mo, and I guess it just kind of stuck. And plus, my Dad’s name was Giacomo and he was Jack. I just couldn’t bring myself to call him Jack, too.”
“Oh. I didn’t know that.” Kiera rubbed Olivia’s back, willing her to not freak out. Surprisingly, she remained relatively calm even though she had just spoken about her father. “Wow, Libs. You willingly spoke about your dad and didn’t go storming off. Whatever Alexander is doing, he better keep at it.”
Olivia blushed, wanting Alexander to keep doing the things he did to her earlier that morning. She looked across the bar and noticed the two guys staring at her. They weren’t even trying to hide it.
“That reminds me. Open Mic mañana, chica?” Kiera asked, bringing Olivia’s attention back to her.
“You know it! I’m going to get you up on the stage one of these days, I know it!” Olivia laughed at the look of horror on her friend’s face.
“Oh, absolutely not. You can have the spotlight. But when you get discovered, just remember the little people, okay? I’m talking backstage passes, and you better make sure I get interviewed when you’re on Behind the Music. Got it?”
Olivia smiled at her friend as she finished another drink.
The girls spent the next few hours catching up. They hadn’t spent much time together lately, Olivia preferring to stay in most nights to Kiera’s disappointment.
“Those two guys have been staring at us all night,” Kiera slurred into Olivia’s ear several hours later, gesturing with her eyes to the opposite side of the bar where the two guys in black sat, drinking their beverages of choice.