“I stopped by Sig Tau. Just for a few hours before work.”
“Sig Tau?” It took my brain a little bit to catch up. I watched her for a moment, and then shook my head. “He called you, didn’t he?”
Raegan grimaced. “I’m not talking about this here. It’s already awkward enough. Kody’s here, so let’s just sit on it until we get home.”
I shook my head again. “You are so stupid. Brazil saw you happy with Kody, so he made the call. Now you’re screwing up something good, and Brazil isn’t going to change.”
Kody walked up, looking wounded. “Uh, you guys need anything?”
Raegan shook her head, and so did I. Kody realized I knew something. His shoulders sagged, and he simply nodded and walked away.
“Damn it, Cami! I said not here!” Raegan hissed.
“Sorry,” I said, counting my drawer. Saying anything else would have just made her angrier, so I kept my thoughts to myself.
The rush happened earlier than usual, and I was grateful for the distraction. Kody kept busy at the entrance, so I barely saw him until just before close. He was standing at the west wall, in a dark corner, watching Raegan. The DJ was playing their song, so it was particularly infuriating to see Brazil standing at the end of the bar, leaning across and smiling at Raegan, who was also leaning and smiling.
I couldn’t believe she was being so cold to Kody. I walked a pitcher of beer over to her, pretended to trip, and the entire pitcher went across the bar and all over Brazil. He jumped back, and held up his arms. It was too late: his brown plaid shirt and jeans were soaked.
I leaned into her face. “Do you hear what song is playing? Kody is working the door, so you know he knows Brazil is here. No need to be a heartless bitch, Ray.”
“I’m a heartless bitch? Let’s not even talk about what you’re doing.”
My mouth fell open. Her knee-jerk reaction wasn’t a surprise, but her bringing up Trenton was. “I’m not doing anything! We’re just friends!”
“Yeah, let’s label it something benign so you can sleep at night. Everyone else sees what you’re doing, Cami. We’re just not self-righteous enough to scold you for it.”
Raegan popped the top on a beer, and exchanged it for money. She walked over to the register and furiously tapped in numbers like she was mad at them.
I might have felt bad if I hadn’t looked across the room and seen that for just a moment, Kody didn’t look quite so miserable.
Raegan walked up to stand beside me, her eyes on Kody across the room. “I didn’t realize what song was playing.”
“Did you realize Brazil was within kissing distance of your face in front of everyone not twenty-four hours after you dumped Kody?”
“You’re right. I’ll tell him to stay away.” She reached up to the horn and pulled it, signaling last call. Kody shoved his hands in his pockets and walked toward the entrance.
“I guess Kody’s walking me to my car tonight,” I said.
“That would be better,” Raegan said.
We cleaned our station and set up for the next night. Within an hour after close, we grabbed our coats. Raegan slung her purse over her shoulder and nodded at Gruber. “Walk me?” she asked.
Gruber hesitated, and Kody appeared at her side. “I can walk you.”
Kody shrugged, laughing once. “I can’t walk you to the car? It’s part of my job, Ray.”
“Gruber can walk me, can’t you, Gruby?”
“C’mon, Ray. Let me walk you. Please?”
Raegan’s shoulders fell, and she sighed. “See you at home, Cami.”
I waved to her, and made sure to stay several feet back.
Gruber and I could hear Kody pleading with Raegan at her car all the way across the parking lot, and it broke my heart. Gruber stood with me at my car until Raegan got into hers. She followed me home, and when we pulled into the parking lot, I looked over, to see Raegan sobbing into her hands.
I opened her door. “Come on. We’ll watch scary movies and eat ice cream.”
Raegan looked up at me, her eyes red and puffy. “Have you ever loved two people at the same time?” she asked.
After a long pause, I held out my hand. “If I ever try, slap me, okay?”
AT THE HEIGHT OF THE RED’S FRIDAY NIGHT CROWD, Travis Maddox headed for his usual stool at my station, strutting across the bar like he always did: sexy, confident, and in command of the room. Shepley was with him, so was Shepley’s girlfriend, America, and another girl—the one who I assumed he had been talking about the weekend before: the Freshman. I let the guy sitting in his usual seat know he was coming. He and his friend scattered without protest.
Travis straddled his stool. He ordered a beer, drank half of it in a few swallows, and then turned to watch the dance floor. The Freshman was out there, dancing with America.
Three girls were standing behind Travis, hovering like groupies, waiting for him to turn around.
America and her friend returned, smiling and sweaty. The Freshman was a knockout, I’d give Travis that. She had that something special that one might expect from the girl who finally caught Travis Maddox’s attention, but I couldn’t pinpoint it. There was a certain confidence in her eyes. She knew something that no one else knew.
“It’s going to be like this all night, Mare. Just ignore them,” Shepley said.
America snarled, and glanced over at the three women who were staring at Travis and whispering among themselves. I wasn’t sure why America was so angry. They weren’t looking at Shepley.
“It looks like Vegas threw up on a flock on vultures,” America said.
Travis looked over his shoulder to see who America was talking about, and then turned back, chugging his beer. He lit a cigarette and puffed out a cloud of smoke. He looked at me and held up two fingers.
This should be interesting. I pulled two Bud Lights out of the cooler, popped the tops, and sat them in front of Travis.
One of the vultures picked one up, but Travis took it away from her. “Uh . . . not yours,” he said, handing it to the Freshman.
The corners on the Freshman’s mouth turned up just a tiny bit right before she chugged the beer for a few seconds.
“Can you make a—” Marty, Raegan’s regular, began. Raegan was on the other side of the bar, having an intense conversation with Kody.
“Yes,” I said, cutting him off. “Don’t worry, Marty. I’ll get you taken care of.” As I was pouring Marty’s particularly tricky Warninks Crème Egg Shooter, Travis and the Freshman were having a good time on the dance floor, making quite a scene. By the time Marty had finished his shot, Travis had already pissed her off, and she was storming away from him, toward the bar.
She offered me a half smile, and held up one finger. I pulled her a beer, popped the cap, and set it in front of her. She had sucked down more than half when Travis made it back to the bar. No wonder he was so unhappy about his feelings. The two of them were exhausting me, and I didn’t even know her name yet.
Megan, Travis’s tried-and-true Plan B, appeared next to him. “Well, if it isn’t Travis Maddox.”
Megan didn’t cause a lot of drama, but she wasn’t my favorite. In addition to Travis, she had a few other guys that she liked to chase around. But never when they wanted her, and never when they were single. She liked the challenge of taking a man away from his girlfriend, and women like that are the enemy of couples everywhere.