Episode Forty-Two: The Good Side Affair
Guy’s mind was full of fog. A sticky, beer-ridden fog that just managed to block out Nikolai’s face and make Guy think of something more important – his penis. He moved from his stool towards a stool farther down the bar where a lady – he squinted to try to guess her age, but decided it could be anywhere between 30 and 40 – sat alone. Over the sound of music pounding into the bar, he offered to buy her a drink, but she replied, “I’m with someone.”
“Doesn’t mean I can’t buy you a drink,” Guy said, hearing his voice slur. “A pretty girl like you should be rewarded with something. Don’t you like those faggy girly drinks?”
The girl probably gave Guy a look of disgust – he couldn’t quite tell – and he smiled in return as he leaned against the stool to squint at her again. She had the prettiest blue eyes. Or grey. He licked his dry lips and was about to tell her that, when a man stood between them. This man’s muscles bulged out of his tight white t-shirt, and Guy stared at his pecks, positive that he could see the man’s nipples through his shirt.
Without raising his eyes, Guy said, “My, my, your someone is very handsome. Is there any way I can talk you two into a threesome with me?”
Guy suddenly found himself on the ground with his jaw aching. It was curious. He stood back up and got a better look at the man’s face. He then aimed his fist at it, and he barely felt the pain in his hand as the man stumbled back.
A familiar, warm arm coiled around his waist and pulled him away from the pair. He heard the music swallow a muffled apology coming from Red, and he stared at the back of the other assassin’s head. She pulled him out of the bar, and Guy followed obediently while assuming he would get laid later by Red and her delightful body.
The crisp winter air did little to sober the assassin, and the cold barely even nibbled on his warm nose and ears. Red helped Guy sit down at the curb outside of the bar. She put an arm around his back and asked, “What happened?”
“I got into a fight after asking about a threesome,” Guy said. “How do people usually get into threesome with strangers? Internet?”
“No,” Red said. Guy couldn’t help but hear a hint of venom in her voice as she asked, “I meant, why are you getting drunk here at a bar instead of sitting at your place with your pet Russian?”
Guy rubbed his temples. He didn’t want to think about Nikolai. He stood up but found Red’s arm back around him. “Do you have a hotel room or something?” he asked.
Red sighed. “All right,” she said. “Come on with me.”
Guy leaned on Red as they walked to her hotel. His head throbbed, and whenever he tried to line up his thoughts, they began to stumble apart again. Frustration built inside of him, and he wanted sex to help clear his mind.
But Red’s body language suggested disapproval, and he tried to remember whether or not she was seeing anyone the last time they spoke.
Oh right, he was avoiding her.
She unlocked the door to her hotel room and pushed him in. “Don’t think I’m not still furious with you, Guy Solo,” she said. “But sit down and tell me everything.”
Guy sat down on the bed, noting the comfort of the white duvet. He took off his shoes and absently rubbed his foot as he filled Red in on the details. She asked a few questions to keep him on track, and he mentioned Steffie by name but not by relation. He didn’t see Red’s thin eyebrows rise as the new name arose, but she asked no new questions.
When Guy was finished, Red sat on the bed beside him. “I’m sorry things went that way,” she said. “I’m not going to say how I would have done things differently because we can’t fix the past that way. Do you think all the bridges have been burned between you two?”
“I don’t know,” Guy said. He leaned back on the bed and stretched out his arms. He saw Red’s black eyes lingering on him. “I think it would be better to be apart for a while. At least until this thing with Cox is settled. I don’t want to ruin everything, you know?”
Red smiled softly. She dropped beside him, turning her head on the bed to face him. She said, “Why were you avoiding me? Did you even check your calls?”
“You were the one who told me to go to Cox to get the money,” Guy said.
Red laughed. “So you thought I turned on you and set this whole thing up?”
“You know, you could be a femme fatale or whatever.”
“Well I’m not in on it,” Red said. “I’m either on your side or my own side. I thought we already knew we could trust each other.”
Guy just shrugged. His eyelids grew heavy and sleep was coming fast. Red stroked his hair. He mumbled, “I’m too tired to have sex with you.”
Red chuckled. “I don’t want to have sex with you anyway.”
Guy muttered, “I don’t believe it.”
And then he felt nothing.
When he opened his eyes again, he swung himself upright and found himself panting. His mind whirled quickly as if he had forgotten something, but he wasn’t certain what he forgot. He looked around the hotel room as he pieced together the previous night. His chest ached as he remembered Nikolai.
He turned his head to look around the unfamiliar albeit gaudy hotel room and eventually let his eyes rest on Red’s familiar suitcase. He smiled at the small, brown faux-leather carry-on suitcase with wheels. He listened to the shower running as the temptation to go through her belongings rise and fell. He probably saw everything that was in there anyway. He picked up the hotel phone and called Quint’s private line.
The phone only rang twice before he heard a, “Hello?”
“Not having sex with Fleur I take it?”
“Guy Solo, you’re lucky I’m worried about you or else I would be telling you off,” Quint said. “Are you all right?”
“Yes,” Guy said. His head still throbbed and his body felt heavy, but he was alive. He rubbed his temples again. “Yes, I’m fine.”
“You don’t sound fine,” Quint said.
“I heard about what you did for me,” Guy said. “I really appreciate it. I hope it wasn’t too much trouble.”
“It was nothing,” Quint said. “I’ve tangoed with A.B.E.L. before and I’ll tango with them again. Did they catch you for questioning?”
“No,” Guy said. “I hid and I plan on staying hidden.”
“Do you need a job here?” he asked.
Guy sighed. He wanted to tell Quint the whole truth, but he remembered all the recording devices and the older man’s paranoia. He couldn’t risk it. “I heard Cain helped you protect me,” Guy replied. “Is there a chance he’ll take me back?”
“Yes,” Quint said. “And I think he has just the job for you. Why did you call me first?”
“I just wanted to feel out how smug he’s going to be that I’m coming crawling back,” Guy said.
“He will be insufferably smug,” Quint replied with a laugh. “But he’ll be grateful to have you, even if he doesn’t say it outright.”
Guy relaxed. “I’ll call him next then.” Guy hesitated before he said, “Thank you.”
“Anytime,” Quint replied. Guy could hear the smile in his voice as he continued, “I suppose I will see you soon.”
“You certainly will.”
Quint hung up and Guy followed suit. He listened for a moment and realized the water wasn’t still running. “Red?” Guy asked.
“You can use the phone again,” she shouted. “Anything to keep you from trying to molest me in the bathroom.”
Guy grinned and called Cain. Cain’s secretary answered, but after Guy said his name, the phone transferred straight to Cain. He heard construction noises in the background and wind roared into the receiver. He could barely make out Cain’s, “Hello?”
“It’s Solo,” Guy said.
Guy shouted, “It’s Solo!”
“Solo?” Cain asked. “Hold on.” He heard the sound lessen, though Cain’s voice echoed as he said, “Guy Solo?”
“Yes,” Guy said. “It’s me.”
“Back from the dead.”
“I never died,” Guy said. “Why would A.B.E.L. be looking for me if I died?”
“Good point,” Cain replied. “Then I suppose I’m just hearing you from your retirement villa.”
“It’s about that,” Guy replied. He took a deep breath and was suddenly aware of the old, sweaty clothes he wore. He exhaled and continued, “I could use a job.”
“Could you?” Cain asked.
“But I have to know,” Guy said. “Are you talking to me from the men’s room?”
“Just checking,” Guy said. “But yes, I could use a job.”
“How would you like to run my brothel?”
“I am not,” Cain said. “I never kid about brothels. A few of my night walkers have been relying on illegal substances for pleasure, and another few have been hurt by the last person who did this job for me. I know you wouldn’t hurt anyone, and I know you frown on drugs. So I’m building a hotel for them. Would you be interested in running it?”
Excitement bubbled inside of Guy. He never said he would have to wait for Nikolai alone. He thought of the lingerie scattered on beds and make-up loitering on dressers. He fantasized about checking out clients and employees and perhaps even watching them together. “Can I sleep with the hookers?”
“For their regular fee,” Cain said. “No discounts.”
“Men and women or just women?” Guy asked.
“Men and women,” Cain said, “though more women than men.”
“Will people be helping me?” Guy asked. “I don’t know how to deal with recovering drug addicts. And they are recovering, aren’t they?”
“Have them in rehab right now,” Cain said. “And, yes, you can hire several bouncers and whatever you’d like. I will give you a budget.”
“Will you give me an accountant?”
“Yes,” Cain replied. “I have someone who can help, though he will be working for me and not you, you understand.”
Red walked into the room wearing fresh clothes and towelling her hair. She kneeled and opened up her suitcase and went through it. Guy stared at the bottom of her feet.
“I understand,” Guy said. “I won’t steal all his time away then.” Guy exhaled before adding, “Thanks for this, Cain. I really appreciate it.”
“Should I ask what happened?” Cain asked.
“Took a job from the wrong man,” Guy said. “It happens.”
“And I don’t suppose you’ll tell me who the man was?”
“Nope,” Guy said. He tried to keep his voice playful as he added, “You know better than to ask.”
Cain laughed and said, “All right, all right. I appreciate your tight lips, so I won’t try to pry them apart. You’re welcome back anytime. I can set you up with a place until the hotel is ready. It’s well on its way.”
“Perfect. Thanks again,” Guy said.
Cain said, “See you soon,” and hung up.
Guy felt uneasy as he hung up as well. He wasn’t smug like Quint suggested. Red turned around and asked, “You’re all set?”
“Yeah,” Guy said, looking at her again. He thought he still saw affection in her eyes, but he didn’t feel like being warm to her.
“Are you going to be okay spying on him?” Red asked.
“Yes,” Guy said, “but I’m also going to try to keep him safe. If Cox drops any hints about harming him, I’ll be there to protect him.”
“I must remember to stay on your good side,” Red replied with a grin.
Guy stood up and stretched as he replied, “You’re always on my good side. I’m just going to shower and then catch a flight back.”
Red’s brows furrowed. “You don’t want to hang around here a bit longer?”
“Honestly, I just want to get the hell out of here,” Guy said. “Besides, it’ll be easy for me to catch a flight since I left most of my belongings at Nikolai’s anyway. It’s not like I have anything to hide when I’m going through customs.”
“You don’t want to go back to your Russian?” Red asked. “Are you sure you want to leave him on this note?”
“Yes,” Guy said. He brought up the memory of Nikolai punching him. “It’ll be easier on both of us if we’re still a little angry – or very angry, like in my case. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to be with him, but I’m not going to complain about some time apart especially if he just acted like a spoiled child.”
“All right,” Red said, though she gave him a skeptical look. “But what about your things?”
Guy shrugged. “I’ll buy new ones.”
“With what money?” Red asked.
“What can I get in exchange for sexual favours?” Guy asked with a leer.
Red rolled her eyes. “Nothing. I’ll pay for your flight, but you’ll owe me. And I expect interest.”
“Can I pay interest with sexual favours?”
“Guy Solo,” Red said. “I am not sleeping with you. Not only do you have a boyfriend, but,” Red puffed out her chest, “I have a boyfriend.”
“Well, it’s your loss,” Guy said, forcing a smile.
His head throbbed. He didn’t want to admit that he was jealous of whatever slob Red was dating, and he didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of asking about him even though he wanted to know what kind of guy could hook her. It felt like everyone he cared about was separating themselves from him.
Everyone but Cain.
“Yes, because I’ve always wanted a hairy old man grinding up against me in the middle of the night. You’re also looking heavier.”
“I hurt my ankle,” Guy said, moving into the bathroom. “I haven’t been able to exercise.”
He didn’t catch Red biting her lower lip, but he felt her hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, I was just teasing you.”
“Nothing to apologize for,” Guy said, brushing her hand off of him. “I’m getting fat, and I don’t plan on getting any fatter. Now if you’ll excuse me, I really want to shower, and I might be a while considering I have so much fat to wash.”
“Fine,” Red said, taking a step back out of the bathroom. “You know, you don’t have to take your anger out on me.”
Guy swung around to face her. “Yes,” he said, “Yes I do. Because if you hadn’t have pressured me to take money from Cox, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be back getting a hand job from a swell Russian. I wouldn’t have gotten punched in the gut and I could have-“
He could have seen Steffie for Christmas. But he didn’t want to give Red that kind of ammunition against him. He tried to remember if he talked to her about Steffie last night, but his mind was in a fog. He looked the other assassin up and down, running his eyes along her delightfully formfitting clothes that accentuated her curves. He stared into her black eyes and she stared back, her thick lips parting ever-so-slightly.
He didn’t trust her anymore. Maybe after she closed her legs to him, she decided to close off other areas as well. Had she played a part with Cox?
“You could have what?” Red finally asked.
“Nothing,” Guy said. “Never mind. I’m going to shower. If you want to hang around and escort me to the airport, I at least expect a dramatic goodbye kiss.”
The corner of Red’s mouth perked upwards. “I’ll escort you to the airport.”
And Guy shut the door to the bathroom.