OGs:Deep Down(5)

By: Elle Aycart

She made her way to the phone and then punched Angie’s number. Voice mail. Which, all things considered, was good because with all the noise around, she wasn’t sure she would have heard squat. Yelling, she left a message explaining what had happened with her car and asked Angie to pick her up.

She contemplated waiting for her outside but rejected the idea. She didn’t know how long it would take her friend to arrive, and Kyra did better in noisy, boisterous environments, especially now that she didn’t want to be alone with her thoughts.

“What can I get you?” the bartender asked as Kyra sat on a stool by the counter.

“Water, please.”

The bartender, a short, curvy woman with fire-red, short hair sticking out every which way, brought her the water and, leaning on the counter, studied her for a long second. “What is it, hon? Man trouble? Job trouble? Money trouble? Apartment trouble? Car trouble?”

Kyra grimaced. “All of the above? Add shitty divorce settlement to the bunch, and you’ve hit jackpot.”

“Oh my. You’re going to need something stronger than water, then.”

No shit. Like a mega do-over on her entire life. Pity her fairy godmother seemed too busy to come lend a hand. “Thanks, water is fine.”

Besides, she wasn’t sure she could afford anything more expensive than water. And how sad was that?

As if on reflex, she rubbed her left shoulder, the dull ache a painful reminder of the past months. Half a year ago she’d been at the height of her career as lead dancer and choreographer for one of the biggest pop stars of the century. She had a very successful Broadway show under her belt and many seasons as a professional dancer for an extremely popular TV show.

Now? Now she probably couldn’t work a pole. Which was a damn irony, because in another lifetime that was what she’d done for a short while before landing her first big break.

Refusing to dwell on what she’d lost, Kyra entertained herself watching the bartender mix drinks.

Angie must have been already waiting for her in the diner and heard the message right away, because in no time Kyra spotted her entering the strip club and darting toward her.

“You know,” she started nonchalantly, gesturing to center stage, “if you’re going to end up in a strip joint the same day of your divorce, you should make sure it’s one called Dicks Out, not Bottoms Up.”

“Ha-ha. Bite me.”

“Just saying.” She gave Kyra a once-over, as if assessing whether she was in one piece, and then hugged her. “How bad was it?”

Both knew they weren’t talking about her car.

Kyra shrugged. “I got through it.” As she got through everything else: by gritting her teeth, manning up, and enduring it. It hadn’t been a fun pill, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it could have been worse. Much, much worse.

“You should have let me come with you,” Angie reprimanded her as she sat beside her. “For moral support if nothing else. Well, and mechanical too.”

Kyra shook her head. She’d single-handedly gotten herself into that mess; she damn well was getting herself out of it without help.

“I couldn’t have you canceling on your patients.”

“Yes, you could have. Some of those women are nuts, true, but it isn’t as if I have anyone on suicide watch. Although wait until Barry, our expert on Botox, goes on vacation. I foresee mayhem and massive hysteria.”

Angie was in charge of mental health care at the spa/beauty clinic attached to the Lake Club Resort, an upscale hotel several miles from Alden that catered to those who wanted to relax with golf and to their wives or lovers who’d prefer to spend their time pampering themselves in the spa or getting some Botox, or playing some tennis. Or banging the instructor, as more often than not was the case. An all-around vacation spot for the bold and the beautiful where gossip and sporadic hookups ran rampant.

“No need. Everything went according to plan.” According to plan B. Because after what had gone down with Drake, plan A—and by far the most popular with Angie—had been to shoot the bastard and hide the body. She’d even picked a spot behind the nine hole.

“So I take it he accepted the deal, right?” Angie asked impatiently. “Did you get sole custody?”

Kyra let out a humorless laugh. Did she get sole custody? Bought him off would be more accurate.

The fact that her ex was such a dickhead she could actually buy him off relieved and saddened her in equal parts.

She’d known from the start he was going to fight her on the custody issue, not because he was a stellar father who wanted his daughter around, but because he knew he could use Sam as leverage. And use her as leverage he did. Their daughter had been the greatest bargaining chip.