OGs:Deep Down(6)

By: Elle Aycart

“The only thing I own at the moment, besides the house Cynthia left me and my car, which is no doubt still smoking outside, is the debt from all the credit cards he’s maxed out.” She got to keep the house because, in its present disrepair, there was no equity in it, and it had flown below his radar; otherwise he would have asked for it too. She hadn’t been loaded, but after over five years of high-profile dancing gigs, she’d managed to accumulate a very nice nest egg. Or so she’d thought, until shit hit the fan and she realized Drake had made off with everything that wasn’t nailed down. The divorce settlement just delivered the killing blow. “He took me to the cleaners, but I got Sam.”

Which, in truth, was all that mattered. Sam was all she’d wanted from the divorce.

The girl exhaled the breath she’d been holding. “Thank the Lord.” Yep. She could say that again. “What about child support?”

Kyra shook her head while her friend stifled a curse. “He won’t be paying any. That was his prerequisite for agreeing to give me sole custody.”

“Fucking scumbag.”

True, but she’d rather get zip from said scumbag and have him out of their lives than push for child support and have him issuing demands on their daughter because of it.

She tried taking a deep breath. She’d hoped that once the angst of losing Sam to Drake had disappeared, she would be able to breathe again, but it hadn’t totally worked. Mainly because stripped of all her savings and possessions, with her shoulder still injured and her career and reputation in the gutter, she wasn’t sure how she was going to provide for her daughter.

As a child who had made do with very little for the first decade of her life, she needed a big buffer around her, the kind only money gave, to feel secure.

“I told you,” Angie said. “We should have gone with plan A.”

Kyra waved at her. “Don’t be silly. What do we know about snuffing people? We would have needed a pro, and those don’t come cheap.”

“In this case it would have been cheaper,” Angie muttered. “Not to mention we would have done humankind a favor.”

On that one, Angie was most likely right.

Kyra leaned forward and softly thumped her forehead on the counter.

God, what a mess. She was dead broke and stuck in Alden. In Alden of all places.

She’d rather be in freaking Fallujah preaching gender equality than here.

She’d moved back to Alden because she’d had nowhere else to go and little money to get there. Still, she’d counted on having enough cash after the divorce to be able to repair the house she’d inherited from her foster mother and sell it for some profit. Now, though, not only didn’t she have enough money for repairs, but she could barely cover next week’s utilities bills.

It looked like she was going to be doing some extreme couponing the likes of which her late grandmother would have been proud.

As she banged her head on the counter, she heard Angie call out, “Hit us, hard. Emergency here.”

“Got you.” In a second the bartender was placing a shot glass and a plate with a huge piece of chocolate cake in front of her.

Both girls looked at the counter, stunned, then at the bartender, who, out of nowhere, had produced a can of whipped cream and was shaking it.

“What? You said it was an emergency, right? That’s how we handle those around here,” she stated, spraying an insane amount of whipped cream over the slice while with the other hand she poured a shot of bourbon in the glass without spilling a drop. “Death by Chocolate, a 1000-calorie-per-bite cake reserved purely for emergencies. I’m Red, by the way.”

“Nice to meet you, Red. I’m Kyra; this is Angie.”

“Cracking your head won’t help. And I told you water wouldn’t cut it. This, on the other hand, will hit all the spots. Trust me, I’ve gone through three divorces. I know exactly what I’m talking about.”

Three divorces? Red didn’t look much older than thirty.

As if reading her mind, she added, “What can I say, I’m an optimist and I started young. By the time I’m fifty, Elizabeth Taylor won’t have nothing on me. Now pick your poison.”

Kyra eyed the glass warily. She wasn’t too fond of booze, so she chose the plate. “This is going to go straight to my ass.”

“Shut up. Your ass is phenomenal.”

She wasn’t so sure, but at the moment, with her life in shambles, a big butt was the least of her worries.

She was in a not so classy strip joint about to stuff her face with chocolate cake and whipped cream. Of possibly dubious origin. She was reaching new lows.