Open barMature

He leaves the student to her thought.Thoughts,even,and walks over to Melanie in the nonchalant,intimidating,lazy swagger that he's perfected over the years.

She holds the door open a little wider for him,"Was that really needed?"

"Whats that now?"he answers her question with another,looking bemused and staring at the door just beside her head,avoiding her eyes.

"Telling that poor chav your life story.You don't like to hear it,why do you think other people do?"

"Some people are masochists."he answers, glancing into her eyes and grinning slyly.

"Most people aren't."she smiles back disarmingly,dispelling any frustration attempting to light his short fuse.

Silently he follows the last of the press through to the open bar room.It's another large,neutrally painted hall,just with a bar at one end.They call it a bar,but really it's just a long table covered in an absorbent white table cloth.Under the table is a large supply of bottles,hidden from the general public by the tablecloth.If they were charging for the booze,the bottles would almost definitely be better secured,but seeing as it's a free bar,the staff must think it saves them a bit of effort if customers nick the bottles and open them themselves,a fact Henry has already taken advantage of.Stealing free booze,low.

There are no chairs in the room,to encourage people to `mingle`,supposedly.This just means that there are more people standing between Henry and his next drink,a dangerous place to be.But Melanie has followed him into the room,so he decides to be on his best behaviour,merely nudging the people that are reluctant to step out of his way.

Eventually he reaches the bar,gripping the edge of the table then slowly opening his arms,shoving people gently so there's room for him and Melanie to stand side by side.

Frustratingly,despite him creating plenty of room,she still excuses herself with words dripping with sweetness as she steps past a stranger into the space.

"Double jack and coke,and a couple of bottles of Fosters twist,please."he grumbles to the tall man wearing a crisp white shirt and bow tie.He looks less than pleased at being made to work."What you having?"

Melanie is sweet talking yet another member of the press,and he can tell from the look in her eyes when she turns around that she would rather be elsewhere."Archers and lemonade please."she smiles,then turns back to the eager man.

 "I heard."the bartender speaks just before Henry,slamming two bottles on the tabletop.

"Good."he growls back,staring at the floor.

A few moments later,he has four drinks infront of him.He empties one bottle near instantly,then Melanie turns to him,finished with the man for now.She thanks him and takes a dainty sip from her own drink.

"Enjoying your guests company?"Henry asks,barely looking up from the floor.

"Not particularly,but I have to try to keep them sweet,better publicity for my trip.Better for me."she sounds more than a little bored.

"Whatever you say."he barely turns it head to look at her,instead staring into his rapidly emptying bottle.

"Drunk already?"she asks in a tone of voice that says 'I know better than you,I know you better than you,but don't hate me for it'.

In response he necks the remainder of his bottle,then takes a generous swig from his Jack Daniels and coke.He still doesn't raise his head.

"Come on now,you're brooding.You only ever brood when you're drunk.What's the matter?"

It occurs to the increasingly intoxicated Henry that she sounded amused when she asked him what was wrong.To be fair,it was probably just him hearing things whilst drunk.

He had about half a second to mull on this before he heard Melanie call out to someone.This time she sounded honestly happy,and this annoyed Henry even more,because he knew who she was so happy to see.

"Nathan!"she leaves her glass on the bar and steps forward to hug the handsome man who's just pushed through the crowd behind Henry.

Nathan Keilly,journalist,trendsetter,dickhead.He was an old flame of Melanies,they broke up about six months ago,leaving her in a very poor state.She'd been depressed for weeks,refusing to work,refusing to do anything.But like any strong woman she'd bounced back,concentrating solely on her work and ignoring any possible contact with the opposite sex.

What pissed Henry off more than anything was the fact that she still treated Nathan like nothing had happened.He'd broken her heart,and still she reacted like this whenever she saw him.

"Hi,Melanie."he embraces her gently,it looks false,but she can't see that.

"I'm so glad you came,I'm sure we can arrange an exclusive or something."she smiles impishly.

Henry downs his Jack and coke,then orders two more.The guy cheated on her,several times,and she's still offering him favours.

"Well I couldn't miss my favorite girls big press conference before she left the country,now could I."even his voice sounds slimy.

"I am coming back you know."she still has that smile on her face.

"I'll look forward to it."his eyes glint."Hey,Henry,long time no see.There's no need to be quiet and uncomfortable around us,we're fine with each other."he slaps a clammy hand on Henrys broad shoulder.

"Don't worry,it's not that."he swallows the last of his drink,then pulls a smoke from his pocket and lights it,breathing a thick cloud of smoke over the bar.He doesn't turn around to speak to Nathan,"It's the fact that I hate you.A lot."

"Be nice."Melanie hisses and slaps him on the arm.

"It's alright Mel,at least he's honest.I like a drunk who speaks his mind."Nathan speaks calmly,but anyone who can hear him can hear the edge in his voice.

Henry downs another glassful,then stands straight and turns to face Nathan.The slimy journo tilts his head back to stare into the taller mans dark eyes.The light bouncing off the stuff on top of Nathans head which looks more gel than human hair,gives Henry a headache.Or maybe it's all that booze.Nah,must be the light.

"I'm going to get some air."he growls.

Nathan flinches slightly as the big man talks.He doesn't move as Henry raises his hand,pointing the fag at the journalists chest.Slowly,deliberately,he stabs it forward,then rubs it against Nathans immaculate suit,stubbing it out.

He drops the crumbled filter on Nathans shoe,then walks through him to the door.Melanie calls after him,sounding a little concerned and very pissed off.For the first time in a fair while,he ignores her.

The End

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