Authors: Mari Carr
“Yeah,” he agreed.
“I’m hungry.” Riley rubbed her stomach and Aaron shook his head.
“What else is new?”
“Very funny. We didn’t eat much yesterday, you know. One late lunch and a couple hash browns. That was it.”
She slowly stood up and pulled on her jeans. He watched her progress, admiring her sleek, trim figure. She had curves in all the right places. He didn’t decide to follow suit and get dressed too until she was completely covered.
He smiled to himself. Riley burned hotter than a bonfire in bed. He bet he could make her forget about her hunger in less than a minute.
His stomach growled. Loudly. Shit. He was hungry too.
“Let’s hit the all-you-can-eat buffet next door,” she suggested.
“What is it with you and all-you-can-eat places?”
She looked at him as if he were stupid. “Um, hello? All. You. Can. Eat. It’s the concept I like.”
“How much do you think you can eat? Your stomach’s not much bigger than your fist.”
hungry,” she stressed.
“You always say that. Then you eat one plate of food. Seems like a waste of money to me.”
“Waste or not, that’s where we’re going.”
He shrugged. “Fine. Regardless of your eating habits, I’m pretty sure I could put a serious dent in their bar. I really
“Worked up an appetite, did you?”
“Hell yeah and I have every intention of working this meal off later. With you. In that bed. Lead the way.”
Saturday Night Special
They opened the door just as Johanna was about to knock. Aaron fought back a groan. He’d been hoping they could avoid the woman until they found Trev. So much for that fantasy.
“Where the fuck is he?” Johanna bellowed. “You said you would send him up to my room. I fucking took a bath, ate room service twice and watched ten hours of
. TBS was having a marathon. Did you hear that? TBS. Not HBO. Fucking shows were cut to ribbons and I still watched. I finally fell asleep around midnight only to wake up alone.”
“Sorry, Jo. We should have called you, but we were sort of tied up.” Riley sent Aaron a wicked grin and he had to bite his lip not to laugh at her reminder of exactly how he’d tied her up last night.
“Yeah, well. I got up, went down for breakfast and just spent the last three hours playing the slots. My eyeballs feel wiggly from watching those symbols roll by for so long. Enough is enough. Why don’t you tell me what you obviously didn’t tell me yesterday? Where the fuck is Trevor?”
Riley sighed and Aaron knew the next few minutes were bound to be uncomfortable. And potentially dangerous. He suddenly wished he had brought his weapon with him. He glanced to the left and saw Jo’s baseball bat tucked securely in the corner. A quick calculation proved he could get to it before she did, so he relaxed a bit.
“I’m afraid you aren’t going to like this.” And Riley told her the whole sordid story.
“So we’ve been trying to find him, but we just haven’t had any luck. I’m sure if he knew about the baby, he’d be back in a New York minute, begging your forgiveness and trying to make amends. You know Trev, Jo. He’s not a bad guy really. Just a little impulsive.”
Johanna didn’t reply and for a minute, Aaron was worried she was going into shock.
“Are you okay, Jo? You know, Riley and I were just about to hit the buffet next door. Why don’t you come with us? You’re eating for two now and it wouldn’t do you 111
or the baby any good to get worked up about this. I’m sure it will all still work out okay.”
“No, thank you. I’m not hungry.” Jo’s voice was calm and strong and he studied her face closely. Hell, all in all, Aaron thought she’d taken the news fairly well. She politely thanked Riley for being honest with her, calmly informed them she was going to find her husband and murder the faithless motherfucker, and then she said goodbye.
Riley and Aaron watched her retreat down the hall from the doorway of their room.
Johanna smashed the vase sitting on the table by the elevator. Minimal damage really, considering it was a jilted Johanna Blankenship they were watching.
“You thinking what I’m thinking?” Riley asked when the elevator doors closed.
“Yep,” he replied. “We’d better find Trev before she does or there won’t be any pieces of the poor man left to bury.”
“Yeah, well, even knowing that, I’m still hitting the all-you-can-eat.”
Aaron nodded. “Agreed. Let’s go.”
They were almost to the front entrance to the hotel when Johnny stumbled in the sliding doors. He looked as if he’d seen better nights. His thick dark hair was sticking up at odd angles and the bow tie on his black tuxedo lay loose around his neck.
When he spotted them, he raised his hand and called out Riley’s name. Aaron saw more than a few people in the lobby do a double take, trying to decide if they were really seeing an extremely hungover Wayne Newton.
“She quit her fucking job,” he said.
Riley nodded. “I know. We went by Swingers last night.”
There were angry tears in Johnny’s eyes as he spoke. “She wouldn’t quit to marry me and have kids, but she’ll drop that gig fast enough for some rich guy.”
“Trev’s not exactly rich,” Riley said, but Aaron placed a hand on her shoulder and shook his head.
Saturday Night Special
“All this time I thought she was addicted to the spotlight, to being a star. I understood that because she still came home to me every night. It wasn’t the job,” he said, his voice laced with agony. “It was me. I wasn’t good enough for her.”
“Oh Johnny.” Riley reached out and took his hand in hers. “I’m so sorry. Really I am. We were just going to head next door to the all-you-can-eat buffet. Why don’t you come with us? My treat.”
Johnny accepted her comfort for only a moment before he shook off her hand and raised a pointed finger at them. “I’m gonna find that asshole friend of yours and I’m gonna kill him. Kill him for stealing my Bella away from me!”
Before they could try to talk him down, he turned and stormed away.
“Wow.” Riley turned to look at him. “This sucks.”
He nodded. “Yep. Trev’s in a whole world of hurt.”
“We still hitting the buffet?”
He grasped her hand and headed for the street again. “Hell yeah.”
As they walked out of the casino, Riley’s cell phone rang.
“Hello?” she answered.
Riley frowned at the woman’s dejected tone. When she’d left Bubbles last night, the woman had been floating on air and confidence. Her voice now betrayed serious depression. “Oh shit. What’s wrong? Didn’t you get the job?”
“Oh yeah. I got it.”
“Woohoo!” Riley pulled the phone away from her ear and looked at Aaron.
“Bubbles got the stripper job.”
Putting the phone back to her ear, she started to congratulate her new friend.
“That’s awesome. I’m—”
“I got it and lost it.” Bubbles halted her rejoicing mid-sentence.
“Lost it?” She pulled the phone away again and shook her head. “She lost it.”
“How?” he asked.
“How?” she asked into the phone.
“That cunt Bella fucked me over.”
“Bella?” Riley asked.
Aaron frowned. “Bella? Is she back?”
“Apparently the cunt showed up at the club and begged for her job back this morning. That loser Louis gave it to her. He just called to tell me the lap-dance job was 114
Saturday Night Special
no longer necessary since he had his star back. I
that place last night. If you don’t count the broken chair. And the three spilled drinks. And there was the issue with my elbow and that guy’s eye, but other than that, I rocked it.”
“Is she still at the club?”
“How the hell should I know?” Bubbles yelled. “I’m not there yet.”
“I’m looking for that whore and when I find her, I’m gonna kick her scrawny ass from here to Kansas.”
“Listen, Bubbles. Why don’t you take a little while? Calm down. Aaron and I are going to the all-you-can-eat place next door to our hotel. Why don’t you come have a late lunch with us?”
“I can’t eat at a time like this. I’m too upset. I’ll get gas.”
“Well, I really think you should forget about the stripper job. If they don’t want you, then you need to just say fuck it. That manager clearly doesn’t know a good thing when he sees it. I’d be surprised if he didn’t run the club into the ground before the year’s out.”
“Yeah, you’re right. Louis is a fucking loser and an idiot to boot.”
“Exactly. Feel better?”
“No. I’m gonna go get my hair done. I need a new color. A new color always cheers me up.”
“Sounds like a good idea. Purple would look nice with your skin tone. Call me later if you want.”
“I will. Thanks, Riley.”
“What was that about?” Aaron asked.
“Bella showed up at the club this morning asking for her job back. Louis gave it to her. And gave Bubbles the boot. Apparently there were a few small mishaps.”
Aaron rolled his eyes. “Of course there were. Let me guess, she’s looking to kill Trev too?”
“Nope, she’s after Bella’s blood.”
Aaron seemed impressed. “Well, there’s a nice twist on a classic. I thought today was Trev’s day to die.”
Riley shrugged. “Apparently he’s not going down alone.” They stood outside the restaurant and paused for a minute. “We’re still going in, right?”
“There’s nothing we can do about the Trev and Bella situation right now. We still don’t know where they are. We can head back to the strip club tonight and maybe we’ll catch Trev there while Bella’s dancing. Warn him Jo’s in town and on the warpath. You realize the only reason Bella would want her job back is because Trevor lost all his winnings?”
“Jeez. You’re right. What a tool.”
Aaron nodded. “So, here’s the plan. After we do our good deed of warning Trev he’s in imminent danger, we’re locking ourselves in that hotel room, taking the phone off the hook and having wild monkey sex until the coming of the next Ice Age. And I don’t mean the movie.”
Riley laughed. “Awesome plan. Come on. Let’s go eat.”
As they entered the restaurant, the hostess led them to their table, took their drink orders and told them to help themselves to the bar.
“We’ll go monochromatic.”
“Jesus,” Aaron muttered. “Do you have to do this every time we hit one of these places?”
“It’s fun. I dibs anything that’s a shade of yellow. The Starch Special. Macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, creamed corn and a roll.”
“Riley. I’m not playing.”
Saturday Night Special
“Because you always try to stick me with green. I’m not walking down this food bar and passing up all the good stuff just so everything on my plate will match. I’m really hungry.”
Riley studied the food. “You could probably manage red. There’s spaghetti, barbeque ribs and pepperoni pizza.”
Aaron considered her suggestion. “That doesn’t sound bad, actually.”
She grinned and kissed him on the cheek.
“What was that for?”
“You always play along with me.”
He grimaced. “Your pop calls it ‘indulging you’ and he doesn’t seem to think it’s a good thing.”
“Well, in this one instance, my pop is wrong.”
They walked along the bar, getting their monochromatic meals and laughing at the strange looks they were receiving from the other diners as they debated whether certain foods were indeed red or yellow.
As they headed back to their table, they were just about to sit down when she spotted Trev and a woman she assumed was Bella sitting at a table in the corner.
“Damn. You weren’t kidding about her tits.”
Aaron looked up, confused, and followed her gaze. “Shit. Guess it’s true what they say. You always find something the minute you stop looking. You know, they don’t look happy.”
Riley snorted. “They look fucking sunburned. Jeez. Trev’s red as a beet.”
“Wonder what they’re arguing about?”
Riley grinned. “Probably pissed off because they didn’t pack sunscreen.”
Aaron sighed and set his tray of food on the table. “I guess we should go let Trev know about Jo.”
Riley looked down at her tray and shook her head. “Nope. You know what? Fuck him. I’ve wasted the first two days of my honeymoon on that dumbass and I’m hungry.
My food is warm now. If we go over there, you know as well as I do it’ll turn into some big ugly scene and my lovely macaroni and cheese will go stiff.”
Aaron crossed his arms over his chest. “Riley. Jo, Bubbles and Johnny are on the warpath. We need to warn—”
“Hey, you two! Changed my mind about the new hairdo. Eating my way into oblivion is just as good as purple hair for a pick-me-up. Let me get a plate and I’ll be right back.” They turned to watch as Bubbles sauntered up to the bar and starting piling up her plate.
“Shit,” Riley muttered. “Thank God she was looking our way. She missed seeing Bella altogether.”
“You think that will hold true when she comes back?” Aaron asked. “We’ve gotta get Bella and Trev out of here or we’re gonna have Armageddon on our hands. You remember what that clerk at Sal’s said. Those two women get in the same room together and shit gets broken. There are kids in here.”
“Okay. Listen, I’ll—”
“I decided you two were right.”
Riley looked up to see Johanna standing next to her.
“I’m eating for two and I can’t let Trev’s wandering dick endanger the life of my baby. Jerry Springer has made that point a million times on his show. I’ll go grab a plate.” She glanced down at their plates and laughed. “Doing the one-color deal, eh?”
Riley nodded numbly.
“Well, I’m not eating one color. I’m eating every color…twice. I have to think of the baby.”