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BEING STUBBORN AND TEARS
"Fancy seeing you here Miss Ellis"
Brittany Ellis immediately buried her face in her hands and swore under her breath and without even looking at him she dismissed him
"Leave me alone Zachary"
"Oh this must be serious" he chuckled sitting down next to her "It's not every day you call me by my full government name"
"I said leave me alone" Brittany grumbled again still refusing to look at him
Zachary Detweiler gently wrapped his hand around one of Brittany's wrists and pulled it away from her face. Instead of the bright smiley face that he was usually greeted by; he was met with a face full of tears. Tears streaked down her round brown cheeks and her chin. Her eyes were red from crying and she was on her third drink now.
"Zach please just go away" she begged looking down refusing to meet his eyes
"Look at me Brittany" he said gently but firm at the same time
Zach waited until Brittany finally gave in and met his eyes
"Talk to me Britt; what did he do?"
Brittany frowned at Zach "What makes you think it's about a guy?"
"Most women don't come to the bar by themselves on a Friday night" he said, "that's ladies' night; also they don't drink alone who is going to be driving you home Miss Ellis?"
"I'm not most women" she said stubbornly "I'm a fucking black woman named Brittany for Christ's sakes!"
"Oh I know you're not" Zach replied "and you're a very beautiful Brittany by the way you don't have to be some blonde bimbo to be one"
"Whatever" Brittany rolled her eyes and was getting ready to raise her hand to order another drink, but Zach put it down
"I think you've had enough to drink Britt"
"I don't care what you think"
"I care about you Brittany Nicole" Zach said sincerely "and I'm sitting with you here right now; where's Terrance?"
More tears slid down Brittany's face and that was all the answer that Zach needed
"I want you to tell me why you're shedding tears over him"
"Zach please.....it's nothing"
"Tell me Britt"
"It can't be stupid if it has you this upset" Zach said "I don't like seeing you like this Brittany"
"I don't care"
"So are we going to be doing this back and forth all night?"
"I didn't expect to see you in here tonight"
"Well surprise, surprise Miss Ellis"
Brittany rolled her eyes which earned a chuckle out of Zach.
"It's not funny"
"I'm just teasing a little Britt; I'm trying to help you feel better"
"I don't like it" she said trying to get up "I'm leaving"
Brittany immediately started wobbling on her feet like a newborn giraffe but Zach was there to hold her steady.
"After all those drinks you're not going anywhere for a while Miss Ellis" he said helping her sit back down "why don't we let that alcohol sit and settle for a few minutes and then I'll take you home"
"You're not taking me anywhere Zachary" Brittany managed to slur out
"Not right now at least" Zach partly agreed with her "just calm down okay"
Brittany tried to at least swivel her chair around to look away from him; but Josh wasn't having that shit either.
"It's going to be a long night if you keep ignoring me" he said
"Didn't you come in here for something else though?" Brittany asked
"Changed my mind" Zach replied "you're more important"
Brittany unconsciously bit her lower lip and tried to ignore him; but like a buzzing mosquito he wouldn't let up.
"I already know you're here because of Terrance" he said "but why here?"
"Because I can"
"I mean you could but the Brittany I know doesn't drown herself in alcohol"
"Well this Brittany is" she said stubbornly reaching out to take another swig but Zach stopped her again.
"My Brittany would probably sit by her favorite window and strum her guitar----"
"I don't have my guitar anymore" she cut him off sadly
"What?" Zach's ears perked up at that "what do you mean you don't have your guitar anymore?"
"No stop being stubborn Brittany" he said firmly "tell me what happened to your guitar"
"Tell me Britt"
"....Terrance made me sell it" she confessed
"It's no big deal Zach"
"Yes the fuck it is" he said gruffly "I knew that piece of shit was the reason why you were upset"
"Like I said it was no big deal" Brittany insisted even though she was lying through her teeth "it was hard times my hours at work were being cut and Terrance had been unemployed for months and we were almost about to be evicted"
"So your nine hundred dollar guitar was going to make or break the rent?" Zach asked "I find that extremely hard to believe Brittany"
"It did help us"
"Bullshit" Zach concluded "sounds to me like he wanted to hurt you by making you do that"
"It did help us Zachary"
"For what Brittany? Probably two months at best"
"I want to forget about it"
"Well I don't" Zach replied "what else did he do? He's already on my shit list so you might as well tell me"
"Terrance broke up with me and kicked me out" Brittany confessed "that's why I want to forget"
"Well I'm glad he cut you off you were too good for him" Zach said bluntly "I want to know why he kicked you out because last time I checked that tow house is yours too"
"I have a place lined up---"
"Brittany that's not what I asked you why Terrance kicked you out?"
"You're looking at me aren't you?" she said sarcastically
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"What do you see Zach?"
Zach did look at Brittany and he felt his heart tug at the sight of her. She was beautiful she really was. With her curves and smooth chocolate skin and burgundy red locs. Her heart shaped face, puffy kissable lips, and eyes the deepest brown he had ever seen.
"I see a beautiful woman" he said sincerely "I really mean that Britt"
"That's what you really see?" Brittany asked both sarcastically and sadly
"Yes Brittany that's really what I see"
".....yeah well that's not what Terrance sees" she said sadly "all he sees is a fat black bitch when he looks at me"
"Brittany that's not true---"
"Terrance cheated on me"
"He cheated on me" she repeated "with some skinny white chick with porn start tits"
More tears sprang from Brittany's eyes. Zach swore the more tears she shed over that asshole the more he wanted to just chuck him in the grave without a casket.
"....she was pretty" she continued to say "I can see why Terrance was running around with her"
"Don't say that Britt" Zach said gently rubbing her arm "I've seen one white chick with huge tits I've seen them all; I'm sure that she was very average and doesn't compare to you"
"........but I loved Terrance though" Brittany whispered "I thought he loved me too"
"He didn't love you Brittany" Zach said "if he did he wouldn't have made you sell your guitar nor would he be out here sticking his dick any some other woman besides you"
Brittany turned away from Zach embarrassed again but he wasn't having any of that and turned her back to him.
"Are you clean?" he asked bluntly
"You know what I'm talking about Britt" Zach said "you get tested? I doubt Terrance decided to wrap it up"
"Oh" she realized what he meant "I got tested thankfully I didn't catch anything from him; then again we haven't fucked in three months"
"Are you pregnant?"
Brittany threw Zach an annoyed look and he gave her a straight look and asked, "Well are you?"
"Obviously I'm not or why would I be out drinking?"
"Could be early" Zach pointed out "doesn't it usually take six weeks to find out?"
"My period just went off three days ago" Brittany said "there was no baby in my uterus just extra tissue that needed to be shed for the month"
Zach found himself gazing down at Brittany's belly and a feeling of relief waved over him. For reason the thought of his usually reserved college friend being pregnant by that loser made him pissed and just a little green with envy.
"So no sexually transmitted disease and no pregnancy" Zach said "I'd say you're scot free Miss Ellis you never have to deal with that asshole again"
"Then why do I feel like shit?" she asked sadly
Before Zach could answer her the lights in the bar flicked on and off; signaling guests that it was getting close to shut down for the evening. Looking at the wall clock it was almost one in the morning.
Brittany was getting up to leave when Josh once again caught her arm and guilt was written all over her sweet face.
"Don't look so surprised" he teased her a little "you might be quick Miss Ellis but I'm quicker"
"Zach I need to go"
"Where are you going to go?" he asked concerned now "we just spent the last hour or so talking about how your dickhead of a boyfriend kicked you out"
"It's not your problem Zach"
"Too bad I made it my problem"
"Well unmake it your problem then"
Zach couldn't help but chuckle at little at that. Brittany had always been as stubborn as a bull; sometimes to her own detriment but it was good to see Terrance had beaten that will out of her. Based on their bar conversation though the bastard took a hit to her esteem.
"No can do Britt" Zach said "I care about you too much"
"I don't care"
"Well we just established that I do" he said going into protective alpha mode "I'm going to take you back to my place tonight so you at least have somewhere to lay your head"
"You can leave in the morning if you want but I'll be damned if I let you just walk off into the night drunk with no place to go"
Brittany bit her lower lip she knew she wasn't going to win this argument. Zach stood up and wrangled his truck keys into his pocket and held out her jacket.
Zach frowned a little at the embarrassed tone in her voice
"Look at me Brittany"
She did and when he saw all of the shame, hurt, and sadness in her eyes
"It's okay" he reassured "you know it's no judgement with me"
Suddenly there was a very loud growl from Brittany's stomach. A hungry growl.
"Let's get you something to eat on the way back"
"What's open right now?"
"Oh Britt come on" Zach insisted "you used to always love getting a burger from Pita's"
"I'll get you a milkshake" he bribed her
".....salted caramel with Oreo crumbs?"
"All the Oreo crumbs you want"
"That changed your mind real fast"
"I only want the milkshake....and maybe some fries too"
"Whatever you say Britt" he chuckled "whatever you say"
"Do your fries taste better that way?"
"Yes it's the prefect blend of savory and sweet"
"Kind of like you?"
Zach knew he threw Brittany off with that teasy compliment because she gave him an annoyed look and she said "Don't push your luck Detweiler"
Zach smiled as Brittany went back to her salted caramel Oreo milkshake and fries. She had insisted on not getting a burger like he did but he brought her one anyway and placed it in his fridge for her to eat tomorrow.
The two of them were sitting cozy at the little island table in Zach's kitchen eating their hot greasy comfort food at now almost two in the morning.
"I got some sweatpants and an old T-shirt you can change into to lay down" he said
"You sure about that? I can imagine it wouldn't be comfortable sleeping in that sweater dress"
"Well, nobody's asking you to imagine that Zach"
"I care about you being comfortable Britt"
"I don't plan on staying long enough to be comfortable"
"I think Terrance has really did a number on you"
"Yeah, well life happens"
"So, a man regularly cheating on his faithful girlfriend and making her sell one of her most prized possessions is life just happening?"
Brittany didn't say anything because she knew Zach had a point but her pride was getting the best of her and she was in fact very embarrassed by that as well.
"......for me it is"
"It shouldn't be Brittany and I know that you know that"
"What would you be doing right now if you hadn't picked me up from the bar tonight?" Brittany asked changing the subject
"What would I be doing?"
"Yes, Zach don't make me repeat myself"
"I'm going to be honest with you Britt probably a few things" he said balling up his burger wrapper "I would either sitting on my couch with a pizza and few Heinekens, watching the Flyers game that I recorded earlier this week, fine tuning my guitar strings---"
"So you wouldn't be fucking some random chick you would have picked up at the bar tonight?"
Zach raised his eyebrows at Brittany's blunt question
"Is that what you think of me Brittany?"
"Zach cut the bullshit" she rolled her eyes "you were the hottest member of our band there wasn't a pair of panties that you didn't collect when we were in school"
"You got me" he admitted "I probably would be balls deep in some woman whose name I wouldn't even remember in the morning"
Zach sensed the slight hint of jealousy under Brittany's response, and he decided to mess with her
"I'm sensing a little jealousy Miss Ellis"
"You're sensing whatever you want to sense Detweiler"
"Could be but you also called me hot too"
"I was speaking objectively"
"Okay" Zach chuckled letting her win that argument "you know I love your sarcasm so much"
Brittany opened her mouth to respond but a yawn came out instead
"You. Sweatpants. Flyers t-shirt. Now. Before you fall asleep at the counter" he instructed
"I'm not a Flyers fan" Brittany argued "I don't even watch hockey"
"You know it's time to lay down when you make childish arguments" Zach said "you're tired Brittany not sure why you're fighting it"
"I'm leaving in the morning" she declared
"It is morning silly" Zach chuckled helping her up and walking her to his bedroom to change "I think you meant later"
Once Zach got Brittany the bedroom door she stubbornly stood in place as if she wasn't going to go inside and change.
"Are you going to change?"
"You need help changing?"
"No" Brittany replied "why would you help me change?"
"I'm trying to be helpful" Zach said sincerely "besides I'm under the impression that you're too tired and drunk to change"
"No I'm not"
"Okay well then prove it"
"I already said that I'm not doing it"
"Then I guess I'm doing it then" he said "sit down so I can take your boots off"
Zach gently pushed Brittany down to the edge of his bed and she plopped down reluctantly
"I didn't say you could do that" she managed to say through yawns and slurred words
"I took it upon myself Miss Ellis" he replied kneeling in front of her and lifting up one of her legs to unzip one of her boots
It took a second for Brittany to really realize what Zach was doing and she suddenly felt extremely vulnerable and embarrassed.
"Zach.... Zach...you don't have to---"
"I got you Britt" he said sincerely "you know that"
"Did Terrance ever take care of you like this when you were drunk?"
Brittany was speechless for once she had nothing to say and Zach filled the awkard silence
"I'm going to take that as a no" he said gently placing down one of her legs for the other "what kind of a man doesn't take care of his woman when she's drunk?"
Brittany wanted to object but she was distracted by how good she felt being pampered by Zach but it also felt very intimate. Do platonic friends usually do this with each other?
"I'm going to spare you the awkwardness of taking off your pantyhose" he said breaking her thoughts "they look thin enough that you can just slide into my sweatpants"
Zach held out the grey sweatpants and helped Brittany into them one leg at a time.
"Need help with the upper half?"
"Yes Zach I don't need you seeing my breasts" she said bluntly finding herself blushing a little
"I'm sure your breasts are lovely Britt" he teased sensing her embarrassment "I going to step out for a minute, okay?"
Brittany waited for Zach to close the door before she started to stand up to pull her sweater dress up from over her head. She noticed themirror that was on the back of the closet door and walked over to it.
Unhooking her bra Brittany felt the instant relief of freeing her breasts feeling them relax.
Looking at herself in the mirror Brittany had to face why she didn't want Zach seeing her this way; aside from her breasts there was still the nasty scar that lay in between them. The scar that Terrance gave her.
"You alright in there Britt?"
".... I'm fine"
"You got my shirt on yet?"
Brittany quickly scrambled to put the bright orange t-shirt on and was able to cover herself just as Zach opened the door again. For some reason Brittany felt all mushy inside as if she were a little girl with her first crush versus a grown woman with experience with men; but that's how Zach was making her feel.
"You look cute in my shirt" Zach said "even though you aren't a hockey fan"
".... thanks I guess"
"I was going to pull out my air mattress but it's getting late like almost three in the morning late"
"You can just sleep in my bed then" Zach said closing the bedroom door
"......but where will you sleep?" Brittany asked
"Well it is my bed---"
"I'm not sleeping with you"
"Why not?" Zach asked "we used to fall asleep next to each other on our tour bus"
"Oh? What were you thinking?"
Zach gave Brittany a knowing smile and then said seriously "I don't think that this is the right circumstance for us to have sex"
"I wasn't thinking that"
"Sure you weren't"
Zach pulled back the covers allowing Brittany to climb onto his king size bed. Brittany was too proud to admit that the bed was very comfy, and the scent was very relaxing and reminded her so much of him. Just as she was getting comfy Brittany saw Zach pulling his shirt off and stripping down to just his Flyers pajama pants.
A blush creeped up under her cheeks as she couldn't help but to check her friend out. Zachary Detweiler really was hot; the man didn't have an ounce of body of fat on him.
"Comfy?" he asked as he climbed in the bed next to her
"Relax Brittany you're safe here I promise"
"You've been saying that all night but you don't sound convinced"
"I don't want to talk about it"
"Well, the beautiful thing about that is you don't have to" Zach said sincerely "you can just go to sleep"
Brittany laid her head down deep into the pillow and continued slurring her words
"....can just go to sleep"
"I missed you too doll face"
Watching Brittany fight her eyelids was adorable, but it was a fight she wasn't going to win. She had to be tired if she was willing to admit that she missed him. After all that happened tonight he was glad that he ran into her.......she clearly needed him.
Eventually Zach did hear Brittany's soft even breathing telling him that she had in fact fallen asleep. Leaning in close he kissed her on the forehead and gently stroked her cheek.
"I got you Britt" he whispered "I got you"