Our cast grows by another person:
Josh Branston (Mixed Mutt Heritage)-He's loved Anthony for almost as long as he's known him. Anthony rescued Josh from life on the streets and brought him into the pack. Due to Josh's mixed heritage and unknown origins, his stature within the pack would be little more than tolerated if he wasn't part of Anthony's extended family and his second in command. Josh has never been jealous of the women in Anthony's life until Tory. Josh wants the passion and tenderness Anthony gave him before a huge part of his heart filled with the one woman Josh finds himself equally attracted to. Can two become three in love?
Josh cracked the pencil he held in two as he slammed it against the bar. “Anthony’s where?”
Two sets of eyes watched as Josh clenched his hands and closed his eyes. His ragged inhales emphasized his muscular chest and biceps. Anyone near him could feel the heat and anger rolling off him. Sally, the evening barkeep, and Rocky, the bouncer, moved back as Josh rose from behind the bar.
“He took off with a woman who fell in the parking lot two days ago. We’ve had a couple of phone calls from him stating he’d be in touch. Said to tell you, he’d text you when he got a chance.” Sally edged her way past Rocky.
“Come on boss,” Rocky started. He shut his mouth and swallowed hard. Josh’s glare and snarl sent blasts of cold air through out the room. “I’m tightening my lips and shutting them.” Rocky backed toward the exit leading to the office hallway and rear door.
“Stand still you two,” Josh ground out. “Why did Anthony talk to you and not me?”
“I can’t say.” Sally shrugged and looked away. “Anthony does what he wants. I don’t ask questions. I get paid to serve drinks and condoms. Rocky gets paid to keep the peace and make sure no one drives drunk.”
“I know what your jobs are. I hired you and made up your job descriptions.” Josh sighed and combed his fingers through his hair. “Get out. Go home. Tomorrow is another day.”
Sally stopped at the doorframe. “Josh, I wish I could help. But, Anthony doesn’t say much. He keeps to himself. You’re the only one he says much too.”
Rocky pointed to the shelves behind the bar. “I found your cell phone unplugged. Dead battery too. It’s charging. I hope you get a text soon.”
Rocky grabbed Sally’s wrist and pulled her through the door.
Josh leaned his elbows on the bar, burying his face in his hands. He blinked, trying to not give into the tears stinging his eyes. Frustration and angst worked intricate knots and lattice arrays in and out of his gut and up into his heart.
Raising his head, he glanced around the bar. N one remained except him. He reached below the bar.
A shot glass and a bottle of 100-year-old scotch appeared on the bar. He waved his hand and spoke. “Pour with ice.”
Two ice cubes filled the glass as the bottle rose. Its cork popped and floated down to the bar. The glass moved across the bar and caught the amber liquid as the bottle titled. Moments later the bottle settled upright next to the cork.
Josh grasped the glass, swirling its contents. He intently studied it as though he could see something. Taking a deep breath, he pressed a finger to the glass and began chanting.
“Show me what I wish to know. Let the one I seek to see know not that I watch and hear all that he does whether far or near.”
Holding the glass at eye level, Josh continuing slowly swirling the ice and scotch as he repeated his chant two more times. On the third repetition, he hissed and set the glass down. “Damn you Anthony. A friggin’ woman. You swore this time it was you and I. Just you and I.”
Josh leaned down as the view of the woman began clearing. Her shoulder length brunette hair and brown eyes belonged to only one female, Tory Griswald. The grace of her milk white shoulders and neck teased at what the rest of her looked like.
Josh grabbed his wrist to keep from flinging the glass against the wall. “He’s with her. The bitch. Why couldn’t he tell me?”
Two loud beeps echoed from the shelves. Josh watched as his hand trembled as he sat the glass down. Turning, he located where his cell phone sat, lighting up each time it beeped.
He unplugged the phone and flipped it open. It showed three text messages waited. The first referenced Anthony’s number. Knowing he shouldn’t give into his growing curiosity, Josh opened the first message.
Hon, I’m sorry about this. Tory needs me. We’ve got some unfinished business to resolve. I’ll call you in a day or two. Love you!
“Right, you love me when it’s convenient.” Josh raised his thumb ready to delete the message when the voice mail icon appeared. What could it hurt to hear what bullshit Anthony had come up with now?
Josh, I wish you’d answer your phone. Damn it stop avoiding me. I can’t explain everything in a 30-second blip. Tory’s hurt and I’m with her. Call me, please.
Josh replayed the message. He counted to ten and hit save message before reading the rest of the text messages from Anthony. A few moments later, Josh downed the contents of the shot glass and re-corked the bottle. He sat it carefully beneath the bar.
He wished Tory no harm. She’d gotten a large chunk of his heart too about the same time Anthony had gotten his portion. Both of them filled his heat though neither knew it. Maybe the time had come to fess up and see if sharing was an option.
Whoa talk about a new twist! Josh seems intent on being heard and getting his share. I'm just as curious as you to see where this leads next. Danny also appears to be in trouble and needs to gather patience. Who'll be up next is only known by the muse....she's got something cooking.
Snow fell and the temperatures have gone way cold. Time to light the fire, bundle up with your sweeties, and let the imagination fly.
Have a great weekend!