Chapter 47

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She shuffles the papers, neatly placing them into a pile and then tapping the bottom of that pile on the desk, then checking the evenness of the stack before lying it down, only to pick it up again just moments later and begin the process anew.

Her distractions from the pointless task were frequent; check ins, checkouts, phone calls, guest inquiries. But in the few moments of idleness she found she shuffled the papers. Anything at all to keep her hands busy to stop them shaking and her mind occupied to stop it wandering.

She shook with fear and thought of the events of the day before. The panic, the terror, the blood.

"The couple in room 746 have a gunshot wound that needs your attention."

She snapped her head up so quickly that a sharp pain shot up the back of it. She was too disturbed by what the bellboy had said to pay it any attention.


With an exasperated sigh he repeated himself.

"The couple, in room 746, have a loose bed frame that needs your attention."

She shut her eyes in relief but quickly opened them again upon realizing what a mistake that was, for burly men and pools of blood were all that played behind her eyelids. She spoke carefully to her coworker who looked to be questioning her sanity.

"Bed frame. Okay. I'll send someone up right away."

She set her mind on the task and accomplishing it, thinking of outrageous and unnecessary way to accommodate the problem with the very simple solution of tightening a few bolts. By the time she finished the bolts were tightened, the guests were comped a free night's stay and given tickets to a show, and every room on their floor was checked for the soundness of the bed frames.

By the time her shift as concierge ended her colleagues were more than ready to see her go. She rode quietly in the red bus, dozing off with her head resting against the cool glass of the window, but jerking awake with a start whenever her dreams became images of him covered in blood. The only sound sleep she'd had that day was when lying in bed next to him, holding him embarrassingly tightly. That thought disturbed her almost as much as everything else.

The loud music and chatter in the bar was more than welcome to her mind; it was far easier to forget the day before in this atmosphere than in the quiet of the hotel lobby. And here she could drink. A round of tequila shots bought by a guest for all her friends of course meant that the bartender had to oblige. So did the vodka shots, and the melon ball shots, and so by the time men came in and insisted she pour herself a glass of whatever they were having, she was more than game to do so.

By the time she downed her fourth glass of scotch and chased it with a shot of Patrón she was feeling warm and content, albeit a little unsteady on her feet. Her hands were shaking for a different reason now as she lifted the suddenly heavy glass bottles and tried to pour their contents into little glasses. Liquor was spilled, and as Matt watched her from a little further down the bar his surprise was only bested by his irritation.

"What the hell is going on with you?"

He asked as he took her arm and led her back into the kitchen.

"We can't leave the bar people!"

She admonished him and made a feeble attempt to get past him and back out on the floor. His arm stopped her from going, and pinned her back against the wall. She rolled her eyes and huffed, her breath hit him in the face, smelling of alcohol strong enough to start a fire on its on.

"What the fuck have you been drinking?"

"I don't know!"

"I believe that."

H. A Harry Styles A.U.Where stories live. Discover now