forty-seven

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HARRY

"Hey, Harry, can we talk about something?"

I stopped as soon as Ryan spoke, turning my head to glance at him. "Sure, what is it?"

Ryan cleared his throat. "Do you think we could talk about it... alone?" He asked, looking at Raine and I frowned, but decided to go for it anyway.

"You can go outside, Raine," I told her, pointing to the door on the other side of the room, hoping that the back of the building was empty enough to make sure nobody would've bothered her. "I'll be out soon."

"Are you sure?" She asked, tilting her head, not seeming to like the idea, and I nodded.

"Sure, I'll be right out."

"Okay, then," she replied, taking her phone from the table and walking away, soon disappearing into the crowd.

I looked at Ryan. "What did you want to talk about?"

He shrugged. "Just wanted to check up on you and all, you know," he mumbled, the odd statement not going unnoticed.

"Why's that?" I asked, narrowing my eyes at him. I crossed my arms, frowning, trying to ignore the suspiciousness that had just overcome me, telling myself I was seeing things that weren't there.

"No reason, really," he replied, "I know things haven't been easy with your brother passing away and all."

I clenched my teeth, a tight feeling into my chest. "My brother passed away years ago," I muttered slowly, tasting the bitterness of every syllable as it left my mouth.

I'd never liked pointless conversations, and it looked like that one was just that. It didn't make sense for him to ever be concerned. We weren't that kind of friends. We just used to get together and do stupid shit, that was how it'd always been between us. Talking wasn't us, and it especially wasn't Ryan.

"I know, it really sucks."

I raised an eyebrow at the emotionless statement. The longer he went on, the more I felt like he was circling the topic he was actually interested in, and it annoyed me.

Just get to it, for fuck's sake.

"I know you don't like my friends much since then, but you know, it's good money," he continued. "If you ever need a side job, that is."

I pursed my lips at the offer. "I've told you I'm not interested multiple times" I replied glacially. If there was one thing I hated, it was to have people wasting my time. There was no reason for that useless conversation to even exist.

"Yeah, I know," he said with a sigh, looking at me attentively in the puzzling illumination of the place. "I've always considered you a friend, Harry, you know."

"Okay?" Get to it.

"I'm sorry, Harry."

I raised an eyebrow, disoriented by the sudden change. "What for?"

He shrugged. "It's a lot of money, what can I say? I have bills to pay too."

Sudden dread washed over me as I started to understand what he was hinting at. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"I was paid a lot to separate you two tonight."

I furrowed my eyebrows, my mind going silent for a few instants. "What..." I murmured, shaking my head, but I shut up right away. "Raine."

Ryan sighed. "It's nothing personal, Harry."

"Fucking asshole," I spat, immediately throwing myself into the crowd, pushing away whoever blocked my path as I fought my way to the exit.

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