Daddy's Here(10)By: Lucy Wild
“It’s a shithole,” the barman replied with a shrug.
“You don’t know me,” I snapped, getting annoyed with how cocky he was.
“I know you’ve run away from home and you don’t want to go back. That’s why you faked the phone call. I know you left in a hurry and that’s why you’re sat here without a decent coat. I know you’re worried and you’re trying to drown out that worry by getting drunk. I know you’re not very sensible or else you wouldn’t have needed rescuing from those scumbags.”
“I didn’t need rescuing!”
“I suppose you would have been happy to be fucked by the three of them at once, that your kind of thing, is it?”
“I’m not that type of girl. We were just having fun, that’s all.”
“I think you’ve a different idea of fun to men like that.”
“Is that what it is? You want sex? I’m not looking for sex, you dirty old man.”
“Why are you here, then?”
I scowled at him, he was the most irritating man I’d ever met. “For your information I am on my way to see the love of my life.”
He paused for the briefest of seconds, long enough to prove I’d thrown him. There was something Mr Prediction hadn’t predicted. “You are?” He raised his eyebrows, as if he thought I was lying.
“So you’re in love?”
“But you’re still happy to be picked up by three guys at once?”
I lunged at him, trying to push him off his stool. My hand bounced back off him and I lost my balance, slipping from the stool and thumping down to the floor.
“Smooth,” he said, leaning down to offer me a hand.
“I can get myself up,” I replied, batting his hand away.
“Course you can,” he said, taking my hand and gripping it tightly. “You don’t need any help at all.”
“Well,” I replied, feeling him pull me to my feet, seemingly with no effort at all on his part. “I don’t.”
The water he’d given me had been overpowered by the wine inside me. I swooned slightly against the bar, the walls beginning to spin as I felt nausea washing over me. “I think I’m going to be sick,” I muttered, staggering for the bathroom. “Excuse me.”
I made it into the ladies, landing on my knees in the nearest cubicle. I sat there feeling at my absolute worst, looking down into the bowl and wondering just how much wine I’d had. It wasn’t enough to make me feel like this, was it? Had those guys put something in my drink? Had he? Had he put a pill in my water? Would I have noticed?
It would explain why I felt like death, my insides churning as I sat there, heat crawling across my skin, my nerves shot. I closed my eyes, my head slumping downwards. I didn’t want to pass out. He was still out there and I didn’t trust him. But a second later, it happened anyway.
I woke up the next morning to find her gone from the bedroom. That was unexpected. Everything else had gone how I’d expected. I’d dragged her out of the toilet with the help of the barman, finding her unconscious in there. “Drugs?” he asked, looking at her slumped form on the floor.
“Too much drink too young,” I replied, checking she was still alive. She was. That made life easier. I hefted her over my shoulder, carrying her caveman style out onto the street, leaving the barman with a warning to keep his mouth shut. The twenty I’d given him would help with that. I didn’t need the local police investigating, it would just complicate things.
The three men I’d thrown out were visible in the distance, arguing with the doorman of another bar. I swore silently. My car was down that way and I wouldn’t be able to get her past without them noticing. Looking around, I thought what to do. Across the street from the bar was a hotel, not a good hotel, but perfect for my needs. The man behind the counter barely lifted his head from the racing pages when I entered. “Forty a night,” he said, his hand outstretched. “In advance.”
I set Isabel down on her feet. She groaned, slumping against me. “My daughter,” I said to the guy’s quizzical look.
“Right,” he replied. “Course she is.”
“You’re my daughter, aren’t you?” I asked Isabel, lifting her chin up with my finger.
“Grrruuhhh,” she managed, a gurgling sound in the back of her throat leading to a line of drool forming on her bottom lip. She really was a delightful girl. “Daddy?”
“That’s right,” I said. “Daddy’s here.”