"Sheridan. We need to leave them alone. With
us here, they wonít be able to be themselves. Can you fake something?" Luis asked, staring into the eyes
of the woman he was dancing with.
"I donít want to deceive Gwen." Sheridan said, battling the options.
"Donít think of it as deceiving her, think of it as helping her in the long run. If anyone can help her
get over Ethan, itís Hank. Heís the complete opposite of Ethan." Luis argued quietly. The slow music stopped,
and Luis and Sheridan walked over to the table where their friends were.
"Gwen, Hank, I wish I could stay, but Iím not feeling well." Sheridan stammered, sounding sickly.
"I wanna get her home. I think coming out tonight was the wrong idea." Luis concluded. "Good
night guys. Hank, Iíll see ya tomorrow."
"Good night Luis. I hope you feel better Sheridan." Hank said, confused by her sudden change in demeanor.
"Gwen, did you drive?" Sheridan asked.
"Yes." Gwen replied.
"Let Hank drive you home. Youíre a wreck, and thereís no way you could drive. Hank, youíll do it, right?"
Sheridan commanded more than requested.
"Sure. Good bye guys." Hank said, as Luis started to pull Sheridan away from the table. He stared
into space until Gwen spoke.
"I think they were leaving on purpose, donít you?"
"I donít know." Hank said, the thought not accruing to him.
"Well, I donít know about you, but why would anyone want to be around a depressed person like me? She just
got out of the hospital and found love." Gwen reasoned.
"I donít think thatís the reason at all. If anything, they left because they didnít want to upset you.
After all, theyíre both related to people who hurt you." Hank explained his theory.
"I guess. I have no plans on going home now, so do you want a drink?" Gwen asked, signaling to the
"Nah, you go ahead." Hank said, taking his job of being her driver serious. The last thing he need
was to get in an accident. Gwen ordered another vodka, this time straight. They sat in silence until the waitress
came back, with the drink.
"So youíre the Chief of Policeís brother? Hard to live up to him?" Gwen asked.
"Yeah. My whole life Iíve been compared to him. Itís a challenge." Hank answered, not wanting to
talk about this subject, but happy Gwen wasnít wallowing in her problems.
"I know that feeling. When youíre a socialite, you have to live up to everyone elseís standards, not your
own. Sometimes, I just, I want to do something totally irrational. Like, well, go camping!"
"Camping is irrational? Howíd ya figure?" Hank asked.
"Well, who would want to spend a week, let alone a night, out in a tent, in the middle of nowhere? It doesnít
sound like the Ritz. Itís totally surprising. No one would ever expect me to do that!" Gwen said, succumbing
to the alcoholís affects. She finished her drink, then ordered another one. Hank sat in wonder, as Gwen confessed
all the normal thing he did, as being things sheíd never experienced. How could she lead such a sheltered life?
One hour and three drinks later, Gwen was wasted. She slurred her words, burped, and acted the complete opposite
of a socialite. Hank tried to calm her down, but it was nearly impossible. The alcohol was in control, not her.
She was finally ready to get up from the table, and expressed so.
"Címon Hanky! Letís got play something. A pool table! Iíve seen people do that! Teach me!" She yelled,
pulling him out of his chair and to the one unoccupied pool table. Once there, she grabbed a cue, while he racked
up the balls. After completing his task, he walked over and stood by her.
"Okay, Hanky! Iím ready for my first lesson." She said, bending over like she had seen the other men
do. Hank stood next to her and told her what to do.
"The object is to hit the white ball with the cue, and knock the other balls into the pocket. But you donít
want to knock the white ball into the pocket." Hank said, giving her the basics, and not wanting to confuse
"Like this." Gwen said, hitting the ball, but only sending it a few inches. Hank shook his head,
and repositioned the ball. Without thinking, he went around her body, and positioned himself so that he was covering
her. Together the launched the ball towards the others, which broke them up. Hank gulped when he realized their
closeness, and backed away. Gwen shot him a hurt look, but it disappeared the moment she heard the Karoke machine
start with a familiar song. She raced away from Hank, and up onto the stage. Quickly she grabbed the microphone
in time to begin the song.
"Now I donít have to question, where you were last night. ĎCause I already know what you will say, I already
know you lie. But I canít be mad at ya, Ďcause thereís something that you donít know. That when youíre gonna do
you own thing, I catch out, when your talking to me. When youíre out in the club, donít think Iím not. Even when
youíre out, makiní love Donít think Iím not. When youíre feeling good, in somebodyís spot, getting hot, donít
stop. Just donít think Iím not, Ďcause Iím out getting mine."
She crumpled there on stage, unable to finish the rest. Hank ran to her side, and gently helped her off stage.
He sat her down at their table, and left to get a cold compress from the bartender. Lightly, he dabbed her forehead,
and the rest of her tears. Her sobs slowly subsided.
"I, I shouldnít have done that...I knew it would bring back memories......What does she got that I donít?
Am I not pretty enough?" Gwen cried.
"No, you are beautiful. You are wonderful. You just werenít for Ethan. He wouldnít have made you happy.
You would have been miserable." Hank reassured her. He knelt down in front of her, and tilted her head
up. "Ethanís a fool. You have the most radiant eyes, and glowing smile. He wouldnít know a good thing
when it bites him on the @ss, let alone a wonderful person right in front of him."
A smile slowly crept on her face. Her heart warmed. He knew just what to say to make her forget all about that
Ethan something or another.
"Címon, letís get you home and too bed. Youíve had a busy night." Hank said, leaving a wad of money
on the table, and pulling out Gwenís chair. She got up and started walking. Hank walked along side her, and,
when she thought the time was right, she grabbed his hand. Hank was startled by this movement, even though it
felt right. The walked through the door, and to her car. Once she was securely buckled into the passenger seat,
he got in, and drove off.