Flare pt 3

Phyllis slammed her laptop shut. Tears stung her eyes as she quickly wiped them away. She could lie to herself and pretend it was about being frustrated over the phone call, she could claim she was angry he’d called and attempted to insinuate himself into her life again, but the truth was–it was none of those things…it was the pain of knowing he had a choice and chose to let her go…again.

“This is ridiculous,” she said, grabbing her laptop and shoving it into her bag. “I”m not going to sit here and mope over some man!” She picked up her bag and she’d the door open. She’d find some way to salvage this evening if it killed her.


Phyllis sat at the bar. Unlike most nights, the GCAC was scarcely populated tonight. The couples and groups had slowly trickled out shortly after her arrival and, in truth, she was grateful. She wasn’t looking for people to socialize with. She wanted to be alone. The martini glass sat in front of her as she ran her finger across the stem. The martini was her drink of choice when she wanted to forget…someone or something. Unfortunately, it didn’t work very well.

She could still remember the way it felt when he touched her, the way he’d nip at her lower lip before he pulled her close to him for a passionate kiss, the way his voice could make her knees weak, the feel of him, the scent of him…

“Ma’am, Ma’am, are you ok?”

Phyllis looked down, surprised to see the pool of liquid sitting on the bar top. “Oh,” she said, startled, “I’m sorry…so sorry.”

“Not a problem,” the bartender said with a polite smile as he wiped the spill with a cloth. “Can I get you another?”

Phyllis sighed. “You know..maybe just a club soda. I think I’ve had enough of this for tonight.”

She dropped her head as she watched him walk away. “Well that went well,” she muttered.

Ronan leaned back in the seat as he desperately tried to stretch his legs in front of him. He furiously punched the numbers on his cell phone again, closing his eyes in a mix of frustration and desperation as his call was, once again, sent straight to voicemail.

“Phyllis,” he said, hesitating slightly. This isn’t something he wanted to leave on a voicemail. “Phyllis listen…it’s me. Can you call me, please? As soon as you get this…just please, please call me. It’s important. And…”. He paused again, considering his words… “And be careful, please, be careful.” He ended the call with a sigh.

His mind was spinning on its own, completely without his permission or his consent. He pictured all the horrible things that could be happening, the nightmarish reasons she might not be answering the phone. His first assumption had been that she wasn’t answering, that she was ignoring it, but what if she couldn’t….

The pain in his chest gripped him suddenly and he felt as if a weight suddenly collapsed on his lungs. He struggled to take a deep breath as he brought his hand to his chest.

“Sir,” the flight attendant said quietly, having noticed his sudden motions from across the aisle, “Sir, are you alright?”

Ronan struggled to respond trying in vain to take a deep breath, “I’m” he stopped, “I’m ok. I’m fine. I just need a minute. Can you give me a minute?”

“Sir, if you’re having any discomfort, you need to tell me now. We need to land the plane so we can get you the proper medical attention.”

“No,” Ronan protested. He couldn’t get off this plane. He had to get to Genoa City. He had to get to Phyllis. “I’m fine, really. I’ll be fine.” Another pain ripped through his chest and he desperately tried not to let it show on his face.

“I’m afraid I’ll have to insist,” she said seriously, “It’s obvious you’re in serious pain.”

“It’s just acid reflux,” he said, forcing himself to straighten up and flash a smile. He reached into his jacket, pulling out his badge. “See, I’ve just been working long hours and eating on the road….it’s the fast food and the gas station coffee catching up with me.” He could see her face soften a bit. “You know not everyone has a beautiful woman like you to cook them home cooked meals at night.” He flashed another smile and silently prayed he still had enough charm to pull this kind of thing off.

She smiled, sighing slightly as she studied his face. “Well, alright…if you’re sure…and I’ll get you something that should help with that.”

“You’re a sweetheart,” Ronan whispered, keeping a smile plastered on his face until she walked away. Once she had, he leaned back, forcing a few deep breaths, grateful when the pain finally subsided.

She wasn’t sure how long she’d been sitting at the bar or when she’d decided to switch back to martinis. She vaguely remembered the bartender helping her to the cab. The cool night air had helped clear her head a bit and she felt a bit better as she shuffled into the elevator and headed up to her penthouse.

She rummaged through her purse for her key, feeling it and pulling it out of her purse. It immediately slipped from her fingers and fell to the floor.

“Damn,” she hissed, bending down to pick it up. For the first time she noticed the light filtering out from the crack in the door.

She stood still. “I didn’t,” she whispered, “Did I?”

Phyllis ran her hand over her face, trying to ground herself. She was drunk, for sure, but she hadn’t been this morning. There was no way she would have left her door unlocked, much less partially open. She reached into her purse and grabbed her phone, not even looking at the numerous missed calls flashing on the screen. She pressed the buttons for 9-1-1.

Slowly, she pushed open the door and stepped in with some hesitation. “You should know that I’m calling the cops,” she loudly exclaimed.

The deep voice seemed to come from nowhere as her eyes had not yet adjusted to the dark.

“Why would you want to call the cops?” The deep voice questioned before bathing the room in soft light.

Ronan smiled at her as he sat on the couch staring up at her. “You’ve already got the best one right here.”


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