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Old 04-30-2005, 08:37 PM   #1
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The Promises we make Pt 1

*Disclaimer: This story is a continuation in a series of fan fiction stories and is written completely and totally for the fun of imagining ‘what if’ no offense is intended, and none of it is meant to represent anything real. It’s all just a daydream which managed to escape the maze of the authors imagination.

(#3 in the Catalina series)

The promises we make pt 1
Ireland was breathtaking. Simone Drake had traveled to many places, but so far, Ireland was her favorite. She’d been born in Washington State, but her father being a lifer in the USMC, she had moved from military base to military base all of her life. She didn’t really know how to set down roots and stay one place for very long.

It had been sixteen years since she lived with her parents, but she had never stopped moving from place to place. She had developed a love for cultural and environmental diversity. Simply put, she got bored if she stayed in one place for very long. This applied to people as well. Oh, she had a few friends she stayed in fairly regular contact with, via e-mail and holiday cards that sort of thing.

Lovers? They were all the same, no matter what corner of the world she found herself in. They either wanted too much or refused to give enough. Even if she was fairly content with a person, she would get the itch to travel on and no man had been able to scratch that itch.

Now, here she was, working as a bartender at The Kitchen, a nightclub in the basement of the Clarence hotel in Dublin. That was how she paid her bills, at least. If you asked her ‘what do you do?’ she wouldn’t likely reply ‘I’m a bartender’. No, her passion was photography. That was a big part of Ireland’s appeal for her. There was so much to photograph, she could hardly imagine ever capturing it all.

She wasn’t picky about the subject of her photo’s, not like some. She liked to photograph landscapes and wildlife, domestic animals and architecture, all the same. If she had to choose one thing to shoot for the rest of her life, though, and give up all the rest (as difficult as it would be) she would choose portraiture. She loved the intricacies of the human form. Every single person was beautiful, in some way, to her eyes. Her art was making everyone see what she saw.

She could never imagine making money from her photographs. They were pieces of her soul. Moments in time, given to her by God and imitated and framed by her to keep and share. Maybe someday she would be brave enough to show some in a gallery, or put together a book, but she wasn’t ready yet. It was for love, not money. Change that one thing, and everything might very well change.

She liked her job well enough; she’d always liked the nightclub scene. People when they were out in such an environment were both more themselves and at the same time completely different people than they were everywhere else. They were free, they could come out from underneath so many of the burdens they carried during the day. Some people lived the nightclub lifestyle all the time, but most saw it as an escape.

She liked to watch people. She’d considered studying psychology, even. That would have required her being tied down in one place for far too long, though. Even to commit herself to staying for a semester felt constricting. Like being trapped in a small room and severely claustrophobic.

She came into work that day, her hair wild from the wind and smelling like the sea air. Her cheeks were flushed from the wind and sea spray, her shirt and pants wrinkled and her shoes full of beach sand. She smiled brightly at Brian, the manager, her honey brown eyes shining like amber in the dim light.

“Sorry I’m late! I know, I know! It won’t happen again.” She assured him as she hurried to stash her camera bag and windbreaker in the employee’s room, running a hand through her mass of brown curls and deciding to pull it up into a poofy pony-tail and call it good.

“Simone, I told you this week we need to make sure things are running particularly smoothly. The owners are back in town and it’s likely they’ll stop in. So what do you do? You show up a half an hour late three days in a row! What on God’s green earth are you thinking?” Brian asked, following her as she hurriedly straightened herself up and moved out behind the bar.

“I didn’t mean to. I lost track of time, photographing the sea.” She told him as if that would explain everything.

“Photographing the sea? The bloody sea?!?! It’s still going to be there on your day off, Simone, why on earth did it require you to stay late three days in a row?”

“The same people won’t be around every day.” She explained with a shrug. “Or birds. And the lighting changes every few minutes.” Brian looked at her as if she were trying to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity to a two year old.

“Look, just get your act together. I have it on good authority we’re very likely to be seeing the owners tonight. Got it?” He told her, a thick finger pointed in her face before he turned and huffed out of the bar and headed back to his tiny closet he called an office.

“I’m so sick of hearing about the owners, the owners!” Simone complained, throwing her hands in the air expressively. Doug smiled to himself as he poured another round for the table in the back and sent Nora to deliver them. It was Thursday afternoon, and it was quiet, but they knew that was going to change. Thursday nights were often so crowded they didn’t have a moment to breathe. Sure enough within minutes, several parties arrived and before long Simone had completely forgotten Brian and ‘the owners’.

“Excuse me, miss?” She heard a particularly nice accent calling as she loaded one of the poor waitresses down with a tray full of drinks. She turned to see a handsome man in his mid forties leaning against the end of the bar. He had silvering hair and incredibly blue eyes, and when he smiled at her she wished she had her camera right then and there to capture that moment.

“What can I get you, hon?” She asked, moving down the bar to stand directly across the counter from him and get a better look.

“We’ll we’re going to need a table, for one. Three pints, one Jack and Coke, and two fizzy lemonades.” He told her. “And where is Brian hiding out?”

“I can’t do much about the table, it is first come first serve after all.” She told him as she began lining up mugs for the Guinness. “And it seems like a lot to drink for someone all on their lonesome.” She teased as she fixed the Jack and Coke. “How do you know Bria… Oh, God. You’re one the owners, aren’t you?” She gasped as she realized why the man seemed so familiar to her. He smiled a full, beautiful smile at her dismay.

“Adam Clayton.” He told her, shaking her hand politely. “And I’m not alone, they should be along any moment now.”

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude.” She told him, her cheeks red. “I’ll go get Brian right now.” She told him, turning to hurry back to the office and running face first into Brian’s broad chest. Apparently, Doug had recognized Adam and hurried to get Brian while Simone had been telling him if he wanted a table he’d have to wait like everyone else.

“Adam! Good to see you again.” Brian was saying. He scowled down at Simone as she rammed into him. “You’re being taken care of, right?” He asked, his eyes still on Simone.

“Yes, yes. We just forgot to phone ahead to make sure you set our table aside for us.” Adam replied playfully. Simone wondered if she could fit beneath the bar and hide out there until everyone else left.

“You don’t need to phone ahead, you know that.” Brian told the man, excusing himself and rushing off to shoo several people out of the large corner booth a few feet away.

“I’m sorry…” Simone started to apologize but Adam waved her off.

“Nothing to apologize for. You’d no idea who I was, and you weren’t rude. Just telling the truth.” He told her, his head turning when something caught his eye. He smiled and gestured at a young woman with very long brown hair with blonde highlights running through it. She smiled and acknowledged him, turning and gesturing in turn to the rest of their party who were just entering the nightclub.

“She’s very pretty.” Simone said as they both watched the woman weave through the crowded room toward them. “Is that your daughter?” She asked, trying to recall anything she had heard about these men in recent weeks. She was almost certain she had heard Brian referring to Adam’s daughter. Adam, who had been taking a drink of his lemonade choked violently.

“Oh no! Are you ok?” She asked, ready to climb over the bar to help, but having no idea what to do. Adam shook his head and held up a hand to let her know he didn’t need her to help him. As he caught his breath, finally, he told her,

“That’s my wife.”

“Oh!” Simone said, feeling about two feet tall. That had to be one of the stupider things she had done in a while, at least. Maybe it would indeed be best if she were to crawl under the counter and hide. “I’m sorry, I didn’t…” She was saying but her words faded away as the party finally managed to cross the room. The woman was older than Simone had first assumed, though still considerably younger, she imagined, than Mr. Clayton.

Behind her was the man she recognized as U2’s guitarist ‘The Edge’, their infamous lead singer Bono, and behind him a beautiful woman with dark features. Bringing up the rear of the group was the most gorgeous man Simone had ever laid eyes on. She racked her brain but could not recall his name, although she assumed he was the fourth member of the band, and the fourth owner of the hotel/nightclub.

“You’re all set.” Brian told Adam, slapping an overfriendly hand down on the man’s shoulder and then greeting the other men with enthusiastic handshakes. “Simone, make sure they have whatever they want tonight.” He told her with a solemn look as they seated themselves at what was apparently their usual table.

Simone tried to keep her eye on their table despite the crowd, but there wasn’t as much time as there were customers it seemed. Every time she turned around one of the waitresses were begging for a break, twice now the new girl dumped her entire tray, and Doug had left the bar because a fistfight had broke out that the bouncers couldn’t get a handle on by themselves, apparently.

“Excuse me!” She heard an American voice calling clearly over the din of dozens of Irish and English accents. She turned to see the younger woman who had come in with the owners standing at the end of the bar and waving at her.

“I’m sorry!” She said, hurrying down to wait on her. “It’s just so crazy tonight! What do you need, hon?”

“Are you American?” The woman asked, her green eyes slightly glazed from whatever she’d been drinking, but clearly enthused to hear a familiar accent.

“That’s right. Where you from?” Simone replied with a smile.

“Memphis. You?”

“All over, really. Spent a lot of time in upstate New York. Most recently I guess, was Northern Cali.” She informed the younger woman.

“How long have you been in Ireland?”

“A few months. You?”

“Just a few days. But God am I glad to hear a familiar accent. I never imagined it would make me feel so isolated to speak differently.” Cat confided. Simone smiled and nodded, understanding how she felt. She’d known that feeling many times in her life.

“Do you know your way around Dublin?” She asked, hope clear in her eyes.

“Pretty well, I think. Why?”

“Because I’ve gotten turned around every time I came into the city. Maybe you can help me?”

“Sure, but why don’t you ask your husband? He’s lived here a lot longer than I have.”

“Because I get more lost when he tries to explain it to me. I love him to death, but he is a man after all. I don’t know a single one of them that can give directions worth a hoot.” The women laughed, Simone having to agree that she didn’t really know any either.

“Oh, I’m Simone Drake.” She said, realizing she had not introduced herself.

“Oh, yeah! Duh! I’m a little more drunk than I thought, I guess, to forget to introduce myself. Cat Wil… Cat Clayton.” She said, still not used to calling herself by her husbands last name. It seemed a little unnatural to her to change her name after twenty eight years with the same one.

“Yeah, you can get a hold of me through Brian in the office. I ought to get back to work, though.” Simone told her, and Cat looked around as if she had forgotten the mob around her.

“Oh yeah.” She said with a funny little smile before she turned and walked away. Simone waited on the next person who’d been waiting to get her attention, and then the next. When her eyes returned to the end of the bar, the tall broad shouldered member of the band whose name she could not recall was standing there with a rather irritated scowl on his handsome face.

“What can I get you sweetie?” She asked, looking up into pretty silver eyes and wondering why God had broken the mold after making this one. *There should have been dozens more made of him.* She thought. *The world would be a much more pleasant place.*

“We need another round. Cat was supposed to be getting’ it, but apparently she ‘forgot’.” He told her sourly. *Ahh, he’s pretty but irritable. Damn I knew there had to be a flaw.*

“No problem. Go ahead, sit down. I’ll bring them right out to you. Everything the same?” Simone asked, pulling out the appropriate glasses.

“And four shots of whiskey.” He added.

“Bushmills or Jameson Gold?” She asked, and he looked her up and down as if trying to decide if she was being smart with him.

“Jameson.” He said finally. As if she should have known. She was tempted to serve him O'Learys, which was less than ten dollars a bottle and see if his taste was really so refined that he knew the difference between that and the more than seventy-five dollar a bottle Jameson Gold. Or even better, she thought with a devious smile, Black Velvet. Oh wouldn’t that be a fun little joke, serving cheap Canadian whiskey to four Irishman in their own nightclub.

She loaded up the tray and hauled it with as much grace as she could muster over to their table. Adam and the dark haired lady were the one’s opting for the non-alcoholic drinks, while the other Irishmen were sticking to Guinness mostly. Cat was the one knocking back Jack and Coke, and apparently she was the one for whom the fourth shot was intended.

“What’re you doin’, tryin’ to get her to throw up on my shoes again?” Bono teased Larry when he saw that he had ordered her a shot with this round. Simone smiled as the men chuckled at what was apparently a common story.

“Believe me I saw her throw up enough that night to last me a bleedin’ lifetime.” Larry replied with a smirk as he tossed back his shot.

“So now you’ve decided to share the pain? Get her drunk and send her home with me?” Adam asked, his eyes shining whenever he looked over at his new bride. She wrinkled her nose at him playfully and tossed back the shot, doing her best not to wince as it burned it’s way down her throat.

“You’re the one who decided to marry her, I didn’t have anything to do with that.” Larry jokingly replied. Cat’s face flushed red, but maybe that was just the whiskey. Somehow, Simone suspected it wasn’t the only factor.

“Everybody set? Anything else I should bring back?” Simone asked, clearing the empties from the table as quickly as she could.

“No, Thanks. This’ll do us for awhile.” Bono told her with a wink. She smiled so hard her cheeks hurt, though she had thought herself immune to such simple flirtations after all the bars and nightclubs she’d worked in over the years. She turned to leave, her elbow catching the top of Larry’s pint and sending it tipping over to spill the untouched drink onto his lap.

“Fuck!” He shouted, jumping up as the cold liquid seeped through the denim of his jeans. Without thinking, Simone grabbed a napkin and moved to try and help him. She had barely dabbed at the spill twice when he caught her by the wrist. She looked up into those blue eyes, shining silver now that he was irritated so, and he said to her,

“I’ve got it myself, thanks.” There was nothing polite in his tone, though. If she had not understood English she would have suspected he told her to piss off and stop manhandling him. Her cheeks flushed red now and she pulled her hand back as if she’d been burned.

“Sorry.” She mumbled as he stormed off to the bathroom, his friends all laughing helplessly. Cat, in particular, seemed to be laughing hard. Bono scooted away from her melodramatically and pointed toward Adam, who was seated on the other side of her.

“This is exactly how it happened last time, aim it the other way.” He teased. The dark haired lady was the only one at the table who did not seem amused. In fact, she looked downright baffled. Simone gathered up the empties once more and took them back to the bar, returning shortly with some dry dish towels to wipe up the mess that hadn’t been soaked into the man’s, who the others had addressed as Larry, pants.

“It’s ok, we’ve got it.” The man with the beard told her, taking some of the towels from her and helping her mop the mess up. He got the spots on the floor by pushing the towel around with his foot, and Simone left one of the towels on Larry’s chair just to be safe.

She made sure Doug was back behind the bar and keeping things under control, and then she ducked out the back door to light up a much needed cigarette, Her hands were shaking, but at the same time she had the insane urge to laugh. She had acted like an idiot, letting Brian get her all worked up and nervous and turning her into a bumbling idiot.

What did she really care about this job? She could find another. It wasn’t like it was a lifelong dream to work behind a bar. Still, she would rather have made a better impression on that long legged Irishman with the chest of a greek statue. Maybe it had been his fault, after all. Walking around with his shirt half open like that. He distracted her, she thought with a chuckle.

The door opened behind her and she turned to see if it was Brian or Doug coming to call her back in or one of the waitresses sneaking out for a smoke as well. It turned out to be none of the above. Rather it was the Irishman in question, ducking out the back door so as to avoid being seen looking as if he’d wet his pants.

“Hi.” She said stupidly. She couldn’t think of anything else to say.

“Hey.” He muttered.

“You need someone to pull your car around back for you?” She offered, and he looked at her as if he thought she would wreck his car if he let her move it from one side of the lot to the other.

“No, I brought my Harley. Thanks all the same.” He told her shortly.

“What, think I can’t handle a motorcycle?” She laughed, drawing the last puff of smoke off her cigarette and holding it in while she tossed the butt to the ground and stubbed it out with the toe of her shoe. She finally exhaled a long stream of smoke and looked up at him as if waiting for an answer.

“It’s not that.” He told her, rubbing his nose.

“Are you sure you ought to be driving at all?” She asked, her eyes narrowing as she looked at him more closely. He was definitely more drunk than she had first suspected.

“I probably shouldn’t.” he admitted, his hands in the pockets of his wet jeans, his head bowed. “That’s why Adam’s bringing his car around here to pick me up.” He explained. She smiled in relief. She couldn’t stand the thought of him doing damage to that face by trying to drive a motorcycle drunk. Headlights flooded the area, blinding them temporarily. Simone shielded her eyes.

“Sorry again.” She called to Larry as he climbed in the backseat of the sedan.

“Nice to meet you, Simone, I’ll give you a call tomorrow, ok?” Cat called out the passenger side window to her, waving and smiling. Simone waved back before returning to the bar, to find the entire table empty, the whole party cleared out. She hoped that Brian didn’t take this as a bad sign.

*************************************************************************

Cat relaxed against the seat, rolling the window back up and closing her eyes. She was happy tonight. She’d had a difficult time adjusting to Ireland. She had never even considered that she hadn’t traveled out of North America before. This was, after all, Adam’s home, and so it should feel as much like home to her as being with Adam did.

It had been good to see the other guys tonight, to be around familiar faces. Not that she wouldn’t have loved to be alone with Adam for days on end, no matter where they were in the world. The fact was, they hadn’t had much time alone even at his beautiful home. Trine was there, for one thing. Another was the phone which wouldn’t stop ringing, and the countless errands which needed to be run.

She rested her hand on Adam’s knee, now, gently rubbing his leg without much thought. She shifted her weight to rest her head against his shoulder, her hand rubbing against his thigh. In the backseat she heard Larry grumbling under his breath about something, but her mind was far too foggy to understand. She continued to cuddle with her new husband, and Larry continued to sit in the backseat and wonder if she was purposely trying to make him feel bad.

He had already known that he didn’t understand women. That was a given. Lately, he was beginning to think perhaps they were evil. Of course, he knew that was just the alcohol talking, but he was frustrated all the same. When Adam’s car rolled to a stop in front of his house, Larry climbed out of the car as quickly as he could with a mumbled good-bye.

The first thing he did was to get out of his clingy, damp clothes and take a shower. After that he grabbed the daily newspaper he hadn’t had the chance to read earlier and dropped down on top of the bed covers. He knew he wasn’t about to fall asleep. He searched through the paper, reading football scores and weather reports until he was nearly bored and tired enough to sleep.

Then he saw it, on the second page of the entertainment section. A picture with a familiar face smiling out at him. A very pretty familiar face. Jolie Brooks was going to be in concert at the auditorium of one of the local universities. He hadn’t had the chance to talk to her after the concert in L.A., and he had convinced himself that was the end of his brief infatuation with the classical/New Age pianist. He smiled as he set the paper aside and got ready for bed, suddenly looking forward to what the next day would bring.
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Old 04-30-2005, 08:39 PM   #2
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thanks, sg
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Old 04-30-2005, 09:07 PM   #3
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*claps hands* yay the next one!
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Old 04-30-2005, 10:57 PM   #4
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oh this is gonna be good.
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:33 AM   #5
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Yippee! Larry!

More!
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Old 05-01-2005, 06:24 AM   #6
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Yay!! Good story.
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Old 05-01-2005, 07:09 AM   #7
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yay!!
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:30 AM   #8
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Good story! So who is Simone going to end up with? Edge or Larry? I can't stand the suspense!!
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