Natalie meets Evie’s ex. Awkward! Natalie uses money to make the problem go away, like she always does with problems. Predictable!
Um, so this got left out because it just seemed a bit dull, and Evie doesn’t really have exes anyway, and I think we all got the point by now about how Natalie throws money at problems whenever she sees them… but from somewhere in the middle.
One evening, on the way to dinner, Natalie and Evie saw someone Evie knew in the street. They were walking past a group of several bars, when a woman Evie’s age walked up to Evie, and touched her arm familiarly, and said, “Evie, hi.”
“Oh hey,” Evie said, and kept walking. She kept walking quite determinedly.
Natalie noticed Evie’s determination, and kept walking too. If that was what Evie wanted to do, she must have her reasons. She must not want Natalie and the girl to meet, and Natalie understood, although she forced herself not to wonder who Evie was trying to hide from who.
The girl looked surprised, though, and walked along beside them.
“Sorry,” Evie said. “Just, we’re going somewhere, and we’re late.”
“Yeah,” the girl said, and looked at Evie, then at Natalie. “Hi,” she said, and held out her hand to Natalie. “I’m Kyra.”
“Hello,” Natalie said.
Kyra waited, and Natalie didn’t say anything else. Kyra didn’t seem to expect that. “And you are…” she said, after a moment.
Natalie just looked at her. Then at Evie.
“Shit, fine,” Kyra said, and looked back at Evie.
Evie seemed uncomfortable. She obviously wanted Kyra to go away. Part of Natalie didn’t want to interfere, didn’t want to assume. This could be anything, any kind of complicated situation, and Natalie should stay out of it and let Evie decide what to do. She ought to, except that Evie seemed upset, and Kyra was being over-familiar, not taking the hint, acting almost as if Evie owed her something, and was obliged to talk. As if they’d slept together at the least, Natalie thought, or perhaps something more.
They were outside a bar. It was evening, and the bar was busy. There were bouncers outside standing there, watching them.
Bouncers were something Natalie could organize. She decided to try and help.
“Oh,” Natalie said. “Evie. Look, it’s actually right here.”
Evie seemed surprised. She glanced up at the name of the bar, where Natalie was looking. Then she looked at Natalie. Natalie glared, trying not to be obvious.
“The place we were looking for,” Natalie said. “It’s that one.”
“Oh yeah,” Evie said, after a moment, sounding puzzled. “Come on, then,” she said.
Natalie and Evie went over to the door.
“Excuse me,” Natalie said to the bouncer. “I’m sorry, but, ah…”
She looked in her wallet. She had the three hundred dollars, and a few extra notes. She always had three hundred dollars now, just in case. For Evie, in case Evie changed her mind.
“I’m sorry,” Natalie said. “This sounds odd…”
The bouncer looked at her. He was giving Natalie a stare like she was drunk. Not trouble yet, but someone who needed watching.
Natalie took the hundred dollar notes out, and held it out towards him. “I’m having a problem. That girl has been harassing my daughter. They were involved, I think, but now she won’t leave my daughter alone. We were just going to have a drink and talk about it, but she’s followed my daughter here. I hoped… could we wait inside, and you ask her to leave?”
The bouncer kept looking at her.
“Please,” Natalie said, holding out the money. “I wouldn’t ask normally, but we’re getting a bit desperate. I don’t think she’s dangerous, but she’s persistent, and she’s scaring me.”
The bouncer nodded, and took the money, and went over to Kyra, and told Kyra to leave.
Natalie was a little surprised it had been that easy.
Evie seemed confused, so Natalie grabbed her arm and pulled her towards the door. Behind them, Kyra seemed to be arguing, not understanding why she was being told to move. She started getting outraged, which Natalie supposed was reasonable. She was being told to stop standing on a particular piece of street for no apparent reason, after all. It wasn’t fair, Kyra said, she hadn’t done anything wrong. And she’d seen the bouncer take that money, too.
“Right of admission reversed,” the bouncer said. “You’re disrupting our business by shouting. Move along please.”
Eventually Kyra moved.
Evie looked at Natalie. She seemed amused. “My fucking hero,” she said. “What did you do?”
“You paid him?”
“And you said something too.”
“That your ex was stalking you.”
“Oh,” Evie said.
“And that you’re my daughter. So it might pay to be careful how we behave…”
Evie grinned. “Yep,” she said. “Okay.”
“I needed to say something.”
“Oh, I’m sure. I mean, that’s almost kind of creepy, but yep, why not.”
Natalie grinned. “Thank you,” she called to the bouncer, then said to Evie, “Let’s get a drink.”
Evie followed her inside.
“You paid the bouncer,” Evie said thoughtfully, as they waited at the bar.
“Yes, I did.”
“That’s not really fair. Kyra couldn’t afford to pay anyone for anything.”
“I suppose not. Is she a friend of yours?”
“She used to be,” Evie said, then hesitated. “I don’t think you want to know.”
“You paid for someone to be thrown out a bar,” Evie said, again.
“Not out. She wasn’t inside yet…”
“Yeah, but still. You paid, and she’s gone.”
“I suppose so, yes.”
“I like it,” Evie said. “I like you can just do things like that. Pay to have people thrown out of bars. I’m impressed.”
“I really didn’t…”
“Still.” Evie grinned.
They found a table up the back, and sat in a corner.
“So,” Natalie said. “Do you really not want me to know who she was?”
Evie was looking around the room. Just looking, idly. She sipped her drink, then said, “I don’t care if you do. Do you want to?”
“I’m a little curious. An ex?”
“Just a friend. But a friend who we helped each other out.”
Natalie sat there for a while.
“Do you understand what I mean?” Evie said.
“Like she helped me, and I helped…” Evie sighed. “We fucked sometimes, but nothing more, okay?”
“And I got rid of her when I started this with you.”
“Oh,” Natalie said, surprised. “Did you tell her that was why?”
“But that’s who you replaced with me. In a way.”
Evie sat there for a moment, then said, “One of them.”
Natalie was a little surprised. She thought. She wasn’t jealous, she decided. She really wasn’t. She’d been through a fairly awful time with Meredith, and had learned something from that, and things were different now, anyway. Natalie wasn’t jealous. Actually, she was flattered Evie had ended things with this girl. And the others, too.
“So there’s no-one like that now?” Natalie said.
“You,” Evie said, without looking at Natalie.