Love in Chains Ch. 07byNephylim©
Nervously Nye smiled and the man smiled back, a more open and friendly smile than he had ever yet seen on the face of an attendant.
"Yes." He sounded a little breathless in his own ears. "I'm alright."
Straightening he pulled away from the other man who allowed his hand to drop from his waist.
"If you're sure." He smiled. "It would be no bother to bring you a meal up here if you want to rest."
"No, I want company."
"That could be arranged."
Nye's eyes widened picking up the implication. "No. No thank you. Not... that kind of company."
The man smiled and shook his head. "I was thinking maybe you might need a friend."
Nye opened and closed his mouth and eventually just shook his head and turned to walk down the stairs. He was very stiff and it was quite painful but he was determined not to show weakness, not to anyone, not to himself.
The Club was not busy but there were quite a few customers in, mainly couples having lunch in the booths around the outside. People liked to come here and be themselves at all times, for all occasions, and whilst The Club was no restaurant they liked to cater for all their clients tastes in any way they could.
Nye made his way to the bar, shadowed by the attendant. By the time he got there he was tired and ached all over, especially his head. The music, which was not particularly loud seemed to be pounding into his head and making his very bones vibrate.
Jon was working and he took one look at Nye, slouched with his forearms on the bar and his head bowed spilling his still damp hair all over the counter, and poured a brandy sliding it over without a word.
The attendant touched his arm and he looked up startled.
"I'll get you something to eat. My name is Kyle."
Nye watched his back as he disappeared around the bar towards the kitchen. He was aware that he was staring, aware that he was trembling, aware that his shell was cracking and all because of a kind word and a name. Aware though he was, he was helpless to do anything about it anymore than the tears that were burning his eyes.
Suddenly he became aware that Jon was talking to him and he forced himself to look at the bar manager and focus on what he was saying.
"Sorry Jon. I wasn't paying attention."
"I was saying that we didn't expect to see you down here today. Adam said you weren't feeling very well and you shouldn't be disturbed."
Jon leaned over and lay a hand over Nye's which were clutching each other, shaking. "Are you alright?"
There was something in his tone that made Nye frown. He knew. He knew it all. At first he felt acutely embarrassed but then he was relieved.
"Thank you. I'm fine." Jon gave him a piercing look and he crumbled. "No, no I'm not fine. I'm freaked out; I hurt like hell and... fuck Jon I was poisoned. I almost died."
Jon ducked out from under the bar and put his arm around Nye's shoulders drawing him away from the bar and into a booth. Nye sat down breathing a sigh of relief. A look of intense pain passed across his face as spiking agony shot up through his guts making him feel nauseous and weak.
"Adam told me what happened."
Nye looked up, his eyes wide. For a moment the embarrassment washed over him again but then he slumped and simply nodded.
"Lian's a bastard Nye, he's always been a bastard. Adam's done his best to distance himself from him but he's so influential it's impossible. This was nothing personal."
"Oh that makes all the difference Jon."
Jon smiled. "I'm sorry. I'm not good at the 'giving good advice' thing. Most of the advice I give turns out to be disastrously bad."
"So how do you really feel?"
"Sick as a pig. I feel like someone has put my guts and brain in a blender and poured them back into my body while beating me repeatedly with large sticks."
Jon laughed. "A very... graphic description."
"Yeah well... words are what I do."
Jon frowned and looked as if he was about to say something but shook his head. "Let me get you something for the pain. We always keep some pain killers behind the bar. They won't do much but they'll take the edge off."
Jon brought him the pills at the same time as Kyle arrived with a plate of steaming pasta carbonara. Nye smiled and they both emptied their hands and left him, both with very similar looks over their shoulders as if they were reluctant to leave him or that they wanted to say something.
After swallowing the pills Nye turned his attention to the pasta. As hungry as he was he managed only a few mouthfuls before his stomach began to feel uncomfortably bloated and nausea swept over him. For a while he poked the rest of the food around on his plate then he leaned back and pushed it away.
Leaning against the high leather seats, he lifted his hands to massage his temples. His head was spinning and his stomach cramping uncomfortably. He was tired, very tired and suddenly he really didn't want to be here. Pushing the food away from him he decided that his desire for company had just been overridden by a desire to have a long soak in a hot bath and then lie down in a dark room for many hours.
Nye was about to slide out of the booth when he saw one of the attendants, who usually worked the front desk moving towards him. He looked up expectantly.
"There is someone at the front desk asking for you, Sir."
"Asking for me?"
"They say they are a friend of yours."
Nye's stomach lurched. Could it be that Lee had actually come to see him? If so he couldn't have picked a worst time. He really didn't feel up to catching up with Lee and even less to explaining why.
"Is he about my age, spiky red hair and scar on his cheek here?" He indicated the place on his own cheek, his heart hammering. The attendant shook his head and Nye's heart plunged.
"It's some American kid. Cocky as hell. He's very... persistent, Sir."
"A... American?" Nye's heart, which had been hammering at the thought of Lee all but stopped.
"My height? Blonde hair? Blue eyes? Tanned?"
"Sounds like him."
"Fuck." He was trembling and ran a shaking hand through his hair.
"Shall I tell him to go away Sir? Perhaps to come back another time?"
"Yes." Nye looked up eagerly, nodding. "Tell him to come back."
The man turned and began to walk away.
"No. Don't tell him to go away. I... I want to see him. Show him in and get Jon to bring over a whisky and dry ginger for him and a large... no make that VERY large brandy for me."
"Is that wise Sir?"
"To be drinking after..." Fuck! Did everyone know?
"After what?" His voice was cold and the man flinched.
"Nothing Sir. I'm sorry Sir. I'll have the drinks brought over."