tagRomancePalomino Ch. 09

Palomino Ch. 09

byLadyRoscoe©

Lacey sat beside the tall plate glass window, thousands of yards high into the sky, simply turning the wine glass in her hand as she stared out the window into the brilliant night sky, ablaze with bright lights and the bustle of the city below. She hadn't touched her wine, barely played with her food and hadn't said a word in the last ten minutes to her dining companion across the table.

Tyra set down her fork and blotted her lips with her napkin. "Lizzy! Stop drifting on me, honey. I can't help you unless you talk. Is it him again? Honey... he's a cowboy. If you want a man in boots and a Stetson, I can go find one, or five for you right now down on the street."

Lacey's mind barely registered that Tyra was even speaking to her and she slowly turned her head, blue eyes seemingly blank as she simply stared at her a moment before blinking, coming back to the here and now temporarily as confusion settled across her troubled features. "Hu - huh? I'm sorry, did you say something?"

"Okay. Yeah. We're getting out of here. You need to unwind." she flagged down the waiter for their bill and handed him her credit card. "C'mon chicky."

Lacey set her wine glass down and stood, almost forgetting to grab her purse as she started to follow Tyra and then turned back to retrieve it. It was as if she had been uprooted from her body and was merely a spectator watching from afar. She shook her head and tried to snap herself out of it but she felt so empty inside. Pinching the inside of her left arm hard, she winced and followed Tyra, reaching up to smooth back her long blonde hair as she tried to think of anything ... anyone but HIM.

Tyra walked with her friend arm-in-arm down the street through the hustle and bustle of the city night life in attempt to get Lacey somewhat back into the flow of things. "Now, tell me honestly Lacey... did you sleep with him?"

Lacey sighed gently as her arm looped in Tyra's. They had been best friends ever since before Lacey's climb to the top at Metropolitan magazine. She was the only true friend that didn't try to stab her in the back as she applied for and then received senior editor for the magazine. "Well, kinda," she admitted, thinking back to her encounter with Wesley in the hotel, a small smile flickering at the corners of her mouth. She could almost see him again in that towel, swearing as he came out of the bathroom, laying on the bed in tears as he revealed his past to her, the whites of his knuckles as he grasped the headboard.

"Kinda? How can you kinda sleep with a man? Wait..." she shook her head. "Never mind. Don't tell me. Damn Lizzy! No wonder you can't get him out of your head, honey. Let it go. You're home now."

Lacey sighed heavily as she turned her head to look at her friend, her footfalls slowing and then stopping as she turned to face her. "That's just it though, Ty. I don't FEEL like I'm home. Something happened to me there. Something I can't explain and I don't quite understand. It's not all Wesley." She sighed, pulling her hand from her friend's arm and rubbed her temples as she started to walk again. "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I hate being here! And it feels like I've been in the wrong place for years, and now I'm stuck. I'm just stuck!"

Tyra hurried to catch up and hooked her arm with Lacey's again. "No you're not! Silly. You make bank with your job, you've got me, and what about Kenny? Are you two seeing each other anymore? Look. We'll have a girl's day tomorrow. I'll take off work, and we'll go to the spa. Get all dolled up, okay? I have a gift card from my mom."

Lacey laughed and stopped walking again, pulling her arm from Tyra's. "You want to know the weird part? I don't WANT to get all dolled up. I don't want to go to a spa. I don't want to shop, or get my nails done, or see that idiot Kenny anymore. You know what I REALLY want to do?" Lacey's eyes lit up and she laughed, truly laughed, for the first time since being with Wesley. "I want to put on a pair of jeans and go to a fucking rodeo!"

Tyra reached to feel her friend's forehead. "Honey... that place really messed you up. I'll pick you up at 8. We'll go out for a little something, then hit the spa, and do all the girly things we do. Get a good night's sleep, and after tomorrow you'll feel like a brand new woman. You watch. You'll forget all about whatshisname."

Lacey reached up with her hands and ran them down the length of her face before pressing them together prayer-like in front of her nose and pursed lips, looking at Tyra for a long time. She knew she must come across as some kind of idiot to her best friend, but it was as clear as a bell to her all of a sudden as she stood amid the twinkling lights of the city and listened to the hustle and bustle around them. "No ... I'm going into work tomorrow, and I'm going to quit my job, " she announced quietly, lowering her hands as determination set in her face. "This city stinks and I want out."

"No! God no. No you're not. Stop that." she grabbed Lacey's hand and drug her toward a night club they visited periodically. "You're partying with me, then sleeping late into the morning and we're going to the spa tomorrow. That's the plan. Okay?"

Lacey shook her head, trying to pull her hand out of Tyra's as she practically drug her into the nightclub. "Ty, stop it! I haven't lost my mind, I swear to God!" She winced at the loud music as the bass thumped out the beat so loudly that it made the sidewalks outside vibrate. She had to raise her voice to be heard, "I'm quitting my job tomorrow, and that's final!"

"No you're not!" she thrust a martini she'd grabbed from the counter into Lacey's hand and plopped her down onto a stool. The lady she'd taken the martini from was about to start something, then didn't, noticing who it was, and just laughed, signaling for another.

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