Ren - Shades of Grey Ch. 04


"Hey Gabe, what are you doing getting sloshed here?" Jody asked softly as she slipped onto the barstool beside him.

"How did ya know I was 'ere?" Ren slurred slightly as he struggled to focus on her face.

"I got a phone call." Jody said quietly.

A customer had recognised Ren from the pool competition not to long ago and knew that Jody was seeing him so when Ren had turned up and preceded to get drunk the guy who had recognised him told the owner of the pub that Ren was Jody's new boyfriend. The owner of the pub had rang Jody hoping she could come and collect Ren who was clearly too drunk to ride his bike.

"You ready to come home with me?" Jody asked quietly.

"Aint finish getting' drunk ye'. " Ren said as he signalled the bartender for another drink.

"I think you have had enough to drink." The bartender said as he refused to get another drink for Ren.

"Well can hi ge' a couple ta take wiff me?" Ren asked the bartender.

"Sorry no can do." The bartender said levelly.

Ren looked around the room and gave a shrug.

"Come on, come home with me." Jody urged quietly.

Ren got to his feet, swayed unsteadily for a moment before collecting himself then headed for the door at a steady walk.

Jody walked beside him ready to steady him if necessary.

Ren walked outside and stopped, he leant one hand against the wall as the cool night air hit him adding to the effects of the alcohol he had drunk. After several moments he straightened away from the wall and turned to head down the street towards a motel.

"My car is over here." Jody said as she took him by the arm and attempted to guide him towards her vehicle, he resisted and she stopped and looked at him enquiringly.

"Ya don' wan' me a' your place." Ren told her.

"Let me be the judge of that. Now come on with me." Jody coaxed with a smile.

Ren resisted for a moment and looked towards where his bike was parked around the side of the pub.

"Jason will keep an eye on your bike for you." Jody told Ren when he hesitated. Finally Ren let her lead him to her car and he got into the passenger seat. He was silent on the drive to her place but got out of the car at her urging at the house.

"Come on, inside with you and into bed." Jody said opening the front door.

Ren walked inside, he was noticeably more affected by the amount he had drunk now and he headed for the lounge room to sit on the lounge.

"No you don't!" Jody said with a laugh. "Your coming to bed."

"Ya don' want me in ya bed." Ren said as he grasped Jody's upper arms and looked into her face seriously.

Jody looked into his eyes; she could see that he was quite serious about what he had said.

"Okay then. You can sleep on the lounge tonight. It folds out into a bed." Jody told him as she stepped back.

Ren got to his feet and swayed drunkenly as he watched Jody fold the lounge out into a bed. He sat down on the edge of it and attempted to pull his boots off but only succeeded in nearly falling onto the floor face first.

"Here, let me help you." Jody told him as she brushed his hands aside and reached for his boot. She pulled his boots off easily and helped him swing his legs up onto the lounge.

"We gotta talk in tha mornin' " Ren said as he lay back and closed his eyes.

"I'll get you a pillow and blanket." Jody told him.

Ren murmured an unintelligible reply as she left the room to get the things.

When Jody returned Ren had rolled onto his side and was fast asleep, she placed the pillow on the empty space behind him and tossed the blanket over him ensuring he was covered up before moving around behind him and climbing under the blanket with him.

* * * * *

"Hey Jody, you'd better wake up or you'll be late for work." Tessa called from the lounge room doorway.

Jody woke with a start and lifted her head to look over at Tessa.

"It's five past nine." Tessa told her.

"Okay, thanks." Jody said as she felt Ren move in front of her. She had slept deeply cuddling him from behind all night. Jody sat up before swinging her legs off the side of the bed and getting to her feet. She glanced at Ren and saw he was rubbing a hand over his face sleepily.

"Could you handle some coffee with me?" Jody asked him.

"Coffee would be good." Ren said as he lowered his hand to look at Jody through narrowed eyes.

"Feeling seedy?" Jody asked unsympathetically.

"I'll survive. Could do with some more sleep though. I didn't sleep the night before last." He said as he sat up slowly.

"Well I'm having a shower then coffee before I head off to work." Jody told him. "Want to join me in the shower?" She asked with a grin.

"No. I'm still half pissed and we need to talk." Ren said as he got to his feet.

Jody regarded him silently for a moment before she nodded and headed for the bathroom by herself.

Ren went to the toilet then headed for the kitchen, he helped himself to a large mug of strong black coffee and sat at the table while he waited for Jody.

Jody's hair was still damp from the shower and she was dressed in her work clothes when she walked into the kitchen. She poured herself a cup of coffee and put some bread in the toaster before turning around to face Ren.

"Last night you said you wanted to talk to me today." She said between sips of hot coffee.

"I really don't want to get into it now. I need a clear head and several more hours of sleep before we talk." Ren said faintly apologetic.

"It sounds serious." Jody commented as she studied her coffee in her cup.

"I would feel better if I spoke to you about it after work." Ren told her.

"I work until four. You can stick around here today if that suits you or your can come back about four-thirty. Please yourself." Jody said as she looked up.

"I might stick around here and get some more sleep and a shower." Ren said as he rubbed a hand over the back of his neck.

"I'll see you when I get off work then." Jody said as she tipped the rest of her coffee down the sink, rinsed the cup and left without eating her toast.

Ren finished his coffee and headed for the shower. The water felt good on his aching head as he ducked his head under the stream of water before reaching for the soap.

* * * * *

Jody walked to her front door tiredly. It had been a hectic day at work with one of the bartenders off sick and two buses stopping at the pub during the period the counter lunches were served. She was reluctant to open the front door and go in to face whatever Gabe had to say to her sensing that it was something pretty important to him.

She found him in the kitchen drinking coffee and eating a steak sandwich.

"Good afternoon." Ren said as Jody came into the room.

"Hi." Jody noted that he certainly looked much better than he had that morning before she had left for work. She helped herself to a cup of coffee and sat down across the table from him.

Ren finished eating his sandwich before turning his full attention onto Jody.

"So is this where you tell me you're married slash gay slash have Aids or some such thing?" Jody asked flatly.

"None of those but not far off it." Ren said soberly. "You're a real nice person and I think I owe it to you to be up front about this. On the other hand I could say nothing of it and you might probably never hear anything about it but I believe I should be honest with you."

Jody watched him with an uneasy feeling.

"I'm not really sure where to start." Ren said after a few moments pause.

"Look if you want to stop seeing me just come right out and say it! Don't muck around and sugar coat it!" Jody snapped.

"I honestly don't know where I want things to go or if you will want me around after I say what I have to say." Ren said evenly.

"Well out with whatever it is and let me decide what I want!" Jody snapped uneasily.

"That friend of mine who wasn't treating his girlfriend right, well I stuck my nose in trying to get him to stop hitting her and make him treat her better ... a few days ago, they broke up and I was trying to help her out... anyway we ended up getting involved and I bought her a ticket home to her family. She's gone back home to her parents." Ren said as he picked at the breadcrumbs on the table in front of him.

"Define involved." Jody said tightly.

"We slept together, made love." Ren said with a level look.

"So you just fucked this sheila despite seeing me or doesn't whatever is between us count?" Jody demanded hurt and angry.

"I..." Ren started to explain.

"Or am I just a convenient fuck when you want a bit?" Jody demanded as she got to her feet.

"If you were just a stray bit or just convenient I wouldn't bother telling you. But you're a very special person that I think a lot of and I would like to continue seeing but I feel you deserve to know the truth." Ren told her sincerely.

"So what happened? You were busy playing hero and she was grateful?" Jody asked scornfully.

"No! Hell I don't know! It happened and I don't want to dissect what happened. It happened that I don't deny. I just believe you should know I turned to someone else while I was seeing you." Ren tried to explain.

"So are you finished with her? You going to keep seeing her?" Jody demanded.

"I doubt if I'll ever see her again. I know where she lives roughly. I could get in contact with her if I chose to. But I don't plan to." Ren said.

"Did you choose me over her or did she walk out on you?" Jody asked suddenly.

"I sent her home to her family." Ren said flatly.

Jody was silent as she studied him. Somehow she had the idea that he had given an answer that was not an answer. "I don't know what to think. You turned up in town here last night but you didn't come find me. You got plastered and now this bombshell."

"I didn't have to tell you. You probably would never have known about her but not to tell you was like lying." Ren said softly.

"Are you still friends with your mate? The one whose girlfriend you slept with?" Jody asked.

"No I don't consider him a friend any more. I should have done more to stop him hitting her right from the start. I told him he should treat her better than he did and it wasn't until he hit her with his belt I really done something." Ren said regretfully.

"Do you really think just saying 'hey, don't hit your girlfriend' is going to stop violence in a relationship? If anything it just sends it behind closed doors, out of sight. If it isn't already done when no-one else is around." Jody told him.

"You sound like you know a bit about abusive relationships." Ren commented.

"I grew up watching my parents." Jody explained.

"Where do we go from here?" Ren asked.

"Well you are here with me. Not with her at her parent's place. Does that say something about who you want to be with?" Jody asked.

Ren was silent as he thought about what Jody had said.

He was with her but he couldn't have very well taken Sky home, or could he have he wondered suddenly. No, he thought. He had had to let Sky go her own way. She needed to heal after all she had went through with Hawk.

"Yeah, I'm here with you. I didn't even come here consciously. I was just looking for a place to get pissed." Ren told her ruefully.

"I guess we wait and see where things take us." Jody said as she came around to sit beside him.

Ren reached out and put an arm around her shoulders and leant towards her to kiss her lightly on the lips.

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