Duncan walked into the stock room, slamming the wooden door behind him. Damien hopped off the wooden crate he had been sitting on and tosses down the newspaper he had been reading. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Duncan murmurs, running both hands though his hair.

“Dude, what’s the matter?” Damien asks.

Duncan holds his hands out to his sides, palms up, eyes wide. “It’s Courtney, man! How the hell did she even find Day N’ Night?” he exclaims. He resumes pacing the stock room and cursing every now and then.

“Did you not want to see her?” Damien asks. “Because, Duncan, man, I kinda thought you loved her.”

“I did! I mean… I do! That’s why I had to leave her. Don’t you understand that? I was trying to protect her,” Duncan admits, “Now don’t you see how messed up this is? She shouldn’t be here!”

“…I don’t see how this is all such a big problem,” Damien answers, shrugging. Duncan just looks at his best friend, then suddenly his shoulders sag and his head tilts.

“Duuude…,” Duncan says tiredly, disbelieving, “You didn’t tell Courtney to come here, did you?”

Damien sucks air through his teeth, caught. Finally, Duncan sees Courtney’s fur coat on the crate behind Damien, who tries to kick the coat out of view. “You did not fucking tell Courtney to come here!” Duncan shouts, but this time it wasn’t a question. “I can’t believe you, Damien! Out of all the people!”

Damien stood there, letting Duncan yell at him.

“Do you not know how much danger you put Courtney back in?! I’m a fucking gangster! I can’t live a normal life with a normal girl and expect everything to be okay! SHIT! You’re such a bastard, Damien! I thought we were friends,” Duncan hisses, shoving Damien in the chest.

This snapped Damien out of his paralysis. “You know what, Duncan?” Damien yells back, poking Duncan harshly in the chest. “You think you know everything! You think you’re protecting her! Well, maybe that’s true in one sense. But not the other.” Damien’s voice had grown to a harsh whisper.

“Do you know how much you’ve been hurting her, Duncan? Do you?! No. You don’t. Because all you did was bring her back to her home and try to go on like life was before. I followed her around town, being sure she was getting along fine without you. And you know what? She wasn’t. Duncan, she fucking cries herself to sleep every night. She looks at that skull you carved her every time she’s in her room. She chases down random people with black hair, thinking it’s you. She tries to act like it’s okay, but it’s not. When I caught up to her in her apartment building to tell her to try to meet you here, she was so happy at first, because she thought I was you. You protected her from maybe getting killed, yes, but you broke her heart,” Damien finishes.

Duncan stares at Damien, not believing what his best friend just told him.

Suddenly, Duncan spins around and punches his fist through a crate, piled high on a shelf. The wood splinters, cracking open. His fist plows through a bottle of whiskey, glass cracking too. He pulls his hand out, and whiskey dribbles out onto the floor. “Fuck! I’m such an idiot! I’m such a motherfucking asshole who doesn’t even deserve… ugh! God, I’m retarded!” Duncan shouts. He kicks a barrel of wine, while goes careening across the floor and smashes into the wall, wine spilling everywhere.

Duncan roughly grabs Damien’s shoulders, looking his friend straight in the eye. “Where’d Courtney go?! Where is she?! I gotta… I gotta… Where?!” Duncan demands, teal eyes gone crazy. His pupils were dilated, and Duncan’s heart was racing.

“I have no idea. She might have left, or she might be getting drunk… I have no idea,” Damien admits, a little freaked by Duncan’s urgency.

Duncan sprints out the stock room door, slipping through the crowd until he gets to the bodyguard at the door. “Brock! Did a really sexy brunette in a short red dress just leave?” Duncan asks.

“Yeah, Duncan, man. She just left about five minutes ago,” he answers. Duncan shoves the metal door open, out into the snow. He sprints down the alley, desperate to find her.


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Courtney was shivering, walking down the sidewalk in a strange part of town. I’m so retarded, she thinks to herself, How could I have ever thought this would have been a good idea?! I have no coat in freaking December! She had settled for shoving her fists into the ruffles of the bow at her waist to keep her fingers from falling off.

Sadly, she couldn’t say the same for her legs. They had gone numb a long while ago. Her toes were cramped in the ridiculously high heels she had worn, and she was definitely not taking them off. So she was stuck to suffer. Courtney had even debated on whether or not to sit on the front porch of an apartment building, but all of them looked creepy and dangerous.

Her only hope was to walk on and hopefully find a taxi. But like the taxi driver had said, hardly anybody wanted a ride downtown. Maybe, if she was really desperate, Courtney would flash her legs or her boobs, if only to get a free ride. Courtney shuddered at this idea, and was taken over by another round of shivering.

By now, her jaw was hurting. She was long past teeth-chattering, and well into lockjaw. Her teeth her clamped together so hard she was sure her teeth would shatter, and the shards would pierce her gums. Her jaw was so sore, but she couldn’t loosen it up.

Courtney swore that if she couldn’t find help, or warmth, soon, she would climb up a fire escape and commit suicide right then and there.

It would at least be a faster way to go than freezing to death, or being raped by some perverted hobo.

“Courtney!”

She froze at the sound of her name. Courtney turned around just in time to see Duncan grab her shoulders and pull her into his chest. She was so startled, that all she did was huddle in his strong arms as he hugged her and breathe in his familiar smell: cologne, cedar, and… Duncan.

“God, Courtney, I’m so sorry. I’m such an idiot. I love you so much, and I didn’t mean… I mean, all I was trying to do was… God, I’m just so sorry, Courtney. I’m a complete fuck-up,” Duncan apologizes profusely.

Courtney shifts in his arms, trying to huddle as much of her body as she can into his warm hug. “You’re not a fuck-up,” she mumbles into his shirt.

“Come on, you’re shaking. Log Cabin isn’t far from here,” he tells her, pulling out of the hug. Duncan takes off his black leather jacket and holds it out for her. Courtney, not able to resist the body heat, slides her arms into his jacket sleeves. The sleeves are so long that they cover her hands, which was perfectly fine by her. Duncan leads her one block down the street and around the corner, to Log Cabin, his arm around her all the way there.

Courtney was shocked Log Cabin had been so close. She could have found shelter there. That is, if they let her in.

Duncan unlocked the front door, and Courtney stumbled into the warm apartment, glad for heat. He closed the door behind them and they walked up to Duncan’s room, where Courtney collapsed onto Duncan’s bed. She may have been mad at him for walking away from her, but right now, all she cared about was gaining back some body heat and some feeling back in her legs. Duncan digs some quilts out from underneath the bed and lays them on top of Courtney, too.

Her cheeks begin to turn red from the heat, so Duncan knows she’s finally thawing. Courtney pats the space on the mattress right next to her, and Duncan carefully sits down next to her, leaning against the headboard. “We have to talk,” Courtney tells him. Duncan nods, so she continues, “Why did you leave me when you told me you loved me?”

Her voice cracked on ‘leave’, which she hated.

Duncan started stroking her hair as he debated on what to say. “I do love you. I left you because… because I wanted you to be safe. It was too dangerous bringing you on all those bank robberies and rum-running and drug dealing. I jeopardized your life, and I didn’t want that again,” he admits.

“But wouldn’t a Racketeer come after me anyway if they saw me on the streets? They’d recognize me and see that you weren’t with me,” Courtney points out.

Duncan sighs. “I know. But I thought that, maybe, if you weren’t with me, there would be no way for you to be dragged into any of this.”

Courtney looks up at him, but he avoids eye contact with her. Instead, he stares out the window at the street below. Courtney takes an arm out of her warm cocoon of blankets and takes Duncan’s jaw in her hand. She turns his head so he’d be looking her in the eyes, and Courtney whispers, “I’d rather risk my life everyday to be with you.”

Courtney drops her hand back under the covers and waits for Duncan’s reply. “I love you, Princess,” he murmurs.

“I love you, too,” she whispers just before Duncan presses his lips against hers. Duncan cradles her head in his hands, his fingers curled up in her hair. Courtney scoots closer to him, pressing their bodies together.


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Your lips tremble, but your eyes are in a straight stare.
We're on the bed, but your clothes are laying right there.
And I was thinking of places that I could hide,
So now you falling in love.

~ Shake It by Metrostation


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This is what I wanna do.
Let's have some fun,
One on one, just me and you.
Boom, boom, boom, boom!
I want you in my room.
Let's spend the night together,
From now until forever!
Boom, boom, boom, boom!



~ Boom Boom Boom Boom by Venga Boys


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The steps that I retrace,
The sad look on your face,
Did you hear,
He fucked her?


~ Dammit by Blink 182



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She's amazing, the fire blazing,
Hotter than cajun.
Girl, won't you move a 'lil closer?
Time to get paid, it's maximum wage.
That body belong on a poster.
I'm in a daze, that bottom is wavin' at me,
Like, dammit, I know you.

~ Right Round by Flo Rida