Love Me Like That

By: Marie James

He’s working himself into an early grave, but he won’t listen to reason. He’s asked more than once if I’d start progressing to a management position, but that defeats the purpose of me quitting my office job to spend more time with him, as I’d be working most of my shifts opposite of his. Both he and Keira have pushed the idea more than once; every time I’ve told them to leave it alone. I have no desire to run the bar.

He purchased the bar from the original owner when Tom Holder decided it was time for retirement. He was running this bar for Tom when we met but bought it about a year or so after we started dating.

Making my way into the kitchen to grab a bottle of water from the fridge I notice Trent’s coffee mug sitting on the counter. He accidentally leaves his coffee more than once a week. I pour it out and add it to my list of things to take him when I get done with my workout.

We aren’t rich by any means, but Trent’s house is paid for; it was left to him after his mother passed away ten years ago. The bar does very well and because of that we live extremely comfortable. I wouldn’t consider myself a kept woman, but the truth is, other than paying for groceries I have no other financial obligations; my cell phone is even covered on his account. The only reason I buy the groceries is because Trent is perfectly okay with eating out for every meal and I’d have to live at the gym if I ate like him.

He assures me this is the way it’s supposed to be. A man takes care of every one of his woman’s needs. So because of that, I just stick most of my money into savings. I did; however, recently use a chunk of it to buy my car.

My biggest pride and joy is my bright red Mini Cooper Countryman. We don’t have kids and have absolutely no time for an animal, so my car is my baby, and I treat it as such. It’s the first car that I’ve ever bought outright with my own money, and I take extreme pride in it.

I jump behind the wheel and wait for my phone to connect with the Bluetooth in the car. On my way to the gym, I call Keira to see if she wants to grab lunch before our shifts start later this afternoon. It’s Saturday which means all hands on deck since it’s our busiest night of the week. She doesn’t answer me, which is not surprising. More than likely she’s still passed out with whatever guy she deemed Mr. Right Now last night before leaving the bar. She’s always used her waitressing job at the bar as her personal dating service. She’s been lucky so far that it hasn’t caused problems, but she seems pretty up front about her intentions with the guys she hooks up with.

I tilt my head at the emptiness of the parking lot at the gym as I pull up. Saturday morning is usually pretty busy, but this place is deserted, eerie even. Walking up the steps, I see the bright green sign on the door informing me that the gym is closed due to a water pipe break inside. It goes on to say that they hope to be open by Monday at the latest.

I sigh and turn back around. It’s winter in Montana, so there’s no way I’m running outside. Frostbite and toe amputations are not on my list of things to do this week. I hate when my plans are derailed, and there’s nothing worse than not getting my workout in. More times than not it leads to poor eating decisions the rest of the day.

I get back in the car and head to the Starbuck’s drive thru to grab a coffee for Trent and myself, suddenly regretting not washing my hair this morning since I won’t be working out. I’ll wash it after having a cup of coffee with my love; I still have plenty of time before my shift starts.

The emptiness of the parking lot except for Trent’s truck is not surprising. The bar doesn’t open until two in the afternoon, so besides a delivery truck I wouldn’t expect any different.

I make my way to the front door of the bar, knowing it will be open for anyone who may be delivering. I also know chances are good Trent will be in the back office going over the week’s paperwork. He’s very organized, and I’m certain this quirk of his contributes to how well his business has been doing, aside from the staffing issues.

I’m amazed at how different the bar is during the daytime. It’s quiet and weird without music blaring and the sound of glasses clinking; the absence of customers talking and the sound of the balls hitting on the pool tables.

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