Welcome to Friday Fiction and it’s linky week too! Click on the blue frog below to link up your fiction and review posts and don’t forget to comment on other posts too.
My post this week is a fiction piece from my Nano novel, pieces of which I have posted before, though not necessarily in the correct order. I have added links to other relevant pieces, in case you want to fill in some of the gaps. This piece also ties in with this week’s prompt from Sara at mumturnedmom.
Dillon’s legs ached from being on his motorbike for so long the previous day and he wasn’t sure how far he would be able to go. He had just less than 100 miles to get to Perpignan and the border crossing and then a further 120 miles to get to Barcelona. It was just about doable. The ride along the A9 made the journey easier. It was a beautiful day and on parts of the route, he could see the sea glistening in the sunlight.
Once over the border, Dillon drove on until he found a service station. It felt strange to hear Spanish accents rather than French ones. He had managed fine without being able to speak any French, so wasn’t worried, but he hadn’t realised how used to hearing the French language he had become. This sounded so… foreign.
On reaching the city, Dillon drove around for a while until he spotted a hotel that advertised private parking. It was a tall glass building, like a modern office block. Pulling in, he followed the signs to an underground car park, where the attendant gave him a ticket and told him where he could lock up his bike. The hotel was modern, with a large open foyer where the clip clopping of Dillon’s bike boots echoed as they hit the polished tiled floor.
The hotel had rooms spare and he made a reservation for seven nights. It wasn’t difficult to strike a deal with the pretty receptionist, who battered her eyelids his way and was more than happy to accommodate his needs. The room was modern and sleek and had a small balcony. The view, overlooking the streets below, wasn’t much but beyond the tall buildings opposite you could just about see the sea. It was only a short walk from the hotel to the beach and Dillon was looking forward to spending some time relaxing there. Even though it was October, the temperature was well into the twenties. Being further south definitely had its advantages.
Dillon went to the bathroom and looked at his reflection in the mirror. He hadn’t shaved for a few days and his hair was a mess from wearing the bike helmet. His eyes looked heavy and tired and they were blood shot. He looked a mess. Stripping out of his leathers, he showered and shaved then felt slightly better. It was a relief to put on a t-shirt and some shorts.
Heading out of the hotel, he took the short walk across the road, following the signs to the beach. It was full of tourists and locals alike, all making the most of the late summer sun. Dillon breathed in taking in the sea air and the setting around him. The marina was stunning. Wondering along the promenade, Dillon admired the luxury yachts, wondering whom they could belong to. Barcelona obviously wasn’t short of its rich visitors. The hotels along the marina were luxury five star buildings, the people wondering around dripping with money.
The bars and restaurants lining the marina gave the whole place a feeling of a Spanish holiday resort rather than a city. All had offers for happy hour and cheap dining, each eager for custom. Dillon noticed that the waiters stood outside the restaurants were mainly good-looking Spanish men, there to get the attention of the ladies. There were lots of groups of girls holidaying together. One group he noticed, were wearing fake veils and hair bands with devil horns, obviously on a hen do.
He noticed that the door staff didn’t bother him as he walked by. Perhaps it was his rough exterior, or the fact that he was tall and had a presence and manner about him that screamed leave me the hell alone. Dillon wasn’t in the mood to be bothered by anyone, so it was a relief. He just wanted to be alone. Walking past the last bar, he went up some steps and turned left towards the beach. There was a bar kiosk on the beach itself, with its own sun beds and chairs. He went over to the bar and ordered a drink, choosing to sit there rather than elsewhere.
The cold beer was welcoming in the hot sun and didn’t last long. A few bottles later and Dillon was finally beginning to relax. He had felt a little awkward and alone up until then. Being in another new place and having to find his feet and work out where things were was stressful. He didn’t mind the place though, well what he had seen of it so far. There was a relaxed, party feel to the marina. Dillon suspected that this was more of a tourist trap than the rest of the city. He made a promise to himself to take a tour at some point and at least try to appreciate the culture. But for the time being, happy hour and sunshine were more than enough for him.
Dillon wondered what he would do. He had one week to think about it, but he really had no idea where he would go next or whether he would stay in Spain. It felt strange to have no plans and no place to go, or even a job to take your mind off it. At least when he worked in bars previously, he’d had a purpose and a feeling of belonging. When you work in a bar, the staff become like family. You all work together so much that you come to rely on each other in that way. It had been good for Dillon to find that sort of work. It had really helped him to stop missing home.
As Dillon sat there, evaluating his life as it was, the regrets were beginning to build. First Kate. The longer she stayed away, the harder it became for him to think about how much he had loved her. Kate was the reason he couldn’t return home and he was beginning to resent her for that. Where the hell was she? Thoughts of her were turning to hate. Not only had she messed up their relationship by what she did to him, the way she just upped and left put him in the position of the bad guy. Had she no thoughts to what the police might think? It made him feel as though she had never cared for him at all. The consequences of what she did had been devastating to Dillon and his family. He was a condemned man and it looked like he would never be able to clear his name.
Then there was Bridget. Falling for her had ruined a close friendship and broken another man’s heart. Dillon hadn’t cared about Dave’s feelings when he was with Bridget. All he cared about was how he had felt when he was with her. Walking away was something he regretted now. He thought it was the right thing to do: to leave Bridget and Dave to try and work out their feelings for one another and get out of their lives for good so he couldn’t cause any more damage.
There had been other girls. Alcohol and sex were Dillon’s way of blotting out the rest of his sorry life. They only had a temporary affect on him though. Nothing could fill the need in him that Kate had done. Not even Camille, when he was in Paris. Camille wasn’t like any other girl he had been with. She wasn’t needy and submissive, but was strong and had known what she wanted from the first time they had met. Dillon had sensed that he filled a need in her as much as she did him. It was almost like an unwritten agreement they had between each other: mindless sex between two people without any questions asked. It had suited him fine, but he was only sorry that he hadn’t been able to protect her from Brad. Dillon felt he had badly let her down. It was another cock up to add to his ever-growing collection.
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