Rhythm and the Blue Line Ch 32

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Ryan had just saved her work log when her phone rang. She answered, hoping it wasn’t a last-minute request for anything. She was anxious to finish up and get out; Brody was going to pick her up and they were going to get one last, quiet celebration in before the tour and the playoffs started up. It was her supervisor, but luck was with her—the work was already done. Relieved, she sent the files and copied them to the shared drive on the network. She looked at the clock and groaned; the end of the day seemed further away than it had before. Annoyed, she pulled up the task list to see what she might be able to do for the last half an hour. With work to focus on, time moved faster; when she next checked the time, it was going on five-thirty. Finally, she thought. She logged out of the system, turned off her computer, grabbed her bag and left. Once outside, she took a deep breath. It was spring at last, and it was a relief not to feel chilled to the bone after a damp winter. Brody hadn’t arrived yet, so she pulled out her phone and opened her music app. She toyed with some ideas, every so often looking up to look for Brody’s car. She wondered if they’d go for sushi or if Brody had a new restaurant he wanted to show her. It seemed that his hobby, aside from watching cooking shows, was finding places to eat. He’d found more in the few years he’d been with the Caps than Ryan had found in her whole life. “RYAN!!” She jerked her head around and saw her father stalking towards her. “What the hell did you say to Evan?” He loomed over her. “Hi, Dad. I’m fine. You?” “Don’t get smart with me! Who the hell do you think you are telling Evan bursa escort not to declare for the draft?” “What are you talking about? I never told him that!” “Then what in God’s name did you say?” Jim glared at her. “I told him he didn’t have to decide now. I told him he should think about it.” “Of course you did.” Jim scoffed. “It’s bad enough you’ve screwed up your own life, now you have to screw up his!” “Fuck you! I didn’t tell him to quit and I haven’t screwed up anything!” Jim looked at her, incredulous. “You don’t think you’ve screwed anything up? Have you looked at yourself lately? You don’t even have a real job! You are throwing away—” “I have a real job! You’re just pissed that I’m not doing something you pre-approved for me!” Jim gritted his teeth. “You know what? I don’t care what you do with your life. But you will not screw with your brother’s plan!” “It’s not his plan, it’s your plan!” Ryan couldn’t remember when she’d been so angry. “You think it’s so fucking important that he turns pro just because you couldn’t!” “I want your brother to have a future, goddamn it! Which is more than you’ve got right now! You won’t always get a paid vacation to play that crap you call music.” That stung, but Ryan ignored it. “I’m doing what I want, and that’s all Evan wants for himself. I didn’t tell Evan to do anything one way or the other.” “You didn’t even try to stop him!” Jim threw up his hands. “There was nothing to stop! He asked me a question and I answered him. What the hell else was I supposed to do?” “You should have told me about it the minute he said something to you!” “Why should I? It’s up to Evan.” bursa escort bayan Jim looked at her, incredulous. “Evan is fucking eighteen years old! He doesn’t know what he wants, or what he needs!” “But you do.” Ryan crossed her arms in front of her. “You’re goddamned right I do! And he doesn’t need anymore so-called help from you!” Jim took another step towards her and jabbed his finger at her. “I do not want you talking to him, do you understand me? No email, no phone calls, no goddamned texts!” She smacked his hand away. “Christ, Dad, I’m not twelve! If I want to talk to my brother, I will!” “What the hell is your problem? Why can’t you, just once, do what you’re told? Your brother has worked too hard not to go professional!” “That’s Evan’s decision!” “Decisions? You want to talk about decisions? Your life is the worst string of decisions I’ve ever seen!” Ryan could only stare as her father let loose. “First you decided to be friends with that slut, Lara. Your mother and I warned you not to hang out with trash like her and now you’re no better than she is! Then you decided to be friends with drug addicts, which I guess makes sense since you’d have to be on drugs in the first place to think that noise you make is music, let alone that someone should pay you for it and—” Ryan blinked when her father stopped short. She turned and saw Brody. “Hey.” He gave her a quick smile. “Hi.” “Jim.” Brody nodded at her father. “Brody.” Jim’s voice was even but Ryan knew he was still furious. No one said anything for several awkward seconds. Ryan was about to tell Brody she was ready to leave when her father spoke escort bursa up. “Brody, if you’ll excuse us, Ryan and I are discussing some family issues.” Jim took a step towards his daughter. Brody looked down at Ryan, who turned to her father. “We’re not discussing anything, and I am done with this.” She turned to Brody. “I’m ready to go.” Jim grabbed her arm. “I am not finished with you!” “Too damn bad, because I’m fucking finished with you!” Ryan yanked her arm back and stalked away. x-x-x-x “You okay?” Brody waited until they were a couple of miles away before saying anything. He went over possible plans for the evening while waiting for her answer. They’d planned to go out but after that blow up with her father, he couldn’t imagine she wanted to sit at a restaurant. “Yeah.” Ryan nodded. “So, where do you want to go?” Brody darted a glance at Ryan, not trusting the even tone of her voice. “I thought you might want to head home. We could order in.” “Why?” He drummed his fingers on the wheel as they waited at a light. “Ryan, you just had a major fight with your dad. You’re upset; I thought you might want to keep it quiet tonight.” “I’m okay.” Ryan shrugged. “Not like it hasn’t happened before.” “Then why are you strangling your bag?” Ryan looked down and saw that she’d been twisting the strap of her bag in her hands to the point that her knuckles were white and her palms red. She cleared her throat. “It was just a rough day.” “Ryan, Ryan, Ryan.” He shook his head. “I’m not as clueless as I used to be. There may not be any angry music playing, but I can tell you’re upset.” “I’m fine, I’m—” “Give it up, sweetheart.” She slumped back. “You’re right. I’m—I don’t know. I’m furious and I’m upset and I don’t know what to do. I hate it.” Brody covered her hand with his for the rest of the ride and waited until they were back in his apartment before saying anything else.

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