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Sweet Kiss of Revenge

Continued in
A Kiss Among Friends

 Rating: PG

     

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Sweet Kiss of Revenge
by
OKDeanna

GWEN HOTCHKISS walked into the Jazz Club and almost walked right back out again. She had come here tonight because she thought she would see no one she knew, but she should have known better. Luck was definitely no longer on her side.

She took a deep breath then headed up to the bar and prayed the person she saw sitting on one of the stools didn't talk to her. She wanted to be alone to wallow in her pain. She didn't need anyone's false pity least of all someone who had sympathy for the Lopez-Fitzbackstabbing clan.

"Can I get a rum and coke?" She asked the bartender and she sat down on the stool farthest away from the man sitting at the bar. Laying her purse on the bar, she raised a hand and ran it through her shoulder length blond hair.

How could she have been so stupid? She should have known what was going on between Theresa and Ethan, but... but she had trusted them. Ethan had continually told her that Theresa could be trusted and because of that reason she had trusted her. But that turned out to be the biggest mistake of her life.

Ethan had fallen for Theresa, going so far as to call of the wedding for her. She wanted to believe he didn't really love her, but she knew Ethan well enough to know that he felt more than an infatuation for Theresa. He had to if he called off the wedding for her.

Her mother kept telling her to fight for Ethan, but Gwen wasn't sure he was worth fighting for. She loved him and she probably always would, but he had betrayed her. Oh maybe he hadn't slept with the little tramp that called herself her friend, but he'd still betrayed her. His betrayal was a betrayal of the heart and hurt far worse than actually catching him and Theresa in the sack would have.

She grabbed the drink the bartender sat in front of her then downed half of it, grimacing at the taste left in her mouth. What was she doing here, she thought staring at the glass in her hand as she swirled the liquid around. She had never been one to drown her troubles in alcohol so why had she come here tonight? And to the Jazz club no less. She hated Jazz.



HANK BENNETT stared at the beautiful blond at the other end of the bar and wondered whether or not he should approach her. She didn't look all that interested in talking to anyone and he couldn't say he blamed her. He had heard about Ethan canceling the wedding because he was in love with both Gwen and Theresa so he knew that Gwen had plenty of reason to look as heartbroken as she did, but still he hated to see a beautiful woman drinking alone, especially when she looked as if she would cry at any moment.

He grabbed his beer off the bar in front of him then slid off the barstool and made his way toward Gwen. He knew she saw him approach and he wondered if she was going to tell him to go away. But then she surprised him.

"Have you ever placed so much love and faith in one person and then had all your dreams shattered?" She looked up at him with sad brown eyes and for the life of him he couldn't think of a single thing to say. "Well have you?"

"Y...yes." He said taking a seat on the barstool next to her. "Once. A long time ago."

"How did you deal with it?" She asked her eyes almost pleading him to help her. "I mean obviously you did. You don't seem like you're heartbroken now?"

"Some people are just better at hiding the pain." He said shifting uncomfortably on the barstool. "I've had a long time to deal with what happened to me and looking back on it, I know that I was partly responsible for my own heartbreak."

"Me too." She said releasing a sad sigh and taking another sip of her drink. "I let myself believe that there was nothing in this world that could come between Ethan and I. That was the reason I stopped seeing Theresa as a threat, but deep down I have to wonder if I didn't know what was going on and just refused to see it. Do you know what I mean?"

"Yeah, unfortunately I do." He said taking a long sip of his beer. Unfortunately, he knew all too well. "Before I left Harmony, I was in love with this girl. She meant the world to me. I knew she still had feelings for someone else, but I didn't want to see it. I thought she had finally put him behind her and wanted a relationship with me. Turns out I was wrong."

"What happened?" Gwen asked laying a hand on his forearm and causing him to turn to her in surprise. She looked down at her hand then muttered a weak "sorry" before giving him a smile that asked him to continue.

"I saw her kiss him one night." He could still feel the pain in his gut even know years later. He should have known Beth was still in love with Luis. That was the reason she didn't want Luis to know they were seeing each other. It hadn't been because she wanted to wait until the time was right. It was because she was waiting for the time when he would tell her he wanted her back. "I also heard her tell him how much she loved him."

"Oh Hank." She whispered sadly. "I'm so sorry. That must have hurt."

"It did, but I know it was for the best. She didn't love me and I'm glad I found that out before I got any more involved than I did."

"But you had already given her your heart so hearing that had to hurt so much." She shook her head. "I guess you do know what I'm feeling then."

"Yeah I do." He said taking another drink of his beer. In fact, he knew better than she thought just what it felt like to have the person you loved throw you over for a member of the Lopez-Fitzgerald family. He was still a little bitter about it, but he knew it wasn't Luis fault. He just had that way about him that women just seemed to flock to. It wasn't his fault. It was just the way things were.

He shook his head to clear it then titled his beer toward Gwen's empty glass. "You want another?"

"Oh." She said staring at it as if she just realized the glass was empty. "Um... yeah why not? I can take a cab home if need be. Right now I just want to... I just want to forget."

"Forgetting is easier said than done. " He said as he motioned the bartender to bring him another beer and refill Gwen's glass. "In fact, it's damn near impossible.'

"So what do you do then?" She asked looking at him with tearful brown eyes. "Just live with the pain and hope some day it will go away? You just told me it won't go away."

"It never fully goes away." He said reaching up to wipe away a tear slowly traveling down her cheek. "But it does lessen and it does get easier. You won't always feel the way you feel right now, Gwen. I promise."

She closed her eyes then raised her hand to cover his still resting against her cheek. "Thank you, Hank. I needed to hear that."

"Anytime." He said as he gave her hand a gentle squeeze. "And I'll let you in on a little secret."

"What's that?" She asked with a raised brow as they both lowered their hands.

"The sweetest type of revenge in the case of having your heartbroken? Is showing the person that broke it that you can get along just fine without them."

"And that works?" She asked with a hint of doubt in her voice.

"Well, I don't actually know." He said with a sheepish grin. "But I'm willing to try it if you are?"

She laughed then picked up her glass and held it out to him. He picked up his beer bottle and as they clinked their glasses together, a bond of friendship was born.

"Here's to the sweet kiss of revenge."

Continued in A Kiss Among Friends

THE END

               
     

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