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Runaway Rose

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“You ever have a single person ruin your life?”

Patrick Brewer, reluctant reporter and current barfly, felt his ears perk up. While his body still faced the beer bottle currently sweating in front of him, his head turned slightly to the man a couple of seats down the bar.

The man was clearly on his way to being full on drunk. He was handsome with light brown curly hair that somehow managed to look both ragged and artfully tousled. It made Patrick a bit jealous when he mentally compared it to his own close cut brown hair. Even if he grew his curls out, they wouldn’t look that styled. Patrick wondered if the man was struggling financially since the beige sweater he wore over a grey t-shirt seemed torn and patchy in some areas. Then he saw the bottle of VERY expensive scotch next to the man and realized that the tattered sweater probably cost more than Patrick made in a week. There was no one around the man, so Patrick wondered if he had been talking to anyone specific, or to the room in general. He figured he might as well clear things up.

“Were you asking me?”

The hobo-chic man turned to him. Though it was more a combination of a sway and bob. He gave a grin that Patrick wasn’t sure how to interpret. “I might as well,” the man said as he made his way to sit next to Patrick. He held out one hand while simultaneously gripping the scotch bottle with his other. Patrick only then noticed the man didn’t have a glass with him.

“Sebastien Raine.”

“Patrick Brewer.”

They shook hands and Patrick took another sip from his beer for lack of anything else to do. Sebastien, in turn, took a large gulp from his scotch bottle as he situated himself on his new perch. “I’ll ask again, has your life ever been ruined by a single person?”

“Can’t say that it has.”

“Then I suggest you do whatever you can to avoid David Rose or else it won’t stay that way.”

Patrick was intrigued. Clearly there was a story behind that sentence, and he always liked to hear a good story. “Why is that?”

Sebastien let out a humorless chuckle at the question. “In the span of a single day, that man...”he paused and slapped his hand on the wooden bar top. He must’ve had trouble gathering his words. “That man broke my heart and ruined my career.”

“Oh,” Patrick said as Sebastien seemed to slump down now that he had let out the most pressing tidbit. “How did he do that?”

“Oh have I got a story for you Peter.”

“It’s Patrick. And do you mind if I record this?” He pulled his phone out to place it between them. “I’m a reporter and this sounds like quite the human interest story.”

Sebastien’s grin suddenly returned and he seemed to sober up as he pointed to a fairly isolated booth in the corner. “Let’s head over there. You’re going to want to hear everything I’ve got to say about the Runaway Rose.”