The next evening, Cater arrived at work with the biggest grin on his face. He had been trying to relax his facial muscles ever since Sadie had left his bed a few hours ago, but he had eventually given up. He was happy and he wanted the world to see.
“Whoa, looks like someone got some last night,” Harvey mocked seeing Carter’s smug face walking towards him.
“It’s not like that,” Carter replied playfully knocking his friend on the shoulder. “I think I’m in love man.”
“Love,” Harvey splattered. “Not with a girl like that I hope.”
“What do you mean with a girl like that? What’s wrong with Sadie?”
“Don’t get me wrong mate she seems like a nice enough girl, but I see her type coming in here all the time. You’re the flavour of the month right now but soon she will move onto some other poor schmuck.”
“Sadie’s not like that man. She wouldn’t do that to me. We have a real connection.”
“Hey man, it’s none of my business,” Harvey said walking off behind the bar. “I just don’t want to see you get hurt,” he called back.
Carter scratched is head, Sadie’s not like that, he told himself again. She loves me. I’ll prove Harvey wrong!
The two boys got to work opening up the bar and mixing drinks for the punters. It was heaving at The Brightmore that night and Carter and Harvey did not have one moment to even say two words to each other.
When 1am came round most of the evening trade dispersed and they were left with just a few waifs and drunks with nowhere else to go. For the first time all night the bar was quiet and Harvey took the opportunity to ask Carter for a favour. “Hey man,” he said as Carter was wiping down his counter. “I have a little job for you.”
“Sure thing Harvey,” Carter replied turning around and wiping his soggy hands on his apron. “What do you need?”
“Well it’s not the usual sort of job you do here.” Harvey looked around the room suspiciously and then leant into Carter’s ear. “It requires discretion if you know what I mean.”
Carter did not like where this was going.
“I need you to deliver a package for me to the Abandoned Warehouse on the outskirts of Bridgeport, near to the Docklands.”
“What’s in the package,” Carter snapped back.
“I cannot say mate and whatever you do, do not open it. Can I have your discretion on this?”
Carter felt sick inside. The exhilaration from earlier had worn off and he was left with a deep dread inside. Unanswered questions spun around in his head. What was he delivering? Would he get into trouble for it? Was someone going to get hurt because of it? One thing he knew was that whatever was in that package, it was highly illegal.
“Erm…. I don’t think I’m the man of the job,” he replied.
“Yes you are! You’re just the man for the job. I trust you.”
This wasn’t going well, Harvey was not getting the message. Carter knew he just had to spell it out for him. “What I mean Harvey is that you’ll have to get someone else to do your dirty work for you.”
Harvey stood back looking at Carter with such an air of disgust, Carter thought he might punch him. “Are you sure about this? You will be letting me down big time mate, I thought I could reply on you when I got you this job. I hope you know what you’re doing.”
“I’m doing my job,” Carter replied turning away from Harvey and returning to his work space to clean a glass. He could feel the burning heat of rage emanating from Harvey’s body behind him, but he refused to look round at him. The conversation was over.
“I won’t forget this,” Harvey spat also returning to work.
Carter endured the next two hours in silence and then left the moment they shut up the club, he could not stand the air of tension anymore. When he got home, Charlie was still up watching TV in the sitting room.
“Hey man,” Carter said sitting down next to his brother. “How are the wedding preparations going?”
“No idea to be honest, Heather’s doing the whole thing. She won’t let me help with anything which suits me fine.”
Carter laughed and then sat back into the sofa letting out a huge sigh. The evening’s events were swilling around in his brain and the sudden tension between him and Harvey was making him dizzy. Had he been wrong not to help him?
“What’s up with you,” Charlie asked noticing Carter’s unusual silence.
“Nothing,” Carter replied. “Actually there is something. Would you do something for a friend if you knew it was wrong?”
“Depends on what it was,” Charlie replied.
“What if it was delivering a package for them that you sort of knew contained illegal stuff?”
“No way man,” Charlie retorted. “No offence but I wouldn’t even do that for you. What if you got caught, you could get into some serious trouble! Hey you’re not asking me to do that are you?”
“No of course not, it was just hypothetical,” Carter replied getting up and heading towards the stairs. “I’m turning in, good night.”
Charlie watched him leave wondering if he should be worried about his brother.
Carter had been dreading going into work the next day. The only thing that forced him from calling in sick was that Sadie had promised to come in and see him, he had really missed not seeing her the night before.
As he entered the bar he had no idea what kind of mood Harvey was in and if he would even be talking to him. So he was pleasantly surprised when Harvey looked up and waved at him as he approached the bar. “Hey mate,” Harvey called out. “How you doing?”
Carter felt a huge relief flood through him. Harvey was obviously over Carter’s apparent betrayal from the night before. “I’m good thanks man,” he replied putting on his apron and joining his best friend behind the bar.
“Great, then let’s get to work.” And that’s just what they did. They worked and bantered together like the previous evening had never happened and Carter found himself wondering what all the fuss had been about.
As the night wore on, Carter kept one eye always on the door waiting for Sadie. When she eventually walked through the curtained door, Carter’s heart skipped a beat. “Hey baby,” he said calling over to her.
Carter watched as she moved across the room like a swan and straight into the arms of Harvey. She did not even look at Carter, he was invisible to her as Harvey drew her in and kissed her deeply. All Carter could do was watch on in shock.
When she eventually pulled away she stroked Harvey’s cheek telling him she will see him later. Only now, did she finally turn to Carter. “Hey sorry it did not work out between us,” she said very matter-of-factly. “When I came here last night looking for you Harvey told me you had already left. You never told me that Harvey was the head bar-man around here, not you. I think me and him are much better suited!”
And with that she turned on her heel and walked back through the door she had only just walked through moments before. But in that short space of time, Carter’s world had come crashing down.
Still unable to speak, he turned to Harvey who was smiling. “See mate,” he said. “I told you she would replace you by the end of the week.”
Rage boiled inside Carter. He felt his skin burning and had to restrain himself from pulling Harvey’s head off. “Don’t mate me,” he hissed. “You know how I felt about her.”
“I did you a favour. I took her off you before she twisted with your mind.”
“You bast*rd! Where I come from you don’t do that to friends.”
“Yeah well where you come from they’re still holding onto their mother’s apron strings!”
Carter could not hold back anymore. He stormed out from under the bar and punched Harvey hard in his jaw. “I don’t work here anymore,” he cried pushing Harvey out of the way and heading out the door without looking back.
“I Charlie Starr take you Heather Hamill to be my lawful wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forth to death do us part.”
Being a loner, only family were invited to Charlie’s wedding. And as Heather was estranged from hers that meant the entire Starr Family were the only guests. April and Sissy stood to one side with Bella, all three of them crying at the nuptials.
Brendan also came with his wife Champagne and their two children, Peaches and Jude. Time had been good to both Champagne and Brendan, though Bella knew that vast amounts of plastic surgery probably had a lot to do with it.
Where Carter was the best man, Kitty-Boo was the maid of honour. It was a magical day, even though Charlie would have preferred it to have been just the two of them.
After the wedding breakfast had been served and everyone was up on the dance floor, Carter sat alone watching his family from afar. Ever since the Harvey and Sadie incident a month ago, he had shut himself off in his room, not talking to anyone.
“How you holding up Cous,” Kitty Boo said coming and sitting with him.
“Oh you know,” Carter replied. “I’m so happy for Charlie. Just look at them, have you ever seen two people more in love?”
Kitty looked over at Charlie and Heather swaying to the music together, their eyes locked dreamily.
“I know,” Kitty sighed with happiness. “Opposites sure do attract.”
“It’s not just that,” Carter replied. “They trust each other explicably. That’s something to treasure in itself.”
“Are you ok Carter? Mum told me what happened with your friend and the bar.”
“I’ll survive,” Carter replied. “Just remind me to never fall in love again.”
“Carter you can’t think like that. Not everyone’s bad.”
“I know,” Carter replied pulling Kitty to her feet. “Now cheer me up and dance with me.”
“That I can do,” Kitty replied letting Carter spin her across to the dance floor. She knew something had broken inside him and prayed to herself that it would repair in time. He was the heir after all!