And maybe sad?
Most people who drank that much alone often had a little bit of sadness in them. I couldn’t blame him for that. I’d be sad all the time if I’d gone through what he had, especially in the public eye. After Alex passed away, I read some of the hateful comments people made about Oliver. If it were me, I would’ve wanted to die myself. I was sure he blamed himself enough—the last thing he needed was the whole world to blame him too.
“I’m sorry, I just . . . how can I help you?” I asked with my shaky voice.
His shoulders rounded forward even more as if weight was being placed against him every few seconds. He nudged his glass in my direction.
“Right, of course. Another one. I’ll be right back.”
I hurried over to the bar and grabbed the bottle of whiskey, then took it back to his table, set it right down, and poured a glass. “There you go.”
He didn’t reply, so I awkwardly stood there, gawking like a fool.
It wasn’t until he looked up toward me with a cocked eyebrow of confusion that I shook out of my stance.
“Right, of course. Okay.”
I hurried off back behind the bar, flustered and nervous as I tried to get all the new customers their drinks. Business was busy to the point that it was almost impossible to keep up, and I would’ve killed to have Joey there to assist me. But then again, I powered through as I thought about the tips I’d receive. Plus, Oliver freaking Smith was fifty feet away from me. Drunk, sad, and still, somehow perfect.
The fangirl in me wanted to ask him a million questions about what made him write certain songs, but I kept myself together. The last thing I needed was to make a scene.
As the night went on, people started putting their dollars into the jukebox machine. Even though it was refreshing to hear different music, I wished the crowd didn’t have such awful taste for bubblegum pop.
Each time I glanced over to Oliver’s booth, more of the whiskey in the bottle was missing.
What happened to him that night, and how did he end up at Seven?
The crowd kept talking complete crap about Alex & Oliver—mainly Oliver—and I couldn’t imagine what it must’ve felt like to sit there and listen to the putdowns. If it were me, I would’ve snapped—or, well, cried. The more and more Oliver drank, the more tense he became. Hours passed, and people still kept bringing up his name.
It was as if they had nothing better to talk about than the superstar who’d crashed and burned.
“Honestly, it pisses me off that Alex died and Oliver didn’t,” a big, broad-shouldered man commented as he took a shot. “He was the better brother. I always thought Oliver was odd. Besides, their music was trash.”
“As if you know shit about good music!” Oliver barked before he downed the remaining brown liquor in his glass.
The big man tilted his head toward Oliver. “What did you just say?”
“I said”—Oliver stood up, rolled his shoulders back, and stumbled a bit before removing his hat and wiping his hand across his lips—“that you don’t know shit about good music. You’ve been playing the same clichéd bar songs for the past two hours.”
Oh boy. This can’t be good.
The room instantly broke out into shouts as people realized the drunken man in the corner booth was indeed the very Oliver Smith they’d been shitting on for the past two hours.
“I mean, r-r-really,” Oliver slurred, picking up the whiskey bottle and taking a long swig. He walked in the direction of the guy, who was at least twice his size, and poked him in the chest. “I’m s-sick of listening to your bullshit.”
Oliver was smashed, and him approaching the guy talking to him made me nervous. The man was a freaking rock. He had muscles on muscles that were probably growing baby muscles. The guy was a beast, and if Oliver had been a tad bit sober, he never would’ve challenged such a man.
People stood around on their cell phones, recording the whole interaction, and I hurried from around the bar because I knew things were about to get worse before they got better.
“You’re sick of me? I’m sick of you, asshole!” Big Guy shoved Oliver, who went stumbling backward; the only reason he didn’t hit the ground was because the table caught him. “You must think you’re a big deal, huh? Because you’re rich and famous, you think you can fuck all of us out of our time and money, man?” he hissed at Oliver.
Oliver scrambled to his feet and shook his head as if he was trying to unblur his vision. Yet, based on the amount of liquor flowing through his body, I doubted any amount of head shaking would make things clear.
“I don’t”—he pushed Big Guy—“appreciate”—shove—“being pushed.” Both hands landed on Big Guy’s chest, and Oliver pushed with all his might and got nowhere. “Geez, what are you made of? Steel?”
“Muscle, you dick.”
“Oh. Well, fuck. You got me beat on the fighting avenue,” Oliver concluded, which made me happy. The last thing I needed was to tell Joey how a brawl broke out in his bar between a rock star and a rock.
I was glad Oliver was stepping down and that he realized the fight wasn’t worth having.
At least that’s what I thought.
Oliver nodded toward Big Guy’s lady, and a smirk hit his lips. “You might be stronger than me, but I bet I’d screw your girl better than you.”
My jaw hit the floor.
The woman should’ve been offended by the comment, but I swore I saw a small grin find her lips. I bet there were a million women who would effortlessly leave their boyfriends and husbands for a night in Oliver’s sheets. Even though he was the more closed-off and quiet twin, he was still Oliver Smith. “Handsome” wasn’t a strong enough word to describe him. He was remarkably attractive, and with his normal mellow demeanor, he appeared that much more beautiful.
When he was sloppy and drunk, though? Not so much.
“I mean, honestly,” Oliver said, sounding cocky as ever as he nodded and winked toward the woman, “I bet she’s a great—”
Before Oliver could say another word, Big Guy slammed his fist straight into Oliver’s face, knocking the rock star off his feet and straight to the ground.
People shouted and crowded around the fallen star with their cameras in hand as Oliver tried his best to get to his feet but couldn’t accomplish standing up at all.
“All right, all right! That’s enough! Bar is closed! Everyone get up and out!” I shouted, but no one listened. I had to physically start shoving the customers toward the front entrance, and when they were all gone, I glanced over to Oliver. The Oliver Smith. The man of my made-up dreams. My biggest celebrity crush lying there drunk, dazed, and confused like a broken puppy.
It didn’t take long for the paparazzi to get word that Oliver Smith was at Seven that night, and they were swarming the outside of the bar, banging on the door.
It looked like they weren’t ready to leave anytime soon.
“Here, let me help you up,” I said, combing my hair behind my ears as I walked toward Oliver, who was still struggling to stand on his own. His left eye was already turning deep shades of black, with purplish tones beneath his eye. With one hit, Big Guy had messed him up terribly. He looked as if he’d been beaten over and over again, pounded until he was nothing. Yet it was one tamed, controlled hit that had sent Oliver flying.
“No,” Oliver muttered, waving me away but still allowing me to help him. I got him into the booth, and he slumped over as the paparazzi pressed their bodies against the window and flashed their cameras nonstop like freaking crazed maniacs.
I hadn’t a clue how celebrities dealt with it all. Fame seemed more like a curse than a blessing to me.
“Another one,” Oliver muttered, putting his finger up in the air.
“Yeah, okay,” I mumbled, walking over to the bar and grabbing him a big glass of water. I returned to the booth and sat on the edge of it. “Here you go.”
He didn’t sit up because, let’s be honest, he couldn’t. But he allowed me to place the glass in his hand, and he lowered it to his lips. The moment he tasted the water, he huffed and tossed the water out of the glass—straight onto me.
“Jeez!” I hissed, shooting up from the booth, drenched. “What the hell?”
“I wanted w-whiskey,” he stuttered.
A big part of me wanted to push him out to the hyenas standing outside the building. I wanted to get rid of him and start cleaning up the bar, pretending that the whole night hadn’t taken the most dramatic turn in the history of turns.