Previously on Love Conflicted…
Read Part 8 HERE
Maggie walks out of her building as Ian follows behind, driving along.
Maggie and Lily walk into a cute little restaurant and are seated.
Lily: So you seem to be in better spirits!
Maggie: Um yea. (she smiles, then catches herself) And no.
Lily looks puzzled.
Maggie: It’s a mixed emotions kind of thing. I’m still trying to digest the fact that I have so much to still live for even though he’s gone. It’s definitely going to take some time. But I know one day I’ll see him again.
Lily: I agree. Maybe you just need something to take your mind off of things. A distraction.
Maggie: My thoughts exactly, which is why I’m thinking I’m gonna come back to work.
Lily: (smiles brightly) Really? (Maggie nods) Oh my god! The kids are going to be so excited. They missed you.
Maggie: Yea I’m excited too. I’ve missed their little faces. They always make me smile.
Lily: This is just, this is great. I’m so happy….as long as you’re ready. I mean this is what you want right? I didn’t push you or anything…right? I mean because I know I can sometimes be bossy and meddle a little too much-
Maggie: Sometimes? (she laughs) No. You didn’t push me at all. This is the right move for me. I’m sure of it.
Lily: Well in that case, you and I are celebrating this new improvement, this positive attitude. Tonight. You and me drinks? Dancing? What do you say?
Maggie: Um I don’t know…
Lily: Too much? Too soon?
Maggie: You know what? No, it’ll be fun.
Maggie: Yea. Let’s do it.
Lily: Atta girl. (she raises her glass as they clink them in cheers.)
Meanwhile, Ian watches from afar.
A few minutes later, Ricky walks into his hotel room. He opens up his lap top and starts to work. His phone rings, interrupting his intense focus.
Ian: So I am sitting at the bar of some night club, because of what I can only assume was Lily’s idea… to go dancing and drinking tonight.
Ricky: Oh really?
Ian: Oh yea.
Ian watches from afar, as the girls dance away. Drinks in their hands. And carefree spirits. Even though Maggie was still nervous about being away from Ricky, just knowing he is alive was enough to allow an instant calm to flood her mind. And she had great faith in their love and in knowing he’d come back to her.
Ricky: How many guys has Maggie had come up to her?
Ricky: At least 3, am I right?
Ricky: Ah. (he laughs)
Ian: She shuts them down pretty quick though. It’s kind of hysterical.
Ricky: That’s my girl. (he laughs) Maggie has been through a lot, she deserves to have a little fun.
Ian: All due respect but this is making my job really difficult. (he glances over to Maggie as his eyes wander to Lily who is dancing up a storm.)
Ricky: Ah, you can handle it. When it comes to Lily and Maggie, I wouldn’t expect anything different.
Ian: Oh thanks. Little warning would have been nice.
Ricky: Um…Pretty sure I did warn you.
Ian: Not enough. (notices the girls walking toward the back restrooms) They’re on the move….I’ll talk to you later.
Ricky: Keep me posted.
Ian: Will do. (he hangs up and follows them.)
Maggie: Oh my god, I have to pee so bad.
Lily: Me too, but I am not breaking the seal.
Maggie: Well if I don’t, I will pee myself. So I’m going.
Lily: Suit yourself.
Maggie: You coming in?
Lily: No, I’ll just wait out here for you.
Maggie walks into the restroom.
Lily stands outside the door leaning against a wall.
Ian turns the corner and comes face to face with his biggest distraction.
Lily: I knew you were here.
Ian: (rolls his eyes and huffs) Where else would I be?
Lily: I thought we decided you would be less obvious about stalking us.
Ian: I’m not stalking you. I’m just doing my job.
Lily: You get flustered very easily.
Ian: I do not.
Lily: Of course you do. Look at you all riled up. Your muscles are all tensed. (she strokes his arms) Chill out. Relax. It’s a club. Have a drink. It’s supposed to be fun.
Ian: I don’t drink on the job.
Lily: Ok fine I hear ya. Mr. Responsible.
Ian: Your friend’s safety is in my hands. How many times do I have to explain that to you?
Lily: Considering I just met you yesterday…let’s try it one more time.
Lily: (puts a hand up, stopping him) I’m just messing with you. (she laughs) Look I know what you’re here for. And you obviously can’t seem to keep your distance (she looks up at him flirtatiously) so why don’t you just introduce yourself to Maggie. It’ll be much easier for you to blend in if you’re actually hanging out with us.
Ian: That’s not in my job description.
Lily: Ok fine. (holding up her hands) I will stop bugging you if you just hear me out…(Ian looks at her…waiting) I’m just saying I think it’ll be a lot easier for you to keep an eye on her. Keep your friends close…
Ian: And your enemies closer.
Lily: Oh so now I’m the enemy? (she laughs)
Ian: Well when you go around saying insinuating things and looking like that all the time, you’re basically a walking distraction. The sexiest distraction I’ve ever met. Makes it really difficult to do my job. So yea I’d say you could argue that puts you in the enemy category.
Lily: Well well, aren’t you smooth.
Ian: I wasn’t trying to be.
Lily: That’s what makes it sexy. (she raises her eyebrows)
Maggie comes out of one of the bathroom stalls. She walks to the sink to wash her hands.
Her phone starts to ring so she dries her hands quickly and takes it out of her purse. She doesn’t recognize the number, but smiles, answering it.
Ricky: So on a scale of 1 to your 21st birthday, how drunk are you?
Maggie: (laughs and smiles brightly) Mmm I’d say just about in the middle. You caught me at the perfect time though, I had to run to the bathroom, so I’m in here alone.
Ricky: What do you mean you’re alone?
Maggie: Don’t worry, Lily’s waiting for me outside. And I’m sure Ian is just inches away.
Ricky: (laughs) So I hear you’ve had quite a few gentleman callers.
Maggie: Oh did you.
Ricky: Mmm hmmm.
Maggie: (laughs) You know I am really not into this whole you being able to spy on my every move, when I can’t see you at all. It’s creepy.
Ricky: Creepy creepy, or like kinda sexy creepy?
Maggie: Is there such a thing as sexy creepy?
Ricky: Well let’s see. (clears his throat) Excuse me, but I’ve been watching you since you walked in, I can’t seem to take my eyes off you. And pardon me for being forward but I noticed you weren’t wearing a ring… Can I buy you a drink?
Maggie: Ok yea I stand corrected, there is such a thing as sexy creepy.
Maggie: I miss you.
Ricky: I miss you too babe.
Maggie: I wish you were here with me.
Ricky: That makes two of us.
Maggie: What are you doing?
Ricky: Come on baby, you know I can’t tell you that.
Maggie: Oh right. Sorry.
Ricky: Don’t be.
Maggie: Are you ok though? You’re someplace safe right?
Ricky: I’m ok, as ok I can be without you in my arms.
Ricky: But yes I’m someplace safe.
Maggie: Well I’m glad.
Ricky: I’ll see you soon.
Ricky: I promise. I love you.
Maggie: I love you too.
Ricky: Bye gorgeous.
Maggie: Bye…oh babe…
Maggie: I’m pretty sure Ian and Lily are flirt fighting outside the bathroom door right now. (she laughs)
Ricky: Really? (he laughs)
Maggie puts her head to the door
Maggie: Yea. (she laughs) I think she just wants him to give up following us and just hang out with us. She thinks he needs to tell me who he is.
Ricky: I mean it does kind of make sense, and it would make his job easier.
Maggie: Should I just get the ball rolling?
Ricky: Yea that sounds like a good plan. Be safe.
Maggie: You too.
Ricky: Bye gorgeous.
Maggie opens the bathroom door, exposing Lily and Ian in heated conversation.
Ian’s eyes go wide.
Lily looks at him nervously.
Lily: Um Maggie, this is Bill he was just leaving, not interested buddy move along.
Ian goes to walk away.
Maggie: Ian, stop.
Lily and Ian exchange glances.
Maggie: I overheard you. Your voice travels, Lil, I’ve always told you that.
Lily: Damn it Lily. Whisper. (she slaps herself on the forehead)
Ian: Maggie, I’m so sorry for everything- I
Maggie: Don’t be. I know none of this is on you. It’s nice to finally meet you Ian.
She extends her hand, he smiles and shakes it.
Maggie: Thank you for looking out for us. Shall we get some drinks?
Lily: Ian doesn’t drink on the job. (she glances at him, he smirks)
Maggie: Well if he wants to blend in, he can at least get a soda? Right?
Ian: Yea, I guess that works.
Maggie: Good, now that we’re all acquainted…
She walks off toward the bar.
Lily walks after her.
Ian watches, Lily turns and notices. They both exchange smirks.
Lily: Come on wandering eye, if you’re lucky I’ll let you buy me a drink.
Ian: For the record, by eyes only wander over you.
Lily: Well you sure know how to make a girl blush. Don’t you?
Maggie watches from afar.
Ian’s eyes drift to her.
Lily: Wow. I really am a distraction. (she laughs) I’m sorry I’m making your job so difficult. I know you’re just trying to protect my friend and I should let you.
Ian: Ah so you’ve decided I’m trustworthy?
Lily: Well I mean I plan to keep a close eye on you. But I’d say I’m a pretty damn good judge of character. When I met Ricky, I knew there were some grey areas to him, but I could tell he was a good guy. I’m getting that same feeling here.
Ian: (smiles) Glad to hear it.
Lily: Well you should consider yourself a pro… two days in, and you’ve already learned my worst character flaw, I can be kind of infuriating.
Ian: (leans in and whispers) I don’t mind.
Lily looks at him, butterflies forming in her stomach.
Ian: Besides, flaws are what make people different, your flaw makes you beautiful.
Ian smiles, Lily looks up at him.
Maggie: (calls from the bar) Um am I drinking alone here, or what?
Ian: Coming. (He walks off toward Maggie.)
Lily turns around to watch him.
Lily: (to herself) Damn (she fans herself)
Back at the hotel Ricky is on his computer he’s been working for hours.
He types away ferociously, his eyes scanning the screen left and right.
High tech equipment is connecting to the laptop, running and scanning through files.
He squints and his eyes widen
Ricky: Got it. We got him.
He reaches for his phone.
To be continued…
* I do not take credit for any gifs, or any images used in my (crappy) edits or otherwise. *