The two men behind Carl, looked down at their feet and then moved back towards their table. “You siding with this piece of shit,” Carl said, his anger bubbling. “No,” the man said, “I’m just making sure no one does anything stupid.” Carl thought about this and stepped back further. He put his hands up in a gesture of semi surrender. “Still going to fuck your wife, Briggs,” Carl said and then, he went back to the table with the other drivers. The man turned and faced Briggs. “Jesus, Frank,” Briggs said and almost fell to the floor, “you saved my ass.” Frank Genesin nodded, grabbed Briggs and pulled him to the bar. He shoved him roughly against it and waved to the bar tender. “What can I get you, Frank,” the bar tender asked.“Another round for the table of drivers,” Frank said, “ and that round is on the good captain here.” The bar tender took the captain’s money and sent the drinks over. Frank grabbed Briggs and shoved him toward the door. The table of drivers watched. Their eyes sharp and brimming with anger. Frank waved to them and they held up their drinks to him in a toast. Frank pushed Briggs out the door and into the street.
“Thanks, Frank,” Briggs said once they were outside, “I thought those guys..”
“Shut the fuck up,” Frank said, cutting Briggs off. The two men stood in the street, silent, sizing each other up. “I’m sorry to hear about your wife. Can’t say I blame her but, I’m still sorry.”
“How did you…” Briggs started to say but stopped, he didn’t want to hear. He didn’t need to be told that he was a laughing stock, that people were thriving on his pain. He didn’t need proof that he was the grist in the gossip mill. Things sucked enough. “Well … Thank you, Frank.” Frank took a step to the captain, Briggs tensed, expecting more violence. “It’s coming, Briggs,” Frank said, “you think tonight was bad well, it’s going to get a hell of a lot worse.” Briggs looked into Frank’s face, searching for an answer. “You fucked a lot of people, Briggs,” Frank went on, “you didn’t show loyalty to the people around you and you put yourself first. Well, now, you’re going to have to reap what you sew.” Frank turned and walked away. “What do you mean, Frank,” Briggs shouted after him. Frank turned and pointed to the sky. “Storms coming, Briggs,” Frank said and walked off into the night. Briggs looked around, feeling completely alone. To Be Continued …