After his brush with Kiera Merrick, actor Jake Paterson, who owns the four star Leigh Park Hotel where Ava’s hen do is taking place, heads for the club and orders a drink, only to find himself embroiled in another confrontation.
Moving away from the bar, Jake found a table tucked away in a quiet corner and sat down, still brooding on his situation. He watched the dancers; people enjoying themselves, their cares forgotten for the moment. About to take another mouthful of whisky, he was aware of someone standing on the other side of the table, and looked up to see a round-faced, overweight balding man pull out a chair and join him.
‘Thought it was you.’ Once seated, the man laced his fingers and leaned across the table, smiling. ‘I wondered if you had any comment to make, Mr Paterson.’
‘Sorry, who are you?’
‘Jeff Howard from the Daily Bugle.’
‘I’ve nothing to say. Go away,’ he said, his mood souring at the sight of this smug, greasy looking man.
‘I’m a local reporter. Wondered what you were doing here, that’s all. Need to keep our readers up to speed. Can we expect a new series of Coast Watchers? I know officially the series has finished but, if a new series is being commissioned, it would be good to have the local paper get an exclusive. Ms Tyler anywhere around?’ He turned, sharp eyes scanning the dance floor before turning back to face Jake. ‘Where you go, she goes. Or has something happened between you two love birds?’
‘I’ve no idea what you mean,’ Jake snapped. He was used to being in the public eye and usually had a good rapport with the press. Tonight, however, it felt like an intrusion. In fact, this grubby, overweight little man whose body seemed to be trying to burst out of his clothes, was totally out of order.
Jake stood up very slowly and picked up his glass. ‘No comment,’ he muttered and began to walk away. He needed to find somewhere quiet; somewhere out of the way where he could finish off his drink without interruption. He had only managed a few steps when a hand grabbed his arm and tried to spin him around.
‘No need to be like that,’ Howard said, as they knocked into a table. The glass Jake was holding tilted, spilling whisky onto the floor.
Jake wanted to hit him. Not a good move in a room full of people, especially with the likelihood of a photographer lying in wait somewhere. He tried not to think of such a potential nightmare scenario.
‘I’ve nothing to say.’ Jake said trying to untangle himself, and then breathed a huge sigh as two large, dark-suited bouncers approached.
As the men grabbed them both and pulled them apart, the music stopped, and the lights went up. A murmur went around the room. Suddenly everyone seemed to be watching. ‘Brilliant,’ Jake sighed to himself. ‘Now I’m a public spectacle.’
‘This man’s being aggressive towards me,’ said Howard loudly, as the bouncers pulled them apart. ‘I demand…’
Another figure pushed through the crowd behind them and stood for a moment frowning.
‘Jake? What the hell are you doing here?’ he asked, before his gaze fixed on Howard. ‘Get him out of here,’ he ordered, threatening to report him to his editor as they took him away.