Something twisted in Rogan’s chest as he watched Mark disappear into the night. He wanted to go after him, make sure he got home okay. But he still had a mess to deal with here. Turmoil he wasn’t going to leave for Anna. He reached down and picked up the overturned table, apologizing to the people who had been standing at it, wanting to chuckle that several were covered in various liquids. The floor didn’t appear to be even wet. Mark had to have been covered in it too.
“Hey, there,” one of the offended men called out. “Why’d you stop the action? It was just getting good.”
“Did it ever occur to you the guy being attacked wasn’t into it? This was a rape about to happen and you did nothing.”
“Rape?” asked one of the other men. “Shit. Are you kidding?”
The expression on all the faces was enough for Rogan to back off a little. “No. I’m not kidding.” What the fuck was wrong with these people? Really? They couldn’t figure it out?
“Fuck, man, we’re sorry. I… I thought it was a show… or something.”
Another man stepped forward. “Fucking rape? I told everyone it was something brought up from downstairs. You know, like an advertisement. Shit, man, we didn’t know.”
Rogan shook his head in disbelief, but he wasn’t as pissed as he had been a moment ago. How they thought the violent scuffle was part of some entertainment, he had no clue. Stuff like that was never tolerated even with consenting adults. However, they seemed genuinely unaware. But if they were indeed that fucking clueless, they would never be invited downstairs either, he would make sure of that. He sighed and offered to buy the table new drinks since he would have to go get a broom and dustpan from the bar to sweep up the broken glass.
“Rogan. are you serious? Why would you buy them new drinks,” Leon demanded from behind Rogan? “That idiot, Mark, is the one who made this mess. Not you! Why are you doing all of this?”
“Mark is not an idiot, and he didn’t make the mess, Leon. And didn’t I tell you to go sit down?” Rogan walked to the bar, Leon on his heals.
“Where are you going? What are you doing?”
“Leon, are you going to do what I tell you?”
“What did you tell me?”
Rogan drew in a deep breath and let it out as he stopped the bartender, broom and dustpan in hand, on his way back to the table. “Let me handle that.” he told him.
“Oh no, Sir. I’ll do it.”
“You have customers. Plus, I’m buying that table new drinks. I would appreciate it if you would get their order.” Rogan took the broom from the bartender who clearly wanted to object.
“But… if Anna…”
“Anna doesn’t have to find out, and, if we hurry, she won’t.” Rogan motioned for the bartender to go ahead of him.
Leon gasped behind him. “You’re going to… clean?”
Rogan didn’t even glance at Leon as he followed behind the bartender.
“I’m not kidding, Rogan,” Leon continued. “Why are you cleaning up that weakling’s idiocy? And he did cause it, flirting with a drunk. I never knew what a slut he is. But I suppose that’s the only way he could get a man. I’m incredibly embarrassed I used to date him. Pity dating. That’s what it was. I felt sorry for him.”
Rogan began to sweep the floor, half ignoring Leon’s rant. Pity dating? Hardly. Mark was crazy beautiful and could have had any man in the room. All he would have to do was gaze at any one of them with those big stark-green innocent eyes of his. And with that cute, freckled nose and high cheek bones? Not to mention his messy dark blonde hair that screamed ‘take care of me’? Good God. No wonder he had them groveling at his feet.
But yes, the man attacking Mark was drunk. Luckily, Rogan saw what was happening and got to Mark before any more physical damage could be done. But the mental damage was what worried Rogan. Mark was unable to escape the man and he had already been embarrassed enough by Leon’s rejection.
By Leon’s lies.
Rogan never truly believed Leon when he told him Mark beat him. There were never any bruises or marks at all that proved it. Not that Leon had to prove it. Any form of abuse was never acceptable. So, when Leon came to him and asked him to protect him, claiming that his now ex-boyfriend had battered him and was now stalking him, Rogan said he would. He figured he owed it to him. Well ― maybe not Leon exactly.
Then he met Mark.
Barely bigger than Leon, he seemed adorable and harmless, standing there outside the place where they both worked pleading for Leon to give him another chance. Leon had texted Rogan to hurry to come and pick him up because he was frightened of this Mark. But seeing the man Leon described as a monster just about in tears, wringing his hands, shifting from foot to foot, Rogan felt foolish demanding Mark leave Leon alone.
Rogan would never forget the expression of defeat and embarrassment on Mark’s face as he turned and hurried away.
Much like what Rogan saw a few minutes ago.
Rogan sighed and excused himself to the people at the table as he swept under it to get the pieces of glass he knew had flew under there. Except when he dragged the shards out, they came with a companion.
Is that a wallet?
“Hey,” he stooped to pick up what he thought was a leather trifold. It ended up being faux leather. And very tattered. “This belong to any of you?” Rogan showed it to the table of customers. They all shook their heads even as they reached into their bags or back pockets to make sure.
Hmm. Interesting. He pocketed it until he was able to examine it without Leon’s prying eyes. Rogan had a feeling he knew who it belonged to.
“What was that, Rogan?” Leon thankfully had not been paying enough attention. He had been more interested in checking out his reflection in the black glass wall behind the table. Typical.
“Nothing you need to concern yourself with.” Rogan huffed when Leon went right on preening.