"Oh, hey," Chip said lamely, spinning on his heel. "I didn't think you were still here." Seeing Brenden's confused look, he clarified. "No limo."
"Oh, yeah." Brenden looked down at his boots, the brown leather just scuffed enough to be fashionable. "I hopped an Uber over. I thought maybe you'd give me a ride back to the hotel so we could talk."
"I see." Chip's jaw tightened slightly. "I have my bike, so that won't work, but I'll wait with you if you want to get that ride back. We can talk while we wait."
"I was really hoping we could get some time alone to talk without being rushed," Brenden offered quietly. "I have a lot to say. Doesn't your bike have a passenger seat?"
"Yeah." Chip's voice was clipped. "But I don't carry passengers." Not anymore, anyway, he thought to himself. Brenden had been the last person to sit behind him, clinging to his waist, as the powerful Harley had devoured the road.
"Okay." Disappointment registered clearly on Brenden's face. "Will you come back to the hotel with me?"
"Naw, man." Chip stared over his shoulder. "I can't, not tonight."
"Winston, please?" Brenden's voice held a pleading note. "I really need your help."
"Don't call me that," Chip snapped, sharper than he meant to, and then felt a trace of shame as the smaller man took a step back. "Sorry," Chip muttered, shoving his hands in his pockets. "I go by Chip now."
Brenden nodded. "Chip, then. I really do need your help."
Chip sighed, long and deep. "Get your ride scheduled and tell me what you need."
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