Brian punched Michael in the stomach then shoved his hunched over photographer away from the arched doorway. Again.
“I said you can’t come in.”
Michael stumbled down the few steps Brian had just become the king of. He sputtered and collapsed when he abruptly hit the tiled patio thinking there were more steps. A professional photographer for over ten years now, his instinct to sling his camera hand back from impact and to shrug his opposite shoulder in a way to minimize the damage done to his gear bag didn’t even register as his knees met the ground. Ultimately his forehead meeting one of the steps arrested his fall.
“Sorry,” said Brian. He didn’t move to help Michael.
Another photographer, tall and lean and probably a woman, broke from the pack gathered on the patio to help Michael to a seated position. She said, “Shit dude! He’s your photographer.” Brian shrugged.
“He’s been warned. You’ve all been.” Brian didn’t bother to address the crowd, but instead spoke directly to the woman as if she’d become their spokesperson. She rose from Michael’s side to confront Brian, but Michael grabbed her wrist.
“Don’t bother Cecilia,” Michael whispered. Then louder, “He’s made his point.”
“Good. Then I won’t need to hurt anyone else. Get back to the food and the band.”