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Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Romance/Love · #1316576
Chapter Four: Work. News travels fast, but what does it lead to?

{size: 5} Chapter Four
{size: 4} Work

         The next day was much less stressful than the previous one. At least the morning anyways. There wasn’t a nice breakfast awaiting her as she got up, because Jack doesn’t get up too early. But then again, that might have been a little weird to have dinner then breakfast.
         So Alice made her own, and went on getting ready for a Monday morning as she did every morning before Jack came to live with her. She then found herself wondering when it was that Jack would get up and get ready for whatever it was he said he did.

         Alice walked into work, and went straight to her office. The weekend had finally escaped her mind, and she could start to focus on work, and what had to be done that day. She was barely in the office for a minute before Kate, who works with Alice came into the room. Kate came in quietly and sat down in a chair in a corner of Alice’s office. Alice looked up to see Kate come in then directed her attention to her computer while Kate waited patiently. Alice pretended to ignore Kate as she checked her e-mail. Kate got up and sat at a chair closer to where Alice was.
         “What do you want?” Alice said giving in to Kate.
She waited a minute, and then asked, “So how’s Jack?”
Alice looked away from her computer to see Kate’s expression. Then said, “He’s fine. Why?” Then remembered what she told Dana the day before, and wondered if she told someone and it got to Kate.
         “Because the guy’s gorgeous.” Kate responded. “And…” Alice looked quickly back at Kate terrified that she might know something that she wasn’t supposed to. “I was wondering if,” Kate took another pause noticing Alice’s facial expression, “you slept with him yet.”
         “What?! How did you know? Did Dana tell you?!” Alice couldn’t believe that Dana would do such a thing and was now having a rush of feelings ranging from anger to embarrassment to shock. While Kate’s expression was showing shock also, but mixed with surprise, and she then sat up in her chair leaning closer to Alice.
         “Oh my God, did you really?!” Kate asked now completely curious.
         “No- I mean yes- no-”
         “Well did you or didn’t you?”
         "Yes, I did, but I didn’t mean to.”
         “Oh my God, you little hoe! You are so fucking lucky.” She sat back in her chair, then reached into her purse.
         “Here, this is for you. You win.” Kate said giving Alice a twenty. Then walked out of the room before Alice could give the money back. She took the money and put it in her desk. Then she opened up another one and pulled out negatives of a photo shoot she had recently done.

         A few hours later Kate came back into the office. “So are you ready for a break?”
         Alice and Kate then walked over to where Emily’s office was, but found it to be empty. There was a note on the door that told them she was at a meeting. So the two left the building, and walked to their favorite café. Immediately after arriving, they ordered a latte, and found a seat.
         “I can’t believe you actually did that!” Kate said once they sat down at a table in the corner. “I am still getting over the fact that you, of all people would do something someone like- like, me would do!”
         “Who told you that I did that?” Alice asked.
         “You did.”
         “No, I mean, before that.”
         “What are you talking about?”
         “Well, someone must have told you, or else you wouldn’t have asked me if it was true.”
         “No, it’s just that I know I haven’t, and yesterday I asked Emily if she has yet, and so then I asked the most obvious person.”
         “Okay. So no one told you?”
         “Yeah, that’s what I said. Why, who’d you tell?”
         “No one!” Then stood up quickly and walked to the garbage can. She looked back over at Kate, who was still in her chair, with a confused look on her face. Alice smiled and laughed then waved her over. Kate got up, threw her latte away too then followed Alice out the door. “Can you do something for me?”
         “Depends, what is it?”
         “Not tell anyone. I don’t want the whole town to know because then Ben might find out, and I feel awful already.”
         “Alright, I understand.” Kate said. They walked back to the office, and then right before Kate entered her office said with a big inquiring smile, “who do you like better?”
         Alice thought about it, and realized that the obvious choice was Ben, but couldn’t tell her because Rachael ran up to her and began asking her questions about their new project.

         The day bore on, and Alice spent the next hour photographing their latest model for her new story of eating disorders among teenagers. As she moved on to the developing stage of her photos, her mind began to wander. Thoughts of Ben and Jack were peeking through the surface. Even though she tried to put them away, it didn’t take long for the next thought to come into view. Soon she began to zone out on her thoughts of them, turning it into a comparison between the two men.
         ‘Well, Ben’s a really nice guy. And plus, I’ve known him longer.’ Thought one said.
         ‘Okay, but Jack is way more gorgeous. And so what if you haven’t known him that long. You’re living with the guy!’ Thought two contradicted.
         ‘That doesn’t matter. You don’t even know him that well.’ Thought one said back.
         ‘Jack is a better guy, and Ben is way too soft for a guy.’
         Alice heard a knock on the door, and soon watched in the dark as it revolved. Kate was soon shown through the opening, and when it stopped she walked slowly over to where she thought Alice was as her eyes slowly adjusted to the dark.
         “So, how’s everything going?”
         “Fine.” Alice replied. Still taking care of the pictures. “Why?”
         “Oh I don’t know. Just wondering.” Kate said walking casually over to Alice.
         “Kate, I know you too well. You can’t keep anything from me. What is it you want?”
         “Okay fine. I was just wondering, if I could maybe come over sometime. Soon?”
         “And by soon you mean tonight?”
         “Or tomorrow.”
         “Then tomorrow. Goodbye, I have work to do here.”
         Kate walked lightly out the revolving door, leaving Alice to finish what she was doing, and become almost paranoid about what it was that Kate wanted. Usually she would just pop over, and not ask ahead of time. ‘What is that evil little head planning? Does she want to see Jack? Is that what this is about?’ Alice thought.

         Work ended like every other night. And like every other night, she would wait by the door for Kate and Emily if they weren’t already there. But what was not so normal, was that Kate was unable to be found. Emily came out as usual, but without Kate.
         “She left early. Didn’t you know?” Emily told Alice when she asked. Alice wondered why she would have left early. Kate wasn’t the kind of person to do such things. Or ask to go to someone’s house ahead of time. ‘What is she planning?’
         Alice and Emily walked to Emily’s house together with nothing much to really talk about. Emily did have things to say, but nothing Alice could talk back about. Something about her family being in town that weekend. They reached Emily’s apartment building and said their goodbyes. Leaving Alice to walk the one block alone. It was then that she realized she had no idea what time Jack came home. ‘What if he was already there, and he didn’t have anything to eat? Or what if he didn’t come home until late in the evening, and I had already had dinner, and gone to bed?’ She walked through the doors to her apartment, and pushed the elevator button. She waited for it to come back down, and it seemed to take forever because she thought Jack might already be up there. The elevator dinged, and opened. She hurriedly walked inside, and just as it started to close, she heard someone yell,
         “Can you hold that open please?” So naturally, she did. Jack ran into the elevator and stood next to her. “Oh, hello!”
         “Hi. Is this when you usually would come home?”
         “Yeah, why?”
         “Just wondering.”
         Jack pushed the third button, and up the elevator went. It reminded Alice of the last time they went into an elevator together. She was really hoping that it wouldn’t happen this time because it would be awkward. She was suddenly remembering every moment in that elevator, but in fast forward. It was helping to relieve the strangeness of the elevator ride. Alice then wondered if Jack was having the same problem, or if he would at all. She looked over at him to see if there were any signs of this on his face just as he was looking away. Which then made her look away too. ‘Ugh! Why is this taking so long!’ Just then the door opened, and Alice found herself almost running out of it. Jack walked out and laughed. They walked to the apartment, less awkward for at least Alice. Jack began talking about his day like Alice cared. When really, Alice didn’t like all that violence, and stuff that he’d be doing. It’s one of the reasons she doesn’t like action movies, or mafia movies. But she pretended like she was interested until she walked into the apartment.
         Automatically, Alice walked behind the counter to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator to see what would be for dinner tonight. Once the door was opened, she stood blankly at the practically empty fridge. Alice slowly turned around to see Jack sitting at one of the stools staring at her.
         “Anything wrong?” Jack asked.
         “Do you ever stop eating?” Alice said.
         “Not until I’m full. Like any other person.”
         “Well, how long does it take to fill you up?”
         “Depends on what I’m eating.”
         “How about the fridge?”
         “I don’t really think they eat-”
         “No, I mean can you eat everything out of it, and not get full?”
         Alice turned back around, seeing what was left in the cupboards. Luckily there were spaghetti noodles, and a can of sauce left. So she took out a large pot, filled it with water and began to boil it. As it was doing that she took out the pad of paper, and wrote down another grocery list. ‘Second one in less than two weeks. Maybe I should make it bigger, then make him go get it. Adding whatever he needs.’
         “Do you still want to make a run to the store?” Alice asked Jack before he left the counter.
         “You mean now?”
         “No. I meant later tonight, or sometime tomorrow. Last week you were eager to go.”
         “Sure. I’ll do it later tonight.”
         “Okay.” She said smiling, then went back to cooking dinner for the two of them.
         The dinner they ate was mostly silent. Running out of things to say to a guy, she mentioned that Kate was going to be coming over tomorrow. Jack seemed to think it was okay, but only because he might not remember her. Most guys hear about Kate and get all excited for obvious reasons. ‘Why does he seem not to care. Ha, maybe Kate won’t be able to work her way into Jack’s room after all.’
         “Well, I’m off.” Jack said when he finished eating. He looked down at the list, and said, “is it okay if I get a few more things that aren’t on here?”
         “Yeah, I guess.” Alice answered.  And with that he walked out the door.
It was the first time she had her apartment to herself in a week. She cleaned up the table and walked  into the living room to turn on the stereo. She put in her favorite CD and sat down to just listen to it. Soon, of course, she began to sing to it. Then, just because it was what she always used to do when she knew no one was watching her, she got up off the chair and started singing and dancing to the music as loud as she could forgetting for the moment that there are people across the wall who might be able to hear.
         Soon the music was so loud that she could not hear the door open or close, and she was facing the opposite direction. So there stood Jack, just staring in amazement. He set down the bags and walked into the living room where she still could not see and found a seat to sit in. Jack watched and tried his hardest not to laugh. When the song ended he clapped his hands which startled Alice, and made her scream.
         “You’re pretty good.” Jack joked.
         “Oh my God! How long have you- when did- you!” Alice was speechless, and slightly embarrassed. Jack began to laugh out loud.
         “Not for long. Just that last song.”
         Alice walked over to the CD player and turned it off. Her face beat red, and walked over to the kitchen and pretended that she needed to put away the groceries.
         “Don’t be so embarrassed. You really weren’t that bad. You were pretty good. I don’t know why you’re getting so upset.” Jack walked over to her and pulled her hands out of the cupboards. “I got something for you.”
         “You what?”
         “Yeah, come here.” Jack walked over to the bags, and pulled out a movie. “It’s my turn remember?” Alice just hoped it wasn’t an action packed film. Jack showed took out the DVD, and gave her the case. He walked over to the DVD player and put it in. It was a horror film that she didn’t recognize. The horror part made Alice hope it wasn’t too scary. She tends to lean towards whoever she’s with when things get too scary. Jack sat down on the couch and waved her over. She brought the case with her and sat down on the opposite side. The movie began, and Jack got up to turn off the lights.
         “What is it about?”
         “You’ll see. It’s a good movie.”
         Alice curled up on her side of the couch and watched as fake zombies attacked a group of stupid people. Not a movie she would have chosen, but it wasn’t her night to pick a movie. Alice also hoped it wouldn’t turn into something they did every night.

         The next night came and Kate was expected to come. Jack asked who she was, so Alice told him expecting him to say something like, “Oh her! Okay when does she get here?!” And change into something other than his baggy shirt and jeans. But instead he said, “Oh. Okay. I think I remember her. The one with the big hair right?”
         “Yeah, that’s her. You don’t really seem to care.” Alice said. Curious to see why.
         “Why should I? I don’t really know her.”
         Alice continued to cook with Jack helping a little. They heard a knock on the door, and Alice went over to answer it. Jack put the food that was ready on the set table. Kate was standing there in what must have been the sluttiest thing she owned. Had the biggest smile on her face, like she was expecting something.
         “Hi Kate.”
         “Hey Alice.”
         “You’re just in time. The food’s all ready. You can sit down now if you want. I’ll be there in a minute.” Alice said as Kate breezed by her to sit in an empty seat next to Jack. Alice could see that she was talking to him, but it wasn’t loud enough that she could hear. Alice walked back out into the kitchen to finish cooking, and bringing it out to the table. Before she brought out the last dish, she stood in the kitchen looking at Jack. He seemed to not be interested in anything she was saying. ‘Why is that?’ She brought the last dish out, and tried to start a conversation with Kate.
         Kate began telling her a story of how her boyfriend broke up with her earlier that day. Alice knew that it was a lie just for Jack so he’d know she was single. Alice knows because she’s seen her do it before, and because Kate didn’t have a boyfriend since last month. But she pretended to feel sorry for her anyways. Jack still seemed unimpressed with Kate, and mostly just stuck to eating his food. Eventually Kate noticed and began to get upset.
         “You don’t seem to be very interested, Jack.” Kate said to Jack.
         “Oh, sorry about your boyfriend-, what was his name?” Jack said, looking from Alice to Kate. “Oh, Brian.”
         Kate just sat there jaw open, eyes bugged that a guy could hear that she was available and not jumping, or drooling all over her.
         “You’re sorry?” Kate said stunned.
         “Oh didn’t I mention? I already have a girlfriend.”
         “You do? Oh.” Kate then finished eating, and mostly didn’t say much else.
         ‘So that’s why he didn’t seem impressed that she was coming over.’ Alice thought. Needless to say, the evening ended quicker than expected. Kate finished her meal, and left. Afterwards Jack began to laugh. Alice was confused because nothing about that was funny.
         “What’s so funny?” Alice asked.
         “Her. Did you see her face when I told her I have a girlfriend?”
         “Yeah. But why was that funny?”
         “I can tell she doesn’t get rejected much.”
         “I didn’t know either, but you didn’t think it was funny.”
         “Well, you were more calm about it. She seemed offended! And anyway, I don’t really have one. I just said it so she’d stop flirting with me.” Jack said then began to laugh again, and start clearing the table. Alice helped, and couldn’t help but wonder why he would do that. So she decided to ask.
         “Jack?” Alice began to ask, “you don’t like Kate do you?”
         “No, she’s too full of herself. So what are we going to watch tonight?”
         “What do you mean?”
         “It’s your turn.” Jack sad innocently. ‘So this was going to turn into some sort of weird tradition, wasn’t it?’
         They both went into the living room, and flipped channels until something good was seen.

© Copyright 2007 Reese Joans (rmjwriter at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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