Chapter 12 - The Interruptions

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"That's basically true" I shrugged. I thought Steve's head was going to explode but somehow he managed to simmer down his boiling temper.

"Look, I really appreciate what you guys did for me, really I do. But I can't ask you to do anything like that ever again. Do you understand?" He said in a measured tone.

"I was kind of hoping that we wouldn't need to anyway" Tom shrugged.

I thought Steve was going to lose his shit again but we were interrupted by a woman's voice then. One I recognised all too well.

"Can someone help me please?" Naomi sniffled.

"Oh shit" Aaron said as he and Tom turned to walk away.

"I'm sorry Miss. How can I help?" Steve asked, transforming back into his professional persona. It was a miracle that Naomi hadn't seen me considering I was standing staring at her, paralyzed in fear.

I listened in as she explained to Steve that her grandmother had just died and she was tasked with organising the funeral. In typical idiotic fashion, she finally saw me, only when I tried to sneak away.

"Sam?" She gasped.

"Hey there!" Was all I could manage to say.

"Are you planning a funeral too?" She asked.

"Not exactly" I said nervously. I knew where this was going to end up and I was dreading it. She looked at me in confusion for a long time. Things weren't helped by my total speechlessness either. Enter Steve.

"Sam works here. Do you two know each other?" He asked my girlfriend.

"Sam doesn't work here" She snorted. "Sam works in a bank"

"This isn't a bank" Argued Steve, pointing out the obvious.

"He's right" I butted in before he ended up getting mad at her too. An angry Steve, a sad Naomi and an anxious me was a disaster waiting to happen. "I work here. Not in a bank"

"I – I – I don't understand" She mumbled as she cleared her head. "Why did you tell me that you worked in a bank if you didn't?"

"Because" was all I said as I quickly tried to come up with a decent excuse. It was right about then that I figured out that I didn't have one. "I was worried in case you'd treat me different if you knew I worked here"

"Different how?" She asked.

"I don't know. Like a leper" I recalled someone using that reference to inform me during our social suicide experiment.

"Why would you think that?" Steve asked. Both he and Naomi stared at me with their arms folded expectantly. This was hardly fair now was it?

"Why are you even still here?" I cried.

"Just answer him Sam!" Naomi yelled angrily.

"Tom and Aaron said – "

"And do you do everything they tell you to?" She asked. Which, by the way I feel was very unfair. Why do girls do that? If you want an answer then let me give you one! Sheesh!

"Actually I never do anything they tell me" I said, which was actually true.

"So why this? Why would you lie to me?"

"Because I really like you ok!" I wasn't nervous anymore. I was desperate. "I was scared that you wouldn't like me because of this, which I realise now is dumb as fuck but I wasn't thinking straight ok. Please, don't be mad at me"

"I'm not mad, Sam. I just don't know if I can trust you. I thought you were different to most guys"

"I am different! You can trust me, I swear. This was just a stupid mistake"

"How do I know you're not lying about anything else?"

"I'm not, I promise" I was aware that I was repeating myself but I didn't really know what else to say to be honest.

"Maybe you should go back through to the den, Sam" Steve butted in again.

"He's right" Nodded Naomi. "I can't deal with this right now. I have more important things to take care of at the moment"

"Please, Naomi" I moaned before she interrupted me again.

"I'll call you tomorrow, ok?"

I nodded. At least that was something. I left her with Steve to discuss the funeral and went through to beg Aaron and Tom not to play Casket Shuffle with her grandmother. Thankfully they agreed. I wanted to tear both their heads off for putting the stupid banking idea in my head but quite honestly I didn't have the strength for it. I think they sensed it too because they were being way more quiet than usual. Even Tom's cats were leaving me alone.

I shot up out of my chair when Steve came back into the den.

"How was she when she left?" I asked eagerly.

"She was distraught" He informed me.

"She was?"

"Yes. She just planned her grandmother's funeral"

"I mean about me you idiot!" I cried. Word of advice; never call your boss an idiot when he's already mad at you for corporate espionage. I'm not going to tell you what he said because it would probably all get censored. Let's just say I wished that I was in one of our coffins instead.

Thankfully/unfortunately, depending on how you looked at it, his tirade was interrupted by yet another guest. Christian Goldstein.

"It was you wasn't it?" He seethed.

"What are you talking about?" Aaron asked. Clearly his camera training from our video had helped him out because he actually sounded pretty convincing.

"You ruined my funeral!" Christian almost ran up to Aaron with a finger pointed directly in his face. He had balls, I'll give him that.

"Your slaves are the ones that dug the wrong fucking hole" Tom pointed out.

"Shut up you fat prick!" Christian's accusatory finger was now inches from one of Tom's chins. It was like a weird version of spin the bottle. "I don't know how you did it but I know it was you! I smell a rat!"

"Well that's probably just you" Aaron joked. Yup. You guessed it; the finger was now back on him.

"Christian, please just get out of here" Steve calmly interjected. "None of us had anything to do with what happened today". I was surprised that he was covering for us, but definitely grateful.

"Do you have any idea what you've cost me today?" Christian asked his rival. "My home had to close down because of this!"

"Already?" I asked.

"Yes already you little hobbit!" He shrieked. Now I couldn't see his face because of his rat finger between my eyes.

"See!" Tom smiled. "You really are Frodo! Maybe you're not so bad after all Mr. Goldstein!"

"Fuck off!" Christian yelled. You'll pay for this! You'll all pay!" He then stormed off with his finger still pointing straight ahead. It was probably leading him to some cheese.

No one said anything for a while. I don't know about the rest of the guys but I couldn't decide whether or not to take Christian's threats seriously. I did feel pretty bad that he had been forced to close one of his funeral homes because of us but he still had three right? And besides there was a very strong possibility that he was lying. After sliding those thoughts to the back of my mind, and trying to do the same with my thoughts of Naomi, I decided to break the silence.

"Thanks for covering for us, Steve"

"Don't thank me! Or at least you can thank me by never doing something so crazy ever again ok?" He sighed.

"Agreed" I nodded while the others remained silent. Steve must've taken my answer as one from all of us all because he retreated back to his office moments later.

"Don't do anything stupid!" He yelled a reminder back to us as he vacated the room.

"That's one promise I can't stick to" Tom whispered under his breath.

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