Chapter 33

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Their plane got into New York the next afternoon around 4:00. Brian drove her to her apartment and walked her up.

"Thank you for a wonderful few days," she said when they reached her door. "I had a great time."

"You're welcome. So did I."

She unlocked the door and they went inside. Max and Lily came scampering in, meowing and immediately rubbing up against her.

"I should get going," he said, after a couple of minutes. "I have my own cats to tend to."

"I'm sure they missed you."

"I'll miss you," he said, pulling her to him and kissing her.

"Nah, you'll be too preoccupied with your babies."

"Maybe but I'll still miss you."

"Go home," she said, pushing him towards the door. "Your kitties miss their daddy. Call me later if you want."

She kissed him then opened the door.

"I'll call you."

"Ok. Love you."

"Love you, too."

She shut the door behind him and went to feed the cats. As she was unpacking her suitcase she suddenly felt dizzy. She sat on the edge of the bed for a few minutes, until the room stopped spinning around her. She chalked it up to having hardly eaten anything all day, so once she'd finished unpacking she went out to the kitchen and made dinner. She had a ten hour shift the next day and was tired so she went to bed at 9:00.


"Where have you been?" Sal asked when he got into Brian's jeep the next morning.

"What are you talking about? I'm right on time."

"You've been in the sun."

"Oh! Yeah, went to Belize for a few days."

"You did? What happened with Melanie?"

"She went with me," Brian said, reaching over and turning the radio down.

"She did? So you made up."

"Yeah. I told her what happened. Told her it wasn't what it looked like. We talked it out. She forgave me, and the next day we went to Belize."

"Wow. Did you have a good time?"

"Had a great time. Dude, it was so relaxing. I didn't want to come back."

"I'm glad you worked it out, buddy," Sal said.

"Thanks man. Did you decide yet what you're doing for Halloween?"

"Not yet. Are you still going into Manhattan?"

"I'm hoping to. Was gonna talk to Melanie about it. Completely slipped my mind this weekend."

"Well if you are I'm sure I can talk Carly into going. If you're down with that."

"Of course. I'll call Mel tonight."


That evening, by the time she got off work, Melanie had another horrendous headache. As soon as she got home, after feeding the cats, she went to bed. When she woke the next day the headache was gone. She checked her phone and saw she had several missed texts and two missed calls from Brian. She sent him a text, letting him know she was ok and told him she would call him later, before going to take a shower.

It wasn't until that evening that she was able to call him. Work had been too chaotic.

"Hey babe," Brian said when he answered the phone.

"Hey. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. I barely had time to eat lunch today."

"It's ok. You sound tired. Want me to come over and help you relax?"

"Any other time I'd say yes. But I think I'm going to go to bed when we hang up. How was your day?"

"It was fine. Nothing too earth shattering happened."

"Is that good or bad?" she asked.

"Neither really. Can't strike gold every day. But at least we didn't have to scrap the day."

"You've had to do that?"

"Yeah, but just a few times."


"Sometimes the place either doesn't have enough foot traffic or no one will sign the waivers," he said. "Sometimes we're just off. If we can tell early enough in the day we'll just shut it down."

"Wow. I had no idea. I'll bet that's an expensive waste of money."

"Oh yeah. It's like a $10,000 hit to the budget. But what are you gonna do ya know?"

"Yeah, I guess so. Anyway, you wanted to talk about Halloween?"

"Yes! So I was talking to Sal about it yesterday. We talked about going into Manhattan. Go to the parade, then bar hopping. I do that almost every year. I'd love it if you came with us."

"That sounds great. But I don't want to be a third wheel with you and Sal."

"You won't be. He's bringing his girlfriend."

"Oh, well then yes, for sure," she said. "Guess I better hurry up and get a costume. Any preferences? What are you going as?"

"I don't have any specific preference but, ya know, Halloween is all about dressing slutty."

"It is, huh? I had no idea."

"Well, yeah. That's what makes it fun."

"So you just want to go out to check out all the tits?"

"The only tits I'm interested in are yours," he said.

"Mmm hmm. Well I'll see what I can come up with. I'll get online tomorrow and look. What are you going as?"

"I'm not telling you."


"It'll be a surprise."

"Well then I'm not telling you what I get," she countered.

"That's fine. I'm fine with being surprised."

"Come on. Tell me what it is."

"Well now that I know you REALLY want to know I'm definitely not telling you."


"Don't pout," he joked.

"I'm not pouting. It's fine. Anyway, I need to get to bed."

"OK sweetheart. When are you free for dinner?"

"I'm off Friday and Saturday so how about Friday night?"

"Sounds good. We'll figure out the details later in the week."

"Sounds good. Good night babe."

"Good night baby. Love you."

"Love you, too."

As soon as they disconnected she headed to the bathroom to brush her teeth and wash her face, then she got into bed. She was asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow, both cats curled up next to her.

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