OH,HOW I never seemed to listen to my own voice of reasoning. If I had,I wouldn't be walking into the office on Monday morning thinkingabout actuallyconsidering havingsex with James.
Thething is, my lack of sexual activity had not been bothering up untilnow. It was all Kathleen's fault. She's the one that out they idea inmy head. Until then, I had been content with the way things were.There's nothing wrong with that, right? Well... that's what Ithought.
I'mhyper aware that James is always the second one to enter the officein the morning after me. (I can't help but be unreasonably early forall of life's endeavors.) So, for a few minutes at least, it's justthe two of us. He does his usual, go to the break room and makecoffee. I do the unusual (for me) and watch his every move.
He'sa quiet man. Always has been. He never says "good morning" or"have a good night." He just comes in, does his job, interactswith us when he has to, and leaves. It seems like most of the timehe's gone to meetings anyway, though, so it's not like anyone reallyhas a chance to try and talk to the guy whether he'd want to or not.
I'vegot everything set up. The lights are all on, the computer is on, thephone has been taken off of answering machine mode. I sit down at mydesk and log in as usual, waiting to see just how many emails we havewaiting for us today. (It's almost always a shit-ton.)
WhenJames comes out of the break room I notice his hair is a littleruffled. Two buttons are undone on his dress shirt. He's got bagsunder his eyes. I wonder what could have kept him up so late on aSunday night, because clearly he did not get a healthy amount ofsleep.
Hestops, and at first I think he's going to turn to me and saysomething and I start to panic a little. But he doesn't. I look downat my computer screen and, when I peek again, he keeps walking backto his office in the far corner.
I'mletting out a deep sigh as Lena enters the office. She's one of theother receptionists besides me. There are three of us total.Unfortunately, she notices the sigh and gives me a look.
"Everythingalright?" she asks.
Iwouldn't say we're close. We get along well while we're at work, butit's not like we hang out outside of the office or anything.
"Yeah,of course. Just... ready to start a new week."
Shelaughs. "I'm glad you are, because I'm not sure I am. I had a latenight last night."
Ilook her over. Her hair is up in a messy bun. She, too, has bagsunder her eyes. The realization that Lena is never the third one toshow up crosses my mind. (Everyone always comes in the same order. Wehere like our routines.)
GoodGod. It hits me.
"You'rehere rather early too," I comment, waiting to see how she'll react.How is she gonna spin this 'late night' to me?"
"Um...yeah. Weird, right?" I must have been speeding today. Probably allthe coffee I had to wake myself up."
Yes.Speeding, or she came in the same car as James. Naturally, however,she wouldn't have walked in at the same time. That would have beentoonoticeable. Tough luck, Lena. I've figured it out anyway. But don'tworry. It's not like I'd tell anyone. She should already know this.I'm no gossip like the rest of them.
Jamescomes out of his office, most likely on a run somewhere.
"Goodmorning, Mr. McCanon!" Lena calls out cheerfully.
Heraises his coffee cup in acknowledgement, but that's all she gets.Typical.
Shewatches him leave. So do I for that matter. It's hard not to when theman wears pants that hug his behind so lovingly.
Whatam I thinking? I can't think like that! And why do I care if hehooked up with Lena or not? It's none of my business. He can do whathe wants. She can do what she wants. I'm not supposed to be lookingat him like this. Kathleen's idea was a bad one. That's all. A badidea I need to shake from here on out.
Atnoon, I take my lunch in a conference room down the hall. Most of usthat don't have actual offices to eat in usually come here. Afterall, I'm not allowed to eat at my desk, but I also have no one tosocialize with instead. Maybe one of these years I'll actually get toknow some of the staff better and they'll invite me to join them.
Halfwaythrough my meal, my phone buzzes on the table next to my food. Thescreen lights up with a picture of Kat.
Kat:Heyyy! How goes it? Did you ask yet?
Iroll my eyes.
Me:No, Kat. I'm not asking.
Kat:Why the hell not!?
Me:He slept with Lena last night.
Kat:Um. So what? You already knew he gets around. I know that's notwhat's stopping you.
Me:I don't need to get laid, okay? Just... let it go.
Myphone buzzed again when she replied, but I opted to ignore her. Evenwhen it went off another three times. God, she could be relentless.
Itucked my phone back into my pocket and headed back to the office. Onmy way in, James reached around me and put his hand out to hold thedoor. I almost jumped, not realizing he had been coming up behind me.
Igave him a quick thank you, though he didn't respond, and duckedthrough the doorway. He picked up the pace and maneuvered around meon his way to his office like I hadn't even been there. Like... maybeI was invisible and he had just been opening the door for himself.
Ithought about him sleeping around. How I'd always judged him for thatand how I didn't want to become one of the women on his list. Butthen...
Whyhad he never tried with me?
Partof me was glad, but another part of me wondered why I was the onlywoman in the office he hadn't made a move on yet. Was there somethingwrong with me?
WasI somehow not good enough for a man who would sleep with literallyany otherwoman?
Whatthe actual fuck?
*It'll probably be a little longer now for an update, as I'm currently in the progress of getting this one going, but feel free to tell me what you think. Intrigued at all? Want more? What do you think?*