"Well, since last night went so awesome, I couldn't resist to pay you another visit and also the fact that I had to give you your paycheck, hence...", he trails off and gestures to himself, dramatically.
What did I do to go through this in the morning?
"You understand, you're paying me off for being your date, hypothetically", I cock a brow at him.
He scoffs at me, as if... I'm a child?
"Why, no of course not, silly women. Why would I? To have a date with the most busy women in all of New York is my pleasure and my honor. I would never dishonor a women of such high intellect with petty money. How could I?", he mocks me, feigning hurt as he places a hand to his chest.
What a son of a...
"What is your purpose here, Clinton?", I walk a few confident steps and stop in front of my desk, crossing my arms.
He eyes me and I see the telltale signs of a sly smirk forming on his lips as he looks up at me underneath his lashes, sitting in my chair, in my cabin.
"I brought you something", he says softly before bending down to retrieve whatever is it he brought for me.
My eyes follow his movements calculative-ly and I almost bend over from my position to see what he was retrieving but the moment his head starts pulling back up, I go back to my intimidating stance.
Or so I think I'm trying to be.
From underneath my desk he produces 2 boxes of what I'm assuming is a ham/sandwich from Subway. He pushes some of my files out of the way to make room for the boxes of food and places them in the now created vacant space.
He bends down again though, producing two cups of coffee in his hand and places them beside the boxes.
"Don't tell me you're making my cabin into a diner now", I narrow my eyes at him in all seriousness.
And the next thing you hear is his booming laughter in my cabin that resonates in the silence of it and also through me.
"You're funny, you know that?", he points out and speaks in between his laughter.
I throw my hands up in defeat and turn around to face my back to him and rub my forehead in between my forefingers.
You can't just go anywhere with this guy.
I refrain from sighing.
Suddenly, a thought occurs to me...
Who let him in?
And instantly my brain processes the answer...
And speaking of the devil, just about a second later from that thought, Liza herself poked her head through the cabin door, peering in carefully with a sheepish smile on her face as she looks at me.
"Wanna explain about that?", I point behind my back at Clinton while still facing her.
"Wanna explain about last night?", she cocks a brow at me haughtily as if saying 'back at ya'.
I hold in my grunt and shake my head at her.
"What if Damon gets a word about this?", she prods me further, finally entering the cabin and standing in front of me.
Oh she's acting angry which I should be. But I would be angry at her as well if she didn't tell me something that big.
"You can't be serious, Liz", I reason.
"Oh, you bet I'm"
"You remember, I'm the boss right?", I ask her, a little intimidated by her now.
"Don't pull that card on me, Tina", she tuts, by calling me by her pet name for me.
"What card are we talking about ladies?", a fourth voice calls out.
And I swear I almost fainted.
Liza and my eyes widen in surprise together as Damon A. K. A. our boss enters my cabin and all I hear is the doors closing behind him and a chair swiveling behind me.
Damon is here. Damon is here.
Damon is here!
A thousand thoughts about last night and what would happen if Damon gets a word about my date with Clinton. And how I broke the only strict policy of our company(not that other policies are not strict but uh... ).
Oh My God, he knows!
It clicks in my head instantly, especially considering how he's glaring at me at the moment and why he came to my cabin first thing in the morning.
Fuck, I'm going to get fired. I'm going to get fired!
Sweat drips down my forehead trailing a path to my chin, my breathing becomes ragged and I feel my hands going cold while my body starts burning up.
News flash, I'm hyperventilating people.
My vision starts blurring a bit as I make out Liza's form in my blurry eyed state, talking to Damon and trying to mend the situation.
That's when I feel a strong arm around my waist that helps me to be steady on my feet and then I hear him.
His voice, like a symphony in my ear.
"Relax, Justine. It's okay. He's not here to fire you, he's here to meet me, so relax!", Clinton's voice rings in my ears and finally knocks some strength in me.
His hands rub mine and before I know it he's pulling me to the nearest chair and settling me down.
Instantly, his hand shoots out to grab a glass of water on my desk and he hands it to me. I take it and gulp it loudly without any hesitation.
"Just sit down here and let me do the talking, okay?", he looks me in the eye but before I can reply, he nods at me and off into Damon's direction.
I close my eyes as I see him leave, waiting for the worst but...
It doesn't come.
I open my eyes only to see Damon and Clinton doing a bro-handshake and then a bro-hug kinda thing and I feel like I have officially lost my mind.
I watch as Clinton says something to Damon which makes him laugh and they hug again like long lost brothers.
Liza who is standing on the sidelines of the whole scenario is smiling awkwardly at them before she makes her way over to me.
"Why didn't you tell me they were college friends?", she asks me, whispering as soon as she reaches me.
My eyes widen at that.
"I.... I had no idea about it", I muster out somehow still confused.
We look at the duo as they chat a bit and make their way over to us, smiling and laughing as if recalling something.
I don't catch much of what they say because the instant Damon sees me he is shouting like a high-school girl trying to get attention in the hallway.
"Oh My God! Justine dear, are you ok? You look pale, honey", he reaches out to touch my hand as if to check my temperature and instantly retreats it like I burned him and then, "Your temperature is unnaturally cold, are you having fever?", he asks again, hands on his mouth quite concerned for me.
I eye him suspiciously but reply anyhow.
"Yeah, I just...", I start but am cut off by someone.
"Oh yes, she's definitely not feeling upto it. I can tell. She should probably take the day off, shouldn't she?", Clinton bellows at Damon who has by now tears bordering his eyes.
I have to refrain from hanging my mouth open.
You've got to be kidding me?!
From the corner of my eye, I see Clinton nudging my so called secretary, Liza who instantly jumps into action.
"Oh yes, yes, definitely she should. She's been complaining a lot about all this headache all the time and she's unnaturally cold at times in this sweating heat, poor thing", she pouts at me.
And that's when I feel like a specimen under microscope under them as they all look down on me from where I'm sitting on the chair of my desk and they're standing above my head, looking at me
I'm definitely hyperventilating.
"Oh God, how can I not notice such a thing? My best of the best employee is suffering and I'm worried about her being late? God!", Damon bursts out and takes out a handkerchief from his pants pocket to wipe the invisible tears underneath his eyes whilst sniffing on nothing.
Uhhh...well, that explains his earlier glare.
"Take an off Justine, for a week, for a month, I don't care. You need to recover. You're my diamond, I can't let some petty stuff affect your mental health, how bad of an employer would I be then, huh? So go! Off, now! I want you out of this office in 15 minutes tops, now up and about young lady!", he claps his hands and I jump into action immediately.
Liza helps me assemble my stuff and as for Clinton, he gathers his food and cups.
I'm out of the cabin in ten minutes.
Clinton bids Damon goodbye and heads out along with me.
"I brought you breakfast", Clinton says in the quiet of the elevator.
"Why?", I ask him, immediately.
"Because I knew you wouldn't have eaten it"
My breath hitches in my throat at that.
I'm perplexed, I'm so confused at the situation. Especially after what happened with Damon today, I can't process everything so fast and hence I end up snapping at Clinton when I should be thanking him.
"You don't have to do anything for me, Clinton", I reply in a hard tone.
"I want to"
"But you shouldn't, you're not boyfriend. You're not my anything so sorry if I say I don't want to accept anything from you so please just leave me alone because God knows I need to get my head straight", I snap at him.
Thankfully the elevator doors open that very instant and I run outside without waiting for his response as if my pants were on fire.
A little confused and a little relieved for the very first time in a long time because of the much needed day off, I relax all day, stuff my face with all my comfort foods in front of the TV, sleep, snore, dance, sing, make cupcakes for my Jay and finally walk over to his penthouse apartment which is just a few blocks away from my apartment building.
Gripping my satchel, I walk with a huge smile on my face, taking in the busy city that is New York.
I reach his apartment building in no time and make my way cheerfully to the penthouse at the very top.
Since Jason had asked me to be there before him, I knew he wouldn't be home yet but his ever so sweet cook Mindy, an old fifty years or so lady who usually took care of the house since Jason cannot be trusted with anything to his own according to his mom, looks after it.
Mindy and I chatted while she cooked dinner for us.
To be honest, I don't think I've ever felt so relaxed in a long time and know the feeling of having endless amount of leisure time on my hand.
I wish I could get used to it.
I refrain from sighing which I surprisingly have not done much today.
Somewhat of forty five minutes after my arrival to the penthouse and everything in place, I hear the telltale ringing of the elevator that opens upto a very tired yet joyous, Jason.
His grin widens at my sight as he spreads his arms in sheer happiness and yells a 'yes' as if thanking God himself.
"Finally my favorite person is here", he says as he makes his way towards us and throws his tux jacket on the breakfast bar before leaning on it and running his hand through his luscious locks of chestnut hair.
"I hope you've made our favorites, Mindy", he asks her playfully to which she replies with a subtle 'yes'.
Mindy leaves us alone after a few more minutes of her fussing around the kitchen. As soon as she is out of sight, Jason scoops me in his arms and breaths in my hair like it's his lifeline.
"I missed you so much today", he murmurs into my hair, stroking it softly.
"You just met me in the morning, Jay", I laugh out at that as I snuggle in his chest, ignoring the tingling all over my body.
Slow Jazz music flows in through the entire penthouse which probably Mindy must have played.
"I know but still I missed you. I don't know why but it just hurts being away from you and not being able to talk to you all day because of stupid work", he grumbles like a child.
He starts swinging us side by side to the slow music and instantly I feel his body relax as my hands find their way around his neck. I stroke the little inklings of hair at the nape of his neck and feel him moan a little.
I know he loves it when I touch it there.
We don't speak anything. We just let our silences speak in that moment. Or maybe I do mine, embracing him and his warmth, love and everything in between as we sway to the beat.
In moments like these, I wonder if he ever even would like me in a different way other than friendship and in moments like these, I realize that maybe it'll never happen and that's when I take everything while I still can before with a heart aching thought I think of the lucky girl he will make forever his one day.
"I made you cup cakes", I reply softly.
He pulls away from me and grins at me his childish grin that makes him look a lot younger and just like that we're back to normal.
Or our version of normal, you could say..