7 1.6. Guilty As Charged

"Earth to Tina", Liza jumps in front of my face and I squint back in my seat at the sudden intrusion.

"Have you even been listening to a single word I've been telling you?", she frowns at me with one hand on her hip and feet tapping away impatiently at the floor of my cabin.

It's Monday and I can't seem to get Jason out of my head. We haven't talked since that movie night at his apartment and honestly, the silence is killing me.

Jason is not the type of person who bails on you. He's that nagging friend who is consistently behind you, grabbing for your attention but ever since that day and night, it's been so lonely without him even with Liza by my side, that I can't help but be worried because it's so unlike him.

Sure Liza has kept me up and about, fully entertained with her antics, with the upcoming dates and schedules that I've to see through but my mind is just somewhere else despite it all.

Also a small part of me is still wondering about... Clinton.

To be honest, I never thought he would give up on me so easily and I was intrigued to see what lengths he could go to, to get to me. But I guess...

He really wasn't that serious about it.

Anyhow back to the present.

"I'm sorry, what were you saying?", I look up at her from behind my desk as she hovers over me, glaring.

"I'm talking about...", she drags, then sighs before huffing.

"Forget it, what's on your mind?", she asks, her eyes softening at my distracted sight.

"Make a wild guess", I say with a dry humor to my tongue.

"Jason?", she squints at me.

"Bullseye", I make a gun with my hands and aim it at her, before shooting an imaginary bullet at her, confirming her thoughts.

She shakes her head at me before sorting through some of the files on my table.

"Shouldn't you be worrying about Clinton though?", she asks me, distractedly.

"Why would I be worried about him?", I ask her incredulously.

She stops whatever she's sorting through and drops a bunch of files from her hands on the table. Her eyes widen and her mouth opens agape as she turns towards me which seems to be shock.

"Uh...", I look at her incredulously, confused as to her reaction and think about what am I missing?

"We just lost a loyal client and all you're worried about is Jason?!", she spats at me incredulously angrily as if she cannot believe me doing this.

I swallow hard on nothing because apparently the look on Liza's face says it all and I can't help but feel guilty about it.

She's right.

My actions did make me loose a loyal client and that too none other than the one my boss is friends with.

For someone like me who has always been a very focused employee and at the top of her game, my focus shouldn't have been tethered elsewhere. Even if it's because of Jason.

I look down at my lap, hanging my head in shame and not looking upto her.

God, I feel so bad now.

"Tina, I'm not guilt-tripping you because you had to do what you had to do. I'm supporting your decision as a friend but as someone who works for you and has been working as much hard enough as you, I'm really disappointed", she finishes her speech, almost spatting at me.

Giving me a last look of distress, she makes her way out of my cabin, slamming the door on her way.

I sigh.

As much as I would like to say she's wrong, I know she's not.

***

The whole day has passed away in the blink of an eye and Liza is dead set on giving me the silent treatment.

And I must admit it's a little difficult to not address the elephant in the room since it's pretty obvious with the whole tension between us, even a few employees could detect it from afar.

And as much as I hate to admit it, it's my fault totally. And she's right.

So without further adieu, I head over to her cubicle on my way out.

The moment I reach her, she looks up for a second before ignoring me and getting back to the files she was going through.

I perch my arm on the walls of her cubicle and clear my throat to get her attention but apparently nothing could get passed her thick reading glasses that she has on.

Giving up on my lame attempt, I chose to speak up eventually.

"Liza", I call out to her in my most endearing tone.

She pauses instantly and slowly looks up at me through her glasses.

"Do you need anything?", she gives me that cynical sweet smile of hers that is so fake, I could break her teeth through it while she keeps squinting her eyes at me.

I look around to see if someone is watching my lame excuse of a sorry attempt, only to find half the floor empty.

"Where's everyone?", I ask no one in particular, voicing my thoughts.

"If you haven't noticed, it's 8pm already. It's way past the time. You should head home too", she whispers the last sentence but I catch it in time.

"Won't you be going home today? Or do you have plans of sleeping here tonight?", I ask her nonchalantly.

She narrows her eyes at me.

Uh-oh.

"You know, you're in condition to sass me", she points out.

I huff out a sigh and slump my shoulders in defeat before rolling my eyes.

"Fine. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. It just happened okay? I'll be more careful next time and focus on nothing else but work when I'm at work", I state, frustrated from our banter.

She rolls her eyes at me before packing her stuff.

"You're sucha bitch at times"

"Yeah, I know", I sigh, not even in the mood to argue right now.

We make our way to the elevator as we head out when my stomach starts growling.

"Uh... McDonald's, on the way?", I ask her, unsure of what's going to come.

She lets out a hearty laugh.

"Definitely, I'm starving"

And just like that we're back to normal.

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***

After a hearty meal at McDonald's, I left Liza at her apartment before heading over to mine.

As soon as I enter the lobby of my apartment building, I'm hoarded by the receptionist.

"Ms. Blue, there's someone here for you", she says and points over the seating area.

And the sight in front of me leaves me utterly speechless.

Tell me, I'm hallucinating.

Apparently there's a sleeping figure of a certain someone, slumped over the couch, whom I thought I might never see the sight of ever again.

Snoring lightly and hanging off the arm of the couch is the figure of none other than Mr. Clinton Valsera.

"How long has he been here?", I ask the receptionist, wide eyed and distracted.

"Quite a while now", she checks her watch before answering.

I look at him for a few more minutes before shaking my head to clear the fog in my head.

"Thank you so much. I'll take it from here", I tell her before heading over to Clinton.

I tap his shoulder lightly, before shaking him a little by the shoulder.

He jerks upright, instantly in alert mode.

"Who's there?", he groggily blurts out.

I have to bite my lip from laughing at his unruly sight.

God, how am I supposed to deal with this?

"Clinton?"

"Justine", he squints at me before shaking his head and running a hand through his unruly sexy mess of a hair.

"Hey, let's go upstairs", I suggest him softly as a few passerby's watch us as if there's a Broadway show going on here.

He nods before absentmindedly following me to the elevator and up to my apartment in silence.

I set my bag and keys on the breakfast bar of my kitchen before resting my hands on it, leaning over it.

I hear him close the door and walk inside the apartment slowly before coming up where I'm.

My phone blares instantly, flashing Jason's name on it. But I put it on silent because I had more matters to deal with at hand.

I sigh before turning to Clinton.

"Clinton, what are you doing here?"

He stands awkwardly in the center of my dining room area, not quite sure what he should say as he rubs his probably sweaty hands on his jeans.

My phone blares again. I ignore it.

"I.. I came to see you?", he says but it seems more of a question than a statement.

I look at him dumbfoundedly.

"How did you even know where I live?", I ask him, crossing my arms over my chest, quite intrigued myself.

"I've my connections", he shrugs, finally seeming more in control of his senses.

I scoff at that.

My phone blares again, I ignore it yet again.

"Do you even know that's border line creepy? Scratch that, it is creepy", I state, frustrated at him.

"Justine look, I just wanted to meet you, that's it and maybe hangout and maybe... apologize", he shrugs at the last bit unsurely.

"Apologize? Seriously? For what?", I sass him.

I know I'm being intolerant and basically acting like a child but he has to know what's wrong in this situation.

"For my behavior. It was unreasonable. I should've respected your boundaries and not brought you breakfast", he reasons waving his hands in the air to get his point clear.

My phone blares again, irritated from its incessant ringing, I ignore it and charge at Clinton.

"Exactly. You had no right coming back into my office. Bringing me breakfast like you're my goddamn boyfriend. Do you have any idea what kind of trouble I could've gotten into because of you? I would've been fired if anyone knew about our little escapade the previous night. But heck you don't care, do you?", I accuse him.

I point a finger and walk over to him until my finger is to his chest level and I'm literally poking him with my finger and accusations in his face.

Meanwhile, his eyes are roaming all the over my face as if he's trying to contemplate everything I'm saying and yet not able to get it.

And then he goes ahead and speaks the most unexpected thing ever.

"You look so goddamn hot when you're angry, do you have any idea?", he blurts huskily as if he's having a hard time breathing.

He did not just...

Oh my God, I'm going to...

Ugh!

My cheeks take that exact moment to turn red and I have a hard time hiding that.

"Can you stop-", I start but am cut off by the abrupt opening of my apartment door.

I instantly turn my head to the source of opening it.

Oh, no, no, no, no, no.

I watch dumbfoundedly as the source has a hard time handling some groceries on his arm, completely oblivious to the people standing still in the dining area and looking at him.

"Justine, I'm here!", he shouts before turning around.

As soon as he turns around I swear I nearly faint at his perplexed yet guarded expression.

"Justine, who is this guy?"

Jason cocks a brow, frowning at a very confused Clinton who has no idea about the former either.

Isn't this just wonderful now?

I wonder sarcastically..

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