I stood in my usual home get-up the next morning, making myself a fry up.
Jake was snoring on the sofa, arm dangling off the chair. I scowled as I glanced at him, annoyed. I still was pondering why the hell I let him in to begin with.
The post came through the door, two small square packages. I cheered, forgetting about Jake as I ran to pick them up, exclaiming “These better be good quality!”
“DVDs?” sighed Jake as he sat up, yawning before he smiled at me, and I smiled back.
“Yep. My old Lion King DVD I borrowed out and I never got it back.”
“What’s the other one?”
“The Little Mermaid.”
Jake’s smile grew. “You’ll always have that infant wonder about you, Kris. You just wont stop watching your Disney movies.”
“I like Dreamworks movies too, Jake.”
“I know.” He paused, sniffing the air. “What’s burning?”
“The eggs!” I gasped as I ran into the kitchen, and Jake laughed as I frantically scooped them out of the frying pan into the dustbin. I scowled at him. “Something funny?”
“You, Kris. You’re lucky we’re not at work today. The boss would be so mad if you were late. He’d make you retype all the paperwork you handed in just to be a prick. Like last time.”
I smiled at him. Titan would make me work overtime just so he could have me to himself. I felt guilty for lying to my friends about who I was seeing, but I knew they wouldn’t approve and Jake would go mad if he found out I was dating our new boss.
“He’s not that bad, Jake.” I added two new eggs to the sizzling frying pan. Jake watched me, then he said “Can I have a-”
“Egg sandwich?” I smiled at him again, slightly betraying myself. As always, when Jake and I weren’t arguing, it felt like we were as close as we used to be.
Jake nodded, and I said ok.
“How’s your head?”
“It’s pounding. Any chance of a coffee with that sandwich?”
“You know where the kettle is, Jake.”
Jake grinned and sauntered into the kitchen, edging around the table and sliding past me as I turned the eggs over. He stopped right behind me, and I had no choice but to turn and look up at him.
My mobile went off, and I quickly pulled it out of my pocket, saying to Jake “Watch the eggs for me. Hello good morning.”
“Hey you. What happened to my good morning text?”
I couldn’t help my broad smile, Jake scowling at me as I said “I couldn’t send you one. I’ve been busy looking after a little boy in a man’s body.”
I could imagine the frown on Titan’s face. “He’s still there?”
“He’s going to have breakfast and then he’s going.”
“Is that your future ex?” Jake asked with a smirk, and I glared at him as he put some bread in the toaster. “I bet my being here bothers him a great deal.”
“You wouldn’t be goading him if you knew that he’s-”
“He’s what?” demanded Jake, and Titan said “Don’t rise to it, Kris. He’s just trying to wind you up.”
“Well it’s working,” I said flatly. “Jake, after you eat you’re getting out of my house.”
“I need to shower first, Kris.”
“You showered less than eight hours ago,” I snapped. “Now hurry up with the food, I’m hungry. I’ll be in the living room.”
* * *
“Do I have to go so soon?” pouted Jake, and I glared at him.
“Yes you do. I’m expecting company.”
“Who? Your new guy?”
“My mother,” I snapped, and his smile faded. “Exactly. So unless you get the hell out now prepare for her to curse you out because you had the nerve to show up here.”
“Wait wait wait. Doesn’t she know I always show up here though?” asked Jake with a frown. “I mean, we’re partners at work still; my desk is right next to yours and-”
The doorbell rang.
“Oh hell,” I muttered, as Jake backed a few steps. “Prepare for the roast of your life.”
I pulled open my front door, then I smiled at her. “Hey Mum. You ok?”
“Of course. I-” She stopped, staring behind me. Jake cautiously waved a hand, saying “Hey Mrs Taylor. I- how are you?”
“How am I?” Mum repeated, taking a deep breath, but before I could tell her to keep her cool she exploded “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, JACOB?!”
“Oh- um… I forgot something,” lied Jake. “My old DVD of um… Blade.”
Mum stared at him before she icily said “Blade?”
“Yes Ma’am. You know, the vampire movie?”
“I know what Blade is!!”
“Oh- right! Well, I left it here with some other stuff,” Jake said meekly, me standing there with my arms folded as I watched him squirm under my mother’s glare. “Er… a vest top with some trainers and-”
“You didn’t leave anything here,” spat my mother furiously. “I helped Krissie clear her house of everything you had here over eight months ago.”
Jake glared at me. “Really.”
“Yes. So think of a better lie,” said Mum angrily, but before he could say something else she turned to me. “What is Jacob really doing here, Krissie?”
“He turned up drunk saying he needs me,” I said flatly, not willing to lie to my mother or cover for my idiot ex. “Then he vomited on my doorstep a few times. I made him clean it up though, after he had an egg sandwich. I was telling him to go but he wanted to stick around for some reason.”
“Oh really? How nice,” Mum said with a smile as she looked at Jake, and we both frowned at her, then her smile vanished as quickly as is appeared as she locked eyes with him. “Get out.”
“Get out!” spat Mum as she stepped menacingly towards him, and Jake backed away from her. “I don’t ever want to see you here again!”
“Well I hoped I wouldn’t see you, period!” Jake said angrily, losing a bit of his cool. “You never liked me to begin with!”
“And after you cheated on my daughter, that sealed the hatred!” snapped Mum, the front door still open. “Now either you leave right now, or I’m going to knock you unconscious with the bricks in my handbag.”
Me and Jake stared at her handbag, me cautiously saying “Mum?”
“Be quiet, Krissie.” I closed my mouth obediently, my mother glaring at Jake. “I thought you were leaving?”
Jake uttered a curse word before he wrenched his trainers on and stormed out of the house, then he turned back and looked at me.
Mum slammed the front door in his face before he could finish, and I said “You don’t really have bricks in your handbag, do you?”
“Of course not, silly. But it scared him, didn’t it.” Mum chuckled, and I smiled as she sat down on my sofa, feeling a little relieved. I wouldn’t be surprised if she carried shot-puts on her handbag. “So how are things at work? Lola said you have a jerk of a new boss.”
“Oh- um… He’s not that much of a jerk, Mum. He just has order, and makes sure none of us slack.”
“You especially, though. That’s what Lola said to me when she passed by the other day. Why did he make you re-type a whole report?”
“I used the wrong font,” I lied, trying not to smile. Titan and I pretty much wrecked his office with our heavy make out session. I didn’t re-type a thing; my report was ace. “I used Arial instead of Times New Roman.”
“Oh. I see.” Mum smiled as she said “Well I like the sound of him. Lola tells me he’s gorgeous and she has the biggest crush on him. I told her she should go for it if she really likes him.”
“What?” I stared at her. Already the jealous type of anger was forming at the thought of my best friend being with the man I really liked- the first man in over eight months, the first man since Jake. “What did Lola say to that?”
“Well, she said she wants to know what the T stands for,” Mum told me. “His last name is West, right?” I nodded, trying not to scowl. “Lola said you all call him Mr West at work and he never joins you all for lunch. She thinks his name is Troy or something, but Troy West sounds so dim for such a hunk of a man.”
His name is Tremaine, I thought angrily, and his nickname is Titan. And if Lola tries to make a move, I swear I’ll…
Mum looked at me curiously. “Krissie?”
“Yes Mum?” I said stiffly, and she frowned at me.
“Why are you fuming?”
“Because I- nothing. I’m just annoyed at Jake is all.”
“And you’re sure that’s all?” asked Mum, and I said yes. “Alright. Make me a cup of tea please. It’s nippy out there.”
Glad to get away from her curious stare, I quickly went into the kitchen.
Trust Lola to try and get her claws into Titan, I thought angrily to myself. I’m going to tell her to back off myself. I just have to think of a good reason as to why she can’t have him.
I made myself and Mum a cup of tea, placing some biscuits on a saucer and putting everything on a tray before I came back into the living room, setting everything down on the coffee table in front of my sofa.
Once we were comfortable and sipping our tea, Mum said “Aside from your boss who else has been giving you trouble at work? Does Jacob hassle you?”
“We’re partners at work, Mum. We remained partners even after we broke up.”
Mum scowled at me. “Couldn’t you have partnered with someone else?”
“Not when we were halfway through an assignment and we had a presentation to give,” I told her. “We just sucked it up and got on with it, and we decided we were great job partners. We understand how each other works. I worked with Lola once,” I added before Mum could interject. “Never again.”
Mum sighed. “Fine. As long as you don’t get back into a relationship with Jacob, I’ll settle with you still working together.”
I nodded, sipping my tea. “Ok.”
We sipped in silence for a moment, then Mum said “Jacob’s right. I never did like him to begin with. I always had the feeling he’d hurt you, Krissie.”
I sighed. “I know, Mum. You said it enough times when we were together.”
“Yes I did.” Mum smiled slightly. “Mother knows best.”
“Not in all cases.”
“Now don’t start, Krissie Taylor.” Mum’s smile grew. “I can’t be asked to have a heated debate about who knows better.”
I glanced at the clock; it was soon twelve in the afternoon. Titan was coming over at one: he promised.
“Mum, I’m going out soon,” I said apologetically, and she pouted at me. “I need to get ready properly and then leave out before one. Is it ok if you come back this evening? We can talk more then, I promise.”
Mum sighed. “Always busy busy busy. Alright. I’ll get going. Let me nibble a biscuit first.”
I laughed. “All right.”
I threw on my dressing gown over my dress and waited, looking at the clock. It was ten to one.
I made myself a quick drink, tropical juice, then I sat at my desk to doodle on my laptop.
As soon as the doorbell went I jumped up, heart racing as I quickly checked myself over.
“Krissie, you there?” she called, and I froze.
It was Lola.
A part of me wondered whether to stay hush hush and pretend I wasn’t home, but I felt guilty as soon as I thought it.
Lola rang the bell and called my name again. “Krissie!”
“Coming,” I called, and I opened the door to my best friend. “Lola, you know that I don’t like people turning up at mine without letting me know.”
“I know, but this is important-”
“Who in your family has a life threatening illness?” I asked dryly, and she pouted.
“Did your house burn down?”
“Has your bank closed your accounts due to on-going suspicions about your activity on them?”
Lola glared at me. “Stop being a cow, Krissie!”
“Alright, fine. Just don’t turn up next time.” I smiled at her. “Now what’s up?”
“Miss Taylor,” a deep voice said, and Lola turned to look behind her. She gasped, saying “Mr West! What are you doing here??”
Titan smiled at her, saying “Good to see you too, Miss Lane. Miss Taylor left her research papers in the office. I’m just dropping them for her.”
“Thank you sir,” I said humbly, taking the file he held out. “I’ll be more careful next time.”
“Please do, Miss Taylor. It’s vital that you keep such things safe.”
I nodded. “Yes sir.”
“Good. I’ll see you both at work on Monday,” Titan said, looking from me to Lola and back, his gaze lingering on me for a moment. “Be on time.”
We nodded, watching as he turned and walked back to his car. As soon as he pulled away, Lola and I exhaled.
“He’s such a sexy piece of ass. Isn’t he Krissie?”
“Well- I… he’s our boss, Lola. I cant think like that.” At least out loud. “Now what was the problem you wanted to tell me?”
“It’s Mr West. I really like him,” Lola told me. “And I told your Mum too. She thinks I should go for it. I’ve been wearing sexy lingerie for weeks hoping he’ll see them.”
I have too, I thought with a smirk, and Titan does see them.
“So what’s going to make him call me into the office and tear my clothes off, Krissie?”
“No idea,” I said truthfully. “Um… just work hard, Lola. I’m sure he’ll notice your effort after a while.”
“And what if he doesn’t notice?” demanded Lola. “Plan B?”
“What’s Plan A??”
“Plan A was work hard and wear sexy lingerie so he notices me and calls me into his office to have his wicked way with me. That’s not working,” scowled Lola. “So now I’m skipping that mess and going straight to Plan B.”
“Which is what?” I asked a little nervously, and Lola smirked.
“Take down any worker he might be interested in so it’s me he decides he wants.”
“You’re on Cloud Twelve, aren’t you?” I asked amusedly, and she scowled at me.
“I thought it was Cloud Nine?”
“Nope. You’ve bypassed Cloud Nine, Ten and Eleven with your madness. The poor clouds don’t want you,” I told her with a grin. “Cloud Twelve has the energy to deal with foolishness.”
“It’s not foolishness, Krissie! It’s going to work,” Lola told me. “It will!”
“All right. I’ll have to see it to believe it.”
(TO BE CONTINUED)!!!