Jenn tried her best to regain her voice and speak in coherent sentences.
" I….um…wanted to thank you for the drink. " She said shyly.
That silky deep voice brought Kristen out of her trance.
" Oh! That… don't worry it’s a peace offering. Have a seat. "
Jenn hesitated for a moment and then took the chair in front of her just as her knees started to give out.
" A peace offering? Why? " Jenn asked.
Kristen broke away from Jenn’s glance and answered. " Because I spilled the drink on you earlier, why you didn't tell me when we met at the bathroom? " Jenn sighed deeply. " Because you looked so aggravated and I didn't want to add to your distress. "
She tried to look anywhere but at Kristen. She was nervous enough without adding more stress by looking into those beautiful emerald orbs. ‘ How sweet. ‘ Kristen thought as she noticed Jenn’s nervous demeanor.
" Well thank you. " She said out loud.
" You are very thoughtful, it was a very embarrassing moment indeed. Let's forget about that and start over: my name is Kristen O'Rourke and it's a pleasure to meet you. " Kristen extended her hand towards Jenn.
Jenn took her hand and smiled. " Jennifer Heart, it's nice to meet you too. " Kristen reveled in the softness of Jenn's hand and didn't want to let go.
‘ She looks so strong and yet she’s so soft; it's a pretty strange combination. There's an innocence in her eyes that I just can't figure it out. Oh boy, I'm so in trouble here.’ Kris thought, while she reluctantly let go of Jenn's hand.
" So, are you feeling better now? " Asked Jenn
" Oh yeah, nothing like a warm shower and a good sandwich to make up for a bad day, I'm still tired but I'll take care of that later. "
" I know the feeling believe me, I was pretty roughed up myself when I first got here this morning. " Jenn said, sympathetically.
Kristen laughed and Jenn found her laugher endearing. " Then, a crazy woman came running and spilled a drink on you to make things worse."
Jenn smiled at the young writer’s good humor. " Well, not everything went bad now that I have a new drink and good company…….”…. (Ooopps did I said that out loud? What's wrong with me? Shit!)
Kristen was surprised by the last comment, ‘ is she flirting with me? Nah, I'm not that lucky anymore.’ She decided to let it pass.
" Well I'm glad you're here because I tend to get depressed when I eat alone, you want something to eat? "
" No thanks, I had dinner not long ago. But it's good that I'm here, because we can’t have you wandering the hotel all depressed by yourself, don't you think? " Jenn began to feel more at ease in the company of the writer.
" So, what brings you to this island, business or pleasure? " Kristen asked between bites.
‘ She's so damn cute; stop this nonsense now JJ you're losing it.’ Jenn's internal fight was distracting her from the conversation with Kristen. That was until she saw the questioning look on the authors face.
" I'm sorry you said something? "
‘ What's going on in that beautiful head of yours, Jennifer Heart? ’ Kris thought.
" I asked if you're here for business or pleasure? " She repeated.
" Oh! Well, I'm on vacation but I came here to make an official presentation for the company I work with, they kind of set me up for this. I hate public presentations. " Jenn started playing with the stirrer of her drink then added. " I think we are going to be together at the gala tomorrow night. "
Kristen was taken back by the information. " So you know who I am and why I'm here? " She asked seriously.
" I know what you do, you're one of the best authors I ever read. I'm getting to know who you are now, and I also know that this gala is a personal matter to you. " Jenn was very serious about what she was saying. " So don't worry I won't tell anyone." She smiled and finished her drink.
Kristen was surprised with this turn of events. " That's why you said in the bathroom that you didn't know that it was ‘me’. I’ve been trying to figure that one out since it happened and now it makes sense. " Kristen looked directly into Jenn's eyes and asked. " Why didn't you say anything? "
Jenn felt nervous all of a sudden, but never took her eyes away.
" Because you hate all the notoriety and fame, and I knew this was a personal matter."
" Who told you that? "
" Marge, my colleague; she said she spoke with you on the phone the other day. " Jenn looked at Kris.
" Yes, I remember, you’re the VP at Warrior Publications? The one who's going to make the donation, right? " Kris asked.
Jenn didn't like the title and tried her best to correct Kristen. " I'm only the Comptroller of the company, not the VP, and yes I'm here to make the donation. "
" Yeah, the VP who doesn't want to be! She told me about it and believe me I know the feeling; I don't like notoriety either." she smiled, somewhat maliciously, though playfully. " But you are the VP whether you like it or not." Kris started laughing hard at the distressed look on Jenn's face.
" It's not funny, I'm a simple Comptroller nothing else. "
Jenn was starting to feel uncomfortable from the turn in events and Kristen noticed the change.
" Listen, I know this annoys you but I was just teasing you. Marge told me to, you know, she said I'd have a good time teasing you about this. I can see it really bothers you. I'm sorry; I promise I'll behave ok? "
Jenn sighed and tried to smile at the writer’s good humor.
Kris continued. " I don't really care if you’re the one that cleans the floors at the company; all I care about is that you are aware of the need for this money to help the people in need. It's awful how some companies have so much money and don't give a damn if part of the world is in need. " She spoke seriously.
" It's okay; just forget about the VP thing and I'll be happy. " Jenn said as she tried to hide her blush.
Kristen noticed how uncomfortable Jenn was with the subject, ‘ She is beautiful and she had the grace to blush, this must be a sensitive subject for her, Wow, I really am in trouble here.’
She tried to put the accountant at ease again. " Ok, subject change, let's see; what are you reading? "
Jenn showed her the book she was reading. Kristen seemed genuinely interested.
" Richard Bach.” She acknowledged. “He's a great writer and I like his work. I've read One, it's very interesting, makes me think a lot about the way I live my life. " The blond haired writer said.
Jenn had found common ground with the writer because she loved the book she was reading and the author’s point of view of life.
" I've read it before, in fact this is my third time and every time I learn something new. " Jenn said, pleased with the discovery of their similar tastes in reading.
Kristen noticed how relaxed Jenn was by this topic and decided to keep the accountant interested for as long as she could. She wasn't ready to give up the company of the dark haired woman yet.
" Oh good, I've only read it once and it was fascinating. Although those questions about --what if we could meet the people we are destined to be in twenty years? What if we could confront the people we were in the past, and those we are right now in parallel lifetimes, in alternate worlds? "
Kristen stated showing Jenn that she really was a fan of the author.
" It scares me to think that I might find the future ‘me’, one of these days." Jenn said, with a pensive look. " I'm still trying to figure out the theory of parallel lives, it really gives me the creeps." She concluded as she shook her head.
Kristen found the revelation very intriguing as she tried to learn more about the woman who had captivated her attention since the very first moment they’d met.
" You've said the future ‘you’, what about the past ‘you’? " The writer asked.
" I don't have any trouble with my past, it's the future that makes my skin crawl. " Jenn said, still surprised at her own willingness to open up in front of this blonde haired stranger.
Kristen smiled sympathetically and said. " Let me tell you, I'm the complete opposite. I don't want to hear about my past ever again!" Kristen laughed at this, and then added; " The future, I can do something about; change the way I was and be a better person for it. But as for the past I only can learn to live with it."
Kristen was taken back by the way this stranger made her feel: like she could bare her soul without the fear of being judged. And that scared her. Jenn was moved by the writer's confession and felt encouraged to confess her own fears.
" I don't think my future would be any different from my present, and it isn’t something that I’m thrilled to see anytime soon. "
Jenn stayed quiet for a while wondering how the conversation had turned so serious. Kristen noticed the same and tried to lighten the mood.
" I also read another of his books….. what was the title? …. Yeah, The Bridge Across Forever, it was very good too, have you read it? "
" Yes I have, it was light on the topic of parallel lifetimes and more into the soul mates theory. It was a good read too." Jenn said.
Kristen couldn't resist the urge to ask the question that had been flashing in her mind for a while.
" Do you believe in soul mates? " Kristen held her breath waiting for an answer from Jenn.
"No, I don’t. Love is something that is unreal, I haven't ever felt nor experienced it."
Jenn spoke with such conviction that the writers heart broke at the last statement. She couldn't believe that the same woman who had spoken with such passion, was now so cold about a topic that was the very essence of the book they were talking about before.
" I haven't felt it either, not that strong as he described it but I do believe in love and I am still waiting for my soul mate to come and show me love for real." The writer said as she looked at the now dark ocean.
" Well, if you find it someday let me know ok? " Jenn said with a disbelieving look.
‘Subject change again.’ Kris thought, a little disheartened.
" So, how do you like he hotel so far?"
Jenn smiled at the change in subject, and said, " It's wonderful, the room is beautifully decorated, the staff are very friendly, they seem to overlook my normal bad temper."
Kristen smiled at the mention of Jenn's temper. " Oh! Now I remember about your temper, yeah your reputation is known worldwide." She teased
" What was what your friend told me? Oh! Yeah, she might look like a fiery panther but inside she's just a kitten. " Kristen started laughing so hard at the look on Jenn's face, she couldn't stop laughing, her face was red, her sides hurt and she had tears in her eyes, when the need for air was too much she stopped and took a deep breath.
Jenn was stunned by Kristen's comment but what had her captivated was the sound of her laugh, it was something she wanted to hear more often even if it was at her that the writer was laughing. " Very pathetic Heart, something is wrong with you. She is laughing at you and you don't give a damn. "
Kristen noticed something was wrong with the accountant and tried to regain her composure. " I was just teasing you, you're not mad at me are you? " she asked with growing concern on her eyes.
" She never said a word about you been a kitten you know, I was making fun of a comment I heard else were. " Still the accountant face was serious, her eyebrows furrowed with showing anger. " Listen, I'm sorry I didn't want to upset you it was a joke. " Kristen was getting anxious at the silent treatment the dark haired woman was giving her.
Suddenly, Jenn stood up from her seat, looked very serious at Kristen and said. " Thanks, for the drink. Good night. " With that, she stared walking away leaving behind an open mouthed Kris.
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