Kristen was in a state of shock on seeing the accountant walk away from her without any other explanation. She felt this deep emptiness inside her and it was something with which she wasn't accustomed. The author rose from her chair, and although ready to follow the accountant, she found herself rooted to the spot. For some strange reason, part of her wasn't sure how to proceed. She was debating between giving in to the need to follow the woman on the one hand, and the other part of her was simply unable to move. She found it very difficult to make up her mind: to make heart and body agree to do the same thing. So she closed her eyes; the sight of the tall stranger leaving her behind was just too much.
’ What have you done this time O'Rourke? You have to screw everything up around you? Don't stay here like a useless little shit. Do something! Stop her you moron!!!’
Whilst Kristen debated with herself with her eyes closed, she didn't notice that Jenn had turned around just before walking out the door and was fighting her own inner battle. Jenn saw the writer with her eyes closed, her brows furrowed, and it was clear that Kristen was experiencing some kind of stress. Jenn hesitated before walking back to where the blonde was standing.
‘ You're over reacting JJ! Stop for a moment and think: don't act on impulse; remember who she is, you can't leave her there all alone. She said she was sorry, don't be stupid.’
Jenn shook her head trying to clear her thoughts; she looked once more to where the writer was standing and saw the emotions that passed over the writers face. Another battle started inside her head.
'Why can't I leave her standing there? Why do I care? I've just met her, we're not even friends so I have no obligation to her. What's happening to you JJ? Why do you feel as if you've just lost your best friend? Oh! Marge, you are to blame for this, you and your stupid ideas, I won't pay attention to you anymore. I'll go and get a good night’s sleep, that's what I need right now. I don't need any friends. I don't need anybody. '
Kristen was having her own conflict with herself and was so engrossed in her own mess that she hadn’t noticed that the accountant had stopped before crossing to the door. She opened her eyes to see whether the accountant was already gone, but was confronted with the most beautiful sight; Jenn was looking at her from a couple of feet away. The accountant looked into Kristen’s eyes and the author started walking towards her. Kris let out the breath she didn't know she had been holding. ‘ Ok, O'Rourke fix this.’ The writer stopped when she was standing right in front of Jenn.
" I'm sorry I was just teasing you, it wasn't my intention to offend you. " She said before Jenn could say anything.
" It's ok, I'm the one who should be apologizing to you, I overreacted. “ Jenn gave Kris a half smile.
" No, it was my fault. We barely know each other, I shouldn't tease you like that. Now I know it's a sensitive subject, it won't happen again. " The petite writer said.
" It's difficult sometimes, to deal with the reputation I've gained. It comes with the job and people sometimes judge you by your reputation and not by who you really are. I just hope that someday the people around me look beneath the surface and see the real me. " Jenn was thinking aloud and didn't realize what she’d said until she felt a warm hand on hers.
" Believe me I understand more than you could imagine. But, let me tell you something, I think I'm seeing the real you and it can be scary for you too; you're not accustomed to that, it could be the reason for your reaction earlier. "
Jenn took Kris's hand between her bigger ones as she spoke. " I think it's better if we don't try to read too much into this situation. Let's forget about it; we can say that: ‘I have a reputation to maintain and I am good at it.’ "
Jenn let go of Kris's hand, she didn't remember when she had taken the authors hand between hers but let that question hang for now. She began to laugh, a mixture of both nervousness and relief. Kristen was a little confused until she realized that Jenn was teasing her just as she had teased her with the kitten joke. The writer joined the tall stranger in the laughter as they approached their table again.
" You are evil, you know Jennifer you almost got me believing that you were mad at me. " Kristen said, between giggles.
Jenn looked at her seriously and said. " I was…."- Then she laughed again at the sight of the confused writer- " That's what you get when you tease me, I can be mean when I want to. "
Kristen looked at Jenn with her eyebrows furrowed and then relaxed a bit.
" Oh, you can be intimidating, I give you that but I'll get you back for this, you have my word. " Kristen felt so relieved that Jenn was just kidding; she was all smiles.
" By the way, please call me Jenn, only strangers call me Jennifer and after tonight I think we are more than that. "
The petite author smiled and responded, " Only if you call me Kris. "
Jenn was entranced by the writers smile " It's a deal then. "
" It's late and I have a bed with my name on it upstairs. " Kristen said, as she tried to hide a yawn.
Jenn was suffering from a mixture of feelings that she hadn’t felt before.
‘ Whoa, Heart, what is happening to you? ‘
" Yes, I'm tired myself, I think it's time to get some rest. " The accountant agreed.
Kristen took a deep breath and asked. " Do you think we can get together again? Say for breakfast, that way I won't be depressed so early in the day eating alone. "
Jenn couldn't believe what she had heard. She was ready to say yes ‘ What have I done to be this lucky? ‘ But then she felt scared by the way the author made her feel. She felt the need to be alone, to think about it without the presence of the petite blonde to distract her.
" I'm not sure, I wanted to sleep in for a while, I am not a morning person. " Jenn lied to the author.
Kris was very disappointed but hid it well. " Of course, I understand. I'll be here by nine o' clock if you want to show up ok? "
Kris began walking to the elevators as Jenn followed and answered. " OK, thanks. "
Jenn pushed the button to call the elevator. They got inside it and waited in awkward silence for it to stop at their floor. Kris's room was on the 4th floor while Jenn's suite was on the 7th. When Kristen stepped outside the elevator she flashed Jenn a smile and said, " Good night Jenn. "
Jenn was left alone to contemplate the events of the evening and how she had reacted to the writers company. ‘ What the hell is happening here JJ, are you loosing your mind?’ Jenn was so confused about the mixture of emotions inside of her that it made her head ache.‘ Since when were you all ga ga for a woman? Or for any other human being at all, for that matter? You're acting strange Heart, get yourself together and stop being so childish around her. ‘ When Jenn went to sleep, much against her will, her last thought was of a green eyed writer; the image of those eyes and the beautiful smile never left the accountant's mind.
Kristen was having the same problem when she tried to go to bed.
' OK, O'Rourke what are you getting yourself into this time? ' The battle was a lost one even before it started but she fight it anyway.
" I'm not doing anything, I promised I'd behave; remember? "
' Yeah, yeah and you're ready to jump the bones of that poor clueless woman. '
" I'm not!!! " The author was annoyed " I'm only been friendly and that's all."
' Yeah, right. Now, tell me another one. '
" Hey!!! It's not my fault that you have that filthy mind! You can't imagine that someone can be friendly just ‘because’? " The author said, with a triumphant smile.
' You tell me, I'm the voice inside your mind. '
" Oh!! Shut up and let me sleep. "
' C'mon you can't deny she is a beauty. '
" I'm not denying she's not beautiful and of course anyone on their right mind would like to jump the bones of Jenn including me, hell!!! Especially me. But I want to do things different for once, I just want to get to know her, be friends with her; Jesus I don't know if she's gay or not, so cut me some slack here, I'm trying to change my way of living OK? " With that Kris pulled the sheets all over her head.
' OK, I'll leave…for now, good night Kris. '
" I hope you have insomnia. " Kris answered before she fell asleep.
At eight o'clock Jenn was up and pacing inside her room. She was having trouble with her nerves, and having skipped her morning run she was over anxious. Suddenly, the phone rang startling the accountant.
" Hey! Grumpy how's everything going in the Caribbean?" Marge’s cheerful voice brought a smile to Jenn's face.
" Hi M, how are this morning? " Asked Jenn
" Everything is fine JJ, I kind of miss you buddy and wanted to check on you to see if you haven't got in trouble yet." Marge said.
"Well, other than the fact that I nearly killed the people at the transportation service and the ones here at the hotel thanks to the brilliant idea of someone to order me the ‘rock star’ treatment. And you know how I hate that sort of thing."
Jenn was anxious. She looked at the clock on the beside- table. Part of her wanted to go downstairs and have breakfast with the author.
" That would be a sight worth seeing my friend. I know you put to good use that legendary temper of yours. "
Marge was laughing so hard it was contagious Jenn started to chuckle too.
" They gave me a two-bedroom suite can you imagine? What the hell I’m going to do with it! I'm here all by myself for Christ sake!! "
" You know JJ, it was something you should expect from the associates committee; they love to show off. " Marge wanted to ask after the writer, but was afraid of Jenn's reaction. She tried to be subtle. " So tell me JJ have other people from the convention arrived yet? "
Jenn started laughing in a way Marge hadn't heard before. " Are you trying to ask me about Kristen? You know Marge no matter how hard you try you just can't be subtle. "
Marge was more than surprised by Jenn's reply, her friend rarely laughed like this.
" Oh, I see we are in a good mood this morning, care to share the reason? "
“To answer your question: yes, Kristen is already here and we met yesterday in a very unusual way. "
Jenn knew this would make Marge even more curious and that was exactly what she wanted. ' Maybe if I talk about this I can figure out what's wrong with me. ' The accountant reasoned.
" Really? Well what are you waiting for girl? You know my motto:- details, baby details- " Marge was very excited with this turn of events.
Jenn sat down on the bed and told Marge everything that happened the night before. Marge listened carefully to the way in which Jenn's voice changed every time she mentioned the petite writer. She also noticed the different vocabulary that was being used by the accountant.
" Let me get this straight, I've heard words coming from your mouth that I've never heard before, at least not together in the same conversation. " Marge was flabbergasted and as each minute went by, she became more convinced that Jenn's admiration for the writer was a lot more than simply ‘that’.
" Let's see, you said, fun, nice, kind, intelligent, that Kristen is something else. “ Marge said, trying to make Jenn talk more about the author.
" She is M, you have to meet her. She's great and her taste in books is nearly identical to mine. She asked me to get together for breakfast today." The accountant said this with every intention of knowing what Marge’s thoughts were about it.
" Really? And what are you doing still here? Go get your breakfast! "
Marge was very happy for her friend but the silence at the other end of the phone gave her the idea that something was wrong with Jenn.
" JJ? What's wrong? " Marge was getting anxious.
Jenn looked once more at the clock on the table it showed 8:45 a.m. she still had time to show up for breakfast but she decided against it. The accountant was lost on her thoughts until a familiar voice startled her.
" Jenn!!! Are you there? " Marge was nearly shouting down the phone. She knew Jenn very well and was sure the accountant was thinking hard about something.
" Yes Marge, I'm here, you don't have to be so loud. " Jenn knew the inquisitive mind of her friend was in working mode.
" Okay JJ you tell me what's wrong. I can picture you with your brow furrowed, deep in thought. You should be downstairs having breakfast with your favorite celebrity instead of talking on the phone with me. " Marge was really concerned.
" It's no big deal M; I just didn't felt like having a big breakfast today. " Said Jenn nonchalantly.
Marge knew better and spoke her mind. " Don't lie to me JJ, I'm the only person who can tell when you're lying, even down a telephone. I know you better than anyone else. " The publicist had an idea of what was troubling her best friend but decided to let Jenn deal with it alone for a while.
" Marge what you want me to say? I'm not lying I swear. "
Jenn suddenly felt like a kid pleading to her mom, she knew she had been caught lying. Marge smiled at her friend’s reply.
" You can start by telling me the truth. Why are you so skeptic to be around Kristen? Did she do something to make you feel uncomfortable? "
Marge tried hard to choose the right words. Jenn quickly was in protective mode for the petite blonde.
" No!! She is a very nice woman and fun to be with, she treated me like we were old friends. "
Marge was losing her patience, 'This woman really doesn't have a clue', she thought, out loud she said.
" Tell me what is it then. What's on your mind that's keeping you from spending time with her? "
Jenn took a deep breath " It's…me Marge I'm acting weird around her and I can't stop thinking about what you said of her being gay, every time she speaks to me I'm trying to read if she's flirting with me or trying to be friendly. It's driving me crazy. "
" Let me get this straight JJ, you're saying that you feel uncomfortable around Kristen because I told you about the rumors that she might be gay? "
Marge asked not believing that any of this was happening.
" Partly yes, and I do feel bad thinking those kind of things about her, what if it isn't true? " Jenn added.
" JJ listen carefully and tell me the truth. Are you scared that if you spend time with Kristen she could make a move on you and turn you gay? "
Marge closed her eyes waiting for Jenn's reply; she was scared to hear the answer.
Jenn thought for a minute then said. " Yes and no… yes I fear that she might do something that will make me lose the respect I have for her, and no I'm not afraid of her turning me gay or anything. It's long proved that I'm asexual."
Jenn was convinced about what she said but Marge knew better, but it was not the time to press the subject for now.
" JJ you are a very mature woman and you've suffered a lot in life but in these matters you're a child; let me help you. "
" Why do you think I need help Marge? " Jenn sounded like a little girl and it broke Marge's heart.
" Listen, buddy I know you hate to talk about it but this goes back to the incidents with your family and you know it. What your grandmother did was her own decision and no one could make her change her mind. Not every gay man or woman does these things. "
Jenn interrupted Marge's speech. " Don't start with this again Marge! This doesn't have anything to do with ‘that’ woman and her husband! " The accountant was furious.
" JJ, your grandmother left her husband for another woman and abandoned your father to the care of the bitter man he became when she left him. We don't know the reasons that drove her away, you can't blame every gay person for her actions; you know better, look inside your heart and you'll see the truth. Give yourself a break. " Marge felt so sad for the struggle she knew her friend was dealing with.
" Marge, I liked very much being with Kristen, she is so special but I don't want to lose the image I have of her. I'm not sure I can be able to talk to her again without thinking of what the rumors said. It's not fair. "
Jenn looked at the clock once more it showed 9:50 a.m. it was too late to show up and have breakfast with the petite writer. Despite herself, she felt sad.
In the dinning room a very disappointed Kristen ate her breakfast, 'Why didn't she show up? I know she said she wanted to sleep in but I thought she liked me. Did I scare her or something?' The author couldn't understand why the dark haired accountant changed her behavior so often. ' At moments it looks like she is opening up with me and suddenly she puts up the walls again, it's so frustrating! Why do I care? If she doesn't want to spend time with me so be it. I can find someone else.'
The author let her pride guide her to the boat earlier so she could avoid the accountant when she came in for breakfast.
'I'll take the 10 o'clock boat instead of the one at 11. I don’t want to see her.’
Marge was still trying to show Jenn the mistake she was making by hiding from the author.
" Let's use your logical mind here Jenn. What are the odds of meeting your favorite celebrity and spending time with her? " Marge asked cautiously,
" Someone as famous as Kristen and you have got that chance, JJ. You are her number one; don't let this opportunity slip thru your fingers. " She added.
Jenn was silent and Marge knew her words had hit home, then, she went for her final blow.
" C'mon JJ how long do you think she would stay? With her agenda she might be gone after the gala tonight and you won't have the chance to see her again. Don't punish yourself for what other people did before you were born. If you give her a chance, you could see Kristen as the human being she is and not for who she chooses to sleep with."
Jenn was having trouble finding her voice; Marge's words were too close to the truth 'She knows me so well, damn'
" What is it that mama always said to you? 'Live every day like it is the last one, child.' You know she is right JJ, life is too short."
Marge's mama had been the mother figure to Jenn since her own had passed away ten years ago. The woman had adopted her like another daughter; Jenn had felt so connected to the older version of her best friend.
" Okay, you got me Marge, I'm too late to show up for breakfast, but we'll be together at the gala tonight. Maybe I can ask her to join me for a drink after the gala, I'll think about what you said. "
Mage smiled broadly, it showed even in her voice. " Good, now stop talking to me because this little chat is costing me a fortune and go get your suntan. Take care my friend and good luck."
Jenn smiled at the attempt at humor from her friend. She felt much more relieved after this little talk. After all, Marge was right: why not spend this time with the author? She wouldn't get another chance to get together with her, this was a one -chance opportunity and she wasn't going to let it pass.
" Thanks for everything M, you always know how to make me feel better. I'm going to order room service for breakfast and after that I want to go down to the beach, they said the hotel owns a little island that has the most beautiful beach around here, maybe I can check it out. "
The pair said their goodbyes and Jenn ordered her breakfast while she get ready to go to the beach.
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