Author: Sam Mariano PM
Jenna has a crappy boyfriend and a crappy job, but when she gets a promotion at work, the promotion has her spending a lot more time with her boss than she deems wise...Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Chapters: 30 - Words: 242,045 - Reviews: 762 - Favs: 409 - Follows: 511 - Updated: 07-27-11 - Published: 06-20-05 - id: 1944404
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Hey guys! Thanks so much for your feedback—glad you enjoyed the last chapter! Sorry this one took a bit longer than anticipated, but I got distracted by a guy (but it's not my fault—he's a guy like I write! (To the people who think my guys sadly don't exist, you're wrong. :p They may not be commonplace, but they exist as surely as I do.) Anyway, I got my personal affairs in order, and as I was driving down the road listening to If I Die Young, I was suddenly aware that I needed to finish this story. Sorry 'bout the delay. :\ Also, I was having writer's block a bit.
silver. trees: No, lol, your review wasn't negative at all. As a matter of fact, you were right on just about every point. I've dropped lots of hints all over the place all throughout this story about—I'm pretty sure—every single plot bunny that I ever pulled out of my sleeve. :) People see what they want to see, not necessarily what is there. Bravo on your observational skills, and thank you for your feedback. :)
"I am… so confused."
Smiling a little, Jenna nodded, dipping a ship into the spinach and artichoke mixture the waiter had left on their table only moments earlier. "I know, I completely understand."
"I thought you liked Jon."
"I do like Jon, he's a lot of fun—"
"You know what I mean," Marie interrupted, frowning at her daughter. "I don't understand. I talked to you three days ago and you were picking Jon, you were totally—"
"I was jealous of the nanny because I was afraid Wesley liked her," Jenna said, interrupting again and raising her eyebrows. "That's not the behavior of a woman who's—"
Cutting her off, Marie said, "Because you were being greedy; you were at the bakery, sampling these two delicious cakes, and some other woman comes over with a fork. Look, all I know is what you tell me, but what I know is that three days ago you were ready to be young and free with Jon, and today you're telling me that you and Wesley are playing house—again. Because God knows how well that worked out last time."
"We're having a kid," Jenna stated.
Bug eyed, Marie said, "And you weren't three days ago? What happened to Jon being cool with that?"
"Ugh, Mom…" Shaking her head, Jenna said, "I've already had to deal with this in my head for what feels like five years, I don't want to rehash it."
"I thought we liked Jon. I liked Jon and I didn't even expect to like Jon."
"You liked Wesley, too," Jenna reminded her pointedly.
"I just don't understand," Marie said, shaking her head. "I mean, I was there, I was in the hallway when Jon went rushing out of his office, telling that Rodriguez guy he would e-mail him with better directions from the airport, and… I mean, it was the moment, Jenna. The one that happens for all the blondes in romantic comedies—the rushing to the airport to go to the love of your life scene, where he would apologize for being a jerk and tell you how he can't breathe without you, and you would watch wordlessly while he gave his speech, but end up with your arms around him, giving him a big movie kiss while the music swells and every woman in the audience feels a little bit disappointed with the man squirming in the seat next to her."
Smiling wanly, Jenna said, "You watch too many Kate Hudson movies; what have I told you about that? It isn't realistic."
"Um, right, except that it happened."
"It didn't happen," Jenna said, rolling her eyes. "Wesley's the one that called Jon and told him to make the mad dash to the airport, and when he got there, he didn't tell me he couldn't breathe without me because Jon isn't that guy, just like freaking Matthew McConaughey isn't that guy; movies warp characters to fit endings."
"Bullshit," Marie said, shaking her head. "I mean, okay, not bullshit—you're right about that, Hollywood is the devil and all that, but… I mean, remember the conversation? If I were a betting woman, I'd be out of house and home right now."
"Well, then you'd be pretty happy that Wesley's around, wouldn't you? He won't let you be homeless."
"Yeah, because Wesley and his magic checkbook have everything under control," Marie said, frowning with a look of sincere disappointment. "I just don't understand what you're thinking right now."
"I'm thinking about Anya, okay?" Jenna snapped, giving her mother a slightly defensive look. "I'm thinking that I could make a life with either one of those guys—but Jon isn't the family man. Yeah, he was cool with Anya, but he's not Wesley. Wesley is… I mean, I told you what he did—dumping Kim in the interest of being a good father—"
"Okay, Jenna, stop." Marie put a hand up. "I'm not disagreeing with you. Dumping the whore to be a good daddy—great move. My problem with this gesture? He dumped his girlfriend for his daughter—not for you. From your own mouth, when Kim was asking him if he was doing this because of her—being you—he said no. The only reason that he gave for leaving her was Anya. Is it amazing that he's one of the only men in the known universe who would put his kid's needs ahead of the needs of his penis? Hell yes; get him a spot in Ripley's. But it doesn't mean he's right for you. I was totally behind this adoption thing when you were still making your own decisions, but Jenna, now you're changing your position for all the wrong reasons."
"You think being a mother is a bad reason?" Jenna demanded, eyebrows rising. "I adore Anya."
"I know, honey; I'm a mother. I know the feeling."
"Well, then why are you giving me such a hard time?" Jenna asked, scowling at Marie across the table. "Wesley is a great guy."
"Yeah, he is."
"And a wonderful father already—I certainly never had the pleasure of one of those."
Sitting back in her chair, Marie shook her head and said, "Is that what this is, Jenna? Is this some sort of passive aggressive resentment at me that's coming out? I was under the impression that I was doing the right thing—"
"You were, Mom, for our situation, but Wesley isn't my dad. This isn't about that—I'm not rejecting single motherhood, I just think that this could work with Wesley. I mean… he's proven that he cares about me, he has great family values—"
"Stop, please, you're sweeping me off my feet with all this romance," Marie said, sarcastically throwing her hand over her forehead.
Shaking her head irritably, Jenna said, "Life isn't a romantic comedy, Mom. We've skipped over that stage, we're becoming parents now."
"Glad I endorsed that idea," Marie said sardonically, rolling her eyes.
"What is your problem?" Jenna demanded, wide eyed and more than a little irritated.
"You sound like you're buying a car!" Marie said with just as much irritation. "Oh, he's so safe and dependable, with super cushiony double air bags and built in navigation system so that Suzie always gets to soccer practice on time. You're not in love with Wesley, Jenna, and he's not in love with you either."
"Ugh, you're so infuriating sometimes," Jenna practically growled. "I changed my mind; adapt."
"Have you slept with him yet?" Marie asked suddenly.
Shrugging, she crossed her arms across her chest and said, "It's not an unreasonable question. You and Jon could hardly keep your hands off each other, so—"
"Don't talk about—" Taking a breath and sighing audibly, Jenna said, "I'm with Wesley now, so can we not talk about me lusting after his cousin? It's a little weird."
"I don't buy any of this," Marie stated, shaking her head. "And what about Jon's goodbye, huh?"
"As romantic comedies go, I think it was an epic failure. You're not really supposed to give your well-wishes to the woman you 'can't breathe without.'"
"Why was he speaking in French? Why was he… why did he apologize to you for lying? Why did he keep talking about secrets?"
"He didn't keep talking about secrets—he made one joke about secrets. Once. Jon does that—he was making jokes all day; he was damn cheerful, if you ask me."
"Oh, please, I only heard about it from you after the fact and even I could guess he was covering. Even you said he was uncharacteristically annoying—and hitting on Abby in front of you? Come on."
"If Wesley would have done that, you would be—"
"Wesley doesn't care enough to do that," Marie stated irritably. "Wesley's has currency running through his veins; it would occur to him to buy you a small country, but it would not occur to him to strike out at you by flirting with a pretty girl."
"You know what… I'm not even hungry anymore," Jenna stated, throwing down the chips on the plate and rearing back, crossing her arms in annoyance.
Marie was quiet for a moment, looking at the plate, then she looked up at Jenna, less combative, and said, "Honey… I love you. I only want what's best for you, that's why I'm… picking this apart. I don't understand, and you're not helping me understand. I mean, you're not… telling me that you think of Wesley constantly, that when you go to sleep in his arms at night you know there's nowhere in the entire world you would rather be, that when he kisses you the stars collide and your heart races… You aren't telling me that you love him, you're telling me that you made a list and he makes the most sense."
"I didn't make a list," Jenna answered tightly, feeling her face flush.
"You were very into Jon," Marie stated immovably. "Wesley couldn't win you over in all the time he's been lying to you and jerking you around, and Jon had you choosing him over a handsome, wealthy man in a matter of a couple weeks, Jenna."
"Jon didn't care," she said more quietly. "He was ready… to hand me off to Wesley, to make stupid jokes about me marrying Wesley… if he gave a damn, he wouldn't have been so cavalier. Jon wasn't the one going to the hotel bar to get drunk because he thought I was in Wesley's room."
Scoffing, Marie said, "Why would he? Jon knew you weren't coming—he didn't even bother giving you a room number."
"That's another thing," Jenna said heatedly. "He didn't even give me the opportunity to pick him, Mom. And the next morning, he acted just like he did on the phone when I called to tell him I was picking him—eager and willing to cede me to Wesley. Forgive me if I don't find his complete indifference romantic."
"Well, I can't explain that," Marie said more mildly, casting her gaze down at her lap momentarily. Then, looking back at Jenna, she said, "But did you even talk to Jon without Wesley around for a single minute? He came to Ukraine to see you, and… unless you're leaving something out, he was under Wesley's watchful eye the whole time. You didn't get to ask him about it. You didn't get to… talk to him."
"How could I? He went straight to bed as soon as he made his heroic appearance, didn't give me his room number, and then the next morning he was cracking morning-after jokes at me and Wesley."
Shaking her head, Marie said, "I don't know, hon. I just… I don't understand."
"I'm done trying to understand," Jenna stated implacably. "I've been jerked back and forth like a damn yo-yo, and I just… I'm glad it's over. I think that I made a very sensible decision, probably more sensible than my previous one since that one was largely influenced by my stupid hormones."
Marie merely sat there, looking a little sad, and said quietly, "Maybe you're right, maybe I did mess up."
Frowning lightly, Jenna asked, "How do you mean?"
With a sad smile, Marie said, "Maybe I should've married Martin sooner, shown you that love matters, too."
The words felt like a lance going right through Jenna's lungs and she gasped, surprised at the feeling of being sucker punched.
"So… now I don't know what love is? I'm being… responsible, so I don't know what love is—is that what you're saying, Mom?"
Appearing a little alarmed by Jenna's rising voice, Marie sat up straighter and said, "Honey, I only meant—"
Not even letting her finish, Jenna shook her head, shoving her chair back and got to her feet, reaching into her purse and shakily withdrawing a twenty, throwing it down on the table.
"I'm sorry that you disapprove of my decisions and think I'm incapable of love. Enjoy your lunch."
"Jenna, wait," Marie said, pushing her chair back and starting after her.
"Don't you dare!" Jenna said, turning around, tears welling up in her eyes. "Don't you dare follow me."
Shaking her head, furiously blinking back tears, Jenna pulled her coat on—the coat Jon bought her—wincing a little when she caught her own reflection in the mirror, saw the coat wrapping around her…
Shaking her head, she tore her eyes from the reflection and stormed out of the restaurant.
"I want to go back to Ukraine."
Wesley paused in the act of cutting up his artichokes, raising his eyebrows curiously at Jenna, who hadn't done more than push her food around her plate since they had started eating. "Um… I already knew that. The plans are in the works."
"I mean now," Jenna stated, still staring moodily at her plate. "I miss Anya, I miss being away from it all and… sitting in the motel room watching Roswell and making jokes. It's never as good here, Wesley. Every time we come home, it's like… reality just… steals it all away. Maybe this is a mistake—maybe we're going about this all wrong. Maybe we shouldn't raise Anya here."
Frowning slightly, Wesley slowly put his fork down and cocked his head to the side, giving Jenna a look of appraisal. "Have I done something wrong?"
"No," she said sullenly, taking a sip of the lemonade in her glass.
"I think Jenna had a fight with her mom today," Robin put in helpfully, cutting up her asparagus and sticking a piece in her mouth.
Jenna sent a little glare in Robin's direction, even though she didn't mean to still be so angry. Her mother had put her on edge, and it wasn't going away.
"Ah. What about?" Wesley asked Jenna.
"It's nothing, she's just… being ridiculous. Generally she's cool, but nobody's perfect, and sometimes she's as annoying as any other mother in the world."
Smiling slightly, he said, "That didn't answer my question at all. Should I assume she doesn't approve of your decision?"
Not wanting to hurt his feelings, Jenna said, "It's not that. I just don't want to talk about it, okay?"
"Fine," Wesley said, letting it go. "Did you call the decorator today?"
"Yes," Jenna said, happy to cling to a subject that didn't cause her blood pressure to rise. "Yes, I did. Um, she's going to come out tomorrow, and we're going to pay more attention to the more creatively oriented designs now that I know Anya's going to be my little artist. How did everything go at work today?"
"All right," Wesley said with a shrug. "A lot of cleaning up everyone else's mess. Unfortunately, since Jon left and I was gone, there was really only one person here who was in any way prepared to man the wheel. I'm definitely not going to be able to go back to Ukraine until Jon gets back."
"When is he getting back?" Jenna asked, forcing her tone to be casual.
Sighing a little, Wesley said, "I hope within the week."
"You hope? You don't know? I mean, he had to have given you some idea of when he would come back."
"I believe his exact words were, 'when I'm damn good and ready.' I figure he'll spend the next several nights… doing whatever Jon does, and when the novelty begins to wear off, he'll be ready to come back home. Unless of course he does decide to take the promotion, then I suppose—"
"The promotion?" Jenna interrupted, frowning. "The… Paris job? I thought you were done pushing that."
"I was. I am," he amended with a slight nod. "Jon's the one that asked if it was still on the table."
Feeling her stomach sink, Jenna cast her gaze down, using her fork to cut her vegetables up and hoping Wesley didn't notice the slight tremor in her hand as she did it.
"Why would he do that? He didn't want to go to Paris. He was furious that you were trying to force him to."
"Furious because I was trying to force him," Wesley said, watching her a little more carefully than she was comfortable with. "I don't see why you would object—wouldn't it be easier if he moved away?"
"No," she said, unconsciously sending a frown his way. "Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea how that would make me feel? Call me arrogant, call me anything you want, but there's no way I wouldn't feel at least partially responsible. That doesn't even make sense. He was talking about going to New York, not Paris—four hours away, not… an ocean away. Did he plan on doing this in Ukraine?"
Instead of answering her, Wesley remained silent. For a moment, he merely took a sip from his wine glass, then he calmly put the glass down, looked across the table at Jenna, and asked, "Why do you care?"
She didn't immediately raise her eyes to meet his—assaulted first by guilt, then by a general feeling of tiredness—but when she did, she offered a wan smile and said, "I don't. It just doesn't make sense. When you offered him Paris, he turned it down, he thought you were punishing him for some imagined crime, and now he's asking you for Paris? Seems a little unlikely if you ask me."
"You don't believe me?" Wesley asked, lifting his eyebrows. "I can call him right now and he would tell you the same thing."
"Where is Jon?" Robin asked, frowning slightly. "He didn't tell me where he was going."
Smiling thinly, Wesley said, "I believe he's spending some time in Paris, although by now he could have moved on to some other European city."
"Is he staying in your townhouse?" Robin asked curiously.
"You have a townhouse in Paris?" Jenna asked, her eyes widening slightly.
Nodding excitedly, Robin said, "It's really nice—right on this little side street between the Paris Opera and the Louvre. We practically went right by it when we went to see the opera—I'm sure I mentioned it."
"I don't recall—"
"It's irrelevant, I no longer have the townhouse," Wesley interrupted easily. "I sold it a couple of months ago, that's why we didn't stay there when we flew over there."
"Oh," Robin said, frowning. "Well, that was stupid. I loved the townhouse."
Shrugging, Wesley said, "It was time to move on. I no longer need a permanent residence in Paris, as I'm never there anymore."
"I suppose that's a good thing," Robin allowed. "Bet Jon's bummed; he loved that place."
"I never let him borrow it anyway, it isn't a timeshare," Wesley said dismissively. "At any rate, I don't even know if Jon is in Paris anymore; he mentioned something about heading to Amsterdam."
Giggling a little, Robin brought her fingers to her lips and made a motion as if to inhale from between her fingers.
Eyebrows shooting upward, Wesley pointed his fork at her and said, "I'm going to tell Mom you did that."
"Oh, my God, I know what marijuana is; sue me," Robin returned, rolling her eyes. "Jon's the one presumably getting drunk and high with a bunch of Eurotrash sluts, not me."
"Yeah, well, I can't tell his mom," Wesley shot back sarcastically.
Sinking back into her chair, Jenna wondered how—in any universe—their conversation about Jon getting wasted could even indirectly make Jenna feel better.
"Whatever," Robin said. "I'll text him later and find out where he is. Make him send me pictures. Someday I'll go to Amsterdam myself—not for that, of course, but I've heard it's a really neat place."
"It is pretty nice," Wesley agreed with a nod. "Outside of the coffee shops, there's plenty there that you would enjoy."
"I need to travel, Wesley. Abby was telling me about this one summer she went to Scotland when she was an undergrad, and I have to say, she really made me want to go. She even showed me pictures of Duntreath Castle—you and Jenna should totally get married at a castle in Scotland."
"I've never even been to Scotland, I doubt I'm going to start planning my wedding there," Wesley stated.
"Well, Abby said it's beautiful. You should ask her to show you pictures when you guys are back in Ukraine with nothing better to do. It would be right out of a fairy tale, Wesley."
Shaking his head, he said, "Regardless, Jenna and I aren't talking weddings just yet, squirt, so cool your heels."
"Fine, but when you guys do get engaged, can I come back and help plan the wedding? I can help with ways to be eco-friendly right down to the party favors."
At that point, Jenna withdrew from the conversation. She remained seated at the table, half-heartedly paying attention to Wesley and Robin as they talked back and forth, but mentally, she quit participating.
Maybe it was Wesley's house, she decided spontaneously. Maybe it wasn't him, it wasn't her, it wasn't their city—maybe his house had some kind of negative energy or something, since it did seem to be the constant factor.
Why couldn't she ever stay cheerful? she wondered with frustration. Partially, her mother had annoyed her to her very bones, and Wesley's talk of Jon taking the Paris promotion combined with Robin's talk of Jon getting wasted with Eurotrash did little to turn her mood around.
What havoc had she caused? Or was she being arrogant again? Maybe Jon really did just like to party that much, and he was not out nursing a broken or wounded heart at all. Sure, if it would have been her, disappointed in love, she would see skipping town as running away…
No, that wasn't just because she was a girl. Skipping town was running away.
Then her stupid mother and her stupid words came back around, bringing with them Jon's semi-private conversation with her before he left Ukraine, asking why she picked Wesley and throwing out several reminders of Paris… Like he was trying to tell her—without actually telling her—where he was going. But why do that? Did he want her to stop him?
No, he knew she had picked Wesley, he wouldn't expect her to stop him.
By the time dinner was over, Jenna had tired herself out, and she stayed up for a little bit to watch a movie with Wesley and Robin, but then she retired to her room a little early, claiming jet lag.
Wesley walked her to her room, arm around her, talking about Anya's play room, and then when they got to her door he gave her a lingering kiss, smiled at her, and turned around, heading back to his own room.
As Jenna closed the door and leaned against it, looking at the bed she was about to climb into alone, it was her mother's voice invading her head again.
Sighing heavily as she climbed into the bed and pulled a pillow over her head, she muttered, "Go away!"
The next day Wesley informed Jenna that he would have to work late, but since he had promised her he would spend more time with her and less time at work, he was coming home for lunch. Jenna, in turn, told Robin, who seemed significantly moodier than usual.
"We can order out instead," Jenna offered as Robin slammed cupboards and even handled the lettuce with scowling brutality.
"No, it's fine," Robin said quietly, shaking her head.
"Is everything okay, Robin?"
Blinking, Jenna hesitated before fishing a bit. "Have you talked to that guy lately?"
"No, I haven't. Men are liars, and I haven't firmly decided that I want to start entangling myself with them."
"Oh. Well… that's probably a very good idea," Jenna offered with a little smile.
Robin offered a forced smile back, then she turned back to preparing the food. Taking the hint, Jenna backed out of the kitchen and went to the living room, flopping down on the sofa to wait for Wesley.
Several minutes later, she heard him come in, and she smiled, hopping up off the couch and making her way toward the connecting hall to the kitchen. She was just about to turn the corner when she heard Robin's less-than-friendly greeting.
"I'm glad you're here. I need to talk to you alone for a minute."
"Sure, yeah, after lunch if there's time," Wesley answered, dropping something on a surface. "Where's Jenna?"
Taking her cue, Jenna stepped into the kitchen, giving Wesley a little smile and saying. "Hey."
"No, not later," Robin said, her tone a little waspish. Then, glancing at Jenna, she said, "Would you mind… going upstairs? I hate to ask, I just need to—"
"Robin," Wesley interrupted, frowning at his little sister. "You're being very rude."
"I don't need lectures from you," Robin stated, as if Wesley's advice might be valued almost as much as Jeffrey Dahmer's.
Rolling his eyes, he looked and Jenna and said only half-jokingly, "Are you as excited about Anya being a teenager as I am? Because let me tell you…"
Jenna offered him a little covert smile, but it only seemed to infuriate Robin.
"Oh, right, I'm moody because I'm a teenager. It couldn't possibly be anything else."
Sighing, Wesley said, "Robin, if you're having an issue, I promise we'll talk about it, but I told Jenna that I would spend some time with—"
"I talked to Jon last night," Robin stated loudly, talking over him.
That stopped Wesley in his tracks, and he looked at his little sister a little less casually.
"I mean, if you don't want to make time to talk to me alone, that's fine, I can just start talking in front of Jenna…"
She allowed the sentence to trail off, sounding like a threat, and after only a brief pause, Wesley turned to Jenna, offering an apologetic shrug and saying, "I'm sorry, do you mind giving us a minute?"
Pursing her lips and taking a moment to stare at her shoes, Jenna considered how to respond to that for a couple of seconds, then she met Wesley's gaze and said, "I thought we were going to start being honest."
"We are being honest," he answered easily.
"Then why do I have to leave the room?"
"It's family stuff, Jenna."
Nodding slowly, she said, "I see. So… I'm not your family right now."
"You know what I mean," he said a little tiredly. "It's about Jon. Considering everything that's happened, I don't think it's unreasonable that I don't want to discuss him in front of you." Then, probably realizing that she could only take offense to that statement, Wesley reached out for her hand, squeezing it lightly, and he added, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it the way it came out. Just… please?"
Extracting her hand from his, Jenna nodded her head, then she turned and walked out of the room. She had half a mind to just duck around the corner and eavesdrop, but deciding to give him the benefit of the doubt, she opted to be a little trusting and just walk halfway up the stairs and take a seat, waiting to be called back down to the dining room.
After waiting patiently for several minutes, she got less patient, especially since she could hear that Robin was raising her voice, but she couldn't make anything out.
Finally, Wesley came walking into the living room, calling out, "Jenna?"
"Right here," she said, standing up, brushing off her bottom, and heading back down the stairs. "Are you guys done with your top secret conversation, or should I cover my ears and hum?"
Smiling tightly, Wesley said, "Robin won't be joining us for lunch anymore, but I pulled the chicken off the stove before it got too crispy, so… if you'd like to have lunch with me, we could… continue as planned, minus one?"
Eyebrows rising, Jenna said, "Sure, but are you going to tell me what happened?"
"Eh, it was nothing. Jon was drunk, he was saying things… you dated a drunk for years, you know how people get when they've had too much to drink."
"Honest?" she suggested. "What was he saying?"
"Nothing to concern yourself with," Wesley assured her. "He's fine, Robin's just… Robin."
"Is he being mean? Was he sad? Was he angry? Do I get any hints at all?"
"Jenna, please… I didn't come home for lunch to talk about him. Can we just drop this for right now?"
She frowned in displeasure, but reluctantly nodded her head yes.
"Good," he said, offering a smile. Then he walked over to the counter and picked up where Robin had left off before she apparently decided she didn't even want to have lunch with them. "How has your day been?"
"All right," she said, still a little reluctant to talk since he wasn't sharing.
"Is the decorator coming out?"
Nodding, she said, "She should be here between three and five. I told her to come closer to five because I assumed that you would be home around that time to give your opinion, but… I guess you're working late."
Glancing back at her as he grabbed some silverware out of the drawer, he said, "I know, I'm really sorry. I might have to work late a couple of nights this week, but it's because I'm setting things up. I promise you that once we get Anya home, I'm not going to be working late all the time. It's just… I'm leaving my company without me for an indefinite amount of time and I want to make sure they're fully prepared to run without me. The good news is, as long as they pull through this little vacation without me, it should be a lot easier to leave earlier when we do come back, because they'll already be used to operating without me."
"I know, I'm not going to get mad at you if you have to work late right now. I understand that you've never left the company—at least as long as I've been working for you you've never even taken more than a few days off. It must be difficult for you to think of taking months off."
Smiling crookedly, he said, "Believe it or not, it is. Working is what I do, it's been my life for years now, my one constant."
"I noticed," she said ironically as she took a seat at the table, arranging her plate and silverware around her and taking a drink of her water. "Oh, I talked to Abby today, too. She's going to go out with me tomorrow to buy an obscene amount of children's books for Anya's library."
Nodding his head, Wesley said, "Good, good. Let me know if you want me to come; I'm sure I could get away from the office for a couple of hours at least."
"I will. We'll have Robin, too, though, so we'll probably be all right. Robin has been upstairs browsing Amazon for most of the morning, researching books and everything. It's sweet."
"Has she been in a better mood today?" he asked casually before taking a bite and glancing up at her.
"Yeah, actually she's been exceedingly nice to me. I mean, she's always nice to me, but… she's been really nice today. Or, she was, before she knew you were coming home. Obviously whatever Jon said to her has upset her. Is he still in Paris?"
"Yes," he replied, but offered no more.
"Still no word on when he's coming back, huh?"
She nodded, but she was getting a little irritated. "So, what do we do if he isn't back in a week? Or if he says he wants the Paris job and doesn't come back at all?"
"I didn't give that as an option, he has to come back at some point to help with the company while I'm gone, even if he does want Paris. To be perfectly honest, I'll be closer to Paris than he will be, so if there's an emergency or something, I can go there. I don't see that happening though, my Paris office has adjusted… I'm sure everything will be fine."
Jenna nodded her head, not making any further comments, and took a bite of her salad.
A/N: Okay, I apologize again for the delay. Hopefully you enjoyed this installment, and I will work on getting the rest up soon! The story is so close to being over! I hate ending stories though. :\ Anyway, that's all for right now! Hope you enjoyed!