A/N: Third in my original series shorts, after Breathe In and Speak, Scar-face. If you haven't read those yet, you should.
This one's humorous, though. My inspiration is one of my best friends. She plays the slightly off 'heroine' in this one.
I love clueless boys.
She's still sleeping when the phone rings from somewhere under the covers with her. The jingle keeps on going, slightly muffled from the blankets, until a sleepy hand blindly gropes for it and picks up.
"Good morning, love."
"Hey, Chase." She glances at the clock. 9:22 A.M. "What're you doing up so early?"
He laughs. "It's not early."
"It is for you."
"Hey, even I manage to haul my arse up sometimes for important occasions." His British accent sounds lovely, lovely in the morning.
"Oh yea? And what occasion's that?"
He pauses; she steels herself in anticipation, knowing it must have something to do with her.
Click, click. Call waiting. Holy hell.
"Hey, can you hold on a minute?"
"…Sure." He sounds hurt, but she doesn't let herself dwell on it and presses the flash button.
"Kaileyanna! Are you actually awake?"
It takes her a minute to figure out which one this is. "Funny, Alex. I am now, thanks to you."
"Oh," he chuckles, his all-American drawl a shock so early in the morning after Chase's, "sorry."
"It's okay, I should be up anyway. What's up?"
"I was just checking to make sure you were still coming tonight."
What? "Tonight? Uh…" She flings off the covers, alert, flying to her purse. Hands out, riffling around for her planner, can't find it, damn, damn, damn, found it, no that's her little black book.
"You… are coming, right? I reserved a spot for you." He sounds anxious.
"Well…" she drags it out as long as she can, damning her purse for being so big and unorganized. Hand brushes leather, closes on it. Found it. She flips through it, and sees, circled in red three times in big bold lettering, "ALEX'S PREMIERE SHOWING, 6:30P.M. CHESTFIELD GALLERY!" There are no conflicts. "Of course I'm coming!"
He sighs in relief. "Okay. Do you want me to pick you up?"
"Um," she starts, remembering Chase. "Hold up a second?"
He's barely gotten out a bewildered 'okay' before she switches lines.
"Chase! Sorry. What were you saying?"
He sounds surprised. "Oh, I was… right. I was telling you about an occasion."
He clears his throat; her heartbeat quickens a little again. "So… this weekend, I have a, a thing, I'm going to."
"Yes, a thing. In Cancun."
She's surprised. "Wow. A catering thing?"
"Yes, yes, that's it. A catering project… thing. For a wedding. And…"
He has an extra ticket from his boss and wants to invite her. She prays that's it, even though it'd make her life so much more complicated than it already is. "Yes?" She prompts.
"Well, I happen to have an extra ticket, and…"
Click, click. DAMMIT.
"Chase, I am so sorry. Can you hold on again? Please?"
He doesn't answer. She switches lines.
"Hello!"Pause. "Kailey?" This one's voice is hoarse from all the smokes.
"Are you… doing all right? You sound exhausted."
She lets out a breath. "I'm okay. How are you, Bryce?"
"Fairly well, seeing as I've been up since 6."
"Ouch. What can I do for you?"
"Nice of you to ask. Next Monday, book signing for Trepid at the Madison Avenue Fordham Hall. You up for it?"
Good thing she has her planner out already—which reminds her of Alex. "Can I check that and get back to you in a minute?"
"Hey, sorry. What were you saying?"
"Uh…" he pauses to recollect his thoughts. "Pick you up tonight, yes or no?"
For what, again? "Umm, sure."
"Great. I'll be there at around 5:30, only because I have to be there at 6 sharp or I get murdered."
"Okay. What should I wear?"
She can hear him smile. "Anything. You always manage to look fantastic."
"Oh, thanks." She wonders what she'll wear, and what she's going to exactly because she can't remember. Is it Cancun? Wasn't that this weekend?
Oh, god, Chase.
"Hey, hold that thought."
"Like the credit card company?"
She smacks herself on the forehead. Fuck. "Hey, sorry Bryce."
"You're calling the credit card?"
She can't think of another excuse. "Yea, they messed up one of my transactions last week."
"Ah. So, book signing on Monday, you up for it?"
Oh, she still hasn't checked yet. She does now. There's a lunch date with Raven and Jasmine and a movie with one of her potential prospects. "What time?"
"Around 10 A.M. This is crucial, by the way. Good for publicity."
"I thought Trepid was doing well on its own."
"Not internationally, no."
This is an international conference? She'll have to cancel with her girls. "Sure, I guess."
"All right. To pay you back, I'll treat you to dinner afterwards, what do you say?"
"Let me check my schedule again. Hold on."
"I mean, Alex! Hi. Sorry. Hold on."
"Hello?" She doesn't open with his name anymore, just in case it's not him.
"Hey, love." She sighs, flopping over sideways on the floor.
"I'd love to go to Cancun with you. What time do we leave?"
"I… oh?" He sounds confused, and by some amazing brain flicker, she remembers he hasn't exactly invited her yet.
She laughs nervously. "That is, if I'm invited."
He thinks she's playing coy, and regains his composure. "Of course you are. I'll swing by tomorrow at, oh, say… this time?" She checks. 9:34 A.M.
"Great." He's smiling into the phone, too. "We get back on Monday at around 5 A.M., ugly hour as that is."
What did she have to do on Monday, again?
The book signing. Bryce, and possibly dinner.
Oh, for the love of God. She fishes out a pencil from underneath her bed, pencils everything she can remember into the little date book. "Wow."
"Oh, nothing just…" She groans inwardly. "Monday's a long day for me."
"Book signing at 10."
"Oh…" he sounds as though he's working up the courage to give her the option of ditching him in Mexico.
She cuts him off. "Don't worry though, I'll be fine. Cancun will give me lots of energy."
"Do you want me to drop you off at the signing?"
NO! "No, it's fine. My manager's a bitch that eats escorts. I'll manage."
Can she hang up now?
"Well then… I'll see you? Tomorrow at 9:30?"
Wait… Friday is tomorrow? "Okay." She manages to grin. "See you."
Click. One down, two to go.
"Is that a yes to the dinner offer?"
What time does her Monday movie start? She checks. 10 P.M. She has time… if her and Bryce don't end up doing…something else… after the dinner, like they've been doing for weeks now. She'll just say no this time if he tries anything. "Yea, okay, boss."
"Don't call me boss," Bryce commands snippily. "I feel old enough."
She laughs. "Fine, Bryce. I'll see you Monday."
"Hey Alex. Sorry. Book signing stuff."
"And Chase, whoever that is."
"You mean what." Might as well use Bryce's assumption. "As in credit card company."
"Oh," he sounds relieved, and laughs. "I was gonna say, Chase doesn't sound like what anyone would name their kid."
Her breath catches in her throat, she pushes it down. "I know, right? So I'll see you at 5:30, then."
"Ah…oh…" he sounds horribly disappointed. "I was hoping we could… maybe talk a little bit more?"
Hell no. She is fed up with her phone. "Well, okay, if you want to take away from my getting-ready time."
"For what?" He's confused.
"For tonight, duh."
"Kale, it's 9:45 in the morning. You have 8 hours to get ready." At least he sounds amused now.
"And what's that supposed to mean? I still have to decide what to wear, if I need to go to Marc Jacobs for a new dress, take a shower, eat, get my hair and makeup done, shave…"
He's laughing openly now. "Okay, okay. You win. See you tonight."
She's grinning, too. "Okay."
"But that means you're coming home with me, then."
And get back in time to meet Chase tomorrow?
She has time. "Deal."
Finally tossing her phone back into her bed, she stares at it for a while, breathing hard. She's still in her underwear. She wonders if she has enough energy to get up. She's drained.
Alex is right. She has 8 hours. And it certainly won't take her that long to get ready.
She flops back into bed and within minutes, is asleep.