A.N: So… this is going to be a very short story. Not sure how many chapters it will average out to, the most five- if that. But this has been on my computer for forever and I've finally gotten the urge to finish it so here it goes… Stick with me, I hope it's alright. Let me know what you think!
"How you can eat all of that and still remain a twig, will always be a mystery to me."
Allie looked down at the chocolate mousse desert on her plate that was already half gone and then back at her best friend with a grin. "Don't be jealous 'cause it all goes straight to your ass."
Jordan smirked and leaned back in his chair, taking in the surroundings of the crowded café they sat in. "I happen to have a very nice ass, thank you very much."
"Right. It's as firm as this mousse right here."
"Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, Allie." He teased.
Allie looked up at her best friend, her hazel eyes glimmering with humor, as she took another bite of the chocolate sin that was her dessert. "Aw, don't be so touchy. You have lovely assets Jordan."
He winked. "Oh, I know. The ladies definitely like it."
She pointed her fork at him, ignoring the bustling of people walking in and out of the crowded city café. "Oh! Speaking of ladies, how did your date with… what's-her-name… go the other night?"
Jordan shook his head. "I don't want to talk about it…"
"Well," he started, stealing a bite of mousse. "everything was going perfect… until I got to the no strings part."
She nodded knowingly. "I'm guessing she didn't take it well?"
"Guessing who didn't take what well?"
Both Jordan and Allie turned around at the sound of the voice. A woman with curly black hair that framed her face pulled out a chair and folded her mile long legs underneath the table they sat at.
"Hey 'cuz," Jordan greeted his cousin, still attempting to shovel the last bit of chocolate mousse into his mouth, only to get his hand smacked away for his trouble.
Allie wrestled her fork back as she explained, "We were just talking about Jordan's latest attempt at a conquest and his apparent utter fail…"
"Hey, it wasn't a complete failure…"
Margarita signaled for the waiter and after ordering her usual, demanded an explanation. "So what happened?"
"On my date the other night, I told the girl about the whole no strings deal," he recapped.
"And was Allie correct in her assumption that that she didn't take it so well?" Margarita questioned, her exotic eyes laughing knowingly.
Jordan cleared his throat, "If storming out of the restaurant after calling me names my mother would be offended by qualifies as 'not taking it well', then, yes."
Both women laughed.
"Jordan, you are the ultimate bachelor," as if to prove it, the waitress dropped by the table to refill there coffee, not failing to give a flirtatious wink his way as she walked away. Allie shook her head, amused. "But, honestly, when are you going to learn what it is that women want?"
"I already know what women want," it was his turn to point at her with the fork. "A wedding band around my finger, and a white picket fence. That's just not in the plans."
Margarita rolled her eyes. "Not every woman wants to marry you, as hard as that may be for your ego to take, darling cousin of mine."
He chuckled and leaned his forearms on the table. "Then tell me, oh wise ones. What is it that all women want?"
"Security." Allie shrugged. "They want to know that they won't be just another number in your little black book."
He leaned back. "Not all women."
Margarita inclined her head in acceptance. "No, not all women. But the majority." She took a sip of her steaming coffee. "But if you're comparing women to Leah Summers, spare my gender the insult, please."
"There's nothing wrong with Leah. She's changed a lot since college." Jordan said defensively.
"That's a matter of perspective." Allie muttered.
"Leah is one of the few women who didn't mind a little love 'n go. You have to respect that."
Margarita paused, coffee cup half-way to her lips, to stare at him. "Love 'n go? That sounds like a bad sex toy promo."
He grinned. "Sounds good to me," he joked. "No, but seriously. There's nothing wrong with the no strings attached kind of relationship."
"But that's not even a relationship. That's a… encounter." Allie argued.
"Exactly. No one's gets attached, no one gets hurt. The perfect arrangement."
"So says every male on this planet. And if you believe that, you must have something dangling between your legs, because there's no way anyone's brain could understand the logic in that." Margarita said.
"Well for your information, even though there is nothing wrong with the no strings attached deal, I've decided to give a full fledged relationship a try."
"What?" Both Allie and Margarita said in unison.
"Yep. You're baby cousin in no longer NYC's number one bachelor."
"I don't understand." Allie said.
"I'm currently off the market, so to speak…"
Margarita glanced at Allie, who had gotten silent suddenly, and then back toward her cousin. "So this isn't another 'no strings attached' deal?"
"It's a little more serious than that. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's nowhere near walking down the aisle serious… but, well, let's just say I'm no longer single."
"Who is she?" Margarita asked after a moment, for Allie couldn't seem to find her voice.
Jordan shifted in his seat and Allie knew instantly she wasn't going to want to hear the name of the woman he was now with. "Leah Summers."
Allie felt her stomach clench.
Of all the women in New York, the fact that Jordan was with Leah Summers made her feel a bit queasy. They had all known each other since they were kids, and still Leah rubbed Allie the wrong way. Maybe it was her perfect blonde hair or perfect, Good Samaritan personality- Allie couldn't tell, but she knew the thought of them together made her nauseous. They were the perfect couple.
How would she ever be able to compete with that?
With those thoughts swirling in Allie's head, and Margarita still shocked herself, both women could only manage to stare.
And before either of them could manage to muster up their voice, Jordan's phone began ringing.
"Hah, speak of the devil." He said, "Listen I've gotta take this, but I'll see you guys later." And with that he answered the phone while throwing some money on the table to cover the bill, before leaving.
Both women stared after him, watching as he pushed open the glass door and walked out into the blistering cold. Allie forced herself to look away, fiddling with what was left of her dessert on her plate. But her appetite had disappeared.
Knowing Margarita's face was going to be filled with sympathy she didn't want, Allie refused to look up and instead reached for her purse. "You know, I should get going too. I need to get back to work…"
Allie glanced up with a sigh and just as she knew, Margarita was looking at her with sympathetic eyes from across the table.
"Are you okay?"
"Of course. Why wouldn't I be?"
Margarita frowned. "Allie…"
"Are you ever going to tell him how you feel?"
Allie looked away. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Allie, come on. I know you better than anyone- okay, other than Jordan… but clearly when it comes to this I know you better than even him. Don't lie to me. You've been in love with that man since we were 10 years old."
It was Allie's turn to frown. "Clearly that doesn't matter anyway. He's with Leah now."
"And if you really think that's going to last, you're delusional. I think you should tell him."
Allie looked back up. "Look, maybe it's time I move on myself. He doesn't see me that way."
Margarita shook her head. "He's just too blind to see what's right in front of him."
Allie shrugged. "He's found someone… and you know what? Even as cheesy as it sounds… As long as he's happy, I'm happy for him."
Three days later found Allie trying her best to forget about the news concerning Jordan and Leah. And although she buried herself in work and did her best to avoid Jordan at all costs, her thoughts left her with very little respite. She couldn't stop thinking about him and Leah, and all the things she figured they were doing together as a couple. And it was beginning to drive her just a little crazy.
So there she sat, in her small cubicle at work, pretending to look over a manuscript when in reality all she could think of was nothing but her jealousy.
She just didn't get what Jordan saw in Leah Summers.
Well, other than her bouncy blonde hair, perfect smile, and charismatic personality… Allie dropped the papers she was holding with a sigh and mentally scolded herself.
She was being ridiculous. After all, it wasn't like she was lying when she told Margarita that she was happy for Jordan. It was true. As much as Allie wished it was her instead of Leah that was the one making Jordan happy, the fact that he was happy was what was important.
But Margarita had been right also.
Allie had been in love with Jordan since they were kids, and seeing him with someone else was silently ripping her heart to shreds. And she could do nothing but smile and be happy for him. It was torture. It wasn't like she hadn't seen him with girls before. After all, he was practically the most sought after guy in New York for most of their lives. But this was different. He was is a relationship… she still couldn't believe it.
"Henderson." Allie was pulled from her thoughts at the sound of her name, and she turned around in her swivel chair to see her boss walking toward her. She immediately straightened in her chair, silently cursing herself as her foot began a frantic hunt under her desk for the high heel that she had kicked off earlier.
She smiled easily as the overweight man came to stand in front of her. "Mr. Davis. Can I help you with something, sir?"
He grunted. "I wanted to have a word with you." He let out a long breath, as if tired from the short walk from his office to her cubicle, his buttons straining on his white button down shirt as he exhaled.
"Of course," Allie nodded, her foot still searching for her missing shoe.
"I'm not going to beat around the bush here. You're one of my best editors and I think we both know it," he said, shifting his weight from foot to foot.
"Thank you, sir. That means a lot coming from you."
He nodded mutely. "Right. So I wanted to offer you the position of head editor down at the firm in Seattle. There's an opening and I figured you'd be the one for the job, if you want it that is."
Allie immediately stopped her search for her shoe.
"Me?" she asked, shocked.
"Unless there's another Allison Henderson around here I don't know about."
"Wow… that's… quite an offer. I'm honored."
He nodded. "I know it would be quite a big decision so I'm going to give you a while to think it over and let you get back to me."
"That would be great," She stood up, hiding her shoeless foot behind her leg, and extended her hand toward her boss. When he took her smaller hand in his beefy one, she smiled. "Thank you again, sir. I'll get back to you as soon as possible."
He nodded. "Congratulations. You deserve it." He began his walk back toward his office. "By the way," he called out over his shoulder, "your shoe is under your chair."
Allie blushed. "Thanks."
"Hey, there you are."
Allie turned around at the sound of the familiar voice. "Jordan. What are you doing here?"
He walked over to her. "Looking for you. Are you avoiding me or something?"
She looked over at him in surprise and then back to the vender, accepting to steaming coffee he offered. "What? Of course not." She lied, since she had been doing just that ever since she found out about Leah.
"Regular coffee, please," he said to the vender and then turned back to her, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his coat to ward off the cold. "I've been trying to get a hold of you for the past few days, but your phone keeps going straight to voicemail. You're lucky you live with Margarita or else I would have busted down your door days ago."
She rolled her eyes and took a sip of her coffee. "What did you think? That I was kidnapped by ninjas or something?"
"Hey, you could've been. This is New York."
She laughed. "What do you want Jordan?"
"Can't I just want to see my best friend?"
He laughed, accepted his coffee, and then began walking with her back toward her job's building. "I'm hurt."
"You'll live. Now what do you want? I have to get back to work soon, my lunch break is almost over."
"Well… it's getting close to that time of year again…"
"Jordan if this is about your parents Christmas party, my answer is still no."
"Aw, come on Allie. Why won't you even hear me out about it?"
"Because I hear you out every year. And every year I always get suckered into going to this Christmas party with a bunch of rich people who drink overpriced champagne and talk politics all night."
"And who else would save me from all that if you're not there?"
She sighed. "I'm not going this year."
"I promise this will be the last time I ask you."
She scoffed. "Like I haven't heard that before. Besides, why don't you just bring Leah?" She asked, although her stomach gave a lurch as soon as the words left her lips.
He grimaced. "We're not exactly at the meet the parent's stage yet. And besides, you know I don't bring girls' to family functions. That is way against the rules."
She scoffed once again. "I thought you said you were through with all that stupid rule stuff?"
"Not all of them…"
She arched an eyebrow. "You make no sense. And sorry, but since I don't remember growing a penis recently, I believe that counts me into that stupid rule of yours."
He stopped walking to stare at her as though she had just made to most ridiculous statement in the world. "But you're not a girl."
She glared. "Thanks a lot."
He rolled his eyes. "You know what I mean. You're Allie. I don't need to worry about you getting the wrong idea or anything. And besides, my parents are in love with you," He glanced over to his right and grinned. "Hold that thought." He demanded and ran over to a corner vender that had caught his eye.
As she waited for him, she sighed and couldn't help thinking it was too bad that that love didn't run in the family. She shook off that thought immediately though when Jordan walked back to her. He stood in front of her and she stared at him expectantly, but was definitely not expecting him to extend his arm toward her and, in his hand, hold out a fully bloomed rose.
"Please come with me to my parents' Christmas party?" She stared at him. His green eyes twinkled as he stared at her waiting for her to take the rose.
Her stomach tightened and she accepted the rose before she could tell herself not to. When he grinned, a dimple in his right cheek winking furiously, she glared.
"I'm only staying for a couple hours," She pointed her finger at him. "And you have to come with me to find a dress."
A.N: So I have most of it written already and I'm planning on updating a chapter a day, so there should be pretty much no wait for the next one. Let me know what you thought!