Part VIII The Jack’s Keys by Delusional, http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Jack-s-Keys-149318217
Saturday night melted into Sunday morning. Jason was attentive, both in bed and out. She woke to the Sunday paper and a tray of croissants, butter, jam, fresh fruit and both coffee and tea. “You’ll spoil me.” She picked up the soft pastry, spread a bit of jam on the end and bit it.
“You deserve it.” Jason lolled across the end of the bed, a mug of coffee in hand. “What’s your pleasure, Miss?” he asked as they finished breakfast. He picked up her hand and kissed the back of a finger. Ying’s spine tingled. “Dress and go out? The day is beautiful. A walk in the park?” He kissed the next finger. “Go see a movie? The new Space Avengers is playing just down the block.” He arched an eyebrow and kissed the next finger. “Or perhaps, you’d rather stay here, indolent and pampered?”
Ying laughed and pulled her hand away to caress his cheek. He hadn’t shaved and the dark beard was beginning to show. She liked the scruffy look it gave him. “You are a tempter, Sir. You know I love the Space Avenger series.” Ying sighed and gazed into his eyes. “But I think I’d rather stay. We’ll read the paper, watch a movie, make dinner.”
Jason grinned. “Just as milady desires.” He reclaimed her hand and pulled her close, breath mingling. “That leaves time for this.” He kissed her.
It was after eight Sunday night before Ying returned home. She hummed as she entered her apartment. She felt the most relaxed she’d ever been. Kicking off her heels, she padded to the bedroom barefoot. The black evening dress was peeled off and dropped into the bag for the dry cleaners. When she finished her shower, she put on her pajamas and emptied her clutch. Her cell phone tumbled out with a tiny makeup bag, her credit card and driver’s license and two tens. She was putting them in her purse for the morning when she realized the phone was off. Puzzled, she turned it on. It took a moment. Then message after message alert came in, the phone dinging and buzzing nearly non-stop for over a minute. The office, her mother, her girlfriends, had sent message after message. The last ones were near frantic, especially from her mother. She hit her mother’s speed dial.
“Mom, it’s me.”
“Where have you been? I was going to call the police!” Her mother’s voice was a mix of panic, relief and anger.
“I’m sorry, Mom. My phone was off. I was on a date.”
“Date? What date lasts two days? Who is this date?”
Ying sat on her bed. Mom was ticked off. “Jason. I told you about him. We went to the opera last night, then I stayed over at his apartment.”
The other end of the call was silent for a moment. “You should call. Why your phone not on?”
Her mother drifting back into patois was an indicator of how upset she was. “I’m sorry, Mom, really. I don’t know how the phone was off. Maybe I never turned it back on after the opera. I should have called you today, I know. It’s my fault.”
Ying heard a snort from the other end.
A long breath could be heard then, “You must like this boy.”
“He’s not a boy, Mom. He’s a couple years older than me.”
“Hmmph. Still a boy. An inconsiderate boy who does not think about your family.”
“Stop, Mom. Jason treated me like a queen. I had a wonderful time.”
Her mother hummph’d again. “Maybe. Now we have to meet this Jason. You and him come for Thanksgiving.”
Ying rolled her eyes. That would be stressful at the very least. “Maybe. He runs a big company, Mom. He may not be able to get away.”
“You tell him. Thanksgiving. Our house. Now go to bed. You have to work in the morning.”
A grin spread across Ying’s face. She’d won her mother over. “Okay, Mom. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
“You’d better.” The line clicked off.
Ying stared at the phone in her hand. Now to see what work was calling about. She hoped it wasn’t something critical.
Ying massaged her temples. The shit had hit the fan Sunday with a client and the office had been calling her all Sunday to come in and help. When she arrived an hour early Monday, every partner was in the conference room and turned to stare at her entry. Felicity gave her head a slight shake as the lead partner sneered, “Glad you could join us.”
“I’m sorry. My cell phone died. I couldn’t get the store to recover my old one until this morning and then all the texts came in. I hurried right over.” She sank into the chair at the end of the table that was hers and quietly opened her portfolio.
After the meeting, Felicity gave her the dressing down of her life. All of the scut work, stuff that should have gone to the newest associate, had been handed to her to handle. Phone calls, deep data entry, excruciating research, it was all hers and she had partners coming in all day to check on her progress. Now it was eight. The partners and even the partner’s secretary had gone home. The crisis was averted and Felicity had stopped at her door on the way out.
“Good work today. We never would have thought to take the direction you uncovered.”
Ying nodded. “Thank you. It just came to me.”
“Well, a bad start but a good end.” She turned and left.
Ying opened a desk drawer and opened the bottle of aspirin. She took two with a swallow of cold coffee, making a face at the taste. She never would have found the solution without the key. She’d used it so much during the day that she was still nauseated. Wearily she stood, gathered her things and headed home. She hoped that never happened again.
End Part VIII: 1000 Words
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