Hello, faithful readers! Today we have the first page of chapter 8: Friends. If you’re enjoying the first pages posts, leave me a comment!
Besides Cade the only thing happening in my life is work. Bernice is on a new warpath with me. I have no idea what set her off, but she is definitely looking for any reason to get me. Good thing I’m a rule follower and that makes it extra hard for her to get me. Bill is extra grumpy. Alana is hovering just waiting on our chance to debrief the run with Cade. The more I think about the dishing that needs to happen with the girls, the guiltier I feel for not calling and letting Jess in on the goodies.
I’m just settling into my email and calendar checking routine, and drinking a cup of coffee when my cell phone starts vibrating on my desk. What the hell is this? I think to myself as a number I don’t recognize lights it up. I refuse to answer because, let’s face it, I don’t answer for unknown numbers. Plus, if it’s anything worth my time, they’ll leave a message. As I’m logging into the site maintenance system, the phone chirps to indicate a voice mail message has been left.
I sigh and pick it up to listen. Shit! It was Cade. Why would he call this early? I get up from my desk and run down the hall to a conference room. It’s dark so no one is planning to use it. I flick on the lights, grab a chair, and call him back.
“Hello?” he answers.
“Hi. Was someone trying to reach Rhae Peters?”
“Yes, yes I was. This is Cade, the running buddy down the street.”
“Oh, I thought that was you. What can I do for you, running buddy?”
“Well, I have to be in Memphis today to run an errand for my grandmother. I was thinking you might want to have lunch. Is that a possibility?”
My face-splitting grin is making my cheeks hurt, “Well, I am a very busy woman. Let me check my calendar.”
“Oh come on, Rhae. We both know you checked your calendar three times since you sat down at your desk. You know your availability.”
“You’re right. We’ll discuss your stalker tendencies over lunch.”
“Great. Where can I meet you?”
I give him directions to the deli we frequent. I know an outside table will be secure as well as right up his alley. Who cares if I ate there yesterday? It happens.
I sit for a few minutes after we say goodbye. Just sitting, staring at the wall, trying to process what I just agreed to. My hands are shaking at the thought of what it. What will people say about me having lunch with him? I need to talk to Alana. I stand to leave the conference room and I’m met face-to-face with none other than the Dragon Lady.
“Excuse me,” I force a smile and try to slide by her.
She blocks my escape, “I had this room booked for a conference call but when I got here you were squatting to have a personal phone conversation.”
“I’m really sorry. I didn’t realize it was booked. I hope I didn’t cause you to miss your conference call.”
“You didn’t. I’m smart enough to grab a different room to handle business when someone takes my room. What gives you the right?”
“It was a personal call and I didn’t want to talk in the open at my desk.”
“Business with Ryan’s death?” she asks.
“No. Frankly, it was personal and you need to back off.” Nosey bitch.