“What part of FUCK OFF do you not actually understand, Mason?” I spit angrily to the tall blond, blue eyed bombshell standing in front of me asking me for the third time this week if he can sit with me for lunch.
I can see the retort on his lips; his perfect fucking lips; I know what he’s going to say before he says it but he says it anyway,
“It’s the OFF I don’t really understand, Doug, the FUCK part I never really had a problem with.” He drawls in his Southern Californian accent and I scowl,
“You are so full of crap, Mason.” I growl. He’s so full of himself it is unbelievable: so unbelievably unbelievable,
“Oh I don’t know about crap.” He drawls away, oblivious to the fact that I am, in fact ignoring him, “There may be a fare amount of bullshit,” He grins: no kidding, “But I wouldn’t say I was full of crap, at least I don’t think you should say that.” He pokes me in the shoulder lightly, “until you know me better.” He sits down on a chair that has suddenly appeared from nowhere because when I sat at the table I moved all the other chairs away,
“I don’t want to get to know you better, so go away.” I use cleaner language this time, because the FUCK part is obviously giving mister libido the wrong idea,
“Can I sit with you Doug?” he asks in the most annoying, girlie, squeaky, Gay voice I have ever had the unprivileged displeasure to hear. I don’t even qualify his question with an answer, because if he is already doing it why is he asking for sodding permission?
He grabs my book and I yelp in annoyance,
“Whatcha readin’, Doug?” he asks and then snorts when he sees the title “Pride And Prejudice?” he chuckles, “I woulda never thought you were the romantic type.”
What does he even know about me anyway? I grab the book back,
“Mine I think,” I snap, snappily. He holds his hands in front of him in apparent submission,
“Whoa there, Scotty Dog,” he says in a quieter but nonetheless teasing tone, the obvious reference to my Scottish routes a little too bland even for him, “It’s right what they say about redheads. Fiery hair: fiery temper.” He chuckles at his own apparent funniness, which I personally cannot see, but I have seen others laughing with him, or is it at him?
“That could be misconstrued as racial abuse if I wanted to take offense.” Not that I care or have the energy to take it further, “I don’t think you’d like it if I called you a bloody Yank.” He smiles, eyes twinkling as he leans across the table so I can feel the warmth radiating from his skin,
“You can call me anything you want, Doug, as long as I get to hear that dreamy accent of yours.”
“Shut up.” I say, sullenly. Is he flirting with me? I have no idea, I think he’s just messing with me, and if I look around carefully there will be a group of laughing groupies all enjoying the joke at my expense. I don’t look around and I don’t retort so he shrugs and places his coffee on the table. He gets out his lunch and I realise that he is actually settling in for another stony silent lunch with the office nerd.
God why is he doing this? I sneak a narrow eyed look at his bent head until he looks up and I meet his crystal clear blue orbs. I look away quickly, but not quickly enough to miss the smirk that appears on his face as he thinks he’s caught me off guard. Fuck him, well not literally obviously, but in the fuck off, piss off, get lost kind of sense.
It’s the third time this week he has joined me for lunch and he only started working in my department on Monday. Today is Wednesday, how long will it take this arsehole to realise he’s barking up the wrong tree. He may have only started in my department three days ago but I have seen him around the building, usually with an entourage of laughing, giggling fangirls. He is obviously the one to be seen with, talk to, socialise with. I don’t want to socialise, I just want to eat my lunch and read my book and get back to work.
He still doesn’t take the hint when I turn my chair so he gets my cold shoulder, and I’m supposed to be the socially inept one! He’s the bubbly, gregarious, blond, blue eyed All American guy next door; all round most popular boy in the school (except we are not in school anymore); Mr Nice Guy: Can I come up with any more clichés to describe him? Oh yes, how about fucking drop dead gorgeous to boot. Shit he pisses me off that he’s everything I said and more and I’m just a dour, redheaded, green eyed Scot. Dreamy accent? My arse: stupid Glaswegian, dragged out of the gutter accent maybe, but not, most definitely not dreamy.
My eyes aren’t even a nice green either; they’re a dirty, murky, dull green. And yes it is true what they say about red heads: The fiery temper that goes with the flaming red hair? I’ve got that too. I’ve also got pale, milky white skin, covered in freckles. Not the cute little brown ones that scatter across a nose either, it’s the splotchy, pale ones that are the curse of redheads everywhere, covering my entire skin like a disease, well not that noticeable, but I hate them anyway. They’re the kind that, when I do venture out in the sun, not that it happens very often, I don’t tan, my skin just plays join the dots until I burn and then I peal. His skin is perfect, lightly tanned with the promise that it will turn golden brown the minute he even glances at the sun.
Shit why am I even thinking about his skin? Just get on with your book, Doug and maybe he’ll give up because he’s getting nothing out of you.
I glance sideways at him; he’s sitting eating quietly. He’s done this three times now. Comes up to me, exchanges comments, I tell him to fuck off, and he doesn’t and then he sits and eats. He’ll finish soon then he’ll say good bye and mention a next time, which I’m bloody determined there won’t be, and he goes back to his desk. I did consider having my lunch elsewhere but why the fuck should I? I was here first, and I’m Scottish and bloody territorial. Besides this is the only place to eat lunch unless I stay at my desk, and that is just crappy when I’m there almost ten hours a day anyway. So without going out of the building and it’s too fucking cold right now, I am stuck with no choice. I refuse to go and sit in fucking shite KFC or MacDonald’s, with their weak as water coffee and the screaming kids that I didn’t order but always seem to be there.
God, I never used to swear this much, even in my head; not until I met this annoying fucking bastard that won’t let me eat my lunch in peace.
Wait. Scratch that. He does let me eat my lunch in peace, because after the initial greeting he never says a word. He’s so fucking weird, although next to me, he’s so fucking normal, because he fits right in here, his home town; his home country. I’m a fish out of water, an alien, not illegal but an alien nonetheless.
So why does he sit with me and not with all those giggling typists in admin or the guy from room ten who I’ve seen watching Mason with wistful eyes? He sits with me and doesn’t seem to want to take “fuck off” for an answer. So after three years of working here, and eating my lunch on my own, because no one even cares enough to get close enough to peal away the prickly outer coating; I suddenly have a lunch partner that I don’t really want but it seems I have no choice,
“What are you doing on Saturday?” It takes me a few moments to register that he is speaking to me, because he never usually does after the initial, usually negative exchanges,
“What?” I ask, I know what he said, I’m just taken aback that he is actually saying anything; even more so that he is saying that particular thing,
“I said: What are you…”
“I know what you said. Why?” Yeah, Mason, why?
“Just wondering.” Well stop wondering,
“It’s the weekend, so I’m not here.”
“Well I know that.” He says, slapping his hand to his forehead in an exaggerated gesture, “I m-meant, if you’re not busy, I-I thought maybe you’d kinda like to, well.” What is he trying to say, and since when did he stutter? “I wondered if you’d like to do something with me.” What the fuck?
“And what, in our, very short, tumultuous acquaintance,” I have to call it that because that is the most neutral word I can think of to describe three interruptions of my lunch, “gave you the idea that I would like to do anything with you on Saturday?”
“It would give you a chance to get to know me, and then you really can decide if I’m full of crap.” He grinned, so sure of himself, so full of….
“I don’t socialise out of work.” This is completely true. I have worked here three years and have not been to one office party, one executive dinner or even one date. I am here to work, not play. I have never even bothered to go on any sight seeing trips, even though I am working in one of the most exciting places on the planet, namely LA, California. The only place I have ever ventured is the beach, once, and I got sunburn, shitty Celtic skin,
“You don’t socialise inside of work either.” Mason points out, annoyingly and I feel my hackles rising. I take a deep breath to give a snotty retort when I see his face, crestfallen and resigned. The deep breath leaves my body and I deflate. Why would my rejection affect him so badly? He knows nothing about me. There’s nothing about me to know except that I’m a computer whizz that was recruited and flown over here and makes everyone’s life easier because I can do the stuff in my sleep. That’s all I’ve allowed anyone to know about me here, and all I ever want them to know. So why am I affected by his disappointment? Why am I suddenly caring about his feelings?
“W-what would we do?” I ask, so quietly, feeling myself blush into my book. I can’t even look at him now, I can’t even notice his eyes brighten and his face light up with such a wide smile I feel my own mouth trying to hitch at the corners. What the fuck is that all about?
“Great,” he says, laughing, taking my query as an answer. I don’t actually recall saying yes; I don’t actually remember being given the choice; much like the lunch time interruptions. I know, with resigned clarity that even if I say no now he is not going to take any notice anyway because he is a fucking terrorist.
He pushes his phone across the table towards me. I stare at it as if it is an alien object. It isn’t of course, because I helped design the stupid technological piece of crap,
“Put your number in my phone and I’ll call you.” He says, “Put your address in and I’ll pick you up for lunch unless you have something else to do.”
“Er, no I don’t.” I say, forgetting to be smart, or abusive as I continue to stare at his phone,
“You do know how to use this don’t you Doug?” Mason asks sarcastically and I glare at him derisively, he knows fucking damn well I know how to use it. He laughs and I snatch up the phone and put in my number, and my address and my email, and my fucking Twitter and Facebook accounts just to get him really up to speed on how much I do not socialise. I think I have all of five friends and zero followers.
He picks up his phone which I slide snippily across the table back to him. He looks at the screen with wide eyed surprise and nodding slightly in approval at the amount of information I have actually given him. My own phone vibrates in my pocket and I pick it out,
“It’s from me, ditto.” He says. I glance at my screen where his number and all his contact links have appeared, along with a photo of him blowing a kiss to the camera. I snort at the ridiculously stupid pose, then turn the snort of laughter into a sneer as I realise he is watching me closely with a twinkle in those clear blue eyes.
He stands then, having finished his lunch. He tosses his empties into the trash can about six feet from our table. He never misses but is always pleasantly, and adorably surprised when he hits his target, “Did ya see that?” he always says, “I wish I had that on video.” I manage a smile.
What the fuck? I’m even smiling at him now? I’m thinking he’s adorable? I’m accepting a lunch invitation that doesn’t involve work? I realise I am staring at him wide eyed and he just smiles that amazing smile of his, shit what the fuck am I doing?
“I’m not here tomorrow or Friday, I’m on induction.” He says almost regrettably, “You won’t be too lonely without your lunch partner will ya?”
“Shut the fuck up, Mason, I managed three years without one, so I’ll manage two days.” I can manage another three years as well, can’t I?
“Three years huh?” he even looks genuinely sad. I don’t need his sympathy or his pity, is that why he’s asking me out? Shit, “That’s a long time.” He continues, “I don’t think I’ll even manage one day.” He turns to go before I even have time to realise he is saying he will miss me, but then turns back, “I’ll call you, because I don’t suppose you’ll call me.” Then he leaves with a laugh at my angry scowl.
Just to be an arse, and because I hate losing arguments; I send him a text,
Fuck you, Mason. The reply comes back almost immediately,
Aww, you love me really.
No I don’t, and don’t get any fucking ideas.
See ya Saturday Scotty Dog.
Yeah, see you Saturday, bloody Yank, now stop texting me.
You started it!
Shut the fuck up.
The final word; and I can’t believe I am actually allowing him to have the final word; is simply a smiley face, a grinning; roll on the floor laughing face in fact. I only let his be the final text because I know it will piss him off that I don’t reply.
I go back to reading my book because I want to finish the chapter he interrupted. I can’t concentrate on it though because I’m thinking about how the hell I got roped into a lunch date with that asshole, and also how much quieter lunch will be tomorrow and Friday without him there to disturb my peace. To my utter dismay I am unable to decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.