Strictly Business

Jack doesn't do relationships. He especially doesn't do relationships with blonde alpha males who don't seem to understand the word no. But when the relentless stranger he rejects at the club turns out to be his boss, Jack realizes that he's going to have a much harder time keeping this one out of his pants.


6. Chapter Six

Carson spent the weekend at my apartment, his sister calling and texting constantly and being ignored. Even his mom ended up trying to contact him and sent text after text trying to get him to meet Jane, a "lovely young woman who knew how to cook all his favorite foods, went to church every Sunday, knew how to take care of a household, was ready for children whenever he was, would always be there for him, was pretty well off, and a virgin" who had come down to New York City on Sunday and would be here for the remainder of the week. Both Carson's mother and sister stressed that she was a pious, Christian, virgin woman.

It would have been goddamn hilarious if I weren't being affected as well. They called and texted most of the night and then super early in the morning, only letting the both of us sleep for all of about maybe six or seven hours in total over Saturday and Sunday. Even after grabbing some caffeine – there is nothing more telling of how desperate I am if I willingly buy coffee – from a café on the way and walking, we were both still pretty much dead on our feet. In fact, I was gradually feeling worse.

"I am so close to breaking my phone," Carson grumbled as we entered the building. I was so tired I could barely make a caveman grunt. Monday's were bad enough on their own. Monday mornings were even worse. Monday mornings after a night of the Jones women being persistent leeches hell bent on marrying off Carson to some stereotypical 50's housewife was torture.

"Morning, Jack, Carson! How was your weekend?" Jenny, one of the receptionists greeted us all cheery and bright like she had the goddamn sun shining out of her ass. Morning people have never been more annoying.

We both made a noncommittal grunt and walked into the elevator, grumpily jabbing at our respective floors. We got to mine first and I waved vaguely before entering my floor and heading to my desk.

"Morning, Jackie," Martin called out. I grunted and sat at my desk, rubbing my face and yawning.

Everything was blurring in front of me. It was like that time when someone messed up several orders for five ads and we had to pull four all-nighters in a row to clean the mess up. My memory of that event was extremely fuzzy. I doubt anyone who was involved remembers much really. We all just kind of decided to forget it ever happened and make sure the same mistake was never made again.

I groaned and put my head in my hands, closing my eyes for a moment before getting to work. Next thing I know, someone's put their hand on my shoulder and was shaking me.

I blink and look up blearily, "…Mr…Stone…?" But something was different about him although I couldn't quite figure it out. I tried to sit up and rubbed at my eyes. I caught sight of the clock that hung up front and grew slightly more alert as I stared in surprise. It was almost ten. When did I fall asleep?

"I had to wake up Carson too," Mr. Stone said.

"Oh god, I am so sorry," I started but Mr. Stone patted my shoulder and smiled reassuringly.

"Don't go having a panic attack. Carson told me what happened over the weekend and as unfortunate it is to have stalkerish family, I do think it is best for the two of you to get some rest considering the level of your work and I am concerned about your health."

I looked at my computer screen and frowned at the design. I did not remember doing any of that. I would be ashamed if I had done that.

"I think I need to go wash my face again," I muttered, getting to my feet. I didn't manage to keep my balance and my knees buckled beneath me. I barely managed to catch myself on my desk.

"Are you okay?" Mr. Stone rushed to my aid even though I had stabilized myself already. His hands went to my hip and back for added support and my coworkers had come to see if I was all right.

"I'm fine," I said, forcing a smile and hoping it didn't look as tired and stiff as it felt. I honestly didn't know why I was so exhausted. I have had weeks where I didn't get much sleep so two days shouldn't have been so bad.

From Mr. Stone's expression, it was clear I wasn't fooling anyone. He moved his arm to wrap around my waist and I was too tired to argue as he led me away from my desk and to the elevator. Neither of us spoke as we went up to the top floor and I dragged my feet to his office with him supporting me the entire way.

Once inside, I saw that Carson was fast asleep on the couch.

"From what he told me while he was still somewhat lucid, I have a feeling you two were somehow slipped something," he said as he helped me take a seat at the chair across from Carson.

I sank into it and frowned, "You think we were drugged?"

Mr. Stone nodded, "Haven't you heard the news? There's been a thing going around where people have been slipped sleeping pills unknowingly during the day at restaurants and such."

My brows furrowed. That did sound a bit familiar.

Mr. Stone went to his desk and grabbed the phone. I zoned out and his words didn't register and then somehow ended up falling asleep again because the next thing I knew, there was a woman in green asking me questions. I saw that two men in similar green uniforms were carting Carson out in a wheelchair and I managed to understand that they were the paramedics and were taking Carson and me to the hospital. I just nodded and was transferred onto a wheelchair.

Everything from that point was pretty much a blur. After being taken to the hospital, I was changed into a hospital gown, hooked up to an IV, cold clamps were placed on my chest, had a syringe plunged into the crook of my elbow, and was then put in a room on a cot next to Carson. I slipped in and out of various levels of consciousness and when I was more lucid, I was asked questions about when I started to feel certain symptoms, what I had consumed in the past twenty-four hours, where I had gotten said items, if I had any family that I wanted to inform of my situation, etc. I was awake when they asked Carson the same things and when they finally left us alone with a suggestion to get some rest, I laughed weakly, "What a morning, huh?"

"No kidding," Carson replied. "Never thought I'd ever get drugged unknowingly."

"I don't think anyone ever thinks they'll ever get drugged without their knowledge," I pointed out with a yawn. "I'm gonna go to sleep. Wake me up if the building's on fire."

Carson snorted but he didn't reply and I assumed he decided to submit to the drowsiness of the apparent drugs in our system as well.

When I came to, it was to the sound of murmuring. I slowly opened my eyes and it took a moment for me to remember where I was, why I had a tube sticking out of my hand, and why my legs felt oddly drafty.

As my brain was catching up I realized that Carson was the one talking and with one of the doctors.

"Afternoon, Jack," Carson greeted when he saw that I was awake.

I rubbed my face and shifted into a seated position, "Hey. What time is it?"

"Just nearing three forty. How are you feeling?" the doctor asked as she came over to me and pressed a couple buttons that maneuvered the cot so my back was supported.

"Thirsty and tired, but I don't feel as drowsy. Has it been confirmed that it was the person going around drugging people lately who slipped us something?"

The doctor, Dr. Harrington from her nametag, handed me a cup of water, "I was just telling Mr. Jones that the drug you were both given was the same one that the other cases were slipped although it was mixed with a few others. Police have been sent to the café you both went to this morning but I'm afraid I'm not sure if they have any new leads."

"When are we clear to go?" Carson asked.

"I would like if you two would spend the night, just so that we can keep an eye on you, but you can go home as soon as we finish the paperwork. Most of the drug is out of your system and your dose was not too high to cause concern. You should be perfectly fine by tomorrow after a good night's sleep but if you feel dizziness or prolonged nausea, call back immediately."

"Thank you," I said. "I think I'd like to go home. Hospitals have always given me the creeps."

Dr. Harrington nodded and smiled softly, "I'll go sort out the paperwork then and you should be ready to go in an hour. Mr. Jones? Will you be staying the night?"

"I think I'm going to head home too," Carson replied. "Thank you."

Dr. Harrington spent a couple more moments checking how we were before leaving, saying that a nurse would come by with our belongings.

It didn't take long for us to be walking out of the hospital and grabbing a cab to take us back to my apartment. The whole process was pretty easy, although that was probably because Mr. Stone had apparently covered our bills, something I was a bit miffed about.

When the cab dropped us off, Carson headed towards where he parked his car saying that he was going to go back to his apartment now that the danger of his sister was over. He doubted that 'Jane' was going to be staking out his place.

I got home and threw my stuff on the coffee table before flopping down face first on the couch. Even though I slept most of the day, I was drained. There was no way I was having takeout for a while. Good thing I actually had groceries now.

I got up after a bit and headed to the kitchen to make something. It was only around four but I was definitely going to turn in early tonight. I also had to make up the work I missed today.

I grabbed the spaghetti, a large lemon, some garlic cloves, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt. I set the oven, peeled the garlic cloves and tossed them into an oven safe pan, drizzled them with olive oil, and covered the pan with foil. I still had to wait for the oven to get to temperature so I left the kitchen to change into a pair of worn out plaid pajama pants, forgoing a shirt, before I grabbed my laptop and tablet, placing them on the counter that separated my kitchen from the living room.

I turned it on and checked my work email, seeing a lot from coworkers who were worried about me. Even Samantha had been informed about what happened. I replied to all of them, saying that both Carson and I were fine and would be back the next day and also asking what I had missed and needed to catch up on. In between all that the oven was ready so I tossed in the covered pan and set the timer before going back to my mail. Once I was sorted through all my mail the oven was about to ding so I boiled some water and dumped some spaghetti in. It didn't take long to make my dinner. It was a simple dish that even I couldn't mess up that an old fuck buddy from college had taught me. I think he owned a restaurant now in Colorado.

I plated up, leaving some in the pan for seconds or leftovers, and left cleanup for later. I sat down at the counter and worked as I ate. I didn't have much to do, mostly just looking over and checking everyone's progress. I was going to have to call a last minute meeting tomorrow to give the feedback reports from Samantha, Mr. Stone, and me.

While I was in the middle of reading over some of Samantha's feedback on one of my projects with a forkful of pasta in my mouth, my phone started ringing. I went to grab it and saw that it was Lesley calling.

"Hey, what's up?" I said, going back to my laptop.

"Nothing much, I was bored. I can't wait until the studio's back in business," he replied. "You?"

"I had an eventful day, even if I can barely remember any of it," I replied. "You know how there's some person going around and slipping sleeping pills and stuff into food and drinks around the city? Carson and I were one of the victims today. We both got completely knocked out at work and got sent to the hospital."

"Shit, are you guys okay?"

"Yeah, we didn't take enough for it to cause any serious harm and we were discharged about two hours ago. I've got a bit of work to catch up on though."

"Can't you take a day off or something? I mean, you got drugged, bro."

I shrugged, "I don't want my work to pile up. Besides, I'm fine. The doctor even said I'll be perfectly fine after a good night's sleep and I'm planning on turning in early tonight."

Just then my doorbell rang making me frown. I wasn't expecting anyone and I rarely had visitors.

"I gotta go, someone's at my door. I'll talk to you later, Lesley."

"Bye, Jack. Get some rest."

I left my phone on the counter and headed to the door. Whoever was there was impatient as they would not stop pressing the buzzer.

"Geez, I'm coming, I'm coming, hold your horses, or better yet, that damn finger before I rip it off," I grumbled, finally reaching the door and unlocking it.

"Is patience not in your vocabulary?" I muttered as I opened the door to see who my visitor was. When I looked up, my eyes widened in shock.

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