Saturday, April 23, 2016

Chapter 37: Jimmy's Pub

"Mer?"
"Excuse me?"
If her tone was any colder, he thought, he'd have frostbite.
"My name's Greyson."
"Mine is Meredith."
"I know."
She wasn't making this easy for him.  But he didn't expect anything less.  Save for her relationship with some former office mate at her former workplace she was rumored to not get along with anyone. But Greyson wasn't inclined to believe gossip, particularly given that no one could say anything for sure. It was only speculation. She was seen with some guy... no, it was him, the fellow who just left for Ohio...  she's single, no, she's living with someone... The only definite bit of gossip he could glean was that Meredith and someone named Liam were constantly fighting.
She'd joined the company a few months ago, after leaving her previous position abruptly, something to do with a love affair if the gossips were to be believed. Others said she knew that there was an ethics probe in the works and jumped ship before she went down with it.
Meredith, meanwhile, was openly studying him, taking in his dark eyes and golf course tan. She had no clue who this man was, but was guessing that he might be the new hire.
"And you're here because...?"
"Oh, yeah, Mr. Watson said you had a deadline to meet and thinks I can help you."
Great, she thought. Probably one of Watson's nephews.
Watson didn't talk to new employees unless there was DNA involved.
_____________

"Hungry?"
She shrugged and looked at her watch.  It was almost the end of the day.  Why not?  If he was related to the CEO, then this would be to her benefit.
______________

Next door at Jimmy's Pub, Meredith ordered her usual and said nothing when he raised his eyebrows as she drank straight from the bottle.
"No ladylike glass?"
"No."
"You get right to the point."
"Yes, I do tend to do that."
"So I've heard."
"I'm sure you have."
He just laughed, but she didn't hear him, remembering instead sitting here with Liam.  Remembering being in their office before coming here.
"Roll up my sleeves."
"You're pushing it, Liam."
"I know."
But she obeyed, willingly cuffing the sleeves of his hunter green dress shirt -- the one she loved best on him.  
"Take off my tie." His low whisper had been so forceful that she had to smile as she did as he asked. It had sent a shiver through her, no man had ever ordered her around like this, but she loved it.
"Mer?"
She started slightly, pulled back from her thoughts of Liam. "Meredith. Not Mer."
"Gotcha."
She rolled her eyes.

The rest of the meal went reasonably well, in Meredith's opinion, though Greyson was too open, too fast, for her tastes. He was convinced, and even said as much, that her cool facade must cover a very passionate woman. At that remark, she remarked on how he apparently studied his conversational skills "at the local watering hole."
He threw his head back and laughed so loudly that she wondered how he'd respond to something that was actually funny.

"I need to get home. How about you?"
"I suppose," she replied, getting her wallet out and feeling relief to be getting away from him. If she heard one more story of his career exploits, she would probably start feeding him lines and asking inane questions just to amuse herself.
"Husband waiting for you?"
"I live alone." Dear Lord, did she really admit that? Then again, could he be any more obvious? Two bad pick-up lines and now the bald statement-question regarding her status. Cut the guy some slack. I'm getting paranoid, she silently scolded herself.
"Put your money away," he ordered. "My treat."
She slapped a ten on the table. "I pay my way." Her tone reminded him of a schoolmarm. "Take it, Greyson," she said when he tried to slide it back.
"Of course, my lady."

"Can I drive you home?"
"I've a car."
"You've had a bit to drink."
"I'll see you tomorrow," she said, ignoring his remark and walking away.

Greyson watched her leave. A bit anticlimactic, given the rumors.  No matter.  He could wait.