I'm thinking about posting bits and pieces of story again on Fridays.
So, with that in mind, here we go.
Rough draft, subject to change, please don't repost anywhere. Thanks!
Tiffany stared at the computer screen, wishing for a drink, anything to relieve the boredom. She’d been half-heartedly playing solitaire for the past hour, a Diet Coke she really didn’t even want.
Someone stopped by the table where she sat, and she looked up.
“Oh, it’s you,” she said with less than enthusiasm.
“I’m glad to see you, too,” Fred Murray said with irony, and sat down in a nearby empty chair.
“Adam isn’t here,” she muttered, and went back to playing solitaire.
“That’s good, because I didn’t come here to see Adam, I came to see you,” Fred said.
She stared at his thin, clever face, not handsome, but interesting, nonetheless. “Why?”
“Good question, if this is the greeting I get,” Fred said.
“I’m surprised you’re chatting up your friend’s fiancé,” Tiffany said with irony of her own. “Isn’t that against your code or something?”
“Give it a rest, Tiffany.”
“Give what a rest?”
“You know as well as I do that you and Adam are not engaged, nor are you likely to be,” Fred said.
“You don’t know anything about it!” she said, voice shrill.
“Are you telling me there is an understanding between you and Adam?”
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?” Tiffany jibed.
“Perhaps I will.” He leaned back in his chair until it creaked, watching her broodingly. “I’m not sure what your game is. I suspect in your mind, you think you’re making Lorrie pay for something.”
He was so uncannily near the mark that she gave him a quick sideways glance. She opened her mouth to deny it, but he shook his head at her.
“Don’t bother. I wasn’t born yesterday. What I want to know is, why are you trying to hang onto someone who doesn’t know you’re alive?”
His words were like a shock of cold water. To her horror, she felt tears well up in her eyes. She turned her head away.
“I didn’t mean to make you cry,” he said. “I just wanted you to realize what you’re doing. There are others who do know you exist.”
“Like you?” she said viciously. “Don’t make me laugh.”
“Like me,” he said in an even voice. “It’s time you started living in reality, instead of in this fantasy you’ve created for yourself where the whole world revolves around Tiffany James and you have to punish those that don’t buy into the fantasy.”
“Get out!” she spat at him. “I hate you! If you were the last man—“
“Don’t say something you might regret,” he interrupted her, and stood up. “When you’re ready to talk to me like an adult instead of a spoiled baby, give me a call.”
He tossed a business card on the table in front of her. She picked it up, tore it in two, and threw the pieces at him.
Fred’s lips tightened, but he said nothing, only spun on his heel and left the room. Tiffany glared at the door, her teeth clenched, too worked-up to even say all the things that trembled on the end of her tongue. No one had dared to speak to her like that for years! If he showed up again, she would blast him with some home truths herself. He wasn’t even good-looking!
Tiffany got out of her chair and picked up the pieces of the card she had flung at him, intending to throw them in the garbage. And yet, something inside her remembered the look in his eyes as he’d turned to leave. No man had ever looked at her like that before.
She put the pieces of the card in her pocket.