Because “non-standard” is the rule by which I live my life, I’ve taken what should be a standard post and… changed it.
…6 weeks before the events of “The Monster Within” in the back office of Montimore and Hadigan’s…
“What are you doing little minx?” Ryland knew better than to willingly occupy the same airspace as Liza, it would only lead to trouble and awkward conversations, but he couldn’t quite force himself to keep walking when he heard Serge issuing that all too familiar taunt in that all too familiar tone of voice that never failed to send women into fits. Bastard.
“Why Serge, I didn’t see you there.” Most people wouldn’t have heard it, the edge to her voice she sometimes hid behind her polite words, but then most people didn’t spend the bulk of their time obsessing over the little redhead.
“That usually is the point of being sneaky. So what are you working on, all hidden away here in the middle of the night?”
“Oh nothing, really, it’s… HEY!” As always common sense fled the second Ryland believed Liza was in danger. Without paying any attention to the voice that had so recently been telling him to steer clear, he stomped into the room. He had no firm plan, aside from stomping the other man if he dared put his hands on her, but even that died away when he noticed that the delicate little Liza was plastered to the flat panel monitor she was desperate to protect. From where Serge was standing, she would just be an obstacle obstructing his view, but from Ryland’s vantage point… Well from Ryland’s vantage point all she had succeeded in doing was creating a shelf for her cleavage to rest upon.
Liza’s eyes instantly shot to him, as they always seemed to, and she stopped her rather pathetic attempt to hide the computer screen. “Ryland!” She practically shouted as she leapt backwards, safely away from the other man. “I didn’t know you were here.”
For lack of anything better to say he offered up a lame “Everything alright in here?”
“Of course, why wouldn’t it be?” It might have been convincing, had she not squeaked it out in a voice that was almost so high that only dogs could hear it. When Ryland turned to Serge to toss him a knowing look, he found the other man gaping at the computer screen. It was an odd sight, Liza and Serge both uncomfortable, and it was doing a good job of unsettling him as well.
When Serge practically whispered, “oh Minx, you didn’t;” things were not helped at all.
Holding up her hands in the universal “just give me a minute” gesture she looked at both men pleadingly. “I can explain.”
Unable to stand not knowing what the hell was on that screen, Ryland walked further into the room, crowding into Liza’s personal space and peering over the top of her head to see… His eyes went wide. His jaw dropped. He was well and thoroughly flapped. “Is that what I think that is?”
“I said I can explain!”
Except that she couldn’t possible explain this. Oh man… Nicole was going to flip her shit. “Cuddling by the fire? Nicole does not seem like the cuddling type.”
“Well I had to put something on there other than ‘likes to punch Ryland in his stupid face’ now didn’t I?” Liza hissed through clenched teeth.
“Oh I don’t know,” Serge said as he sat in Liza’s vacated seat, “I think that would be a big selling point. Especially in combination with the mention of her teeth. Here, just let me tweak it a bit.”
The tweaks did not help.
Ryland couldn’t seem to help himself from blurting out, “Oh God, don’t say she hates cleaning… don’t say anything about cleaning at all. Only whackjobs mention cleaning.” Just like only whackjobs got themselves involved in this mess.
“Should I take out the bit about cooking then too?” Liza asked, leaning over Serge. It offered a view of her curves being hugged by her pencil skirt that Ryland really did not need. Looking for anything to distract him from the temptation he focused on signing his virtual death warrant.
“Now that would just be false advertising.” At least they would all die together.
Where finding love is magical
Name: Nicole Jones
Single white female looking with a good sense of humor for long term loving relationship with caring male. Has full time job, apartment without roommates, and perfect teeth. Would prefer man with the same.
Likes: Ice cream, collecting knick knacks, 90s teen movies, sparring, debates, nature and meaningful conversation.
Dislikes: Cooking, clubbing, working reception, dogs, and shoes that pinch.