Friday, April 13, 2012

Chapter 26: This Courtesy

"Where were you all night?" Rainier asks, coming to her apartment just seconds after she dragged herself from the house in Echo Park, "I thought we had a date."

"A date?" Stina laughs, "I thought your 'come see me later' was more of a 'go away now' than an actual invitation."

"I was worried about you," he says, pulling her close in a tight squeeze, "I tried calling, but your phone was dead."

"Yeah. my parents stopped paying my cell bills," Stina says, "I'm phoneless. Sorry I didn't tell you."

"So, where were you all night?" Rainier asks again.

"I stayed at my friend Eleanor's house," Stina says. Not the whole truth, as she spent most of the evening in Gavin's room, crying in his lap, but when she decided she was too tired to drive back to Hollywood, she asked Eleanor if she could crash in her bed, since he wasn't using it herself now that she spends every night with Justin. "Why didn't you tell me you were making a game about Coby?" 

"You didn't hear this from your friend Eleanor, did you?" Rainier asks, "Did you see him yesterday?"

Stina blushes, "Yeah, I went to his place for awhile. Are you jealous?"

"Do I have a reason to be?"

"No," Stina says, pouting, "He said he didn't want me hanging around him anymore because I fuck with his head."

"I'm sure you do," Rainier laughs, "I'm glad you're all right. When you didn't come home..."

"I'm sorry, I didn't think you'd worry about me. Can I make it up to you?" she asks, tugging at his belt suggestively.

"I'll be late for work," he answers.

Stina pouts, disappointed.

"That wasn't a 'no'," Rainier says, nuzzling her neck, then leading her back into her bedroom.

"Now I'm very very late for work," Rainier sighs, still not in any hurry to get up.

"You're the boss. Give yourself a day off," Stina says.

"I can't," Rainier answers, finally finding the will to get out of her bed.

"I really have to leave now," he says, pulling her in for one last kiss before he gets dressed, "But when I get home tonight, I'm taking you out. I'll meet you here around 8."

"So, dude, I was hoping you could give some advice," Coby says while he and his future brother-in-law wait for Heather to bring them the tuxedos she wants them to try on.


"Girls. Relationships."

Ulises laughs, "I'm the last guy you should be asking about that."

"Dude, you bagged Heather. Do you know how many guys tried to get with her? You must know something."

"First, I didn't 'bag' your sister," Ulises says, "Don't talk that way about her. And, honestly, I don't know what I did to get her attention. Most of the time I was just falling over myself trying not to look like an ass when I talked to her." 

"I liked you because you were sincere," Heather says, walking in on their conversation with tuxes in hand, "Now try these on."

"Dude, we look like waiters," Coby complains under his breath.

"We'll wear penguin suits if it's what she wants," Ulises answers.

"I don't know," Heather sighs, "You do look like waiters." She throws her hands up, exasperated, "I hate all this formal stuff. Maybe we'll just have a t shirt and jeans wedding."

"Whatever you want, mariposa," Ulises says, "I have to get into my uniform and head to the station." 

"You seem really stressed out," Coby says after Ulises leaves for work.

"I had no idea planning a wedding would be such a hassle," she sighs.

"I have a joint on me..." Coby suggests.

"You know I quit," Heather snaps. 

"Yeah, and it's totally helping," Coby answers.

"I'm sorry," she sighs, folding into herself, "This whole wedding thing has me on edge. And, I told Rebecca I'm getting married. She's coming to town to visit."

"Rebecca?" Coby's voice perks up as he says her name. Rebecca was Heather's best friend in high school, and Coby's secret crush, too cool and smart to ever notice him. "Why are you worried about that? She's your best friend."

"She was," Heather says, "And I know her. She's going to give me a ton of shit about marrying a cop."

"No way, she'll be cool when she meets him," Coby assures his sister, "I mean, he's a great guy, right? How could she not like him?"

Heather just shakes her head.

"You look lovely," Rainier says, "As always."

He came home right on time, and, as promised, and took Stina out for drinks at Amazon Heat, a bit more upscale of a club than she's used to.

"I got something for you," he says, then slips a cell phone, wrapped in a bow, into her hand. "Call anyone, anytime, I'll pay for your minutes," he says.

"You really didn't have to do this," Stina says, swooning a little.

"Apparently I do, if I want to keep in touch with you," he answers with a laugh.

Thy spend the rest of the evening dancing.

"I had such a great time," Stina sighs, sinking in to her bed beside him.

"I'm sorry I don't have the time to do this more often," he says, "But you understand, my work..."

"I understand, Rainier," Stina says, smiling "Don't waste my time talking about it."

Rainier stops wasting her time with useless talk, and gets to business.

"I just have a few things to finish up here," Nins says, "Then we can go."

Coby still isn't quite sure what these 'lunch dates' are about, besides getting laid in the back seat of her car, and he doesn't really know why he keeps agreeing to them. Nothing he's tried has helped get her off his mind, but at least with Nina, he doesn't feel like he's lying, like she's going to be hurt, and it is a distraction, if only for an hour in the middle of his day.

"Sheffield," Rainier says, walking into the reception area, "I have something I need to discuss with you. In my office."

Coby follows him, wondering if his thing with Nina is breaking some kind of office rule.

"I wouldn't presume to judge what you, what any man, does with his personal life," Rainier says once they are alone in his office, "But I thought you should be aware, if you aren't already, that Nina has a husband."

Coby just gapes at this revelation, coming from the French guy of all people.

"It's as I thought then," Rainier surmises, "You didn't know."

"Well, thanks, I guess," Coby mumbles.

"De rien. It's nothing," Rainier says, shrugging, "In your position, I'd want to know."

"Not that that would stop you or anything," Coby says.

"Maybe, maybe not," Rainier says with a slight smile, "Nonetheless, I'd want to know what I was getting into. And I thought to do you this courtesy."

A moment of awkward silence passes as Coby tries to process what just happened here, what the French guy's motives might be in giving him this information. 

"Well, I'll just get back to being a dick now," Rainier finally breaks the silence, "And you can go on with fucking my secretary, or not, as you see fit."

"Hey, dude," Coby says, feeling a little bad about calling the guy dick, even though he was totally a dick.

Rainier lifts his hand dismissively, "I know what I am, Sheffield. I don't apologize for it, and neither should you."

"Look, Nina, I've got to ask what we're doing here," Coby says as they head to her car.

"What do you mean?" she asks.

"Okay, I know you're married," Coby says, "So what are you doing with me?"

"My marriage is a mess," she says, "My husband has never been faithful to me. So if you're worried about breaking up a happy home, don't."

"So this is what? Revenge?"

Nina sighs, "I don't know. Maybe. Maybe I just want to see what my options are."

"I'm not an 'option'," Coby says, "I'm sorry your husband cheats on you. But if you can't work shit out with him, maybe you should end it? Because this, fucking some guy you barely know on your lunch hour, isn't really going to help anything."

"Who the hell are you to judge me?" Nina shouts. "I don't need your advice, okay?"

"I know, I'm the last person to be telling people how to handle their relationships," Coby says, "I've never had one that wasn't totally fucked. So, do whatever you want Nina, but I'm done. I'm just done."


  1. Well Coby did the right thing by not seeing her anymore, especially since Nina doesn't even seem to know what she wants. And... did you manage to make Rainer less of an asshole in this chapter? O_O I don't know if I like him more or less now.

    1. Rainier is developing more of a character. Is he more or less of an asshole, I don't know. We'll have to see.
      I like him more, because he's actually demanding I pay attention to him, and speaking to me in his own voice. When that happens with a character, that always makes me happy.

  2. I'd have thought Coby would have found the arrangement ideal, unless he's worried Mr Nina will come looking for him... :)

    1. I think the Nina arrangement might look ideal, but it's a recipe for disaster. She's desperately searching for something, she doesn't even know what, and I think Coby just doesn't want to be part of that, to be involved in something that has so much potential to go really really wrong.

  3. BAHAH! Coby in his waiter suit totally made my morning. He actually does look quite uncomfortable...he's staring right at the camera with a look on this face that says "If I could reach through the screen and smack you, I totally would..." But the gentlemen DO clean up nicely.

    I felt like Rainier's heart grew three sizes this chapter. Well, okay maybe one half size. It was nice seeing him be nice. Coby definitely made the right call with Nina.

    1. I still haven't decided what Heather's wedding is going to look like, but after your comment about Coby's waiter suit, I knew I had to get one in there somewhere, lol.

      LOL at your Grinch imagery for Rainier. Now I'll have to get him a cute little dog sidekick. Oh, wait, he has Stina =P

  4. Mariposa means butterfly, if I'm remembering correctly? I know that from a book where the main character is hit by lightning; I'm secretly obsessed with lightning.

    Anyway I guess Rainier really likes Stina.

    And yeah... breaking up a marriage is a lot more of a headache than stealing someone's girlfriend. Not that I would know from experience, but the legal issues alone would be... bleh.

    1. Yes, mariposa means butterfly.

      I'm having to make a lot of adjustments to this story now with Rainier becoming more important as a character. It's starting to go in a different direction than the original. But yeah, he does seem to really like Stina.

  5. I haven't read the original (well, except for a couple of pages; I only remember one story detail and I won't be "spoiling" that in your comments section!), so it's all fresh and new to me. ^.^

    1. I was mostly talking to myself, lol. I spent most of last night thinking about where this is going to now, and I think I've figured it out. And I'm really looking forward to doing it. =D

  6. Cody is such a decent guy. I love him!

  7. Wow...Rainier did what now? Damn...that made my jaw drop. I'm glad Coby stepped back though. He really needs to find himself and something that makes him happy enough to forget that whore that broke him.

  8. Yeah, Rainier starts developing more as a character from this point on.
    And poor Cooby is really starting to lose his shit at this point. Too many girls, not enough love.

  9. Rainier is hot, I would do him just for the accent. Stina though is a player and doesn't know what she wants. She had it and then let it go.

    Coby needs a girl who will totally understand him. If not he is going to go nutso.

    I am trying to catch up now, before summer is out. That is my goal.

    Good Job Melissa!!

    1. Welcome to the club of Rainier lovers, Paula!
      Stina is definitely one messed up chick, and poor Coby is just stuck on her.