Room for Just a Little Bit More(5)

By: Beth Ehemann

“This one?” Viper picked it up and showed it to him.

“Yeah, that was it.” He nodded, taking the paper from Viper and examining it closely. “I gotta say, you picked a good one, Brody. Nice little ass on her.” Joe slapped my shoulder in congratulations before he walked away.

I watched Joe walk across the coffee shop until he was behind the counter, out of earshot, and I looked back at Viper. “There’s something wrong with him, you know that?”

Viper laughed and slammed his hand down again so hard it made our cups rattle against the table. “Are you kidding? I love him. He’s a horny old man, my hero. I want to be Joe when I grow up.”

“Be serious. You’re never growing up.” I threw the balled-up napkin back at him.

“You’re right,” he agreed. “No way will you ever catch me putting a diamond on some chick’s finger and getting down on one knee. Fuck that.”

“Come on.” I tilted my head to the side. “Never?”

“Nope. Never. My parents have been married and divorced enough times for me to learn that marriage just doesn’t work.”

He was shaking his head back and forth defiantly, but I knew even he didn’t believe the bullshit he was spewing. Somewhere deep inside that walking hard-on was a man who needed a serious girl to straighten his ass out. I just wasn’t in the mood to argue with him.

After I pretended to listen as Viper went on and on about conventional marriage and how pointless it was for another hour, I headed to Andy’s office. When I was there a few days ago signing my contract, I told him I was going to propose, but I hadn’t talked to him since.

The elevator doors opened and I was greeted with Ellie’s cheery smile.

“Hey, Brody.” She sat back from her computer. “Congratulations!”

“Thanks,” I said proudly. “I’m assuming you guys saw the paper too?”

“Uh, yeah. It’s been the chatter around the office this morning. Actually,”—she looked off into space, frowning slightly—“it’s kinda been the buzz all over. I was getting my gas this morning and even the people on the other side of the pump were talking about it.”

“Wow. Gas station gossip. Guess that means I’ve arrived, huh?” I laughed as I shoved my hands in my pockets and walked toward Andy’s office.

“Wait a sec, don’t go in yet. He has a client in there, but I think they’re just about done.”

“Okay, no problem.” I sat on the couch. The morning’s newspaper sat on top of the stack of magazines on the coffee table, taunting me. I shoved it to the side and started sifting through the magazines when Andy’s office door opened.

A young woman who looked to be in her early twenties, probably not even bar-legal, walked out with her ponytail swinging behind her. I stood up and took a step toward Andy’s office just as he appeared in the doorway, leaning against the frame. Hiding myself behind a tall plant, I watched him watch her walk away. She got to the elevator, pushed the button, and turned back to him, a shy smile creeping across her face.

“Bye, Andy,” she cooed.

Ellie’s head snapped up from whatever she was working on, and she stared at the girl. The ding of the elevator broke their Lady and the Tramp stare at each other, and Andy offered a one-handed wave before she bounced in and disappeared.

Lady and the Tramp? I’m clearly watching too much Disney.

“Andy?” Ellie repeated sarcastically. “Don’t your clients call you Mr. Shaw?”

Andy cleared his throat and looked at the ground as his face flushed. “Uh, yeah.”

“Except for me, of course,” I bragged, taking a step forward so he could see me.

Andy’s eyes widened at my sudden appearance. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“I came to talk to you, though it looks like you’d like to talk to her some more.” I nodded my head toward the elevator. “Want to chase her down? I can wait in your office.”

Andy rolled his eyes. “Shut up and get in here.”

I walked past him into his office, with him following along behind me. “Ellie, hold my calls for a bit, okay?” he called out before closing the door.