Book 2, Chapter 042

About an hour later, Ean was a lot more relaxed himself.  At his old job right about now he would have been dropping off everyone’s mail; maybe getting a cup of cold coffee in the face.  Instead, he was remote installing copies of Army Shooter to all the machines on the company network.

"And it is a little cool that instead of some pretentious corporate paintballing expedition, Doom wants to build team spirit through online death matches," Ean said.  "It sure as hell beats the alternatives."

In fact, with Doom’s aggression safely channeled, the worst part of Ean’s new job was probably going to be the awkwardness of running into Rachel again for the first time, since she was working his old crappy job and he now had hers.

"Yeah," Ean agreed. "It is too bad about Rachel.  I mean: She’s beautiful and smart and fun, but there’s no way it would have worked out.  But I don’t think it’ll be that bad to run into her again.  I mean… It’s a good thing JD showed up and we had to go tearing off to Mom’s and…"  He shook his head. "Life’s too crazy.  It wouldn’t have been fair to start something with Rachel and then have her get all that dumped on her, right?  As much as I’d like a normal life, it really just goes to show: Who knows when the next emergency will crop up?"

Ean frowned at his monitor.  "Plus, she did show up at my apartment twice, and she’s already slapped me once… and that’s a little crazy-stalker-ish, especially given that we just met and haven’t even gone on a date or anything.  Although she didn’t strike me as that unstable when we had lunch.  So either there’s something going on that I don’t know about – and that I don’t need to know about if she doesn’t tell me," he added for my benefit, "-or she’s a lot more violent than she lets on.  In the first case, well:  I’ve already decided to not be stupid and chase after her, and she can get anyone she wants by snapping her fingers.  So she’ll calm down and move on, and all will be well.  Or, if she is on the crazy side of the violent-stalker line, well…good riddance, right?"

"In any case," Ean concluded, "as long as she isn’t inordinately pissed that they hired me for her job after shoving her in mine – something neither of us had any control over – I really don’t think running in to her again will be that bad."

Except, of course, that Ean had launched into his soliloquy and disagreed with me without really thinking about what I’d said.  Specifically, about what time it was, and what he would have been doing if he still had his old job, and who it was that had his old job now.

"Oh, hell," Ean said as realization dawned.  "She’s standing right behind me, isn’t she?"

Et Alia, Book 2: Black Magic, Secret Agents, Shakespearean Tragedies and Interoffice Dating

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