Book 2, Chapter 71

JD didn’t exactly rush to the theatre. He didn’t have any difficulty finding it – he just didn’t feel any particular need to get there quickly. In fact, he only went at all because he’d said he would, he had nowhere else to go, and he supposed there was some sliver of a chance that Ean wasn’t just making up his story about having a date. Maybe.

When JD arrived the theatre’s lobby was still crowded. The play hadn’t started yet. “Well, that makes this easy,” JD muttered to himself. Then he cleared his throat, raised his hands, and bellowed: “Hey! Is there a Rachel in here? Waiting on some dude named Ean?”

When there was no immediate response JD just shrugged. “Figures: either he made her up, or they both stood each other up.” He chuckled at the thought and started to turn away – but a flurry of motion caught his eye.

With a surge of frustration and indiscriminate use of shouldering people aside, Rachel managed to liberate herself from a small crowd of men (and a couple of women) who’d started swarming her on her own arrival at the theatre. She caught JD’s eye and hurried toward him – more to get away from the people who’d been pressing in on her than anything else.

“I’m Rachel,” she said. “Please tell me Ean’s just running late. I know going out was my idea, but I…” She spared a glance over her shoulder at the people who had managed to corner her against the wall. “…I was not intending to spend the evening getting hit on by strangers.”

JD didn’t reply. He was too busy reeling in shock. Which was perfectly understandable because Rachel was stunning. She could pull off ‘beautiful’ in her fuddy-duddy work clothes. But now, all glammed up and in a slinky black dress with strappy high heels accentuating her figure, it was easy to see that Rachel wasn’t just beautiful. She was jaw-dropping gorgeous.

JD did a little mental math. “Holy shit,” he exclaimed. “You’re Rachel?” If she was then something was seriously wrong: by JD’s careful and well-practiced calculations she was way out of Ean’s league.

Rachel hesitated uncertainly. “Um… yes?” She answered. “Who are you? And what’s going on with Ean?”

JD jumped as though he’d just realized where he was and why, and who he was talking to. And why. “Right, Ean,” JD said. “I’m his best friend,” JD said – almost as much to remind himself that he shouldn’t be gawking at Ean’s date as to answer Rachel’s question. “Uh. Yeah: So, Ean’s not just running late. He’s just not coming at all.”

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

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