1.07: Closer

1

“I caught a couple making out in the copy room today,” Jason said with a laugh in his voice from his spot on the sofa.

“Here I thought office romances were a thing of the past,” Shannyn replied. She flipped the fish in the old cast iron skillet, stirring them in the mix of lemon and onion. “Almost warms the heart.”

2

“I gave them hell for it, but yeah, it was honestly kind of nice to see something as normal as a couple sneaking off for a little necking. You ever do that?”

“I never worked with Gio.” If she’d worked with him, she never would’ve dated him in a million years. “You?”

3

While he prattled on about some crush he’d had a few years go, she took up the fish and made her plate. He’d started asking a lot of more personal-type questions in the last weeks. Some she deigned to answer, some she didn’t. Nothing that would let him too far in. Though she’d managed to ingratiate herself to the new mob syndicate, he had no idea; he just thought she’d changed to a job that didn’t require computer access. She’d had to give the hunk of junk back after she quit; no reason to keep it anyway, since it did jack squat.

She sat down while he rose to his feet and made his own plate. “Thanks for having me over, Susan,” he said.

“Not my name. But you’re in the right part of the alphabet.” Her lips curled in a small smile.

4

He grinned at her and retook his seat. “I’m getting closer, huh? You know, you could just tell me your name.”

“Now, what would be the fun in that?”

“Touché,” he laughed, tucking into his meal.

She ate hers quickly, trying to just get it over with. She was so fucking sick of fish. So sick. It had gotten the worst while she was pregnant; the smell of it had made her gag at some points, though she’d forced herself to choke it down. Beggars and choosers and all that.

5

“I heard about a market in town,” Jason said, studying his plate. “They’ve got things. Hot dogs, burgers. One of the guys at work swears he was able to buy a real package of chicken there.”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “Really?” She hadn’t heard of such a market, but that wasn’t too much of a surprise. She’d been incredibly preoccupied with Kayne, the mob, and keeping those two parts of her life separate.

He nodded. “I went over there, where he said it was. There was a store there and people were cleaning up, but there wasn’t any food there. They said they don’t get a lot and it goes fast once it’s there.”

6

“I’ll get my hands on something,” Shannyn assured him. She’d make sure something was put aside for her at every shipment…And Jason, too, she thought to herself. He had been the one to tell her about it. “We’ll be eating something besides fish in no time.”

“Uh huh,” he said dubiously. “Are you planning to sit out there and stalk the store?”

7

“I won’t need to. Trust me, Jason. I’ve got my ways.” If only she’d known about the place sooner!

“I should be – “Jason cut off as the faint wail of an infant floated down to them from upstairs. “I’ll get him, if you want?” He offered.

8

She hesitated a moment – even though it wouldn’t be the first time, she still wasn’t fully comfortable leaving him alone with Kayne – but finally nodded. “Yeah, alright. He shouldn’t be hungry. I’ll clean up.”

He smiled – he always did that, especially if I let him be around Kayne. As she watched him head upstairs, she wondered if he’d had a kid. He was always keen to spend time with Kayne, even just for a diaper changing. Though he’d probably actually be a lot less interested in being around a kid if he’d lost one of his own.

9

She shrugged and washed their plates. Wasn’t her business and she wasn’t interested enough to pry. Knowing him, he’d tell her himself at some point. Or there was nothing to tell and he just liked kids. Which she didn’t get. The only kid she’d ever liked was hers.

10

“He’s happy again,” he said, returning to the living room. Or, more appropriately, the living/dining/cooking/everything-else room.

“He usually is.” He wasn’t fussy at all, usually just happily burbling away in his bassinet.

“I’d better head home,” Jason said, stopping next to the door. “It’s getting late, and I need to do some reading for work tomorrow.”

She nodded. “Alright.”

11

He smiled at her. “I’ll see you later, Sandra.”

She laughed in a quiet bark. “Try again.”

His chuckle floated back to her through the closing door.

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