Author's Note: Okay. Here's my second story. This is my attempt at a plot. I don't want to annoy anyone, but I have no time on my hands. I already have the second chapter written, but I did it in class, so it comes down to typing the thing. I hesitate to put this up when the rest of it isn't written, especially considering my world renowned ability to procrastinate, but I'm counting on you people to keep me writing. The only thing that gives me an impetus to continue are reviews. I really appreciate all the feedback I've gotten on the first one. Tell me what you think about this story.
Disclaimer: They ain't mine.
Jeff Murphy opened the door to his ex-wife's apartment. Intent on surprising his son, he snuck up to what was obviously Dade's door and slowly opened it. A black book bag lay haphazardly across the desk, and a figure was buried under a comforter.
"Dade," Jeff said, pulling back a corner of the comforter. Instead of the expected dye-job head of his son, Jeff stared blankly at the dark, incredibly feminine head of Kate Libby.
This head was attached to a body which was shockingly wrapped around his sleeping son. About this time Kate realized that she was now cold, whereas she had once been warm and began to wake. Grabbing with one hand, she pulled the blanket up to her neck and burrowed into Dade, who tightened his hold on her waist.
"Um, Dade?" asked Jeff. Dade didn't move, but Kate kinda perked up.
Without opening her eyes, "Dade, someone is talking to you."
"What?" Dade returned.
His father spoke again, "Dade."
Finally awake, Dade looked up. "Dad. What are you doing here?"
Upon hearing her boyfriend refer to the new guy as "Dad," Kate sat up, which was difficult because the two were rather entangled. Kate manage to extricate her legs from Dade's and look at his father.
"Why don't you introduce your friend?"
"Um, yeah. Dad this is Kate; Kate this is my father, Jeff."
Jeff looked at Kate's bare leg, which was poking out from underneath the covers and the t-shirt she was wearing, which had obviously come off his son at some point. "I'll be in the living room, kay?"
"Yeah, give us five minutes."
Jeff left the room and Dade looked confused. "What's he doing here?"
"I don't know. Why don't we go find out?" asked Kate. "Let me change back into my clothes."
The two had spent the night before exploring the inner recesses of a new computer system from their respective computers. They had gone to school with no sleep and crashed at Dade's the second they got out. While Dade was still in the black cargo pants and green t-shirt he had worn to school, Kate had changed from the less comfortable white leather pants and buckled shirt into a t-shirt of Dade's. Dade watched as Kate began buckling up her shirt.
"That is the most complicated article of clothing I have ever seen."
Kate arched her eyebrows. "It just takes you too long to remove."
Dade smiled and Kate continued. "Why don't you go talk to him; I'll be out in a minute."
Dade looked at the unmade bed. "Not exactly the situation you want to explain to your father."
"Hell, we weren't even doing anything."
"Not this time, anyway." she added.
Dade walked into the living room and hugged his dad. "Dad, hey."
Jeff returned the embrace.
"What are you doing here?"
"Can't a man surprise his son?"
"Yeah, but how'd you get in? Is mom here?"
"I got the key from her earlier. I, uh, didn't expect you to have company."
"Yeah, about that. We studied all night so we just came here to crash after school."
"Relax, son. I noticed that you at least were fully clothed."
"Yeah-- " Before Dade could go further, the bedroom door opened.
Kate entered, and Jeff got his first good look at her. What he saw shocked him. This was not the girl he expected to see with his son. The leather pants and red combat boots were one thing, but the air of assurance with which she carried herself made her seem far too old for his generally sheltered son. He watched as she moved towards Dade. The two fell easily into place beside one another; Dade's arm immediately going around her.
"Dad, this is Kate Libby, my girlfriend."
"Hello." answered Jeff.
Kate smile her parent-smile and looked directly into his eyes.
Jeff felt struck as she said, "Hi." After a pause she continued. "It's nice meeting you, but I'll leave you two alone. I need to be getting home."
Dade looked at her. "I'll call you."
"Okay." Dade leaned down and Kate hand came to his neck as he quickly kissed her mouth. Jeff was uncomfortable with the familiarity of it. Kate grabbed a long shoulder bag with a skull and crossbones on the side. Both men watched as she left the apartment with a backwards glance and smile at Dade.
Dade turned to his father. "So, what are you doing in New York?"
"Well, I had some time off and I wanted to see you." A pause. "Why don't you tell me about your girlfriend?"
Dade knew that there had to be a definite reason his father had come to visit, but, seeing as he like to talk about Kate, decided to let it be.
"Okay, sit down. What do you want to know?"
"You had mentioned that you had met someone. She's nothing like I pictured."
"She is fairly undefinable."
"I think so."
Jeff smiled. "Never one for talking much."
Dade, still wondering about his father impromptu visit, smiled back without speaking.
"Well, I do want to take you out to dinner tonight, if that's okay. I'm only going to be in town for three days and there's someone I'd like you to meet."
So it comes out, thought Dade. "Who?" was all he said.
"A friend of mine."
Dade's eyes narrowed. "If you're dating this woman just tell me."
"I'm dating this woman, and I want you to meet her."
"Kate and I were supposed to go out tonight, but she'll understand."
"No, bring her along. I want to get to know the girl in your life."
"I'll ask her."
"Look, Dade. I have to run back to my hotel. You should call Kate. Gina tells me that this restaurant is damned exclusive. You guys might have fun. The reservations are for 6:30. I'll come by and pick you up at 5:45."
"I'll see if Kate will come. Why don't I meet you there? You aren't accounting for New York traffic.
Jeff stood up. "I love you. I want to see you more often; I think it's important."
Dade couldn't tell what his father was getting at. He had yet to mention the Ellington incidence. Jeff Murphy had never been comfortable discussing anything connecting Dade to a computer. It had been this way since the outcome of the trial eleven years ago. Once his father was gone, Dade immediately beeped Kate. After only three minutes, the cordless phone in Dade's hand rang.
"Kate," he said into the receiver.
"Dade, how'd it go with your dad?"
"He wants to introduce me to a woman named Gina."
"Are you okay with that?"
After a pause. "Yeah. I don't care. I just think that it's strange that the first time he's come to see me since I moved here is to do this."
"You've only lived here for four months."
"He never even mentioned the Ellington stuff– like it never happened."
Kate didn't say anything.
"He said to ask you to dinner tonight." Dade filled her in on the restaurant details.
"That place is pretty exclusive. My mom knows the owner."
"Will you come?"
"Do you want me to?"
"I don't want to have to meet this woman alone. I guarantee you my dad has told her everything about my past."
On the other end of the line, Kate nodded. "I'll go ahead and get dressed. I'll be over in an hour."
Just as Dade finished getting dressed, Kate knocked on the door. Wearing the same thing he had worn on their first date, he opened the door. Kate stood there looking ethereal in a blood red slip dress. The dress had a straight cut neckline and a slit up the side. Underneath she wore black stockings. Her makeup drew attention to her eyes, which was difficult, considering her mouth.
Dade realized that he was staring and stepped back to let her in. Kate regarded him carefully. "Are you okay?"
"You keep asking that."
"Well, you hardly ever talk about your father."
"There's nothing to say. I love him; he loves me. I'm a fairly large disappointment. It's a normal dysfunctional relationship."
"But?" Kate questioned, looking directly up into his eyes.
Dade realized that the one person, besides maybe his mom, who could see right through him was Kate. He sighed, "He doesn't know me and he doesn't want to. Ever since he found out about my hacking, he's acted like it never happened."
Kate nodded. "But that's you."
He looked at her. "Yeah. That's me. And he doesn't like to think about it. I can't even be mad at him. He does the best he can. That's why he and mom divorced. Because she deals with reality and he deals with whatever he want to."
"Not everyone can be as centered as we." Kate replied.
Dade smirked. "I guess not."
"So, shall we go and make nice with the new girlfriend?"
Dade stepped out of the cab in front of Mandatory at 6:45. He turned to help Kate out of the car. "Fashionably late. Won't Razor and Blade be proud?"
Kate laughed. Once inside, a maitre' d, obviously chosen for his innate hipness, glared at them. "Can I help you?"
Kate was the one who spoke. "Yes, we're here with the Murphy party."
After looking at his clipboard, the man directed them to follow him. About that time Dade noticed his father a table on the other side of the restaurant and, nudging Kate, pointed.
"Never mind," she said. "We see them."
The pair began to walk towards the table. Dade caught his father's eye and smiled.