"You talk to your sister lately?" Trent asked his girlfriend that was standing beside him, cutting the potatoes while he did the carrots.
"Yeah, she's been… distant since the fashion show. I tried to get her to come to Boston for a visit, but she wouldn't give me a definitive answer. What does Brad say?"
"Not much. He's usually all about the deadlines and I really thought that he would be all over us to finish this tour, but he's been more than understanding. His brother is the one that nailed down the finalities of everything. Kiss me."
He had added the last as though it were a part of the regular conversation- though it had been a recent addition that she was becoming more than comfortable with- at least privately. She tiptoed to kiss him gently and they both smiled as their eyes held for a moment.
"That's my girl." He spoke softly.
"Oh geez guys," Jane interrupted unceremoniously upon entering the kitchen, "can we not do the soft porn in the kitchen."
"Ah, you're just jealous 'cause Anthony isn't here so you can compete," Trent teased keeping a firm grasp on his girl that had been ready to pull back in slight embarrassment.
"You're," yawn, "right." Jane stretched. "Also, I don't want my lovely roast to be tarnished by you two."
"What?" her roommate raise her brows.
"I don't know," Jane dismissed and got a glass of juice. "I'm just talking smack, but thank you guys for making dinner for me." She wiggled her way in between them and put her arms around their respective waists.
"Well you know me in the kitchen," the petite young woman smirked playfully.
"Yeah, I do that's why I'm glad my big brother here is running this show," Jane replied giving the other girl a gentle squeeze. "So I guess this is goodbye for now?" she turned her face up to Trent.
"Yeah," he nodded. "I won't be too long this time though."
"Okay… and you," she looked back her best friend, "take care of him while you're there okay?"
Her friend nodded and the trio took a moment to enjoy the rareness of their all being together like this… kind of like old times…..
"This is Quinn; leave a message after the beep." Quinn's voicemail said to her sister when she had called after giving Jane and Trent some time together.
"Quinn…it's me. I was- you haven't returned anyone's calls. Guess you're busy with the show. I heard that it was a huge success; I saw live view and it has gotten nothing but positive reviews, so… just give me a ring soon. Bye." She hung wondering exactly what was going that Quinn hadn't returned any calls.
"Quinn, its Brad." Brad had worn his navy Armani in the hopes of impressing the beauty that stood before him backstage of the fashion show. She had been showing a seamstress exactly where to take in a skirt, but flashed a heart melting smile his way.
"I know silly. We correspond all the time." She wiped her hands on the charcoal grey slacks that she had on, straightened the cream colored top that magnified her coppery hair, and stood with her hand extended. "Pleased to finally meet you in person."
He took the hand that she had extended and they both gave a firm shake. He knew that she and Paul had the entire top floor to themselves for work in one half and a living space in the other. It had looked to be a cozy and convenient situation that he was growing more envious of by the second.
"I- uh- thought that maybe we could do some lunch," he stammered out, "you know- to uh- go over your ideas."
"Sure. Let's just find Paul and let him know that I won't be in here all afternoon like I planned and see if he wants to join us."
Brad followed and listened as Quinn went on about everything that they were working on and possible tie-ins as they went from room to room looking for Paul. She stood in his office, hands on her hips thinking with a worried look on her face.
"He must have gone back to his apartment to grab a nap," she concluded aloud. "I'll just pop in and check on him."
Brad followed silently as Quinn, with the spare key that she'd gotten from the desk proceeded to head to the apartment across the hall in search of Paul.
Quinn and Brad entered the apartment. Both made no sounds. It was as if they were either hoping- or not hoping to hear some-
Quiet… sighs…catch of breath…soft moans…
Quinn stood at the slightly ajar door to the master bedroom looking in. Brad came in closer behind her to peer inside as well. Quinn gave the door the slightest of pushes and it opened almost like a magician's reveal to give full viewing of Paul buried face deep between Veronica's legs that were spread from one end of the large bed- a bed that he had never shared with her, to the other. It was Veronica that noticed her first and she- SMILED!
"Let's go Quinn," Brad took Quinn's arm and looked into her stricken face before trying to usher her out.
Upon hearing another voice in the room, Paul had looked up into Quinn's face in shock from being found out.
"Quinn, let me explain-" Paul had managed to grab a robe and catch up to them before they had reached the door. She stood looking at him and felt Brad's hand tense on her arm in anticipation of what to do next. "I'm sorry- I just-" he looked at Brad, as though just realizing that he was there. "Can you just give us a minute?"
"Fuck no!" Brad could not believe this guy's nerve. No way was he leaving Quinn alone with this cheating, lying asshole. "Quinn, tell him to give us some privacy."
"Sixty seconds," Quinn's voice was colder than ice.
Paul looked as though he had been slapped.
"It's not what you think. I don't love her. I love you."
Quinn looked at him, then behind him to where Veronica listened from the bedroom doorway- still nude. Quinn raised her chin slightly and turned to leave with Brad in tow. She felt Paul's hand on her arm and glared at it, then him before jerking away.
"It was just sex."
In that moment, with him saying that, Quinn felt the sting of all his rejections and the lies surrounding them well from within and almost as if in some kind of surreal alternate reality she felt her hand curl into a fist and saw it as she swung and made contact with Paul's jaw. Paul went sprawling back sliding on the waxed floor with his robe gaping to reveal his nudity. Veronica ran to help him and Quinn, along with Brad left the room. Brad took the keys from Quinn and listened as she gave him directions to her place as though nothing whatsoever had happened. He followed her up to her apartment saying nothing and waited for the eventual explosion to happen…none came. She simply sat on her sofa looking off in the distance. Brad stood awkwardly looking at her for a moment. In his head he cursed that idiot Paul out for doing something that made no sense.
"It was just sex…"
Her voice was small. She sounded frail to Brad. She looked to him then.
"He said that it was just sex… like it didn't mean anything."
"How's about a drink?" He went to the kitchen and searched her fridge.
"I don't really have anything strong… I'm not much of a drinker."
"Hey, I found something," he said returning with the wine bottle and two glasses. She looked at the glass of wine that he handed her. "Quinn?"
"We were supposed to drink this to celebrate the success of the clothing line launch." She spoke reflectively, distantly while staring at the glass that was in her hand. "He said that he had too much drink, that he wanted everything to be perfect for me. He was with her… All of those times when he pushed me away… he was with her. He only wanted her. –and he just lied to me… about everything… and I just believed him."
Brad looked at her. He didn't like where this train of thought was going.
"Don't blame yourself for that idiot," he spoke up.
Quinn looked as though she'd just realized that he was there.
"Oh- right, we're supposed to be working on- something…"
"Are you kidding me?" Brad took her hand and removed the affronting wine as well. "Don't worry about it. You have been nothing but gold for me- for the band. Let's just worry about you right now."
Quinn looked into his eyes, fearful at first that she would see harsh judgement for her stupidity, but instead she found kindness in his eyes that beckoned to her like an old friend. He squeezed her hand and gave an encouraging smile. Brad learned the whereabouts of the main stuff in Quinn's apartment quickly and made use of the delivery/takeout menus that he found in the kitchen while Quinn did as he suggested and took a shower to relax. Brad looked toward where he heard the shower and wondered when she would let it all out. There was usually some kind of anger as backlash… if the women in his family were any indication, but aside from that well deserved punch that she'd given there had been nothing. There were no swears or declarations of what an asshole Paul was. She hadn't done anything other than turn off her cell and instructed the doorman not to let anyone else up. Brad had decided then and there that he wouldn't leave until she was better. He waited until Quinn drifted off late that night to text his brother and let him know that he wasn't to be disturbed for a while.