Not mine, not mine - but fun to play with all the same!
It wasn't really a greeting, more a simple statement. She threw her purse across the back of the chair and sat down without bothering to take off her coat.
"Donna!" Paul exclaimed as he did that half-stand/bow/bob thing that others thought was so gentlemanly. She hated it. Well, she used to think it was sweet, too, but that was a long time and another world ago.
Her glare didn't waver as the seconds ticked by. Paul's smile faltered for a moment. He cleared his throat and sat back down.
"What do you want, Paul?"
"Would you like to look at the menu? The soup's great!" He gestured to the empty bowl sitting in front of him.
"Don't try misdirection with me, Paul. I've seen the best and you're not it." She looked straight at him with no emotion.
"Besides," she continued, "I'm not staying. I don't have time to be here as it is and Josh would freak if he knew I was here with you at all. Spill it and let me go." Donna's voice was low and measured. She didn't like being around her ex for any reason or for any length of time. It reminded her too much of past mistakes.
"Now Donna, calm down. I'm sure the great White House can live without one secretary for an hour or so."
"Assistant. I am Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff and no, he can't live without me for-"
"I'm getting married."
Donna's whole body jerked, upsetting her water glass. Both jumped back as water drowned the table.
"She's wonderful, Donna, really," Paul began hurriedly as he mopped up the mess. "We've only been together a month, but I've never felt such heat and passion, such a connection, with anyone before. She ... she lights me up!"
Paul beamed to himself.
"She just lights me up." He looked up at Donna then, searching her eyes. Whatever he had expected or even hoped to see wasn't there. Anger radiated from the woman across from him.
"She does what? You've been together for a month – a MONTH, Paul! We were together for nearly four years and every time I brought it up, every time I even suggested..."
Donna's voice trailed off as she glared steadily across the table. Here eyes felt hot as the tears threatened to appear, but she would NOT cry. She wasn't that girl anymore.
She shook her head and stood.
"You know what, Paul, give my condolences to your fiancé, she doesn't know what she's gotten herself into. Now if you'll excuse me-"
"It never would have worked, Donna, you know that."
Donna frowned and sat back down. She folded her hands on the table and leaned forward. Let's settle this, she thought.
"And just why is that, Paul?"
"You really were a sweet kid and I'm sure that someday you'll end up with someone who's willing to overlook your shortcomings... it's just that I'm a very passionate person and you're, well... It never would have worked."
"You... I ..." Donna blinked rapidly. "WHAT?!"
Paul looked at her with what Donna would have sworn was sympathy if it had come from anyone else. He put his hand over hers. She jerked away.
"You can call it inexperience if it'll make you feel better. Obviously your boyfriend – what was his name, Josh? – anyway, he must be okay with it. I mean, after all, obviously he doesn't think you're a spitfire if he's letting you go out to lunch alone with your ex-lover. I know I wouldn't let my woman out of my sight with another man."
"Josh isn't my boyfriend. He's my boss." Donna answered dumbly as she stared off in absolute shock. She couldn't seem to say anything else.
"Whatever. Look, don't stress yourself, darling. What's that saying? Everyone thinks that they have good taste and a good sense of humor, but not everyone can. It's like that – everyone thinks that they're a good kisser and a good lover, and unfortunately you aren't. It's okay, I guess, you've got other things going for you, we just never would have worked..."
Paul looked at his watch.
"Oops, I gotta run. My fiancé will be up soon and I need to be the first thing she sees in the morning... or afternoon, whatever."
"But..." Donna's eyes were still unfocused.
"Hey, it was good to see you again, kid. Take care, okay?" Paul swept out of the restaurant.
Donna couldn't move for a moment. She couldn't even blink.
"Damn him!" She thought as she felt tears prick the corners of her eyes again. Where was he getting this from? She was good in bed, wasn't she? She was a grown woman, independent and witty and charming and accomplishing so much.
Damn him for making her want to cry, she had changed!
Then the waiter paused at the table and handed her Paul's bill.
I'm still really new at this, so feedback would be loverly!! Thanks :)