Okay. Well. Here's Sharky and I.

This is a roleplay that WE'VE been doing. Honestly, you can tell Lolly like her roleplay, can't you? Tennis . . . Camp Happy Face . . . THIS . . .

Well, uh, this is something quite out of the ordinary. You know? The plot is whacked, we know that. We're just two little lust monkeys with no lives.

But that's not the point. The point is, this is some good hell-fluff. Meaning, it's goooood . . . but BAD. Sinful. Guilty pleasure, BAD! As the name suggests, and all . . .

DISCLAIMED TO MEG CABOT – All characters that you recognize are hers, all plot references to the Mediator that you recognize are also hers, all gerbils/ferrets that you don't recognize have escaped from the pet store.

READ AND REVIEW, LUST-BUNNIES. LONG REVIEWS ARE GOOOOOOOD. But yeah, after this chapter? Hahaha, it'll get a WHOLE lot better . . .

- 8 -

Nothing much had changed since the last time I've been here. Still the same, good ole' New York. Central Park was still as pretty as I remembered. Especially on a nice sunny morning like today. A good day for a stroll.

It was nice seeing Grandma again. She and her over-packed schedule. I swear, people retire to sit at home and do nothing, but Grandma, no, it's just an excuse to go out and join all kinds of clubs and activities. Keep herself busy, she said. Well, I don't blame her. Who wants to sit at home doing nothing all day?

I sat down on one of the benches, sipping my coffee. Today I got a day free from meetings, so I intend to enjoy it. Kinda hard though, as I kept thinking about Jesse, who couldn't come because of his work in Carmel. It's the first time we've been apart since we got married last year but surprisingly it haven't been that tough being away from him.

I love him with all my heart. I just wished he would spend more time at home than at the hospital though.

It got a little hotter as the sun came up, and considering I hadn't gotten my breakfast yet, I decided to go to one of the cafes nearby. Leaving the park, I crossed the road and walked along the sidewalk until I reached a cafe/restaurant. It was owned by a small Italian family and the food was great. I went up to one of the booths and sat there, looking around.

There were only a few people there, and the atmosphere was quiet and cozy. I don't think many people know about the Capanelli's unless by chance they stumbled into this place. Usually all they have are regular costumers. I placed my order to the waitress who came to my table, then settled back in my seat.

I saw a paper detailing the dinner set they have here, and I picked it up, interested. Maybe I can have dinner here too. It's so much cheaper than hotel food, that's for sure, and the taste is almost the same.

That son of a bitch Alex Ormond was going to win the stupid case. I knew it, my client knew it, and Ormond knew it.

Fuck him.

So you can understand why I was pissed off. Not to mention, Rachel had left last week. She said I was 'distracted' and that she didn't think that we were going anywhere.

Fuck her, too.

Walking through Central Park is always good for one's mind. So I've heard, anyway. So I was trying it. It was better than being cooped up inside with my stupid client, George Palmer, who was screwed anyway. I couldn't win his case. He claimed that a ghost had killed his daughter, and NOT him. I wasn't going to be able to prove him innocent.

As good a lawyer as I am, I just wasn't about to reveal what I was, just to save HIS ass. Paul Slater doesn't work that way.

It was only ten o'clock, and I hadn't had breakfast. I'd been in at the office, doing the inevitable paperwork, and I'd gone home early. But nevertheless, I was hungry. And as I already mentioned, pissed off. Hey. If YOU knew how good Rachel was in the sack, YOU'D be pissed off too.

Because she was gone now, damn it.

Despite everything that I do, and all the money I make . . . it seems that my life is always on the verge of falling apart. Success is one thing. Being happy is another. Well, looks like we Slaters aren't cut out to be happy.

Burden I bear.

Moved on, now.

With my stomach grumbling in annoyance of being neglected, I stopped in at the first little cafe I could find. Capanelli's. It looked decent enough. I didn't really care. Usually I don't settle for anything but the best.

But I wasn't in the mood to be turning down any restaurants just because the food wasn't expensive enough for my liking.

I burst through the door, hearing the tinkle of the door. It wasn't very full. An old couple were at a table, eating like dogs with Alzheimer's or something. Some brunette was sitting with her back to me. A little kid, frighteningly similar to Jack when he was at that age, and his dad were eating pancakes. And that was pretty much it. Like I said. This place wasn't very full.

I shrugged a little, regretting my choice of shirt that morning. The blackness of my Lacoste shirt was making me feel too hot for comfort. I looked up, and saw that the place had air-conditioning. Good. There was a vent above the table where the brunette was sitting at. Hey. Maybe if I was lucky I could pick up the chick while I was at it.

. . . Wow, Slater. You were just soooooooooo committed to Rachel, weren't you? I slipped directly into my suave-mode, and smirked as I saw the way her hair shone in the light from above her head. Then, I stepped up to her table behind her, and said in her ear, 'Is this seat taken?'

Not the most original line, but hey, I didn't want to MARRY her or anything. Just wanted a little . . . temporary satisfaction, is all. Solace, you could call it.

I jumped at the sound of someone's voice in my ear. It's not like I was paying attention to my surrounding, considering that I was reading the dinner's menu. My heart thumping, I turned around to snap at the person and tell them to stop sneaking up on people when I saw who it was.

In my surprise, I hadn't realized that the voice was very, very familiar.

Oh my God. No way.

. . . Holy crap.

'Suze?' I said in shock.

'Paul?' I breathed in horror.

'Well, what do you know,' I said, a huge grin overtaking my face. Whether she liked it or not, I occupied the seat opposite her in her booth. 'Fancy seeing you here.'

I stubbornly ignored the way my heart picked up the pace at the sight of her emerald green eyes, or the way her lips were parted in shock, or the smoothness of her skin, or the way her hair framed her face.

I stared at him. What was he doing here? In my hometown? God.

. . . She was beautiful. No, I mean, really. I see a LOT of gorgeous women. Believe me, I do. But Suze . . . now . . . she took the cake. And she'd . . . grown, too. If you know what I mean.

'Well?' I raised my eyebrows, 'No hello?'

He was smirking. So like the Paul I remember.

'Hello. What the heck are you doing here?'

I don't know why, but I couldn't stop smirking. Maybe it was because of what my plans had been for her, before I'd actually KNOWN it was her.

Maybe it was because I'd rendered her momentarily speechless before.

Maybe it was because she'd obviously gone up a bra size.

Or two.

He was looking me up and down. So what else can Paul Slater do? I didn't like it. Especially when I saw that his eyes were as blue as ever, and it brought back all those unwanted memories.

Well, I tell you what, the smirk was wiped off when I saw her finger.



'What the heck am I doing here?' I repeated her question, 'I'm here for food, Suze.'

I saw his eyes moved to my hand, and he stopped smiling. Puzzled, I looked down too, and saw my wedding ring. Aha.

And trying to pick up a chick. Well, I was, till I saw it was you. I still can, if you don't have any problems with that.

'Well . . . good. So am I,' I said, smiling a little. Obviously Paul knew he couldn't do anything, since I'm a married woman.

A waitress came and gave Suze a cup of something. She gave me a questioning look. I tossed my head, and then quickly looked at the breakfast menu. 'Brucetta,' I said, 'And a coffee. Black, no sugar.' She nodded silently, and left.

'So,' I leant back in my seat. 'How've you been, then? What's it been, like . . . eight years?'

'Something like that. I've been working in an advertising company in Carmel, ' I replied. 'What about you?'

'Lawyer,' I muttered, leaning my elbows on the table, not being able to take my eyes off of her. You had no idea how stunning she looked . . . and she wasn't even dressed up, or whatever. Just a black turtleneck and jeans. But her hair looked so soft . . . I just wanted to feel it between my fingers . . . She's married, Slater. Lay off.

Why am I not surprised..' I muttered, taking a drink from my latte. Of course he's a lawyer. Isn't that what he said he wanted to be even when we were in high school? I bet he's filthy rich too. Just like he wanted.

I smirked again, but this time not so much in smugness. The waitress came back with a plate of my bruchetta, and a cup of dark coffee. I nodded politely at her, and she left me a receipt. I sipped at the coffee, my eyes still on Suze. 'How's Rico going, then?' I asked. Not that I give a shit.

I hesitated a moment before answering. I was pretty sure that he was asking just to be polite. 'He's fine. He's a doctor, working in Valley Hospital in Carmel,' I said.

'That's nice,' I said carelessly. 'What are you doing in New York, then?'

Not that any of it was his business, but . . . 'I have some meetings with a new client.'

I used my knife and fork to dissect my brucetta into pieces, before elegantly eating them, still giving her a lazy smirk. 'Oh right,' I said. 'How long are you staying?'

It was infuriating. I wanted to know about her . . . she didn't care less about me.

I narrowed my eyes at him. 'I think you've asked enough questions, Paul. Let me ask you. Why are you in New York? I thought Seattle was nice enough.'

I raised my eyebrows at her, and laughed a little. 'I work here, Simon,' I said in humour. 'Oh, I mean . . . de Silva now, I guess. My my, how am I going to tell the two of you apart?' I shook my head solemnly, slipping another bit of brucetta into my mouth.

Oh yeah. One of them has breasts.

. . . Gorgeous ones at that.

She sipped her coffee, looking like she just wanted to finish it and get the hell out of here. I snaked my hand across the table, and plucked up her receipt. 'On me,' I said.

Wow. All of three dollars, Slater. She'll be soooooooooooo grateful.

I snatched back the receipt. 'I can pay for my own food, thanks,' I snapped. I was wrong. I thought he'd gotten over the whole Jesse thing but apparently not, since he still chose to make petty comments about us.

I smiled, and went to grab it back, but only resulted in my hand landing over hers. Which was a pretty okay second. 'How is . . . ' I lowered my tone, 'The shifting going?'

What? It was just TOO lucky for to her be here, for me to just let her GO. I'm a coincidence kinda guy. But this was TOO MUCH of one to ignore.

I, of course, followed her. 'So, advertising. That must be interesting. How's that going for you?'

I expected her for more of the charity-work type of person. You know, letting people walk all over her and work her for everything she had. I guess I'd overestimated her kindness. Thank the frigging Lord.

I gritted my teeth, telling myself to count to ten. That never worked of course, but it was the only thing I could think of right now. 'Yes, it is,' I said flatly, walking fast. I don't even know where the hell am I going. I think I might as well walked into my temporary office building. Don't they have security there or something?

She walked as fast as she could in any direction, really. She ended up taking the pair of us to some parking lot. 'God, the hospitality is astounding,' I rolled my eyes. 'What's your problem, Suze?'

I spun around, my hair whipping my face. 'What MY problem? What's YOUR problem? I mean, following me around? We're not kids, Paul. Leave me alone.'

'I'm just trying to make conversation with a friend I haven't seen in eight years,' I replied, with a little less sophistication this time.

There didn't seem to be anyone in this parking lot. Only about two cars, too.

'Yeah, right. You stalk every long-lost friend you met?' Where the hell are we? Some parking lot in a freaking basement. Talk about creepy. I looked to my left and saw a lift to go up the building, and headed there.

I stopped, and groaned. God, this girl had issues. Hot as hell, but issues all the same. 'Suze,' I called after her, watching her walk away. This'd probably be the last I'd see of her. And as much as every guy wants to see an ass like that, I didn't want to see the back of her just yet. Well, not in THIS circumstance, anyway.

I didn't feel him following me anymore, and smiled in satisfaction. I reached the lift, and stabbed at the button.

God. Try to make some conversation - and attempt to get laid - and get blown off like THAT. Why did I even bother? I mean, she was obviously j - 'SUZE!' I yelled suddenly, but not quickly enough to alert her of the ghost who slammed her against the elevator door.

She fell to the ground, as the ghost quickly looked around at me, before yelling, and causing a bunch of stacked up crates to go flying in my general direction. See? THIS is why you just DON'T HELP THE DEAD.


Pissed off, I materialized so I was right behind him. I grabbed him around the stomach . . . shifted . . . left him for dead - pun intended - in the Shadowland, and shifted back. Instantly, a headache set in. It wasn't as bad as my first ever one had been. I was used to the headaches by now. Suze was trying to sit up, wincing as she did so.

'Hey, careful,' I said, moving over to her, tenderly sliding my arms beneath hers, and guiding her to a standing position. She'd hit her head on the door. Damned ghost . . . beats me why the hell she seems obligated to help them when they go around doing stuff like THAT to her.

My head was throbbing. What have I done to deserve such attack? I tried not to groan painfully as Paul helped me stand. I could barely lift my head, and everything was spinning.

'What was that?' I managed to say after a few minutes and my head didn't feel like it was split apart anymore.

'The thing that makes us so special,' I said sarcastically. I helped her sit down on one of the crates, and then sat on one myself, checking her head. Bleeding. Ugh, typical.

'That was a ghost? Why did it attacked us? We didn't do anything,' I said, looking at him. Then I saw that he was bleeding. 'Hey, are you okay?'

'I'm fine,' I muttered. 'Come on, stand up - ' She couldn't. I mean, she could, but . . . well, I doubt she fell face-first into my chest because of her sexual attraction to me. I mean, maybe she did. But that's wishful thinking. I caught her before she slipped. 'Dizzy?' I asked.

That was embarrassing. Falling into him, I mean. 'Yeah, a little. Can I sit down here for a while?' I sat down without waiting for him to say anything, my face burned despite my dizziness. I'll just ignore the fact that his body felt muscular and nice when I grabbed it. UNINTENTIONALLY, of course.

I smiled down at her, my hands missing the feeling of her beneath them. I shifted her hair back a little, checking the injury on her head. Just as I thought. Soft as silk between my fingers . . . as for the injury, well, that was pretty bad.

I pulled my head away from his hand, feeling all hot and bothered again. What was it with me? Why was I feeling like this? I looked down to my hands, and focused my eyes on my wedding ring. Think of Jesse. Think of your husband, Suze.

I sat down on the crate again. 'You really should get that looked at,' I nodded at her head. 'You'll be falling all over the place, if you don't. Don't stand up,' I said to her, as she went to get to her feet, 'Or you'll get dizzy again.'

'Then how am I supposed to get it looked at?' I said stubbornly, slowly trying to stand up again. The dizziness has lessen a little bit but I still had a major headache. I hoped I didn't have a concussion. Just my luck, isn't it?

I just smirked. Sorry, but . . . this was too perfect. 'Bear with me,' I said to her, and then placed my hands on her shoulders. Just as she arranged her expression into one of confusion, I dematerialized the pair of us to . . . . . . Well, my place. Only for first aid purposes, though. I mean . . . she was MARRIED. I'm not that low.

What happened? One moment we were in the lot, the next we were standing in someone's living room. Then I realized that Paul must have shifted us somewhere else. I jumped away from him, looking around in a panicked way.

'Where are we?' I asked him, feeling scared all of a sudden.

Seeing his comfortable look, my guess would be that we were at his house. This was so not good.

'Relax,' I said. 'Just sit down there - don't stand up.' I went to my room, and got the first aid kit from my bathroom. I did pretty well for myself. Penthouse apartment and everything. I guess that materialization had freaked little Miss de Silva out a little. She was sitting down when I got back to her, looking on-edge, and wide-eyed.

As I walked back to the couch she was on, I quickly kicked one of Rachel's bras that she'd left out of view.

I gave her an encouraging smile. 'Lie back,' I said. A bit of the blood was running down her forehead.

She looked quite reluctant to do so.

God. We weren't teenagers anymore.

Lie back. Yeah right. But as he looked at me boredly, I felt dumb. It's not like he was going to try anything. He was nice enough to try and fix my head wound.

The least I could do was be grateful. So I laid back down on the couch, putting on a calm face even though inside I was anything but calm.

'Thank you,' I rolled my eyes. Then, I began carefully cleaning up where her head was cut on her hairline. Finally, I applied a two bandaids over the offending area. Her eyes were closed, and her lips were pursed.

My fingers, that were hovering above the recently attached bandaids, started getting curious as to how soft her skin was. They slid down her face a little, scraping ever-so-gently across her cheek. I saw her breathe in sharply.


Guess Jesse-Land mustn't be perfect after all . . .

- 8 -