Abby had been enjoying some light and friendly joking in the company of her blind cohort, Sommerfield for most of the morning. They had spent it talking about all of Sommer's past sexual conquests, which as it turns out, were quite amusing. Hardly anyone had been sociable in the compound that early in the morning and Abby had been shocked to see that King wasn't even there. He had gotten up before her and was presently shopping alone at the farmer's market a few blocks down. That in itself was a scary thought. Any idea of King in a whole store full of junk food and an ample amount of money at his disposal was a frightening concept. The prospect of King alone in the produce department with all the 80 year old women was funny though. She didn't even want to think what would actually be brought home. She preferred to preoccupy her time with her current conversation, however, that's before she knew it was going to take a turn for the worst when Sommerfield just blurted out in total nonchalance.
"Abby you need to get laid, and since our fellow co-workers are out of the question, since someone doesn't like mixing business with pleasure. Which, can I say, I'm fully opposed to. How can you walk around with someone like King and not want to fuck him?"
Abby couldn't help but snicker at the doctor.
"And just how would you know?"
"Come on Abby. You can be blind and still tell that the man is gorgeous! Besides, I'm the one who had to administer the antivirus to him remember? Don't you think, for one minute, that these hands weren't looking while he wasn't aware…"
Abby saw the satisfied smirk on Sommerfield's face while she suggestively rubbed her palms together. She was just flat out shocked.
"Sommer! You violated King while he was unconscious!"
She turned to Abby and questioned her innocently."
"What? I only touched his chest…It's not like he even knew I was there. I made sure he was out cold before I even thought of it. Don't worry; he's not really my type anyway. Too muscular…I prefer a man I can beat up on my own. You on the other hand, he's perfect for you. You can beat up on him and he might actually enjoy it."
Abby couldn't believe that her friend would even think that. She almost laughed at the ridiculousness of the thought. Sommer needed therapy as far as she was concerned. She just shook off the suggestion.
"No, King and I would kill each other eventually…"
Sommer just waved her comment away with her hand.
"You two are going to do that eventually anyway. I say, why not get a nice piece of ass to go along with it?"
Abby's faced scrunched up in disgust while Sommer just kept that knowing smirk plastered on her face. She fished around for something in the pocket of her lab coat and finally pulled out a specifically folded piece of paper. Then she spoke again.
"I saw this coming so I took the initiative to set you up on a blind date with my cousin Chris…"
She felt Abby tense up and thought she was about to object so she cut her off by continuing to speak.
"Now before you say anything…Chris is a good one. He's very cute and that's coming from a non-incestuous point of view here. He'll treat you right or I threatened to cut off his balls and keep then in a preservative jar on my anatomy shelf."
Sommer felt the silent loathing that came off of Abby in waves, but she still was adamant that Whistler needed some extracurricular activities. She unfolded the piece of paper and handed it to Abby. It contained a name and a cell number, smiling triumphantly.
"Oh…and Abigail? Don't try to wiggle your way out of this one…I've already made the phone call. He'll be here to pick you up at 7:30."
With that, Sommer quickly tapped Abby on the butt with her cane and walked away. Abby could tell that Sommer was proud of what she had done. Abby on the other hand, began to ponder about the last date she'd ever gone on. It was over 3 years ago and even that one had been interrupted by her line of work when the guy turned out to be a familiar who didn't know what she did for a living and Abby had to kill him before her curfew. Could she even remember what to do on a date? She started to feel really anxious and as a result, ran to the nearest bathroom.
Meanwhile, King had returned home from picking up supplies at the grocery store to see an ashen faced Abby leaning up against the counter washing her mouth out. He pulled a fruit out of the paper bag, holding it up as an offering.
"Want an apple."
Abby proceeded to heave as she covered her mouth with her hand and ran out of the kitchen leaving King standing there off guard, apple still held out in the air.
"Okay…I'll take that as a no."
He finished unloading the groceries as the usual foot traffic made its way in and out of the kitchen throughout the afternoon. Something was definitely wrong. King could sense it. Everyone was acting strange; from Sommerfield's nauseating giddiness to Whistler's unusual nervousness and disappearing acts. Not to mention the two of them had been flocking around together all day. And Sommerfield was definitely using her cell phone a lot. Was he missing something here? Even Hedges seemed more involved in his work than he normally was. The only one not out of character was Dex, he just seemed to not notice it all. Or if he had, he would rather just ignore it by rolling himself under a car to do auto repairs. King knew that he had to get to the bottom of everyone's sketchiness. He decided that his best bet was to corner Sommerfield and get her to talk. If he tried that with Abby, she just might hit him. And if he wasn't mistaken, he could've sworn that he heard Whistler upchucking. He went down into the garage where Dex was tuning up Abigail's Ducati. Dex noticed him and nodded towards him.
"Come down here to escape the madness upstairs? Hand me that wrench would ya?"
King riffled through the toolbox till he found what he wanted and handed it to Dex, then proceeded to stand there scratching his head.
"Not really… Do you even know what's going on?"
He could hear bolts being tightened and Dex grunt as he strained to reconnect the wiring system.
"Nope. Don't really care either. I just let the girls run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Just as long as they don't do it in here, and if you tell them I'm in here, I will kill you."
Dex stopped working momentarily to threateningly point the wrench his way. King shook his head making sure he knew that this secret was safe. But there was still one more thing he wanted to know.
"Speaking of that…Where are Betty and Veronica?"
"I heard them passing overhead a few minutes ago. Sommer's in Abby's office on that damn cell phone and I'm pretty sure Abby's still in the bathroom near the kitchen. I heard her run by like a bat outta hell a second ago."
King thanked him and set off to check on Abby. On his way, he flicked Hedges on the ear as he strolled by and whistled innocently when Hedges glared at him. King found Abby just where Dex said she'd be. She was in the process of washing her mouth out with Scope when King walked in and smiled at her.
"Oooh…minty freshness! Are you gonna give me a kiss?"
She took one look at him before lurching herself back over the side of the sink to hurl again. King's eyebrows rose for a moment before he replied to his own question.
He looked slightly downtrodden as he gathered the strands of her hair and held them back at the base of her neck, stroking her back. And before he could prevent it from coming out, he said the dumbest thing he could ever think of.
"Are you sick or something?"
Abby stopped for a moment. Her body shook with her queasiness as she turned her head and gave King an incredulous and sarcastic look. As she gripped the edges of the sink so hard that her knuckles went white, Abby spit out the last ounce of bile left in her. Her breathing was haggard but she managed to speak.
He didn't need to be told twice. She was in bad shape. Whatever it was that she had, he certainly didn't want to get it. King backed out of the bathroom and down to where Abby's office was in hopes that Sommerfield would still be there. He pressed his ear against the door and heard nothing. Maybe she was in there but at least she was off the phone now. Then, he heard her voice calling through the door.
"Quit with the heavy breathing King and come in already!"
How does she always do that? He jumped up and opened the door finding Sommer behind Abby's desk fiddling with her various spreadsheets.
"Uhh…what wrong with Abby?"
King noticed the nervous shadow that flickered across Sommer's face. She knew he'd caught it too, his energy told her that. She was so busted. Not that it really mattered if King found out about Abby's date. They were just going to avoid telling him till the last minute. He just leaned against the door and waited for her to spill it.
"Abby's just got a little of the pre-date jitters. She'll be fine before it's time for her to leave."
Ohhh…That explains why everyone was being so weird. King observed Sommer's tense and uneasy movements as she tried to keep herself busy by straightening up Whistler's desk. He clapped his hands together seeing Sommer startle a little bit.
"So Whistler's got a date huh? And who is the lucky lad?"
Sommer could easily tell that King was already scheming on ways to shake things up. The telltale sign was that he was rocking back and forth on his heels. She just smiled at him patiently and answered the question.
"His name is Chris…He's my cousin."
They both turned to the doorway sharply when they heard what sounded like a body collapsing on the floor followed by a muffled curse.
It had been Abby. King piped up after the noise had settled.
"Poor guy…doesn't know what he's getting himself into…"
Both listened to the silence for a minute longer before another loud bang was heard preceded by another, more colorful curse.
King turned back to Sommer who had a faint smile on her lips. He paused a moment, then decidedly spoke.
"I'll get that…"
Sommer nodded as he sprinted out of the door heading to the bathroom that Abby was in. He opened the door to find her sitting on the hunched over and watching the blood pool into the palm of her hand. The toilet tissue she as using to soak it up had all but disintegrated. She had apparently knocked over the ceramic soap dish and toothbrush holding causing it to smash into a million pieces on the floor. He looked at her gently.
"Awe trying to get ready for that date? Well you shouldn't try to kill yourself Pumpkin…Unless of course, that guy is into necrophilia. Which in that case, keep him away from me. I still smell like the dead from last night. "
Despite her unsettled stomach and the sharp pain coming from her palm, Abby laughed. King brightened as he crouched down beside her to help clean up the cut with a washcloth. Abby looked up at him sheepishly and her cheeked were tinged red.
"Sommer told you about the date huh?"
He nodded but didn't see the need to embarrass her further. So he just tended to her cut and replied.
"Yeah, something like that…
After he had sopped up most of the blood and made sure that the bleeding had become relatively minimal, King took Abby hand and placed it firmly over the cloth.
"You keep the pressure on that and I'm going to go downstairs to get something to patch you right up and a dust pan to clean the glass away before we have another accident. Don't move okay."
He got up and when he left, Abby's head dropped with a dull thud against the tile wall. She could've kicked herself. Here her partner was, being as sweet and domesticated as she's ever seen him even after she had treated him like shit all day. She hissed at the stinging in her palm. King's footsteps could be heard getting closer then he reappeared in the doorway with both hands full, one was carrying a dustpan and a band aid was sticking out of his mouth. Abby giggled slightly at the sight and gestured to his mouth.
"I'm not sure that's what the Band-Aid Company had in mind when they meant for their product to be sanitary."
He looked at her, smirking.
"What are you talking about Whistler…my mouth is the cleanest and safest place to be."
She laughed some more and shook her head at him skeptically.
"I'd be willing to dispute that one."
He kneeled down beside her and responded.
"Well, we'll have plenty of time to do that later…after your big date. But for now, let's just get you fixed huh. I'm not letting you go out there looking like damaged goods"
He took the wash cloth away from her and removed the wrapping from the adhesive strip, placing it gently over the abrasion. Suddenly he stopped to retrieve a bottle from where he set it on the floor.
"By the way, I got you a ginger ale from the fridge to help your tummy."
Abby couldn't help but smile genuinely at his random thoughtfulness. There were reason's why she adored her partner, this was just merely one of them. Deep down the guilt of treating him like shit earlier got heavier.
She paused as she watch his mouth tick up in the corner at her then he continued with cleaning up the shattered glass making sure he was being careful.
"King, I'm sorry for being such a bitch to you earlier."
He stopped for a moment and looked at her, and then he just shrugged his shoulders casually.
"No biggie…you weren't feeling well, I understand. I know how crappy I feel when I'm throwing up. I don't blame you for not wanting to be bothered. Now…If I leave you here and let you take a shower, do you promise not to die on me?"
She smiled and nodded.
He winked at her as he balanced the pan full of glass and bloodied tissue out of the door, closing it after him with his foot. Abby just smiled, turned the lock, and started her shower. She had a little less than three hours to shower, find something to wear and get ready. After about a half an hour, Abby emerged from the shower feeling so much better. Her freshly shaven legs were smooth as silk and ready for the night ahead. Sommer was already waiting for Abby when she walked in her room. She had taken the liberty of pulling out pieces of clothing with various material types. Sommer stood, feeling the different articles with her fingertips.
"If you were to ask my opinion, I think you should go with the leather. From what I can tell, they guys think you look hot in it and I'm pretty sure Chris would too. Not to mention, It makes you feel sexy when you put it on."
Abby's mouth formed into a knowing half smile. She remembered commenting to Sommer once that she liked the way leather felt as it was rubbing up against her skin.
"Thanks Sommer, I'll keep that in mind.
The blind woman squeezed her on the shoulder before leaving her to get changed. The next hour and a half was mostly spent by Abby fighting with her hair. She hardly ever paid this much attention to it and when she did, she never could seem to get it just right. She decided to grab the hairspray and hope for the best. Luckily the makeup didn't give her too much of a problem, although that did deem to be time consuming. When she checked her clock, it was already ten past seven.
Downstairs the line waited for Abby's unveiling. King agitatedly checked his watch for the twelfth time and sighed.
"Is she ever coming down?"
Sommerfield whacked him with her cane and looked at him sharply.
"Quit you're whining okay. She's nervous…"
Suddenly Abby appeared from her door and into their view walking down the stairs. Everyone was speechless. King turned to Dex with his mouth agape and his finger pointing at Whistler as she passed by them to retrieve her pistol, stowing it on her hip and covering it by her jacket.
"Was she walking in slow motion to anyone else, or was it just me?"
She sauntered back up to them and stood tall for inspection.
So, how do I look?"
King was at a momentary loss for words which she took as a good sign, and Dex just stood there nodding his head appreciatively. Under her jacket, she wore a tight black lace-up bustier with matching leather pants and her combat boots. Her hair was nicely ruffled and sexy and her makeup was immaculately applied. Sommerfield could smell the scent of leather and whistled, glad to see that she had followed her instructions. There was the buzz of the door and King could see the nervousness well up inside Abby again as she whispered.
King patted her on the shoulder.
"Calm down Kitten, I'll handle it."
He ran to catch up with Sommer who was already headed towards the main entrance. Abby saw the door open to reveal a cute guy of moderate height with frosted dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. And if she wasn't mistaken she noticed a few tattoo peeking out from his shirtsleeve and trailing down his arm. Is that what Sommer thought she was attracted to? I mean sure, he was really cute, but mostly Abigail preferred someone a little less…scrawny. She knew that King must've been thinking the same thing when he enter because she could tell it was taking everything in to keep himself from laughing hysterically in Chris's face. One thing's for sure, King was back to his rude, discourteous self. Sommer gave Chris a hug, which he returned, and she felt his face slightly and smiled. She ushered him over to where she and Dex were still standing. King followed ahead of them, smirking. Making sure to prepare herself to be impervious to his expected outburst, she walked purposefully past King without so much as a glance in his direction and introduced herself to Chris.
"I'm Abigail, but you can call me Abby."
"Wow…uh, I mean, I'm Chris. It's nice to meet you. You look beautiful."
Abby felt like she was going on her first date and that her parents were hovering around and staring at her. She was about to suggest that they leave but King decided at that time to open his big, damn, mouth.
"So! What are you kids doing tonight…movie?"
King grinned at Chris who was shorter than Abby. He leaned down and put his hand on the young man's shoulder, offering advice.
"Are you gonna try and get lucky tonight? I know how you feel man…she's a looker, eh?"
King turned to a stone faced Abby and flashed her a swaggering smile. He then turned back to Chris, talking more quietly.
"Be mindful of that one…she's a tough cherry to pop. Trust me…I'm speaking from experience here."
That's when he felt it, a tight iron grip of Abby's hand. He knew he was in for it. He stiffen unconsciously and straightened up, keeping the smile that was now more like a painful grimace, on his face. She hooked her arm in King's whispering through a fake smile.
"Can I have a word with you please? Upstairs"
King looked at her and nodded just as she dug her nails into his bicep. Sommer had taken the hint in Abby's voice and she lead Chris away with Dex in tow, keeping him preoccupied while they were sure that Hell was about to break loose upstairs. Abby practically drug King up the steps and pulled him into the hallway, tossing him through his room door. As soon as the door closed, she spun around looking at him, infuriated.
"Where is it written that you have to be a downright asshole!"
Unfortunately for King's defense, all he could do was stare, petrified. He had never seen Abby get so angry at him. But he tried to offer an excuse lamely.
"I was just joking…maybe the kid should lighten up! I don't know."
She looked at him incredulously and tossed a hand up in the air. Her cheeks were blushed by her anger and embarrassment.
"Ohh excuse me…I guess it must be an ID-10- t problem then!"
King looked at her confused. She sighed at his thick-headedness.
"An ID What?"
Jesus Christ, help me not to kill this man! Abby rubbed her face in her hands groaning and becoming more flustered.
"Just…You're supposed to write it down."
When she saw that he actually made a move to his dresser to retrieve a pencil and a piece of paper she stopped him.
"Never mind! It's one joke that I don't expect you to get. If you write down ID-10-t is supposed to spell out IDIOT. It means that you have an idiot problem, which is somehow not very hard for me to believe right now! One night of normalcy King! That's all I asked for…one night! And you have to go and fuck it up by being yourself!"
Abby crossed her arms in front of her and tapped her foot incessantly. All the while giving King the most evil eyes he'd ever seen. He, on the other hand had the decency to look offended although he must admit that her joke was clever. He would've chuckled at it too but her tone had made him flinch. Not to mention that with her standing there looking completely sex worthy in that outfit, fuming with all of her negative attention directed solely towards him, it was beginning to turn him on.
"You know Whistler; you look hot in that lovely black ensemble."
That was Abby's cue, she turned around, threw open the door, and left the room with a big huff. Not knowing that she was also leaving a grinning King in her aftermath. Once getting back to the kitchen she grabbed her date and practically drug him out the door, not that he seemed to mind at all. Chris opened the passenger door for her and she got in without a word. She heard his door close and silence subsequently followed. After a few minutes of just sitting there Abby spoke in a barely audible, albeit pissed off voice.
"That was a complete and utter disaster."
She shook her head and prodded her temples furiously, thinking of what just happen. King did just as she expected. He acted like an absolute moron! Why would he try to stop her from having a normal life? Deep inside, Abby knew that the hope for a normal life was an illusion but that certainly didn't mean that she couldn't date. What was it that King was trying to prove? It just didn't make sense. Then she remembered earlier in the day when she had been sick; he was the one who held her hair back even when she told him to get out. And when she accidentally cut herself, King was the one who fixed everything and cleaned up the mess. Unconsciously she stared at the small, angry red cut on her palm and smiled softly. She was ripped from her thoughts when the awareness of eyes burning into her came from the man sitting at her side. She could feel the nervous and awkward tension coming from him. He hadn't even turned over the ignition yet. Abby took a deep breath, then glanced over to where the young man was watcher her.
He took a hold of one of her hands and stroked it. She was sure that he puffed up his chest to make himself appear more of a man.
"Don't worry. I'm not afraid of him. He was just being that overprotective type, its okay. "
Abby looked at him doubtfully and almost laughed in his face. Somehow, she managed to keep it inside. In a moment of revelation, she slowly and delicately pried his fingers from hers and slipped her hand from his grasp. His face was full of shock surprise.
"I'm sorry Chris… You're a really nice boy and all, but I can't do this."
The 'boy' comment was an uppercut against his ego. He was stunned as he watched her get out of the car, slam it shut and raced up the gravel to the compound. The door flew open as she stopped dead center to face King.
"I hate you…"
Then she ran straight into his arms, kissing him as if he had been lost. After a moment, they broke apart and Abby buried her head in his chest and got caught up breathing in his scent. King smiled smugly, running a hand soothingly up and down the exposed skin of her back and replied softly into her hair. Silently though, he was heaving a sigh of relief.
"I knew you wouldn't even make it out of the driveway..."