Title: The Wish List

Author: Mindy

Rating: T

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Pairing: Jack/Liz

Spoilers: "Apollo, Apollo".

Summary: Jack gets what he wants for his birthday.

-x-x-x-

"Okay," says Liz, stuffing another canapé in her mouth: "Here's what we're going to do..."

She hops down off her stool and walks in a mostly straight line towards the fridge. For a moment Jack thinks she is actually in search of more food. It's three hours since he told his birthday guests to scatter and two since she turned up in her simple but seductive black dress. They have been eating – and drinking – solidly ever since. The remains of his birthday feast are strewn over the kitchen island they are seated at, along with a few empty bottles of champagne.

Instead of opening the fridge, Liz retrieves the magnetic pad and pen from its door and heads back over to him. She kicks off her shoes before slithering awkwardly back up onto the high stool to face him.

"You're going to write me a shopping list?" he asks, eyeing her through his champagne glass: "I have a lady who does that."

"Nup," she answers and points the pen at him: "We are going to write you another list. Stuff to do before you die."

Jack humphs sombrely. "That will cheer me up."

Liz ignores him. "Alright--" she goes on: "let's assume you're gonna live til you're a hundred--"

"I appreciate your faith in me, Lemon," he interjects: "But with my heart condition? Not to mention my stress-eating habits, the high pressure job I hold and the fact I take no exercise whatsoever -- not even of the between-the-sheets variety, lately."

"Oka-ay," she amends with a shrug: "let's assume you'll live til you're eighty. That's still thirty good years to pack in a whole lot of…flying and killing and kissing stuff."

"I suppose," he mopes.

She nods encouragingly: "That's the spirit," and puts pen to paper. "So! We're gonna skip right over the creepy and possibly life-threatening ones and start with the easiest one."

"Which is?"

She plants an elbow on the counter. "Who does Jackie wanna kiss?"

He blinks groggily at her.

Liz makes a frustrated hand gesture and answers for him: "Elisa! Right?…Come on, Jack, work with me here."

"Lemon," he protests, wagging his head: "I don't think this will work. The whole idea is to do things you've never done before."

"Well….you've never been married to Elisa before," she points out hopefully.

"But I've been married before. You might have guessed I wasn't very good at it." He takes another drink and mutters: "Perhaps that's why Elisa ran when she had the chance."

Liz lets out a sigh, momentarily deflated. "She might come back."

"Why would she?" His gaze drifts over the remains of his birthday dinner. "If she hasn't yet?"

"Okay-okay, this isn't working…" She waves a hand, knocking her champagne flute but catching it before it falls: "Forgetting Elisa, for the moment, then. Technically, you're a free agent, right? You're Jack Donaghy. Maverick, Titan, Lover--"

He pouts at her. "Are you making fun of me?"

"I'm trying to jump-start that mammoth ego of yours," she mutters and leans over to give his arm a punch: "You could have any woman in the city, right? So-- go on--" She blinks expectantly at him: "Who do you wanna make out with?"

Jack sits straighter in his seat. "You really want to discuss this, Lemon?"

"No, I don't," she tells him, her dark eyes impatient and sardonic: "But if it's gonna cheer you up on your birthday, then, go ahead, lay it on me. Tell me who you've got the hots for."

For the first time on this dismal night, Jack feels a smile forming on his face. It appears that things are swinging back in his favour. His birth-night is not looking quite so dire. If Lemon is sincerely attempting to cheer him up, and he has no reason to question her motives, she may just have hit upon the perfect subject. Whether she realizes the significance of her question or not, this particular conversation has definite possibilities. He puts down his glass and tries to focus on his friend's face.

"What's that smile mean?" she mutters warily: "You're thinking about some lady, right now, aren't you? You're thinking about making out with some hot chick. Okay--" she bobs her head, her face flinching in awful anticipation: "who is it? Beyonce? Nope, already done her. Britney? Yikes, for all I know, you've done her too. Don't make me guess, Jack, I don't wanna play that game. Please. And don't say Jenna, if you say Jenna--"

"I'm not thinking of Jenna," Jack interrupts quietly: "I have much better taste than that."

Liz looks at him, nodding slowly. "Who, then?"

Jack puts out a hand, places it over the paper pad and slides it closer to himself. At the top, she's written: 'Things To Do Before Dying', and underneath: 'Kiss…' followed by a gaping blank space. Jack takes the pen from her fingers and completes the sentence she started.

Then slowly, deliberately, he slides the notepad back over to Liz.

-x-

So she's probably staring at the piece of paper way longer than she needs to. It doesn't take her that long to read a single word. Especially when that word is her name. She's familiar enough with her own name to recognize it on sight. It's not like it takes much figuring out. And it's not like his writing is incomprehensible or anything. That is definitely her name.

She simply does not know what to do with this information though. That is the issue. Jack, the same Jack she used to hate, the same Jack who is her domineering, ever-present boss, the same Jack who's invaded every single aspect of her life, including to some extent, her heart; that one and only Jack…..what? Has the hots for her? Likes her? Or has some morbid curiosity about making out with an aging geek? Perhaps some combination of all three? Perhaps he thinks he can teach her a few things? Or is it just that he's too drunk to think of another woman's name and she happens to be in the room? She's pretty drunk though, probably as drunk as he is, and she can remember heaps of guys' names. Not that that's going to help her any.

It's not gonna help her to look up. And she does need to look up soon. She's going to have to speak to him at some point. In fact, she's probably gonna have to kiss him now, since making this list was her bright idea. Not that kissing Jack should be a chore or something she should feel cornered into doing. That's not what she's saying. Honestly, she's a little…excited by the idea. She's kind of flattered – if a little surprised – to see her own name staring back at her. His honest desire spelled out clearly in his own hand.

She looks up at him, because she knows she has to, but without really knowing what to say. The way he's looking at her makes her breath hitch in her throat. Blue eyes, twinkling with something wild and curious, and mingled with the affection she's become accustomed to seeing there.

Because she can't think of any other way to break the sudden tension, she stands on the rung of her stool and leans closer. It occurs to her, too late, that he might think she's leaning in to kiss him, but she actually reaches behind him. Accidentally, her breast brushes his arm and she pulls back, hoping he didn't think it was on purpose. Then propping her elbow on the kitchen counter, she holds up a small lemon wedge.

"Must be your lucky night," she says, unable to help a sly grin: "Go on then. Pucker up. You know you want to."

Jack's face relaxes into a smile – the kind that displays all the familiar lines around his eyes and mouth. "Cute, Lemon," he murmurs, wrapping one hand around her raised wrist: "Real cute."

He tries to lower her wrist but spurred on by either her lame joke or Dutch courage, she aims the lemon wedge at his mouth. It hits sloppily. He pulls back in surprise but then takes the fruit between his teeth and gives it a good suck. She grins, mashing it against his mouth, the juice leaking down her fingers. She freezes, though, when she realizes her fingertips are touching his lips.

Before she can retrieve them, his grip tightens about her wrist. His eyes are searching her face, intent and inscrutable. She knows he's probably looking for clues as to what she's thinking -- and she's not sure what signals she's giving off, because she's not even sure herself what she's thinking. Especially when Jack removes the lemon wedge, drops it into his glass then takes her fingers into his mouth, sucking off the bitter juice. She's not really thinking of anything at that point. She's not breathing either. She thinks she's even stopped blinking. She might have had a stroke of some sort. Because she's just sitting there, letting his tongue lap at her sticky skin. And liking it.

Obviously, Jack takes her stunned response as a good sign because he pauses, looks at her, then gives her wrist a tug. "Come here."

She stares at him.

He tugs again.

She resumes breathing, takes in a deep breath as she slides down off her stool. With a little smile, he watches her straighten the skirt of her dress with the hand he hasn't got captive. She shuffles closer til his knees touch her hips. She expects him to part them and draw her closer, but he just looks at her some more. He draws in a breath also, running one finger under the hair that falls across her forehead as his eyes scan her face.

Her eyes drop away from his. It's too hard to look at him. She finds it hard not knowing what is happening, what he is thinking or wanting. She is not sure how much of her reactions he can read either, whether he can tell that these little touches, however inconsequential they might seem, are making her heart race. She doesn't know if he knows that he has a way of making a woman feel like she is truly something to be in awe of. If he does, then he probably knows that no one has ever made her feel like that before. And maybe that's why she's behaving like putty in his hands.

Slowly, his fingertips trace the line of her jaw. "Turn around," he says, in a voice that makes her skin break out into goosebumps.

She blinks at him for a moment. "Turn around?" she repeats, her voice sluggish and confused.

Jack peers at her from under his brows and nods once.

She gulps: "Okay…" and turns.

Behind her, Jack slides down from his stool. She can feel him standing as close as he can get without touching. His heat pervades her back, her butt, the backs of her thighs and makes her spine tingle. She can't see him so she has even less idea of what he's going to do but her whole body seems to heave an enormous sigh of relief when both his hands land on her shoulders, warm and big.

She doesn't dare turn her head or question him or make a joke because she really doesn't want him to stop whatever it is he is doing. She can feel her back expanding and contracting against his palms in deeper than usual breaths. And her toes curl against the kitchen tiles as his thumbs start to rub either side of her spine, pressing gently into her bare flesh.

"Feel good?" he asks in that same sinful voice.

Her head drops backwards, her hair brushing his hands. "I….don't understand what's happening," she says softly.

Jack is silent for a moment. When he speaks, his mouth is right by her ear. "What's to understand?"

His hands go still and her head rights itself. She waits for his next move, wanting it before even knowing what it will be. She feels him brush her hair to one side, uncovering her neck. The light graze of his fingertips sends chills down her spine. He repeats the gesture a few times then pauses. A moment later, she feels his breath hit the skin he's exposed and a moment after that, his open mouth is on her neck.

She doesn't move as Jack lays a hot, careful kiss there. Except for her mouth dropping open. Apart from that, Liz stays completely still, her heart thumping in her chest.

-x-

She tastes like cinnamon. Warm cinnamon. And something else. Maybe Lemon -- and he doesn't mean the fruit, although that taste could still be present on his tongue, along with the tang of her fingertips. He assumes the cinnamon flavour comes from her shampoo because as his lips move up her spine and his nose burrows deeper into her hair, the smell gets stronger.

This is not the way he first planned to kiss Lemon. Not that such a thing was a forgone conclusion. And not that such a thing could be easily orchestrated. And not that he'd given too much thought to it. But traditionally, first kisses are on the lips, not the neck. Still, nothing with Lemon ever goes entirely to plan, so he kind of likes it this way. And what's not to like, really? She's warm and sweet-smelling and something about having her this close to him is driving him slowly crazy.

He loves it.

His hands move to her hips, pulling her back so that her body is in full contact with his. Her head tips back against his shoulder as his mouth climbs up one side of her neck. Her eyes are closed, her lips are parted and for a moment, the vision of seeing her like that makes him stop. His hands slide around to her stomach, cupping her belly.

"Lemon…" he whispers.

"Hmmm?" she responds, eyes still closed.

He doesn't have anything in particular he wants to tell her or ask her. He just likes the fact that it's her in his arms right now. Her body fitted against his. Her breath deepening with every kiss he gives her. Her hands curling over his on her stomach. Saying her name just makes it more real, more amazing. He always suspected that if they ever ventured beyond their usual friendship that they would have that indescribable sort of chemistry that can border on magic when two people's passions collide so perfectly. And now he has the proof, in his arms.

His hands slide over her arms, slowly up then down then up again, higher and higher over the black fabric til he reaches her shoulders. He takes a breath, his chest pressing into her back, and feels her copy. One hand pulls the dress off her shoulder and he places a whisper-soft kiss there. This elicits a soft moan from her so he does it again, receiving another subdued moan. Then with one finger, he begins to trace the rear neckline of the dress across her back until he finds the zip.

He stops there -- waits for her to react. Both his hands go to the zipper and it's at this point, he expects her to protest. He expects her to turn and make a joke or babble and break the moment. But she doesn't. Liz stays completely still and doesn't utter a single word in protest.

So Jack begins to draw the zipper downwards.

He does it as slowly as he can stand to. She's breathing heavily, he can see it. And he is breathing heavily, with every inch he uncovers. And he doesn't rush. Now is not a time to rush. Now is a time to savour. He steps back so that he can unzip her further, so he can see what he is gaining access to. He hopes. He is still half-waiting for an objection from her, but as he undoes the dress past her black bra, he is still not disappointed to hear one.

His eyes flick up to what he can see of her face. She has her head turned slightly toward him, her eyes lowered. Her lower lip is drawn between her teeth and her cheek is flushed. Jack slips a hand inside the open back of the dress, cupping one shoulder blade and moving his palm in circles over it. Liz lets out a gasp, shying away from his touch for an instant before relaxing into it. His hand moves to the centre of her back, pressing directly between her two bra-straps. Her skin is warm and soft and lightly freckled.

At this point, he looses a little of his patience. Swiftly and smoothly, he lowers the zipper the rest of the way. He is pleased to see it plunge nice and low, revealing a lovely expanse of pale skin and exposing her right down to the upper edge of her panties. Just above the seam is a charming little cluster of freckles. He loves that glorious curve on a woman's body where the waist flares out into hips and the back dips in before becoming the bottom. It is truly one of his favourite sights in the whole world. One of the most awe-inspiring things he's ever seen. And Lemon's is no different. Except in that it is Lemon's and no one else's, and it boasts that sweet little distinguishing feature.

He lowers to his knees, his head ducking in between the open flaps of her dress as he puts his mouth right over that spot. With the heady cinnamon scent still invading his nostrils, he kisses the little conglomeration of freckles right in the centre of the small of her back. Liz sways on her feet and Jack catches her with his hands on her hips. Her hands cover his, a little uncertain as her fingers weave between his, but he takes it as encouragement and continues with his seduction of her back.

There is not another thought in his head as he kisses and nips and licks all around and over her, exploring the sweet terrain of her back, drinking in her smell and drawing louder and longer moans from her mouth. There is not a thought of any other woman or of his advancing age. There is not a thought of what his relationship with this woman has been up until this point or of how it might alter after this night. There isn't even a thought of where it is leading and how swiftly he might manoeuvre them towards that inevitable conclusion. The only thought he has is how right it feels to touch her this way, to kiss her this way, what a relief it is to yield to that long-buried instinct. And in this moment, he truly has no clue whatsoever why either of them resisted for so long.

His hands leave hers, tracing the swell of her hips and moving down and down and down over every curve, until he finds where the black fabric ends. She steadies herself with one hand on the kitchen counter as both his palms glide slowly up her legs, under the dress, taking the fabric with them as high as he will dare. He looks up at her from there, hands resting high on her thighs. She is twisting around, looking over her shoulder at him, the shoulder he bared. But her eyelashes half-hide any expression in her eyes.

Beginning to rise from his knees, he slips both hands into the back of her dress and lets his mouth travel slowly back up her spine. His palms fit perfectly about her waist, like they were made to rest there, so he leaves them there, stroking her naked skin as his lips and tongue move ever higher.

"Lemon…" he groans, his hands meeting around her waist: "You feel so good…"

She surprises him by turning then and immediately he misses the warmth of her skin. He is rewarded however to see the fire in her eyes and the flush across her face. She moves close, resting her arms on his shoulders and Jack runs his hands up her black-encased arms, drawing them more tightly around his neck. She complies, her breasts pressing soft against his chest.

He sees her lean infinitesimally closer but hesitate. Her lips part, her gaze flicking between his mouth and his eyes. Beneath the fire, there is still uncertainty.

"Jack…" she whispers and drops her forehead against his chest.

He hopes desperately that she doesn't choose to raise her objections now, that she doesn't start placing distance between them now with her infernal joke-telling. Not now. He's not going to allow her to back out so easily. Not when even the air around them is screaming how right this is. Not when he can see written over her every feature that she wants this as much as he does.

He cannot be blind to her desire and she must be able to feel his. Just in case she has any lingering doubt on that score though, he slides his hands down to her ass and deliberately presses her hips into his. She moans into his chest, the sound desperate and this time, unchecked.

She hits him weakly with one hand. "Stop it…" she mutters, voice muffled.

"Stop?" he asks, his lips brushing her hair: "You want me to stop?"

She lifts her head, looks him in the eye. Her arms twine stronger about him, her body presses closer, not away. "Stop teasing," she murmurs finally.

Jack smiles. "It's only teasing if you don't intend to follow through," he tells her. He pauses for effect then adds in a low voice: "And I fully intend to follow through."

His hands and her arms are already in the right position so he lifts her easily and her legs immediately wrap around him. She bites her lip and smiles down at him as she adjusts herself against him. He rather likes looking up at her, rather likes the way her eyelashes dip to half-mast when she's aroused. In fact, there's alot about what's happening right now that he likes, far too much to make a detailed list. Although, it would be a list worth making and keeping. One worth repeating too. But for now, he simply says, just to make sure they're on the same page:

"Do you see where I am going with this?"

"I do," she breathes, then casts a worried glance at the cluttered kitchen counter.

"Just to be clear," he goes on, addressing what he thinks might be a concern for her: "I intend on making love to you in my bed."

"Oh, okay," she nods, her cheeks turning even redder.

He can't help smirking. "Is that alright with you?"

Her eyes skitter around before meeting his: "The bed part? Or--"

"No, the other part. The entire thing," he murmurs, bobbing his head. "The fact that I plan to undress you, then kiss you from head to foot -- then possibly from foot to head, depending on how we both feel--"

He is mid-sentence when she kisses him. Leans in, plants her mouth over his and catches him completely off-guard. And not just with any kiss. It's not hesitant or brief or shy. It's open-mouthed and earnest. It's both soft and hard, both tender and urgent. And even though he is aware that she's doing it partially to shut him up and keep from further embarrassing her with the details of what he wants to do to her, it's still one of the best kisses he's ever been on the receiving end of.

Jack clutches her closer and kisses her back.

-x-

So she thinks she's worked out Jack's dislike of belted outfits. She's developing a similar aversion to bow ties. She's trying to loosen his as he heads towards the door with her but she's not having much luck. She's not good with ties in general, taking them off or putting them on. But this one has simply got to go. It's suddenly imperative to her. Of more concern than his tie though, is how heavily Jack is panting. She breaks their kiss and gives his chest a few pats.

"Hey, Jack--" she tells him breathlessly: "you know you don't have to carry me all the way to the bedroom. Might not be the best idea, a guy your age--"

Jack cuts her off as he hoists her higher: "Don't worry, Lemon, if I get tired, we can stop and make out against the wall in the hall for awhile." As if to illustrate this, he puts her back against the wall next to the door and begins to trace the neckline of her dress with his mouth.

She nods, successfully removing the tie and throwing it over his shoulder: "'Kay. That sounds like a good plan."

"God, Lemon..." He sighs, his breath hot on her skin: "Say my name."

Her head is thrown back against the wall. "What?"

"Say my name," he repeats in a husky voice.

"You're giving me orders?" she pants: "…now?"

"It's not an order." His eyes climb up to hers: "Call it an impassioned request." He draws in a long breath, gaze roving over her face: "Say it."

"Er," she frowns, she can't help it: "…Jack."

"No, Lemon," he shakes his head, vaguely frustrated: "Say it the way you said it before. I… liked the way you said it before."

She scrunches her nose up: "How did I say it before?"

He lowers his head, places a single kiss in the centre of her chest before looking up at her again. "Like I was something you wanted to eat," he tells her with a wolfish smile.

She releases a nervous laugh: "Ha, well…I'm afraid I don't take requests."

"Oh, really?" he lilts, brows raised.

"Yes, really," she mumbles, feeling his hands tighten about her ass.

"Am I to take that as a challenge?" he asks, after a moment.

She shrugs, realizing her ineptitude is coming across as coyness. She's never played coy in her life – not successfully anyway – but Jack doesn't seem to care. "It's not meant as one."

Jack smirks: "I think I will take it as one, all the same."

"That would be like you."

"Thankyou, Lemon."

"Hey," she mutters, narrowing her eyes at him: "how about saying my name, huh? My proper name?"

"Hmm. Would you like that," he drawls deliberately, leaning in so his lips brush hers: "…Elizabeth?"

She blinks at him, because it's pretty weird when anyone calls her that. Particularly so when Jack does it, and particularly when he does it like she's something he wants to eat -- which apparently she is. And which is probably not just a turn of phrase to him but something he actually intends on performing -- with his usual single-minded persistence. Which is also unexpectedly weird. But Liz has had many, many experiences with 'weird' throughout her chaotic life and if she's learnt anything from them, it's that weird is sometimes good. Weird is sometimes exactly what she wants. Exactly what she likes.

"Elizabeth…" he murmurs again, as if testing how it tastes on his tongue. Then, more warmly: "Liz…"

She wonders if, at this point, she should reciprocate, say his name the way she knows he wants to hear it. A properly coy woman probably would. Instead, she lays her mouth on his and slips her tongue into his mouth, figuring she will have plenty of chances to say his name throughout the rest of the evening.

In fact, if Jack is anything like the lover he has always professed himself to be, she might even be screaming it at the top of her lungs. Who knows? It's never happened to her before but she's heard tell of such things occurring to other women. And there is no one she trusts like she trusts Jack. No one she cares for in quite the same way. And, surprising as it is, she's realized recently that no one attracts her as strongly as he does. So if anyone could make it happen for her the way it never has before, it would be Jack. Not that she's got ridiculously high expectations or anything.

She just has one question.

She breaks their kiss and gives his chest another pat. "Hey," she murmurs, having a go at being intentionally coy: "Do you think we could take the profiteroles with us?"

He raises his eyebrows at her: "I beg your pardon?"

"The profiteroles," she says and glances behind at the mass of leftovers: "I was kind of looking forward to having them for dessert."

"Believe me, Lemon," Jack murmurs hungrily: "after this….you won't want profiteroles."

She fixes him with a look. "Jack," she tells him resolutely: "I will always want profiteroles." She smiles down at him and runs a hand through his hair, just because it's something she's wanted to do for awhile. Especially since he stopped putting that gel crap in it. "But I promise to share," she adds sweetly.

"Very well," he sighs, carries her back over to the counter, waits for her to pick up the dessert plate and then begins walking to the door again, puffing away. Looks like they'll be making that stopover in the hall so Jack can regain his breath – not that that is a bad thing. In fact, she's thinking it's a very good thing. Any chance to make out Jack, is a chance she will take.

"These are awesome, by the way," she tells him, popping one of the mini desserts into her mouth: "You won't regret this, Jack."

Jack grins as he pushes them through the kitchen door: "Neither will you, Lemon."

-x-

Now that she's made up her mind, she can't wait to take what's hers.

It had struck her all of a sudden, what in heaven she thought she was she doing in Puerto Rico, sitting around watching her aunts knit and getting pawed by the boys she'd grown up with, when there was a rich, handsome American willing to marry her and give her everything she'd ever wanted. True, Elisa doesn't exactly love Jack. She doesn't not love him either. She's just not in love with him, she supposes. But Elisa has been in love many times. It wasn't so great. In fact, it had made her life a living hell while it lasted, which was not so very long.

And here was a man who was kind and sweet and who clearly adored her and who could set her up for life. She could have babies and look after them properly, without having to leave them with a different babysitter everyday so that she could look after other people's loved ones. This decision made sense, even if something deeper inside her still held doubts. And not just about own feelings either. But about his. Because if there's anything she did learn from being in love, it's that a woman always knows when there's someone else.

Still, once Elisa decides what she wants, she goes after it. She's always been that way. And when she goes after it, she gets it. Nothing or no one gets in her path. There are not many people who can override or undermine her and she knows it.

She'd hoped to make it in time for the party. But firstly, her flight was delayed. On top of that, she had to battle some of the worst traffic in New York City history. So by the time she gets to Jack's apartment, she is already fuming. The apartment is empty and still. Elisa flies from room to room calling his name, eventually charging through the kitchen door to find two staff in white jackets, packing up what remains of Jack's birthday dinner.

"Where is Mr Donaghy?"

"Not home, Miss," the younger of the two replies, opening the fridge and putting a tray inside.

She lets out a big breath and throws her bag onto one of the kitchen stools.

"Is there anything I can help you with?" the older lady asks, stepping forward.

"What is this?" Elisa asks, her eyes downcast.

"What is what, Miss?"

"This!" she hisses, holding up a little purple notepad: "What is this?!"

"I use it for the shopping," the older lady replies calmly, attempting to take the notepad.

Elisa snatches it back: "Who wrote this?"

"I don't know. Do you know, Rudy?" the lady turns to the younger lad who shakes his head.

"Where exactly," Elisa asks, trying to keep her fury under tight control: "has Mr Donaghy gone this morning?"

The lady in the white jacket pauses, and Elisa thinks she sees a hint of a smile as she tells her: "He and Miss Lemon have gone out for breakfast. They didn't want to bother us, what with all the clean up we have to do this morning."

"And where," she seethes: "did he and Miss Lemon go for their breakfast?"

The lady blinks at her: "I couldn't tell you, Miss."

Elisa turns on her heel, her hair flicking behind her as she marches towards the door. At the door, she whips back around: "Tell me then, since you have been so helpful--"

"Connie," she supplies.

"Connie," Elisa snaps: "Was Miss Lemon here when you arrived for work this morning?"

"Yes, Miss," she replies without hesitation.

"Augh!" Elisa lets out an angry yell, hurling the notepad across the room. Rudy ducks and it smacks against the fridge. He picks it up and puts back it in its usual place.

"We will let Mr Donaghy know you--" Connie shrugs as Elisa storms out: "called…. Wow, she's got a temper on her, that one." She turns to see Rudy grinning at the purple notepad. "And what are you smirking about, mister?"

"Did you read this?" he asks, still grinning.

"'Course not," she replies: "it's private."

"It's what Mr Donaghy wants to do before he carks it."

"That might happen sooner than he thinks, if that one catches up with him." She shakes her head at the door through which Elisa came and went, then adds: "And what's so funny about that, anyway?"

Rudy snorts: "All it says is 'Kiss Lemon'."

Connie smiles to herself as she goes back to work: "Well then," she murmurs: "I'd say Mr Donaghy can die a happy man."

END.