Chapter 3

To my knowledge, Punk has not been on Leno. It's called fanfiction.

"Fuckin' meetings."

I got a wakeup call from my personal assistant at four in the morning, reminding me that I have a meeting at the Marriott at seven and that a limo would be here to pick me up at 6:15. It's still hot as hell outside, probably a good 80 degrees out and the sun isn't supposed to be up for another hour and a half. 80 degrees usually isn't really hot to me, but to say that's it's four in the morning and LA borders the damn Pacific Ocean, I feel no "ocean breeze" coming in. This sucks.

I took a long shower, mainly to get all of the sweat from my skin that had accumulated (gross, right?) while I was sleeping, and partly to wash the memories of last night away. I was not successful in accomplishing the latter, but I'm going to push that behind me and act like it didn't even happen, because Phil and I have a meeting at the Marriott today discussing his next few appearances, and I can't let what happened cloud my mind.

About an hour later, I'm in one of my usual summer work outfits, a black dress semi-formfitting dress that stopped right above the knees, a black jacket with white asymmetrical designs for the hotel because it's colder than the North Pole in their conference rooms, and black patented leather six-inch heels. Hey, I'm the head of my department, and I've got to look good.

It didn't dawn on me that my entire damn outfit was a gift from Phil until I got downstairs, about to go out to get into the limo. I contemplated going to change, but I would really be cutting it close with time, if I wanted to make my usual Starbucks run before I got to the hotel. I let out a breath, locked up the house, and went to the limo.

I slipped my shades over my eyes as I was driven through Los Angeles, looking at a lot of folks just starting to leave to head out to work, while I was already near my destination. We pulled into the Starbucks driveway as per usual, and instead of getting hot coffee (because I have no intentions of dying today, given how warm it already is), I got an iced coffee, although I insisted that they didn't blend it. It'd melt on the spot.

After the short stop, we continued on our way to the Marriott and got there at about 6:45. I hauled ass in my heels, an iced coffee in my right hand, my purse hoisted up on my left shoulder, and holding my brief case in my left hand. I set that down for a brief moment to sign in at the front desk before being escorted to one of the conference rooms by security. He opened the door for me; I thanked him politely, and turned to see Phil there already, waiting for me. His personal assistant (who I've never cared for) was busy trying to get his attention, but he was staring at me, which made me shift a bit, before trying to go back into work mode.

"Good morning, Mr. Brooks," I greeted him in a professional tone, setting my things down before taking a seat. A few of my other staff workers were there, and a few trainees.

"Why so formal?" He shot up an eyebrow, and I had to bite back an annoyed groan. There was a time and a place or everything, and this was neither the time nor the place for his antics. "Call me Phil."

"Mr. Brooks," I continued, shooting him a small look that said 'knock it off.' "Perhaps at another time. Right now, we need to get a rough idea of what your schedule will be looking like for the next two months or so."

"Well," his assistant, Patricia (or as I like to call her, Evil Saint Patty) chimed in, "He has an appearance on Leno in two weeks, an autograph signing in Dallas, before he comes back to California for a signing in San Francisco."

I nodded and wrote down a few things in my calendar before looking at my more experienced staff and the trainees and looked at them expectantly. "Are you taking notes?"

My staff knows that I don't mess around when it comes to work, and while everyone should have trained ears when it comes to meetings like this, if someone misses something in their notes, they can conference with another person to see what they missed.

"Get on it," I commanded calmly. They all got to work, and I turned my attention back to Phil, who was looking at me with a smug grin.


Don't retort. Just do your job. Self control.

"Back to business." I cleared my throat, taking a sip of my iced coffee. "You have a few radio appearances as well…"

About an hour later

After making a few adjustments to Phil's appearance schedule and making sure that Evil Saint Patty could work her damned BlackBerry well enough to get it in her calendar, I ended the meeting. I reviewed my notes with my staff to make sure that we had the same thing, before handing it off to my PA who'd arrived to the hotel way before I did, telling her to leave them on my desk and I'd tend to them later.

I overheard Patricia talking to Phil. I guess she thought that her voice was low, but she was wrong. Way wrong.

"So, I was thinking that we could go on and get some breakfast or something. Maybe dinner later tonight?"

I snorted at her attempt to ask him out. If she knew him as well as she claims she does, she'd know that Phil is completely oblivious to clues that women like him, especially if you ask him to dinner. He'll assume that it's just dinner, and go on home to sleep.

"Um, yeah, sure." He nodded, and I saw him glancing at me with my peripheral vision. "My treat."

"Oh, really?" Patty gushed. "Well aren't you sweet?"

"No. I'm hungry." He chuckled lowly. "Excuse me; I have to go talk to someone for a moment."

"It's not the PR girl, is it?" She asked with disdain in her voice. There's the reason why I don't like her. "Punk, you two are over, don't you think it's time to move on?"

"I think that you should mind your business." He shot, and the suggestion brought a trace of a smile to my face. "I'm not paying you to be my love guru. I'm paying you to be my personal assistant. Got it?"

Patty nodded slowly, a look of hurt and a bit of shock clearly written all over her face. "Breakfast or dinner?" She tried to change the subject.

"We can do both. I'll meet up with you in a bit." He said that without even looking at her, and started to march towards me.

I, being the smooth person that I am, have pretended that I've been engaged in thought-provoking conversation all of this time, not listening to what they were saying.

"Can I talk to you for a second?" He grabbed me gently by the back of my elbow. "It'll be quick."

No doubt that I was still a little ticked from his behavior earlier, but I told one of the trainees that I'd be back at the office sooner than later, and went out into the hall to talk to Phil.

Once we were outside, I leaned against the wall, crossing my arms together. "What do you want?"

"To talk to you."

"Obviously. What do you want to talk about?" I rolled my eyes.

"Before I even get started, I just wanted to apologize to you for earlier. It was wrong."

I nodded. "Yeah. It was. Totally unprofessional."

"You don't have to rub it in. I know I fucked up. But I just wanted to know if you thought about… you know… last night."

"No." I lied, and hoped I said it with a convincing look. "I don't think about my personal life when I'm at work, which is why I shouldn't be talking to you right now."

I pushed myself up off of the wall to move past him, but he had other plans and pulled me back.

"Damn it, what do I have to do to make this work?" He asked me with pleading eyes.

"Mr. Brooks," I tried to go back into my professional mode. "Now is really not the ti—"

"Say my name."

I shook my head lightly, trying to figure out where in the hell that came from. "What?"

"Say. My. Name," he commanded. "Because you know good and damned well you're not looking at Mr. Brooks," he said the name with such disgust that I actually flinched a bit. "You're looking at Phil."

"Not now… Phil. Anytime but now," I pleaded softly, shaking my head and looking down. "Not now when I'm at work."

He mimicked his motion from last night and placed a hand under my chin, making me look up at him. "You can't keep using work to avoid me. I'm a stubborn son of a bitch. You know that."

"Why me, Phil? Why can't you move on?" I asked exasperated, and moved my head from his hand, staring at him with hard eyes. "There are plenty of other women in this world. Hell, there are plenty women in your industry. Why can't you move on to them?"

His jaw clenched, and he looked down. He looked as if he were thinking really hard about something. "Because. I don't love them."


Heart, meet floor. Floor, meet heart.

"Are you saying…?" I trailed off.

He simply nodded, looking back at me.

"You never told me that the entire time that we were together." Damn it. Tears are starting to come on. "Technically, you still haven't."

"It took me losing you to realize it," he told me, reaching up to wipe a stray tear from my face. "That's why I didn't move on. But you have. So I guess I have to, too."

I watched him with sad eyes as he started to back away from me, before he made a complete turn and began to walk away.

He actually loves me, and damn it if I don't love him back.

I stand against the wall for a few more moments, watching as Phil started to become an incardinate dot towards the end of the hallway. I sighed and hoped that I wouldn't break my ankle as I started to run as hard as I could in my dress and five-inch heels.

"Phil! Phil! PUNK!"

He turned around, confused at my yelling and running, as I kind of teetered to a stop to regain my balance, and he held my arms to steady me.

He gave me a quick glance over, checking for bruises or scratches. "What's wrong? Are you hurt?"

I shook my head. Not caring that I was out of breath, I grabbed his face in my hands and leaned forward to kiss him. He met me halfway and his hands sat on my hips. It was a sweet and simple kiss, no tongue or anything like that, but it was the most passionate kiss I'd ever had because I poured my heart and soul into that kiss.

When my body decided that oxygen deprivation was no longer okay, I pulled away and rested my head against Phil's, who still had his eyes closed.

"You've got breakfast and dinner plans tonight, right?"

"Yeah." He responded, still holding me close against him.

"Cancel 'em."

Happy ending. This is the first time I've finished a chaptered story in… Christ, two years? Three? So I'm a little rusty. Hopefully, this ain't too bad. Thanks for dealing with these few days of just… randomness. Lol. I got more one-shots coming up, which will –stay- oneshots. Lol. One is kind of angsty, one is my attempt at being funny. We'll see.

Review and thanks for reading.