Waiting on the Day
Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed the first chapter, I really appreciate it! It's nice to know there are more Kate/Jake fans out there, too! xxx
Kate felt groggy, like her brain had become cotton wool. She blinked a few times to clear her vision but it didn't help her to figure out where she was. Fragments of last night and the previous few days came back to her, and then it suddenly hit her: she was still at Jake's!
She was on the sofa with a blanket tangled around her legs. It could've been worse; she could have been in Jake's bed. Oh God, where was he?
She looked around for a clock, and then spotted her mobile phone on the coffee table. She picked it up and saw she had a text message, which must have been what had awoken her. It was from Ronnie, wanting to know if she was alright. She sent him a quick reply so that he wouldn't worry about her.
Jake still hadn't appeared so Kate folded up the blanket, tracked down her coat and Ugg boots. It was still early, maybe she could sneak out without waking him? Mature? Maybe not, but it would save some face. She quietly let herself out of his flat, the door closing behind her with a soft click. It was only then she remembered her phone was still on the coffee table.
Jake was awake when Kate left, but he stayed still in his bed waiting to see what she would do. He was equally relieved and disappointed when he heard her leave. Maybe she was trying to make the situation easier for the both of them, or maybe she regretted how much she had opened to him the night before. He climbed out of bed and went into the kitchen to make some coffee.
The living room smelled faintly of Kate's subtle perfume and as he looked around, he saw her phone. He picked it up, studied the blank screen and put it down again. He could return it to her at the office.
Working with her could be awkward after last night, but he hoped things could be normal between them. But really, had their relationship, personal or professional, ever been normal? Last night had certainly changed things.
Kate walked home rather than taking a taxi or using the underground. It wasn't a long walk and the cold early morning air helped her to function better. She felt a little guilty for running out on Jake, but she wasn't sure if she was ready to face him. She hadn't meant to tell him everything, but somehow it had all come out.
She had told him everything that she had shared with Ronnie and what had happened when she went to visit her sister at her new address. She could still smell the mould from the damp basement rooms Beth was living in, and the vacant look in her eyes.
Beth hadn't want to see her, and it was only after Kate had given upstairs tenant a twenty pound note that she was allowed down into the dingy space below stairs. Kate didn't want to even consider what the housemate would spend the money on.
Beth was blonde like Kate, but hers was unwashed and fell around her face in lank sections. It was broke Kate's heart all over again to see her in such a state. She wanted to hug her sister, to take her back to her own flat with her but she knew from experience that it wouldn't do either of them any good.
Kate had stayed with her as long as she could bear, and when she left she promised she would visit again soon but Beth didn't seem to care. She knew that this was partly because she had never got over having to give up her baby, which was why Ruth Pendle had affected Kate so much. If only she could somehow help her sister to get clean and stay clean, maybe Beth could have regular access to her child.
It had seemed natural to go to Jake's flat after that. It was as if her feet had led her there once she had left the tube station. She was outside his building before she even realised that was where she had been heading.
When she got back to her own flat, Kate took off yesterday's clothes and got straight into the shower. She turned the water up as hot as she could stand and let it soothe away the aches from sleeping on Jake's sofa.
Jake was at work before her, as always, sitting at his desk and checking his emails. He looked up when Kate walked in and gave her a brief smile before returning his attention to the computer screen. He wanted to let her make the first move, after all she had been the one to leave without a goodbye.
Kate sat down at her own desk and took a deep breath. "Thank you for last night and letting me stay on your couch. I'm sorry for dumping all of my issues on you."
"You're welcome and it was no problem."
They were being polite to each other, which was definitely something new, and not necessarily a good thing. Jake was starting to think he preferred it when they fought.
"Oh," he said, standing up and walking across to where his coat was hung up. "You left his behind last night."
"Thank you," Kate replied, taking her phone from him at unfortunately the same moment that Henry walked into their office with some papers in his hand. He looked Jake to Kate and then back to Jake again, both of them wondering just how much of their conversation he had overheard.
There was nothing pressing for either of them to do at work that day, just catching up on emails and paperwork for cases that they had neglected while the Pendle and Jenkins trial was taking place. They worked in silence for most of the morning, the sound of their fingers typing on their keyboards the only sound. Kate really wanted to say something but every time she opened her mouth to speak she stopped herself. It was unlike her not to have some kind of response; to feel out of her depth in a situation like this. Maybe she cared about Jake more than she was ready to admit or maybe she was just emotionally and physically exhausted.
Henry returned later in the morning with another stack of potential cases for them to work on, leaving them on the bookcase and asking Jake for a word in his office.
Surprised, Jake saved his document and followed Henry out of the room. Kate looked up, meeting his eyes as he walked by her desk.
"Jake, take a seat," Henry said in a friendly tone, but Jake still felt like he had been sent to the Headmaster's office. "You and Katherine, I need to know, is it going to interfere with you work?"
"Sorry?" Jake frowned.
"I may not be a lawyer not a detective, but I think the romantic tension between you and Kate is pretty evident. I overheard your conversation about her leaving her phone at your home last night, Jake."
To his horror, Jake felt a blush creeping up his neck. "Kate and I aren't involved, Henry," He insisted. "She came over last night because she was upset about the case and how we'd argued. It got late and we'd had a few drinks, so she spent the night on my sofa." He didn't know why he was saying all of this and feeling so defensive.
"Alright, fair enough, but if anything does happen between the two of you, you leave it outside when you come to work."
"Of course," Jake said, leaving the office as soon as Henry dismissed him.
"What was that about?" Kate asked when he came back into their shared office.
"Oh, nothing important" He lied and went back to work but he couldn't stop thinking about his conversation with Henry.