Status: co-write!

In the Company

Just Coffee and What To Do

I almost couldn’t believe what my ears were telling me Rose had just said. She was finally going to give Patrick a chance?

Her answer seemed to surprise him just as much as it surprised me, his eyes widening and his mouth a little slack.


“Yeah, really,” was the shy reply he got. I was using every ounce of willpower that I owned to keep from doing a fist pump and celebrating the fact that they were finally getting somewhere. I’d been so distraught over Brayden and the whole mess, and now that things were somewhat out in the open I felt a million times better, and I was a lot happier knowing that I had Brayden there to turn to. And while I of course couldn’t say for sure, I suspected that Rose would have the same feeling.

“O-okay, awesome. I’ll uh, I’ll talk to you later then? Um, make a plan or… or something?” I nearly swooned at how awkward the usually suave Patrick Kane had just become in front of my best friend, and when he made a quick exit – closing the door behind him – I let out a squeal and drug my best friend in for a hug.

“Oh my God!”

“Easy there Ry! It’s just coffee, relax,” she mumbled, her cheeks heating up nonetheless.

“But it’s coffee and something with Pat!” I pointed out, before making my way to my desk, ready to start going through a mountain of new paperwork, but too excited about the latest development between the two to even care.

“Ry, relax! It’s not a big deal,” she insisted. I let out a huff and attempted to focus for about a half hour, not having any luck. Rose was fairly quiet, and when I saw a familiar group walk by made my exit, under the excuse of needing to go and get a cup of coffee.

“Hey you,” I nearly shrieked as arms wrapped around my middle and pulled me off into an empty waiting room, but the deep voice told me who it was.

“You scared the hell out of me!” I tried to sound like I was the slightest bit disgruntled, but the grin making it’s way onto my face was defeating me.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, before pressing a butterfly-soft kiss to my lips and then pulling me into a hug. Brayden was so sweet, it still blew me away even after knowing him for quite a while.

“Oh I guess I can let it slide. But you know we probably shouldn’t do this at work,” I sighed, sliding my hand into his and fitting my fingers in the spaces between his much larger ones.

“I know… I’m sorry,”

“Don’t be! Now we know, and it’s out in the open – all good,” I insisted, and he nodded, agreeing with me as we made our way to the coffee room where the rest of the guys would be. I was expecting a bunch of playful jibes, but to my pleasant surprise none were directed at Brayden and I. Patrick, however, wasn’t as lucky.

After listening for about two minutes I put together that she’d talked with Ty last night and he seemed to have the down low on the situation, minus the part where Pat had asked her out this morning. In other words it was pretty interesting. Patrick was sitting quietly, doing his damndest to ignore the whole group of guys badgering him for information and a story. His cheeks were a soft shade of pink and the death grip on his phone told me he was beyond uncomfortable.

“All right boys – play nice,” I brought my voice level to just above average and they all stopped dead when they realized I was in the room. As if we’d just walked in I went over to the coffee maker and filled my mug, before turning and raising an eyebrow to the still-crowded area of the room where they all stood.

“Pat’s gonna ask Rose out – really ask her out,” Max whined, and I tried not to laugh, although Brayden wasn’t as successful as I was.

“We just wanna know what’s going on!” Claude chimed in, and there was agreements from the rest of the guys too.

“And I’m sure Pat and Rose will let you know if and when there’s something to tell, right Pat?” I asked, and he nodded furiously. They all groaned, Taylor going so far as to try and pull a pout on me, before I shooed them out and into the hall. We had more stuff to go through with them today, and before walking out Brayden pulled me in for another nano-second long kiss, one that had my lips tingling ever so slightly, and I’m sure a dazed look on my face.

“Nice save,” he complimented, before we began walking after the group. Taylor turned around, and I raised an eyebrow, unsure as to what he was doing.

“And Bray? Bro you’re awesome, but you hurt her,” he turned his gaze to me for a second before his big eyes refocused on Brayden’s blue ones. “You’re gonna die. I’ll make sure of it. We clear?”
“Like a crystal chandelier,” Brayden nodded, and I let out an embarrassed groan.

“Really Taylor? Really?” I whined, and he merely shrugged at me.

“Hey, as your brother I think it’s within my boundaries… somebody’s gotta put it on record,” he argued, and this conversation continued down the hallway until we reached the boardroom we were using. It came to an abrupt stop there, as I nearly walked into Taylor, who had stopped dead in his tracks, and Brayden’s hand slipped from mine. I was about to loudly complain when I saw that the reason was Deena sitting at the table, and I was immediately glad Brayden had spotted her and pulled his hand from mine, just in case.

“Thank you for joining us,” her smile was professional, and I nodded, feeling my cheeks heat up in the slightest.

“Sorry we’re a little late – you could probably tell we were having a good natured argument,” I kept my voice light, hoping she hadn’t heard enough to know what the argument was about.

“Not about anyone’s behavior, I hope?”

“Of course not – just goofing around,” Taylor chimed in, sitting beside me and leaving the only place for Brayden to sit around the corner. I wasn’t that fond of it, granted, but I was grateful that Taylor had thought of it, just in case there was any real issue with somebody having a relationship as such with a client. It had never came up, so I’d never asked, and now I had no idea. I managed to space cadet through the ten or so minutes of instruction from Deena as I contemplated this.

“Well, unfortunately I have to attend a CEO meeting, but I’ll pop back in when it’s over if you’re all still here,” Deena told us, getting up and then saying a quick goodbye, closing the door behind her. Rose immediately smacked me upside the back of the head, and I let loose a string of curses that could have made a sailor blush I’m sure.

“Jesus Rose what was that for?”

“That! You knew Deena was back in today!” I groaned, still rubbing the back of my head where her hand had made contact with my skull.

“Yeah, well I didn’t expect this obviously! Shit that hurt!” I grumped, and Rose’s expression softened before she finally apologized. The unsettling silence in the room told us that nobody knew what to make of the situation, and so Rose cleared her throat and started going through today’s mass of papers. I could feel Brayden’s eyes on me as I tried to keep my attention on what we were supposed to be doing rather than him and wondering if there were in fact policies in place that spoke against developing relationships with clients. However, as per usual, my wildly over-active brain won out and I began thinking up all these overdramatic scenarios that would occur with Deena finding out about whatever Brayden and I were. Some of them, I’m not proud to admit definitely would have fit in some stupid, ridiculous soap opera - bad acting included. Sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with my brain.

“Ry? Hello? You in there?” I jumped when I noticed a hand waving in front of my face, and then realized it was Taylor and that everybody was standing waiting to leave. My face immediately turned bright red and I gathered up my things into my bag.

“Yeah, sorry about that,” I mumbled, and Rose gave me a knowing look, which meant she knew exactly what was on my mind. A sympathetic look was enough to convey how both of us were feeling, and as Brayden attentively stood by the door waiting for me Rose pulled me in for a half-hug, and I knew we would talk it out later, at home.

“Thanks Bray,” my voice was soft, and by the way his expression changed it was obvious Brayden knew something was up. Instead of saying anything, however, he merely fit his hand in mine and walked with me, keeping just a few paces behind Taylor, who kept sending me worried glances. I mean, I was known for being a bit of a space cadet once in a while, but I must’ve been really out of it to get this kind of reaction out of my friends.

“Bray? Can I talk to Ry for a minute?” my head snapped up once more at Taylor’s voice, and Brayden nodded, a pained expression on his face as he joined Patrick, Rose, Tyler and Max to continue walking. Taylor put an arm around me and sat me down on a bench, not saying anything, just rubbing my arm. It took me a moment to realize that Claude was on my other side. He’d been silent the entire time, and a thoughtful expression was on his face.

“Ry, what’s wrong? Is everything okay?” Taylor asked, those big eyes searching my face.

I tried to get an answer for him, but how could I explain? I was confused and scared and on the brink of being upset from my overactive imagination.

“Taylor, I, I’m…”

“You’re worried that it’s against the rules for you and Bray to be together,” Claude piped up, and I nodded, thankful and relieved that he understood. Taylor pulled me in then, for a real hug this time, and I felt Claude’s large hand on my back.

“It’ll be okay Ry. Just relax – don’t worry about it and enjoy the fact that you two are more sickening to watch than any other couple I know,” Claude teased, and I managed a snort and a bit of a laugh at his “comforting” comment.

“Thanks Claude,” I rolled my eyes, and got a grin out of Taylor.

“There’s my Ryleigh,” he smirked, and with that he stood up and pulled me to my feet as well, Claude putting an arm around me as we made our way toward my apartment and the rest of our friends.

“If you ever need to talk, both of us are here for you,” Claude spoke up once more, and I looked over to see he was completely sincere. Aside from Rose I’d never really had that in my life before.


“Of course Ry – both of us are here for you, all of the guys are here for you too. Brayden included,” Taylor seconded, and with that we made our way into my building to meet up with said people.