Author's Note: Okay, I'm sure you figured out by now that this poor story has been doomed since the very beginning. I admit, it has to be confusing that I haven't done much with the mafia stuff or the things with Joey yet and it's already part five. I guess what I'm trying to say right now is that I'm giving up on poor Synergy. I've written this part already, though. It's not an ending, just another chapter in this whole messed-up scenario.
She had to admit that she'd kept her distance ever since last weekend when she felt like he was getting too close. That was best. She didn't need him to be too close. He had to be confused by her actions, she figured, but then again, so was she. She knew she was running hot and cold with him, but didn't know any other way to run.
There was no sense in her thinking about it anyway. This was just one of those things she wasn't supposed to understand, and only time would tell how it would end up.
She took a glass of tap water and swallowed her Xanax as she glanced at her watch again. She had to leave the house in the next five minutes, but she was waiting for him to come home from the graveyard shift at the hospital. There was no real reason why she was waiting; she had nothing to say. She just wanted to see him, ask him about work, do so many of the things couples did.
Of course, they weren't a couple.
"Aren't you supposed to be at work?" he asked, sliding into a kitchen chair, picking up an apple from the bowl in the center of the table. She hadn't even noticed him coming in.
"Yeah," she said. "I've got a few minutes."
He nodded, covering his mouth as he yawned. "By the way," he added, "don't make any plans for this weekend."
"Why?" she asked.
"Because after you get home tonight, we're going away. You're birthday's tomorrow. Don't you remember?"
She groaned. "Well, I can't exactly forget if you keep reminding me." As much as she was pretending to be aggravated, she was happy he cared enough to plan anything. "What are we doing?"
"We're going away for the weekend," he said. "Nothing huge. Just a change of scenery."
"To where?" she asked.
He stood up, moving close to her. "It's a surprise," he said softly.
Then he went to bed, and she couldn't bring herself to move.
Joey wanted to stick her head outside the window, as she reveled in the feeling of the cool wind hitting her face as they sped down the highway. She felt like she could leave her life at the house, and hopefully just enjoy wherever it was they were going without having to think too much about turning thirty.
She looked over at Pacey as he drove. "Are you going to tell me where we're going yet?"
"You are so damn impatient, Joey," he said, shaking his head. "We're almost there."
She raised her eyebrow and looked back at him. "Well, you did sort of pique my interest. I mean, you told me to bring dress clothes and comfortable clothes, and a bathing suit? I might as well have brought my whole closet."
He laughed. "You almost did."
"It's nice of you, you know," she said more softly. "I didn't think I'd be doing anything for my birthday."
"I'm still your friend, Jo," he said. "You have to know that."
"I know that, Pacey," she replied. "It's just . . . I thought that with us living together . . . I might start getting on your nerves."
"You do sometimes," he said. "But that doesn't change the fact that we've been best friends since you moved to Miami."
"I know," she sighed. "I just . . . I know that other things between us have changed too."
He thought for a moment, not sure how to respond. He knew he had to say something, and of his possible options, many of them could hurt her feelings. "That doesn't have to be anything but what it is," he said. "It doesn't mean that anything has to change."
"Of course not," she said, shaking her head. "I think that I've just been thinking too much."
"We're going to have fun this weekend," he said, glancing at her and smiling.
She nodded, smiling gently. The way he was talking, it didn't sound like they'd be having the kind of fun she'd hoped for.
"My god, Pacey," Joey said, spinning around the room, letting her eyes fall on as much as they could. "This place is . . . gorgeous."
"You like it?" he asked.
"I want to live here," she said, squatting down and looking out the blinds. "Golf? You're not going to make me golf are you?"
"Actually, I thought you'd be more the Swedish massage, mud bath sort of person," he laughed. "But you can golf."
"People like us don't golf," she said. "That's for upper class morons who actually think plaid is attractive."
"I'd hate to break it to you, Jo, but we're the upwardly mobile middle class," he laughed. "I'm a doctor, you're an ad exec. If this were the eighties, we'd be yuppies."
She looked back at him solemnly. "But you never forget where you come from," she said gently.
He nodded. "I suppose," he said. "Are you going to like it here?"
She looked back at him and smiled. "I'm going to love it. Thank you."
"You wanna get some dinner?" he asked.
"Yeah," she said. "Let me change."
He watched as she walked off to her bed, and pulled the drapes down. He wondered if this whole thing hadn't been a mistake. This would be make-it or break-it time for them, alone and away from home. He just wanted to figure out where they stood, but it was so difficult when both of them didn't want to talk about it.
She seemed happy and excited for the first time in the week she'd lived with him, and he was glad about that. With their relationship changing so, he wondered if he hadn't pushed her away. If anything, though, she just seemed depressed. There wasn't much else he could do about that.
Emerging from her room, she did a small spin. "Okay?" she asked.
"You look nice," he said, smiling. Beautiful would've been crossing the line.
He followed her out the door, down the hall. "So do they have good food here or health food?" she asked cautiously.
"It has taste," he smiled, leading way to where they were going to eat.
"You bring women here all the time?" she asked, raising her eyebrow.
He laughed. "I have."
"Am I another conquest?" she asked, only half-joking.
"It's been a long time since anyone was a conquest to me," he said.
She didn't know what to make of that, and couldn't tell if he was being serious or calculating. She didn't say anything else until they sat down to dinner in a restaurant filled with greenery, covered with large windows.
Things were silent as she examined the room and the people. Finally, her curiosity got the best of her. "What did you mean about conquests?" she asked.
He shrugged, more intent on cracking the shell of his lobster than listening to her. "I don't know. I guess that I just don't see women as conquests anymore."
She furrowed her brow, hardly believing the answer. "Who was your last conquest?" she asked. "Kim?"
"Why do you always keep bringing up Kim?" he asked, setting his knife back on his plate.
"I liked Kim," she said.
"Kim was . . . a mistake," he said.
"Just like Andie?" she asked. "Just like any woman you start to care about too much?" She didn't know why her tone became too threatening, but she needed to know.
"Stop psychologizing me," he said. "Your relationship with Dawson was no more healthy than mine with Andie."
"Still haven't explained Kim," she pressed.
"Kim was Kim," he said. "She wasn't right for me."
"She was too serious," she said.
"Maybe she was," he answered. "She also fucked half the athletes at UMass."
"And you didn't screw around on her?" she asked.
He looked up at her seriously for a moment. "I did," he said. "It wasn't serious, though. It never was. Not to her, not to me."
"Are you ever going to be serious?" she asked.
"Probably not," he answered candidly. She didn't say anything else to him, not even when he left for the bar.
She watched him silently as he chatted with a blonde. She was jealous. Painfully jealous. And she shouldn't have been. She knew that when she got back to the room, she could've had him if she wanted him. And she did want him. The trick was hiding it from him.
She was caught off-guard by the man who sat across from her. He was attractive enough, but his attitude was there five minutes before he was.
"Hi there, beautiful," he said in a low, raspy voice.
"I'm here with someone," she said shortly. When she saw Pacey look away from his blonde, back to her, she realized that she could use this to her advantage. She smiled flirtatiously at him. "What's your name?" she asked.
"Rufus," he said. "What's yours?"
She pushed her hair behind her ear. "Melanie," she said, knowing full well that she wasn't going to let Rufus have her real name.
"Are you really here with someone, Melanie?" he asked.
"Your boyfriend?" he asked.
"No," she said.
"A fine thing like you doesn't have anyone to satisfy her needs?" he asked, feigning shock.
"My needs are satisfied," she said slyly. "I have a friend . . . with benefits."
He laughed. "You freaky, aren't you?"
"Too freaky for you, Rufus," she laughed, standing. She walked past Pacey seductively and he followed in tow.
"Make a new friend?" he asked, as they made their way through the grass.
"Just like you, I see," she shot back.
There was that mental foreplay he liked so much again. The lines weren't clear, he knew, but he wanted to at least play with her a little bit. "We have a Jacuzzi in our room," he said suggestively.
She smiled wickedly, following him back to the suite.
Pacey sat a silver platter covered with fruits on the side of the Jacuzzi, before sinking down into the warm water. "I was hungry," he said, responding to Joey's questioning look.
She plucked a slice of kiwi from the platter, playing with it for a few seconds between her fingers before taking a bite. She watched him as he methodically dipped a strawberry into the whipped cream bowl in the center of the tray. "What are you doing?" she asked.
He shrugged, and looked back at her, not knowing how to answer.
"Stop trying to be sexy with that damn strawberry," she said, shaking her head. "You don't have to convince me."
"I'm not trying to," he said, taking another bite. His actions were undoubtedly turning her on, and she didn't know what to say, what to do.
She had to be insane to ever agree to get in this Jacuzzi with him. There he was, sitting there unaffected, and there she was watching him eat and being filled with a crazy desire she had never even fathomed before. He wasn't supposed to be able to do this to her. No one was. There was something different about him.
"You're uptight," he said, seemingly out of nowhere.
"Screw you, Pacey," she said.
"You know what I really like about you for some strange reason?" he asked, smiling.
"You make bitchy work."
She laughed. "I'm not bitchy."
"I said I liked that about you," he said.
"I'm not bitchy," she repeated.
"Bitchy, manipulative, stubborn."
"I'm not manipulative," she said.
He laughed. "Like you didn't know exactly what you were doing that night I found you lying on my bed nude."
She shrugged. "I wasn't manipulating you," she said. "You seemed very willing to me."
"Well, at certain points there's not much you can do," he stated.
"You really think that I'm bitchy and manipulative?" she asked. "You're opinion of me is so high."
"I like that about you," he said. "You are who you are. You don't give a damn about what anyone else thinks. I like you bitchy and manipulative."
"It's not like you don't have flaws of your own," she said.
"And I'm sure that you're ready to tell me all about them," he said, settling back, putting his arms on the edge of the tub.
She searched her mind quickly. Obviously, she hadn't put the amount of effort into this that he had. "You're a control freak," she said. "The one thing about me that scares you is the fact that I'm in control."
He laughed. "I haven't done anything that I didn't want to do."
She ran her tongue along her bottom lip and looked up at him seductively. "It wasn't something you wanted to do until I planted the seed in your mind."
"Who says I didn't plant the seed in your mind?" he asked, raising his eyebrow.
"You're also too damn confident," she said. "You shake your ass like every woman wants you."
"Maybe every woman does want me," he said.
She rolled her eyes, as she moved her arms slowly through the warm, bubbly water. Looking up, she saw him eating another strawberry. She knew very well that he was doing it on purpose.
"There were lots of rumors floating around about you in high school," she said.
"Like what?" he asked, looking up at her only briefly.
"Like you being able to seduce a woman into acting out her wildest fantasies with relative ease. They'd always talk about how good you were, Pacey."
He laughed. "They who?"
"I don't know," she shrugged. "Other girls. . .you know, around."
"For someone who hated gossip so much, you sure did manage to listen to some," he said.
"So it wasn't true?"
"You tell me," he said. "You've been with me."
"But you haven't been the one doing the seducing," she said.
"You want a seduction?" he asked softly.
"Maybe," she said.
He drug a strawberry through the whipped cream, and lifted it to her lips. "Tell me what your fantasy is, Josephine," he said softly.
"Be creative, Pacey," she whispered in return. "This whole place is a fantasy waiting to happen."
He grinned. He readily accepted that challenge.
She walked tentatively inside the room after returning from a second trip to the bar. She wondered what he was planning, crazy with anticipation. When she saw that the room was illuminated in candles, she was disappointed. Frankly, she'd expected a little more from Pacey than the cliched candles and rose petals.
Walking toward her bed, she was surprised not to find him waiting. He was no where to be seen. An envelope rested on her pillow. The stationary was grainy, like recycled paper with flower petals added to the pulp. She sat down next to five wick candle at the bedside and slowly opened the envelope.
I shock you first when you arrive at work. Inside your briefcase you find a note from me, which, put tamely, is very suggestive. You flush when you read it and can hear the blood rush through your veins as you grow more and more aroused, sitting there in the leather chair of your tenth floor office. You see me, knowing that if I ever come to the office again, you'll have no choice but to have your way with me right there on the mahogany desk, not caring what papers get wrinkled or where pens fly as we explore each other.
Yet, I'm not there. You go on with business as usual until the telephone rings that afternoon. It's me calling and you ask about the note. Instead of answering your questions, I begin to discuss what I wrote and the vivid images begin to play, once again, in your mind. My voice is soft as I give erotic descriptions, planting seeds in your mind as to what I might do to you.
Your legs are wobbly as you stand to shut the door. You wouldn't want someone in the office to see your reaction--your flushed face, your labored breath, your erect nipples, your knees squeezed tightly together as you fight your natural impulses. I can't see you, but can only imagine your reaction. I wonder how close you are to losing your mind right there in the office, but don't change the calm in my voice. I hang up the telephone, and can only imagine what you do next.
You rush home as soon as you can to find me, but I'm not there. You find a note and head to the restaurant down the street. I'm sitting at the end of the bar, a woman seated beside me. I have no interest in her when I see you enter the room. You sit at the other end of the bar, smiling softly as the bartender places a drink in front of you. You look at me, and I can see the desire in your eyes. I'm surprised when the bartender hands me a message hand-written on a napkin. It's a simple sentence, rivaling the message I'd placed into your briefcase. I smile at you and can tell that you know it's a game.
I stand, walk to you, and whisper in your ear. In seconds we leave together. You hands travel my body with urgency as we walk the sidewalk. I tell you to be patient, but it's in vain. My clothes are nearly half-off as we enter the house, and I watch your eyes fall on the coffee table, to the kitchen, to the stairs, as if you are fighting to make a decision. Your breath is labored as you tell me how much you want me. You are so beautiful in your urgency. I can't help but to admire you as you undress.
Your lips feverishly travel my lips, my cheek, my neck, and your hands continue to explore my body, fiercely sparking similar reactions in me. Your hands grasp me from behind, pulling me to you, as you pin yourself between me and the wall. I lose control momentarily as I feel you touch me, pleasing me. But you're restless, I can tell. I move my tongue strategically across your chest and am able to pin your hands over your head. You whine softly, sinking down ever so slightly as I move my mouth across your most intimate areas.
Your legs are clenched around my back as we move frantically together. I continue with force, determined not to stop until I hear you scream my name.
Joey swallowed hard as her eyes skimmed the letter. Her first thought was to find him. She searched the suite and saw him nowhere. Having no other choice, she was forced into her room all alone.
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