chapter thirty six

“No, Rob. I’m not gonna do it.”

“Look, you’re filling in for Hillary, and she does it. So go!”


Robin sighed, frustrated, and threw a pencil at me. It was a warm, beautiful Saturday, and I was at the station filling in for Hillary, who was out sick. Since I never worked weekends, I offered to help, so I could see the chaos that everyone always talked about during the week.

Right now, however, Robin’s coffee was the matter at hand.

“You know how much I need that coffee, Cass,” she warned me. “And I can’t leave here, I’ll be back on air in three minutes! Please go get me some!”

“Fine, FINE. But this is the last time, OK?” I laughed as I headed out the door. It was a legend there, in a way, the deal with Robin’s coffee. If she didn’t get it, heads would roll, and already she had scared Cliff more than once. I wasn’t going to take my chances, I figured, so I wouldn’t put up any more of a fight today.

I met Cliff at the refreshment stand that was out next to the door of the studio.

“Ah, her royal highness has asked for her coffee,” he laughed. “Too bad there’s none left.”

“What?” I asked. “You’re kidding!”

“Nope,” he answered, motioning to the coffee machine. “All gone. Dave made the last cup.”

“Crap,” I muttered. “Cliff, she NEEDS the damn coffee. Couldn’t you go find some? Please?”

“What are you, nuts?” he told me. “And I suppose you want me to deliver it to her, too.”

“That would be nice,” I answered.

“Nu-uh. No way. See, if I go find more coffee...that’s at least ten minutes right there. By the time I make it, get it in a cup and take it to her, fifteen more minutes would have passed. She’ll rip my head off once I step in there! I’m not doing it!”

“Cliff, don’t be an ass,” Tom laughed from behind me. “There’s coffee in the storage room.”

“Come on, Cliff, please?” I pleaded. He shook his head, refusing to help.

“Cass! Is that you out there?” Dave called from his office down the hall.

“Yeah, What’s up?”

“You have visitors. They’re in the lounge waiting for you.”

“Thanks, Dave!” I called.

“You need to get Robin her coffee first,” Cliff said.

“Nah, visitors can’t wait,” Tom told him, pushing me toward the lounge. “You get Rob her coffee, I got your back.”

“Thanks Tom,” I grinned, flashing him a smile before taking off down the hall to the lounge. It was probably Charlie and her friends, I figured, but I welcomed any distraction right about now.

I opened the door and was about to walk in when Dave stopped me.

“I need traffic done soon,” he told me as I held the door open.

“Sure thing,” I agreed. “When?”

“Ten minutes.”

“No prob.”

“Thanks babe,” he grinned, ruffling my hair. “You always were my favorite back in school.”

“Brown noser,” I laughed. “Just have that report on the monitor by the time I get there.”

“You got it.” he smiled, turning around an heading back into his office.

I, in turn, turned to the lounge’s open door and walked in.

The sight before me nearly made me topple over. I grabbed the doorknob for support and blinked my eyes a few times, trying to clear my vision. This was NOT happening.

AJ sat in my favorite chair, his intense gaze fixed on mine. Across the room, Nick leaned against the wall, a small smile playing on his features.

Now what?

[chapter 35 | chapter index | chapter 37]