Just One Of Those Things
By Mavis Applewater
For Disclaimers see part one.
Thanks Again to my wonderful beta reader Diva!
As Always For Heather
CHAPTER THIRTY FIVE
Olivia could hardly believe her eyes. Her fork full of food hung just outside of her mouth. "Karla?" she blurted out suddenly as she watched the tall, raven-haired beauty approaching. Her heart sped up and her palms became sweaty as she dropped her fork. Olivia found herfself suddenly praying that she would spontaneously combust. She could see blue eyes widening fearfully from behind the Matre D.
"Excuse me?" Mura questioned her in a curious tone. The beautiful woman sitting across from them was looking at her as if she lost her mind.
"I . . . uhm . . . " Olivia stammered as she wondered if she had indeed lost her mind. She blinked her eyes and looked again. 'No, it's real. Karla is heading right towards us.'
"Are you alright?" Mura asked with concern.
"Fine," Olivia lied as she looked over at her date. Mura was a beautiful woman. But Olivia had already known by the time the appetizers were served that there was no connection. "I was just thinking about what you said earlier, about perhaps buying instead of renting again," Olivia lied once again. 'That's it put those PR skills to work and talk about something she is interested in. Then maybe she won't notice that you are about to have a heart attack.' Olivia thought as she watched the Japanese woman smile slightly.
"It's something to think about," Mura explained. "You said that you've been looking for an apartment for a long time. The market is terrible, what with all of the students and the deregulation of rent control. If you do find a place, the rents are outrageous. Without a car you need to live in the city." Mura went on.
"Interesting, tell me more," Olivia encouraged as she watched Karla's approach from the corner of her eye.
What in the name of all that is sacred is she doing here? Okay relax. Calm down, it's a restaurant; she's probably here for dinner. After all it is the only gay restaurant in town.' Olivia's mind was spinning as she pretended to listen to Mura. 'I wonder if Mura would take it the wrong way if I suddenly ducked under the table? No, stop being silly. Besides Karla has already seen you.' Olivia tried to come up with a plan as Karla was escorted past her table. Her body trembled as her boss' long body brushed past her. Olivia did the only thing she could think of at the moment. She ignored Karla's presence. Not the mature thing to do. But it was the best she could come up with. She could feel herself tense as Karla was seated directly behind her.
Olivia could feel a knot forming in her stomach as she finally took notice of the tall redhead who was being seated at the same table. 'Who the hell is that!' Her mind suddenly screamed as she began to grind her teeth together. "Wow what a good looking couple." She heard Mura exclaim.
"You think so?" Olivia muttered bitterly as she shrugged her shoulders in an effort to seem like she didn't care. 'Maybe it's a business meeting. Don't be an idiot, you would know if there was a client in town.'
"God yes," Mura continued. "They look like gay super models."
Olivia started to push her food around her plate as she strained to hear the conversation at the table behind her. Much to her disappointment she couldn't hear anything. "You know, Olivia . . ." Mura began carefully, ". . . if you are serious about looking for a condo or townhouse, I could show you some places?"
Olivia instantly perked up at the suggestion. "What would I need to put together to make such an investment?" she inquired sincerely. The thought of having her own space was very tempting and just the distraction she needed. Olivia leaned back in her chair as Mura began to explain things that she should be thinking about if she was serious about buying her own place. It was sounding better and better.
"Why don't you select the wine, Karla?" She could hear the redhead suggest gleefully. "I'm certain that you have excellent taste." Olivia rolled her eyes at the comment. 'Who is this bimbo?' Olivia's mind groaned. She frowned as she realized that she was just being petty. But then again a part of her didn't care.
"How about tomorrow?" She heard Mura inquire.
"I'm sorry?" Olivia asked realizing that once again she was ignoring her date.
You seem a little preoccupied." Mura smiled. "I was just saying that perhaps you would like to look at some places tomorrow."
"Sorry, I had a rough week at work," Olivia apologized. "Tomorrow sounds good. I'll bring my checkbook, I have a good feeling about this."
"Now that's what I like to hear from a client." Mura smiled brighter.
"Let's hope I make a better client than a date," Olivia offered, feeling terrible about her behavior.
"It's okay." Mura waved it off. "Believe it or not I've had worse dates."
"Oh so my ignoring you is a bonus?" Olivia teased softly.
"I tell you the gene pool out there is frightening," Mura stated with a mock shudder. "The last date I went on was a scary beas. We went to a club and she got drunk and was loud and obnoxious. She almost got thrown out. I was mortified. She didn't think she did anything wrong. She was truly surprised when I didn't want to see her again."
"I think I dated her." Olivia played along. "I'm surprised that you're not seeing someone?" Olivia added sincerely.
"Me too." Mura rolled her eyes. "Seriously, I haven't met anyone in a long time that I've clicked with. Everyone seems to either be getting over their ex or not into relationships."
"Hmm." Olivia grimaced.
"Let me guess, you're getting over your ex?" Mura concluded.
"Something like that," Olivia tried to explain. "I'm not sorry we split up. I just wish hadn't been so messy." Olivia could hear snippets of the conversation behind her. Mostly from the mysterious redhead. Karla seemed to be keeping her responses to one-word answers.
"So how do you know Chase?" Mura inquired.
"We use to go together," Olivia explained matter-of-factly. She knew that Mura wouldn't be surprised. Most of Sydney's female friends were old lovers. She could hear someone choking from behind her. 'Ooops. I think I forgot to mention that to Karla.' Olivia shuddered.
"Good old Chase," Mura chuckled. "When I first moved here, I heard about her reputation. I was shocked that she was so nice when I met her."
"I know." Olivia sighed. "Sydney is a great friend. She does make a lousy girlfriend though. It's too bad really, because she has so much to offer someone. But then again she was surprised and a little hurt when I broke things off with her. But she slept with three other people while we were dating. Although she claims it should only count as two since two of them were a couple."
"Now that sounds like Sydney," Mura chuckled. "You know the night I met her she was so sweet. Nothing at all like the bar slut everyone described. I had just been dumped and I found myself sitting at her bar. She was so nice. I was trying to get drunk but she talked to me. She even made sure I got home safely. She stayed with me that night and let me talk. She even made me cocoa. And not once did she make a pass."
"That's the Sydney few people get to see," Olivia agreed with a smile.
"I must confess I'm very attracted to you, Karla," Olivia could hear the redhead coo. "You know my hotel isn't too far from here," she continued. Olivia felt sick. She wanted to jump up and tell this woman to back off. But she couldn't, she didn't have the right to.
"Excuse me," Olivia said to Mura as she felt the sweat beginning to bead up on her forehead. "I need to use the ladies room," she choked out as she felt the nausea beginning. She stood up as gracefully as she could manage and left the table, unaware that a pair of blue eyes were watching her closely.
CHAPTER THIRTY SIX
Karla's eyes widened in horror. "Excuse me?" Karla stammered, in disbelief. This situation was bordering on lunacy. It was horrible enough being seated behind Olivia and her date. Add to that, her date had the manners of a drunken frat boy. The tall scientist had been pawing her all night long. Not a simple brushing against her; the woman had slid her chair over and was out and out groping her. She had endured this woman's unwanted attention long enough.
Placing her fork down she took a moment to collect herself. The silliness of the situation suddenly struck her. Karla smirked slightly and decided it was time to bring the farce to an end. "Look, don't take this the wrong way, but that's not going to happen."
"I don't understand?" Linda responded her eyes almost popping out of her head, as her jaw dropped open.
"Let me spell it out for you, then," Karla sighed in amusement. "I'd be lying if I said that you weren't an attractive woman. But you seem to be well aware of that. I would love to enjoy some pleasant dinner conversation with you. That is if you can manage to keep your grubby hands to yourself. I don't enjoy being treated like a piece of meat. I've already endured enough of that to last a lifetime. And for God's sake put your shoes back on and stop trying to play footsy with me.
"I see," Linda responded coldly, as she shifted her chair away slightly. Karla didn't like the determined expression that emerged on the scientist's face. "I need to go to the ladies room," Karla offered hoping that by putting some distance between them, it would allow them both an opportunity to cool off.
As Karla stood she couldn't help noticing that Olivia's date was trying very hard not to look at her. She also was holding a well placed hand across her mouth. Karla rolled her eyes, thinking as she wondered if the woman would find it quite so amusing if she knew that Karla was heading to the ladies room to track down her date.
As Karla entered the ladies room she spotted Olivia leaning up against the tiled wall, rubbing her temple in an aggravated manner. "Hi," Karla offered meekly.
"Why are you here?" Olivia groaned in a painful tone, not looking at Karla.
"In the bathroom?" Karla inquired hoping to ease the tension. Olivia lifted her head slowly and just stared blankly at Karla. "I didn't know that you would be at this restaurant," Karla stated carefully as she leaned against the wall next to Olivia.
Karla's gaze. A part of the tall executive as angry at her inquiry. Another part of her was relieved to see that Olivia cared enough to be jealous.
"Blind date," Karla confessed, suddenly feeling guilty being seen with another woman. It was an irrational feeling, but she couldn't stop it.
"Oh." Olivia pursed her lips as she spoke. "She seems nice. If you like that tall, beautiful, vapid model type."
"Actually, she's a rocket scientist." Karla chuckled, amused by Olivia's not so subtle jealousy.
Olivia crinkled her brow and stared up at Karla in disbelief. "I swear it's true," Karla defended herself. "My sister Meg's idea of a joke. I think after the last time she set me up . . . never mind."
"What happened the last time?" Olivia asked.
"Let's just say, that my date would have found Blue's Clues, challenging," Karla explained as she purposely shifted closer to the blonde.
"We can't keep doing this," Olivia responded in a heavy tone as she pushed herself off of the wall. Stepping away, effectively putting some distance between herself and Karla.
The gesture was not lost on Karla. She stiffened and braced herself. "I'm tired of this circus we've managed to create myself," Karla admitted in a determined tone. She stepped behind Olivia, tempted to reach out and wrap her arms around the smaller woman. She fought against the impulse. "What is it that you want, Olivia?"
Karla held her breath as she watched Olivia's shoulders tense up. "I can't have what I want," Olivia responded in a flat, dry tone. Karla stood behind her as her heart shattered. There was a feeling of defeat in the smaller woman's voice. She was giving up on them. 'Game over.' she thought bitterly to herself.
Unable to endure the painful silence that surrounded them, Karla brushed past Olivia unable to look at her as she passed. "What is it that you want, Skyler?" Olivia's voice trembled as she spoke.
Karla removed her hand from the bathroom door. She turned and looked deeply into Olivia's eyes. She knew that her own eyes were revealing everything she felt. She was tired of fighting it. "That's easy," Karla said in a deep rich tone. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
She didn't miss seeing the stunned expressed on Olivia's face before turning away. She opened the door and stepped out of the ladies room. As she stepped out into the hallway, she clutched her chest. "Oh God." She gasped as she reached out to steady herself against the wall. "What did I just do?"
CHAPTER THIRTY SEVEN
Olivia stood with her jaw hanging down as she stared at the door of the ladies room. She felt her body sway slightly. Reaching out, she grabbed onto the vanity of the sink to brace herself. Her emerald eyes drifting up slowly, looking at herself in the mirror wondering if she had just imagined everything that had happened. She took a hard look at herself in the mirror. Her heart felt as if it was going to explode. In the mirror she saw a glimmer in her eyes and suddenly things became all to clear. "Screw the job," she stated confidently. "It's time that I found happiness." She pushed herself away from the vanity, brushed back her bangs, and straightened her dress. "Go out there and get the girl," she reassured herself.
Confidently, she stepped out of the ladies room. There were a few passers by in the hallway, but not the one she needed to see at that moment. Olivia wasn't surprised to not find Karla there. For once in her life she didn't hesitate to think things over. She strode back to the dining room. Mura was seated there sipping her coffee. The table next to them was vacant.
Olivia swallowed hard and braced herself. "Hi," she said with a slight tremble. Mura smiled up at her as she took her seat.
"You just missed everything," Mura explained in a hurried voice.
"I hope not," Olivia responded in a weary tone.
"The poster couple just stormed out of here," Mura continued. "It seems from what I could hear, not that I was trying to listen, that the redhead was trying to get the brunette into the sack, only the brunette wasn't interested."
"Good for Karla." Olivia smiled smugly.
"Karla?" Mura questioned her with curiosity.
Olivia chewed on her lip nervously as she contemplated her next course of action. "Olivia, what is going on here?" Mura inquired in a curious tone. Olivia continued to chew on her lip as she looked over to her date, Mura didn't seem upset, she simply seemed interested.
"Okay." Olivia blew out a tense breath.
After several cups of coffee and numerous interruptions by Mura, Olivia finally managed to spit out the entire sordid tale. "Wow," Mura gasped as Olivia finished with what happened in the ladies room. "This has to be the most interesting date, I've ever been on," Mura confessed.
"I'm sorry." Olivia flinched slightly.
"Don't be," Mura reassured her. "This is the most excitement I've had in ages." Then she chuckled slightly. "It almost sounds like one of Sydney's stories." She shook her head at the thought.
"What?" Olivia asked her bewilderment.
"Sorry, I keep forgetting that it's a secret," Mura blabbed out quickly.
"What is?" Olivia questioned still feeling that she was missing something.
"Never mind that," Mura chastised her. "Just get moving. Go after her. She left here a while ago, and since we know she shot down the redhead . . . you know she isn't with her. Would she go straight home?"
"Probably," Olivia confirmed as she motioned for the waiter to bring the check. The waiter rushed over quickly. Olivia got the feeling that he was relieved to see them go since they had tied up the table long enough. She handed him her credit card quickly.
"Go after her." Mura repeated as the waiter rushed off. "Don't think about, just go for it," Mura urged her on.
"You think I should?" Olivia said feeling her resolve wavering, as all of her fears reemerged.
"Yes," Mura flared at her.
The waiter returned with the bill and Olivia signed it. "Wait." Mura interrupted as the waiter groaned, "I'll get this."
"No." Olivia smiled as she filled in a hefty amount for a tip. "Let me do this. It's the least I can do. Besides I could be out of work soon. Think of it as my last hurrah."
"I don't know. The entertainment value alone was worth it," Mura teased. "Where does Karla live?"
"Brighton," Olivia answered as they stood and made their way to the coat check.
"Let me drive you," Mura offered excitedly.
"I . . .," Olivia stammered.
"Please," Mura pleaded. "I feel like we are some kind of mission. Plus, if I drive you I won't let you talk yourself out of this."
Olivia nodded her head in silent agreement as Mura rushed her out of the restaurant. "Why are you doing this?" Olivia asked her with a smile.
"I'm just a hopeless romantic," Mura explained as she led Olivia to her car.
"I hope it's not too late." Olivia thought aloud the fear burning in her chest.
To Be Concluded In Part Thirteen.
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