My nefarious name yourself plot had been foiled by Captain Avoidance.
But seeing the look in Bill’s eyes – the same kind that led to me fudging (read: falsifying) the details surrounding Jason’s conception – I knew I had to act quickly or else face the consequences.
The primary one being him starting off his coming-soon-to-an-office-near-you lecture with a sighed out, ‘Sookie…’
Or rather, ‘Sookeh…’
Honestly, he always sounded like a hot air balloon that had sprung a leak.
It was because of him that Pam now had an aversion to leaks of any kind.
Bill was a little older than me and thought himself to be a lot wiser too. I also knew he had a thing for me.
My working theory was that it was probably small, bent at an odd angle, and would annoy me like a pesky mosquito if it got anywhere near me.
I had no way of knowing it as a fact because I would sooner impale my baby cannon with any rusty piece of pipe that could be found underneath the nearest overpass.
But hey, we all had our limits. And getting intimate in any sense of the word, with someone who reminded me of the old Loony Toons cartoons, exceeded mine.
Too busy over the thought of never getting busy with Bill, he managed to disapprovingly sniff out, “Another caregiver?”
“What?” I quickly snapped, more so to keep him from using my name than anything else.
I was well used to his Old Boys Club attitude by now.
Bill was a big believer that the woman’s place was in the home once children entered the equation.
I was a big believer Bill could suck it.
So maybe I was subconsciously giving him something to suck on, when I threw my hand back behind me, with my fingers meeting the Pectorals of Doom and dooming me to say, “Well, just look at him! He’s clearly an upgrade!”
Why, life? Why?
Please tell me I did not say that out loud.
I did not say that out loud.
And quit rubbing his chest, Sookie!
Dropping my hand, I turned ever so slightly and seeing the look on Captain Conceited’s face, I knew I had definitely said that out loud.
So rather than allow Bill to get ah–ah–ah-nother word in edgewise, I turned to face Captain Anonymous – about to put the ‘ske’ in his ‘daddle’ to get us away from He-Who-Must-Not-Say-My-Name – but stopped short at the newest arrival to our party of three and a half.
Unsurprisingly, she was like the devil.
Say her name and she appears.
Looking up at, well…tall, hot, and nameless just about covered it, his eyes got huge – and frightened – at what she might possibly say.
Like his name.
So I just relished in his fear while it lasted, knowing Pam wasn’t about to spoil our fun. We’d already had The Talk that morning.
No. Not that talk.
There was nothing to talk about on that front.
Nothing that I was ready to talk about, anyway.
The Talk we had, had my hand up in her face first thing that morning to stop her from telling me his name, when she’d asked how everything was going.
And then the bruising pinch she’d used on my arm – because ow! – had me explaining why I thought to play the Diana Ross to her Supremes first thing that morning.
With her hands on each hip, she struck a pose like she’d just reached the end of her invisible catwalk, and eyed each of us in turn before looking up at him and greeting him with, “Brother.”
“Sister,” he acknowledged, with a relieved smile.
Then looking at Jason, she crinkled her nose and said, “Teacup human.”
She might look like Alice in Wonderland, but her temperament was that of an injured Tasmanian Devil.
So frankly, we’d all just witnessed a miracle on par with finding the image of Jesus on your morning toast.
Not so big it was worthy of notifying the Vatican over, but a quasi-justifiable excuse to pull off the highway and take a gander, if you happened to be on your way by, just the same.
Which reminded me…
I was starving and toast would be pretty good right about now.
Mmm…maybe some toast with jelly.
Because breakfast was an always food.
But that thought only led to me remembering the cheesiest of pickup lines about what the difference was between jelly and jam.
I can’t jelly my dick into you.
My blood sugar must be really low.
Eying Pam’s hands, I pouted a little not seeing my twelve o’clock chocolate fix in them. But she was still busy shaking off her roadside attraction miracle.
Showing anything that could possibly be construed as a maternal side probably felt like a thousand tiny pin pricks under her skin.
Once she had her resting bitch face firmly back in place, she then eyed me and twitched her lips. Letting her eyes dart back and forth between me and her brother, as though she was about to give up the goods – Pam did so love to hold all of the cards – she finally acknowledged me with nothing more than, “Boss.”
At least she didn’t call me Cookie Brick Shithouse.
Bill would’ve shit a brick.
But then looking behind me, where I knew Bill was still standing, she glared at him – in the most professional of ways, mind you – and all but accused, “Yoko.”
Turning to look at him, he clearly looked confused.
Likely because he didn’t know what – or rather, who – Yoko was.
But I was confused too. Not about The Beatles Breaker-Upper, but why she would call him Yoko.
I knew her well enough by now, though, to know Pam was a lot like an avalanche.
You just had to give in and roll with it, try not to shit your pants and pray you made it out on the other side.
And while Bill was naturally a cold person, even he was afraid of the Office Elsa. So he knew her well enough by now to give her a wide berth, which is why he made like a piece of horseshit and hit the trail back to his office.
Looking back at her, I could tell something was up in the Land of Pam. But reacting to it would be a rookie mistake. She was like a T-Rex in that aspect.
If you didn’t make any big sudden movements, she couldn’t set her sights on you.
Which was why I only acknowledged the Saucer to my Teacup and asked, “What are you doing here, Chip?”
I knew it was the teacup’s name in The Beauty and the Beast, but the saucer didn’t have a name.
It was Walt’s fault, not mine.
He gave me a small shake of his amused head, before turning to give Pam the stink eye.
It only made her dig her heels in.
That spot of carpet would have Pam Was Here marks future generations could look down at and ooh and ahh over the Legend of Pam and know she was real.
But being her brother – doofus or not – he obviously knew of her T-Rex DNA because only his eyes moved back to me, as he said, “Well, Ally McBeal, I was wondering if you wanted to have lunch with us.”
“You’re not a telepath, are you?” I asked with a grin that faded just as quickly.
Please don’t be a telepath! PLEASE don’t be a telepath!
Because that would be embarrassing.
But then I remembered he still didn’t know my name, so he obviously wasn’t a telepath. Not that I often thought of myself as Sookie Stackhouse.
I still had no confirmation on his possible Kreskin-like abilities.
It was a rookie Sookie mistake.
Looking up to see if the jig was up, the only thing up was my ovaries.
Up in my throat.
They were attempting to take the most expedient route to reach Captain Coochie Condensation, seeing him chomping on Jason’s neck and making him laugh.
I’d forgotten Pam was still standing there, what with her x-ray T-Rex eyesight.
My ovaries’ movements had been both big and sudden.
She probably even heard the tiny explosion sound off signaling their demise, which I only realized was my stomach growling, when Captain Quirk quirked his smirk at me and said, “It sounds like we got here just in the Nicky of time?”
“That or she’s got a grizzly bear fresh out of hibernation hiding under her skirt,” Pam snarked at me, like she knew.
Not that I was a starvin’ Marvin, but that I was drooling all over her brother.
Literally, if my lower set of lips counted.
And in Pam’s book, those were the only set of lips that did.
Thankfully, she didn’t say anything and instead turned that look onto her brother. But I wasn’t feeling so grateful anymore, when she added, “Why don’t you be a hero and dive under there to check?”
Both of us said it – screeched it, really – but she only looked at him with a knowing grin and said as innocently as Pam was possible of sounding, “What? You were black ops and we share DNA. It is genetically impossible for you to be afraid of eating a little Virginia Wolfe.”
“Pam!” echoed through the building again.
Telling her we were playing name that nanny – er, Manny – was backfiring in the worst of ways.
Because she was clearly the professional boxer here – naming my box when we hadn’t even figured out each other’s names yet – so it was no wonder she’d taken us both down with her one-two punch.
I was definitely telling mom!
And I felt oddly satisfied seeing Cookie punch Pam in the arm on her way by – mom would definitely give me hell if I punched Pam, no matter how much she deserved it – all but running in and out of her office, with her carry-on luggage now thrown over her shoulder.
“I’m leaving,” she glared at my sister.
Looking over at me, that bitch grinned evilly and said, “I’m feeling a little pecker – I mean peckish – myself.” And then turning a coy smile to Cookie, she added, “For some reason I’m in the mood for some Virginia ham.”
Without missing a beat, Cookie sang out, “My bologna has a first name. It’s G-O fuck yourself…”
“You’re no fun,” Pam pouted.
“That’s right,” she declared and then gestured at me and the baby to add, “I’m taking their balls and I’m going home.”
“Sweet!” Pam exclaimed. “It’s a well-known fact that I’m not a ballplayer, so that means I can jam up of the copier accidentally on purpose again and declare the rest of my day a wash.”
I was feeling a multitude of things, hearing Cookie talking about my balls in any capacity.
The only thing I was feeling for my sister in that moment was a sadistic vengeance that rivaled the Christmas Incident of 1998.
That year there was no Santa Claus.
But when I found my feet automatically trailing after Cookie, I couldn’t deny the ball – and mine apparently – was in her court.
“I love your sister,” she eventually huffed and gave me a side-eyed look when she clarified, “In a completely platonic and admittedly slightly masochistic way. But one of these days, I’m going to kill her.”
Then gracing me with a sweet smile, she added, “I hope me murdering your sister won’t affect our working relationship.”
“Not at all,” I smiled and offered, “I’ll be your alibi. No one would question it, since I’m her brother.”
“Hopefully,” she nodded, with a calculating look in her eyes. “But we should start gathering our supplies for when the time comes. Waiting until the heat of the moment is a rookie mistake. Instead, we can take a few secret trips out of state to pick up the plastic tarp, shovels, and whatnot, while wearing disguises and paying cash.”
Hearing her plot my sister’s murder shouldn’t have been a turn-on.
Thankfully we’d reached the parking garage by then, so she turned to me and asked, “So where are going for lunch?”
Lunch that couldn’t be found underneath her skirt, even though it would be enjoyable for both of us.
Looking at the baby to help get my mind out of the gutter, he just grinned and blew drool bubbles out at me, like he knew I was a lost cause.
Not cool, little man.
Making a mental note to go over the finer points of brotherly solidarity with him when we were alone, I turned back to her and said, “Well, the humidity finally broke, so how about someplace with an outdoor seating area?”
I hated being cooped up inside when it was nice out and the fresh air would be good for getting little man to go down for a nap later.
It would also help me keep a clear head in the presence of Cookie.
It was doing things to me.
Things that were unacceptable.
“Sounds good to me,” she smiled and then grimaced, “But no ham sandwiches.”
I doubted I would ever be able to eat one again, without thinking about…
No thinking about eating what’s under her skirt!
Unfortunately, that was all I could think about, which was why when we found ourselves sitting at an outdoor café not long after, I said the first thing on my mind, when she’d asked, “So what are you thinking?”
Had I been thinking – with the head on top of my shoulders, instead of the one below my belt – I would’ve realized she was asking about what I planned on ordering.
I’d been staring at the menu in my hand and not seeing it for eons.
But having a one-track mind – and that track led to the tunnel hidden underneath her skirt – I heard myself reply, “Your underwear.”
Feeling my face flushing bright red, I couldn’t meet her eyes and thought I heard her mumble, “I thought we weren’t going to mention it.”
Then taking a long sip of her lemonade – long enough that it was the sound of her sucking air through the straw when she’d reached the bottom of the glass that made me look up – she wiped her expression clean and asked, “What about them?”
“Um…I uh…” I stuttered.
Somewhere in the ether I could hear Pam laughing at me.
Well, me or the jammed up copier in front of her.
Either way, she was still a bitch.
Her coworkers would agree with me, if it had been the latter.
“You have a lot of comic book ones,” I managed to get out, coming up with the lamest of lame replies.
“Uh huh,” she said in a way that sounded like she was waiting for the other half of my statement to try and make any sense of it.
Both she and I would need it.
“Um…” I began, with my mind drawing a blank.
Could you actually die of embarrassment?
I might have found out if it weren’t for the server approaching our table in the next second – the server I would be leaving a huge tip for saving me from my misadventures in speaking – and by the time we’d given her our orders, the lemonade must’ve hit Cookie’s bladder because she stood up and said, “I have to go see a man about a horse.”
Looking over at Jason, I implored, “Little dude, you gotta help me out when you see the crash and burn coming. Throw a fit or say ‘I love you mommy’ to throw her off. After the diaper debacle of yesterday, you owe me.”
Grinning, he just thrust the soggy toast stick in his hand at me.
Maybe for me to choke on?
Hell, that would’ve been better than anything else that had been lodged in my throat.
But it turned out I didn’t have to try and segue my way out of where our conversation had left off at because when she sat back down, Cookie was fuming.
And she let everyone in a six foot radius of us know it.
“What in the ever loving fuck is wrong with women?” she demanded.
And without waiting for any response, she answered, “I’ll tell you what! They are some nasty ass bitches, that’s what’s wrong with them. Every toilet seat in there was covered in pee. Pee! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the You Can Pee Next to Me transgender movement, but I know it wasn’t any biological male that left piss all over the seats. Oh, no! That was from some nasty ass whore that couldn’t be bothered to use the paper seat covers that are right fucking there, not daring to endanger their ass by putting it down onto a piece of paper meant to keep the crotch crickets from nesting up in their cooch. But you know what? They are the reason why we need those seat covers because their adventures in hover pissing are an epic fail. Fail, I tell you.”
Then violently turning her chair to give her the best view of those sitting around us, she said, “You just wait. The first bitch I see with piss spotted dribble drawers is getting a come to Jesus from me.”
Breaking out into uncontrollable laughter, she turned her murderous glare onto me.
But she couldn’t keep it in place, when I finally calmed down enough to say, “Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?”
“Hey, that reminds me. I have something for you, Abe,” she said and reached into her enormous bag, rooting through the endless depths looking for god knows what.
Eventually pulling her hand back out, the only thing she had was an evil grin and an extended middle finger, which she waved at me and said, “I hope you like it.”
Why did she have to not only look like that, but be like that?
Couldn’t she be sweet and yet unattractive?
Or how about smokin’ hot, but a frigid ice queen?
Hell, I’d even take an unattractive frigid ice queen to this…this…
Well, the complete opposite of that.
Wearing pants around the house was no longer the only thing she needed to do to help keep me in check.
But I had a feeling telling her to put a sock in it wouldn’t earn me any favors either.
Although, it would likely earn me her other middle finger.
But feeling and then seeing the soggy piece of baby toast land in my lap in the next moment, I knew something else.
Little man had my back.
At least I thought he did, until I heard his mother’s tinkling laughter, as she cooed, “There’s my little quarterback.”
So I could only hope any dribble in my drawers caused by her would be dried by the time we stood up to leave.
A come to Jesus from her wasn’t the type of coming I found myself wanting with her.
The only thing keeping me in check now was wanting more than that from her.
But even I knew it was way too soon to be thinking those kinds of things and that wasn’t even the kind of relationship we had.
We were friendly, yes. But she was my boss and I was her employee.
And my uncooperative mind made me wonder if Pam had ever gotten to see her in her underwear.
Glaring at nothing more than the idea of it, I decided to not think about it.
Any of it.
For now at least. Instead I would just live in the moment.
And in that moment, I only had one problem to deal with.
The soggy piece of baby toast stuck to the crotch of pants.
Turning a playful glare onto him, while I grabbed a few napkins, he just blew more bubbles at me, as if to say, ‘What are you going to do about it?’
Wasn’t that the question of the day?
What was I going to do about it?