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Janequeline - Season 1

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Sutton, Kat and I are currently in a train station waiting for a train to pass us. Sutton is standing next to me. I look in the direction the train is supposed to be coming from. Kat walks up to us as I slowly turn in a circle. Sutton is messing with her hair even though I already told her it looks great and Kat has her hands on her hips. Although I look dejected, I'm just anxious and excited. This was my idea but I've never done it this way before. Sutton, Kat and I move to get more comfortable in our dresses.

I heard the incoming train and I prepared myself. I nod my head twice in the direction of the train to make sure Kat got my message. She's still not 100% on board with my idea yet. I grab Sutton's hand and drag her closer to the edge of the platform. I turn around and put my hand out for Kat. After a bit of reluctance, she takes it and joins us near the edge of the platform. With Kat on my left and Sutton on my right, we stand and watch as the train approaches. We all take a deep breath and, as the train passes us, we let out screams.

 

I know by now you probably think my two best friends and I (Hi. My name is Jane.) are weird and you're probably confused as to how we got here... Well, for this story to make sense, I'll have to start at the beginning. It all started three days ago...

 

Three Days Ago...

 

Sutton, Kat and I walk into the Steinem Publishing building. I turn around to face the entrance and Kat and Sutton follow my lead. Sutton turns to face me. "What are you doing?" She smiles as she talks. We start to walk backwards.

"Nothing." We turn around as I talk and continue walking. "I just-- I want to remember this moment."

"Uh, Jane, you know you've been walking into this same building for like four years, right?" I turned to Kat halfway through her sentence but turn to face forward before I answer her.

"Yeah, but as an assistant. This is totally different." As we approach security, Sutton gets her badge out of her purse.

"Oh, okay," Kat said as I get my badge out (I know she doesn't get how it's different).

"Joan Didion walked through this very same lobby once and Meghan Daum and Rachel Syme." Before saying Rachel's name, I turn from facing Kat to face Sutton to make sure she's following. "Nora Ephron just emailed that one freelance thing in, but still, I wanna remember what walking into Scarlet magazine as a writer feels like." Kat and Sutton started smiling at my 'but still' and were still smiling when I pulled out my phone. "All right, ready?" Sutton looked behind us as I positioned my phone.

"Okay, but there's the line--" I interrupted her before she could ruin this moment for me. I'd been walking on a high since I woke up that morning and I didn't want to lose it before I could even get in the elevator.

"Get in." Kat and Sutton got in position in front of my phone.

"Oh, okay. All right." A guy behind us leaned around Kat.

"Yo, come on, lady, move your ass." The cylinder-shaped package was a delivery but that didn't excuse how what he said was very rude. Kat immediately went to my defence. She turned to face him.

"Uh, excuse me, my friend is having a moment." My phone chimed as the picture saved and I looked at it. Sutton, Kat and I were smiling with a photobomber (it was the rude guy looking exasperated) behind us. It had the caption 'First day as a writer!!!' underneath.

"So rude," I said as I swiped myself in.

 

A Few Minutes Later...

 

The elevator chimed as Kat, Sutton and I landed on the Scarlet floor and we got off. I was right. This felt amazing. This was the third-best day of my life (the first was when I found out that I was going to be a writer at Scarlet and the second was when I found out that I could work for Scarlet). We walked through the door into the Scarlet reception area. I turned my head slightly as I walked so I could be facing Sutton and Kat better as they were behind me. "Lauren asked me to send 10 pitches to the whole writing staff. I got so excited, I sent them 20." I started grinning and even Kat's 'Nerd' comment couldn't bring my mood down. As we walked past the Scarlet reception desk, I noticed the blonde behind it. "Morning, Kate."

"Hi, Jane." We kept walking through the bullpen and headed towards our most favourite room in Scarlet: The fashion closet.

"She's gonna send the best ones up to Jacqueline, and then from there, I get my first writing assignment." As we walked past Jacqueline's office, I felt like everything was moving in slow motion. I saw her red high heels resting on her desk and I saw some of her black pants before I heard Sutton talk (it sounded as if I was underwater and the words barely registered).

"Okay. Grab her." Sutton and Kat grabbed an arm each and dragged me towards the fashion closet.

"Woah! Wait, why?" As we walked into the fashion closet, I continued talking. "We're supposed to be at the August presentation meeting."

"Alright, calm down, Type A." Sutton and Kat were smiling widely as Kat talked and I turned around to face them. Kat put her hand in her bag as she continued talking. "We're gonna get you there, but first, we are toasting your ass." Kat pulled out a bottle of champagne.

"For the past four years, the three of us toiled away together in the assistant trenches."

"Oh, well. Actually. I was only in there for two."

"Kat, we're having Jane time now." I smiled at the bickering the two were doing. It reminded me of siblings.

"Okay, fine, but my social media director salary paid for the champs, so--" Sutton took the bottle of champagne from Kat and continued talking as if Kat hadn't said anything.

"When we started together as assistants, I had no idea you guys would also become my very best friends." Kat and Sutton turned to each other and grinned before turning back to face me. "Jane, we're so happy for you and so incredibly proud."

"Thank you. I still can't believe that it's really happening. I mean, you guys know when I was--"

"A young girl in Colorado, reading Scarlet magazine in my closet." Kat and Sutton had turned to face each other halfway through their joint mocking of my story as they talked in unison.

"Okay, I thought it was Jane time." Kat and Sutton turned back to face me as I used both of my hands to point at myself.

"Sorry, you can totally have it." Despite her apology, I knew Sutton wasn't apologetic.

"It's your moment."

"You did it!" Sutton exclaimed. "You got your dream job." I mouthed 'yes' as Sutton talked. I wasn't usually proud of myself but right now was one of the rare moments where I was. Sutton's phone vibrated as I let out a giggle. "Lauren wants coffee before the board presentation."

"Oh, it's in the kitchen, where she can make it herself," Kat sarcastically stated.

"Kat, take over." Okay, I wasn't letting this happen.

"No. We are going to wait until we can celebrate together." I clapped my hands twice. "We have a meeting to go to. Let's go." Sutton squealed as Kat groaned. On our way out of the fashion closet, Kat stashed the champagne in a random pink handbag. I would be worried that it could get stolen but if Kat isn't worried then I'm not either.

 

10 Minutes Later...

 

Everyone was at the meeting but Jacqueline. Everyone seemed to be wearing black, white or blue. Was there a memo sent out that I didn't get? I was the only one there wearing a bright colour. Kat, Sutton and I were at the back of the room and talking when I heard Alex, one of the writers another writer (haven't gotten used to that yet), call out my name. I turned to face him to show him that he had my attention. He patted the empty chair next to him (the only chair around the large table that was unoccupied). "You're a writer now. Sit with us." I turned to face Kat and Sutton with a smile on my face.

"It's cool. Go," Sutton whispered to me. God, I was so happy and full of excitement. I chuckled as I walked towards the chair that Alex pulled out for me.

"Thank you, Alex." I sat down and inched closer to the table. Alex and I started talking.

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

I walked towards the meeting whilst finishing the email I was drafting on my phone. I knew I was going to be the last one there. I was running a few minutes late and I needed to make sure that this last email got sent before we started. I sent the email as I walked into the room. "Good morning, everyone." I swept my eyes over everyone there until I reached the eyes of the one person in the room who affected me in a way no one else there (or anywhere) did. Jane Sloan.

My eyes swept over her body. Fuck. Her outfit. Everyone in the room was wearing light blue, black, white or grey but Jane... Jane's dress was the same colour as my blazer. Jane and I looked like we'd colour-coordinated beforehand. Everyone turned to face me as I spoke and my eyes made contact with Jane's beautiful hazel eyes. I'd come to accept my feelings for her a while ago. They'd developed quickly after I'd hired her but nothing had ever happened... Nothing could ever happen. Jane is straight and she's not interested in me... And I'm her boss. I walked to the front of the room. I heard a phone ding and I knew Jane had just received the email I had sent her.

 


 

Jane

 


 

I  looked at my phone to see an email from Jacqueline. The subject line read 'Your Pitches'. I checked to see what she'd put. My heart sank as I read her message: 'These aren't working for me. What else do you have? - J'. It took me a second after reading to look up from my screen. I looked at Jacqueline and our eyes met. The smile on her face and the look in her eyes told me it wasn't personal. It only made me feel a little better. As Jacqueline broke eye contact and walked towards the front of the room, my eyes followed her ass in those tight, black, leather pants.

Fuck, her ass looked good. When I realised what I was doing, I averted my eyes. I looked at Jacqueline's ass at every opportunity I got (usually when she was walking away from me). It had started the day I first met her. I'd come to terms with the fact that I'm attracted to Jacqueline several years ago (the moment I met her actually. I was a stumbling mess but that's a story for another time).

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

"Well, I am so happy to see all of your bright, shining, young, ethnically, sexually, and gender-diverse faces this morning." I met Richard's eyes as I gave my 'include everyone' welcome speech in front of the many TVs on the wall behind me, he smiled at me. "So we can hammer out the issues that really matter to today's woman." I saw Jane looking annoyed in the corner of the room. I knew it was because of my email. I hadn't meant to hurt her feelings (it was obvious the effort she'd put in. Lauren told me Jane had sent her double the number of pitches asked of her) but I knew she could do better. I turned and faced a smiling Lauren. "Lauren, why don't you get us started?" Lauren stood up and I took her seat as she started.

 

A Few Minutes Later...

 

"And, moving forward to our health section," Lauren said as she switched the screens to the health section of the latest issue of Scarlet. "We have a fantastic article about the best way to broach uncomfortable concerns with your gynaecologist." Richard interrupts Lauren's speech and Lauren's face, which is barely concealing her annoyance, makes me smile.

"I'd like to flag a concern about the word 'punani'."

"The article specifically says 'don't call it your punani'." Lauren smiles at Richard.

"Understood, but in the past, we've been criticised by a small but very vocal Indian group who believes that the word has been unfairly misappropriated." I refused to look at Richard or Lauren because I knew that, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to contain my laughter. "I'd rather swap it out and avoid any kind of backlash."

"Any problems with the word 'vajayjay'?" Lauren sarcastically asked.

"Uh, yeah. It's not 2006." Lauren looked annoyed by Kat's interruption before switching the screens to the next two pages of the recent issue.

"We can skip the next two pages. We had to pull the article over a legal issue." Before Lauren could move on, I heard Kat interrupt again.

"Wait, is that the, uh-- The lesbian Muslim artist story? We think that this will have a huge social media reach."

"Unfortunately, it's a moot point." I tilted my head to the side a little. I knew Kat was going to continue this conversation. "The artist initially agreed to let us run her photographs, but reneged at the last minute."

"Why did she decide to pull out?" Everyone faced Kat and I decided this conversation was more interesting than before (even if we need to move this meeting along a bit). "Okay, I just-- I think this story is worth fighting for." Kat walked forward as she talked. "It's click gold for us. It hits all of our boxes, no pun intended." I saw Jane staring at Kat as if she were crazy for continuing to talk and it made me smile. I agreed with what Kat was saying but if the artist won't allow us to use her pictures, then we can't. "It's feel-good, sexy, just the right amount of political."

"And I don't disagree. However, unfortunately, as Lauren said, it is a moot point, so let's move on. Let me take it from here." I stood up and I saw how shocked Lauren was by Kat's insistence before she sat in the chair I vacated. "Moving on to our Desire and Devotion section. This month, I am proud to present to you," I switched the screens past the next couple of pages until I got to the right ones and I turn to face Jane as I talked, making sure I maintained eye contact.

 


 

Jane

 


 

"Mount up and Ride. From Sidesaddle to Bareback, we've got positions guaranteed to make you yeehaw!" Oh, God. Fuck! Jacqueline's talking about sex positions whilst looking at me. Fuck. Contain yourself, Jane. She's your boss. Don't overthink it. She looked around the entire room. She just happened to look at you on this sentence. It doesn't mean anything. Just breathe. Don't let her see you freak out. Fuck.

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

Richard smirked at me when I looked at him as the board whispered amongst themselves.

 

After The Meeting...

 

As Lauren and I walked towards the elevators with Sutton in tow, I started speaking. "I think we sufficiently shocked them."

"I don't know how you enjoy those meetings." I knew Lauren was just mad about Kat's interruptions but she was always like this after them for one reason or another.

"All you have to do is look at their faces," I said as we got in the elevator. By my words, I had meant looking at Jane's face when talking about something sex-related. Seeing her squirm earlier had made the entire thing more than enjoyable. I heard Richard call out.

"Hold that elevator." Lauren held the elevator for him. I needed to talk to him anyway. He walked in whilst typing on his phone. He smiled at me and I smiled back. He put his phone away in his pocket and the doors closed.

"How much pushback am I going to get from Charles this month?"

"You're a magazine about sex. He gets that." Richard saw the look I gave him because of his words and he amended them. "You're a magazine about empowering women." The elevator dinged and I said "Yeehaw!" before Lauren and I got off and I walked towards the glass conference room (with the door open) where I could see Jane and Alex.

 


 

Jane

 


 

"What about this? Female heads of unions, about how the number of women in leadership roles is still disproportionately low." Alex continued playing with the baseball in his hands whilst sitting in the chair at the head of the conference table as I walked around him. "And we covered something similar last May."

"I didn't say that... But we covered something similar last May." I let out a loud sigh.

"I-- I'm just second-guessing everything."

"Go with your gut. What does Jane Sloan care about?" Impressing Jacqueline.

"Um, Jane Sloan cares about not looking like an idiot in front of Jacqueline again."

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

Huh. Does she know I'm standing right behind her? I might as well have some fun scaring her. She doesn't have to worry about looking like an idiot in front of me. She just ends up acting cute instead... At least now I know what's wrong with her pitches. I know she can do better if she just gets out of her head. "Interesting." Jane lifted her head and looked like a deer in headlights as she realised I'd heard what she'd said. She and Alex exchanged a look. "It just clicked for me what is going wrong with your ideas. You're pitching what you think I want to hear."

"W-- Well--"

"You're a new voice. I wanna hear it." I pointed at her. "You and me..." Jane looked shocked. "My office... First thing tomorrow morning." Jane looked terrified as I walked out of the conference room.

 


 

Jane

 


 

I looked at Alex before leaning over the end of the table. "Oh, I think I'm gonna be sick."

 

Later That Day...

 

I put on some gold-rimmed sunglasses that were eight-sided. "How about these?" I asked Sutton. We were in the fashion closet. Sutton was standing and looking at shoes whilst I was sat down and looking at sunglasses.

"Too big. And I can still see your pain."

"Great." I took off the sunglasses as Kat walked in.

"Ladies, I have spent the last two hours down a lesbian Muslim rabbit hole." Kat sat down in front of me. "What's wrong with her?" Kat looked at Sutton before looking back at me as I put on a pair of round, pink-rimmed sunglasses.

"Jacqueline hated all of my ideas."

"She didn't hate them." Sutton interrupted from behind me (where she was still looking at shoes).

"Oh, no. She was just fascinated by how boring they were."

"Hey, if it helps, I heard Jacqueline tell Lauren that she was looking for something in the 'social-media stalking' arena." I took the sunglasses off. They weren't working for me.

"Yeah, you know, I'm not gonna inspire the next generation of women with social-media stalking." Sutton sat down next to me and put the sunglasses down.

"Fine. Then, we can talk about Kat's lesbian Muslim rabbit hole, because seriously, what?"

"Yeah," I whispered.

"I'm gonna persuade that artist to be in the magazine."

"Oh, no, Kat, I would let it go. Lauren was not happy today." I started playing with the sunglasses as Kat and Sutton talked.

"That's because she's threatened by anyone young with ambition."

"Well, Jacqueline wasn't happy either." I picked up a pair of round, white-rimmed sunglasses.

"Well, she wasn't happy with the interruption, but she was basically telling me to go after that story." Sutton and I looked at each other.

"I wanna be as confident as her. How did she get to be so confident?" I decided Sutton's question would be a good chance to tease Kat and I took it.

"Um, she was over-praised as a child." Kat shot me a look that clearly said 'Really?' and I smirked at her.

 

The Next Morning...

 

I logged into my JaneSloanNYC Snapchat account as I got into the elevator and sent Sutton a message that said 'OMG FREAKOUTS WHERE ARE YOU?!?!?!?' and had an eight-second picture of me looking anxious with the caption 'About to meet Jacqueline! Terrified. Where are you I need a PepTalk?!' Sutton just sent me a picture with the caption 'PERSIST'.

 

A Few Minutes Later...

 

Jacqueline and I walked out of her office. I tried to concentrate on her words but she looked so good. "I don't have a lot of time, but I just wanted to chat with you about where you fit in here." Jacqueline and I walked around the bullpen as we talked.

"Absolutely, and I know that my last round of pitches was way too safe." Jacqueline looked at something on someone's desk before continuing to walk and talk.

"And I have writers who write safe, and then I have writers who take big swings, and we just need to find out which one you are." Jacqueline stopped as she got to the fashion stuff pinned to the wall.

"And I think I could be one of those big-swing writers, and I'm already brainstorming some new ideas." Jacqueline took a few pages off of the wall.

"Great! Fire when ready." She pinned something back on the wall before turning back to face me.

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

"That means, give me what you got." God, Jane looks so sexy when she's flustered.

"Oh, uh..." Jane fiddled with her notebook. Why do all her outfits complement mine? Does she always just know what colours I'm going to wear? Her skirt is so short. It's barely covering her ass. But, fuck. It does make her ass look good.

"Jane." Jane stopped fiddling with her notebook. "This is a huge promotion." I put my hand on my chest. "Now, I believe that you are ready for this next step, but now you have to show me you're ready. Try again. Full sentences this time," I said before turning around.

 


 

Jane

 


 

"Um, okay, uh, redefining what it means to break through the glass ceiling." Jacqueline stopped at another desk to read something. "We could call it, uh, 'Not Your Mother's Glass Ceiling'."

"Mm, that feels familiar to me." She started walking again. "I need something specific. What's your relationship with your mother like?" Thoughts of my mom in the hospital getting her treatment floated into my head. I need to get away from this topic immediately.

"Um, uh... I was thinking just more mothers in general."

"Generalities do not sell magazines." Okay, Jane. Move the conversation away from mothers before you start to talk about yours and cry before the day is over. You've already embarrassed yourself in front of Jacqueline enough in the past couple of days. You can't cry in front of her! Jacqueline stopped at another desk and picked up two pieces of paper and started to compare them.

"Uh, social-media stalking. How often should you look at your ex online?" God, please. Don't make me talk about my mom.

"Actually, I was still on the mother topic." Jacqueline handed the two pieces of paper over to the blonde sitting at the desk. "I like these two together."

"Thank you, Jacqueline." We walked over to the flat-plan on the wall.

"Right, sorry, um..."  Fuck. Come on, Jane! Say something to pull her away from the topic of moms. "And my ex isn't even on social media, so.." Please let that get her attention. "Uh, but I was thinking mothers--" Jacqueline turned to me and held her hand out.

"No, hold on." Oh, thank God.

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

Her ex isn't on social media? I thought all 20 somethings were on social media. Even I'm on social media... Why wouldn't he be on social media? "This ex of yours." God, I don't want to talk about Jane's ex. "Isn't that odd for somebody your age not to be on social media?"

"A friend of his screwed up a job pretty bad because of a dumb Instagram post--"

"What's that like, not being able to check up on your ex?" Someone, please stop this conversation. I don't want to talk to Jane about this... Even if it could be a great story. Jane tensed at my question.

"Fine." Jane was lying to me so I did the one thing that always makes her immediately tell me the truth (even if I don't know why it does): I raised my eyebrow and she immediately sighed and relaxed. "Okay, it's horrible." I chuckled.

"There was a time when we were all in that position," I turned back to face the flat plan in front of me. "Not being able to check up on our exes. Ladies, I think we could do a little bit better here, don't you?" I took a page down from the flat-plan, turned around and put it on the desk in front of me. I turned back to face the flat-plan.

"Well, then you understand how powerless I feel."

"Mm, I can't say I've ever felt powerless." I turned away from the flat plan. I'm happy with the rest of it and I want to get this conversation over with as soon as possible. "More like curious." Jane and I start walking away from the flat plan. "But, you, know, I'm very interested now, so tell me more about this." We stopped walking and I didn't want to know more but I knew I wouldn't be doing my job right if I let this opportunity pass.

"Well, our break-up was really sudden, and I don't know what happened, so maybe I wouldn't have to wonder so much if I just knew where he was or what he was doing right now." Oh, God. I can't believe I'm about to suggest this.

"Sounds like it might be the time to find that out, wouldn't you say?" Jane looked a little lost and so I gave her a little nudge in the direction I was taking this. "And write about it?" Fuck! Why did I do this to myself? I don't want to read about Jane and her ex. I just made my life harder for myself. I'm an idiot.

"Yes, yes, uh." She's so cute when she stumbles over her words because she's so eager to please me (it reminds me of the day I met her)… If only she was so eager to please me in another way... Stop Jacqueline! This is not the time for that line of thought! That time is when your home after work today and relaxing with a hot shower. "I, uh... I could do a how... How-to. 'How To Stalk Your Unstalkable Ex'." Fuck, thank you for a way out of this conversation.

"Yes, great title. I can't wait to see where this goes." I walk off towards my office, beating myself up in my head, and I leave Jane there. I know she's watching me walk away. She always does.

 


 

Jane

 


 

A Few Minutes Later...

 

I walk up to Sutton's desk. I need to vent and freak out about the assignment Jacqueline gave me. "So," Sutton drops her phone on her desk. "I just got a story approved." Sutton gasps and I realise something. "Are you not wearing a bra?" Sutton's shirt had one too many buttons undone. She puts her hand over the top of her shirt to keep it a little more closed.

"I-- You got a story approved? Oh, my God. That's amazing. Tell me everything. What is the story about?" Kat suddenly interrupts our conversation.

"My meeting with Adena was a disaster." Kat moved her head from facing Sutton to face me. She briefly faced Sutton when Sutton said 'Aw' before facing me again. "Is Sutton not wearing a bra?"

"Yeah, I don't-- Why aren't you?"

"Jane got a story approved." We both know Sutton's deflecting but we let her.

"Oh, hey! See, I told you. Who's better than you, babe?" Kat asked as Sutton crossed her arms and used her hands to cover her boobs over her shirt.

"No one." Sutton grinned at me as she spoke.

"No, no, this is terrible. It's called 'How To Stalk Your Unstalkable Ex'."

"So cute." How does Sutton not get it?

"Mm." Then, it dawned on me.

"Oh, my God. I'm a how-to girl."

"Jane, I actually kind of like the idea of you doing something that involves Eric." Great! Now Kat doesn't get it either. "You know, maybe you can finally get some closure."

"I have closure. It's closed." I saw the look Kat gave Sutton. I knew they didn't believe me... Hell, I didn't believe me. "D-D-Don't."

"Don't what?" Like Kat doesn't know what I'm talking about.

"Can we just focus on..." Sutton nodded.

"Mm-hmm."

"You getting a bra, and how am I even supposed to stalk him?"

"Um, how did women used to do this?" Sutton's question made me think... Actually, how did they used to do this? "There's-- How did women use to do this?"

 

Thirty Minutes Later...

 

I was sat in a black town car with Sutton on my right and Kat on my left. We were on our way to Eric's apartment. "I can't believe we're driving slowly past Eric's house." I scoffed. "I must be insane." I turned to face Sutton. "You know what? This is stupid." I faced the guy in the driver's seat in front of Kat. "Sir, can you please turn around?"

"Sir, can you please ignore everything my friend just said." I faced Sutton as she talked to the driver.

"Mm-hmm."

"You're getting closure."

"Yes, and we're on a bridge." I turned to face forward as Kat talked.

"This is going to be really good for you." Sutton's reassurance didn't help at all.

"No, no, it's not."

"Yes, it is." I don't get how Kat still doesn't realise that this isn't going to help... All it's going to do is hurt. "And, hey, look at all this legroom."

"Oh, my God." Sutton and Kat faced each other. Sutton held out her left hand (with a silver ring on the bottom of her middle finger and a gold ring halfway down her ring finger). "I was just thinking that." Kat high-fived her, with her right hand (which had a silver ring on it), as they both leaned over me.

 

Ten Minutes Later...

 

We reached Eric's apartment complex and the driver parked the car before I rolled down Kat's window. "Now what?" Sutton asked me as we all stared at Eric's front door through Kat's window.

"I guess we just watch and wait." Kat, Sutton and I turned to face the driver. I didn't even want to know what he thought of us. "I'm so incredibly sorry, sir. This is probably the weirdest thing you've ever had to do." The guy turned towards us a little to show he was listening.

"You can call me Carl." Kat turned back to look out of the window.

"Hi, Carl." Kat turned back to face Carl.

"How about I get out and see if his name is still on the call box?" Carl opened the door and got out.

"Total babe." Carl closed the door and walked towards Eric's front door. Kat, Sutton and I all watched Carl.

"God, it's so weird being back here." Kat turned to face me. "I mean, how many hours did I spend hanging out on those steps with him?" God, this hurts. I still don't get why he did what he did.

"Mm, honey..." Kat side-hugged me.

"It's okay. It's okay." I put my hands up. "There's no need to be melodramatic. I'm-- I'm fine." Kat turned to face Carl again. She looked fed-up.

"Jane, he's the first guy that you said "I love you" to. It's okay to not be fine." He's the first 'person' I said that to. Kat and Sutton didn't know that I was bi or that I have feelings for Jacqueline. I don't know why I haven't told them... I know they'll be okay with it but... Okay, Jane. This isn't the time to be thinking about that.

"But I'm seriously fine." I let out a deep breath and faced Carl again. "Okay. Ahem." Kat looked down the road a little.

"Oh, wait, is that him?" At Kat's question, I turned to face in the direction Kat was facing. Oh, no. I saw Eric walking up the road with his earphones in and holding a cup of coffee with his bag over his shoulder. We all ducked down in the car and I gasped. "Oh, my God, it's him."

"Oh!" I peaked a look at him as Sutton hurt her side a little.

"Carl, Carl, Carl." Kat got Carl's attention. "That's him. Get back." I watched Eric go into his apartment as Carl started the car.

"And now?" Sutton asked.

"We get the hell out of Brooklyn," Kat said after sighing. She rolled up the window and we drove off.

 

Forty-Five Minutes Later...

 

After debating whether or not I should talk to Jacqueline, I saw her standing in front of the flat plan and I walked towards her whilst holding my notebook and my pink pen. She pulled a page off of the wall and I turned back around to walk the way I came. "Jane?" Oh my God. Does she have eyes in the back of her head?

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

I heard Jane's heels behind me and I called her name. I heard her hesitate and I smiled. I turned to face her. Oh, fuck. She's changed her outfit.

God. Why do all her outfits have to show her legs so much? She looks so good! Why does she keep changing her outfit? She looks good in everything. I haven't changed since Jane and I last spoke. But I did add a large, silver bracelet on my right wrist. "Do you need something?" I put a different page of the flat plan in a blank space. I can tell Jane is nervous and I'm enjoying seeing her squirm.

"Yes, if you have a minute." God, I love her pink lipstick. No. You can think about this later. Focus on what Jane is trying to talk to you about. It must be important as she's so nervous.

"I do if it's important."

"I just wanted to talk to you about my assignment." Fuck, no. I don't want to talk more about Jane's ex. It makes me so jealous. No one's ever been able to make me feel jealous before... And I don't like it. I knew I looked shocked but I thought I'd made it clear to her how I felt about this. "I feel like I gave you the wrong impression of who I am as a writer and where I belong here." Is she serious? I liked her pitch. It was good... Even if I'd prefer for it to be about someone else's ex and not Jane's... Work-wise... It was a great pitch for the magazine. "I think that I could handle bigger subject matter, and I wanna prove it, so I have some ideas that I was hoping to throw at you."

"No." I know Jane is capable of so much but this is a good article... She'll have other chances to do big articles but this article is not only good for Scarlet but it'll be good for her. If she's so eager to not write this article, then that's exactly why she should write it. She must have some kind of unresolved feelings when it comes to her ex and this may help her get past them... To move on. And that'll be good for her and me whoever is her next partner. "Jane, I liked your pitch. It's the story I want you to write." I turn back to the flat plan and I put the page, that's still in my hands, down on the table below it. I turn in Jane's direction and walk past her and back to my office.

 


 

Jane

 


 

After Jacqueline left, I walk over to Sutton's desk as she hangs up her office phone. "Hi." I mess with my phone in my hands as I talk to Sutton.

"Hi."

"Um, so Eric's best friend is going to a rooftop party in SoHo tonight. I know this because he's on Facebook, like all sane and rational people." Sutton looks down and writes something down in her notebook before looking back up at me.

"And you think that Eric might be there with him?"

"I think that the odds are good enough that I have to check it out, so... Will you please come with me?" Sutton's office phone rings again. "Please, please, please?"

"Hold on." Sutton picks up the phone. "Lauren Park's office. I don't have her at the moment. We'll have to return. Thank you." Sutton hangs up the phone, looks back down at her notebook and writes something as she responds. "I wish I could, but I have to work really late for the 60th-anniversary gala."

"Come on. Can't you have somebody, like, fill in for you? You're such a better wing woman than Kat. I need you."

"Aw, thanks. Tell that to my boss, though." Sutton writes something else down as she sighs and the phone rings again. "Lauren Park's office. Hold, please." She put whoever was on the phone on hold and turns to face me. "This is really important, so..." I sigh. "Um, I should probably--"

"Okay, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, fine. I will go alone, and I will call you later and tell you all about it. Love you. Bye." I turned away from Sutton's desk and walked away.

"Love you too, bye."

 

A Few Hours Later...

 

Alex and I arrived at the party.

I try to show off my legs as much as possible (even more so now that I've seen how much it affects Jacqueline). "Thank you so much for doing this for me. Sutton had to work late, and Kat-- I don't know, something about helping her new friend pack for a trip or something." Alex and I stop walking and I turn to face in his direction but I keep looking for Eric.

"Mm, no problem. So, we're hoping to just run into your ex?"

"Yeah."

"Okay." I see a blonde girl with a tray of drinks walk past and I take a vodka soda with a lime slice on the edge.

"Oh, thank you." I take the black straw out and take a sip. "Let's do a lap." We start walking around. I'm not sure if I do want Eric to be here (for the article) or not (for me).

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

An Hour Later...

 

I watched as Sutton left. That means that I'm the only one left on the whole floor. I looked at the name on the last article from my writers and it was Alex's. Great. That meant everyone but Jane has given me their finished articles. As happy as I am that I have a little more time before subjecting myself to that... I'm a little disappointed in her. I know this isn't easy for her as her breakup was clearly hard on her but I need it soon so I can submit the latest Scarlet issue for the board to review. I started on Alex's article. This should take me up to an hour and then I can go home.

 


 

Jane

 


 

Alex and I haven't seen Eric yet and so we were standing in a corner of the party (which had a good view of the whole place) and we were talking. I had my second vodka soda and Alex just had a vodka: It was his first and, according to him, the only drink he was having. "What happened? With Eric?" Oh, God... Well, I guess I should tell someone.

"It was my birthday, and we were going to go away for the weekend." Alex looked at his drink before looking back at me. "So we're standing in Grand Central Station, and he looks at me, and he says, 'I don't want to do this anymore.' And I was like, 'We don't have to go to the Hamptons.' And... Yeah, he didn't-- He didn't mean the weekend. He meant all of it."

"Sorry."

"It's fine." Alex looked at me. I could tell he didn't believe me.

"Really?"

"No. No, it's not fine." I let out a scoff. "Um... I was never taught how to handle this kind of stuff. I mean, between three brothers and no mom, I didn't exactly get the instruction manual on how to deal with it when the guy you love leaves you alone in a train station on your birthday, so..."

"You never told me about your mom." I can't believe this. I am not having this conversation and staying sober.

"She died when I was really little, so I-- I don't even remember her."

"Sorry to hear that."

"It would've been nice, to have some female energy around. It's gonna sound really dumb, but, uh, it's kind of why I fell in love with Scarlet, 'cause when I needed it, it was like... Getting advice from an older sister that I always wished I had." Alex chuckled at my words.

"It doesn't sound dumb at all."

"Yeah." I downed the rest of my drink.

 

An Hour Later...

 

After finishing my drink and two more, I was getting let into Scarlet by a very polite security guy. "Thank you, sir." I walked into Scarlet. "You will not regret this. I might. You will not." I put my bag on the Scarlet reception desk and climbed onto it. "I think the mainline calls out from an unlisted number." I picked up the office phone and placed it in front of me. I took the phone off of the receiver and dialled Sutton's number to check if I was right. The phone makes noise before Sutton picks up.

"This is Sutton."

"Hi, it's me."

"Jane?"

"Mm-hmm."

"Why are you calling me from an unknown number?"

"It worked." I couldn't believe it. I'm so lucky! I didn't think it would work!!!

"You sound drunk."

"Yes. Correct. I, um-- I got myself drunk enough to express my emotions, and it turns out I have a lot of emotions to express. Not at you. You, I love. Um, but at Eric, and I'm gonna call him after you give me a pep talk." God, please talk me out of this.

"Um, are you sure you want to do that right now?"

"Yes." No. "Gosh, worst pep talk ever."

"Everything okay?" Okay, that was NOT Sutton's voice. That... Sounded like a guy.

"Um, Sutton Brady, where are you? Are you with a dude?"

"No, I'm still at the office." Wait, what? "Ah, that's Lauren's phone ringing right now." I can't hear anything. "I've gotta go get it. I'm sorry. I'll call you later. Bye." That was weird. I lay down on my back (pulling the phone and its cord with me) and look towards Sutton's desk. She's not there.

"Liar!" I yell.

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

I heard someone yell and my curiosity gets the better of me. I find Jane, laying on her back on the Scarlet reception desk, in a dress that shows as much leg as her other dresses and so much cleavage that I can see the top of her boobs. Oh, God. Fuck! Turn around, Jaqueline. She hasn't seen you yet. "J-- Jacqueline... Heyyy... I didn't know you were still heeeree... Hi, Jack." Is she... Slurring her words? And, did she just... Call me Jack?

"Jane... Do you always lay down on the reception desk at half-past eleven in the afternoon or is this your first time?" Jane looked like she just realised where she was.

"Oh... Uh..." Jane swung her legs so they hung off of the desk and I let out a laugh at her behaviour when she hit her leg and whispered: "Fuck!" Or, at least, she tried to whisper but she didn't succeed. "It's not funny... I hurt the leg... My leg... It hurts..." She giggled whilst pouting and I laughed again. She's drunk... So drunk... And, so cute...

 


 

Jane

 


 

"Why're you still here? It's late... I just got back from the... They partied... The party... Eric's friend was there but no Eric..." I suddenly remembered why I was there. "I came to... Call him on the phone... He's cute... But not as cute as you." Jacqueline looked amused.

"Cute? No one's ever called me 'cute' before..." Did I say that 'cute' thing out loud? Damn it! "Usually, people call me 'beautiful' or even 'pretty' but no one calls me 'cute'."

"Not sexy? Has no one called you that? Because I'm having a hard time believing that. Because you are sexy." Jacqueline looked shocked at my boldness. Good. She shouldn't underestimate what 'Drunk Jane' is capable of. No one should. Jacqueline blushed. Oh my God! I made Jacqueline Carlyle blush! How?

"No, they have... I just... Didn't think you would..." I smirked at her cute stumbling.

"Well... You should never underestimate the effect a couple of vodka sodas have on me."

"And what effect is that?" Jacqueline stepped closer so she was standing right in front of me. Despite wearing heels, because I was still sitting on the desk, she was about a head shorter than me. Fuck, she's still so gorgeous.

"You're small... Is this how people feel when around me?" She giggled. Oh, my God. I made Jacqueline Carlyle giggle! I did that! Me!

"Yes, but you still haven't answered my question."

"What question?" What was she talking about again?

"What effect does vodka soda have on you?"

"It's called 'liquid courage' for a reason. It makes me more open and honest and bold."

"Bold, huh?" I wrapped my legs around her and brought her a little closer. She's so sexy. She looked at my lips as I watched hers. We made eye contact before I looked at her lips again and I moved a little closer. I could feel her breath before I watched her eyes close.

"Can I?" I knew she was aware of what I was asking. I knew we shouldn't cross that line. I knew it would complicate things but... God, I want her so bad... I want to kiss her... I need to kiss her.

"Please..." I put my hands in her short, blonde hair and pulled her closer as our lips met. It felt so good being close to Jacqueline like this... Finally getting what I'd wanted for so long. I felt her tongue run across my bottom lip and I immediately granted her access. Jacqueline moaned and I lost it. I used my legs to pull her even closer and the kiss became even more passionate. We both moaned as Jacqueline's tongue finally stopped fighting for dominance. God, she tastes so good. Jacqueline moaned again before I pulled back to breathe. A few seconds later Jacqueline leaned in again but I put my hand on her chest. I was right earlier: I'm so lucky.

"Stop." Jacqueline immediately froze.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't've... I wouldn't've done anything unless I'd thought that you... God. That isn't an excuse. I'm sorry for making you uncomfortable. It won't happen again. I promise-" I cut her off with a quick kiss.

"Don't. I wanted it. That isn't why I asked you to stop. I don't want you to stop. I want us to keep kissing. I enjoyed it. You're, unsurprisingly, a great kisser but... I've been drinking and... I've wanted to kiss you for years... I just... It's late and I should get home or I'm going to end up falling asleep here and I don't think that's a good idea." Jacqueline chuckled as I tried to reassure her.

"Okay. Can you call Kat or Sutton to come and pick you up or do you want me to have my driver take us both home?"

"I'll call Kat because, if you take me home, I don't think I'll be able to resist letting you in to continue this and I don't want the first time we have sex to be whilst I still have alcohol in my system." Jacqueline raised an eyebrow at me. "And, fuck. Don't do that... It makes you look so sexy and it's hard for me to keep my hands to myself." Jacqueline chuckled.

"It's just... I want us to have sex too... God... I've wanted this for years, too."

"Really?" Jacqueline nodded.

"Okay, now. Let's get you home. I'll stay here until Kat comes." I nodded and Jacqueline hands me my phone. I put my password in, scroll through my contacts, select Kat's name and wait for her to pick up. "Uh, Jane... Sweetie... You need to press 'call'."

"Oh, right." I press call and wait for Kat to pick up as Jacqueline chuckles. I lay back down on the desk.

"Jane?"

"At first, I was calling because Sutton lied to me, and I'm worried about her, but now I'm calling because I'm drunk and I might puke and I need you to come and hold my hair back."

"I'm on my way." Kat hung up and I turn to face Jacqueline.

"She's coming over." Jacqueline came closer and gently kissed me.

"Good. You need a friend right now." I smiled at her.

"No. I need you." I pull her closer and passionately kiss her.

"I love kissing you." I giggled at Jacqueline's words.

"I love kissing you, too."

 

The Next Morning...

 

"I have no idea why she lied to me, but she seriously saved my ass last night." Kat and I were trying to track down Sutton through 'Find My Friends'.

My outfit was worn specifically for getting Jacqueline's attention... Well... Getting me the attention of Jacqueline's mouth. Kat looked at the app on her phone to double-check the address. "I was about three seconds from drunk-dialling Eric."

"Kinda wished you had. I like the idea of angry Jane." We looked at the building that Sutton was supposed to be in.

"Are you sure this is the right place?"

"Yeah. This is the building." I looked up to the top of the building. It was a tall building.

"Swanky." We saw Sutton walk out of the building with a guy in a grey suit, black sunglasses and a dark grey tie... Wait... Is that...? She turned around and put her arms around the guy that I think is Richard Hunter.

"Oh, my God." Sutton and Richard passionately kissed with Richard's hands on her ass. "Oh, my God." Kat was right: Oh, my God. Sutton and Richard said something to each other and Sutton turned and started walking away. Kat and I watched her. We saw her stop when she noticed us.

 

A Few Minutes Later...

 

"You guys followed me?"

"We have each other's 'Find My Friends' for a reason." Okay, Sutton's mad and Kat's statement is not helping.

"Yeah. In case one of us gets blackout drunk and/or roofied." I pointed at Sutton before lowering my hand. I considered taking my sunglasses off of my head and putting them over my eyes because it's bright today.

"How could you not tell us that you're having sex with Richard Hunter?"

"'Cause, she's being an idiot." Okay, still not helping, Kat.

"I've been dying to tell you guys everything, but he's a board member. This is a huge risk for him. If this ever got out, it would be terrible--"

"No, if this gets out, Richard will be absolutely fine. Uh, he'll probably get a pat on the back from the rest of the board. You're the one who's gonna get trashed, Sutton." Harsh... But true. "We all know what everyone at Scarlet calls this, sleeping with an older man with money, you're--"

"Screwing up? You think I'm screwing up?" Screwing up... Well, the Scarlet employees who use that term may not be very creative but at least they make it clear what they mean... Wait... Is that... Is that what they'll think if I tell them about me kissing Jacqueline last night...? Fuck, I can't tell them.

"I don't think that, Sutton."

"First of all... I can screw whoever I want!" Sutton lowered her volume when people started to stare at us. "And second of all, that's not even what this is, Kat. I like him." When Kat and I don't say anything, Sutton continues. "What? A guy like that would never go for a girl like me?" I take this as my cue to speak up as Kat isn't getting this conversation anywhere.

"That's not what we're saying."

"Do you realise how insane it is that you used an app to stalk me?" Kat's phone rings and she takes it out of her bag as I continue to talk to Sutton.

"Okay, well, I called you--"

"Just give me one second." Kat moved away to answer the phone.

"Last night because I needed you, and you lied to me." We argue for another thirty seconds before Kat comes back after hanging up the phone.

"I would never do that to you."

"Guys, shut up. Shut up!" Sutton and I turn to Kat and she's distressed. "Adena's been detained at the airport back home. They found one of the vibrators in her luggage." Kat's phone rings again and she picks it up as she walks away from us. "Hello? Yeah, I'm here."

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

I listen as Kat explains Adena's situation. I haven't seen Jane yet but I picked out my outfit this morning with only her in mind.

I know Jane likes it when I wear suits because I always catch her staring at me. "They're supposed to take the contraband and let her go, but they've been holding her for hours, and they won't let Firuze or anyone else talk to her."

"Well, does she have a lawyer over there?"

"No. That's why Firuze called me. She was hoping, you know, that maybe I could help, but, uh, I just have no idea who to call." I could tell Kat was worried about Adena. We need to do something.

"Um, Evan." The guy at the desk in front of the office turned around. "Get Janice O' Hare on the phone. I have a friend at the State Department." Kat and Lauren left the office and I talked to Janice. Right after I hung up, I heard some yelling. When I get to the bullpen, I see Lauren and Kat in an argument.

"I am the social media director, okay? I'm tweeting this."

"Have you even considered what this could do to Adena? Putting attention on it? Shaming them? " Kat looked apologetic. It was clear that she hadn't. "God, Kat. Just think it through before you open your mouth." Kat looked mad at Lauren's words and she started to type angrily on her phone. I noticed Jane was standing next to me and she had Sutton on her right. They shared a look and I knew that, whatever Kat was doing, it wasn't a good thing. Then, all thoughts of Kat and Lauren went out of my mind as I noticed the outfit Jane was wearing. Fuck. She had so many buttons undone that, because of my height, I could see the top of her boobs. God, I want her. "What are you doing?" Everyone stared at Kat as she continued to type. Then, we heard the sound of a tweet being posted. Lauren was MAD. I turned to Jane and we shared a look.

"I need to talk to you later. Make sure you come by my office." I whispered before I turned away and walked into my office. I pulled up the Scarlet Twitter feed and smirked when I saw what Kat had posted.

I let out a laugh as I imagine Lauren's reaction to finding out that this is what Kat posted.

 


 

Jane

 


 

"Kat, where are you going?"

"Kat, stop." Kat turned around as I called out to her.

"I... I don't know, okay?" Kat answered Sutton's question. We'd followed her as she'd stalked out of Scarlet after her argument with Lauren. I was very happy with Jacqueline's outfit choice, the way she'd responded to mine and that she wanted to see me later. I knew that, later, we'd end up talking about my meeting with Jacqueline and the kiss... But for now, we need to focus on helping Kat with Adena and herself. "I don't know. I just-- I need to go to the consulate." Sutton and I stared at Kat as if she'd gone insane and, honestly, I was starting to think that she might have. "Or-- Or call the-- I don't know. I just-- I need to do something." Screaming... That's what she needs to do: She needs to scream.

"There's nothing you can do." Sutton may be right about what Kat can do about Adena but we can still help Kat feel better.

"Hey, hey, it's gonna be okay."

"Yeah."

"They could send her to jail forever, or worse, and it's completely my fault."

"Hey, it is not your fault." Sutton's words were not helping as Kat seemed to get even more distressed.

"Yes, it is. I gave her the vibrators. It was my idea to smuggle them in, all because I..." Wait... Does Kat have feelings for Adena? "I just-- I-- I need to fix this."

"No, what you need to do right now is just scream." "When I was a kid in Colorado, I used to hike up the mountains and scream. Just let it out." Kat looked at me as if I was the insane one.

"Well, that is a beautiful story, Jane, but unfortunately, this is not Colorado. This is New York City, and there is literally nowhere-" Kat got bumped into by a guy in a blue polo shirt who just walked away as if he hadn't done anything. "--In this entire city where people aren't always on top of you!" I'd like Jacqueline on top of me... Not the time, Jane. Kat looked as if she was going to cry. "Excuse me, sir, thank you." Kat turned around and stalked off again.

 

Two Minutes Later...

 

Kat faced the train as it passed us. "Shut up!" Kat was yelling but I could barely hear her over the train.

"No, no, no, this is perfect. We just found the one place in New York where you can scream."

"Oh, my God, Jane. Please stop."

"Hey, we're just trying to help you." Kat still looks like she's going to cry and Sutton's words aren't helping.

"What are you going to do to help, Sutton? You gonna call your boyfriend and see if maybe he can fix the problem for me?" Kat looks like she's going to throw up and she turns towards the, now open, door of the train. "I've got to go." Sutton turns to face me.

"You know what? If she wants to go through this alone, let her." I watch as Sutton leaves and then I watch Kat get on the train. Damn it! And, I woke up happy this morning! They still don't know about mine and Jacqueline's kiss. Damn it!

 

Ten Minutes Later...

 

I groan as I enter the fashion closet and throw my handbag on the ground. I stop stomping when I notice Jacqueline sitting in the fashion closet with one red shoe on and the other in her hand above her left foot. Her black shoes, which I'm sure she was wearing this morning, are on the floor next to her. "Hello, Jane."

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

I don't like that Jane's mad and upset. "Jacqueline." But I do like it when she says my name. "I'm so sorry, I didn't realise you were in here." Clearly. "I'll get out of your way." She's so cute when she's flustered.

"I just wasn't feeling these shoes sent over for the gala, but it seems like you need this closet a lot more than I do." I put one of my black shoes back on.

"No, no. Uh, don't wear shoes you don't like because of me. Just forget I was here."

"Jane. What is going on with you?"

"Uh, nothing."

"I felt confident giving you this promotion," I take off the other red shoe and put the black one back on. "But your energy this week has been off. Maybe your not quite ready." I stand up and Jane walks closer as she talks.

"No. I am. I'm ready. And I'm so grateful for this opportunity."

"Good. I'm glad to hear that." I walk past her and she turns around. "So when am I going to get some material from you?"

"Soon. It's all there. Well, I found Eric. I, um... I'm just having trouble finishing it." I cross my arms. I don't want to talk about this... Jane and I still haven't talked about our kiss. I don't even know if she remembers it with how drunk she was.

"How can we fix that, then?"

"Well, I guess I-- I need to talk to him."

"Well, that sounds like a pretty good guess to me. Why haven't you done that?"

"Because it hurts too much." The door opened and Andrew popped his head in.

 


 

Jane

 


 

"Jacqueline, I've got Beyoncé for you." Jacqueline looked like she'd just remembered something. "Beyoncé Knowles."

"No shit, Andrew." Jacqueline looked annoyed. Well, if Beyoncé's calling, I guess this conversation's over. "Tell her I'll call right back." Wait, what? Did she just...? But... It's Beyoncé! "So it's your choice whether you want to go after that ending or not," I held my breath as she walked closer to me. "But I've never met anybody who made a career happen by hiding out in the fashion closet." Jacqueline turned and walked to the door but hesitated before opening it. "Oh, and don't forget we still need to talk about our kiss." She opened the door and left.

 

The Scarlet Party That Night...

 

Okay. Now you're almost all caught up. Sutton, Kat and I are wearing the outfits we were in at the beginning but I have a gold, hand-held purse with me and we still have the party to get through before you're completely caught up... But, I'm hoping you don't think we're as weird as you did at the beginning. So, let's get on with the ending to the story I'm telling you today...

 

I walk down the steps and I see Sutton on the other side of the gold bannister. I look at her as we talk. I know Jacqueline is behind me but Sutton needs me right now. "Don't even say it."

"I know. But I don't want you to get hurt." I was just trying to look out for her.

"Me neither." Sutton doesn't say anything more as she walks up the stairs and I turn to watch her.

 

Ten Minutes Later...

 

Jacqueline held the mic to her face as she started her speech.

"Thank you very much for joining me to celebrate 60 years of Scarlet." The room is filled with cheer and applause. "Our little magazine has gone through quite a few changes over the past six decades, and for those of you who say that we are still a fashion and beauty magazine, I say yes. Yes, we are. But for those of you who say we are just a fashion and beauty magazine, I say, here's the next great mascara to give you bigger eyes to see the world. Here's a fabulous pair of jeans. Now go climb a mountain..." Everyone chuckled. "A few years ago, I read an application of a young intern, and her words have always stayed with me." Jacqueline and I made eye contact.

"When asked why she wanted to work at Scarlet, she said: 'Because when I needed it, Scarlet was like getting the advice of an older sister that I'd always wished I'd had.' No matter how many years pass, no matter how the world changes, Scarlet will always be that older sister. And we will always be there for the girls who need her." Jacqueline and I smile at each other before she broke eye contact. "Those of you who work at the magazine, please raise your glasses." All of the Scarlet employees (including me, Kat and Sutton) raised their glasses at Jacqueline's request. "You are the women and men who work at Scarlet, and 60 years ago, this magazine set out to redefine the rules. And now that responsibility falls to each one of you." Sutton and I shared a look.

"And I want to make sure you understand what I expect of you. I expect you to have adventures." Jacqueline made eye contact with me. "I expect you to fall in love, to get your hearts broken." I broke eye contact as I smiled. "I expect you to have sex with the wrong people." As I looked up, Jacqueline and I made eye contact again. "To have sex with the right people." I gulped and Jacqueline broke eye contact when she swept her eyes over the room. "To make mistakes and make amends, take a leap and make a splash. And I expect you to unleash holy hell on anybody who tries to hold you back, but you don't just work for Scarlet. You are Scarlet." Jacqueline raised her glass high in the air at the end of her speech as everyone filled the room with cheers and applause. "Cheers."

 

An Hour Later...

 

Okay, now back to the train station. Kat, Sutton and I are holding hands as the train approaches.

 

We all take a deep breath and, as the train passes us, we let out screams. We laugh as the end of the train passes us. We all hug each other and then we start dancing (even though there isn't any music and we're in public).

 

So, yeah... Now, you're all caught up on why we were screaming in a train station, let's move on.

 

The Next Morning...

 

"Get up. Get up, get up, get up." I hear Sutton hitting the duvet and I wake up on the couch and I see Sutton holding a phone and Kat lifting the duvet off of her.

"What?"

"It's an international number." Sutton passes the phone to Kat and she answers it as I sit on the bed with them.

"Hello?" Kat smiles. "Hey, Adena." I smile at her and she looks so happy. "It's so good to hear your voice." Kat hits her head forwards on the duvet before lifting it back up. "Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, okay, so..."

 

Later That Day...

 

I'm sitting on the bench wearing a new outfit, which I'll show you later, with a purple off-the-shoulder purse. I see Eric approach the coffee cart in front of me like he does every morning out of habit and I stand up. "Eric." Eric turns around and he spots me.

"Jane. Hi." I walk closer to him. "What're you doing here?"

"I'm stalking you."

"I'm confused."

"It's a pretty crappy feeling, isn't it?"

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

I stand behind Kat and she's staring at something. I follow her eye line and see she's staring at the article on Adena... I'm pretty sure Kat was starting to develop feelings for Adena but it's not my place to say anything and I don't think she's aware of it yet... I should leave her to figure it out in her own time. "It's a great article." We turn and start walking towards my office.

"Thank you. And thank you for everything that you did to help."

"Well, I didn't do much. I mean my friend was able to put some pressure on, let 'em know that we're watching, but Adena's the one who refused to sign that paper. She's a brave girl." Kat and I stopped walking and I turned to face her.

"Yeah."

"And I know that not sending that tweet was not easy. But it was the right thing to do... This time. But not always. Adena's a brave girl. But so are you." I turned and walked into my office. Before I shut the door, I hear Kat call out.

"Thanks."

 

That Night...

 

Jane approached my desk looking very anxious and nervous. "So I read your article. Let's see, 'How To Get Over It When The Guy You Love Leaves You Standing In A Train Station.' It's not what we discussed." I looked at Jane as she braced herself to defend her article.

"I know. I, uh... I took a swing."

"You certainly did. It's excellent." Jane smiled at me and I smiled back. Jane turned and started to walk away as I turned to the work on my computer. I heard Jane hesitate and I watched as she turned around.

"Does it get easier?"

"Uh, the writing? Yes. But the broken heart... It just takes some time." Jane chuckled. "Jane... About our kiss..." I watched as Jane tensed up. I could see she was bracing herself for the worst. "I want it to happen again... But not until you've had some time to get over Eric. It's clear you're still hurting and you deserve some time to get over that." Jane nodded at my words before smiling.

"So... It will happen again...?" I chuckled at Jane.

"If that's what you want," Jane eagerly nodded. "Then, yes. Yes, it will." Jane smiled before leaving my office.

 


 

Jane

 


 

Five Minutes Later...

 

Kat poured the champagne into three, white Scarlet mugs and handed them to me and Sutton before we all sat down on the floor of the fashion closet.

 


 

Jacqueline

 


 

As I walked to the elevators I heard laughing coming from the fashion closet and I stopped. I looked through the open door. I saw Jane, Sutton and Kat sitting on the floor drinking champagne whilst talking and laughing with each other. I smiled before walking off towards the elevators (still hearing the loud laughter) with my heart full of happiness thinking of how happy Jane had seemed. I'm glad she's happy... She deserves to be happy.

 

I'll tell you more later but, for now, it's just To Be Continued...