Coffee with Lilly.

Jamie stood awkwardly. He felt bad about leaving this hard boiled girl alone - because that's all she was. A legal adult, with the attitude of a killer in their latter years, yet to him she seemed like a child hiding in a shell. She had killed his brother.

So what was he doing, standing in her apartment with a glass of water in his hand as he talked to her? He didn't know what to do. Leave? Stay? So he shrugged.

"Up to you," he said eventually.

"But... it isn't really." She replied.

"It's your apartment."

"It's your choice." She countered. He sighed and handed her back the glass of water that he hadn't drunk from.

"Sorry," he muttered, letting himself out.

"Wait! I didn't mean to be so mean." She sighed, standing in the doorway. "Come back tomorrow if you want, I have a day off." Jamie turned and faced her again.

"I can't come back here tomorrow, I have a gym to take care of." He told her.

"Of course... then..." She paused, thinking for a moment, "where is this gym, I'll visit you?" he considered her for a moment and then shrugged. Usually he would have promoted his gym like crazy to get more members, but he'd been thinking more about Sam...

"It's... it's a couple of blocks away. Near the Flamingo bar." He muttered. She nodded.

"Would you mind?"

"I guess not. I don't know how busy I will be, though." Jamie said, lifting his shoulders.

"Hmm. Well, I'll swing round anyway." She shook her head. "Thank you and I'm sorry." Jamie walked off without another word, unable to say anything more. She killed Sam, but I can't be mad at her, it's this goddamn sport that killed him. But...Christ, I don't know what to think. Eventually he decided it was best to not think.

Rounding a corner, he walked almost robotically to his house. The sleepless night dragged. It felt as though a hole had been blown out of him instead of Sam's head. The house felt empty. Sam was usually up late, lifting weights in his room, or doing something noisy that would keep him awake. But now he found he couldn't sleep without that noise in the background.

When Jamie opened up the gym late the next day, letting in the receptionist and trainers who had got there on time, no one said a thing to him. Dark circles had formed under his eyes, and he needed a shave. He smelt of his usual lynx deodorant, but there was a less pleasant undertone that suggested he had simply changed his top and sprayed the deodorant in an attempt to hide the smell of his restless night.

"Sorry I'm late, guys," he muttered, turning all the lights and electric outlets on. He went around the room turning all the equipment on and went to his office near the back, collapsing into the chair. He shut the door and the blinds, shutting out all but the music of the gym. He didn't know how long he was slumped over the desk for, staring at the stereo, but when there was a knock at the door, he blinked, realising he was supposed to be keeping up with the gym's bills.

"Yeah?" He asked, pulling a sheet of paper off his face where it had stuck.

"You alright, boss?" the voice of one of the trainers is muffled by the door. Jamie opens it and stares up at the trainer, their appearances contrasting almost embarrassingly; the trainer's clean white shirt emphasised his tan and muscled body, whereas Jamie's shirt was the first one he found on the floor, crumpled and dirty.

"Oh, I'm just dandy." Jamie snapped. "Sorry," he muttered, turning away from him, putting his head back on the desk.

"No, it's okay. I was just concerned. I'm not sure it's such a great idea to be at work after last night."

"Bills don't wait for you to get over things like that," Jamie mumbled into the paper.

"You can leave them to other people." Jamie shook his head at this, and waved the trainer away. With a sigh, the man left, revealing Lilly standing behind him, looking into his boxy little office. He didn't lift his head from the desk, but he did raise a hand by way of greeting.

"Busy?" she asked. Jamie shook his head as best he could with it on the desk.

"No, not really. I should be. I can't be bothered." He said. She laughed slightly.

"Ahh well. You run a fine place here," she gestured around the room behind her.

"Thanks," he pushed himself up off the desk and twisted his chair so he was facing her. She smiled and then asked the fatal question:

"How have you been?" He looked at her for a moment, incredulous.

"Does that one really need answering?" he asked after a moment.

"Oh. Right. Well, we could go for a coffee if you want, give you a break?" Lilly queried, looking a little awkward. Jamie sighed and pointed at a set of stairs.

"There's a cafe upstairs. I'll have a shower, and be with you in ten, okay?"

"Sure," she nodded with a smile and disappeared up the stairs. She took a seat and waited for him. Jamie picked himself up, put a new CD in the stereo and grabbed the keys, shutting the door and locking it behind him. He wandered over to the showers, grabbing his spare clothes - a trainer's white shirt and a pair of jogging trousers - and a towel. He ended up only taking five minutes, finding himself in the cafe looking for Lilly sooner than he expected to be. He saw her at a table away from the regulars.

"What drink?" he asked, not sitting down.

"Oh! I'll pay." She mumbled, standing up. He shrugged.

"Don't worry about it. The only difference between getting coffee here and at my place is the coffee here is nicer." He said gesturing for her to sit back down.

"Oh...okay. Then one black coffee please." She sat back down and watched him walk away to the counter. The girl behind the counter looked at her boss dubiously, his dishevelled appearance not really improved by the shower.

"Black coffee, and a normal coffee," he muttered. The girl glanced at Lilly a second, before turning to make the drinks. Jamie grabbed a bunch of sweeteners and took them over to the table, before returning to the counter for the mugs of coffee.

"Any news on when the fridge is gonna be fixed, Jamie?" the girl asked as he picked the mugs up.

"Next week," he told her, not looking up. She shook her head and watched him as he made his way back to the table with Lilly. "There you go," he muttered, setting the coffee down on the table before her as he took a seat.

The End

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