"I don't hate you."
"Why what? Why am I avoiding you?" She sighed and stood up, leaning against her desk. "I think you already know the answer to that one." I gripped the handle of my bag harder, and frowned.
"Because of the kiss?" She paused, and bit her lip. "Oh... OH. You like me."
"I didn't say that," she replied quickly, and I couldn't help but shoot her a grin.
"Didn't have to."
"I've already been far too unprofessional with you as it is. I can't carry on doing that; someone will notice."
"Is that why you set up an early morning session?"
"What do you mean?"
"It'd light, I'd be too tired to look human... let alone attractive?"
She was gripping the edge of her desk tightly now, and keeping her eyes firmly on my face. I could see the effort, and it only made me want to push her closer to the edge.
"Once again; inappropriate conversation Helena."
"You know, not many people get away with using my full name." I took a casual step forward. She immediately stilled, her knuckles growing even whiter on the desk. "And I think you made the first inappropriate comment in this conversation."
"That's no excuse... I should know better..." Every step I took towards her seemed to make her lose track of what she wanted to say. We were five steps from each other when there was a knock on the door. "Come in!" She cried, giving me a warning look. I took a step back before the door could open.
"Hey Alex... oh sorry, I thought all your meetings were over. Lena." Michael, one of the media lecturers grinned at me; he frequented the bar. "Working Alex hard are you?"
"Oh, you know me Michael; hard-working is my middle name." He laughed.
"Anyway, Alex, we wondered if you wanted to join us for a relaxed drink? No partying on a school night obviously." He winked at me, knowing full well I'd seen him partying hard regardless of the night.
"Where?" She asked.
"We're actually thinking Lena's bar. Got to support our students paying for their education right?" He chuckled.
"I don't know; I've got a lot to do. I'll let you know."
"Alright. Text me." He grinned at her again, and then shot me a nod and left. I heard Alex let out a breath as the door closed.
"He fancies you."
"No he doesn't." She frowned, picking up her bag and shoving some notes in to it. I scoffed.
"Yes, he does. Trust me; I've seen him flirting before. He's getting ready to propose a date."
"You can't possibly know that."
"I know it the same way I know you're in to me."
"Well then your senses are failing."
"You just admitted-"
"No I didn't."
"You kissed me."
She sighed, exasperated, and turned to face me.
"Yes I did. But it was an in the moment thing, and it definitely won't be happening again."
"So if I were to kiss you now?"
"I wouldn't let you."
I studied her for a moment, and then decided that was enough. She was clearly uncomfortable.
"Alright then. You don't want me. I guess I'll just have to accept that." She looked surprised, and I decided to go before she could say anything. I paused at the door. "But I guess if you don't like me, you don't have any reason to avoid going out. Night Alex." I left, leaving the challenge ringing behind me.
She turned up. I knew she'd probably agonized over it, but she turned up. She was laughing with Michael, something which irritated me slightly, but other than that she was keeping to herself. Away from the bar, at all times.
"Isn't that your new girl crush?" Tom muttered as I passed him the keys to go on my break.
"What's got you wound up?"
"Alright." He raised his hands in surrender, and let me go. I didn't want to sit in the back and get in to a worse mood. I knew it would stick with me if I did. Normally I'd pick someone up in this mood, and concentrate on them, but could I do that with her sitting right there? Sure, I could, right? I mean... she's the one with feelings? Not me...
I decided that dancing was a good way to go for a break. Besides, I could get away with it; I was wearing black skinny jeans and a see-through, short sleeved black shirt with a black bra underneath. Clubbing attire really.
People who recognise me join me all the time, because they think they can get cheap drinks out of it. And they can sometimes. SO dancing.
And so what if there's a cute girl pressing up against me? Alex isn't looking, purposefully. So it doesn't matter right?
Except when I glance up, she is looking. And that is definitely jealousy. I give her what I hope is a 'what? You said you don't care and came here to prove it' look, and get even closer to the girl.
The next time I look over, Alex is gone. I feel bad; I just wanted to make her jealous. But then I look over the girls' shoulder, and there she is, dancing with Michael. Oh. OH. Wow. So two can play at this game apparently.
God she can dance.
"Hey, what're you looking at?" The girl murmurs in to my ear, trying to get my attention back. Normally, I'd go for it. But I just realised a very important, and kind of scary, fact. I'm jealous. I'm jealous that Alex is dancing with Michael. And I know she's not in to him, and she's only doing it because I told her he was in to her, but still. Jealous. And jealousy means feelings. And I can't do feelings. NOPE. But I also can't hurt her by completely disregarding how she feels; even if she won't admit it.
"Nothing, I just realised I have to get back to work."
"Oh, well maybe after we could... get to know each other better?"
"Sorry I... I have a lot to do." And I leave her on the floor, and go back to the bar. Yes, Alex's eyes are on me as I retreat. But no, I'm not going to let her know that this has anything to do with her. Because if I do, she knows that she got to me. And if that happens, she knows I like her too.
BIG NO NO.
"That was quick. Normally I have to drag you back if you're wrapped around a pretty blonde. What happened?"
"I realised I'm not in to blondes any more." I reply, casting one last glance over at Alex. She is disentangling herself from Michael now. Guess she doesn't need to dance with him if I'm not out there too.
"What can I get for you?"
"A beer please."
"There you go." I turned away.
"Sorry, was there something else?" I raised an eyebrow at her. She frowned.
"I came. So you know..."
"Yup. Got it. I won't bother you any more."
"You... you won't?" Is that disappointment?
"If you don't want me, that's fine. I'm not in the business of chasing people. Or developing lasting relationships... or whatever. So, you don't want me, that's fine."
And now she looks quite hurt.
"You're saying that if I'd have agreed, you would have just spent the night and gone the next day?"
I don't want to answer that because it's not really true. Not any more.
"I have to get back to work." I reply, and go in to the back. F.U.C.K.