Worry & Boredom
Cade stared outside the window of his office, the rain was beating down against the glass, reflecting much of his mood. He'd been staring at the computer screen trying to write an article for next month's issue but the words weren't flowing as well as he'd like. Three weeks had flown by since that incident outside Nomad, which seemed to have been chronicled in every tabloid and gossip magazine; not that Cade would be the first to admit he read those stories but he was curious. At that time, he hadn't even noticed the paps but then again, anyone could be the paparazzi with the technology on mobile phones these days. Thankfully in the photographs, his identity hadn't been shown, however he had been labelled in the papers as 'A Knight in Shining Armour' and 'Civilian Saves The Day'. No one knew he had been there, not even Bryan and there was no way in hell he was going to admit it.
His telephone rang interrupting him of his wavering thoughts, he picked it up to hear the sound of his editor on the other end, requesting him to go to his office. Cade picked himself up from his desk and walked over to James' office.
"What's up?" Cade asked, peering into James' office.
"Take a seat," the forty-something year old said. He waited for Cade to take a seat before he proceeded. James was a straight forward bloke, like most editors he didn't really have time to beat around the bush. If he wanted something, he came out with it... or in other instances, got someone else to do it for him. He was going grey of course and he'd put on a considerable amount more weight since joining the magazine two years ago, "I've overlooked you somehow Cade and have been reading your articles and am impressed... so this is what I'm proposing... Carl is off on paternity for two weeks, I want you to cover his slot whilst he's away."
"But Carl covers the social scene... I do worthy informative news..." Cade said.
"I know... but sometimes it's nice to change scene once in a while, keep your writing style fresh," James intervened.
"Look James, I really appreciate this opportunity but I really... don't... I'm just not a social..." Cade couldn't quite spit it out.
"It's only for two weeks and besides, whilst you do Carl's column you can still do your worthy informative news - that way you still get a bit of both worlds," James said, "Tonight is a Charity auction and you're going and all the A-listers are going to be there..." James said pushing an envelope towards Cade.
"What if I don't go?" Cade asked.
"Then that's the stupidest thing I've heard today," James leaned back in his chair, "If you don't- then you will have to contemplate your future here at STANCE."
Cade took the envelope from the desk and headed out, "Better get ready then."
"Yes, don't disappoint me," James said, having the last word.
Cade returned to his desk and dumped the envelope on his desk. A 1st in Journalism and he was resounded to writing a gossip column. This was a kick in the teeth from everything that he had learned. He looked at his watch and hoped that the Tuxedo hanging in his closet was clean and pressed, otherwise he'd have to turn up to Saville Row and hire one.
"Mills, she's a big girl and she's a lot more stronger then you take her for. She's come out of it better then most women. You really ought to stop worrying about her," Liam whispered into his wife's ear.
"Most women? Do you even know most women who've come out of an abusive relationship Liam?" Mills whispered.
"I don't but from what I've seen and heard, Amber is fighting strong," Liam exhaled as he steered his wife to the table, "Let's just enjoy the evening okay?"
Millie picked up her skirts and sat down at the offered seat, "I'm sorry... I'm sorry... I'm just..."
"A good friend and a protective one at that, there's nothing wrong with that... it's one of the qualities I love about you," Liam smiled, "Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?"
"No but tell me again," Millie smiled.
"You look beautiful," Liam was about to lean forward to kiss his wife when someone tapped him on the shoulder.
"Sorry to interrupt the interlude folks but we swapped two place settings to sit with you," Liam looked up, smiled and hugged Artie.
"How you doing Artie? When did you get back?" Liam said.
Millie rose from her seat to greet Artie's wife, Frieda Armstrong.
"Got back a few hours ago- location was deep in the jungle and damn, I missed a good bath," Artie smiled and turned his attention to Millie, "Hi Mills, how are you?" He kissed her on the cheek.
"Good and you?" Millie asked back.
"Oh, can't wait to get back to normalcy. We can catch up once we get seated," Artie said as he steered his wife to the designated empty seats beside Millie and Liam.
The evening wore on, food was consumed as was large amounts of alcohol. Bids were taken and prizes were auctioned. The aim of the game was to collect as much money as possible.
Cade watched from the bar on the far side. He'd especially paid attention to the brunette seated with the actor on one of the tables nearer to the stage. He'd watched them laugh, bid and converse with another familiar A- List couple. He was itching to speak to the brunette for reasons he didn't want to acknowledge, but it had been stone cold quiet since the last time he'd seen her and the woman and all he wanted to know, was that the woman was okay. They were making their way to the exit and his opportunity to talk to her was slipping away. So he smacked his glass back on the bar and made a bee line for them. They slipped out and the door closed behind them, damn! He tried to move towards them but came to a block of people mingling. He cursed, trying to move around them and not succeeding. He looked for another exit and couldn't find one. There was no way in hell, he was going to catch up with them now.
Amber heard the key in the lock and the front door open. She had been lounging on the sofa watching pointless brainless TV, going out of her mind with boredom. She perked up when Millie appeared in her beautiful Oscar de la Renta dress.
"How was it?" Amber asked.
"It was fun, caught up with Frieda and Artie... they definitely raised some... how was your day?" Millie took off her earrings and deposited them in the bowl by the mantel piece.
"Boring as hell... I really need to do something with my time... but I'm such an invalid," Amber exhaled.
"You're not an invalid Amber... you've got a sprained wrist- there's a difference," Millie said, plonking down beside her, "So how you feeling?"
"Apart from bored, great," came the sarcasm. Amber got up, "Do you know what... I'm going for a walk."
"A walk but it's late," Mills reasoned.
"Mills you really ought to let me breathe a little... I'm fine, I won't go too far and besides I've been couped up here like a fire fly in a jar, I want to be set free... I just need some air. I'll be fine," Amber said, striding out of the living room.
"Let me come with you," Millie asked.
"No... I really want to be on my own, it's fine," Amber said, as she grabbed a jumper and slipped into her ballet pumps and walked out the door.
Liam appeared from the bedroom dressed in sweats, "Was that Amber leaving?"
"Yeah, she's gone for a walk," Mills said, eyeing the door.
"Good," Liam smiled, "Now Mrs Blake... I'm going to get rid of that dress..."
"It's an Oscar de la Renta dress..." Millie said sheepishly.
"A dress is a dress Mills no matter who designed it or however much it costs... and we might as well take advantage of it just being us here," Liam smiled teasingly.
Millie laughed and followed her husband up the stairs.