They spent their final day in New York taking in a handful of art museums, much to Carter's dismay.  He would have rather seen Central park or the Empire State Building, but Fiona and JC overruled him and dragged him around to the Guggenheim, the Whitney and the Museum of Contemporary Art.  As much as he pretended to complain, both JC and Fiona knew that he was having a good time just being there.

            Jackson accompanied them wherever they went and he alone was enough to draw a small crowd.  By the time they got to the airport with all of their luggage, Carter had had enough of the famous lifestyle and he just wanted to get on the plane and take a nap.

            They ate airport snack food for dinner, then boarded their plane right on schedule.  Jackson stayed behind, so once they were seated they were on their own.  The flight was long and boring.  Carter dozed most of the way while JC and Fiona watched the movie playing on the tiny monitors above their heads.

 

            It was after nine California time when they arrived in Los Angeles, met by another driver of JC's.  They were taken to Fiona and Carter's home first where they all said goodbye and Carter promised to call him the next day.  Fiona gave JC a hug and listened as he whispered softly, "I'm glad you had a good time."

            "Thank you for taking me."

            "I hope Justin –"

            Fiona smiled into his curls and shook her head, "He's a good kid."

            "I'll talk to you soon."  JC kissed her cheek then let her go inside where her bed was waiting.

            She walked in after Carter and waved one last time before shutting and locking the front door.  Their bags were stacked in the entry way but she was too tired to even think about moving them.  Fiona stepped around them and into her room, then stripped down to her underwear and climbed between her own sheets.

            When her door opened a short while later, she almost thought it was a dream.  "Fi?"  Carter's voice was so soft it fit into the hazy dreamlike state she was in.

            "Hmm?"  She didn't open her eyes as she hummed softly.

            Carter walked around her bed to the empty side and carefully crawled up behind her.  He didn't bother with the blankets; he just lay on top of the quilt and dropped his arm over her body.  It took a second for him to get situated and when he did his chin was on her narrow shoulder.

            It had been a long time since Carter crawled into bed with Fiona, and it was awkward having a body smaller than his beside him.  He fit against her much differently than he did against JC's tall and slender body.  Fiona had curves that were unfamiliar to his hands.

            "Hey."  He whispered softly.  His breath disrupted her hair over her ear and he reached to flatten it.  "Fi, are you up?"

            "No."  She mumbled with a smile.

            "I'm proud of you, sweetie."  He kissed her shoulder and held her tighter.  "I really am.  You handled this weekend real well."

            "Thank you."

            "I can't believe JC was so… protective."

            "He's a good guy, Carter."  Fiona whispered back.  Their voices were the only sounds to be heard in the darkness.

            "I know he is."  He sighed against her neck.  "I'm glad you're as strong as you are."

            Fiona shifted against his weight and tugged her blanket a little higher.  "Mm hmm."

            "I love you, Fi.  I'd never let anyone hurt you."

            "I know hun.  I know."  She pulled his hand to her lips and kissed it gently.  "But just so you know, I'm only wearing underwear.  So you might want to be careful with the blanket."

            "Duly noted."  Cater laughed softly and kissed her shoulder again.

            "Are you staying here?"  Fiona asked a minute later when he didn't make a move to leave.

            "Yeah."  He nodded.  They both knew how much they needed to be together so neither of them said anything more as they fell asleep, exhausted from their weekend in the Big Apple and comfortable in her bed.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

            Fiona had to be up early the next morning to go to work and she complained every time she hit the snooze button.  Her complaining continued the whole time she was getting ready to go as Carter tried to go back to sleep.  He finally gave up listening and moved to his own bed when she hopped in the shower.

            Carter had the day off, but starting Tuesday they both fell into their usual work routine.  Pizza night went off as usual and JC came by to watch movies on Wednesday night.  By the time the weekend came Fiona was itching to go shopping and her boys had no plans.  It didn't take much convincing and by one o'clock she had both Carter and Jamie at the Beverly Center Mall looking for a new pair of jeans for her.

            Had she known that Carter was going to complain as soon as his feet hit the mall entrance though, she would have left him at home.

            "This place is so straight, it hurts Fi."  Carter whined.

            "Stop it."  She frowned and poked his side.  "I hang out with you guys at gay places like, all the time.  You can do this just once for me."

            "Honey, you want to come with us.  That's the difference; you seek out those gay places with us.  You dragged us here today."

            "I need some help finding jeans that don’t make my butt look huge.  Who else would be better at helping me on that mission?"  She asked as she looked from Carter to Jamie.  "You've always said that gay men make the best women… so help me out here."

            Cater made whiney sounds and faces as they walked into the mall but Jamie tried to look enthusiastic.  "Holy spandex Batman!  Look at those thighs!"  Jamie stopped at the Gap window and stared through the window at a male shoppers legs.

            "Jamie, come on."  Fiona grabbed his hand and tried to pull him away.

            "No wait, they've got jeans in there.  Let's go look."

            "That's the men’s store."

            "I know.  How much for him?"  He pulled her hand toward the entrance.

            "Jamie…"

            "I promise that after I've had a closer look we'll go girl shopping."  He bounced toward the entrance with Carter sulking after him.

            "For crying out loud."  Fiona rolled her eyes then went inside.  Jamie went over to where Mr. Incredible-Thighs was standing and flipped through the rack of sweaters beside him.

            "These are nice, aren't they?"  Jamie asked with a wide grin.

            "Hmm?"  The guy looked up and blushed slightly.  "Yeah, I uh… they're cool."

            "Mmm hmm."  Jamie dropped his eyes to the guy's thighs and tried not to stare.

            "Jesus.  Stop him Fi; he's going to scar that guy for life."  Carter hissed softly.

            "Jamie?"  Fiona raised her voice and waved him over.  "Can you help us find Carter some boot cut jeans?  Size thirty four?"

            "Thirty four!  Bite me; I have a twenty nine inch waist."

            "Um.  Okay."  Fiona raised her eyebrow and looked down at Carter's waist.

            "Thirty one at the most."  He insisted as he looked at the jeans.

            "Jamie?"  Fiona called again.

            "Excuse me."  Jamie smiled at the young man and looked over at Carter and Fiona.  "Some guys just don't know how to shop."

            "Yeah."  The guy smiled politely and went back to the sweaters.

            "See you later."  Jamie hopped over to the jean display and put his arm around Carter's waist.  "I don't think he plays for our team."

            "Really?"  Carter rolled his eyes sarcastically.

            "Of course he doesn't."  Fiona sighed.

            "Are there any gay guys here?"  Jamie looked around the store like an eagle hunting for prey.

            "I don't know."  She grumbled softly.

            "But Carter, did you see his thighs?  You could crunch bowling balls between them."  Jamie leaned over and whispered as he pulled out a pair of thirty fours.  "Here you go, precious.  Wanna go try them on?"

            "No."  Carter hung them back up and shoved his hands into his pockets.

            "Carter's being a party pooper."

            "Shocker."  Fiona crossed her arms over her chest.

            "Hey, you wanted me to come."  Carter said defensively.

            "My mistake.  I didn't think you'd be a cranky brat the whole time."

            "I'm not -"

            "Oh yes you are.  Come on; let's get out of here and go find the girl some butt enhancing jeans."  Jamie dropped his arm over Carter's shoulder and steered him out of the store.  Fiona shook her head as she watched them through the wide windows in the front of the store, and wondered if she'd just condemned herself to a miserable day of shopping.

            As she licked her lips and headed for the exit, the thigh guy stepped in front of her and they collided.  "Oh!"  She exclaimed as she put her hands out to steady herself.  "I'm sorry, I -"

            "I'm sorry."  He held her elbow to keep her from toppling into the rack of shirts.

            "I need to watch where I'm going."  She blushed and brought her hand up to tuck her hair behind her ear.

            "So do I."  When he laughed a chill went down Fiona's side, warming her belly in the process.

            Fiona looked up and caught the laughter in his eyes as he too blushed.  "Thanks for keeping me off the floor.  That would have ruined my day to be humiliated in public again."

            "Again?"

            "Well, I mean, with those two it's pretty much humiliating from the get go."  She nodded toward the window where Carter and Jamie were standing.

            "Your boyfriend?"

            Fiona laughed and shook her head, "No, not quite."

            "Brothers?"

            "Friends.  And today even that's stretching it."  She shook her head.  "I thought they could help me find some jeans, but… well they aren't a big help."

            "Guys usually aren't." The guy shook his head and followed her gaze out the windows to where Carter and Jamie were sitting on a bench.  In the three seconds they'd been out of the store Jamie had bought an ice cream cone and was making extremely lewd gestures with it.

            "I uh… yeah.  I guess not."  Fiona blushed again and sighed.

            "I'm Wes."  He extended his hand to Fiona with a friendly smile.

            Fiona stared at his strong looking hand and took a second to react.  "F-Fiona."  She shook his hand and smiled up at him.

            "Fiona, that's a pretty name."

            "Thank you."

            "It was nice to meet you, Fiona."

            "Thank you."  She said again.  "It was uh… it was nice to meet you too.  Wes."

            "So are you going to be here for a while?"

            "Shopping?  God, I hope not."

            "I know what you mean."  He laughed.  "Well hey, if you'd like to get some coffee or something…"

            "I've got…"  She nodded toward the exit where Jamie was simulating oral se* on the ice cream cone to the horror of the innocent shoppers walking by.  "I have to deal with them.  I'm sorry."

            "No problem." Wes bit his lip and nodded slowly.  "I'll uh, I'll see you around then."

            "Yeah."  Fiona smiled and ducked out quickly without looking back.  She trotted over to where the boys were sitting and snatched the ice cream from Jamie's hand.  "Will you grow up for just two hours?  Please?"

            "He was just being funny."

            "You guys aren't funny.  You're embarrassing."  Fiona dropped the ice cream in the trash and crossed her arms over her chest.  "Can we please just go get me some jeans so we can go home?"

            "Well wait, what did he say?"  Jamie asked as he stood up and straightened his too-tight shirt.

            "He who?  What?"  Carter looked to Jamie for an answer.

            "Mr. Thighs."  Jamie rolled his eyes as Fiona led the way toward the center of the mall.

            "Mister what?"

            "Thighs.  Fi… wait, what'd he say?  I saw you talking to him."

            "He said you two were a bunch of freaks and that he'd like to kidnap me and take me away from both of you."  She grumbled.

            "He hasn't seen freaky if he thinks we're freaks."  Carter shook his head.

            "For reals, what'd he say?"  Jamie persisted.

            "He said his name is Wes and he asked if I wanted to go get coffee."  Fiona said without turning around.

            "What?!"  Jamie and Carter stopped walking as their jaws dropped open.  "Wait, honey wait."  Jamie ran three steps and stopped Fiona.  "He asked you out?"

            "For coffee."  She nodded.  "Kinda."

            "Then what are you doing here?"  Carter asked, suddenly interested and not as grouchy.

            "Wait, maybe she's meeting him."  Jamie looked at Carter, then turned to Fiona.  "Are you meeting him somewhere?"

            "No."

            "No?  Fiona, he's hot!"  Jamie put his hands on her shoulders.

            "You have to go back."  Carter practically demanded.

            "I'm shopping with you guys."

            "Ahh!  Like that matters!"

            "I need jeans."

            "Jeans will be here tomorrow!"  Jamie spun her around and pushed her back toward the Gap.  "If he's not into the boy love thing, you might as well get him."

            "Jamie, no."

            "Fiona!  Go."  Carter insisted.  "He's straight, that's a good sign."

            "He's not my type."

            "He's got a pulse."

            "Carter."

            "It's just coffee, you don't have to marry the poor guy.  Good God child, go."  Jamie pushed her away then huddled with Carter.  "We'll take a cab home."  He waved.

            "I need jeans."  Fiona said again.

            "We'll come back tomorrow and get you some."  Carter waved and smiled as Jamie pulled him away from Fiona.

            She paused at the door to the Gap and took two deep breaths.  The two pairs of eyes on her burned into her side as Carter and Jamie huddled near the corner.  With one last glance at them to see if she might be able to make a run for it, she took a step into the Gap.  She walked through the jeans to the shirts where Wes was standing with her heart pounding in her ears.  A thin sheen of sweat broke out on her scalp and palms as she licked her lips and tried to form a complete thought.  She hadn't voluntarily approached someone that wasn't gay in years, and she was terrified that she'd blow it again.

            "H-hi."  She stuttered as she walked up beside him

            "Hey."  Wes smiled as he turned to meet her eye.  "Did your friends ditch you?"

            "I ditched them."  Fiona smiled.  "Would you uh… I mean, did you uh…"

            "How about that coffee?"  He asked with a warm smile.

            Fiona grinned with relief as a blush crept into her cheeks, "Yeah.  I'd like that."

            "Great.  Me too."  He placed the shirt back on the rack and nodded toward the exit.  "There's a Coffee Bean place over by the theater I think."

            "Yeah, okay."

            "Or… uh…"

            "No that's fine."  Fiona nodded as she tried to mentally slow her heart down.  She watched their feet as they walked around the corner towards the theater.  If Carter and Jamie followed them, she wouldn't know; but they weren't behind them when they got to the little coffee shop.

            "I don't usually…"  Wes shrugged and shoved his hands in his pockets.  "I mean, this."  He smiled and met her eyes.  "I don't usually approach women like this."

            "That's okay, I don't usually go get coffee with guys who come up and ask."

            "Do guys ask a lot?"

            "No, I – "  Fiona stuttered.  "I don't, I mean… that's not –"

            "I'm kidding."  Wes laughed uneasily.  "I'm sorry.  My sense of humor is not always –"

            "It's okay."  She laughed lightly, glad to see that she wasn't the only bumbling idiot.  With that thought she wondered how they'd get through their little date thing.  Neither of them, it seemed, could complete a thought.

            "Okay."  He blushed slightly and held the door open for her.  She followed him to the front counter as she stared up at the menu written on a wide black chalkboard.  "It all looks good, doesn't it?"

            "Mm hm."  Fiona dropped her eyes from the board to his and smiled, "But I think I know what I want."

            "Me too."  He waved her forward and let her order her drink and a scone before stepping up behind her to get his cup of the coffee of the day and a muffin.  Wes pulled his wallet out before Fiona could respond and paid for the drinks.

            "Thank you."

            "You're welcome." He took his coffee and nodded toward the only empty table in the small shop.  They walked over and sat across from each other with the steaming mugs in front of them.  "So... what do you do?  Shopping makes me brain dead so I'm all out of creative questions."  Wes smiled and stirred sugar into his coffee.

            "I uh… you mean for work?"

            "Or fun."  He shrugged and smiled over the top of his mug.

            Fiona blushed and stirred her drink to help it cool off.  "Well I work at a place called Creating Hope.  Basically it's kind of a counseling agency that helps people find jobs or resources or whatever they need."

            "Really?  That sounds great.  You're actually helping people and changing the world."

            "I'm not changing the world."  Fiona blushed and slowly shook her head.

            "You are to them.  Those people that go to you for help, their lives change I'm sure."

            "Well I pretty much just work in the back office."

            "Don't write yourself off.  You're part of that change.  That's awesome."  He quickly brushed crumbs from his lips then blew on his coffee.

            Fiona cleared her throat and sipped at her candy flavored latte.  "What about you?"

            "Well I'm not changing the world or lives or anything.  I'm actually a student again; I went back this year to start my Master of Education degree. But I also teach yoga on the weekends."

            "Really?"  Fiona laughed softly.  "I've never tried yoga."

            "It's great.  I started doing it years ago when my girlfriend at the time dragged me to one of her classes.  I was trying to be that supportive and interested boyfriend, you know?  But I got hooked."

            "Wow.  I'm not that flexible.  I don't think I could touch my toes; forget about putting my feet behind my head."

            "You don't have to put your feet behind head or anything."  Wes laughed and tilted his head to the side.  "There's a beginners class at eight every Saturday.  I teach that one and the Intermediate one right after.  If you'd like to come by you could sit in."

            "No, I…"  Fiona shook her head and concentrated on her blueberry scone.  "I'll have to think about that."

            "Well seriously.  Anytime you want to come let me know.  Or if you don't want to do it in a class with everyone else, I – we can work something out."

            "A private lesson?"

            "If you'd prefer."

            "I'll think about it."  Fiona smiled and nodded as she broke off a piece of her scone and popped it into her mouth.

            "Cool."  Wes used his finger to pick up spare crumbs from his muffin and licked them off.  "Have you been in LA long?"

            Fiona licked her lips and swallowed quickly, enjoying the rapid change of subjects.  "My whole life pretty much."

            "Were you born here?"

            "Nope.  I was born in Phoenix and I lived there until I was one.  Then we moved out here and I've been here ever since."

            "In the same area?"

            "In the same house."  Fiona nodded.  "I wouldn't know what to do if I had to move."

            "You live with your parents still?"  His eyebrows shot up as she saw him mentally calculate her age in his head.

            "No, I live with Carter.  My room mate.  Or house mate I guess, we don't share a room."

            "Was that one of the guys you were shopping with?"

            "Yeah.  The one that looked all grumpy."

            "So you live with Carter in your parent's house?"

            "Yep."  She smiled and lowered her eyes.  Fiona was always a little uneasy sharing personal stuff with new people, especially when she barely knew them.  But something about Wes put her more at ease and she felt herself opening up slowly.  "I've been there forever and he's been there for about five years now."

            "Wow.  Five years huh?"

            "Yeah.  I'm not sure how we've survived."

            "I've never lived with anyone like that.  I mean, I had room mates in college and stuff but I've never lived with a girl or anything."

            "Oh, well we're not living together like that.  I mean… well… we're friends.  That's all."

            "No, that's cool."  Wes said quickly.  "So if you live in your parent's house, where do they live?"

            "Um..."  Fiona's brow flashed with a gentle frown as she broke off another bite and chewed thoughtfully.  "Well… my mom is still in Arizona as far as I know and my dad passed away."

            "I'm sorry."

            "It's not your fault."  She smiled quickly to put him at ease.

            "I know, but still."  He looked away uncomfortably.  "I can't imagine what that would be like.  Both of my parents are still alive, they live in Huntington Beach."

            "That's cool."  Fiona smiled over her coffee.  "Do you see them often?"

            "A couple times a month, yeah.  And they call all the time."

            "Really?"

            "It's just my sister and I, so I think she gets them calling her on the days they don't call me.  Makes me kind of wish we had more siblings." He laughed.  "Do you have any brothers or sisters?"

            "Nope.  Just me.  I think I was more than they could handle anyway."  She laughed.

            "Did your mom move back to Arizona after your father passed away?"

            "No."  Fiona sighed softly.  "That's a really long story."  She squinted at him carefully and forced a small smile to let him know that she wasn't ready to go there just yet.

            "Ahh, understood.  Maybe you can tell me some other time."

            "Maybe."  She smiled and was glad that he understood.  "So what about you? Have you lived here long?"

            "Not really.  I grew up in Iowa.  Colfax Iowa.  But, well I guess I've been here about ten years."  He laughed and shook his head slowly.  "My dad was a professor at Drake University in Des Moines and my mom taught elementary school.  Then we came out here to Disneyland for a vacation when I was twelve and from then on California was all my parents could talk about.  When I was sixteen everything came together and we moved.  Now my dad teaches at UCI, my mom is a principal at a junior high in Orange County and I live in West Hollywood to be near UCLA."

            "That's a pretty big culture shock, isn't it?  I mean, coming to Los Angeles from Iowa?"

            "Yeah.  Big time." He laughed and blushed slightly.  "I played clarinet in the marching band back home and in Colfax that was a big thing.  Out here that made me an instant dork."

            "Ahh, I see."  Fiona laughed with him and stirred her drink.  It was getting cold but she didn't mind.  "Do you still play?"

            "Nope.  After high school I didn't have a reason to play really.  I mean, I could still do it I'm sure.  Ten years of lessons don't just disappear like that."  He snapped his fingers. "But I don't play on a regular basis."

            "Hmm."

            "Why?  Do you have a thing for clarinet players?"  Wes grinned flirtatiously, almost to the point of looking silly.

            "I can honestly say I don't think I've ever known one."  She laughed and shook her head.  "I was a drama geek in high school.  We didn't associate with anyone other than fellow drama geeks."

            "Ahh, you were one of those huh?"

            "You bet."

            "Do you still act?"

            "Not on a regular basis."  She used his line with a slow smile.  "And not professionally."

            "Ooo, explain that one."

            "Well when Carter's rambling on about some date he went on I act interested.  Or when I'm at work and my boss is talking about stuff I don't know about I act smart.  Stuff like that."  She laughed again and was surprised at how easily it came.

            "I see."  Wes chuckled and wiped his mouth with his napkin before draining his cup.  "So are you just acting interested now?"

            "No." She blushed and looked down at her drink.  "You're very interesting."

            "I don't know if I'd call myself very interesting…"

            "I would."

            "You're just glad to be away from your freaky friends."  Wes shook his head and chuckled.

            "Okay well that too."  She agreed.  "But all things considered, they're not that bad.  There are a lot of freaks around here."  She looked out the window behind him at the people walking by.

            He craned his neck to follow her gaze.  "Very true."  He sighed.  "That's one thing LA is good for.  Freak watching."

            "Have you been down to Venice Beach?"

            "Of course."

            "Now there's some good freak watching space right there."

            "Tell me about it.  I love to go get a slice of pizza and a huge drink and just sit on the grass and watch people."

            "Me too."  Fiona laughed and leaned back in her chair.

            "We should do that sometime."  He said quickly, catching her off guard yet again.

            "Yeah I'd uh… I'd like that."  She stuttered softly.

            "Maybe some Saturday after you come to my yoga class."  Wes winked playfully.

            "Yeah, maybe."  Fiona lost count of how many times she blushed and hoped that blushing was something he found adorable instead of childish.

            They sat at their little table by the window until their drinks were not only done, but the cups taken away.  The sun began to dip lower in the sky and Fiona checked her watch, "Oh man, I should get going."  She tucked her hair behind her ear and licked her lips nervously.

            "Yeah.  Yeah uh, me too."  Wes stood up and brushed invisible crumbs off of the table.  "So… Fiona.  Can I call you sometime?"  Wes asked almost shyly.  Throughout the conversation he'd had an air of almost arrogance about him; an attitude that spoke volumes, none of which included insecurity. But at the last minute when it came down to asking, he reverted to the bashful fifteen year old clarinet player deep inside him.

            "I'd… yeah.  That'd be nice."  She cleared her throat and tried to ignore the slight pinch she felt as she swallowed.  A sore throat wasn't going to ruin her afternoon.

            "Okay I uh… good." He fumbled in his bag for a minute before coming up with his cell phone.  "I'm a geek.  I know.  But if I store the number in here then I definitely won't lose it."  He smiled shyly as he raised his eyes to her with the steel gray phone sitting in the palm of his wide hand.  "And I don't want to lose it."

            Fiona blushed and tried not to stare at his unrealistically long lashes.  She rattled off her phone number and watched as his thumb moved quickly, touching each number then assigning it a name in his electronic phone book.  "Great."  Wes smiled and dropped the phone back into his bag.

            "G-great."  Fiona nodded and licked her lips quickly.  "So I guess I'll uh… talk to you later?"

            "Absolutely."  Wes held out his hand and awkwardly waited for Fiona to shake it.  It was an extremely formal ending to their so-called date, but anything more personal than that would have been overstepping the invisible boundaries that Wes noticed as soon as they stood up.  "I'll talk to you soon." He smiled and held her hand longer than courtesy dictated.

            Fiona dropped her eyes and tried not to giggle as she turned quickly, "Bye Wes."

            "Bye Fiona." He said softly, barely audible from the door as she pushed it open and stepped into the cool evening air.  Fiona walked on clouds to her car and somehow managed to drive herself home.  It had been ages since she actually sat and talked to someone new.  Someone who didn't know anything about her and didn't judge or pity her.  Someone who just wanted to chat over lukewarm bitter coffee to get to know her better.

            Silently, she thanked both Carter and Jamie for being there to point it out to her.  She would never give them the satisfaction of an 'in person' thank you, but she knew they would know anyway.  As she pulled into her driveway twenty minutes later, her heart rate had returned to normal and she tried hard to keep her excitement from showing on her face.  If she was going to survive the inquisition, she'd have to pull herself together before she stepped through the front door.

            With three deep breaths she settled a frown into her forehead and pushed the front door open.  Before she could even step into the foyer or put her purse down, both Jamie and Carter launched themselves over the back of the couch, landing in a tangle of elbows and shoulders at her feet.  "How was it?"  Jamie asked as he stood up and straightened his shirt.

            "Where did you go?"

            "Did he kiss you?"

            "Are you going to see him again?"

            "Are those thighs as hard as they look?"

            "Jamie."  Carter paused to frown at his friend who just smiled and shrugged it off.

            "Jeez, you guys are relentless."  Fiona dropped her purse on the pegboard by the door and frowned.  "Give me some air for crying out loud."

            "Fiona!"

            "Jamie!"  She responded back with the same urgency.

            "Come on."  Carter grabbed her hand and bounced up and down.  "Just tell us what happened and we'll leave you alone."

            "What do you want to know?"

            "Everything."  Jamie laughed.

            "Where does he live?"  Carter asked as he got down to business.

            "We want details."

            Fiona sighed and pulled a chair out at the dining room table.  She sat down and rested her elbows on the placemat; she was going to be there for a while.  "His name is Wes.  He's 27.  He grew up in the Midwest but he lives in West Hollywood now.  He's a student again, getting his masters in… I forget.  Education or something."

            "He's smart, that's a good start."

            "Yes. He's smart."  Fiona sighed.

            "Too bad he's straight."  Carter rolled his eyes.  "He is straight, isn't he?"

            "Yes."

            "Damn."

            "What else?"  Jamie sat on the table by her hands.

            "He goes to school during the week and he teaches Yoga on the weekends."

            "Really?"

            "Yep."

            "Hmm.  I bet he's bendy."  Jamie raised his eyebrow at Carter as they exchanged knowing, and almost longing, looks.

            "You guys… come on."

            "So are you going to see him again?"  Carter asked.

            "I gave him my number."

            "Did he give you his?"

            "No.  I didn't ask."  Fiona sighed and ran her hand through her hair.  "Are you guys done?"

            "No."  They said in unison.  She hadn't really believed that they were, but she hoped.

            "What's wrong with him?"

            "I don't… nothing.  Nothing that I could see."

            "Married?"

            "No."

            "Divorced?"

            "Not that I know of."

            "Kids?"

            "He didn't mention any."  Fiona shook her head.  "I think he would have mentioned that."

            "Thoughts on the flamboyant lifestyle?"  Jamie threw his hands up and batted his eyelashes at her.

            "Accepting I guess.  He lives in West Hollywood and his gay neighbors have been together for seven years.  He said he hopes to find someone who could make him happy after seven years."

            "What's weird about him?"

            "Weird?"

            "Everyone has something weird about them."

            "Some have more than one."  Fiona grinned at Carter wondering how many she could name for both of them.

            "Okay, so what are some of the weird things about him?"

            "Um… I don't know. He plays clarinet."

            "Oh man.  Are you sure he's not gay?"  Jamie looked desperate for a moment.

            "Jamie…"  Fiona sighed and pushed his butt off the table.

            "Well he lives in West Hollywood, right?"  Carter creased his brow and frowned.

            "Yes."

            "And he teaches yoga?"  Jamie asked.

            "On the weekends, yeah."

            "And he was non-gender specific when talking about his future?"

            "You guys..."  Fiona sighed.

            "And he was shopping at the Gap."  Jamie added quickly.

            Carter looked from Fiona to Jamie, raised his eyebrow then turned to Fiona, "Are you sure he's straight?"

            "He asked me out dammit.  He's straight.  How many gay guys do you know that go around asking girls to coffee and for their phone numbers?"

            "Um."  Jamie raised his hand.

            "We work together.  That's different.  And besides, you only wanted my number so you could call and accidentally talk to my hot gay room mate."  She sighed and rolled her eyes.  "You guys. He's straight.  Get over it."

            "If you say so…"  Jamie shrugged, but he didn't look sure.

            "Stop it.  I mean it.  You guys were the ones that said I had to go with him.  Carter, you're the one saying I need to hang out with straight people more.  So now that I am, please don't sit around and speculate about his sexual preference.  I mean, really."

            "I'm just saying."

            "Well don't."

            "Fine."  Jamie rolled his eyes the dropped a kiss on Fiona's temple.  "He's a cutie any way you look at it.  Have fun with him."

            "I will."  Fiona nodded and smiled as Jamie pulled the front door open.

            "Well that's all I was waiting for.  I'll see you on Monday at work."

            "Okay."  She waved over her shoulder then turned to sigh at Carter.  "He's straight."  She said again.

            "Okay."  Carter laughed.  "I hope for your sake he is.  Because he looks like the kind that could break you in half.  Or me."

            "Carter…"

            "I'm kidding dear.  I do hope he's straight.  And I hope he's nice and all that good stuff."

            "He seems like it."

            "So really.  Are you going to see him again?"  Carter pulled her in for a one armed hug and placed his forehead against hers.

            Fiona smiled and blushed as she bit her lip, "I hope so."  She said softly.

            "Good."  Carter kissed her brow then let her go.  "So can we go get some dinner or something now?  I've been waiting all afternoon and I forgot to eat."

            "Sure.  What's JC up to?"

            "He's got some meeting with a producer or something this evening.  He'll be over after."

            "After?"

            "Yeah.  But not till like, nine or ten."  Carter frowned.  "Anyway.  Dinner?"

            "Yes."

            "China Inn?"

            "Oooh, yes."

            "Cool."  Carter reached for his keys and opened the door in one swift movement.  "You can give me a full replay of your conversation with this guy word for word on the way."

            "Oh, can I?"  Fiona rolled her eyes and laughed.

            "Yes."

            "Yay."  She sighed and followed him.  She honestly couldn't wait to replay the afternoon, even if it was just for Carter.  Her hopes were already rising, and she hoped that Wes would call.

            It had been years since she actually hoped a guy would call.  A straight guy, that is.  The feeling was unexpected, but pleasant.  She just hoped she wouldn't ruin it, when the moment came.

 

 

 

Next...

 

 

Copyright 2003, Amy Lynn