Chapter 6

"June, are you all right in there?"

The young woman reluctantly tore herself from the spoonful of Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk Ice Cream. She lifted her frightful gaze at the locked bathroom door.

A moment's breath passed and the knocking resumed, becoming more persistent.

"Hello? June?"

She recognized the slight strain in Margaret's tone—the same one that crept into her voice at the last staff meeting, right before she broke out and yelled at them for breaking the printer for the umpteenth time that month.

Involuntarily, she shuddered and shoved the ice cream into her mouth

"I'm per-fickly fine," June said with a mouthful, struggling to keep from dribbling on herself.

Her boss's skeptical voice echoed back. "You sure? You've been in there for twenty minutes already."

June ignored her, gently setting the now empty tub of Ben and Jerry's into the sink. Holding her breath, she waited for Margaret to leave. It wasn't until she heard the loud clicks from Margaret's heels trailing off into silence did she bury her face into her hands with a long groan.

"What have I gotten myself into?"

The question hung in the air, bouncing off the crème colored walls before being absorbed into the hideous dark maroon shower curtains. Heck, a person could get lost in that mass of ugliness. As she contemplated on its color—deciding that it really wasn't maroon but a horrid mix of swamp mud and the death of a plum-colored flamingo—it hit her. It didn't hit her the way the pear did to David the Moron's forehead. It hit her like a twenty-foot wave, nearly knocking her right off the toilet seat.

"What have I done?" She felt herself beginning to sweat.

The night had been a mess, an absolute, utter disaster. They probably thought she was insane; with the exception of Margaret of course, because she already knew that.

"Damnit."

She was not herself today. It was all David's fault, she concluded. Being around him seems to bring out the down-right immature of her. Heck, it even disgusted herself. She needed to collect herself and salvage what was left of her pride, if any.

June glanced sorrowfully at the pathetic remains of the ice cream tub. It looked exactly like her life, right then and there: The melted chocolate sticking to the rim of the container and a small portion of it seeping down the drain. The tub, looking so small and cute, represented herself whereas the sticky-ooey goodness was all the respect and great reputation that she once held but was now oozing down the drain. In another perspective, one could say that it symbolized her love life—

June covered her face, shaking her head furiously. She was rambling. Again. She hated rambling. But most of all, she hated rambling about well, rambling.

She sighed.

The two words she dreaded: Love life. Or what remained of it. Not that she even liked David, but the night was still a nightmare.

"I can't believe I'm thinking about this right now," she muttered to herself.

She could feel the burning heat creeping up her neck and building up on her cheeks painfully. She wasn't going to lie to herself. She had had some pretty bad ones. For instance, the overzealous nut, who was so eager to get some that he shoved his tongue down her throat; since, evidently she had been "choking" and he was only "giving her CPR". Or the computer whiz, who had attempt, and failed miserably, to impress her with his suave moves. He had leaned forward over the table to put his hand over hers, his bright orange striped tie dangling into his seafood fettuccini alfredo. He then promptly knocked over the candle with his arm and the tie became ablaze. She had never been so happy to see a tie go.

This night was different though. She was the fool—the role which she had vowed to never again play…

"Damnit," she swore again for the second time.

June dragged herself to the bathtub, harshly pulling aside the shower curtains. Grabbing her purse from atop the sink counter, she leaned over the tub and began stuffing her belongings into it.

Max was coming over and now the night would never end. She wanted to go home and get back to work but couldn't; all because her brother was bored. She loved her brother dearly but if anymore surprises occurred, there just may be manslaughter tonight.

June took a deep, shuddering breath. There was only one thing that could calm her down.

Her cell phone, nestled underneath the mace and checkbook, caught her eye. She reached over for it, flipped it open and dialed a number that she had become familiar with over the week. June cradled the phone as she pulled out her pen and planner. She sat down upon the edge of the tub.

The voicemail greeted her—no surprise there. She cleared her throat before the monotonous beep and began.

"Good evening Mr. Remberg, its June McCoy from the New York Daily. It seems that I have missed you once again. I was hoping to reschedule our meeting seeing that it must have slipped your mind about our appointment last week." June resisted the urge to grind her teeth on the phone and continued on with her polite but firm, lighthearted tone. "Your secretary seemed to have ah, trouble locating on your whereabouts.

"Mr. Remberg, please give me a call as soon as you can. I understand you're a busy man but I have left several messages for you, which you have not returned. If you are having second thoughts about this interview, please let me know."

She paused, finally letting the hardness slip in underneath her words. "I take pride in writing objective articles Mr. Remberg. I work hard at attaining both sides of the story. It does not affect me if I can't reach you for an interview. This is about your face and the reputation for your corporation that's on the line. How would it look for a story to have quite a number of claims against SedTech and a "no comment" from your side…"

June trailed off then ended the call. "The article will run whether there is an interview or not. You know where to call me."

She hung up.

Closing her eyes slightly, she took a deep breath. People called her a workaholic but she never had the time to see whether or not that statement had any validity. Maybe she really was a workaholic; it would explain the sudden calm and ease she felt within her.

Knock, knock.

June startled. Her head snapped toward the pounding at the door in surprise, slipping into the mess in the tub; the sudden impact knocked the soap bottles off the shelves.

There was a sudden silence on the other side of the door.

"June? You're brother is here."

"He is?" She clambered onto her feet, tidying up the bathroom as fast as she could.

Flinging the door open, she found herself Margaret looking at her with a raised eyebrow. But June heeded her boss no attention for further down the hall by the doorway was Max, dressed in a gray polo and black pants. He was standing with David, laughing. To her surprise, they were patting one another's back in camaraderie as if they were longtime friends.

Max was in the middle of saying something when he broke off, seeing June. "Hey June, you're never going to believe this," he said excitedly.

Margaret touched her arm, "I'll be in the kitchen." She nodded and looked back at her older brother.

She approached the duo warily. "What is it?"

Her brother flashed a bright smile. "Remember Shawn my college dorm buddy? Well, his best friend was roommates with David. The four of us used to go out and party all the time. What a surprise, huh?"

David chuckled, hitting Max's arm pleasantly. "I sure miss those days—they were great times. I'm so glad to see you. It must've been years since the last time I saw you."

"I think you're right." Max furrowed his eyebrows in thought. "The last time we hung out was probably after graduation."

"Oh yes, I remember that party now."

"Remember Blake?"

The two of them shared a similar look of hilarity before shouting out simultaneously with the pump of the arm: "The Kumquats win! Whozza!"

They burst into boisterous laughter. June bit her lip to refrain laughing at their ridiculous display. "Should I even ask?"

Max shook his head, gasping. "No, don't."

"I'm glad you came." David said enthusiastically, edging towards the kitchen. "It calls for a celebration. I'm going to grab us a couple of beers."

"Sounds great."

The two siblings watched silently as David disappeared down the hallway. As soon as their host was out of sight and earshot, June turned to him. "Wow, I didn't know you and David were so chummy."

He nodded. "We're pretty tight. Believe it or not, we were called the Famous Four back in the good old days. We made a name for ourselves with the hardcore part—er," he fumbled with his words, seeing his sister's pointed look. "I mean, our studying. Oh, yes we did some hardcore studying. Yeah."

June smirked. "What a geek."

Max glowered.

She fidgeted, her mind drifting back to her current dilemma. Should she tell her brother that she wanted to go home? Or should she just tough it out? After all, it would be selfish of her to drag him back home when he just got reunited with an old friend—nevermind that it was David.

He saw her hesitation and searched her eyes, concerned. "What is it?"

She responded back in honest. "As much as I'm happy for you that you've found your long lost buddy, I can't."

He raised an eyebrow in amusement. "Now why's that sis?"

"Because I'm stuck here now—stuck here because you got bored."

He cocked his head with a speculative gaze, his strands of hair falling over his chocolate brown eyes. "You're never this flustered, what's wrong?"

June said nothing.

"Something tells me that it has to do with the company. Now why is that?" He paused and then added softly, "David's a good man."

Her body betrayed her. The room's temperature seemed to escalate and a hot flush crept up her face; she was blushing. "He's…" June hesitated. Seeing her brother's questioning gaze, she continued on. "Remember that guy from the supermarket that I told you about?"

Max glanced up at the ceiling thoughtfully. "The one you whacked your purse with?"

She groaned. "Let's get this one thing straight Max. I did not whack him with my purse. I was only—"

His warm chocolate eyes twinkled. "Right. You were only protecting your future assets."

June rolled her eyes. "Funny, Max."

"So, what about him?"

She fidgeted.

"Wait a second." Her older brother stared at her. Then it had finally hit him.

"Shhh!" June shushed harshly as Max guffawed. She cast a nervous look toward the kitchen where the rest of the group had wandered of to so that the two siblings could talk.

"You're telling me," he choked out, his chest heaving in mirth. "That the man you so brutally abused was David? And to top it off, you ended up giving the fruit basket to him? Hell June, that's so…"

"That's just so…" he repeated, wiping the tears from his eyes. "…terrible."

June gave him an exasperated expression as he fell into another round of laughter.

"I'm glad you're enjoying my misery and humiliation Max. Truly."

A cheeky grin fell across his handsome face. "You've got to admit that the irony is just hilarious. What are the odds really?"

She frowned at him.

"Oh come on now. Don't tell you don't find the situation even the least bit humorous?" Her older brother was peering at her with a wide smile. His hands were in his pockets and his shoulders were in a shrug as if egging her on for an answer. Despite herself, the corner of her mouth tugged.

"Exactly my point," Max said, satisfied.

June glanced down at her dress, smoothing the dark blue fabric down with her hands. "Don't tell him okay?"

"Don't tell who?" he teased.

"Max…" June replied darkly.

He chuckled. "I won't. Promise."

The sounds of footsteps approached and within seconds, David appeared with two cans of beer in his hand. Max's face broke into a grin. "Hey Sullivan, I heard that my sister kicked your ass this morning!"

June punched her brother in the arm. "You said you wouldn't say anything," she hissed. "You promised."

"Oh right," he said, struggling to put on a serious countenance. His eyes however sparkled in laughter. "Must've been the slip of the tongue, sis."

David looked at them in surprise, glancing at June with a quirk of the lip. "Well, you know what?" he said to his old friend. "Your sister is vicious."

Laughing, he took the offered can of beer from David. "Yeah, she can get pretty scary. I made the mistake once of trying to use the bathroom before her. It was early in the morning; she was stressed out over some project and hadn't had her cup of coffee. Let's just say it got bad, real bad."

"I don't know about that," David said with a slight shake of the head. "This afternoon was pretty traumatic. She's a terror with that bag of hers—"

There was a sudden loud sigh. The two young men glanced over at the source of the interruption. June grimaced.

"I'm right here you know," she said. "And for the record, I was not whacking anyone with my purse—"

"Purse-whacking?" Derek appeared out of the blue with Margaret in tow. June groaned at their impeccable timing.

Max slung an arm around her, playfully. "Loosen up June, stop being so uptight."

"I'm not uptight."

"Of course not," David piped up. "If you were uptight, I might've gotten a concussion from that pineappleyou threw during your fit. Oh wait, I did."

"You had no concussion," she snapped, her words coming out of her mouth before she could even stop them. "For your information, the pineapple didn't even hit you."

The whole lot fell quiet.

"Kill me now," she mumbled as they all burst out in laughter. Max's grip tightened in sympathy but he did poorly in restraining his mirth.

Margaret gave an amused smile. "Once again, how did you two meet?"

June could see David turn a bit pink from the memory. He shared a brief glance with her, his crystal blue eyes darkening into cerulean. Her breath caught in her throat. She looked away, swallowing. Even though he annoyed her to no end with his arrogance and rather clueless persona, she wasn't going to lie to herself. He had beautiful eyes. Though he wasn't much of her type, the man was gorgeous.

Say anymore of this, she thought to herself, and I will have to hurt you.

She realized then with a start that David had already finished telling the story.

"—and the rest is history."

"I had no clue!" Margaret gaped at her, "Is the SedTech assignment too much? Do you need more time? I must say June, this is the strangest state I've ever found you when stressed."

June felt a brush of irritation, realizing that Margaret may be questioning her competence in finishing the front-page assignment. She pushed those feelings, along with her embarrassment, down and managed to say calmly however, "It's quite alright Margaret. At least your nephew has some use to me. He makes an excellent substitute for a punching bag."

If possible, the laughter raised a notch. Though the insult was directed at David, he didn't seem to be offended. In fact, he was smiling in amusement. Max was shaking in laughter, sputtering out nonsense words.

"You're quite the vixen June," Derek managed to comment.

"Thank you."

Turning slightly, she saw David's cheeks were still red. He was, however, chuckling. The florescent light bounced off his blonde strands that fell across his forehead. His hands casually rested in his pant's pockets. She glowered at him.

He shifted, catching her eyes with his. With the slight upturn of his face, he smiled at her and winked.

Ignoring everyone and surprising even herself, she took a can of beer from David's hand and slunk away to the couch in the living room. Sinking into the comforts of the leather furniture, she grabbed the remote and clicked on the television to a random channel. June propped up her bare stocking feet onto the glass table, reveling for a moment at the low hiss from the opening of the beer can. She took a long sip. Tonight had all the makings of a long night.

Movement caught her eye and her gaze flitted to the side of the couch. David was standing with his arms crossed and with a probing stare aimed at her.

Oh yes, she thought to herself, ignoring her host as she took another swallow. It's going to be a very long night.


A/N: Hey y'all ) Hope the chapter was manageable! I'm still trying to get back onto the groove of writing but it's been so long. So please excuse the um, strangeness of the characters. Eventually everyone will be their old selves again after a couple of chapters ( except maybe June since it's still ablue moon). Hopefully. P

On a happy note, I updated in less than a year! Wohoo in fact, less than a month though almost there. Heh. Anyways, I'm pretty determined to finish this story. I MUST finish this story, so one way or another you're going to get it.

PS: Does anyone watch Grey's Anatomy tonight? So sad :(

Please excuse the mistakes P but if it's major or what not, do tell me. Thanks a bunch!


Reviewer Spotlight:

de Leon: LoLz, thanks. Yeah, the characters seem to be extra strange now since my writing style has changed. It'll probably won't go back to how it was originally but maybe somewhere in the middle between there and now? Hehe, thanks for the encouragement! I'm definitely trying to update a lot faster. Not promising anything for the next few months though since it's senior year xD Sux, but thanks for sticking around!

Penning Fantasy: Thank you so much for your review, it means so much to me :) I'm still bummed out about Scarab, I mean, it's such a great story! ::begins ranting:: But your other story is really cute-Sutton really smolders on the page. Haha, yeah, June definitely knows how to defend herself in the streets of New York. Anyways, you are one awesome writer and person! Happy writings!

Annie: D Thank you for your review! I'm glad you like it. Haha, I hope your parents didn't wake up... I have before xD

Shadow YellowEyes: Hehe, David is old school xD I really have no clue where that phrase came from, it just kind of popped out. Thanks for reviewing the story! I hope you enjoyed the chapter

Spawnmeister666: Hey Spawny, how are you? Yeah, I need to do some editing. I have written in a long while. ::wistful expression:: I definitely miss writing. How's your writer's block? I still haven't reviewed :P I checked out your recent stuff but I admit, I'm a coward at reading horror or anything like that. shudders Anyways, thanks for sticking around :) Heh, I'll try updating quicker. Not promising anything though

Emily West: Aww, you're too kind! Thank you for your review, it made me so happy! I love your writing and Love's Providence is so beautiful. I'm so curious to what's going to happen to the three of them. Thanks for your comments

CezyAngel: Haha xD Far-fetched isn't it? We'll just say David's that good with writing/editing. His old job? Some cubicle job, maybe like those people who do surveys at research facilities. Or accounting firms? Hm... we'll never know. Maybe eventually. Shhh, it's a surprise! xD Hm, seems like you don't have any stories up. Will you try writing your own stories soon? I would love reading them :)

Calybe: To tell you the truth, at first I had in mind for David to be the anchor. But when people started speculating and throwinga bunch of guesses around, it got me thinking "Hm... actually if Amber was the anchor, it would make things a lot more interesting." We'll see what happens though. I hate the fact that I may just take that out xD I guess that's one of the problems with not having a plot to begin with. Thanks for reviewing! (ps: update soon)