"It's okay, Keller," she whispered to herself, walking down the hall to her office. "He's probably forgotten already." She smiled to a few people as she unlocked her office. After closing the door behind her, she walked to her desk, sat down, and pressed her head against the wooden surface. She groaned. Why didn't I notice that the damn "voicemail" never cut me off?! she mentally wailed. "Stupid Keller, stupid Keller."

"Oh, you're not that bad."

In a true cliché, the voice would've belonged to Trevor, who would then proceed to kiss her passionately, declare his undying love for her, and propose.

Thank God it's not a cliché, she thought wearily, lifting a hand—while leaving her head on the desk—and waving absently. "Hey Bailey," Keller greeted, her voice muffled against the wooden desk. Bailey, a pretty girl with red hair, snorted and crossed her arms over her chest.

"Hey yourself," Bailey replied, walking over before planting her petite self on the edge of Keller's desk. "What the hell's the matter?"


At that single word, Bailey's eyes widened and her nostrils flared. "Did that bastard do something to you? I swear, I—"

Keller cut her off, lifting her head off her desk and chuckling. "No, it's not that," she replied, brushing some of her hair out of her face. She hadn't known Bailey long; they had met on a busy day a few months back. Still, Bailey was a genuinely sweet and caring girl, though her "Irish temper", as she liked to put it (even though she didn't have a single drop of Irish blood in her) stilled peeked from time to time. About two months after their original meeting, Keller had confessed everything about Trevor to her and since then, Bailey had taken it upon herself to hold a personal vendetta against the absent man without ever having met him.

"Then what's wrong?"

Keller sighed before running her hands through her thick hair. It wasn't that she didn't trust Bailey, because she did. It was just that Keller didn't know how to say it. 'I called Trevor for closure and I think he heard everything'? No, that probably wouldn't bode well with the pseudo-Irish girl. "I'm on my period," she decided to say, meekly hiding her face in her hands. Bailey snorted again, but didn't press the subject. That was what was so great about her—she didn't like being kept out of the loop, but she knew when not to keep asking. Eventually, Bailey knew, Keller would tell her.

"I have some Midol in my office," was what Bailey said as she left Keller's office. Her face still hidden in her hands, Keller smiled crookedly; that was Bailey's way of saying that she was ready whenever to hear the story. After the door clicked shut, Keller let out a heavy sigh before turning on her computer and pulling out the unread files. Keller worked as an editor for a publishing company and she honestly loved her work. Most of the time. At the moment, she was so ready for a distraction from the Trevor issue.

"Romance, romance, romantic drama, romance, romantic tragedy, romance," she muttered dryly to herself as she flipped through her manuscript choices. "Are people so desperate for love that all they read these days are romantic novels?" she wondered aloud before putting the manuscripts away. She wasn't the primary editor and she had gotten the unpublished books ahead of time, so Keller could afford a little break. She simply put her head down on her desk again and closed her eyes.

When Keller finally opened them again, it was dark outside, her neck was stiff, and people were leaving their offices. How long was I out? she wondered, gingerly rubbing her neck as she raised her head. After a quick glance at her watch, she grimaced before standing up and smoothing down her pencil skirt. Though she hadn't meant to, Keller had slept the entire day away. Wonderful, she thought, grabbing her jacket and purse before leaving and locking up her office.

Days turned into weeks and weeks melted into months until Keller found herself disappointed. In all honesty, she knew that she was being irrational. But still, that lingering hope that Trevor really did think about their future and really did love her was enough to make her wonder why he hadn't called her. All right, now you're just being stupid, she told herself as she sat in her apartment and stared out the window. Keller shook her head a few times before running a hand through her hair and grabbing her keys, wallet, and cell phone. It's wasn't too cold outside, so she decided not to wear a jacket and just embrace the weather in her long-sleeved shirt and jeans.

Automatically, her legs began to walk her into the bustling city and towards a nearby Starbucks. Though Keller wasn't really a fan of coffee, she had a sudden craving for some vanilla bean scones. That day was a regular Thursday, though Keller didn't have to go into the office because she had finished her assigned manuscripts. She was usually the preliminary reader; after her would be another editor and after them, another. It was how Fisk Publishing Company worked. If someone disagreed, then all three editors would be brought in for a meeting. If not, then everything went a lot smoother.

"Hot vanilla creme and four vanilla bean scones," Keller ordered, paying quickly with cash before walking off to one of the tables. As she sat down and crossed one leg over the other, Keller propped her elbow on the table and rested her chin in her hand. She didn't mind being in a coffee shop alone; it gave her the time to watch the people walking on the street. Waiting for her order, Keller felt her phone vibrate.

It was a text from Bailey. 'I bet you're in starbucks! Meet you there :)'

Keller smiled down at the screen before looking up absently. Immediately, her dark green eyes widened and her breath caught in her throat. That was a ghost, she mentally told herself, though she knew it was far from the truth. Oh shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. Almost frantically, Keller left her table for one of the more secluded booths before pulling out her phone and going to her call logs. Bailey's number was the third from the top and she quickly pressed the call button after highlighting it. She picked up on the fourth ring.

"I said I'll meet you there!" came Bailey's laughing voice without even saying hello.

"Bailey, I need a favor," Keller said quietly, ducking her head down as much as possible without actually attracting attention. She briefly debated on whether or not she should take her high ponytail down before Bailey asked what the favor was. "Are you close to Starbucks?"

"Yeah, I'm almost right outside of it. Why?"

"If you see a guy with dark brown hair and really light blue eyes, tell him I'm dead." Oh yeah. That definitely makes sense.

Bailey coughed slightly. "Please, Bail?" Keller pleaded quietly. She heard Bailey sigh on the end before she hung up the phone. In Bailey-talk, it meant that she would do it.

Rather than put her phone in her pocket, she simply laid it on the table and stared absently at it. Almost two minutes after the call ended, Keller could hear Bailey's voice. Unable to help herself, she peeked out from the side of the booth to see if she could spot her friend.

"Oh hi!" Bailey said enthusiastically, sticking out her hand while practically throwing herself in a person's path. Keller could only see the back of the person's head, but it was definitely a familiar back-of-the-person's-head. Judging by the build and clothing, Keller knew it was a man. A familiar man. Bailey's smile was radiant and almost frightening. "I'm Bailey and if you're looking Keller, she's dead."

Keller almost slapped her palm against her forehead.

"Uh, Trevor," the man responded. Unconsciously, Keller's heart rate sped up when she heard his voice. She bit her lower lip lightly before grinning outright when Bailey's expression visibly darkened.

"Well Trevor," the redhead said with malice, withdrawing her hand, "Keller's dead, so you can just go away. If she's what you're here for."

From what Keller could tell, Bailey's words and tone had no affect on Trevor. "What if I'm not here for her?" he asked silkily, leaning in closer to Bailey.

Keller could almost feel her heart breaking. Really? In a Starbucks? Hidden in a booth?

"What if I'm here for pleasure? Just my own, simple pleasure?"

Before Bailey could answer (or attack) Trevor, the barista called out Keller's forgotten order. "Hey! Hot vanilla creme and four vanilla scones! Keller, I know you're still in here!" she announced, obviously ignorant to the entire exchange between Bailey and Trevor. Because that certain Starbucks was so close to her home, Keller frequented it. She was there so often that the staff knew her by name and she knew the staff by name.

Madeline, I hate you, Keller thought, quickly getting out of her seat, rushing over to the counter to grab her order, and hooking arms with Bailey as she exited the shop. She forced herself not to look at Trevor, though she felt her chest ache when his hand brushed against her arm. "Let's go, Bailey."

"... Sorry you didn't get any coffee," Keller said finally after Bailey stared at her for at least four minutes. Straight. The two were in Keller's apartment, sitting in the kitchen, her at the kitchen bar and Bailey bustling around. It was actually kind of creepy to watch Bailey move things and mess around with her kitchen while the redhead maintained a level gaze with her.

At Keller's words, Bailey's mouth quirked a bit before she finally broke eye contact. "I don't care about that; Starbucks is too expensive anyways," she said, grabbing one of Keller's broken up scones (she just liked eating them broken up, instead of whole) before beginning to make her own coffee. Before Keller could ask why she kept staring, Bailey continued speaking. "I'm just waiting for you to cry."

Two blonde eyebrows shot up.

"So you're... staring at me?" Keller clarified. Bailey nodded, her red hair bouncing off her shoulders. "Do people normally cry when you stare that them?"

Bailey rolled her eyes. "Yes," she deadpanned, watching the coffee simmer and bubble. "People cry when I stare at them." She bit into the broken up scone, chewed, and swallowed before continuing with what she was saying. "I just thought that because that asshole flirted with me that you'd be..." She trailed off with a pointed look towards Keller. "No?"

"Nah," the blonde replied, shaking her head while breaking up her scones into smaller pieces. "I mean, yeah, I'm pretty upset about it, but I'm not going to cry."


Keller sighed, before popping a piece of scone into her mouth. "I don't know."

The two young women sat in silence as Bailey's coffee finished simmering and she poured some into a mug, drinking it black. They sat in a comfortable silence before Bailey, obviously having wandered off mentally, muttered, "I still can't believe that bastard flirted with me."

It was about one AM when Keller's phone vibrated loudly on her nightstand. Thinking something completely incoherent, she rolled over and haphazardly threw out an arm and slammed her palm onto her phone before her fingers curled on it and she brought it to her ear. With her eyes still closed, Keller flipped it open. "Bailey, I'm still not crying," she slurred into the phone, settling back against her pillows.

"So, I heard that you're dead."

More than three quarters asleep, Keller's heart didn't race at the sound of Trevor's voice. For once, she wasn't so affected by the simple fact that he was calling her, and not the other way around. So, the still-asleep Keller merely replied "Fuck off, Trevor," and ended the call. She reached over to put her cell back on the nightstand while her mind drifted back into unconsciousness.