A/N: Yikes has it really been that long since I updated? Oof. That one is on me. Well, 2021 is a new year and hopefully I can actually finish this since it is a short story. Nothing too crazy, right?

Ha. I'm lowkey lazy for a reason. But stay classy folks.

Red with Lust

Summary: Lust is a powerful thing. It can blind people, and make them do the unthinkable. Me? Well, I just wanted a one-night stand. I didn't think I'd be seeing her again.

*Chapter 3*

Alana groaned when she walked into the office and saw her boss standing with an unpleased expression on his face. A former soldier, Casey Hoya was never one who liked people who weren't punctual and didn't get the job done. That said, Alana was one of the few people he actually liked. If he wasn't married, Alana might have considered asking him for a date or two.

"Let me guess, Caleb isn't here because he's a jackass?" she tried.

"You guessed it," Casey said with a grunt. "I told him yesterday that if he didn't show up today at nine o'clock on the dot that he was going to be fired. He thought I was kidding around. I wasn't. On the bright side, I did manage to find a much more suitable replacement on very short notice. Maybe we're due for some good fortune around here. Just do me a favor and don't get hammered listening to customer complaints. I know they're a pain to deal with, but just so I don't have to hear it from HR later, please refrain from drinking."

"Well since it's you, I'll do my best." Alana cracked a smile and took off her coat, setting it down on her chair. "By the way, who is this new person you hired? It's not like you to act impulsively like this."

Casey pointed at a mane of red hair at the far end of the office and Alana's jaw dropped. 'No way. No fucking way. This has to be a fucking dream. What the hell is she doing here!?'

There, sitting in an uncomfortable office chair typing furiously on her keyboard was none other than the woman Alana had a one night stand with. Willow. Kind of hard for her to forget bedding someone that gorgeous.

"You know her or something?" Casey asked.

A faint hint of pink rose on her cheeks and the blonde turned away with an annoyed huff. "Yeah…you could say that…"

"Lemme guess, one of your many trips to a bar?"

"Jesus, does everyone fucking know my habits by now or something?"

"Nope." Casey smirked. "Just a little initiative. Plus your blush says enough."

"I'm not blushing," Alana shot back hotly, annoyed by his bark of laughter as she took her seat. She knew she was blushing; she just hated that someone else put two and two together. 'Ugh. What the hell is up with seemingly everyone knowing my goddamn habits!? Am I really that predictable or does everyone have nothing better to do than gossip and talk shit about our customers? Fuck me, even Casey notices. Fuck my life.'

The phone on her desk rang loudly and with a frustrated groan she picked it up, pinching her forehead and praying it wasn't an annoying customer bitching about something they ordered not being right. "Hello, thank you for calling Traxus Industries. How may I help you today?"

"This is such bullshit! I had a fucking 60 inch TV ordered and it was dropped off with no remote!"

'I don't hate my life anymore. I hate other people's lives. Wish they didn't have them.' Alana rolled her eyes. "Sir, can you please give me the name—"

"I'm filing a customer complai—"

"Just give me the name of who packaged it for you. I'll handle it." Alana gritted her teeth. God she hated people more and more with each day.

"Caleb Pearsons."

'Of fucking course it would be him.' Alana facepalmed. "Sir, I am happy to report that Mr. Pearsons no longer works with our company. I can tell one of our drivers to send you one properly packaged free of charge and make it an express delivery to ensure you get it within the day. Does that work for you?"

"Yeah, sure. Whatever. Last time I spend my money he—"

Alana hung up the phone before he could rant any further and hit the intercoms. "Jay, how long do you think it'll take you to drive a 60 inch to 3256 Woodland Drive?"

"Should take me about an hour to finish unloading this truck and I can set off. Why ask me though?"

"Because you don't drive like a wannabe tofu delivery driver," the blonde deadpanned. "And I know for a fact that you'll double check the package to make sure everything is in it."

"Haha, you got it sweetheart. Don't worry; I'll make sure it gets there in one piece."

"Thank you."

Alana got off the intercom, checked what time it was, and groaned. Only nine in the morning and it was still too early for her to try and sneak liquor in. Technically.

She went to reach for a bottle of much needed rum when the phone rang again. "Oh for…hello, thank you for calling Traxus. How may I—"

"Hey baby, why don't you use those—"

Alana slammed the receiver again. Stupid prank callers.

Yep, it was going to be a long fucking day.

When lunch break came, normally Alana would be tempted to go hit up one of the few burger joints around town or maybe have something delivered. But after dealing with about fifty customer complaints in the span of about three hours, the blonde was ready to snap necks and maybe chuck her computer out the window along with the phone.

She leaned against the second floor balcony and patted her pockets in search of a much needed cigarette when she heard someone join her. "Mind if I join?"

Willow. Good, now she could find out why the hell she was here. "Not at all. I've been wanting to talk to you anyway." Fuck, no smokes on her. Oh well.

"Oh?" Willow's eyebrows rose. "About what?"

"Why the hell you're working here, for starters." Alana's eyes narrowed. "I don't buy into that whole, 'it's just a coincidence' bullshit. Did you know I worked for Traxus?"

"Well, I didn't exactly get to see your nametag a few nights ago." Willow smirked.

"Enough of that."

"What, embarrassed?"

"No, I just don't need the entire fucking office gossiping about us. I hear enough of that already," the blonde answered with a growl. "Boss already knows we know each other and while I trust him to keep his mouth shut, I don't exactly trust everyone else to do the same."

"Is this a common occurrence for you?" the redhead asked. "If so that is quite unfortunate. Brief as our time was, I found you rather fetching. And as for your question, I genuinely did not know you worked for Traxus. I was just bored of sitting around doing nothing with my time but going out to pointless family dinners and meetings regarding my sister's engagement."

"So you chose to be basically a customer representative?" Alana sighed. "Okay, I genuinely can't tell if you are fucking with me or not."

"If I wanted to do that, I'd already be fucking you." Willow smirked.

"Not funny." Alana glared at her laugh. "It was one night, okay? We both needed the stress relief, albeit for different reasons. Work has been a bitch lately and I don't even want to know what the hell makes you stressed."

"You can say it was just one night all you want, but is that what you really want?" she returned. "I can see in your face that it isn't. I know you want more. But you're hesitant. Afraid that the ghosts of your past relationships will bite you again."

"The fuck are you, my goddamn psychiatrist or something? Am I paying for this service?"

"No, I'm asking you on a date."

"Yeah whatever…wait, what? Seriously?" Alana's eyebrow raised skeptically. "You're asking me on a date. Out of everyone who is definitely struck by you?" She gestured to the few ogling young women on the opposite balcony. "Even those star-struck idiots who think you're a pop star or something?"



"Because of the fact that when we first met in that bar, you didn't know who I or my family was. You just saw me for me," Willow answered. "When you're put on a pedestal for so long, the people who put you there begin to think that you're untouchable. That you are too good for them. But you didn't act like that. If anything, you are the kind of girl I'd want to be with. That kind of down to Earth attitude and treats everyone the same regardless of their social standing."

Alana let out a sigh, running a hand through her hair and looking out across the street at some of the opposite buildings. "Lemme guess, one night with you was enough to make you curious? I mean, I'm not exactly big on dates. I just don't have that much time anymore. Work's kept me busy for so long that I don't have the time to have a real relationship, unless Casey magically hires twenty people in the next five days."

"Well you never know." The redhead laughed. "But come on; life is far too short to spend it moping around being miserable and depressed. I'm slightly surprised you didn't come in wearing black eyeliner."

"Oh haha, very funny." Alana rolled her eyes, though she wouldn't deny it did make her chuckle a little bit. "Well, where do you want to go for lunch? We still got about fifty minutes. I might know a few places that might be open. Seventh Heaven, for instance."

"Isn't that a bar?"

"And they make one hell of a steak."

"Hmm. I think I'll take you up on that offer." Willow smiled. "It's been awhile since I had a date with a pretty girl, sadly."

"You and me both." Alana laughed. "Can't tell you how many pointless one night stands I've had over the years." She really couldn't count them and she wasn't sure how she felt about that. 'Wow my love life is depressing. I guess that tends to happen when you don't have a chance to get out much and have no time for a proper relationship.' Maybe her luck was finally beginning to turn around.

At least, she hoped it was. The much more cynical side of her was telling her otherwise, that it was all going to be for nothing just like before. 'No. Shut the hell up. Things are going to be different. They will be different. I'll make sure they are. I've been alone for so long, I'm actually terrified of being in a relationship again. Never thought I'd be so scared of a simple date.'

She steeled herself, checking her phone. Plenty of time before they had to go back to work before the boss got annoyed at them. It was nice of him to have their hours ridiculously long. Casey was a hardass when it came to laziness, but he also rewarded those who did their job and did it properly. Hence why Alana and him got along so well. They both hated lazy bastards.

'Well, here goes nothing. Hope I don't fuck this one up.'

At Seventh Heaven, Willow took a seat across from Alana at one of the booths in the diner/bar. It was much more humble than some of the other pricey restaurants that were scattered across the city, but it was cozy. Much more welcoming than those other places where they insulted you if they thought you weren't rich enough. God she hated them.

She picked up the menu and began to look through it with a soft hum. "Hmm…these all do look tempting."

"Don't worry; I'm paying." Alana winked over her menu. "Get whatever you want. I'll cover it."

"You are too kind." Willow smiled. "In that case, I'll get the roast beef and bell peppers."

"Same. Fuck it, I don't care about the price." The blonde snapped the menu shut and placed it on top of Willow's, folding her hands. "You know, this is my first date in about two or three years. Kind of sad, isn't it?"

"Not at all. I can understand it a bit. Time has a way of making it hard to do anything, especially now." They didn't have to wait long before their drinks came in. Two glasses of ice water delivered by a rather posh looking young blond man.

"Hello, ladies. What may I get you this afternoon?" he asked with a smile. That accent wasn't fooling Willow. She knew he wasn't from the States.

"Not from around these parts, are you?" she asked silkily.

"Not at all." He laughed. "From Liverpool. Bloody awful, I tell you."

"In that case, we'll have two plates of the roast beef with bell peppers," she requested.

"Will that be all?" He wrote down the order on his notepad.

"Yes." Alana nodded.

"Understood. It'll be ready in fifteen minutes." The blond waiter left them alone and Alana let out a sigh.

"Well, he was polite," she remarked. "Sorry if I'm terrible at these. Got the jitters, I guess."

"Darling, you're fine," Willow reassured, placing a hand over hers. It was surprisingly warm. "No need to be so worried. Just relax; don't need you coming back to work with a nosebleed and stressed out now, do we?"

"Why would I have a nosebleed? You planning on more than just lunch?" Alana smirked, seemingly a little more at ease now that she knew she could banter with the redhead.

"Tempting, but I don't think so." Willow grinned back. She'd play the game with her for fun. "It's much more amusing for me to see you riled up."

"You're horrible." Alana rolled her eyes but there was still humor there. The two stared at each other before breaking down into a fit of laughter.

"Ah, shit." Alana pushed her hair aside. "It feels nice to be able to enjoy myself like this. I needed this, more than I realized."

"I have that effect."

"Flatter yourself some more why don't you."

It was nice to being able to see Alana actually enjoy herself. Willow thought she could make something of this for once.

A/N: And after way too long of a delay, I'm back. Ugh. Where the hell have I been? I actually think I'll finish something here for once.