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This story has a beginning: There is a definite moment at which it started.
It also has an end: A time when everything that begins in the beginning is resolved and neatly tied up; when our characters move on into a distinctly new tale, to be told another time, perhaps.
But, as for the middle… Well, that's rather a muddle. Getting from A to B – or B to E, if you'd prefer – was not as straightforward as you might first think it would be. There weren't so much twists and turns, but there were confusions and misunderstandings; paths, wires and swords crossed; assumptions made; tales told.
Given the chosen careers of our favourite characters, they really should have seen straight through the muddle. But, love not only makes one do crazy things, but it also disrupts one's deception detection skills. Never a good combination.
So, as we embark on the retelling of this story, please remember to blame 'love'.
Now, if you're ready, we'll start at the beginning…
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He stopped in his tracks, cringing at having been spotted. Forcing a smile to his face he turned back and walked the short distance to her office.
"You called, love?" he quipped as he stepped across the threshold.
"You know that my office has a wall made of glass, right?" she smirked, looking up at him from the work she had previously seemed engrossed in.
"Oh, I know, love." He sat down opposite her, leaning back in the chair. "I like to use it to watch you work."
Rolling her eyes, she set her pen down on the desk and sat back in her own seat. "Is that what you've been doing today?"
"Today?" he echoed, pretending not to know what had prompted her question.
"Don't play innocent, Cal. You've wandered by here several times today, and never come in. What's going on?"
He shrugged it off. "You always seemed busy."
Her look conveyed that that had never stopped him before, she didn't need to speak the words.
"It wasn't important enough to interrupt you. Not every day you get chance to catch up on your paperwork," he smiled to keep her at ease.
Her narrowed eyes indicated she suspected that something more was going on but she simply responded with, "Well, I'm all caught up. So what did you need?"
"Oh, it's not even relevant –"
"Cal. You came here seconds ago. I'm not going to believe that what you wanted to say no longer applies."
He shrugged again. "It's nothing. Really."
She smiled sweetly. "Then you won't mind telling me."
He fell silent for a few seconds, eyes fixed on hers while he tried to summon the courage to say what he had been trying to all day.
"Should I be worried?" she asked him as the silence dragged on.
"Oh no. No, love, it's nothing to worry about. I just – … Would you have dinner with me tonight?"
A little surprised by the question, no doubt because he didn't normally ask quite so formally, she muttered, "Dinner?"
"If you don't have plans," he nodded.
"Cal – "
He leaned forward in his chair, offering her a reassuring smile. "Darling, it's nothing to worry about. I'd just prefer not to talk about it at work. Are you free for dinner?"
She still looked wary but she nodded as she answered him. "Yes I am, but – "
"Excellent!" he declared, jumping out of his seat. "I'll pick you up at seven."
"Cal," she stopped him again as he tried to make for the door.
"I'll explain everything tonight, love," he assured her. "I promise it's nothing to worry about."
"You couldn't just give me a clue?" she requested hopefully.
He laughed and watched her relax a little. "Patience is a virtue, love."
… … … … …
And so, that is how it all began: One little question, shrouded in mystery. A man with something to say; a woman intrigued as to what it could be. But, don't worry, she will find out in the end. And so will you. And, because the middle is such a muddle, we'll go to the end next…
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