The week was dragging by and once Friday hit I was overly thankful. It was another hot summer day and the last thing I wanted to do was go into work.
I snoozed my alarm and slept for another ten minutes before finally getting out of bed. Even my apartment was hot, I can't even begin to imagine how terrible it was going to be outside. I rinsed off in the shower in an attempt to cool down and just ruffled my hands through my hair hoping it'd dry alright.
I didn't even want to think about putting clothes on as I just stood in my boxers, but I couldn't go to work half naked I guess. Another short sleeve button down it was and black jeans.
I glanced at the clock and those extra ten minutes I slept really put me behind schedule today. I pulled out my phone to text Harry.
To Harry: Running late, Rhodes isn't there, what kind of coffee to you guys want?
I grabbed my knapsack and my keys and rushed out to my car. I heard my phone buzz as I was driving and hoped that it was Harry answering my message. I parked in the lot at work and walked a block to the coffee shop and waited in line while checking my email on my phone. I gave the barista all the coffee orders and waited as she prepared them all. I left her a generous tip and carried out the two holders and walked off to the office building.
I balanced both the holders as I pressed the number in the elevator and walked into the office.
"Hey Helen, which one is yours?" I asked her referring to the coffees in my hands.
"Just the hot with cream only, thank you dear." she smiled at me as I handed it to her.
I wandered off toward Nate's desk and handed him his usual then walked over to my desk.
"Look who finally decided to show up!" Harry teased me taking one of the holders out of my hands.
"Sorry I'm late, I thought I had more time this morning but I set the wrong alarm and then I slept longer so I just thought I should make up for it." I shrugged.
"Who do the rest of these belong to?" I asked while grabbing my own.
Liam and Louis strolled back over to their desks.
"Hey thanks for getting us coffee mate." Liam said and patted my shoulder while Louis nodded at me.
I sat down only to realize there was still one left.
"Who's left?" I asked Harry.
He nodded toward the reception desk, "I asked Kaine if she wanted one. Not too sure where she went right now though."
"Oh, okay well maybe she'll find us." I said. "Who's the working boss today?"
When Rhodes was out of the office he always assigned someone to take his place just to facilitate the day.
"Josie I think, or maybe Hank? Not really sure." Harry answered while reading through a binder.
I glanced up at Louis who was drawing out exquisite hand lettering for one of our websites and Liam who was working on a web layout. Louis was incredibly talented artistically and was amazing on paper and great in Illustrator. He really had some talent, and same with Liam. He knew how to use Photoshop and InDesign better than anyone that has worked here for years and created really cool web layouts using it. For their first week here they were both becoming the most productive employees I have seen in a while. I looked back up at reception to see Kaine was back in her seat.
I walked over to the desk with her coffee and smiled at Helen again.
"Hey Kaine, didn't see you up here earlier when I gave Helen her coffee." I joked to her.
"Oh sorry I was putting paper in the printer. Thank you though, Niall, I appreciate it." she said taking the cup out of my hands.
Her fingers slowly slid across mine, they were smooth like Kira's but her fingernails didn't graze across my skin like Kira's long manicured ones always did. It was different, but welcomed. She sat back down in her seat and leaned back in the chair. Today was another high neck dress that she looked insanely uncomfortable in yet again.
"So how has your first week been?" I asked and leaned up against the counter.
"So far so good I think, not all that difficult." she smiled and took a sip of the coffee.
"Well you came in during a good week, Rhodes hasn't been around too much." I joked.
"Honestly he's kind of a creep." she said. "Don't tell him I said that."
"Don't you worry, I won't." I chuckled.
"Pinky promise?" she asked getting all fake serious and holding out her little finger.
"Promise." I said trying not to smile and locked my little finger with hers.
We both broke our smiles and began to laugh.
"Horan! Quit flirting with the new girl and come help me fix this code!" Hank yelled across the room.
Apparently he was the acting boss today. I felt all the eyes look over in my direction and could sense my face blushing and saw Kaine's do the same.
"Yeah I'll be right over." I called.
"I didn't mean to get you yelled at." she said quietly.
"It's just Hank, don't worry about him he's just joking." I said back. "So just a heads up, tonight is bar night at McKinley's and everyone from work normally comes and it's always an amazing time so you should come. Right Helen?"
"Oh absolutely, it's so fun watching us older people getting wasted trying to keep up with the young people." Helen added with a laugh.
"Maybe I'll come then." Kaine nodded.
"And, thought I should mention, you don't have to dress in heels and dresses every day here. Heck, I'm wearing jeans today. Don't worry about getting all dressed up if you're just going to be uncomfortable with it." I said.
"Oh thank god, I was hoping someone would say that. My mom bought me all these dresses to wear before I moved out here but I absolutely hate wearing them. Thank you so much for telling me." she said graciously.
"No problem." I smiled at her.
I walked off to help out Hank and his troubles and then walked back to my desk and sat down and continued on my code. I worked quietly for a while until Harry cleared his throat and I looked up at him.
"What the hell was that?" he whispered so that nobody else could hear.
"What the hell was what?" I asked equally as quiet as him.
"With Kaine?" he prodded.
"Nothing we were just joking around." I defended myself.
He narrowed his eyes at me, I didn't realize what I was doing could've come off the wrong way.
"Really, I didn't think what I was doing was wrong." I said.
"You looked like you were a little school girl with a crush talking up there with her." he teased.
"No I didn't!" I defended again.
"Whatever you say." he said.
We worked quietly for a little while longer. It was a bit of an awkward silence and I was trying to focus on the code I was writing but I couldn't stop thinking about what Harry said. I looked up and was thankful to see Nate walking over to us.
"Niall did you propose last night?" he asked me.
Harry's eyes perked up at the question.
"Yeah didn't you have a big dinner or something planned forever to pop the question last night?" Harry asked.
"No I didn't ask her. I told you things haven't been very good between us, she was especially distant last night." I sighed.
Louis and Liam looked up from their work to listen in too.
"She didn't even want to stay at mine last night." I added.
"Oh shit, what happened?" Louis asked.
"I don't know the night started off alright when I picked her up and everything felt like old times but then as we continued on she was super cold." I said.
"Uh, how long has it been since you guys last slept together?" Harry asked being extremely blunt.
"Three fucking weeks." I groaned.
"Well shit." Liam said. "Bit of a dry spell?"
"I don't fucking know, I don't know what's happening between us. It's really fucking frustrating."
"Do you still have the ring?" a voice asked.
We all looked up and didn't even realize Kaine was standing with us. She seemed genuinely interested while leaning against the cube. She wasn't wearing shoes, that almost made me smile.
"When did you get here?" Nate asked.
"Three fucking weeks ago." she teased.
That made me laugh, that made us all laugh.
"Sorry a fax came for Harry and I wanted to bring it over. But really do you still have it?" she prodded.
"Yeah I still have the ring." I said between laughs and pulled it out of my desk drawer.
I kept it with me at all times in fear of it getting stolen by someone or Kira seeing it. I opened the box and took it out, then handed it to Liam who passed it around the circle.
"Kaine, just to get inside a woman's mind, what is with these dramatic mood swings you guys have? When I was with my ex we were fucking basically everyday for the first half of our relationship then she just would not sleep with me. Like it completely stopped." Nate asked.
She laughed before answering, "Well I've got two explanations for when I would do that. One, PMS and two, if I were really pissed off. That's what makes sense anyway."
The rest of the guys laughed at her answer while I watched my ring get passed from person to person. It finally made it around to her and she inspected it carefully.
"Looks like you spent a good chunk of change on this." she commented and slipped it on her finger.
My breath hitched a little, I didn't expect her to do that but I didn't mind. It was nice to see it on a woman's hand.
"What's your girlfriend's name?" she asked.
"Well, I think with a ring like this she's a really special girl. And she's an idiot to be cold to you." she smiled while she slipped the ring back off her finger and placed it in my hand.
Our little group broke off and we worked until lunch. Then we regrouped and went down to the café to eat and broke off to finish our work.
On Friday's we got out at four so at 3:45 Hank stood up and reminded us all of bar night at 7:30. I logged off and picked up my knapsack and put everything in it tucking the ring box in the inside pocket.
Me and Harry walked out together as usual.
"Want to come over after you stop home?" I asked.
"Yeah I'll be over in like an hour." he nodded.
Kaine called out to us and we turned to face her, she had her shoes in her hands.
"McKinley's right?" she called across the parking lot.
"Yeah 7:30." Harry called back.
She gave us a thumbs up and walked off toward her car.
"She really is a piece of work." he laughed.
"She really is." I smiled and nodded.