Throw Down at G Major
Jude and Tom were out walking when the already darkening sky started to cloud up.
“Looks like it is going to rain.” Tom said, looking up at the sky.
Jude looked up and a rain drop hit her face. “It’s already started.” She laughed.
Tom took Jude’s hand and within minutes it was down pouring and they were soaked. Tom looked down at Jude and watched the rain stream down her face. He smiled to himself and then heard “Well, since we’re already wet...”
Suddenly he heard a splash in the water. He looked over at Jude and saw her standing in a puddle right off the curb.
“You should try it, it’s fun.” Tom shook his head and Jude stomped into another one, closer to Tom and splashed him. Tom looked over at her and she laughed. She did it again and he said, “So, you wanna play that game?”
Jude gave him a come and get me smile and took off running through the water that collected along the sidewalk. Tom ran after her, the water splashing up the back of his legs. Jude looked over her shoulder and laughed as she saw Tom catch up with her. Tom grabbed her around the waist from behind and spun her around. Jude laughed and wiggled away from him and she pulled him into an ankle deep puddle. Tom took her hand and they walked towards Tom’s house. Jude stopped and kissed him full on the mouth, wrapping her arms around his neck. He rested his hands on her hips and pulled her closer.
“What was that for?” Tom asked when they separated.
Jude shrugged and took his hand, “I’ve just always wanted to do it.”
They continued walking and Tom smirked suggestively, “Really now?”
Jude smirked as she walked up the steps to the front door. Tom reached around her and opened the door. As she walked in Tom smacked her butt.
“Hey!” Jude shouted and turned around and lightly shoved him against the door, her face merely inches from his. Tom looked down at her, noticing how her wet shirt was clinging to her body. She smiled at him and turned away. She was a few steps away when Tom grabbed her and pressed her against the wall. He lowered his face to hers, so there noses together. Jude stared at him and bit her lip. He leaned in closer and put his mouth by her ear.
“Don’t tease me like that.” Tom whispered and walked away. Jude smiled and shook her head.
“Fine. Be that way. I’m gonna get out of these wet clothes.” She called to him and walked into the front bathroom. Tom smiled at her and answered his ringing cell phone.
“Hey, take your clothes off.” Jude called to him a few minutes later.
Tom turned around, his mouth agape, and saw Jude standing in a towel, holding her clothes. He heard “Damn man. Should I let you go? Your girl is getting demanding.”
“Shut up.” He told the person on the other end.
“What?” Jude asked when Tom continued to just look at her.
“I’m going to dry them.” Jude said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
Tom motioned for her to wait a second. Jude nodded and walked into the other room. She tossed her clothes in the dryer and went into the bedroom to dressed. She dug through her bag and realized she was running out of clothes. She sat there for a minute, then turned to Tom’s dresser and pulled open one of the drawers and pulled out a white T-shirt. She pulled it on and it skimmed her upper thighs. Then, she sat down on the bed, leaning against the headboard. Tom walked in, already changed into dry clothes. He looked at Jude and smirked.
“Are you wearing my boxers too?” he asked jokingly as he sat down next to her.
“No, but I do need to do laundry. Why, is it a turn on?” Jude joked, nudging him.
“Yeah, kinda.” Tom laughed and put his arm around her shoulders. She rested her head on his shoulder. They were silent until Jude spoke.
“Is that so you can say you had Jude in your pants all night?” She asked Tom. He laughed and shook his head.
“I think you have been hanging out with the guys too long.”
Jude shrugged “What can you do?”
Kwest was laying next to a sleeping Sadie. He glanced at the clock and saw what time it was and quietly got up.
“What’s going on?” Sadie asked sitting up.
“It’s no big deal, go back to sleep.” He told her and she nodded and laid back down. Kwest looked at her, silently wishing he didn’t have to leave as he finished buttoning up his shirt and quietly left the house. He got into his car and drove to his apartment. Kwest opened the door and saw Adrian sitting in an armchair resting his feet on the end table, blocking the walkway. Kwest pushed his feet down and flopped on the couch.
“What’s up with you?” Adrian asked
“I don’t want to do this anymore.”
“What are you talking about?” Adrian asked
“This, all of it, I don’t want to do it anymore.” Kwest said, sitting up and facing him.
Adrian’s eyes darkened “You can’t just back out now. This is what you signed up for.”
“I know, it’s just…”
“What?!” Adrian demanded.
“It’s different this time.”
“How, how is this different?” Adrian stopped and faced him.
“This is because of the sister, isn’t it? You banged her, didn’t you, and now you’re caught up. Not that I blame you, she’s hot.”
Kwest’s eye flickered down and then quickly back, “Don’t talk about her like that.”
Adrian shook his head, “You do your job, do it well. You know what will happen if you don’t.”
Kwest gave him a quick nod, “Fine. Now get out of my house.”
Adrian stood up and smiled at him and said, “See you later man, keep doing what you’re doing.”
Kwest rolled his eyes and shut the door behind him and left a few minutes later.
“I am going to go by my house.” Jude told a half sleeping Tom.
“Why, what’s up?” He asked her, rolling over and looking up at her. She still had his shirt on along with her jeans.
“Nothing, I’m just going to get my mail, grab some clothes, and take a Jacuzzi bath.”
Tom smiled sleepily at her, “You don’t have a Jacuzzi.”
“I know.” She leaned down and kissed him, “But, it’s fun to pretend sometimes.”
Tom smiled and kissed her again, “Bye.”
“Bye. If I’m not back when you get up, stop by if you feel like it.”
Tom mumbled an okay and Jude grabbed her bag and walked out the door. She walked in the direction of her house and stopped at her mailbox as she walked up. She flipped through the pile as she walked up the sidewalk and stopped when she saw a single, fully open pink rose taped to her door.
Jude took the flower down and looked around as she pulled her keys out. She smiled to herself and smelled the flower. A faint sense of paranoia started to play at the back of her mind. You’re just psyching yourself out. Everything is fine now. Besides, it’s probably from Tommy. Sliding the key into the lock, she pushed the door open and set the mail, flower, and her keys down on the table next to the door. She locked the door before walking into the bathroom.
Jude warmed the water and stopped the drain. As the tub filled she poured in lavender scented liquid and watched the bubbles start to rise. She turned off the water and pulled her hair back into a loose bun, strands of hair fell out in random places. She got undressed and slipped into the water. Jude leaned against the back of the tub, her head resting where the wall and the tub meet. After a few minutes there was a knock on bathroom door. The door opened slowly once Jude said to come in, already knowing who it was.
“I’m going to be leaving for a little bit.” Tom said as he walked in through the door. He looked down at her and smiled, leaning down and kissed her. Jude put her hand on the back of his neck and pulled him closer. She giggled and he looked at her and asked “What’s so funny?”
“I got you wet. Sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it.” Tom smiled at her and walked out the door, closing it behind him.
Jude leaned back against the tub and closed her eyes, relaxing in the warmth. A few minutes later there is another knock on the door.
“I thought you were going out.” Jude said and the door opened slightly and then stopped as if the person on the other side was hesitating and then they walked in. Jude looked over at the door and screamed. The person quickly walked up and put their arm around her neck and covered her mouth with a gloved hand.
“Sh, Sh, Sh.” They told her, Jude glared at them and mumbled something into their hand. They pulled her out of the tub and drug her down the hall.
“Now I know why he is so into you.” He told her, resting his chin on her shoulder, looking her up and down. Jude struggled to get away and they threw her down on the floor and slapped her face. Her cheek stung and she closed her eyes to stop them from watering. She fought back and got in one good, fisted blow to the attacker’s temple, throwing him off balance and toppling backwards. His head hit the floor with a low thud and Jude didn’t wait for him to move. She ran into the bathroom and locked the door.
What the hell, I can’t believe I just locked myself in the house. What good is that going to do? And you made fun of the girl in that horror movie. Jude thought to herself once her actions registered. She tried to figure out what to do wondering when the banging on the door would start.
Sadie woke up and saw that Kwest still wasn’t back. She wondered into the living room, grabbed her cell phone and tried to call him, with no success. Frowning, she went into the kitchen and fixed some breakfast. When she was done cleaning up, she walked back into the living room and saw Kwest’s jacket lying on the back of the couch. Rolling her eyes, she picked up his jacket so it could be hung up and a folded piece of paper fell out of the inside pocket. Her mind started racing as she unfolded it.
A pink rose.
Only a few days left.
Until the truth comes out.
“That’s not cryptic at all.” Sadie said to herself. There was a second slip folded in with the note,
A receipt for the flower shop? Who is the single pink rose for? I certainly haven’t gotten one. She looked at the date, yesterday.
“Well, this sure explains a lot. There’s someone else.” Sadie said as she put them back in the pocket and hung up the jacket. Just as she turned from it, Kwest came in the door.
“Hi.” She smiled at him deciding not to say anything just yet.
“Hey.” He returned the smile and gave her a quick kiss.
“So, where did you go so early this morning?” Sadie asked nonchalantly.
“To help one of my friends with something.”
“Oh, are they okay?”
“Yep, no big deal. Nothing to worry about.”
“Well, I’m glad everything is okay, I’m going to take a shower.” Sadie gave him a smile. While in the shower, she started thinking about everything that has been going on, trying to piece it all together. Trying to figure out when it all went started to fall apart. By the time she was finished she wasn’t much closer to an answer than she was before. She got dressed and picked up her cell phone and called Jude. There was no answer. Sadie walked into the other room and heard Kwest talking on the phone. She peered around the corner and kept out of sight.
“Yeah, it’s done Adrian.” Kwest said, “Everything is in place.”
Kwest nodded, “She’ll never know. I’ll meet you there.”
Sadie walked into the room and the movement caught Kwest’s eye. He looked at her and said, “Hey T, I’ll see you later.”
He hung up the phone and smiled at her. “I have to go into work for a little while.”
“Okay, am I going to see you tonight?” Sadie put on her best face.
“I don’t know, but I should be able to meet up afterwards, if you want.”
She gave him her best and sincerest fake smile. He nodded and walked out the door.
Jude jolted back into the present. She looked around and saw that she had fallen asleep and everything had been a dream. Where the hell did that come from? It was just a dream. It’s done and over with. She told herself.
She got out of the bath and wrapped herself in a towel. Then she picked up her things and went down the hall to her room and quickly got dressed. Jude placed her bag on the bed and started tossing in a few things that she needed. The sound of the front door opening quickly caused Jude to jump. No one is supposed to be coming over...She quietly went into the back of her closet and pulled out the wooden baseball bat that has been there for years. Quickly and quietly she opened the bedroom door and glanced down the hall. Only seeing the front door slowly closing itself, she stepped out and walked slowly down the hall. There was noises coming from the living room. Jude gripped the bat tighter, whitening her knuckles, and got ready to swing as she quickly rounded the corner.
“Whoa, Jude.” Someone shouted. Jude actually saw who it was and said, “You scared me, what are you doing here?”
“Well, I wanted to talk to you and you didn’t answer your phone. I thought I would stop by the house.” Sadie answered
“How did you get in?” Jude asked setting the bat down.
“You gave me a key remember.”
“Oh yeah.” Jude paused to catch her breath, “What did you want to talk about?”
“Are you alright?” Sadie asked her.
“Yeah, I’m fine. You just scared me.” Jude asked. Sadie sat down on the couch and Jude sat next to her.
Sadie took a deep breath, “I think it’s time for me to break it off with Kwest.”
“Why would you say that? I thought everything was going well.”
“It was, but he is acting weird and distant lately.” Sadie answered, “Last night he got up in the middle of the night and left. He didn’t come back until later this morning.”
“That isn’t the first time it’ s happened and if I ask him about it he gets upset, tells me it’s nothing and not to worry.”
“Maybe it is nothing.”
“No,” Sadie shook her head, “It’s something, I know it. I can feel it.”
“Do you think it’s something or someone?”
“I thought it might be someone, but now, I’m not so sure. Something is going on.”
“I’m sorry Sades.” Jude gave her a hug, “I know how much you liked him.” Sadie gave her a small smile and then they heard a loud bang. They both jumped and looked towards the door.
“Good afternoon Harrisons!” Spied shouted as he ran in the door. Kyle and Wally came in right behind him with Lara.
“You scared the crap out of us.” Sadie told him.
Spied looked at the two girls and saw how upset Sadie was, then at Kyle and Wally. “I think we are in some serious need of some cheering up. What do you think?”
The guys nodded and then left the house. Jude and Sadie looked at each other and then back at the door. Shortly after the guys came back in with a few games and a Wii. They hooked it up to the T.V. and gave Sadie the games. When Spied handed everyone there a remote Jude asked “What are we playing?”
“Just Dance.” Sadie said handing Kyle the disc.
“Okay, Jude and Spied versus Sadie and Wally.” Kyle said holding up the video camera. Everyone nodded and took their places. Kyle took Jude’s remote and picked a song. He handed it back to her and hit record on the camera.
“The only rule is don’t stop dancing for any reason. Round one, Hot N Cold.” Kyle said, “The one with the most points in the end wins.”
“Extra points for flair.” He continued gesturing with his free hand and faced the camera towards them. The game counted down and the music started. The four players danced along with the game. When it ended Kyle said, “Well, that must have been the warm up round. No flair, nothing. Sades, you are the winner, with over three thousand points.”
They cheered for her and then Kyle picked the second song.
“Okay guys, round two is Girls Just Want To Have Fun. You had your warm up so lets see you actually get into it.”
They played a few more rounds, each of which got increasingly competitive.
Tommy was walking up to the house and all he could hear was loud music and some loud voices. He walked in the door and heard Tell Me What You Want by Spice Girls blaring from the living room. When he looked around the corner he saw the four dancing and singing along. Kyle, who was sitting on the couch, greeted him and Tom asked, “Hey man, What’s going on?”
“We’re cheering up Sadie.” Kyle answered and then looked back to the game in time to see Spied shove Wally causing him to mess up the footwork. In return, Sadie knocked Spied’s remote out of his hand and laughed as it dangled from his wrist. Spied quickly grabbed it and nudged Jude. She nodded and grabbed his hand. He twirled her and they switched spots. Jude then bumped with Sadie.
“Oh, that was flair with a competitive edge.” Kyle said into the camera. He then pointed it at Tom, who looked amused, before turning back to the game. When it was over, Sadie looked over at Jude and Spied and said out of breath, “In your face, we totally won.”
“Yeah right,” Jude answered, equally out of breath, “We had more flair than you.”
“There’s no way you two beat us.” Sadie responded and turned to Kyle, “Tell them we won.”
Kyle faced the camera towards himself and said, “Viewers at home, this is going to take some careful deliberation. Let’s review the tapes and make a decision.”
While Kyle was doing that, Sadie, Spied, and Wally went into the kitchen. Jude walked over to Tommy and smiled, “Hey, have fun?”
“Yep, you?” Jude nodded.
“So, you’re a closet Spice Girls fan?” Tom asked teasing her. Jude was about to answer when Kyle walked back into the room and stood on the coffee table.
“Ladies and Gentledudes, gather round.” He said and waited for everyone to come back. Jude and Tommy sat on the couch, while Sadie took the chair and Spied and Wally sat down on the floor.
“For the first time in the history of the competition, there is a tie.”
“What?!” All of them say at once.
Kyle continued “In the event of a tie, there must be a tie breaker. I, being the judge, will randomly select the song and the best player from each team will compete. Whoever gets the most points wins, simple as that.”
He looks at them and says, “Team Juderman, who is your contestant?”
Spied and Jude look at each other and Jude stands up. Kyle looks at Sadie and Wally, “Team Wadie, who will it be?”
Sadie stands up and takes her place next to Jude in front of the T.V. Kyle selects the randomize option before handing them their respective remotes.
“Tie breaker song is...Eye of the Tiger.” He said readying the camera.
“Remember, no flair, just skill.” Kyle reminds them as the game counts down.
They dance through the song with precision and accuracy. Tom sat back and watched as Spied and Wally cheered for their teammates, wowed by how much they really got into it. When it was over, Jude and Sadie turned to Kyle and gave him a well, who won look.
“After the tie breaker it is clear who is now the winner of the competition…” Kyle answered, pausing for dramatical effect, “Team Wadie! You won, congrats dudes!”
Sadie and Wally stood up and took a bow, while the rest cheered for them. Jude and Sadie went into the kitchen and Spied sat down next to Tom and started talking to him.
Jude and Sadie were laughing and talking. Jude called out “Can someone grab my camera, it’s in my purse.”
“Sure.” Spied answered, picking up her purse.
“Not you Spied, give it to Tom.”
“Why can he go in your purse and I can’t?”
“Because he didn’t take my last tampon to do an absorbency test and not tell me.” Jude answered.
“That was a long time ago.”
“Did he really do that?” Sadie asked and laughed when Jude nodded. Sadie looked around the room and something caught her eye. A pink rose sitting in a vase on the windowsill. She stopped and stared at it.
“Sadie, are you okay?” Jude asked as she waved a hand in front of her face.
“Where did you get that?” Sadie pointed to the flower.
“It was taped to my door this morning.” Jude shrugged, “I figured Tommy left it. I don’t know when he would have done it, but who else would have?”
“Was there a note with it?” Jude nodded and showed her the note. The same one she found earlier, except this one was in a handwriting she recognized.
“Is this Tom’s handwriting?”
“No, but someone else could’ve written it.”
Sadie stared at it a little longer, the missing pieces started to fall into place, before saying, “Jude, did you ever figure out how Adrian got your phone number?”
Jude shook her head and Sadie said, “I think I figured it out.”
“Hey Tom, come in here for a second.” Sadie called to him. When he walked in she asked, “Did you give Jude a pink rose this morning?”
“No, she likes orchids.” He answered handing her the camera and then picking up his ringing phone.
“See.” Sadie said after he walked out of the room.
“No, Sades, you aren’t making any sense.”
Sadie huffed and continued, “I know who put the flower on your door and I know who gave Adrian your phone number.”
“Who?” Jude asked in a rushed tone.
“Kwest.” She said.
“What, are you sure?” Sadie nodded, “How do you know?”
“I found a receipt for the florist in his jacket and a few days before Adrian called you, I caught him looking through my phone. I didn’t think anything of it until stuff started to fit together.”
“So, he has been helping Adrian the whole time.” Jude said in a flat voice.
“He used me to get to you.” Sadie said angrily, “I can’t believe I fell for it.”
Sadie shook her head, “I...I gotta go.”
“Sades, I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”
“I’ll be fine.” Sadie told her, giving her a small smile “I am just going to go home.”
“Don’t worry Sades, I’ll take care of it.” Jude said and watched her walk quietly out the door. She turned to the guys and said goodbye as they finished packing up their things and left. She walked up to Tom and he put his arm around her.
“Are you ready to go?” Tom asked and Jude nodded. She grabbed her bag out of her room and then walked outside with Tom and Lara. They got into Tom’s car and drove to his house.
“Is everything okay with you and Sadie?”
Jude shook her head. Tom looked at her and she hesitated but quietly explained what Sadie had told her.
“I am so sorry.” Tom said.
“It isn’t your fault, you didn’t know anything about it.” Jude told him, seeing the anger appear in his eyes.
“I know, but still. This should not be happening.”
Jude made eye contact with him, “I don’t blame you. Don’t blame yourself.”
“What’s gonna happen now?” Tom asked after a short silence. Jude’s eyes went to the floor and then back to Tom’s.
“I think I am gonna go to bed. I’m tired.” Jude shrugged. She knew that he meant about the Kwest situation but, she wasn’t sure what she was going to do and she really didn’t want to think about it right now.
“Okay, I’ll be there in a minute.” Jude nodded and went to the bedroom. She pulled her pajamas out of her bag and changed into them. She got into bed and closed her eyes, hoping for sleep to come and praying for there to be no nightmares. A few minutes later, she felt Tom get into bed next to her. Within minutes, Jude was asleep in his arms.
Early the next morning Jude walked into GMajor and knocked on Darius’s door. She walked in when he acknowledged her.
“D, can I talk to you about something?”
“Sure. What’s up?”
“I need to talk to you about Kwest.”
“Okay.” He said.
“I…” She started, “I don’t want him to work here anymore.”
“You’re telling me you want me to fire the second best producer I have?” Darius asked in an are you crazy tone.
“I have a good reason.”
“It had better be a damn good reason.” Jude told him about what happened the night before and was glad his anger wasn’t aimed for her.
“This will be taken care of immediately.”
“Thank you. Maybe it can all be over now.”
“Let’s hope so.” Darius answered and Jude went to her office. After about a few minutes Jude saw Kwest walk out of Studio B. Darius stepped out of his office and motioned for Kwest to come with him. Jude watched Kwest walk in and the door close behind them. She turned back to what she was working on and after a few minutes her phone beeped indicating a text. Flipping her phone open, she read it and laughed.
The Song Game...I Want You To Want Me
She texted back
I Want To Dance With You
A minute later she got
I Want Candy
Jude thought for a minute and sent
Sex and Candy
In return she got
So that’s where you wanna go...Sex Me Slow
So you wanna play like that hunh...Jude thought.
Sex is good
She waited for a minute and then started working on her papers again. Her phone began to beep.
She laughed and answered,
Suddenly, the door to Darius’s office flew open and Kwest walked out. Everyone in the lobby stared at him as he walked into Studio B. A few minutes later he walked back out and over to Jude’s office. Throwing open the door, he walked in and closed it behind him and starts yelling. The new and part time receptionist, Sarah, pulled out her cell phone and texts Sadie.
OMG...Throw down @ GMajor.
Who? Sadie responded.
The redhead and the black guy. Sarah answered.
Darius? What are they saying?
No, the producer. Can’t tell.
“Shit.” Sadie swore out loud remembering that Jude told her the night before. She scrolled through her phone and called Tom.
“You bitch.” Kwest yelled at her when the door closed.
“Excuse me?” Jude said, looking up from her work.
“What gives you the fucking right?”
“If I knew what you were talking about maybe I could tell you.” Jude said, standing up.
“You know damn well what I am talking about.” He shouted at her, “You got me fired.”
“Why would you think that?”
“Don’t play innocent with me. Who else would be able to manipulate Darius that way?”
“First off, I don’t manipulate anyone. Second, Darius does what he wants, no one tells him what to do.”
“Yeah, unless you’re doing him under the table. You whore.”
“I’m the whore?” Jude shouted, “I’m not the one who slept with a coworker’s sister to gain advantage.”
“Get out of my office. Now.” She yelled.
“Afraid not, Judey.” Adrain told her, locking the door.
“Shit.” Jude said under her breath as he turned around and leaned against the door, looking very pleased with himself. He turned on the stereo on the shelf next to the door and took a few steps toward her and Jude’s eyes darted around the room for something, anything, she could use as a weapon. She saw something sitting in an open desk drawer and slowly grabbed it and hid it behind her back. Testing the weight of it and feeling the cold, smooth metal, she smiled to herself. Her mind started racing as he moved closer; so much that she missed what he said.
“Are you even listening to me?” He shouted angrily. He reached his hand to her and grabbed her face, turning it to his, “You listen to me when I am talking to you. Got it?”
Jude nodded and he roughly let her go. He turned and in a calm voice he started pacing and talking again. Jude half listened to what he was saying, nodding at the appropriate times. Come on Jude, think. You need to get out of here. Looking around, she saw that she would have a clear shot at the door if she waited until he paced over by Kwest. Maybe I can take them both out. She watched him pace and tried to figure the perfect time to strike.
“Come on, pick up.” Sadie all but shouted at the phone. She was flying down the road, toward GMajor.
“Tom, it’s Sadie.” She said when he answered.
“Hey, what’s up?”
“We need to get to GMajor now.” She told him
“Why, whats going on?” Sadie told him what Sarah texted her.
“Shit. I’ll meet you there.” Tom hung up, knowing Kwest may be mild most of the time, but definitely not when he is mad. He dialed Jude’s number as he got in the car, no answer.
Sadie was almost to GMajor when she got another text from Sarah telling her that someone else came in and the yelling got worse.
They pulled into GMajor at the same time. Sadie told Tom to check Jude’s office and she would check the studio. Tom got to Jude office and the door was locked. There were voices muffled by loud music coming from behind it. Tom grabbed the doorknob and was about to ram the door with his shoulder when Sadie walked up.
“Hey, got the keys.” She told him pulling them out of Jude’s purse. Tom stepped aside and let Sadie unlock the door. Tom motioned to her, telling her to let him go first. He slowly opened the door, silently praying to go unnoticed, and heard Adrian instructing Kwest to do something, but couldn’t make it out. He crept inside and stayed hidden on the side of the sofa. Kwest had Jude pinned against the wall, a foot or so off the ground, with one arm tightly across her neck and the other pushing against her abdomen to keep her still against the wall. Adrian walked up to her and tilted her face to his again.
“Now, was it really worth it to throw that at me?” He asked, his voice losing it’s calm facade. Jude saw a trickle of blood where the edge of the stapler connected with his head.
“Yes.” She answered with a small smirk. Enraged, he pushed Kwest away from her, sending her flying to the floor. He backhanded her across the face, sending her the rest of the way to the floor. Jude groaned when her head collided with the floor. She wiped the blood from her lip and closed her eyes, bracing herself as he raised his hand to strike her again. Tom jumped up and grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back. Adrian tried to fight back, but Tom pulled up on his arm and kneed him in the back of the legs, causing them to give out and send him to the floor. Tom kneeled, straddling Adrian, keeping him restrained.
“Jude are you okay?” Tom asked.
Jude groaned in response and slowly sat up, “I’m alive.”
Adrian tried to get up and Tom jabbed him in the ribs with his knee. Hearing a string of profanities come out of his mouth, Tom pushed his head down, muffling his words into the rug.
Kwest tried to slip away unnoticed but was met by a seething Sadie at the door. She pushed him back into the room.
“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Sadie yelled at him.
Kwest stared at her and she pushed him back again.
“Look, Sadie, I can explain.” Kwest started but was silenced as Sadie’s fist connected with his jaw. He stumbled back.
“That was for my sister.” She said and drew her fist back. She punched him again, sending him to the ground, then kicked the tip of her four inch stiletto into his side. Kwest let out a painful groan.
“That was for me.” Sadie turned and pulled out her cell phone. Everyone in the lobby stared at her as she walked out of the office.
The police arrived with in minutes and rushed in with the EMTs right behind them. The police arrested Adrian and Kwest and took statements from everyone in the lobby and Jude, Sadie, and Tom. The EMTs were looking at Jude when Adrian was being taken out. Tom, who was standing next to Jude, actually got to look at him. Looks like Jude got a few good hits in, seeing the scratch marks on his arm and the dried blood on his face from where the stapler hit him. That’s my girl, he smiled to himself. Adrian noticed Tom looking at him.
“You and me, we’re through. Don’t ever think about coming back.”
“Don’t worry. I won’t.” Tom answered.
“You tell you’re little bitch, this isn’t over. She’ll get hers.” Adrian yelled as the policeman pushed him out the door.
“Shut up man.” Kwest yelled at him and glanced over at Tom and Jude. Tom looked at him and shook his head.
“I can’t believe you are still such a pansy.” Tom told him, “You still don’t have the balls to stand up to the asshole.”
All Kwest did was look at him and then was led out the door.
“What is going on? Why is Kwest being arrested?” Darius asked as he walked through the door. He saw Jude sitting on the couch with an ice pack on her face and the EMT shining a light into her eyes. Tom was next to her, his face a mixture of fury and concern. Sadie was sitting in a chair not far from where Jude sat, with an EMT persuading her to at least put an ice pack on her hand.
“What the hell happened?” Darius asked.
“What can I say D, you left for a minute and the place fell apart.” Jude said hoarsely with a lopsided smile, since her lip was swollen.
Darius looked at them and waited for an answer. Tom explained what happened and Jude and Sadie filled in details that he didn’t know.
Darius shook his head, “I’m sorry.”
“It isn’t your fault D. You didn’t know. You couldn’t control it.” Jude told him.
“She’s right D.” Tom agreed.
“If I would’ve known…” He started.
“We know.” Jude nodded.
After the police and the emergency personnel left, everyone was told to go home. Tom helped Jude up and walked her to his car. As he drove off, Jude leaned back and closed her eyes.
“Hey,” Tom said, “don’t fall asleep.”
Jude opened her eyes and looked at him, “You can’t sleep for an hour or so after you hit your head. Just in case you have a concussion.”
“I don’t have a concussion.” Jude answered and sighed when Tom shot her a look.
“Okay. I’ll try.” Tom smiled at her and took her hand.
“So, where did she learn to punch like that?”
“Sadie?” Jude asked and Tom nodded, “Sadie’s a black belt. She could kick your ass with a stick.”
Tom laughed and Jude said, “Speaking of Sadie, when did she go home?”
“She left the minute the last police car pulled out of the parking lot. She made sure you were okay and then left.”
“Oh. Was she okay?”
“Yeah. Just some bruised knuckles.” Jude nodded.
Tom helped Jude into the house and she sat down on the couch.
“How are you feeling?”
“I’m okay.” Jude smiled, “Except for the splitting headache.”
Tom walked in the kitchen and came back out with an ice pack and some aspirin. He handed her the tablets and a glass of water. He sat down next to her and put his arm around her while holding the ice pack to her face. She leaned into him and rested her head on his shoulder.
“Thank you.” She whispered.Tom responded by kissing her temple. They sat in silence for quite some time. Tom looked down at Jude and saw her falling asleep.
“Jude.” he said softly.
“Hmm.” Jude mumbled.
“You have to stay awake for just a little bit longer.”
“Nope, come on.” Tom said grabbing her hands and making her stand up.
“Where are we going?”
“To the bathroom so you can get washed up, then you can go to bed.”
Jude nodded and walked with him to the bathroom.
“I think I am gonna take a shower.” Jude told him
“Okay, are you okay by yourself?”
“Yeah, I think so. I’m just a little tired, I’ll be fine.”
“Call if you need anything.”
“I will.” Jude promised and Tom left her be. He checked in on her a couple of times. When Jude came out of the bathroom, Tom got to completely see her face, makeup off. The swelling in her lip had gone down and the bruises on her face were more prominent now that her makeup was gone. Tom silently cursed Adrian and Kwest.
Later on, Jude was laying next to Tommy with her chest against his back and her arms around his torso. Tommy lightly drew circles on the back of her hand with his thumb. Jude leaned her head against his back and pressed her lips to his shoulder. Tom turned and put his arm around her. He pulled her close and kissed her forehead.
“I love you.” He whispered to her.
Jude nuzzled her face into his chest and took in his scent. She relaxed and smiled to herself, “I love you too.”
“I’m proud of you Jude.” Tom said after a few minutes of silence.
“Because you fought back.”
“Well, you know me.” Jude said, “I don’t go down without a fight.”
Tom smiled at her.
“Thank you again for, you know, saving my life.”
“Of course, anytime.”