You stare at the fluorescent glow that is Ellerie, mouth hanging open in a perfect "O" after finding out she is some sort of acquaintance of Patrick's.. "I'm sorry? How do you know Patrick?"
She glances over at the table and you follow her gaze.. Patrick is looking perfectly relaxed chatting with your father and the senator, while he ignores Zach, who is glaring daggers at him..
"We.. work together.." She hesitates to answer you..
"Oh? You.. Work in advertising?" Given that's what Patrick had been doing at Carrington Corp when you'd met, you had just assumed his freelance work was much the same..
"Uhh, not really no.." There is only one other 'job' you are aware of Patrick having had..
"Were you also in the Marines then?"
She doesn't look like a marine.. But then again, you hadn't figured Patrick to be one either and he definitely does look like one, so how would you know.. "Oh, no.. But I do have a background in law enforcement, if that makes you feel any better..That's why Patrick asked me to come today.. To help look out for you.."
She is like a luminous ray of sunshine and you find it impossible not to feel comfortable around her.. "It kinda does, actually.." You give her a genuine smile of appreciation.. Feeling like you really may have found another aly against your enemies..
"Good. I'm here to help you.. So is Patrick.." A sudden twang of doubt bounces around your head.. What if she and Patrick are closer than friends and work colleagues?..
"So.. You and Patrick work together.. Do you.. Do other things together?"
She squints and scrunches up her cute button nose.. "God no! Not that Patrick isn't a great guy.. He is.. I, um.. I used to date his friend, Jackson Ford.."
You have met Jackson a few times before, as one of Honey's baby daddy's friends. He's a pretty nice guy as far as you can tell.. And extremely easy on the eye.. Tall, dark and built like an allstar, with skin like mocha cream and deep brown eyes, Jackson had definitely caught your attention once or twice.. "You did?" You don't mean to sound judgmental, but she is so bright and bubbly and the Jackson you know is.. Well, not. He always seemed so serious and maybe even a little uptight..
Ellerie senses your meaning, and you realise its probably not the first time she's been questioned about their compatibility.. "Mmmmhmmm.. Yeah girl, I know.. I may have been delusional.. I'm still not sure.." She hums..
"No.. Sorry. I didn't mean it like that.. I can see how you would be good for a guy like that.." She nods slowly, considering your words..
"Like how I can see how good you are for Patrick?.." Her head tips to one side and her sparkling jade green eyes turn inquisitive..
"We.. We aren't--" You find yourself at a loss for words.. It's almost impossible to explain your relationship with Patrick.. You sigh.. "I care about him, very much... But there are so many secrets, between the two of us.."
She takes the lemon wedge from her glass and sucks on the corner of it, pulling a face when the sour note hits her tounge.. "How do you know he's keeping secrets?"
You watch her curiously, as she repeats the action.. she is so different to anyone you've ever met before.. So at ease with herself yet there is something mysterious about her you can't quite put your finger on.."Well..He told me so, for one.. Plus theres.. Well, you.." You wave a hand motioning up and down at her..
"Hey, I'm not a secret.. But I get it.. You guys are.. Complicated.." She gives you a grin..
"Right.." You can only agree.. Complicated sounds about right..
"So ask him about it Yevie.. He's an honest guy.. I know he will tell you, if you ask.." She reaches over and places a delicate hand over yours, her bubblegum pink painted fingernails catching your eye..
Or maybe you just want to avoid looking at her when you make your next admission..
"What if I'm too scared to hear the answer?.."
She gives your hand a little reassuring squeeze and you lift your eyes to meet her caring expression.. "Just ask.."
You nod and hum.. "Alright.. I will.. But if you ask me, it kind of seems like you would like to tell me something, Ellerie.."
She finishes the last of her G&T and signals the bartender for another round before swiveling in her stool to face you.. "Oh Yevie, I would.. I really would.. But it's not my place.."