All eyes turned and looked at the new arrival. The rain had made most of the people not bothering to come to the second annual Alone unValentine event as the guys at the building were calling it. The group of fifteen or so men all looked her over and were surprised she had ventured out in the rain to come. It was out of her office which she seemed more apt to hide in then socialize with them. Though it was being held at the bar right outside the base gate it seemed to far for most with the rain coming down as it was. Everyone hoped it would pass soon enough as it had finally begun to ease.
“I can’t believe she is here.” one of the guys said softly just loud enough for the group as a whole could hear over the music. They all had their drinks, and though it was supposed to be an event for the specialized teams, it seemed more of a Friday night get together. Everyone had stayed in their own groups that were made up of people they worked with or knew for years. There was a few younger ones who tried to mix in though they often left the group within a short amount of time.
The lights of the building were dim. It was hard to see to far except for the half full dance floor which had most of the younger people who worked with everyone trying to get noticed by the more senior people in the room. The faint scent of stale beer had been ground into the carpet with years of people spilling their drinks on it. It wasn’t the worst hole-in-the-wall bar but it wasn’t somewhere where they ever expected to see someone like her either.
The woman who had just walked in and looked around was the top researcher they had. She was normally the quietest member in any room as she sat with her glasses perched on her face and her eyes in a binder taking notes. She spent almost every second on the job in her office hiding behind her screen. No one really knew her that well. They had all written her bookish ways off as not interesting enough to hold their collective attention for longer than a conversation. Though everything about her screamed to most of them. She was undeniable pretty, beautiful even some of the group would say. Smaller than most other woman both in height and in frame she was a perfect build for her job. Her bright eyes held an intelligence that everyone could see before she did talk. When she did there was no question that she was one of the smartest people in any room.
The group of men moved closer to the bar where she was headed if only to see what she really wanted there, it no doubt had something to do with work, and she wasn’t there to be a part of the gathering. The main boss of their building was sitting on the bar and had waved her over. Though he was quite a bit older than everyone else, he was still known as a lady’s man and was probably working on his newest divorce. The older man seemed to know her better than everyone else and she held nothing back when they spoke at the building. She had been one of the few people to openly questions him and one who was normally right. Her smile though held no real warmth towards him as the entire group saw when she did move towards him.
“Good to see you kid.” he said as he stood up and looked around them to see if anyone else was interested in her. He locked eyes with the group of men inching their way over, and he smiled a knowing smile. “Glad to see you could get a sitter.”
“Wasn’t that hard.” she replied. Sitter they all looked around trying to figure out the word. None of them knew anything about her enough to know what that meant.
“Well, you rarely make time for anything but work.” the main boss stated.
“Friday’s are soccer days, indoor and out.” she laughed. “Not to mention Saturday mornings are for dance classes times three.”
“I forgot what it is like with kids.” the main boss said as he laughed. The man knew the group was inching closer to overhear what they were saying. it seemed that she had caught the eye of many other people in the building despite her trying not too. The older man looked at her again and could remember the younger version he had met when she was in medical school fighting to stay afloat while balancing all the different parts of her life. He had been impressed then and knew she would be a good fit for the job he helped create for her. Since then she had changed. She was more guarded then she had been. She pushed people away before they could show any real interest in her.
“Hectic is what it is like.” she smiled. This man in front of her had given her a chance which would help her survive in the real world. She had given everything to get to be where she was at now. Taking a few minutes to enjoy being an adult was nice even if it was the people she tried not to let get close to her.
“Well, you have some good ones there so you must be doing something right.” He said as the bartender asked what she would have. She placed her order which was non-alcoholic much to everyone’s surprise. The group had heard the order but not much else of the conversation as the music was getting louder behind them. The women of the other teams and the support staff seemed even more intent on getting them to notice them and not her. She however was like a lighthouse, beaconing the light around her.
“I still have to drive.” she said with a smile. Everyone who was looking at her wouldn’t know she was the nerd in the office with her head in manuals at that second, as she had her glasses off and a smile on her face. Even her hair which was normally pulled high in a bun was down and flowed to her shoulders. Though she seemed smaller than anyone of them remembered her to be they were still moving forward towards her but as a group. A group of tigers ready to pounce when given the chance.
She turned and saw them as she chuckled at the movement they were making together. When she got her drink, she looked the room over and thought it was like a junior high school dance but with older people and more issues present. The thought almost had her laughing to herself. She didn’t know why she even bothered coming to something like this, but in all honesty, it was the fact her two oldest daughters were on dates tonight, and she would be stuck at home watching the other two fighting over what game to play. Going out and being in an adult setting might make her feel human again. She knew how everyone in the building thought of her. It didn’t change the fact that she was still a person and wanted to be treated as one though she was really good at her job.
“So, um, you’re the lead scientific researcher?” one of the guys asked as they were close enough to speak without yelling. She looked up and saw they were all looking her over as if they had never seen her before.
“Yeah.” she replied. Eyeing each one of the down as they were looking at her like a snack. She knew what they all were capable of doing. She had heard about them from the other women in the building, all of which wanted a piece of one or more of them. The twelve men standing before her were all impressive on their own. Together it was enough to send any female into hysterics. She was glad she wasn’t just any female.
“You needed to get a sitter?” another one asked. She knew then no one even knew she had kids. She smiled and let out a chuckle.
“Yeah, For my kids.” she said. She had managed to keep her private life private until now. She didn’t want to think of the reasons why she finally said it out loud to people she worked with.
“You have kids?” one of the guys asked. He was the tallest of the bunch and probably one of the older ones as well. Though she had seen him before and he was the one who flirted with every female, well every female but her. She had heard the things some of the people had said about her. She was cold. She was frigid. Anything and everything to explain why she had never gone to one of the after hours get to togethers. She knew they all had never thought twice about her.
“Four.” she said. Her smile grew as she thought of the kids. The had become her world.
“You have four kids?” the Green team leader asked in disbelief.
“Yup.” she said.
“Where is your husband?” one of the younger ones asked and then got hit upsides the head.
“Never had one.” she said as she continued to drink and look around. To the other groups who also seemed in awe that she was speaking with anyone let alone these men. Heads were together and whispers were being tossed around that no one could hear over the music.
“So you have four kids, but you haven’t married the father?” one of the guys she did sort of knowledge as the lead of the research team she worked with the science officers of the other team, not closely but enough to know them by sight. He was one of the most level headed. there was no censor in his voice when he spoke. he was simply trying to understand.
“I would have never married their father. That I think is illegal in most states regardless.” she said and laughed with the knowledge she knew, and they didn’t. The looks on their faces were priceless to her. For years she struggled with how to tell people about the kids and the relationship she had with them. Now she had fun with it depending on how people asked her. It was her trying to evolve into what she had become, a mother.
“Explain.” one said. He was normally not the friendliest of people. Most people were afraid to even have to talk to him. His two toned eyes could stare right through a person. She tilted her head trying to remember if he had ever spoke to her before. She didn’t think so.
“Excuse me?” she countered.
“Could you explain that statement Kitten is what he meant to say. He doesn’t really know how to talk to people.” one of the men stepped forward and bowed to her hand. She knew of this one, she had heard the other women talk about him and his antics. He was one of the younger ones in the group. He was in his early twenties from what she could remember. Though daring on the job and handsome as well he was one she would have stayed away from normally. The trouble he could cause rolled off him in waves.
“I adopted them ten years ago. They are my brother’s biological kids.” she said with a smile. She knew it was time to end the suspense and move on to something else or to watch them leave and talk to someone else. That is what normally happened around her. She was used to that.
“That is wonderful!” one said as he moved forward and she saw he truly meant that. His eyes lit up with the thought. He seemed like pure happiness in human form. It was amazing to see up close and something she had missed over the past five years she had worked with them.
“How old are they?” one of the last men asked.
“Sixteen, Fourteen, Eleven, and Nine.” she said.
“Wow, you have your hands full.” someone said from the group.
“The three oldest are girls, so I do indeed have my hands full.” she replied with a laugh. Thinking of them again she knew they were better than most kids their ages. She had lucked out with all the things that could have happened with them.
“Now it makes sense why you never came out with everyone.” one person called out.
“Yeah, they keep me pretty busy.” she said as he phone went off and she looked at the incoming text. “And they keep me running around.” Her face fell as she was finally able to talk with people, but she knew she had to go. “Sorry I gotta run.”
“Sitter not working out?” one of the guys prompted. They were trying to stall her departure now that they had her attention. Knowing full well on Monday when they went back to work this would be like a dream and she would be back in her office hiding.
“Boyfriend trouble.” she replied. As she looked around hoping to remember this conversation later and enjoy it for the moments it was. She normally didn’t get to chat with people outside of work or about things in general.
“Oh.” on of the guys said.
“She never listened to me, but now she is finding out.” she said with a smile as she set the drink on the bar and gathered her coat which she had placed there on one of the stools. Shrugging into the sleeves she hoped the rain had stopped long enough to drive to the local mall.
“Not you but one of your kids.” one of the guys said with a laugh. She wanted to laugh when she realized that they thought she had boyfriend trouble. She hadn’t been on a date in years.
“Yeah. I don’t have one.” she said with a laugh. “No guy wants a woman who has four kids probably with good reason.”
She put her jacket on fully and smiled one last time as she turned to leave and the guys went back to the area they had been in the first place. The last words echoed through someone their minds, and they realized for the most part that last statement was true, no sane man wants to go out with a woman with four kids. One man though thought she was dead wrong as he watched her back as she walked out the door. He also placed his drink on the bar and walked out after her. The others had not seen him leave the group when he did.
“Need some help?” he asked as he closed the distance between them in the parking lot. She parked on the side and had to walk around the potholed parking lot to get to the car.
“With?” she asked as she turned to see him coming closer to her. She knew instantly who he was. She had never seen him out of his uniform and she was not disappointed with what she saw either. The rain had stopped for the time being and she looked up and saw the break in the clouds.
“The boyfriend.” he said with a lopsided grin. “Sorry to say most teenage boys will not back down because of a mom, however they will back down if a man is involved.”
“Experience?” she asked with a laugh. She was thinking maybe there was more to him than she knew. Maybe he had a daughter or someone to watch over. Her gave a slight squeeze at the thought.
“Sort of, more observations.” he replied. “I know I wouldn’t have backed down at the thought of a mom being mad at me when I was that age. Like sixteen or seventeen right?” She nodded before she spoke again as she looked at him waiting for her answer. she had to blink her eyes a few times before she realized he was waiting for one.
“Sure, a little help would be nice.” she said as she walked over to her car and he got in the passenger side as she unlocked it.
“I was thinking minivan.” he said with a chuckle. “Nice to see I was wrong.”
“That goes with the workaholic soccer mom stereotype I am afraid.” she said with a laugh. It had been a debate for her not to get one as everyone she knew from the other activities that she was involved in with the kids was telling her how great they were. She didn’t want to become that mom just yet. If only for her mind to think that.
“Mitsuhide.” he said as he put out his hand. She had to look at it before she responded.
“Kit.” she placed hers in his. His hand engulfed hers as he shook it slightly but kept the pressure light almost feather light. A bolt of energy shot through her at his touch. Five years of thoughts about this one man and now he was in front of her.
“Really your name is Kit?” he asked.
“After fifteen kids my parents couldn’t think of any more good names.” she said with a shrug.
“So you’re the youngest?” he asked.
“Yes.” she replied, “Though you would never know that fact, by the way, my brothers and sisters act. It should say a lot that I was given these monsters when I was barely eighteen over all the rest of them.”
“That does say a lot.” he replied as he thought of how hard everything must have been for her at the time. “It says a lot about you too.”
“How so?” she asked as she was driving.
“You were nothing but a child as well, and then you had to raise four more. How old were they when they came to you?” he asked.
“Six, Four, one, and three days old.” she said.
“So you had to grow up fast.” he said.
“I was already grown up.” she said. “Years of conditioning made me able to just accept four kids and keep going.”
“That doesn’t sound easy.” he said softly.
“It wasn’t.” she said as she smiled.
“I had already done the college thing and was in my second year of med school.” she said. “So not only did I have to work a full-time job I had to go to school then go home and be a parent.”
“How did you manage?” he asked.
“I just did.” she said.” I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but it was also the best experience of my life. They keep me busy, but I know if they were with someone else they might not be able to do the things they can now.”
“But you gave up your life for them.” he said, and then he instantly regretted it. “That came out wrong.”
“I know what you meant. I did. I did so willingly though. I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew what it would take and what I was giving up.” she said. “It isn’t like people go ‘oh she is a beauty’ when they look at me. I accepted it years ago.”
“You’re wrong.” he said with his grin appearing. He wanted to tell her more then.
“How so?” she asked confusion passing over her face. She knew how people looked at her. She thought she did anyway.
“People do say you are a beauty when they look at you.” he said with laughter in his voice. She was so beautiful that she had to know that. The fact that she seemed not to know that was almost humorous to him.
“Well…. I …… Urm.” she said.
“Did that fluster you?” he asked with his grin spreading. That surprised him. He was shocked to find this about her. He thought that she was super self-assured.
“I am a stunted eighteen-year-old with a few extra years. So yeah, fluster is the right word.” she said as they pulled into the mall parking lot and she turned off the car. She looked at him in the seat. This was a new thing she felt. This confusion that was surrounding her because of him.
“My dear, Mouse, I only spoke the truth.” he said. He was moving to get out of the car and stand up while she was doing the same. As she stood she realized how much bigger he was compared to her. She was still slightly frustrated with herself but she knew this was only until they got her daughter back then he would leave.
“Mouse really?” she asked as she got out of the car and he moved his cell phone to his other pocket. The idea of having a nickname like Mouse was funny. It was not like she had one like that before.
“Someone calling you?” she asked. She noticed he looked down at it and then it was in his pocket.
“It is just the guys trying to figure out where I disappeared too.” he said as he put out his arm to which she looked at him confused. He then took her arm and wound his around hers. “You may be a stunted eighteen-year-old with a few extra years, mouse, but I think it is time you knew your worth in a broader sense.”
“What are you talking about?” she asked.
“One thing at a time.” he replied. “Now we have a young man to surprise.”
If you don’t like my choice of names, fine, I respect that. Stop reading. Do not comment on it. It will be deleted.
My stories DO NOT have mainstream names. All stories unless the location is said are based in America where we have many cultures blended together. A man might not have any features of the typical stereotype of a region but might be descendent of one of them with a family name.
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