Lynne, her best friend, wandered into the room. Cradling a large coffee mug, she walked over to Tonya’s desk, resting one hip on the clean surface. “Hey Chickee, got some news you might like.”
It couldn't be anything worse. Her heels tapped out a rapid tattoo as she crossed to her chair and slid into it. Maybe Lynne had the lowdown on whose jobs stayed. If Michelle’s didn't make the cut, no reason for her to hear via office gossip.
“Alright, Lynne, spill it.” She kept her voice low hoping Lynne would do the same.
Her friend looked thoughtful and placed her cup down. Leaning forward, she softened her voice, but not much. “You still dating that lame-o boyfriend?”
“Which one?” The words popped out of her mouth before she could reconsider them. It earned her a laugh from Michelle, who immediately looked down at her phone.
Lynne raised her arm to make a bicep and patted it. “You know old Hercules, all muscle, but not much brains.”
Oh Brian, she’d almost forgotten the man. Not a bad guy, but not great either. She’d hoped he’d develop this great passion for her. Instead, he’d become more of a growth on her couch rather like an extra-large throw pillow making use of her cable package.
“Oh him, I quit dating him months ago.” Her lips pulled down in a grimace remembering the breakup scene. Awkward, she couldn’t quite make him understand that she didn’t want him coming by to watch her television while she prepared food, more like he didn’t want to understand.
Lynne clapped her hands together. “Glad to hear it.”
Her gaze snapped back to her friend. “You didn’t even know Brian. What do you have against him?” As a happily married woman, her friend showed at best, a cursory interest in her dating life. Not like some of her unhappily married co-workers who imagined a more exciting love life than she actually had.
“Well,” Lynne hesitated, and became preoccupied with grooming her cuticles.
Nervous antics in her collected friend seldom happened. “What’s up? You’re acting peculiar.”
“Um yeah,” Lynne agreed shaking back her curly hair. “Marc, my husband.”
Nodding her head, she interrupted. “I know who Marc is.” Circling her hand, she gestured for her friend to continue.
Lynne responded by sticking out her tongue, before speaking. “Marc invited his friend Will over for dinner.”
This conversation wasn’t making a whole lot of sense, but that could be because Clint's threats preoccupied her. “This concerns me how.”
“Um yeah, that part.” Lynne slipped off the desk and came around to grab Tonya’s hands. “I’m begging you to help me out. I will owe you forever, and then some.”
Her earnest tone worried her. Inhaling deeply, she wondered if she needed one more complication. Still, Lynne was her only real friend at the company. “What’s the favor?” She crossed her ankles hoping that counted the same as crossing her fingers.
Lynne leaned forward to hug her. She allowed the hug, but asked with her face smashed against her friend’s hair. “I haven’t agreed and you haven’t explained.”
Dropping her arms, her friend managed a strained expression. Holding out both hands, she explained, “It’s like this. I knew Will was coming for dinner tonight. Marc’s worried about him because he’s been down ever since his fiancée dumped him.”
“He should be rejoicing. It’s cheaper than a divorce.” She’d bet good money Will wasn’t threatening the woman who dumped him, then, again, she didn’t know.
Lynne nodded. “Yes, that’s what Marc told him. Anyhow, he’s sure he's dating poison. Dinner is supposed to cheer him up. I’m in charge of providing the single woman who will find him fascinating.” She brought both palms together in a prayer-like pose.
Using three fingers, Tonya tapped her own chest. “I’m supposed to find Will fascinating?” She definitely didn’t need this in an already crazy day. The man was probably a power freak or just plain boring.
“Not you, really. I had Lila lined up.”
Lynne’s words conjured up the image of her friend’s little sister, Lila, who currently sported lavender hair and insisted on everyone calling her Lilac. “No offense, Lynne, but your sister is crazy.”
“True. Same thing Marc said. She’d have loved Will.”
There wasn’t a man Lila didn’t like. Only ones she didn’t know. “What’s the deal with Lila? Is she a no-show?”
“An old boyfriend offered to fly her to Vegas.” Lynne reached for her cup, frowned after tasting it. “Cold.”
“Vegas does sound like a better deal.” Not exactly, what she wanted to do, but on the bright side, she’d score a free meal.