Five cups of coffee into his workday and he had to piss like a racehorse. But now, here he was, faced with the great "urinal debate." The Inspector General's men’s room contained three urinals, and one stall. Urinal A was occupied by Jarrod Carson, IT guru. Urinal C was blocked by an "Out of Order" sign. So did he take Urinal B and have to take his junk out while Jarrod was in his personal space, or did he take the stall, knowing full-well he'd have to sit down and hang out for awhile just to make it look like he wasn't going in there to avoid taking a leak too close to another guy?
His brain flashed to the pile of folders on his desk. No way did he have the patience for the latter option. Alex stepped over to urinal B.
"Hey man, how's it hanging?"
Alex cringed inside, immediately regretting his decision. How's it hanging? For Pete's sake.
He cleared his throat, and kept his eyes rooted on a spot in from of him. "Fine. Great. You?" Oh, no, no, no. As soon as the polite query was out of his mouth, Alex wanted to call it back.
"Fuckin' awesome, man." Lucky for Alex, Jarrod was able to zip up and talk at the same time. "So I'm banging this chick Debbie last night, yeah?"
Good. Grief. In an attempt to shield himself from the psychological trauma of Jarrod's tales of sexual adventure, Alex went to his happy place: box seats at the Colts / Redskins game. Beer. He managed to get lost enough in thought not to realize that Jarrod had been talking for quite awhile...aaand Alex still had his fly open. He moved so fast to rectify the problem, he nipped himself with his zipper.
"Whoa, careful there buddy." Oh, good. Jarrod noticed. "Listen, I don't wanna be nosey or anything…”
And it got even better.
“But you've got a scary lookin' mole on there you might want to get checked out."
Um. "Okay. Thanks." Jee-zus. H. Roosavelt. Christ.
"No sweat." Jarrod paused and used some water from the sink to slick his unruly hair back – what was it with tech guys and refusal to use standard grooming products? The man had dark, deep-set eyes and a strong jaw. He would be handsome if he shaved. "Seriously though, you should get that thing looked at. My mom's a dermatologist. You don't wanna mess around with that shit."
Alex grumbled and adjusted the "thing" in question before heading back to his paperwork.
When Alex approached the admin desk a short while later, their secretary was busy chattering away on the phone, regaling the listener with a story of the time she got a bad root canal in the Army.
Now, Jessica was a sweet girl, but not terribly bright. She liked her skirts short, her heels high, and based on the easily visible tattoo across her ferocious sweater kittens, she had once also rather liked a guy named Tony. But the idea of the government handing Jessica an M16 was scarier than the thought of handing one to Lucy Ricardo.
"Agent Benson! Are you here to chip in for Agent Martin's baby shower?"
Um. "Actually." He held out a file folder. "I need this stuff copied for a meeting."
She didn't take the file. "And?"
"And I need you to clear my calendar for this afternoon, I have a doctor appointment."
"And...have a nice day?"
Jessica tsked and shook her head slowly. He assumed that when she folded her arms over her massive her chest it was meant to look intimidating, but all it did was provide a platform on which her already lofty breasts could rest. Jesus, look at that cleavage. It was like the Grand Canyon. Did stuff ever get lost down there, like cracker crumbs or car keys? Small animals?
"I already got a gift."
"But this is for the shower." Jessica looked expectant.
"I barely know her."
"Come on, what do you want me to do for incentive, flash you?"
He sighed and placed the folder on her desk. "You're practically doing that already." No, Jess was not a bright girl.
Jessica further proved her true professionalism by sticking her tongue out. Which was pierced. "Come on, agent Benson, if enough people don't chip in I'll have to pay myself for the whole thing. You wouldn't do that to me, would you?" The batting of overly-gunked eyelashes was too much. He had to go.
Alex rubbed his temple. And intense throb had taken up residence behind his left eye. "Fine.” He pulled a twenty from his wallet and dropped it on the folder. "Please copy this stuff, I'll have my Blackberry while I'm out if anyone needs me."
She waved the bill at him. "Thank you for your generous contribution!"
"Shoot me," he murmured as he pushed his way out through the lobby's double doors.
Damn Jarrod and his inappropriate boundary crossing all to fricking hell. The doc has decided that the mole on his Johnson was "probably benign" but wanted to biopsy it anyway, and nothing made a man want to run screaming for the hills like somebody coming at his special parts with a scalpel.
"Come on." Alex crumbled and shifted his laptop bag while he waited in line at the Crepaway on 20th and L. Thanks to the doctor visit he'd had to work late to catch up on paperwork, and needed to placate his inner beast in a way that only a hot crepe with Nutella gushing out of it possibly could. Or… something he couldn’t get nearly as easily since he was between relationships.
He had finally gotten his order when some kind of disturbance erupted outside, complete with flashing red and blue, and shouting from a couple of sequin-clad Asian chicks. Hooker roundup, must be. Was it that late? He gripped his styrofoam container carefully, intent on sliding past the whole thing when a he heard a familiar voice:
"Dude, I didn't know she was a hooker!"
"Jarrod?" The head of the man being cuffed snapped around to look at Alex. Jesus, no.
"Agent Benson! You gotta help me out man, I swear I didn't know it was a pro. And I definitely didn't know it was a dude. You have to believe me."
"Oh, he knew all right, you wanted some of this didn't you, baby?" A statuesque vision in heels and a mini-dress flipped her mane of flowing hair and made kissy faces at Jarrod. Alex had to give him/her credit for managing to muster up all that sass while handcuffed.
In one glance everything Jarrod tried to deny was obvious: muscular legs, Adam's apple...flat chest underneath a glittery number that barely would've fit Alex's twelve-year-old niece. So… all the “chicks” Jarrod kept banging, huh?
Alex looked longingly at his takeout container, and then over at Jarrod, wondering now about the man’s story. Alex could guess: He’d been raised in a well-off family next door to another well-off family, and he’d gone along for the ride and married that girl next door because the deal came with free college tuition and he hadn’t had the changs at first to rock the boat. He’d never done a pro, thank God, but he’d done plenty of reckless shit. It was hard to hold who you really were inside.
Alex dug into his pocket for his IG badge, and made his way over to the officer holding Jarrod. The look of gratitude on Jarrod’s face was a lot to take.
“Agent Benson, I’m really sorry—”
“Hey.” Alex touched his arm. “No worries. Let’s deal with this, and I’ll buy you a crepe.”
Jarrod smiled. “Thank you. I’d like that.”