Chapter 11 – Married Men and Mermaids

Notes from me: Cat has just found herself in a rather compromising predicament. Things have been getting uncomfortably close with a old friend she works with, only problem is… hes married!

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WAS THAT?? The question tumbled round her head. So much was wrong with the last five minutes. Her mind was jumbled. She tried desperately to untangle the mess, mentally listing all the issues she had with it, in an attempt to make sense of the feeling that something fairly significant had just transpired between her and her friend-slash-boss-slash-married-man-slash absolute dick!

a) He was her friend: crossing the line between friendship and anything sexual was usually always complicated. Naturally, this lead to a question: can you ever really be friends with someone from the opposite sex? Doesn’t it all just get convoluted at some point? Until earlier she truly believed that intersex friendships were absolutely possible. Now she wasn’t so sure.

b) They worked together: interoffice relationships are usually a disaster as you rarely have any escape from the other person. They become suffocating, conversation becomes limited and the relationship evolves into nothing but work.

c) He was her boss: Cat was certain that that made it practically illegal, according to the company policy work book. Thou shalt not shag boss under penalty of death and your P45 being issued immediately. OK, maybe she was being a touch dramatic now; probably grafted by her recent, frantic binge of the latest GOT season.

d) He was a dick: he was a complete, self-assured bastard who clearly thought Cat had ulterior motives towards him. He didn’t deserve her time or attention. Like, ever! e) And most importantly… HE WAS FUCKING MARRIED! This was, by far, her biggest issue. She had morals and a girl code and believed to her very core that if a guy wore a ring, back the FUCK off! She grabbed her mental highlighter and circled the last point several times in luminous pink.

No matter how many points and rationalisations there were as to why she shouldn’t have anything to do with Tony though, there was one factor she just couldn’t get around; one, simple factor that made all the other very valid points really kinda blurry:

a) Chemistry That fucker blew holes in any reasoning and complicated the shit out of her now apparent situation.

Maybe she had been in denial or slightly naive to the growing closeness between them. But it was staring her in the face now. There was only one thing to do: sell her house, run away, leave the country and pledge her allegiance to the Night’s Watch. Because there was no way she was EVER going against her integrity. He was married—equals: OUT OF BOUNDS. End of. Even if Beth was a Lannister-worthy epic bitch. Still, no. Logged in and set up, Cat waited for the ridiculously slow internet connection to display her Outlook messages. With the office door wedged open she could hear the conversation coming from the front desk. Christina’s Slovakian tones had obviously moved on from the day’s objectives. She had a talent for taking conversations from important issues to complete nonsense in a heartbeat.

“I vatched this amaaazing documentary last night, Blue Planet,”Christina regaled.

“Love that shit! It’s well relaxing but some of them fish look proper evil—you know them weird ones that live right at the bottom? Look like aliens…” Vince was obviously client free and bored. Cat was surprised Tony hadn’t sent him back to the gym for a deep clean already.

“I tink I vould love to be a fish, just svimming all day, no clients making stress at me…” Christina wistfully romanced, in as close to english as she could manage. “Tony if you vere a fish, vhat fish vould you be and vhy?”

Cat was inwardly grinning, she knew this was the type of mind-numbing chit-chat that drove Tony mental. She wished she could see his face right now.

“Actually Chrissy, I’ve never thought about being a fish, thanks,” he said , sounding as unwilling to participate in Christina’s fishy fantasies as Cat suspected he would. “Nor would I! I imagine it’d be bloody cold and you’d spend your whole life trying not to get eaten by bigger fish…”

Christina, not perturbed by Tony’s curt response, addressed the question to a more accommodating Vince. “Vhat about you Vince, vhat fish vould you be?” Vince put some serious thought into his answer. “Errr… hmmmm… crocodile.”

A rather enthusiastic Christina agreed: “You vould be a great crocodile.”

“Uhh… hello?” Tony chimed in, suddenly ready to shoot the poor idiot down again. “I hate to put a dampener on your fantasies, Vince, but a crocodile isn’t a fish.”

Christina ignored Tony’s cutting interruption, and carried on. “Tony, I Tink if you ver a fish you vould be a killer vhale. You’d be a gooood vhale, very strong. Eating all the little fishes.”

Cat openly laughed and couldn’t wait for Tony’s reply in the full knowledge that this entire conversation would be grating against his overinflated ego. Of course, his reply was dry and sarcastic:

“Thanks. It’s great to know you think I’d make a good whale, Christina, but…” he paused, probably trying to control his escalating frustration, “a whale—isn’t—a fish.” His voice had risen an octave higher.

Vince and Christina were enjoying the discussion too much to let their grumpy manager shit all over it. In fact, his grumpiness only made it more entertaining. Christina called through to Cat who was on the verge of giggling hysterically. “Vhat fish vould you be, Cat?”

Without hesitation Cat replied. “A dolphin, sweetie.” She had every intention of fuelling Tony’s fiery temperament.

“Ooohh, good vone! I looove dolphins,” Christina declared, her Eastern-European accent sounding thicker than ever. Tony’s response was quick:

“Did you just say a dolphin?! Caaat, seriously… a bloody dolphin?! You’re all idiots. A DOLPHIN—IS NOT—A FISH… sweetie.” Vince weighed in.

“What fish would you be, Chrissy?” There was a pause. Everyone waited in silence for her.

“Hmmm… a mermaid.”

“Fuck me! Are you… are you actually joking?” Tony stammered in defiant indignation. “Chrissy, a crocodile is a semiaqutic reptile and—and not a fish. Whales and dolphins are mammals so, again—not a fish.” He took a breath before continuing, apparently trying not to lose his mind over the ocean of nonsense he was currently drowning in. “And I’m fairly certain that a sodding mermaid is also not a fucking fish! Not to mention the inescapable fact that mermaids aren’t even real. Not real and therefore not fish. And if they were, they’d probably, technically, be a mammals! Although, seeing as they can apparently also live on land, according to every bloody film ever made about mermaids, they’d probably reside in the amphibian category!”—he was caught in an argument with himself, now,—“On the other hand… if mermaids had gills and could breath under water, possibly laying eggs rather than giving birth to whole merbabies, then… maybe they would be fucking fish. Christ, why am I encouraging a conversation about the genetic makeup of a mythical bloody being and … and, and… now I’m fucking confused as to whether a fucking mermaid is a fucking fish or not‼”

He was beaten. Beaten by his own ‘superior’ intellect, more than anything. “I … I can’t do this, you lot are driving me bonkers. I’m done. Chrissy if you want to be a mermaid, be a mermaid. You’d probably make a very lovely one. Vince, go and sort out the Instructors Office, it’s a bloody mess. For fuck’s sake… fucking mermaids…”

He stormed in to Cat’s office, semi-slamming the door behind him. As he scrunched the bridge of his nose between is fingers, taking a deep breath in and letting it out with an elongated woooooph, Cat tried to compose herself and wipe the giggly-grin off her face. It disappeared completely when it dawned on her that Tony was in her office again. And the door was closed.

If you would like to catch up with Cat and join her as she bumbles her way through single, life then here’s the story so far… Adventures with Cat

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