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“Didn't you hear what I just said?” he asked with a glare as the frustrating woman took the cup out of his and took another sip before handing it back to him, leaving him sitting there, glaring at the woman that refused to leave.

“I also had to let Jeff go this morning,” she said, grabbing his attention in a big way.

“You did what?” he snapped, taking note of the time that she'd set a new record for making him lose his fucking mind.

“I fired him,” she said with a shrug as though it was no big deal.

It was a big fucking deal!

“Who the hell do you think you are firing one of my employ-,” he started to demand only to get cut off and left speeches by the little brat as she tossed the clipboard to him, hopped off his desk and headed for the door.

“He was calling hookers from the business line and using petty cash to pay them. Well, I'll be back in a few hours!” she said cheerfully as he sat there, staring at the door long after she’d left, wondering how she’d managed to keep doing this to him.

It wouldn't happen again, he promised himself as he grabbed his own clipboard and headed for the morning meeting, determined to salvage the rest of the day. When he was done he’d come back and try this again, but this time he would succeed. After he’d finally managed to fire her, he would focus on finding a way to evict the little pain in the ass from the apartment he’d stupidly leased to her.

Chapter 2

“What happened?” Melanie, her best friend since the second grade and roommate, asked as Rebecca quietly closed the door behind her.

“He fired me again,” she admitted as she tried to go for casual while she walked through their loft-style apartment and headed towards the bathroom.

“Gonna be sick?” Melanie asked around a yawn from where she lounged on the couch with a magazine, a Coke and her reason for living, a double chocolate fudge Pop-Tart.

“No, no of course not,” she lied, barely resisting the urge to place her hand over her stomach, dive for the wastebasket by the kitchen island and finally find some relief from the damn nausea that had been plaguing her since breakfast.

“Really?” Melanie asked, cocking a brow as she continued thumbing through her magazine, pausing only long enough to push back a thick strand of her honey blond hair.

“I'm fine,” Rebecca swore, forcing herself to stop a mere twenty feet from her salvation.

“Really?” Melanie asked, not sounding as though she really believed her, which of course was a problem since Rebecca really didn't want to go to this appointment. But, unless she was able to convince Melanie that she was fine, she-

“You're not getting out of this appointment,” the bossy woman announced with a bored sigh, making Rebecca regret offering to share her juice box back in pre-school.

“I'm fine,” she bit out, outraged that her best friend refused to believe her.

“Then explain why you're pale,” Melanie demanded, still not looking up from her magazine. Then again, Melanie probably didn't need to after all these years to know when she was sick.

“Because I'm Irish,” she reminded her inconsiderate friend.

“And the trembling?”

“Leftover adrenaline surge from my meeting with Lucifer,” she explained with a small sniffle, hoping to play on her best friend’s sympathetic heart to get out of this since the last thing that she wanted to do was waste her day at another doctor’s office just so they could tell her that it was all in her head.

“Nice try, but you're not getting out of this,” Melanie, the cold hearted bitch, said, sounding bored while Rebecca stood there, bottom lip trembling, eyes tearing up as she hugged herself, making sure to look appropriately traumatized.

“It was so t-terrifying,” she said, waiting two crucial seconds before she added a little sob at the end there, hoping that it would be enough so that they could end this charade and get on with their lives.

“Uh huh,” Melanie mumbled, still not bothering to grant her the courtesy of a glance as she sipped her Coke.

“I don't think I'll ever get over it,” Rebecca whispered harshly, taking a discrete step in the direction of the bathroom, praying that the traitor hadn't noticed.

“First off,” Melanie began, only pausing long enough to take another sip of her soda, “you are probably the only person alive that isn't terrified of Lucifer Bradford.”

Rebecca began to argue, simply to argue, but the damn woman wasn't done yet. “Secondly, you're not fooling anyone with that pathetic lip tremble. If you're going to be sick then get it over with, because you're not getting sick in my car, again,” Melanie announced on another bored sigh that earned her a glare.

Rebecca continued to stand there glowering at her best friend while a thousand arguments ran through her head, but her damn stomach decided that it was time to take this to the next level and start cramping, nearly knocking her on her ass and guaranteeing that Melanie won this match.

That didn't mean that she planned on going quietly to this appointment, because she didn't. She'd get out of this appointment like she'd gotten out of so many before. All she had to do was-

“Tick, tock,” the annoying bitch that she loathed more with every passing second, said mockingly, forever earning her hatred.

“This isn't over!” Rebecca snapped, simply because it was and they both knew it.

“Whatever you say, sunshine,” Melanie said in an annoying singsong voice just to piss her off even more.

Rebecca opened her mouth to argue, but ended up slapping a hand against her mouth as she narrowed her eyes on the woman that should have rightfully been her nemesis and decided to make a tactical retreat to the bathroom before she did something that would prove the gloating bitch right.

The door had just shut behind her when she lost the battle and her breakfast, something that she was doing more frequently lately. It was also something that she’d been trying to avoid doing today, knowing that it would be her downfall. She didn’t want to go to this appointment today simply because she was sick and tired of listening to doctors tell her that there was nothing wrong with her all while giving her that look that made her feel worthless. They all thought that she was a hypochondriac and the scary part was that they might be right.

She couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t been sick. In school she’d set the record for most absences. Her parents had been terrified that they were going to lose her. That is, unt

il she hit middle school and the doctors that she’d depended on to make everything better had come to the conclusion that she was faking it for attention.

It hadn’t mattered how many times she’d sworn up and down that she wasn’t feeling good, her parents had refused to listen. They’d followed the doctor’s orders, sent her to school every day and when the nurse called them to tell them that they needed to pick her up from school they’d refused.

The only person that had ever believed that there was something wrong with her was the evil woman in the other room, waiting to ambush her and drag her by the hair to see the latest doctor, who in two hours would explain in the politest way possible that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her seconds before he suggested that she may benefit from seeing a psychiatrist. She used to argue, determined to make them realize that they were making a mistake, that they’d missed something, but none of them had ever listened. Eventually, she’d stopped trying, stopped keeping her appointments and eventually stopped hoping for an answer.

She just wished that Melanie would accept the fact that there was nothing anyone could do and let this go so that she could live the rest of her life in misery, but the frustrating woman refused to listen to reason. No matter how many times she’d begged, glared and bitched, Melanie refused to drop it. Melanie had always believed that she was sick and had always been there for her. She’d understood when she was too sick to do anything and never got pissed when she had to cancel plans so that she could spend some quality time curled up in bed, trying to pretend that she didn’t hate her life.

It had meant the world to her to have someone in her life that didn’t think the worst of her. Having Melanie in her life was the one thing that had kept her sane all these years. It was just too