Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Becker/Linda, Bob/Linda
Rating: Strong PG-13/T
Challenge/Prompt: fffc s55: Apples and beattheblackdog 124: Desperate
Word Count: 2,102
Date Written: 26 August 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
She glanced down at her cart, surprisingly feeling more awkward and self-conscious than she had since her high school days. There were at least two dozen red, shiny apples, another half a dozen of green apples, apple juice, apple sauce, apple cobbler, and six miniature apple pies. If it had apple in it, she had sprung for it. Linda shook her head at her own self. Maybe she was being silly, but it was worth a shot. Anything was worth a shot at this point to keep that aggravating man out of her system, and apples were supposed to keep doctors away.
But maybe that only worked if you didn’t already have to see a doctor every single day of your life. Maybe it didn’t work if you worked in a doctor’s office as she did. Linda sighed and ran her fingers through her long, dark hair. She needed a better solution than this, but right now, it was all she could think of. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. Now she was even lying to herself, because the truth was that John Becker was all she could think of. He’d been on her mind ever since she’d taken Bob’s stupid dare and kissed the man.
Yet again, Linda cussed her luck, but then how could she have possibly guessed that her boss, of all people, would be the next one to stroll into Reggie’s when she’d accepted Bob’s dare? She should have backed out of the dare the moment she’d seen she was going to have to kiss her boss to keep her part of it, but she had never expected a kiss from John Becker to do to her system what it had. She would have been better off with mono. She sighed. She would’ve been way better off with the kissing disease or any other guy in town.
Why, why did it have to be John Becker who had walked through that door?! And why had she had to be affected so strongly by his kiss? Because, she knew now, that doctor had a hidden, underlying current of passion that nobody expected. Maybe it was because he’d been kissed so little in his life. Maybe it was because he stayed angry all the time. There was definitely something to be said for angry sex.
Linda squeaked aloud as she imagined her boss taking her further, removing her clothes, and diving inside of her. Her face turning as red as the apples shining in her cart, Linda shook her head to clear her mind and darted around the corner.
“HEY! WATCH IT!”
She stopped, but only after her buggy had careened with another. “Bob? What are you doing here?!” Was he stalking her? she wondered fearfully. Did he suspect what she already knew -- that that kiss had overpowered her and left her yearning for more of the last man on Earth she’d ever thought she would find sexy until his lips had touched hers?
“Bob always shops here. The question,” the short man said, looking up at her, “is what Linda is doing here.” He glanced at her cart. “And why she’s buying all these apple items? Wait a minute. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” He stared up at her. “Don’t tell me you’ve got a thing for Becker!”
Linda stared at him, dumbfounded. She opened her mouth to deny the accusation but shut it again, knowing that any denial she voiced would sound false even to her own ears. She’d tried saying a thousand times over already that she did not have a thing for Becker, and it sounded more false every time she said the words.
“You do!” Bob gloated. “You have a thing for Becker!” But then, to her surprise, he sighed. “Why not? Every other damn woman in this town has a thing for Becker!”
“Well, maybe not Margaret, but Reggie, Chris -- “ Bob counted them off on his fingers, even naming several woman who, as far as Linda could remember, she had never met. His handsome face fell into a deep pout. “Nobody wants Bob.”
She had gone with Bob before, and he definitely had not made the repeat cut in her book. She had been drunk at the time, but even she recalled the lackluster experience in vivid detail. She also knew he was a slimy, little weasel, and she had dated far too many of those. Maybe that was one of the reasons why she found Becker so appealing, she realized. The man was a jackass, but he was no weasel. He was smart and secretly cared more than he ever let on. And he was a doctor, as her mother had pointed out several times before.
She could do a lot worse. She could work with the passion she’d felt in him when she kissed him. There had been enough fire between their mouths to light a whole forest on fire or burn down all of the Bronx. She felt her face flush and heat rush both to her face and far down lower inside of her just remembering their kiss. Yeah, she could definitely work with the doc.
But he was still her boss. She’d dated her bosses in the past, and it had never once worked out. She’d also always found herself having to find a new job after her relationships with her managers had fallen apart. Linda sighed, her bottom lip trembling. There was no way she could go with Becker. If she did, she’d be screwing up the best job she’d ever had, and she’d have to find not only new employment but new friends as well.
She couldn’t bear the thought of leaving Margaret, even as bossy as she was. In some ways, the older nurse reminded her of a mother but not of a mother. She reminded her, instead, of the kind of mother she’d always secretly wanted, the kind who wasn’t more interested in still being cool than in being a good mom, the kind who bossed her around but did so because she genuinely cared. She also didn’t like the idea of leaving Becker or of having to find a new place to eat lunch. She enjoyed her chats with Reggie and Jake, and she and Reg had gone out on the town a few times. Granted, it had been a very few times, but she had still enjoyed the experience of actually hanging with a girlfriend again.
Linda shook her head once more, trying yet again in vain to clear Becker and all the confusing thoughts associated with him. She looked at Bob and saw that tears were welling in his big, dark eyes. They were probably crocodile tears, but still, they called to her. She felt for him; he was probably the only person she knew who was as lonely and felt it as vividly and painfully as she did. “That’s not true,” she said before she could stop herself.
“What? You mean . . . Linda might want Bob?”
“I might.” She dangled the man and found the corners of her painted mouth beginning to turn up into a grin at the way hope and expectation lit up his whole face. Bob might have been slimy, but he wasn’t exactly bad looking.
And she, she admitted to herself, was certainly desperate. She was desperate to get Becker out of her system, and experience had taught her years ago that there was no better way to get a man out of her system than by taking another man, preferably one who was as different as possible from the one she was trying to get over, to bed.
“Are you serious?” Bob asked her warily.
“Of course,” she answered quickly. She wasn’t serious about him, not in the long run, but she was very serious about getting over Becker. She remembered too what a pain Bob had been when he’d lived with her before, but this wasn’t a permanent deal. This was just one more night spent with him, one more night with a totally different man who might just be what she needed to get over Becker. It was definitely more likely to work than all the apple goodies with which she’d loaded her cart and cheaper too.
She pushed her cart a small distance from her, emptying the space between herself and Bob. Then she stooped down and kissed him. Her long hair fell to the side as her mouth angled over his. His tongue thrust eagerly up into her mouth as he kissed her hungrily back. He tasted of cheap cigarettes, alcohol, and something worse to which she didn’t want to put a name. But he didn’t make her body sing the way Becker had with only one kiss.
When she finally lifted her mouth from his, Bob was panting hard while she herself remained almost completely unphased. “Your place or Bob’s, baby?” he asked against her mouth.
A part of her wanted to just do him right there in the store and get it over with, but instead she grabbed his hand and hurried from the store. She barely remembered to make him leave his basket as they left through the big double doors. She would have chosen the parking lot if either of them had had a car, but they didn’t so instead she led the way to a cabi first and then her place.
Fifteen minutes later, Bob rolled over onto his back and lit a cigarette. Linda sighed restlessly. “That was good. Don’t tell Bob that wasn’t good. Bob knows it was good.”
She rolled her eyes and left her own bed. She padded barefoot across her floor and looked out into the city where night had settled. Tomorrow would be another day spent at the office trying to avoid her surprisingly sexy boss. She could pick up an apple from Jake’s stall and see if Reggie could cook anything that had apples in it. She was a better cook than Linda, so she could eat whatever she could make her. She had to be careful how she shaped the question, though; it wouldn’t do to have anybody else figure out that she had the hots for Becker.
She could still hardly believe that fact herself, but it was true. Every time she shut her eyes, he was there, looming up in her mind’s eye just behind her closed lids. She had almost called out his name when she had hit the weak climax with Bob. She blew out a breath and watched the way it misted her windowpane. She drew a heart in the mist, pierced it with an arrow, and finally just wiped it all away. She wished it was that easy to wipe Becker out of her system.
“Back to the grocery store,” she muttered beneath her breath. Just then, Bob’s snores rattled her window. She jumped in surprise and looked back at her bed. Or maybe, she thought, she just needed a better man, someone who actually had something to offer. She grabbed her purse, made certain she’d left nothing valuable in her tiny apartment, and left, heading, instead of the store, for the bar.
She’d go home with whatever hunk she found, and maybe, just maybe, the next guy would be enough to finally get the good doctor out of her system. If he wasn’t, tomorrow, she’d hit the apples, the apple juices, the apple martinis, the apple cakes, and anything and everything else she could find with apple in it. One way or another, she was going to get John Becker out of her system.
On her way to the bar, Linda glanced out her taxi’s window and saw Reggie’s dim lights. She sighed again. Her life wasn’t the only one screwed up by John Becker. She knew Reggie had the hots for him too no matter what the other, older woman said. But she was young. She was young, beautiful, and thriving, and she would get Becker out of her system.
One kiss, she thought darkly. She’d never been so screwed over by one kiss! Never again, she vowed. Never again would she so lightly take on a kissing challenge, and never again would she touch her lips to John Becker’s. She would get over this. She would get through this. And when she was done, when she was over the doctor, she’d still have her jobs and her friends. Linda smirked out into the night. Who said she wasn’t responsible? She knew how to handle this, and handle it, she would.