\ 21:44 Meredith and Cadee | unlimitedi.net
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“When will I learn not to count on lil’orphan Annie to stay put?” Cadee asked to herself while she once again scanned the room for her friend, seeing no sign of her. She had left her at the bar about fifteen minutes earlier, while she went to the restrooms, with the firm promise to wait there.

“What the hell, I can play disappearing girl too,” she answered immediately, and started looking around again, but this time searching for something completely different, trying to decide whether or not she wanted to grab somebody's attention tonight. But nothing, or no one, really stood out to her, she was about to get up and start dancing by herself, when suddenly, something did catch her eye.

*Is that Meredith?* She looked at a girl standing by the bar, and had to look twice to confirm her identity. The brunette was wearing a revealing one shoulder mini dress and was probably wearing very high pumps, for she looked taller from the distance. She looked great, actually.  *Oh, yes. It’s her all right, what a change!* She smiled, that was great; she had tried to get information on Meredith to no avail, and the girl hadn’t returned to the Sláinte since their meeting.

Then she saw the man she was talking to, and her smile grew. * Logan!* Well, that was a surprise.  He looked great too, in a black suit and white shirt. Elegant. But then she frowned, they were talking in earnest, a little too close for her liking. Damn, Cadee, you don’t own him; not even know him, actually. You have no saying in how close he stands to pretty girls like Meredith.

“I have to talk to Meredith anyway,” Cadee said aloud, and started moving toward the two, while she worked at erasing her frown and smiling again.

Meredith was still staring after the guy - Logan - as he wove his way through the crowds. Maybe if she glared hard enough she could make laser-beams shoot from her eyes and zap him in the ass - it was a nice ass, she had to give him that, even with his head stuck so far up it. And now she was staring at his ass… perfect, if he saw her doing that his ego might just ignite and take out a couple of emo’s.

”The name is Logan,” she muttered in a mocking tone, ”figured you’d want to know what to call me in your dreams later… as if!”

Snorting irritably, she rummaged around in her purse for another one of those drinks tickets Coat Check Girl had given Gail. Like she’d needed sweetening up, they were probably already making out under a pile of jackets and fur stoles. Not that she begrudged Gail her fun, Meredith just wished it didn’t mean she got ditched in the process. Now if she could just get a couple of minutes with Lucinda Graves, aka Alison Scruggs, investigative reporter at the New York Times… it might not be a total waste of an evening. Of course, the likely hood of getting the bestselling novelist on her own were practically nil…

“Hello, Meredith,” Cadee said, reaching the girl at last. The club was getting crowded and crowded as time passed, quite a success. Meredith raised her head brusquely and Cadee noticed she had surprised her. “Wow, sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you.”

“Oh… wow…” it took Meredith a moment to place the girl, but stunning blondes with dazzling smiles weren’t all that common, even in New York - at least, not genuinely pretty ones anyway. “Cadee… sorry, no, I was just…” she waved a hand dismissively, finally pulling out a couple of drinks tickets from her purse. “Can I get you a drink? If I can get any service here, it’s certainly not as good as the Slainte.”

“Sure, thanks. And thanks. Although, to be honest, the Slàinte seldom gets this crowded…” She grinned, watching the packed room and pitying the personnel. “Thank God.”

She turned to Meredith again, she had somehow gotten the attention of the bartender who was taking her order. “A bloody Mary, please,” she asked. “So, what are you doing here? It’s been a surprise.”

“A friend dragged me here, actually, the one I was telling you about? She’s had a major crush on the Coat Check Girl who works here. Tonight was her night to pounce.” Meredith grinned, it was easy talking to Cadee, she was just one of those people that, despite being utterly gorgeous didn’t actually seem to know it. It made a nice change from Mr Tall Dark and Arrogant. “This place is a bit too Goth, not really my kind of thing. I mean, a guy actually introduced himself as Lestat. Seriously, someone should tell people that vampires aren’t real, know what I mean?”

Cadee laughed, amused. She always found it quite ingenuous that people could actually live their whole lives and not know that monsters really existed. Then she sobered up, remembering who she was talking to. Not such happy life for her, unfortunately.

“Well, I came because of my friend too. She’s totally into this vampire fashion. In fact, you could mistake her for a vampire, I’m sure.” She leaned towards her a little, “and don’t tell her I told you, but Anne chose Anne Millet as her stage name because millet is a cereal.” At Meredith confused look, she explained. “Anne Rice, you know?”

“Ah, clever…” *in a geeky sort of way* Which was cool, Meredith had been known to go geek herself from time to time. At least she hadn’t offended Cadee with the Goth remark, she’d slightly cringed when she realised what she’d said.

“So you’re not a Darquette?” she gestured towards the display of books and where a huge cardboard cut-out of the protagonist stood. “I heard Lucinda Graves was gonna be here, but I haven’t seen her yet. Probably surrounded by fellow novelists and executive types. Bodyguards too I hope, by the look of some of her fans, she’d need them just to make sure she lasts the night in one piece.”

“Not really, as I said, I was as dragged here as you were. Lucinda Graves is around, all right… we chatted a little with her when Anne and I got to the party. And I met her at the Slàinte the other day, she was making notes. You know she’s a reporter too, don’t you?”

 “Yeah, she was a guest lecturer last year at NYU,” Meredith picked up her drink - another martini. She’d rather have a beer, but it was a cocktail kind of event. Even though it was her first (and probably last) book launch party, it didn’t seem like the sort of occasion where you chugged back on a bottle of Sam Adams.

“I read her piece in the paper last week. I was so beat I missed out on that story, of all the dumb luck, right?”

“Oh, I didn’t know you were a reporter. So that’s why you’re around the Slainte so often? To catch cop’s talk?” Cadee smiled, “and I thought it was because of the great service!”

Meredith felt her cheeks redden. She hadn’t meant to say that, it had just sort of slipped out. She narrowed her gaze slightly, obviously Cadee was more intelligent than the blonde stereotype would have people believe, sharp too, coming to such an accurate conclusion from such a throw-away statement.

“Ah, no, not a reporter. At least not yet… not at all if I keep being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And… well I figured a cop bar was as good a place as any to pick up a juicy lead. Not that it’s worked yet.” She hesitated a moment, stirring her drink with her olive. “You’re not gonna blow my cover are you?”

“My lips are sealed,” she promised. This was great, she thought, realizing there was a way she could guarantee the girl would go back to the bar time and again. Besides, she really liked Meredith, and not just as a wolf-fur-coat prospect. “Actually, I may be able to help you. I do catch cop’s talk, you know? I should, working there 24/7! Well, not really, I don’t live at the place, but you catch my drift.”

“For example, that guy you were talking with… Logan? He was the Good Samaritan of the other night, you know?” Cadee added, trying to sound casual. Then she went on, wanting to know, but a little afraid of the answer. “Is he your friend?”

*What?* Meredith nearly choked on her martini. She really had to stop drinking when people were talking. “Logan?” her voice was full of disbelief, but really, was it that surprising? The guy fancied himself as some kind of knight in shining armour, it wouldn’t surprise her if it turned out he’d started that fire, just so he could rush in to save the day and be congratulated on being such an all-round wonderful guy.

“My friend? I wouldn‘t call him that…” Meredith wanted to laugh but then she probably would choke. Instead she took a slow drink and sighed. “You know how some guys you just can’t stop thinking about? You know, they make you smile and feel excited when they walk in a room? And when they’re talking all you can think about is what their lips taste like and how much you want them to just reach out and touch you?”

Cadee swallowed. *Oh, my, this is so much worse than I thought.* And she didn’t know whether she referred to Meredith’s words or how she went all soft inside when she applied them to Logan.

“Well, yes. I do.” She finally said.

Meredith put down her drink and folder her arms over her ample chest. “Right. And then there are those other guys that you just want to drop an anvil on from a great height?” She nodded in the general direction of the dance floor where Logan had headed and a scowl wrinkled her forehead. “Well he would fall into the latter category.”

Cadee didn’t realize she had been holding her breath till she couldn’t find any air to laugh. “Come on, he’s not that bad!” she found herself defending him when she could actually speak. “He helped me with a bothersome drunkard the other day, and he was  pretty battered up after the incident with those fire loving morons. I think he’s cute.”

“Sure, he’s cute and doesn’t he just know it? You should have seen him flirting with the waitress! It was… just typical! Guys like him think they can get whatever they want just by spinning a line and flashing a charming grin.” She finally looked at the girl, *Oh no…* she’d seen that moony eyed expression before and it wasn’t good. “Oh Cadee, don’t waste your time on Mr Wonderful, he’s the fuck em’ and chuck em’ type if ever I saw it. Believe me, I know and you don’t wanna end up just another notch on his no doubt already whittled down bedpost.”

Cadee blushed, embarrassed.

“Was I so obvious?” She asked, wondering if Meredith was right. He had flirted with her at the bar, and he was pretty enough to be lucky with girls. But he also had helped her (not that she needed help, but he didn’t know that) and intervened trying to help some unknown guy -she had not learned anything that contradicted that version, at least, and she had paid attention. Besides, two could play that game too, she wasn’t a saint herself. Not that she notched her bedpost up, but…

 “I’ll be careful, Meri, I promise.”  She looked at Meredith’s stern face and smiled, trying to reassure her. She knew the girl meant well, but she wanted to change the topic. “About the cop’s thing, what do you say? Want me to tell you if I learn something?”

Meredith was more than happy to change the subject, no doubt Logan would get a kick out of thinking they had nothing better to talk about. “You’d do that? I mean, you wouldn’t get into any trouble would you?”

“I don’t think so, as long as you don’t cite your source,” Cadee smiled. “I’m sure I could get something juicy for you.”

 “Excellent,” Meredith was genuinely excited now, her first official, unofficial source! “I don’t have a cell but I could give you my pager…” she rummaged in her purse again, jotting down the number on her trusty notepad and tearing it out. “I really appreciate this, maybe next time I’ll scoop Lucinda Graves.”

Meredith’s excitement was contagious, and she grinned as she took the piece of paper. “You actually may,” she said.

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