I laugh at him. “I don’t feel you there.” He gets up, knocking his fist twice on my desk.
“Now, go home,” he tells me, and I nod at him, picking up the last chart to find I have nothing to add to it. Crystal is fucking efficient; I will give her that. I pull out my phone when I walk out of the office and call Brody, who answers on one ring.
“Do you have any camping clothes you can lend me?”
“Sorry, you lost me at you and camping.” He laughs.
“Fuck off. I’m doing this team building bullshit, and we are going camping.”
“Are you bringing tents?” he asks.
“Are you insane? I rented a log house. That house is a palace.”
I laugh, getting into my car. “Can you help or not?”
“Sorry, buddy, you’re on your own,” he says, hanging up, and I make my way to the mall an hour away. I’m walking into the sporting goods store when I see someone to my right. Looking up, I watch as Crystal walks in. I’ve mostly seen her in scrubs with her hair tied up on top of her head, but now her hair is loose and wild. I speed up to her, scaring the shit out of her when I tap her on the shoulder.
“You almost gave me a fucking heart attack,” she hisses. “What the hell, Gabe?”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to.” I hold up my hands. “I didn’t mean to. What are you doing here?”[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
“I’m picking up clothes for our camping trip,” she tells me. “What about you?”
I look down and then up again. “Same.”
She throws her head back and belly laughs. “I knew you didn’t fucking camp. Liar.” Shaking her head, she turns around and grabs a cart.
“Oh, shut up,” I tell her, walking next to her. “This is all your fault.”
“My fault?” She points at her chest. “Why would this be my fault?”
“You came in with your team building bullshit, and if I didn’t jump on it, I’d be a pussy.” I put my hands in my pockets as we walk slowly down the aisles.
She stops when she gets to the plaid shirts, looks for her size, and tosses two in the cart. “You didn’t try them on,” I tell her, and she shrugs.
“I don’t need to. They’re my size.” She stops when she sees a vest jacket. “Should I get a jacket, or will the vest be good enough? I think I need some thermal underwear.”
My hands fist in my pockets, thinking of her in any type of underwear. Fuck, if thermal underwear isn’t turning me off her, then I have no idea what will. She fills her cart with clothes, and then we stop by the men’s section. I grab a couple of flannel shirts, a jacket, a vest, and some long johns. “I think I need boots,” she says.
“Yes, me, too,” I tell her as we walk to the shoe department. She tries on a pair, and fuck, she can work anything. I choose mine, and we make our way to the cashier with her stopping and picking up a beige men’s sweater with black symbols on it and a collar that folds down.
“What size are you?” she asks as she goes through the rack.
“A large,” I tell her, and she tosses it in the cart. I look at her, trying to hide my smile “You buying me a gift?” I ask her, smiling.
“Not a chance in hell. You’re paying for it; I just chose it.” She walks toward the cashier and puts her things on the belt. She pulls out her card to pay for her things, then waits for me. I grab my bags and follow her out. “See you tomorrow,” she says, walking to her car.
I’m about to call her back and stop her from leaving, but I don’t. I watch her get in the car and drive off. I get into mine and follow her all the way home. She turns off before my exit, so I know she will get home safely. The next couple of days fly by, and then the big day is here. I get out of bed, groaning as I get dressed. I pick up a pair of jeans, a white t-shirt, and the sweater that Crystal chose. I put my blue boots on, picking up my bag. We are all meeting at the log house at six. I pull up with fifteen minutes to spare and see that I’m not the first one here. Crystal beat me here. She sits on the front step, and her pure beauty stops me in my tracks. She is wearing sunglasses, so I can’t see her eyes, but I see what she’s wearing when she stands. She is wearing the boots that we bought together paired with black leggings that mold to her long legs. Her shirt is a white plaid shirt, and she has the blue vest over it. The shirt stays unbuttoned, revealing a tight gray shirt underneath. Her hair is loose and the front tied back. “Hey,” she says, coming to me. Her citrus smell stops me in my tracks. “I got here ahead of schedule,” she says, and I pick up my own Ray-Ban glasses. “Nice shirt.” She smiles at me and crosses her arms over her chest. I don’t answer her because another car pulls in, and I see that the other four carpooled.