Angela found her the next day, sitting alone in the break room.
“So, be honest...wasn’t Andrew a sweetheart?” “Yeah, he really was,”
she agreed. “I promised myself I wouldn’t ask.....but what the
heck....did you kiss him goodnight?” “Did she kiss who goodnight?”
Angela turned and laughed. “As always your timing is perfect.” “Never
mind about my timing. Who is Emma kissing?” “I’m not kissing
anyone,” she said, trying to change the subject. Judi turned to Angela.
“Come on girl....spill it. Who’s she kissing?” Angela snuck a quick
glance at Emma. “Andrew Martin,” she said quickly. “Ohhhh, you lucky
girl. He’s gorgeous.”
“Don’t let Mark hear you say that,” Angela said. “Oh he knows
my heart belongs to him. But hell....I”m not blind you know.” “I think
I’m going back to my desk,” said Emma, rising from her chair. “Oh no
you don’t. Not yet.I want details. Was this another fix-up from Angela
the matchmaker?” “It sure was,” Angela said with a grin. Judi turned
to Emma. “Angela was the one who introduced me to Mark. She’s got
a real knack for getting people together.” Emma stod up quickly.
“Look...it was just dinner, It’s not like we pledged eternal love. I’ll see
you guys later.” She walked out the door. Leaving a stunned Judi and
a very sympathetic Angela sitting there.
She was trying to get lost in her work when she heard his office
door open. “Excuse me, Emma. If you aren’t busy..could I talk to you
for a second?” She felt her heart skip a beat when he said her name.
He stood aside to let her walk past. “Please sit down,’ he said,
indicating a nearby chair. “I wanted to apologize for last night. I’m not
as bad with names as Marissa says I am. I’m sorry if it bothered you.”
“Don’t even mention it,” she said, determined not to let the
conversation get personal.
“Ever since we started the site it’s been a sea of new faces for
me. I mean I see you everyday...but sometimes you don’t really see
people....they’re just part of the office.” “Like the furniture?” she
asked. “I guess,” he said with a laugh. “I think I liked it better when
you didn’t know who I was,” she said, heading for the door. “Hey, I
didn’t mean it that way,” he said. “Mr. McMahon, please don’t worry
about it.” She walked back to her desk, trying to hold back the tears.
“So I’m a nameless piece of furniture? Well at least I know where I
Later that afternoon she and Judi were putting the finshing
touches on a new section of the site. “Now that looks good,” Judi said
proudly. “I think Shane wil really like this.” “As if it matters,” Emma
mumbled. “Honey...what is it?” she asked. “It’s nothing,” she sighed.
“Just one of those days.” “How would you feel about going out with
Mark and me this Friday?” she asked. “You can give Andrew a call.” “I
don’t know,” she said hesitantly. “Oh, I see..you’d rather say home
and mope?” “No it isn’t that.” “Honey..nobody is suggesting that you
make a lifetime commitment to this guy. But maybe where Shane is
concerned you just have to face the truth.”
“Don’t you think I’ve already done that?” she asked. “The man
barely knows I exist.” “Then more reason for you to wake up and see
what else is available out there.” “You mean like Andrew?” “He’s as
good a place to start as any, isn’t he?” “I suppose you’re right,” Emma
said with resignation. “What were you and Mark planning on doing?”
“Nothing special. Grab a quick bite...maybe see a movie. He’s not
exactly what you’d call a party animal.” “That sounds ok. Maybe I will
give Andrew a call.” “That’s my girl.” she said.
By the time Friday rolled around, Emma was feeling better about
things. She had pretty much managed to avoid having anything to do
with Shane. He had been busy with meetings most of the week, so he
hadn’t been in his office much. It was late Friday afternoon when she
finally saw him. She was busy clearing off her desk when she looked
up and saw him approaching. “Heading out?” he asked. She looked up
and nodded. “Any special plans for the weekend?” “Nothing much,” she
said, grabbing her purse.
“I’ll see you on Monday,” she said, heading for the door. “Sure
thing,’ he replied. “Good night Emma.” She turned to look at him. He
grinned at her boyishly. “Is that better?” he asked. “Yes..thank you,”
She got into the elevator, the smile he had given her burned into
her brain. “Great,” she thought. “Just when I was starting to believe
there could be life without Shane McMahon....you show me just how
wrong I am.”
She was still hunting for her other shoe when the doorbell rang.
She glanced up at the clock, just a little annoyed. “You couldn’t be just
five minutes late?” she thought. She went to the door and opened it.
He stood there smiling and for a second she forgot that she was less
than happy. “Is it me or are you tilting?” he laughed. He looked down
at her feet and back up at. “Planning to hop all night?” “Angela never
told me how funny you were,” she said, moving to let him in. “I’ll be
right back,” she said, heading off to resume her shoe hunt.
She came back several minutes later, wearing two shoes. “That’s
much better,’ he said, leaning down to kiss her lightly. “How was work
today?” “Well we managed to stay online all day,” she said with a
laugh. “Shane must have been happy,” he offered. “Yeah, I suppose,”
she said. Andrew noticed the change in her attitude when Shane’s
name was mentioned. “Do you and Shane get along?”he asked.
“Yeah...why do you ask?” “Oh, no reason. He’s a real nice guy...I
wondered what he was like in the office.” “He’s fine. Actually he isn’t
there all that much.”
They had planned to meet Judi and Mark at a local steak house.
When they entered it wasn’t hard to find them. Mark towered over the
people around him. When she and Andrew walked up, the looks on the
faces around them were priceless. “Does it ever bother you to be
stared at like that?” Emma asked Mark. “Not really. People tend to
keep their distance. I mean, I don’t mind being recognized but I like
my private time too.” he said, bending to kiss Judi’s cheek. “You old
softie,’ she teased. “Watch it woman..I have a reputation you know.”
Judi smiled as she watched how sweet and attentive Andrew was
to Emma. “You could do a lot worse, sweetie,” she thought.They sat
and talked and ate, the women teasing the men unmercifully about the
amount of food they consumed. “Quite a few cows gave up their lives
for this meal,” Judi said with a laugh. “All in a good cause,” said Mark.
“I thought you liked your men.....big?” Judi raised her eyebrows and
smiled at him. “If you think I’m even touching that line, think again.”
Mark leaned over to kiss her. Emma looked over and smiled at
the two of them. She would have given almost anything to have the
kind of relationship that Mark and Judi had. They just seemed like they
belonged together. She looked up to see Andrew smiling at her.
“Would you like some more wine?” he asked her. “Sure,” she said with
a smile. She studied him as he poured the wine into her glass. “Judi is
right,” she thought. “I could do a lot worse than him. And he does
have one thing over Shane....he’s here...and he hasn’t forgotten my
When they had finished eating they debated for several minutes
over which movie to see. Judi and Emma wanted to see the latest love
story. Mark and Andrew opted for the latest Arnold Swarzenegger film.
“Oh goody,” said Judi, “explosions and bodies flying around.” “Just like
work,” laughed Mark. They finally compromised and settled on a new
comedy. Twenty minutes into it, both women regretted their
choice.Mark and Andrew were laughing louder than anyone...drawing
some exasperated looks from the people around them. Fortunately,
when the other movie goers got a good look at the size of the two of
them they thought twice about asking them to keep it down.
When the movie was over, they walked out together. “That was
a good movie,” Mark said, draping a huge arm around Judi’s shoulder.
“Did you like it?” he asked her. “What I could hear of it,” she teased.
“Come on grumpy...I’m going to take you home.” She turned to
Andrew and Emma. “I’ll see you on Monday,” she said witha laugh as
she and Mark walked off. She turned to Andrew and smiled. He took
her by the hand and they walked slowly to his car. When he pulled up
in front of her place she glanced over at him. “Would you like to come
in for some coffee?” she asked.“Sure,” he said, turning off the engine.
He sat on one of her kitchen stools, telling her some funny
stories about Mark and watching her. She walked over and placed a
cup of coffee in front of him. Before she could turn away, he took her
hand gently. She looked into his eyes questioningly. Gently he pulled
her close, kissing her tenderly. His mouth was soft and warm. It was
the kind of kiss that normally would have made any woman weak in
the knees. Instead..she felt nothing. Andrew leaned back and looked at
her. He knew exactly what she was feeling. “I’m sorry,” she said, in a
whisper. “Don’t be,” he said, rising from his chair. “Where are you
going?” she asked.
He looked back at her. “Emma..I like you.. a lot. But as long as
you’re in love with someone else there isn’t much point in me coming
around is there?’ “Andrew, I don’t understand....” He smiled and shook
his head. “I saw how you looked at Shane the other night.” She
blushed and lowered her eyes. “Just do yourself a favor. Don’t make it
a habit of passing up every chance you get at happiness, waiting for
him.” She followed him to the door and he kissed her cheek softly. “Be
happy Emma,” he said, walking out the door. She stood there, tears
filling her eyes. “I don’t think I know how to be happy,” she thought.
She was sitting at her desk the next morning, staring at the work
in front of her. “I think you actually have to pick the pen up,” he said.
She turned to see Shane, standing there smiling at her.” She quickly
looked down at her desk. “Oh, yeah...right.” “Is everything ok?” he
asked. “Everything is fine..why?” “Oh, I don’t know. You just seem
distracted.” “Not at all,” she said, busying herself with her work.” He
glanced back at her before he went into his office.She let out a sigh
when the door closed. “Life stinks,” she thought.
She had finally managed to make a dent in her work when Judi
came by. “Lunch time,” she said brightly. “I’m not hungry,” Emma said
quietly. “I didn’t ask if you were hungry,” she said. “I have a lot of
work to get through here.” “And it will still be there when you get
back,” Judi said. “You aren’t going to leave me alone..are you?” Emma
asked. “No...I’m not,” Judi replied with a wicked grin.” Emma grabbed
her purse. “Let’s go,” she said. “I know when I’m beaten.”
They sat together in the lunch room. Judi was telling her a story
about Mark. “Of course it would have been much nicer if he hadn’t
chokeslammed me at the end.” Emma looked up. “What did you say?
Who got chokeslammed?” Judi laughed out loud. “I knew you weren’t
listening. Thinking about Andrew?” “Not any more,” she said quietly.”
“Oh no,” Judi said. “What happened?”
“Nothing happened....as in absolutely nothing.” Judi looked at
her quizzically. “Ok, if you must know...he kissed me.” “And?” “And,
nothing. There were no sparks, no skyrockets.....nothing. And he knew
it.” “Oh honey, I’m sorry.” Emma laughed softly. “Oh it gets better. He
knows how I feel about Shane.” “He does? But how?” “Don’t ask
me,”Emma said. “But he didn’t think he and I should be seeing each
other while I have feelings for Shane.”
“Are you ok?” Judi asked, taking her hand. “I just think it’s
almost funny,” she said. “Everyone knows how I feel about
Shane...except Shane.” “What are you going to do?” asked Judi. Emma
looked up at her friend. “I’m going to quit.” “What do you mean quit?”
“I mean leave..find another job.” “You can’t do that. That’s crazy. Just
because of one man?”
Emma leaned forward and looked into Judi’s eyes. “How do you
feel about Mark?” she asked. “What kind of question is that? You know
how I feel about him. I love him.” And how would you feel if he didn’t
even know you existed? Would you still want to be around him
everyday? Would you want to see him with other women?” Judi
lowered her eyes. “I didn’t think so.” “I really wish you would give this
some more thought,” Judi pleaded. “I haven’t thought about anything
else since last night. I’ll probably give my notice tomorrow.”
She spent the rest of the afternoon concentrating on her work.
On a couple of occasions she had to bring some papers to Shane. Both
times, she simply left the papers without saying a word. The second
time he stopped her before she got out the door. “Emma?” She turned
to look at him. “Are you upset with me?” The look of real concern in
his eyes, touched her.” “No, Mr. McMahon.” He laughed softly. “I really
would prefer it if you would call me Shane. My father is Mr.McMahon.”
She laughed along with him. “You know, I’ve been meaning to tell you
what a great job you’ve been doing. Angela was right about you.’
“Thanks,’ she said quietly. “Do you like working here?” “Yeah, I do.
Everyone has been really nice.” “Even the boss?” he teased. “Yes,
even the boss,” she said, walking out the door.
She sat at her desk and put her head in her hands. “Thanks a lot
Shane,” she thought. “Things would have been a whole lot easier if
you had just forgotten my name again.” She cleared her desk off and
looked up at the clock. “I still have a few minutes,’ she thought. She
took out a pad and pen and began to write her letter of resignation.
Three times she started it..and three times she crumpled the paper
and threw it away. “Why can’t I do this?” she thought? “A psychologist
would have a field day with me.”
She sighed and put the pad back in her desk. “Maybe I’ll be
better off waiting until morning.” She slipped on her coat and grabbed
her purse. When she stepped out of the elevator into the underground
parking area, she was immediately struck by how much the
temperature had dropped. “Welcome to another glorious New England
winter,’ she thought. She quickly got into her car. She turned the key
and felt her stomach drop. She turned it again. “Oh damn..it can’t be,’
she thought. She tried once more, already knowing what would
She got out of the car and kicked at the tire. “I don’t believe
this,” she said. “Now what do I do?” She took a deep breath and
headed for the elevator. She stood tapping her foot impatiently, trying
to figure out why she seemed to have absolutely no luck lately. The
door finally slid open and she almost ran directly into Shane.