(Previous post: Donations and Dinners)
It would be a bit of an understatement to say Irene Hoves had been having a bad day. A bad few months would be better. And it wasn’t the fact she was siting alone in the Science Lab cafeteria. Irene didn’t mind being alone, she would rather be alone that have to listen to the drone of some of the other boring scientist she worked with. Or even worse – army personnel. The cafeteria right now was mixed between the white coated scientists and uniformed army men. It had been that way ever since the army had started working on a top secret project, utilizing half of the labs for it.
Irene had been unlucky enough to work on one of their projects. She had been on it for some time now and she had been given more responsibilities than on her last job, being Tomas Prentiss’ assistant. But this new job left her little time to work on her side project – her precious lab crafted drug the people on the street were calling the Is, courtesy of her signature I for Irene etched in every pill.
Sometimes she still got to work on it at home. But that way it was harder to hide it from her sisters, and they were nosy, especially Krys, and she would loose it if she found out what Irene was doing, and Irene wouldn’t get it past Lucky to report her to the authorities either, she was too much of a goodie-two-shoes to be trusted. But none of that was the main reason for why Irene was in such a foul mood. The main reason was the couple she was staring right now across the crowded cafeteria. They, or rather her was the main reason behind all her problems.
It was the green haired woman who got her transferred out of Tomas’ lab and into this new project with the army and Irene knew it wasn’t because anything Irene did, well not anything work related, and it wasn’t because of her concern for Irene’s career. No, it was to separate Irene from Tomas. And why? So she could have him for herself of course.
And as much as Irene loathed to admit it it seemed the plan had worked. Right now across the room next to green haired Phoibe Santoro Tomas Prentiss was smiling and it made Irene’s blood boil. She had not seen him smile, not even in politeness, not since his wife and daughter had died. And she had kind of hoped that when gets back to smiling and being happy that it would be with her and because of her but she was unfairly pushed away before it could happen.
And to make matters worse the rumor around the labs was that Phoibe was pregnant. Irene just had to throw one look across the room to figure out who the father might be. And it pained her. It pained her a lot more than she wanted to admit. If it was true that would be the end of all her hopes for attracting the older widower. He was the kind of man who would jump in and marry Phoibe on the spot. Do the right thing as people were fond of saying…
Irene wondered what would have happened if she was to push Phoibe down a flight of stairs? It was an option worth exploring…
The opportunity however did not present herself and Irene came home in a foul mood. She had barely time to change out of her work clothes and hobble down the stairs to check if her oldest sister had fixed up anything for dinner when she was cornered by Lucky, her other sister.
“Irene, do you have time, I need to talk to you!” She seemed rather distraught and her usually calm and smiling face now looked completely miserable. Seeing it made a smile creep up to Irene’s face. She barely had time to utter a word before Lucky trailed off.
“I did something bad last night… Well it started a few weeks ago but last night…Argh.” She covered her face with her hands in frustration or in shame, it was hard for Irene to tell but she was enjoying it nevertheless. One of the good sisters had done something bad? She had to know all about it.
“What did you do?” She asked doing her best to keep the excitement out of her voice.
“Well last night I went out with Jerod Prentiss…” Off to a promising start. Irene thought nodding politely urging her sister to speak. Women were always weak when it came to dashingly handsome fireman, her sister seemed to be no exception… When she didn’t continue however Irene had to nudge her carefully.
“So what happened?”
“We had dinner and then I played for him.”
“And what?” Her sister asked frustrated.
“What happened, did you sleep with him?”
“Of course not!” Lucky answered pulling away furious. “He is engaged and I have a boyfriend!”
“Did you at least kiss?” Irene asked hopeful.
“No! Like I said…” Irene interrupted her disappointed.
“Yes, yes he is engaged, you have a boyfriend… And now you are bothering me over nothing.”
“It is not nothing! I…”
“It is stupid. You are wasting my time with stupidities.” Irene said angrily and walked away. “Krys has better stories than you and Krys has no life.” She added sharply. “In fact I am sure even she would tell you this was stupid.” She ran past Lucky before she could stop her and rushed outside her sister following suit.
Irene ran all the way to the garage, where she knew their oldest sister was and peered into the window before Lucky managed to stop her. Krys was alone, meditating among father’s old tools, in her underwear of course, the girl loved nothing better then to strip down to her panties and bra as soon as she got a chance. Irene wouldn’t be surprised to learn she was teaching her classes dressed that way. Irene was about to walk in and interrupt her when Lucky finally caught up with her and grabbed her hand with a force she didn’t know her sister possessed.
“Don’t you dare!” She said out of breath. “Don’t you dare say a word to Krys or to anyone!” Irene was ready to push her of. She was stronger than she looked, and definitely stronger then her sister. And maybe she yearned for a good fight, to let the tension of this horrible day, and weeks and months from her system. But somehow she managed to stop herself.
“Fine.” She said. “I was just joking around anyway.”
“So you don’t think it is a big deal? Nothing to fret about?” Lucky asked, a kind of lame transparent hope all over her flushed face. And as much as Irene wanted to torment her right now this was her sister in front of her.
“You went out with a good looking man who isn’t your boyfriend, but somebody else’s fiancee. What of it? Nothing happened really. Forget about it.” Lucky nodded but Irene could see she wasn’t convinced. She wondered if it was even remotely possible that her sister might be having feelings for this guy… Stranger things have happened… And yet she had no time do dwell on that, there was need for more Is on the street and she still needed a solid plan to split up Tommy and Phoibe… Lucky’s love problems could wait.