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    Andr0gene
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Colorado Game - 34. Chapter 34

CHAPTER *34*

We were late on arriving in the cantina. The reason for it was because of what Mason had been working on and Jodie insisting on immediate insertion in a temp sequence <i>she'd</i> been working on, to show at a game convention later this month. They were both still arguing about it as we walked in, aiming straight for the ‘bar'; a cooling-unit normally used for lunch salads. We got our drinks, and then sought a corner to stand.

"No, it's perfect, I want to use it," Jodie insisted.
The whole way to the cantina she had been on Mason's case about it, because he insisted that it wasn't good enough yet and wanted to work more on it.

A few designers joined us in our corner and soon there was a discussion going on about sound vs. graphics. It sure was a lively argument, attracting the attention of Kyle Garcia, among others. He came over, listening for a while. Then he leaned sideways and spoke softly.

"Can I steal you away for a few minutes?" he asked, nodding towards the door. I preferred not to be alone with him, to avoid a repeat of the first-day disaster. "It won't take long..." he insisted, when I didn't immediately respond. "Please?" I nodded reluctantly, following him into the hallway.
We went to his office, where he asked me to sit.

"It wouldn't take long, you said," I replied.
He simply waited until I sat down.

"I need to apologize to you," he began, speaking softly. "What I told you on the first day was out of line. I was... I just wanted to lash out at the guy who now lives with the man who I considered to be the love of my life. It was unprofessional, rude and a betrayal to Ross. What he and I did in our private life was between me and him." To tell you the truth, I was dumbfounded. The last I had expected was an apology. "I was jealous. I shouldn't have taken it out on you."

"No, you shouldn't have," I agreed. "But I accept your apology. It's not easy to admit to being wrong."
I caught a hint of a sour expression on his face, before it went back to a guarded, unrevealing state.

"Thank you. That's all I wanted to say," he said.
I doubted that because it looked like he wanted to say more, but thought the better of it. I stood, biting my lower lip as I thought.

"Aren't you coming down to join the rest of us?" I asked, frowning.
He looked up and shook his head.

"No, I just came down to ask you up here. I actually prefer to stay here. Someone's gotta work, right?"
He picked up a document and started to read it.

"Oh come on... you're allowed to have some fun and relaxation after a week of hard work," I replied.
He gave me a bitter smirk.

"I've had my share of ‘fun' over the years and it didn't get me anywhere. I... kind of gave up that lifestyle."

"So I've heard," I said, before thinking.
He raised an eyebrow and I wish I'd kept my mouth shut. Oh well, when you get burned, you gotta sit on the blisters.

"I asked around a bit," I admitted. "After our first... meeting I wanted to find out more so..."

"So you could use it against me, huh?" He asked, smirking. "It's okay; I would've done the same, had I been in your shoes. But since you're here, why not ask me directly?"
It was tempting; here was my chance to find out more from the source. The temptation proved too much to pass up.

"Okay... there are a few things I'm curious about," I said.

"Fire away, then," he said, spreading his arms invitingly.

"Are you still in love with Ross?"
He thought for a moment.

"Not like I used to. There will always be a part of me that loves him but that all-consuming part is gone. I’ve moved on from him, emotionally."

"Okay, next question; why does Sofia hate you so much, other than the obvious fact?"

"Sofia and I never saw eye-to-eye on anything. If I wanted to go left, you could bet on it she'd want to go right. It's just one of those things. Some people get along, some don't. But the main reason, I think, is because she saw me for what I was, at that time. Money can do strange things to a person. And I did some strange things in my day."
He grinned and for the first time I felt that it was an actual, meant expression.

"But you don't do that anymore?"
He shook his head.

"No, that book is pretty much closed. I must be getting old. Ironic, isn't it; now I'm the one with money, security, stability, there's nothing or no one I want to spend it on. Nice twist of fate there."
He said it with a hint of humor.

"It sure is different," I admitted. "I admit that, when I came here, I expected some sort of gigolo."

"I'm sure that you did. I'm sorry to disappoint you."

"No, not at all. It's just... I was all prepared to hate you but..."

"Careful now; are you trying to tell me that you're beginning to like me as a person? Blasphemy!"
He winked and I rolled my eyes.

"I wouldn't go that far, no."

"Really? That's a pity because I like you," Kyle said. "You seem like a nice guy, down to earth. I would have liked it if we became friends. Alas, we can't have everything, can we?" He picked up the document he'd been reading earlier and waved at the door. "Anyway, I have to get back to work. But have fun with the others and I hope you have a great weekend. See you on Monday."

I remained standing there for a little while longer and then, when it was pretty clear that he was going back to work, I left his office, closing the door behind me. And for some reason, I felt badly about judging him now. I wondered why, all the way back to the cantina.

andr0gene 2004-Present; All Rights Reserved
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Oh Mark , remember the brief sour expression , guard yourself . Kyles apology  is too pat , he’s selling the reformed , lonely , workaholic a little too hard. 

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