Jaclyn's hopes deflated. He didn't understand.
Champ understood. But the last thing he wanted to do was leave. "I'll manage, Jaclyn, thank you. I'm having a really good time. Did I tell you you look beautiful tonight? I don't think I've ever seen a floral centerpiece look so jealous."
"Oh," Jaclyn said without enthusiasm. "Thank you, Champ."
Trevor leaned over as far as he could across the table to whisper into Jaclyn's ear. She smiled when his face came near hers, feeling a thrill move through her.
"See," Trevor said approvingly, "You ruin his pants and he tells you how nice you look. You got him wrapped around your finger. Reel him in." Trevor pulled quickly back just as Jaclyn turned her face towards him, lips parted, unable to stop herself.
Claire looked into Champ's eyes for a moment, raising an eyebrow in approval at his compliment. Then she caught herself looking past Champ's shoulder and out of nowhere she froze, jaw dropping slowly in shock. She looked over in panic at how closely Trevor was seated to her, at what it must all look like. Claire's eyes darted back to who she had spotted.
"Oh god," she said desperately.
"Speaking," Trevor responded instantly.
"Trevor, move! Get out of here! Go! Go! Get up, Trevor!" She began pushing frantically at his shoulder, trying to get him to stand.
Trevor seemed dumb founded at her sudden attack. "Claire! What's gotten into you? What have I done now?"
"Just move, Trevor! Get up, now!"
"You'd better explain, Claire. Because if this is foreplay-"
Claire shoved her arm up from her side frantically, face in a grimace that was almost comic as she pointed. They all turned their heads to look across the restaurant.
Now Trevor's expression almost matched Claire's. "Oh me..."
Jaclyn turned quickly back around when she recognized the woman Claire had pointed at. She took a breath to calm himself. Not now, Jaclyn thought, feeling her little scheme coming apart at the seams.
Champ was the only one who didn't seem to understand, not recognizing the woman. "Wait, who is that?"
Claire continued to beat Trevor's shoulder. "Trevor, hurry! get up! We can't be seen together like this!" Trevor almost looked like a deer caught in the headlights, looking around the table and uncertain which way to go where he wouldn't be seen.
"Champ!" Claire said desperately. "Get up! Switch places with Trevor! Hurry! You're my date!"
"Wait Claire. What's going on? I'm you're what?"
"You're my date, ok? See that woman? Just getting seated? Her name is Glenda. Or as Trevor calls her, the wicked witch of the North. She worked at my hospital and tried to imply that me and Trevor were, well, that we were-"
Trevor chimed in. "Doing it like hyperactive bunnies addicted to Viagra."
"Close enough," Claire didn't want to argue, talking fast. "She tried to get me fired, but I got her fired when she broke into my files looking for evidence of a liaison. She vowed ever since to prove that me and Trevor were bumping... bumping bunny rabbits or something. I don't know. But if she see's the two of us together here on what looks like a date, I could lose my license, my job!"
Jaclyn tried to convince him. "Champ, please!"
That was enough for him as he quickly got up. Trevor did the same on the other side of the table, eyes still across the room. The chairs sounded unusually loud as they were pushed back quickly. The commotion probably did more to draw attention to them than if they had done nothing at all. Trevor and Champ scrambled around the table in opposite directions, trying not to be seen. Bent over as if he were trying to head bump a midget, Champ scrambled into Trevor's chair, all the while using one hand to try to cover up the large wet patch of wine on his lap. He felt ridiculous, smiling awkwardly at the strange stares from the tables all around.
Claire noticed Glenda look up just before Trevor and Champ sat down, drawing her attention by the movement and the sound. Quickly Claire looked away.
Once Trevor was seated, Jaclyn smiled and scooted her chair slightly closer to his. This new arrangement she could definitely live with. Jaclyn practically gleamed. Across the table from her now, Champ seemed disappointed at being so far from Jaclyn. Strangely enough, from where he sat, Trevor felt the same way, no longer seated next to Claire.
Claire sighed in relief. She caught Glenda looking over at them again from across the restaurant, feeling the heat of her glare as Glenda got up. Claire looked down, placing a hand to the side of her face to avoid eye contact.
"Oh no, she's coming over. Everyone stay calm."
Trevor and Champ looked at the new meals now in front of them. In silent agreement, they began to noisily switch plates at a diagonal across the table even as Glenda approached. Several dishes bumped with others, making some obvious noise as they tried to hurry. Claire waved for them to stop, whispering intently. "Stop that! Forget about the food, Trevor!"
Trevor finally conceded, trying to seem casual and acting as if her were there with Jaclyn. Champ quickly put down the small plate he was holding, pushing it noisily to the side when it landed half way over the plate beneath it. He took a breath, composing himself. Jaclyn placed a hand lightly on Trevor's arm, enjoying it all the while as she tried to make it seem they were together.
Finally Glenda stormed up to their table, glaring at them. Claire looked up and forced a fake smile onto her face. "Glenda! It's so good to see you. How, how have you been?"
Glenda's eyes narrowed with malice, her voice full of venom. "I knew it was you! I knew it was the two of you." She looked over at Trevor. "Just what are you doing here with him, Dr. Allen?" she said accusingly.
"A. It's none of you're business. And B. I'm not here with Trevor. I'm here with my good friend, Champ."
Jaclyn grabbed Trevor's arm a little tighter. "I'm here with Trevor." She tapped his arm with affection.
"Right..." Glenda said hotly, before turning back to Claire. "You're here with him?" She looked at Champ.
"That's what I said didn't I? I'm here with my good friend Champ. And Trevor and Jaclyn decided to come along. We were having a nice little dinner, until... Well. You know how people can interrupt."
Glenda leaned forward and looked down, noticing the spilled wine on Champ's lap. She instantly assumed the worst and blinked in indignation. "I don't know what kind of sick, perverse, disgusting games you're playing-"
Claire's voice was hard, growing angry herself. "Whatever sick and perverse games I'm playing are none of your business."
"You can't fool me! You're here with Trevor! How stupid do you think I am?"
Trevor spoke up. "Do you want a list?"
Jaclyn hit his arm lightly, trying to silence him, but also pushing back a smile.
Glenda took offense, and glared at Claire intently. "I know what you're doing. You're not fooling anyone. You and Trevor are sleeping together. And eventually I'll prove it. Then we'll see who gets fired."
Trevor nodded. "Seig hail! Ich bich Berliner!"
Claire matched Glenda glare for glare. "That'll take some doing because it's never going to happen. It's always so lovely to talk to you. Thank's for stopping by Glenda. Good night."
Glenda smiled wickedly and turned away, going back to her table. They all sighed in relief. Trevor finally spoke. "Next time, just throw a bucket of water on her..."
Champ watched Glenda leave, and as he did, a waiter led another woman in front of his line of sight, getting his attention. Champ's eyes followed the new woman, and his eyes widened as he recognized her. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. He spoke just as it seemed that everything was calming down.
"Oh great," Champ said. "I think it just hit the fan... I just saw Debbie."
Jaclyn's eyes went wide when she looked, groaning at their bad luck.
Claire noticed both Champ and Jaclyn's reactions. "Wait, what's going on? Champ?" Claire asked, expression curious but still more interested in watching Glenda with a wary eye.
Champ rubbed his forehead nervously, head bowed down and hoping against hope they wouldn't be noticed. He whispered to himself nervously. "Please don't see us, please don't see us, please don't see us...."
Jaclyn tried to catch her breath, body going stiff. She looked around quickly, trying to think. The small ruse seemed on the edge of falling apart all over again. Unless... well there was always the possibility that Debbie wouldn't even-
"Oh god she saw us," Champ glanced up, his eyes widening even further at what he saw.
"Wait who saw us?" Claire asked.
Champ shook his head. "Ok, she's definitely coming over here, and she doesn't look happy." Champ caught Jaclyn's gaze, not knowing what to do.
By the look on Jaclyn's face, she didn't know what to do either. She finally looked up and saw Debbie angrily storming across the restaurant. Jaclyn looked back at Champ in a panic, pleading for him to do something. "Champ!"
Champ thought quickly. "Claire, scoot over next to Trevor! Please hurry! Move to the other side of the table!"
Trevor seemed confused. "Didn't we just do this?"
"Champ, wait," Claire said as he began to push her, chair and all, next to Trevor. "What's going-"
"No time!. It's a crazy, ahh, a... crazy ex-girlfriend of mine who thinks we were married by aliens or something. Total nut! Come on, move that therapist butt over, Claire! I can't be seen together with you!"
"That was a short date," Claire muttered. "But what if Glenda-"
"No time! Time to repay the favor!"
Jaclyn tried to help, speaking up and going along with it. "Champ told me about her! There's nothing he can do until the restraining order goes through! Please Claire, do what he says." Jaclyn hoped this would work. She would hate to be the cause of ruining Champ's 'real' relationship all to do her a favor.
"But I-" Claire found himself on the other side of the table, bumping against Trevor opposite Jaclyn.
Debbie stormed up to their table, taking the almost exact approach that Glenda had. Her arrival stopped all their arguing. Debbie's eyes burned as they glared at Champ. "I knew it! I knew there was something else going on when you cancelled our date! Somehow I could hear it in your voice! And now I find you here with, with... her!" She waved angrily at Claire.
Then Debbie looked down at Champ's lap. "Oh. Is that wine on your pants or are you just really happy to see me?" she said angrily.
"Debbie, please. Calm down." Champ tried to sound reassuring. "It's not what you think. Please believe me."
Debbie's eyes dropped down to Champ's side of the table, seeing twos sets of dishes there. She glanced pointedly back at Champ, not saying a word.
Champ smiled weakly. "I was hungry..."
Debbie glared at the other side of the table, seeing that there were only two sets of dishes in front of Jaclyn, Claire, and Trevor. She glared at them for an explanation.
Jaclyn tried to sound sincere. "I wasn't..."
"Right." Debbie said slowly. She didn't believe it for a second.
"Debbie, let me explai-" Champ began.
"Yes," Debbie said with scorn, "That I would like to hear."
So would I, Champ thought to himself. He swallowed, trying to think. "It's just that.. well the four of us... I just came out to-"
"See if white or red wine goes with those pants?"
"No, I came to..."
Debbie leaned towards him, eyes flashing as she held him on the spot. "Came to..?" She waited.
Champ saw Jaclyn sitting next to Trevor. "To... wish my friends new relationship well. They just started dating, and we all came out to celebrate."
Debbie nodded. "Oh," She looked around the table, doing a quick count and coming up with two guys and two girls. She didn't need an abacas to see what was going on. "Really, that's interesting," she said with scorn. "So, if I may ask, which one is he with?"
"Both!" Trevor said with a smile, putting his arms slowly around both Claire and Jaclyn, smiling enthusiastically. "We're kinda kinky that way..." He nodded slyly.
Claire's eyes went wide with shock, not believing Trevor had said that. She tried to seem convincing but only smiled unsuccessfully. "Yes. Of course. That's it exactly." She said stiffly.
Jaclyn smiled with a little more sincerity. She decided to have a little fun with it, snuggling up next to Trevor. She laid her head against his shoulder as she looked happily up at Debbie. "Absolutely. Trevor is really, REALLY, incredible." Jaclyn placed a hand on his chest as she moving her head up to kiss Trevor's cheek slowly.
Trevor tilted his head in apparent acceptance, laughing nervously. "See, I can't take either of them anywhere." Debbie still stood before them in an angry silence, and Trevor tried to lean over to kiss Claire's cheek, continuing what Jaclyn had done. Claire's hand came up instantly, pinching Trevor's cheek to stop him. She tried to hide her annoyance under a false smile as she spoke. "He's just so darn cute!" Claire said.
"Ow! Honey!" Trevor tried to cover. "I told you. No foreplay until after dinner!"
"Sorry," Claire said, pinching him again. "I just really wanted to do that. Couldn't stop myself."
"See..." Champ said hopefully, but with concern still in his voice. "It's not what you thought. It's totally-" Champ paused. "...innocent."
Debbie shook her head. "I don't know if I should believe-"
"Please. Look, I'll talk to you tomorrow, OK? I'll clear this whole thing up, I swear." Champ just really wanted her to leave.
Debbie's eyes were still suspicious as she glared at Champ. "Fine. I guess tomorrow we'll see if you're still my boyfriend."
"Sounds... great." Champ forced a smile. "Tomorrow then."
Debbie glared at the four of them, even as Trevor hugged his arms tighter on Jaclyn's and Claire's shoulders. Both women tried for convincing smiles as they leaned their faces closer to his, almost as if posing for a picture.
Debbie turned slowly away, walking back to her table. She knew something was going on, but there was really nothing she could do about it here. Once she was gone, everyone let out a collective sigh of relief. Champ spoke softly, almost to himself.
"See? What did I tell you. Total nut."
As soon as Debbie was out of hearing range, Claire elbowed Trevor hard in the ribs, forcing his arm off her shoulder by the strength of the blow. "That's enough, Trevor."
"Lighten up, Sparky."
Beside him, Jaclyn made no attempt to remove Trevor's arm. Her pleased expression vanished when he did it on his own.
Claire turned angrily to Trevor. "If Glenda sees you with your arm around me like that-"
"She'd wonder why it hasn't frozen off. Don't worry so much, Claire. She won't. It's not like every place you turn you'll inevitably find-" Trevor's eyes suddenly went wide. He cried out in warning. "Glenda!"
Before anyone could react Trevor darted down underneath the table quickly, catching them all by surprise. He slipped down between the two women so quickly, Jaclyn and Claire ended up falling together, bumping their shoulders and leaning against each other just as Glenda was walking past their table again. She stopped instantly, seeing Jaclyn and Claire apparently snuggled next to each other, shocked expressions on their faces at her arrival. Glenda seemed shocked herself.
Claire was silent for several moments, not sure what to say. "We're very close," Claire explained with a smile, finding she enjoyed Glenda's offended air and disapproving expression. Suddenly Claire jumped unexpectedly. Trevor was tickling her leg. "Stop that!" she said instantly. Claire looked up as Glenda wondered who she was talking to. Claire continued, speaking more slowly. "I mean... stop that Jaclyn. I told you, not while we're in public."
Jaclyn caught her breath in surprise, an amused look on her face, stunned Claire would say something like that. Then she jerked up suddenly as well, laughing loudly enough to make everyone in the restaurant look over as she twitched beside Claire. Trevor was tickling her leg too. Smiling, Jaclyn finally stopped when Trevor was no longer tickling her. Pushing her hair from her face, she looked back at Glenda and finally noticed everyone in the restaurant staring at her. Jaclyn did her best to cover. "Claire!" she said with an amused accusation.
Claire smiled. "Sorry," she said to all the gawkers, "Lost control of myself. Show's over." Claire spoke more pointedly in the direction of the table. "I really wish I would stop doing that." Claire's swift kick forward was rewarded with the feel of a solid impact on what she hoped wasn't Trevor's stomach.
Underneath the table, Trevor shoved a napkin into his mouth to try to not make a noise. He could only do so for so long.
A muffled moan came from under the table.
"What was that?" Glenda asked.
"That was me," Champ said quickly, bringing a fist to his mouth. "Bad chicken primavera."
Glenda glared at the three of them, seeing their amused expressions and knowing they were at her expense. She knew when she was being mocked. She wondered if she could get Claire fired for appearing to play footsie in a restaurant with her secretary, but she thought that she probably couldn't. Now even more angry, Glenda and turned and continued on her way to the ladies room.
Trevor finally crawled out from under the table. He looked at both Jaclyn and Claire appreciatively. "Well," he smiled. "It was good for me."
Claire smiled at him sweetly. "The kick was good for me." She blinked quickly, holding the smile.
Jaclyn raised her hand. "Actually, I liked the tickling part..."
Trevor sighed. "I really need to do something about Glenda. She's becoming quite the pain in the pos-derrier."
Claire nodded, getting up to go sit by Champ again since she didn't want to be near Trevor. "I know the feeling."
Just before Claire was able to get out of arm's reach, Trevor grabbed her hips and pulled her down to sit on his lap.
"Trevor!" she said angrily.
Trevor put his arm around Jaclyn seated next to him before looking up. "Hello again, Debbie."
Debbie looked at the three of them, before looking back at Champ. He tossed his hands into the air as if to say the three of them were out of his control.
Debbie shook her head. "Get a room or something." She walked past and suddenly Trevor stood up quickly, dropping Claire instantly off his lap and onto the floor as he darted around the table to land in the chair next to Champ.
Claire, angry at Trevor, began to pull herself off the floor only to see Glenda standing right before her. "Sorry," she said, rising to her feet.
Glenda grunted in annoyance and stormed past.
Trevor had had enough. "Look, I'm going to get you to to spend some time together if it's the last-" he grabbed Jaclyn by the shoulders and began to slide her, chair and all, over next to Champ, over her soft protests of embarrassment. He stopped midway as Debbie walked past again. Everyone stood since that seemed to be the most neutral position. Once Debbie passed and they began to sit again, they noticed Glenda still watching from across the restaurant, as well as Debbie for that matter. In the end they decided to all remain standing, no longer really sure where to sit.
Their waiter came out of the back room and took a deep breath to compose himself as he reluctantly approached their table. Instead of an icy silence, or uncontrolled tickle fits, he found the four of them simply standing around the table, not saying anything and not wanting to sit. He paused again, no longer even fooling himself into thinking he knew what would happen next at that table.
"Can... I get you anything else?" he said slowly.
Trevor sighed, finally conceding. "Check please."