Karen had an extremely productive day at work while Seth was recovering at her apartment. Jackie was with her, and the two of them got along really well. Not that it surprised Karen; Karen had a unique ability to get along with anybody. Seth thought it was odd (sometimes he even went so far as to say that it was “creepy”), but that didn’t take away the fact that she could do it. And, having work provided Karen with a distraction from the looming question of how she was going to talk to Seth about what he said last night.
She was pretty sure that Seth could not possibly remember the events of last night. There was no possible way. It might have even been possible that he would have woken up and been like, “How the hell did I get in Karen’s apartment?”
But ultimately, that didn’t matter. Karen had heard him say that he liked her. She had waited years for him to admit that to her, but now that he had, she was a lot more confused about how to handle that news than she had thought she would be. When her day was finally over, Karen argued with herself on whether she should just see what Seth remembered or remind him of what he had said last night outright. For the entire subway ride home, she tried to come up with a game plan. However, nothing stuck. By the time she reached her apartment complex, Karen was just as confused about what to do as she had been all day at work.
Sliding her key into the door, Karen turned her hand to unlock and open the door. “Seth?” she called out. “Are you up?”
“Yeah,” Seth acknowledged. How was work today? Hooker wasn’t too angry that I didn’t come in today, was he?”
“Nope,” she said, setting her purse down on the counter and walking over to sit beside Seth on the couch. “He was too busy yelling at Hank to notice that you weren’t there.”
“Aw, poor Hank,” Seth chuckled. “I’ll have to get him a coffee or something to express my gratitude to him.”
“Yeah,” Karen echoed him. “So, do you feel like talking about what made you get smashed last night?”
“I don’t remember most of last night,” Seth confessed.
That didn’t surprise Karen; she was pretty sure that he had no memory of last night at all. Trying to help him remember something, though, she started off by saying, “You mentioned something about your brother. Why was that?”
“Oh, that,” Seth grumbled, rolling his eyes. “Logan showed up yesterday afternoon. He was waiting for me outside the front doors of the Tribune pressroom.”
“Really?” Karen asked, surprise clear on her face. “What did he want?”
“He wants out of the gang, or something like it. I don’t know how serious he was being, but the fact that he waited for me outside my work suggests that he was at least somewhat serious. Logan never did waste time with bullshit answers. He said he wanted help to get out of the gang, and he stayed until I agreed to try and help him do that.”
“You’re going to try to help your brother get out of the Bloods gang?”
“Seems like it,” Seth shrugged miserably.
“Would you like any help with that?” Karen offered, not expecting to get an answer in the affirmative.
Just like she expected, Seth waved her off. “Nah, don’t drag yourself into this mess. He’s my brother. My mess to deal with.
“Well, know that you have me, if you need me. I know he’s not my brother, but if he were Jack or Claire, I know that I would do anything that I could to try and help them get out of a gang. As much as it hurts, he needs you. You’re his big brother. You’re all that he’s got.”
“Yeah,” Seth sighed again. “I know.”
“Was there anything else that happened that you remember?” Karen asked.
For a couple of minutes, Seth considered the question. When he finally answered, he said, “Well, Pete told us about some of his escapades, right?”
Karen laughed. “Yes, that did happen.”
“And, wasn’t he talking about how he got . . . what was it . . . three girls?”
“Yes, indeed. Good memory, Seth.”
“Oh, God,” Seth half laughed, half groaned. “Pete is a real sick man, sometimes.”
“Sometimes?” Karen inquired, lifting an eyebrow to convey her surprise at the word that Seth had used.
“Ok, ok,” he chuckled again, “most of the time.”
“That’s more like it,” Karen agreed. “Do you remember anything else?”
She was trying so hard to sound disinterested, like it didn’t matter to her if he could remember it or not, but of course, that was not the case. To her, it sounded like she was begging him to remember. And she really did not want to sound that desperate (even though she already knew that she did).
Again, Seth thought for a couple of moments. Then, a flicker of recognition flashed across his face and he said slowly, “I didn’t say anything about us, did I?”
“Well, you sort of did,” Karen told him, her heart rate speeding up. “But you said that you couldn’t tell me what it was.”
There, Karen thought to herself. That was a very good way to answer it. Now, Seth just has to admit that he likes me, and then I can admit to him that I like him, too, and then we can see where that leads.
Seth inspected her face for a moment before he asked carefully, “Did I tell you what it was that I couldn’t tell you?”
“Yes,” Karen said, “you did.”
“And what did you say after I said it?” Seth asked.
“I didn’t get the chance to say anything; you had passed out by that point.”
“Well, I’m awake now. Tell me what you would have said then.”
Karen scooted even closer to him on the couch, leaned in right next to him, and whispered, “I would have said that it’s about damn time you made a move on me.”
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