Title: "The Glory Days"
Chapter 2/?
Written by: Shawn

Summary: The male population continues to annoy Kim at work. Tommy
receives an unexpected visitor while teaching a class.

Category: Drama/Romance
Rating: M. Adult language, adult situations, and sexual encounters.
Chapters containing sex scenes will be marked accordingly.
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the PR universe. If I did I'd be
living in a mansion.

Timeline: Everything up to the end of Dino Thunder is canon. Kim's
background post "Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie" is all my creation.
The story is set in January 2008.

Email: dayshawn1974@gmail.com

Special Notes: This is being written in Kim's P.O.V, so it is Kim-
centric with a heavy emphasis on other characters and relationships
as well.

Authors Notes 1. Sit back, relax, and pretend you're about to watch a
new television show airing its series premier. Oh yeah, its on cable.
It's featuring characters you grew up with and some new ones I hope
you grow to love. None of them are perfect, so don't expect cookie
cutter characters who always say, act, think, and react in a Brady
Bunch sort of way. They're human and that's why we love them.
Imperfect as the day is old.

Authors Notes 2: All details as to the how and why things are the way
they are will be expiated in the story. Trust me, answers are coming.

Authors Notes 3: No chapter in this series will feature more than two
scenes in order to make it easier to update more frequently. Also you
might see other PR authors dip into this little universe from time to
time writing their own chapters. I know certain things that will
happen, how and when, but there is no definitive end to this series.
Its ongoing until... well, until.

Authors Notes 4: TK fans... its gonna be a slow burn. But you know
me 'wink'

Authors Notes 4: Expect in the near future for me to allow other PR
authors a chance to write chapters in this ongoing stories universe.
I have three lined up so far and there may be more, so we'll see. At
some point I might start taking applications if anyone wanted to try
their hand.

~~~~~~

"The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it
was discovered that they could give orders better from there"
~~ Betty Grable

"When a man talks dirty to a woman, it's sexual harassment. When a
woman talks dirty to a man, it's $3.95 a minute."
~~ Author Unknown

"Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his
stomach flunked geography."
~~ Robert Byrne

~~~~~~

~~ Episode 2 "The Not-So-Simple Life"

An unseen announcer speaks over the end of the credits for the last
program aired. "Up next, 'The Glory Days'.

(Voice over begins with the show's theme song, Bon Jovi's "It's My
Life" playing in the background)

"Once upon a time there was a little girl growing up in sunny
California who wanted a typical life." *footage of a little girl with
curly brown hair chasing an older brother away running with her
Barbie dolls and then kicking him hard in the balls when she caught
him* "She entertained dreams of being the worlds greatest gymnast."
*footage of the young girl, about ten years old now racing around her
house in her leotard, and then doing jumps and flips under her
father's instruction in the backyard of a nice house* "She was
blessed with the best friends ever." *footage of the young girl, a
boy with sandy blond hair, another with dark hair, another boy with
warm brown eyes, and a girl with long dark hair - all smiling bright
for the camera* "Like I said, she wanted what she got, a typical
life. That was until high school hit and with that monumental
occasion came a brave new world. Her first gymnastics competition."
*footage of the now teenage girl preparing for a first meeting,
looking nervous but determined* "Her first true
love." *standing with her best friend, the girl catches sight of a
boy preparing for a martial arts tournament that takes her breath
away* "And the absolute most shocking experience of her entire life."
*footage tinged in black and white with the words "top secret"
scrolling across the bottom of the screen, a Pink Ranger battling
alongside her teammates, flying Zords, fighting against and then with
a Green Ranger, gazing at the White Ranger*

"Then her typical life turned upside down when her parents divorced."
*shots of the girl seated on a couch being talked too by her parents
about their breakup, then a tearful goodbye at an airport with her
mother and another man* "An opportunity of a lifetime that would
separate her from from her friends and boyfriend." *images of Coach
Schmidt, the girl addressing her team, walking with Tommy along the
shore, and giving her powers to Katherine* "As one door closed,
another opened to a new adventure that seemed to send her places she
never expected to go." *fast moving images of a girl getting off a
plane in Florida, training hard, sitting in classes, talking on the
phone to her boyfriend, preparing for the international competition
and dealing with the press, meeting a new male friend, a deeply
powerful kiss with the new guy under moonlight, writing a painful
letter while crying her eyes out, more training, the Pan Global
games, breaking up with the new guy, getting her first apartment, a
tense meeting with her ex-boyfriend after an encounter with the
Rangers, them finally making peace at a funeral for a dear friend,
her finishing college with honors* "With an amazing life already
behind her,the next phase came in the form of a job opportunity in
New York City, New York." *shots of her leaving departing another
plane, of gazing out of a taxi at the Big Apple, her face smiling
brightly* "As it often does when you least expect it, her life began
to take turns she hadn't expected." *meeting her new band mates who
were fixing computers at her office, guys who worked for the Best Buy
Geek Squad, them practicing, her getting on stage again for the first
time in years.* "And most crazy, or wonderful of all, a chance
encounter, one in a million, with the man of her... with someone very
special." *shocked expressions on an older Tommy and Kim's face at a
apartment showing, both worrying over not being able to pay the rent
individually, an idea struck over coffee, arguing over moving in and
who's stuff goes where, accidental moments in the shower, an almost
kiss in the rain* "She wanted a typical life and yet lived anything
but. Angel Grove was chapter one." *footage of Angel Grove High and
the Command Center* "Florida was chapter 2." "footage of Coach
Schmidt's training compound, the girl's dorm room, and the
beach* "New York is the newest chapter." *Daytime skyline flyover of
New York followed by the grown woman walking the streets of NY,
looking sharp, her shoulder length brown hair blowing in the wind,
determined and focused on the life ahead of her* *on screen credits
read 'Created and written by Shawn'* "That young girl who wanted a
typical life grew up to be me. My name is Kimberly Ann Hart and this
is my story. The Glory Days of my life."

~~~~~~

******

******

Washington Mutual
57 Bond St
Monday, January 31, 2008 8:50 AM
New York City, New York

Okay, I must have of been taking a sick day when they handed out the
human growth hormones.

As if standing in the seemingly slowest crowded elevator ever wasn't
bad enough, I feel like the shortest person on Earth and that's in
heels. The three bottle blonds in front tower over me and while at my
age I shouldn't care, my inner pissed off teen still curses the
height-challenged genetics I was stuck with.

Oh well, its a typical Monday morning I had to drag my butt outta bed
to go to work. I swear all those TV shows showing women walking to
work smiling and laughing like they're about to dance in a freaking
musical can go take a hike. The older I get the longer I want to
sleep late and the snooze button on my clock/radio is almost broken
from being used so often. At least this elevator just reached my
floor. The 'ding' gets me out of here at last.

Balancing my precious Starbucks purchase and briefcase, I navigate
the busy morning crowd on my floor seeking the office of Commercial
Real Estate Loans and Acquisition. I toss a couple of hello's and
offer a wave or two, all the while dying to get a bite of the Apple
Fritter in my briefcase. I am so damn hungry its making me angry.

And an angry Kim isn't something you want to deal with on a Monday
morning.

As it is every work day I'm forced to travel past the records office
where Old Man Winston a.k.a Winston Hynes works. He's your typical
lech. I can't ignore him so I try being nice. "Good morning Mr.
Hynes."

"Good morning, Ms. Hart." He gave a polite a nod that did nothing to
hide his weirdo fixation with my legs nor the horrible comb over of
his eighty-nine percent bald head. That remaining eleven percent is
all the hair he has left. Ugh, you are just so creepy and strange. If
gossip is believed he's sixty-five years old and has never been
married. He's probably been dating his hand since the Nixon
administration.

A woman knows when she is being stared at and learns to ignore it,
especially in the work place. My mother gave me the heads up a long
time ago, and right or wrong, you gotta thicken your skin and keep
moving forward. Speaking of Mom, I gotta tell her I'm sharing my
apartment with Tommy. I've been ducking that little nugget of news
for months now and if she ever just stops by one day unannounced...

Note to self, tell Mom everything tomorrow. And search mall for
taller heels.

Upon reaching my office at the end of the hall, Ari catches sight of
me while on the phone and points to a box of donuts by the copy
machine. I'm way ahead of you, girlfriend. I tap my briefcase and she
smiles. My best friend these days keeps right on talking, ever the
early bird. We share this office, which is connected to two others
our superiors work in. It's our own personal little den of business
and gossip. Business pays the bills while gossiping gets us through
the long days.

I punch in, turn on my computer, and get set up for the day. Mmmm, my
Playgirl wallpaper makes a striking impression. I love you too Mr.
March. Aside from that my Starbucks coffee and apple fritter pastry
go a long way in getting me ready for a hectic day. As part of the
four-person team who is helping Fusion Construction purchase land in
Buffalo, New York for a major project, I'm going to be logging
massive amounts of time in front of this comp preparing financial and
city data before Thursday's presentation. Blah, blah, blah I can do
this with my eyes closed, but when you're new to a company you start
at the bottom. Here, even the bottom pays well so you'll here no
complaints from me.

I hear footsteps approaching, noting the click of heels on the floor.
Ari pulls up a chair next to my desk, coffee and donut in hand. That
eye shadow she's wearing looks great with her caramel complexion. And
she's tall, the bitc... I mean wonderful friend. "I had another run
in with Old Man Winston."

Ari laughs around her coffee, legs crossed. "So did I. He was staring
at my chest like he'd found King Solomons Mine." Sparing a glance at
her amazing natural pair of boobs, she added, "Not that they aren't
great, but his overall creepiness irks me."

"Me too. He was all but licking his chops when I walked by."

"I bet that man has gigs and gigs of porn on his computer. In the
dictionary by the definition of pathetic I'm sure there is a picture
of him."

Breaking off a piece of my apple fritter, I pop it in my mouth,
savoring the taste. "Enough about the creepy one. How was your
weekend?" Ari shrugged in a somber way I knew how to read. This
wasn't what I was hoping for. "John didn't show up, did he?"

"Nope, and he didn't even have the decency to call." John was Jason's
father, Ari's little six year old son. John was a piece of crap as a
father. No, scratch that. Calling him a piece of crap actually
disrespected pieces of crap. John was toilet scum. "My Jason cried
all day long Saturday. But my brother came and got him later on and
took him to the movies. I think he needed a guy's night and he got
it. But his father flaked on us. You should have heard the way I
railed on his answering machine. I'm surprised it didn't catch on
fire."

"He still deserved worse," I offered in support. Jason was a dear and
only wanted what all boys his age wanted. A father. As bad as splits
are, and I know from personal experience how they suck, at least when
both parents are quality parents it doesn't hurt so bad. Thank
goodness for my dad, imperfect a husband as he was. "How are you
doing?"

I could tell Ariana was ready to change the subject by the way she
was picking at the hem of her blouse. "Outside of wanting to kill
John, I'm fine." She then added, "I went to a jazz club with Darrel
last night."

Darrel, age 31, single and good looking journalist for the New York
Post she met two weeks ago at a dinner party. A nice prospect
indeed. "So how did that go?" I asked.

"Not bad, but not great either. I just didn't feel any sparks. He's a
gentleman for sure, but we were both searching for things to say a
hour into the date and that's a sign it's just not gonna work."
Sipping her coffee, I saw the next question on her face before she
even said it. It was one she's been pestering me about ever since
Tommy picked me up from work one day when my car was in the shop. "So
when are you going to introduce me to that totally hot, non-gay
roommate of yours?"

I sigh yet again, shaking my head. "I will introduce you someday,
just relax."

"You're just saving him for yourself, that's all."

Nope. Been there, done that, and got the 'I Dated Tommy Oliver In
High School' t-shirt. "Tommy is free to date anyone he wants."

"Provided you approve?"

"Of course." Dammit, that wasn't supposed to come out. And where did
it come from? And why is Ari laughing at me. "You know what I mean. I
want him to find someone as special as he is. Tommy's a great guy."

"No, he's your guy. That's why you won't hook him up with me or any
of the other girls that saw him and pester you. You're hogging the
hotness."

"I am not hogging the hotness. I'm just looking out for him, is all."
I give Ari the evil-eye to let her know to quit it. Tommy's been our
pet joke for weeks now. Explaining my relationship with my former
Angel Grove honey isn't easy, but it isn't romantic either.
Affectionate and intimate and friendly and trusting, but definitely
not romantic. And yes, that makes perfectly good sense to me.

Ari and I gloss over the rest of our weekends, with her yet again
teasing me over the fact that all three members of my band work for
the Best Buy Geek Squad. They stopped by the office one day to fix
our network connection, heard me humming a tune, explained they were
starting a band and looking for a female lead and the rest was
history. I don't mind that they're nerds. Billy was a nerd once and
now he makes more money all the Rangers combined at NASA.

Nerds have potential. And those guys fixed my laptop for free. A girl
can't beat that these days.

Work beckons and our day begins, with me typing the computer for all
its worth. I have so many figures in my head and so much information
its mind-boggling, but pretty damn cool that I understand it all.
I've surprised myself not only with my career, but that I've mastered
something so far from what I expected to be doing with my life.

Go me!

Yes, I cheer myself in my head. You should try it sometimes. It'll
keep you from killing co-workers who annoy you. Cheering yourself on
helps when there's no one around to do it for you. Go Kim Go! No, I
am not crazy. I've just been staring at this freaking computer for
well over three and a half hours no and I'm a bit spacey.

Checking my email brings about the usual suspects. Spam, spam, more
spam, funny things from Sha and Trini, a reminder from my Dad his
birthday is next month, and something from Tommy. I open my ex's
first just because.

(( Good Morning Shortness

Just wanted to shoot you a line about how good the dinner was you
cooked last night and that you looked hot in that short skirt you
wore to work today. Not that I was staring, mind you. *wink*

Anyway, have a great day. What do you want me to bring home for
dinner tonight?
Your ex-boyfriend))

He knows calling me Shortness is going to get him killed one day, but
I think he likes tempting death. Ever the thrill seeker, Mr. Oliver.
Still, it's a bit nice to know he was looking at me like a woman this
morning. I don't process it to deeply, but it beats the heck out of
Old Man Winston's creepy attention. I decide to write him back.

(( Dear Dr. Forgetful

A good morning to you too and thanks for the compliments over dinner.
On the off chance I cook again someday I may allow you to enjoy the
fruits of my labor. As for my legs, don't be staring to hard. I'm not
yours anymore *wink*

I'm in a KFC sort of mood. Bring chicken. Have a good day, Tommy. Try
not to break any more of your female students hearts.

Sincerely,
Ms. YouWishYouHadOneTime *wink*))

He'll get a kick out of that. And later on tonight for calling me
Shortness he'll get a real kick.

Back to work, I'm preparing the documents I'm responsible for. The
copy machine's printing beside me, so I'm almost done with this
section of the proposal. Lunch is right around the corner and while I
should be the good little girl and get the garden salad with the
light dressing I need a cheeseburger. I just need a damn
cheeseburger. If it goes to my hips so be it.

I'm getting a cheeseburger.

My phone rings, breaking my near hypnotized state of typing. I
answer, "Washington Mutual. This is Kim. How can I assist you?" I
hear an airy sort of noise on the other end, as if I'm on a speaker
phone. Sounds like the inside of a car too.

"Uhm, Kim." The whiny voice of Everette, my lovable drummer. "The
guys and I are on our way to a repair job, but we wanted to discuss
with you something we feel very strongly about."

I can hear Miles and Henley egging Everette on. Now what is this
about? "Okay, talk?"

"Kim, we want to change the name of our band from 'The Craniacs' to
something we can all agree upon. As you may recall, you came up with
the Craniacs all by yourself."

"We've been playing shows under that name for months now. It's a
little late to change it."

"Well, we feel its not manly enough."

Manly enough? You? The guy with the largest collection of
Transformers toys on Earth. "But I'm your lead singer and not a man."

"I see..." The guys are trying to get him to get tough with me. While
they are all three sweethearts, tough wouldn't describe any of them.
Not unless you considered the Care Bears tough. "We feel that a new
name like 'IronForceX' or perhaps 'Tidal Wave' would be superior
to 'The Craniacs' Plus, you never even told us what a craniac is?"

I can't tell them that I used to pilot the Crane Zord as a Power
Ranger and must be crazy to be playing with these guys, so I offer a
simple, "No."

"But..."

"No."

"Kim, if you would just...

"No." I hear them whine and decide to take them all out for ice cream
sometime later this week. But they need my leadership and
understanding of what cool is and what cool is not. Plus we have a
small following as 'The Craniacs' and need to build on that rather
than change names all of a sudden. "Guys, drive safe and relax. I'll
talk to you all later. Mama Bear loves you."

"WE LOVE YOU TOO."

They're so cute. Nicknaming me Mama Bear always made me smile. I end
the call and note that lunch time has arrived. I'm gonna go steal Ari
and I our usual seat in the cafeteria while she finishes her phone
call.

On my way towards the elevator I'm stopped dead in my tracks by a
gorgeous hunk of man who introduces himself as Will.

Tall

Dark

Handsome

Wearing a suit hugging his big shoulders so well I just want to kiss
my thanks to his tailor. He apologizes for almost running into me and
through some light banter thats quite witty and enjoyable, I'm
already crushing on this guy. I could swim in those baby-blues. And
that little dimple is just so cute. His smile's making my knees weak
and he smells great.

We chat for a few minutes and I find out he works in accounting on
the ninth floor and has a noon meeting on my floor. He's a die hard
Yankees fan and loves Italian food.

Good lord is he good looking.

It's at the very moment he asks for my phone number that I notice his
wedding band. I blink... hard! When I mention it I'm hopeful he'll
tell me he's recently divorced and maybe forgot to take it off.

Instead he says it doesn't matter and that he's looking for love. He
says his marriage is complicated.

Complicated my ass!

Yeah, well, he's looking for love in the wrong place here. I tell him
that and a few other choice things as there's nothing worse than a
cheater. I'm not being hypocritical as I did it to Tommy and was as
bad as Will, but still. I don't do that any more. I haven't cheated
on anyone else period. I'm sure his wife wouldn't want to know her
husband was trying to pick up girls at work.

I send him on his way with my middle finger.

Men suck.

I already own the trademark.

Oh well, that cheeseburger's calling me.

******

******

NYU - New York University
Department of Anthropology
Room 332
Located at Washington Square Park on the island and borough of
Manhattan in the neighborhood called Greenwich Village
Tuesday, February, 2008 3:30 PM
New York City, New York

Perhaps invoking the last faint traces of my stealthy Pink Ninja
Ranger Powers, I calmly snuck into the back of Tommy's classroom from
the upper level. The door barely made a soft click when it closed
shut, and with the auditorium-like size of the classroom no one
seemed to notice.

Mission accomplished. Tommy's bold voice boomed throughout as
authoritative as his days as the Ranger's leader. Its enthralling in
a strange way, seeing him command this classroom as he once did our
team. And while most of his lesson is flying way over my head, his
students look captivated by the passion their teacher injects into
paleontology.

Tommy just keeps unfolding like a flower.

Having promised to visit his classroom numerous times, I never
promised I would tell him beforehand. I wanted to catch him off guard
and watch him in this world so unlike where I thought he'd be.
Resting my laptop on the desk at the end of the last row, the class
of forty-plus students more than masked
my presence. Anton Mercer's contacts really came through for Tommy.
Not one of his students look even ten years younger than him.

I duck my head slightly behind my laptop as if I'm taking notes when
Tommy's gaze swept over my side of the room. He's teaching something
about micro-organisms that sounds so boring in reality, but from his
lips is so very interesting due to the drive he has for the subject.
Where oh where did my forgetful White Knight in spandex go, I smile
to myself? Where's my karate addict who's bare chested workouts each
day at the Youth Center fueled all of my teenage fantasies? Who is
this handsome man in glasses and spiky hair that intrigues me so much?

Back in high school I used to sit behind him in social studies and
just stare at the back of his head like the love sick teenager that I
was. I used to dream about brushing his hair, and yes, I had it that
bad. There were enough 'Kimberly Oliver' signatures in my diary to
convict me of stalking. And here we are a decade and change later,
he's teaching a subject he has a masters degree in while I'm working
in high stakes finance.

And we're not in love.

I mean yes, we love each other. Deeply in our own way. But high
school was high school and my wardrobe back then was eighty percent
pink in some form or another. He wore a ponytail like some teenage
Steven Seagal. Not fat, out of shape Steven Seagal of today who makes
terrible made-for-DVD films. I'm referring to ultra cool, ass-kicking
Steven Seagal of the early nineties.

God I'm old. I remember Steven Seagal when he was a somebody.

Nonetheless, Tommy and I were sincerely in love back then. In a
sickingly sweet, hand holding, taking picnics, hugging a lot sort of
way. I was over the moon happy back then. Fast forward to the here
and now we're just good friends who flirt to offset the severe lack
of romance in our lives. That's cool though. It's working so far.

So here I am watching Tommy teach his class when all of a sudden he
makes direct eye contact with me, capturing my full attention. His
train of thought breaks for a quiet second, and then he smiled before
continuing his lesson. Sparks... that's just how it is with us. I
swear that man's smile still gives me a few flutters. We're
intricately connected that way, even now. He found me without looking
at all, just like he did when we were young and he wore some of the
worst shirts I ever saw on a boy. Thank God what he looked like
underneath it made up for his extreme lack of fashion sense.

Oh who am I critiquing. When I was sixteen I would have done his
laundry for him I was so in love. I would have ate my dinner off his
chest. And to think most of the time he wasn't even sure if I liked
him at all. I was so immature. Life eventually as it does for
everyone taught me a number of good and bad lessons, but my first
love was still my best. I may not want that anymore, but it's fondly
remembered.

"The test will have a thirty minute time limit. You may begin," Tommy
told his class before taking his chair behind the oak desk at the
front of
the room. He doesn't look my way, but five minutes later an AIM chat
window pops up on my laptop. Wi-Fi is my friend.

LeaderOne: "I am bored out of my mind so tell me your deepest,
darkest secret?"

I'm typing before I even think about it.

Pink4Life: "I want you." I can't read his expression behind his
monitor, but he responds pretty quickly.

LeaderOne: "I said a secret, Kim. *wink*"

The jerk, I can't help but to nibble my lip. And here I was hoping to
ruffles his feathers a little.

Pink4Life: "Are you sure you could handle my deepest, darkest
secret?" tick, tick, tick...

LeaderOne: "I can handle anything you dish out."

Okay, let's see if you can handle this truth, tough guy.

Pink4Life: "I slept with Rocky."

LeaderOne: "Yeah, right."

Pink4Life: "I'm dead serious." I actually am. And if I'm not mistaken
Tommy is choking on that nugget of information. I can only imagine
what's running through his mind right now.

LeaderOne: "Stop lying, Kim."

Pink4Life: "Oh, so now I'm not Beautiful anymore? *wink*"

LeaderOne: "Kim, please."

Pink4Life: "I told you the truth." It's a good ten minutes before he
replies, and all the while I'm almost giggling to myself at his
reaction. Yeah, we're not in love with each other, but there's a note
of possessiveness we still carry. It's unspoken, but its there.

LeaderOne: "When, where, and why?"

I have to steal my eyes away from one of his female students horrible
looking blouse to reply.

Pink4Life: "Uh, uh. It's your turn. What's your deepest, darkest
secret?" I wait, and wait, and wait expecting him to keep pushing for
answers about Rocky and I.

LeaderOne: "... I like to wear your clothes around the house when
you're not home. You have the softest cashmere sweaters."

I swear I laughed out loud so hard I just embarrassed myself, causing
more than a few students to look at me like I just grew a second
head. He's grinning at me now, all traces of seriousness gone from
our relationship. That's just how we are. When his students start
setting their completed tests on his desk I close my AIM window and
let him get back to his teacher duties. That's when I casually, and
totally not eavesdropping hear two girls in front of me whispering to
each other. I am so not eavesdropping. Yeah, I like to reassure
myself to me.

No, that's not crazy. Not at all!

"I swear to God I would do Dr. Hottie until his little glasses fogged
up," came from the mildly cute blond with the short hair, popping
bubble gum. I can tell you're one of those girls who watch those
Lifetime Channel movies where the naughty cheerleader/college student
seduces the super gorgeous married male teacher and then kills his
wife. How do I know these things? I used to watch those same movies.

"That man just oozes sex appeal," came from the brunette with the
ugly nail polish and too many ear rings. And my God those shoes were
fugly. "How can one man be so brilliant and so delicious?" Ha, that
man forgot his middle name once. And he can never be trusted to bring
milk home no matter how many different ways I remind him through the
course of a day. Also, I know for a fact one of the socks he's
wearing right now has a hole in it. "He's got to be married."

No, but he's unmarried to me. That's a valid relationship, dammit!
Trini told me so!

With Tommy's class ending it seemed this duo of potential stalkers
don't intend to leave until their teacher does, no doubt hoping to
catch his eye somehow. Time to dig into my bag of tricks so save my
best friend. Evil Kim peeks out of my subconscious as I follow them
down the stairs toward the front of the room. Wearing smiles that
offer an affair all Lifetime Movie-like, they're slow to exit from in
front of the desk, but I'll fix that.

Tommy's brown eyes pursued my every step around his desk until I
seductively slid over his lap, snaking my arm around his neck. Our
eyes locked as we're about to crack up laughing, and no doubt the
gossip about Dr.O is gonna increase tenfold. The girls leave
disappointed, sparing a couple of glances back at us. My ex-boyfriend
is trying so hard not to lose it in front of everyone. I must admit I
like the protective feel of his arm around my waist.

Amidst some laughter and even clapping by a couple of the male
students, the classroom empties.

Leaning over the shell of his ear, I whisper, "So tell me, Dr. O? Is
that a marker in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

Tuning his head leaves our lips a fraction of an inch apart. "That's
actually a marker, Kim."

Dammit. "Oh," I snorted upon getting off his lap, mildly embarrassed
when he produces the marker. I take a perch on the end of his desk,
facing him. When he ahem, adjusts himself I realize he just lied to
me. I don't call him on it. That's my own personal victory. Yeah,
he's still my bitch. "I just saved you from a Lifetime Movie Channel
docudrama. Those two girls wanted much more than a good education
from you. I didn't want to be driving my car one day and realize the
breaks are out due to them tampering with it."

Looking to be in a better mood, Tommy sank back in a relaxed
pose. "They have been dressing a bit provocative to class lately and
keep bending over in front of me. I was almost about to talk to them
both after class one day, but I think you solved that little problem
already."

"Yeah, I'm always looking out for you."

He tucked three folders inside his briefcase. "So how did you skip
out of work early?"

"I had a meeting downtown that I wasn't sure I would be able to get
back to the office due to the traffic, officially," I amend at the
end. "Unofficially, the meeting lasted all of twenty minutes and I
made a straight shot here to save you from horny college girls."

"I never thought my ex-girlfriend from high school would save me from
horny college girls. Then again, I never knew the day would come
where I would want to be saved from horny college girls."

Such a typical man. My legs crossed and I felt the heat of his gaze
over fall over them, ushering in our usual flirtatious mood. "I was
very impressed with your teaching today. You're really good."

"It's a living and I enjoy it." Peering around his classroom,
added, "This is a world away from a high school in Reefside."

"You've earned it."

He dodges my compliment all together. "So tell me the truth?"

I knew it wouldn't last. And to be perfectly honest I'm just a bit
pissed at him for the mild attitude lacing his voice. "The truth
about what?"

"You and Rocky?"

Rocky's name was said with no small amount of jaw tightening. "What's
to tell?" Tommy's good and annoyed with me now now. "I slept with
him, alright."

"When, where, and why?"

"Excuse me? This isn't an interrogation. I don't owe you any
answers," I hear myself vent. "Especially considering how many times
you rode the good ship Katherine." He's just tapping a pen against
his desk while I'm steaming all of a sudden.

"I just never expected... you know. You and Rocky?"

He's stewing in jealousy never mind the years we've been apart. Can't
say I'm unfamiliar with the emotion. His relationship with Kat, while
respected, is still a sore spot for me to think about. And I never
tell anyone about that. "Look, we had to share a hotel room once when
we were visiting Aisha due to a crazy storm. All we did was sleep."
His eyes expressed relief. Good for you, but I know you and Kat... Oh
shut up, Kim. Years ago and water under the bridge. "Rocky is like a
brother to me, so I couldn't ever go there with him."

"Just like me?"

Bastard. Rat bastard! How dare he? And stop smirking. It makes you
look sexy. "Are you ready to go home or what?" He's amused I've
changed the
subject. He deserves another kick in the behind.

I wait patiently while he stacks the tests he needs to grade tonight
in his briefcase, and then shuts down his computer. I notice out of
the corner of my eye his desk and the four picture frames on it.
There's one of his parents, one of David, one of the entire gang
taken last summer in Cancun, and one of me from a year ago. Unable to
help myself I make that little girly noise that we girls make when
something touches us.

Tommy noticed. "That picture reminds me to never fall for a short
girl again?"

"You really want to die, don't you?" Grinning, I shove my laptop in
top of his briefcase. Let him carry my stuff for that dig. He's still
staring at me when I slide off his desk. "Let's go home, brother."

"Okay, sister."

We're ascending the stairs in a pretty good mood, ready to call it a
day. And then he says...

"I wouldn't sleep with you anyway."

"Liar." He doesn't respond because he doesn't have too. Attraction
has never been an issue with us. And if we went there it would
probably be so damn go... moving right along.

"So can I come by your office tomorrow and sit on your lap?"

I stopped dead in my track and turned to face him. "Do you love me?"

He moved a bit closer. Too close. "Endlessly."

"Then shut the hell up." He rolled his eyes and walked off, leaving
me behind laughing. I get a good look at his butt and I gotta tell
you that's some great booty. I even whistled.

"Stop looking at my ass."

"I told you to shut it." And I'm gonna keep looking at his ass. We
are unmarried after all. That's my right, dammit!

******

(Closing credits roll while voice over previewing the next episode
begins)

'Next on The Glory Days.' "Kim accompanies Tommy back to California
when news of a horrible accident places a loved in mortal danger. And
just how close is to close when you're trying to comfort someone?"

Suggested listening music for Episode 1

1. It's My Life Bon Jovi
2. Days Go By Keith Urban
3. From Loving You Mandy Moore
4. Back at your Door - Maroon 5
5. Like a Boy - Ciara