after following her there. To Lilyâs delight (and surprise) Simone knocked him back and left the wedding.
Lily was beginning to wonder whether there was any point going out if you couldnât pick up, or be chatted up, or hook up. It was the gilded excitement of the unknown, the lure of spontaneity, the thrill of not knowing where your night might end up, or with whom, that gave her the energy to go outÂ .Â .Â .Â not the idea of drinking til she was unintelligible, and sucking down kebabs and hot chips at four a.m., delicious as they were.
She leaned against one of the chairs and waited for her kettle to boil, so deep in thought she didnât see Jack enter the kitchen. He leaned over to where the kettle was and looked at Lily, his hand hovering over the power point.
âCan I take this?â he said, brows raised.
Lily snapped to attention when she realised what he was about to do. It had been weeks since heâd last done it but she was just as territorial of her kettle.
Iâm using thaââ And she stopped herself, realising how impolite she was being to her golden goose.
âJust messing with you, Woodward,â he said in a way that made her feel stupid. Lily pretended not to notice that heâd changed from this morning, and was now wearing a polo and shorts, and that he had excellent legs. Very casual for the office, she thought, throwing stones in her jeans, sandals and T-shirt.
âWell, you know, you
have a tendency for nicking it, so itâs not crazy to think you might do it again,â she grumbled, pouring the precious hot water into her mug and over her teabag. She quite liked that heâd called her Woodward. It felt familiar. Like he was the popular guy at school giving her some crude form of recognition
âI reckon you need a biscuit for that,â he said suddenly, eyes dipping to her tea. Before she could answer, heâd darted off. He was like a mad scientist in that test kitchen; once he had finished the show heâd go straight in there til late afternoon, when, after being briefed on the following dayâs show, he left for the day.
A few minutes later, just as Lily was weighing up whether it was rude to head back to her desk or not, he flew back into the kitchen, holding out two lumpy golden cookies on a paper towel.
?â Lily asked, her mouth gently coating itself in anticipatory saliva.
âPeanut butter, salted caramel and white chocolate.â
Lily exclaimed, in ecstatic disbelief at the flavours presented to her in biscuit form.
âPB is my favourite thing in the universe; I put it on everything. I canât think of one thing that isnât improved by it. Have you tried it in porridge with banana and honey? Itâs the
Jack smiled, his eyes sparkled and there was a gentle warmth in his gaze. It was a bit much to have all of that focused on you, Lily realised. How ever did his girlfriends cope? She asked that not knowing whether he had one â not that the entire female population of the station hadnât done their best to find out. He was too understated, too much of a cookie-baking savant to talk about his personal life. It drove Siobhan crazy: she needed a hook for the gossip ravens. Lily was quietly impressed heâd held out. She took one of the cookies.
âTake both, I ate half the cookie mix,â he said sheepishly.
Lily took the paper towel politely from Jack, their fingers touching ever so quickly as she did so.
âThanks, Jack, thatâs very nice of you,â she said, wondering what she was supposed to do now, because he was still standing in front of her, blocking the doorway, a goofy grin on his face.
âWell, go on,â he said, looking expectantly at her.
Feeling awkward, Lily set her mug and notebook back on the counter so she didnât drop them
the biscuits and mess up this whole heightened