Jen strolled around the supermarket aisles, stopping to pick up some oranges and drop them in her basket. Turning the corner and heading to the deli counter, she smiled when she saw Bessie already standing there.
“Hey, Bessie.” She came up to her with a grin. “How are you?”
“Oh, Jen. Hi.” Bessie smiled. “Good. And you?”
“Great.” Jen gazed at the cold cuts behind the glass. “I’m just trying to stock up on groceries for the weekend. Doug usually has to work, but if he’s not around looking for something to eat, I know Pacey will be. Although…” She laughed as she looked back at Bessie, “He seems to be getting a lot of his meals over at the B&B these days – doesn’t he?”
Bessie smiled and nodded slowly. “Well…yeah, it did seem like he was around just about every day for a while there, but I haven’t seen him in almost a week now.” She frowned a little. “Joey has been really quiet, too – she’s been painting a lot lately so maybe she’s just been wrapped up in that. But I don’t think she has seen him or talked to him that I know of.”
Jen’s smile faded and she looked at Bessie, slightly concerned. “Really? They had been kind of inseparable there for a while since she has been home.”
Bessie shrugged. “I know…and it was doing Joey a world of good – you know, being around her friends again,” Bessie added the last part quickly. “All of a sudden she is right back in her shell.” She scowled. “I think Dawson has been hounding her a bit, too.”
Jen rolled her eyes. “Oh, no…”
“Yeah.” Bessie agreed with the sentiment. “She spends so much time worrying about hurting his feeling that she forgets about her own. And, I hate the guilt trips he lays on her - I swear, that boy has made her spend half her life feeling guilty for just living it! ” She sighed heavily. “I have to admit, Jen, that I was really hoping her spending time with Pacey might lead to something good for her…I haven’t seen her that happy in a long, long time…” Bessie just shook her head sadly.
“Hmm.” Jen said thoughtfully, as a plan began to form in her mind.
Murph tried to keep up with Pacey, who was storming up the sidewalk with his cell phone to his ear, agitatedly trying to get a word in edgewise with the irate boat owner on the other end of the line complaining about being bumped from the waiting list for a harbor mooring. Pacey came to a dead stop in front of Jen’s store, so that Murph almost smacked right into him. He turned around, handing him the phone.
“Can you just deal with this for me, please.” Pacey was in one of those dark moods where Murph knew better than to question him. “Jen asked me to stop in here to talk to her about something. I’ll just be a minute.”
After passing the phone off, Pacey pushed through the front door of the store, but froze in place when he saw Jen standing there talking to Joey. He had not heard from her since that night – over a week ago now. He figured it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. She obviously had unresolved feelings for Dawson – as if he didn’t already know that, he thought to himself bitterly – and add that to the fact that they both knew exactly what would have happened between them there if Dawson had not picked that moment to call. She was obviously trying to send Pacey a message by avoiding him – one that he got loud and clear. Even now, she looked away as he tried to meet her eyes. “Relax, Potter.” He thought to himself. “I get it.”
“Jen.” Pacey sighed heavily, nodding as he greeted her and then glancing over at Joey. “Hey.” He gave her a quick nod as well. Joey just gave him a half smile.
“Pacey – I’m glad I have you both here.” Jen smiled brightly. “I was just about to tell Joey that Jack is coming down from Cambridge tomorrow night. I’m going to have a little dinner party for his birthday and I want you both to be there.”
Pacey looked at Jen quizzically, raising his eyebrows. “It’s Jack’s birthday?” He asked.
“Um, yeah – close enough.” Jen replied quickly, nodding. She looked at them both, smiling sweetly. “So, what do you say to around 7:00 at my house?”
Joey fidgeted a little where she stood, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear. “Well…I was just about to tell you, Jen, that I actually made plans for tomorrow night with your friend Brian.”
“My friend Brian…?” Jen repeated her words as if she hadn’t heard her right, glancing nervously over at Pacey who was standing there with his mouth hanging open.
“But…” Joey sniffed and raised her chin a bit. “If you don’t mind, I’ll just bring him along with me.”
“Ah…okay?” Jen stammered in confusion.
Suddenly Murph popped his head in the door, Pacey’s cell phone still in his hand. “Hey Witter – it’s for you.”
“Who is it?” Pacey barked at him over his shoulder in irritation, still staring incredulously at Joey.
“Who do think it is? Your girlfriend Sarah…” Murph shot back in what was supposed to be sarcasm, wondering why all three of them now suddenly turned to stare at him in varying degrees of horror.
Pacey turned quickly back around to Joey, who was giving him a slightly defiant look. “And you should bring your girlfriend, Pacey. I’d love to meet her.”
He bit his lip, shaking his head. “Fine, I will.” He shot back, turning to take the call.
“Fine.” Joey responded, taking a deep breath and walking out in a huff.
“Fine…” Jen repeated weakly to no one in particular, standing there alone now.
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