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Lucas settled into his desk chair and started flipping through a series of random art images he always kept on hand for button-making. He flipped through them several times, getting more and more frantic, until he finally thunked his head down on the desk.

Seriously, could Elle have been any more vague about what she wanted? He really, really wanted to get the button perfect for her.

. . .

Okay, he really, really wanted to get the chance to see Shakira make her all "wiggly", but that was practically the same thing. He was going to need to call in reinforcements.

He grabbed the phone and dialed an almost forgotten number, hoping it would still be connected.

"Hello?"

"Gina. I need your help with something."

There was a pause on the other end of the line.

"Lucas?" Gina said, drawing out his name in that teasing, questioning tone of hers. "What's going on?"

"What . . . 'coordinates' with pink daisies?"

". . . is this another one of those zen riddle things that don't have an answer?"

"I sincerely hope not."

He could practically hear her smirk. "Lucas, I'm shocked! Have you switched teams, or are you actually interested in a girl?"

"I'm not gay."

"So what's she like then?"

Lucas smiled, that irony-free expression that so rarely crossed his face. "She likes pink."

"Daises, yes, so I gathered. You do have a bit more information than that, don't you?"

"She . . . likes Shakira?"

"Right. That tells me everything right there."

"Oh thank god."

"That was sarcasm, Lucas. Come on, she have a name at least?"

"Elle. Her name is Elle and she came into the store today for a Shakira album and a poster of a pink daisy, said that everything should 'coordinate', that she didn't like old guys, she's on a break from her boyfriend, and that I should make her whatever button I want and she'd make it work."

Another pause on the other end. "Wow, sounds like an eventful day."

"Well, she was the only customer."

"How have you not gone under yet?"

"Gina, please."

"Okay. Pink daisies, no older guys, Shakira. She's not your type, Lucas, just make her something that AJ drew."

"Don't say that. She has hidden depth. Sure she likes pop. I can forgive that."

"Lucas."

"Gina."

"You really wanna get her, huh?"

"She said she 'likes black, too'."

"Okay. I still say something AJ did. Only something AJ did that light, happy, and pink."

". . . did he do any of that?"

"Right after he and Corey got married."

"Ah. Yeah, I think I have some photos from the 'wedding' period. Thanks, Gina, you're a life saver."

"Oh no, Lucas, thank you. I haven't had gossip to hold over Joe's head in ages."

"Don't. Tell. Joe."

"How about Jane."

"Jane will tell Joe!"

"I know."

Lucas thumped his head on the desk again. "Fine. Fine. Tell whoever. I'm hanging up now."

"Bye, Lucas!" Gina called in a sing-song voice. As Lucas hung up, he could hear her start singing: "Lucas and Elle, sitting in a tree--"

*click*

Lucas got up and went to his closet, pulling down a box of photos. He could do this. And if the others never let him live it down . . . well. So be it.
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August 2006

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