"What do you think you're doing?" a voice said behind Elizabeth causing her to cringe as she leaned over her overnight bag.
"Carly," Elizabeth said, as she zipped up the bag, "didn't hear you knock."
"Your front door was unlocked," Carly said flippantly as she walked into Elizabeth's bedroom and sat down on the bed, grabbing the overnight bag.
"And evidently you thought that was your permission to come right into my apartment," Elizabeth said sarcastically as she tried to snatch her bag from Carly's clutches.
"No, no," Carly said haughtily, her eyes narrowing as she managed to unzip the bag and pull out a turtleneck sweater, "don't try to change the subject. What is this? This is not clothes you wear on a cruise to the Bahamas. Care to explain."
"I have some business to attend to," Elizabeth said, snatching the sweater out of Carly's hand and stuffing it back into the overnight bag that Carly had pulled it out of.
"We're supposed to be on a plane to Florida to catch a cruise to the Bahamas on Monday morning," Carly warned her as she looked at Elizabeth.
"I know Carly," Elizabeth said resignedly, "and I will be bright eyed and bushy tailed waiting with you and Robin to get on the plane early Monday morning."
Carly's eyes narrowed again as she took in Elizabeth fidgeting around her room packing up her makeup kit to throw in the overnight bag.
"So, what's this business you have to attend to," Carly asked her friend.
"Nothing much," Elizabeth hedged, looking over her dresser to see if she was forgetting anything she might need.
"It's him," Carly stated disgustedly, "isn't it?"
"Carly," Elizabeth groaned as she put the make-up kit in her bag, "don't start."
"It is him," Carly exclaimed affronted. "Elizabeth…"
"He called because he needed help out of a jam," Elizabeth told Carly.
"And evidently you're the only one that can help him," Carly said, cocking an eyebrow up as she gazed at Elizabeth.
"Yea I am," Elizabeth told her huffily. "He told me I'm the only one that can help him out of this particular jam."
"No, you're the only one that will put your life on hold to help him," Carly corrected sarcastically.
"Carly," Elizabeth exclaimed, looking at one of her best friends, "it wasn't like that. And I'm not putting my life on hold."
"Really," Carly said in disbelief, "you're supposed to be packing this weekend for your trip to the Bahamas. Not packing this weekend to go bail him out of a jam."
"It's one day," Elizabeth explained. "The private jet leaves in an hour. I bail him out and I'm back here by Sunday to pack for the Bahamas and I'm meeting you and Robin on Monday for our plane. Done deal."
"It's never a done deal when it comes to him," Carly said, folding her arms over her chest. "Your vacation was supposed to have started as of Friday at five o'clock. It is noon Saturday and you're already off vacation."
"I am not off vacation," Elizabeth argued. "I'm just…"
"Helping him out of a jam," Carly finished for Elizabeth when she saw that Elizabeth was struggling for words. "You're such a doormat Elizabeth."
"Carly," Elizabeth exclaimed in shocked. "That is so mean of you to say."
"It's the truth Elizabeth," Carly told him. "Every time he says jump, you say how high, which way, what type of jump, and how do you want me to land."
"I don't do that Carly," Elizabeth refuted, running her hand through her chestnut hair in frustration.
"Oh you don't," Carly said. "You're the only person I know that is on call for 24 hours and is not in the medical profession."
"Well sometimes he has epiphanies late at night," Elizabeth reasoned.
"He can buy a tape recorder and tell it to it," Carly argued. "You know the only reason he does the things he do to you is because you let him."
"Well it's not like I can tell him no," Elizabeth said.
"You're his employee," Carly told her, "not his servant."
"I'm his assistant," Elizabeth told her. "That means I'm supposed to assist him."
"Yea, with paperwork, scheduling," Carly told her. "I don't think going to his house and watering his plants and taking out his dog should be considered under business work."
Elizabeth rolled her eyes at Carly as she slung the overnight bag over her shoulder.
"You don't have a comeback, do you?" Carly asked smugly.
"I did those things because I consider us to have a relationship where we would do things like this for each other," Elizabeth said.
"Really," Carly said in disbelief. "Then enlighten me. What exactly has he done for you where he's done something for you?"
Elizabeth thought for a while and then smiled in triumph. "He hired a nurse for me when I had the flu last year," she told Carly.
"Only to turn around and have you as his personal nurse when he caught the flu the next week," Carly countered.
"Point taken," Elizabeth said as she thought about Carly's counter.
"You're his personal doormat," Carly told her friend, "you do realize that right?"
"Yea I know," Elizabeth said wearily. "That's why you'll be happy to know I came up with a decision."
Carly sat looking at Elizabeth and watched her best friend chew on her bottom lip. Carly knew she did that when she was nervous.
"Okay Elizabeth," she said finally. "Care to enlighten me. After all, you do have a plane to catch."
Elizabeth walked over to her desk that sat in the corner of her bedroom and pulled a folder out of her top drawer. She walked over to Carly and handed her the folder. Carly looked in the folder and then looked up at Elizabeth, her eyes bulging out her head.
"This is an updated résumé," Carly said, awe in her voice. "Does this mean what I think it means?"
"I was planning on putting out feelers when we came back from vacation," Elizabeth explained only to jump back when Carly hopped off the bed squealing, wrapping her arms around Elizabeth.
"I knew it," Carly crowed excitedly, "I knew you weren't that big of a doormat!"
"Carly," Elizabeth said, trying to calm her friend down from her exuberance. "Carly, you need to calm down."
"I can't," Carly said, breaking away from Elizabeth, still doing a dance of joy. "I can't believe that you're actually growing some tits and telling your boss where to shove it."
"Carly," Elizabeth said reasonably, "I'm not exactly going to phrase it like that. And what do you mean…grow some tits?"
"Well you can't exactly grow any balls," Carly told her, "because you're a girl. So tits it is. So when are you going to give your boss the old heave-ho?"
"I think I'm going to actually have to wait till I have another job in line before I can give my two week notice," Elizabeth said.
"Uh uh," Carly said emphatically. "He doesn't deserve a two week notice. You've been his bitch girl for 4 years. When you get your new job, just leave him high and dry."
"Carly," Elizabeth chastised, "I couldn't do that to him."
"Why not," Carly whined. "It's the least he deserves."
"Carly," Elizabeth said sensibly, "whether you like it or not, he's been good to me. I have a salary that most people will kill for. Vacation time that it would take some people years to accumulate, I really don't have much to complain about."
"Except," Carly said, getting off the bed and walking over to Elizabeth to put her hands on her shoulders, "you never have time to use that vacation time because he always needs you and all your money does is sit in the bank because there is never any time for you to spend it."
"Carly," Elizabeth said a smile coming to her face as she rested her hands on Carly's forearms, "I'm quitting when I can find another job. I'm not going to be cruel when I do. Let it go."
"As long as you promise not to change your mind because he might say something nice to you while you're rescuing him," Carly bargained.
"I promise," Elizabeth said cheerfully, seeing relief come to Carly's eyes. "Now do you mind driving me to the airport?"
Carly rolled her eyes then wrapped her arm around Elizabeth's shoulders. "I swear muffin," she said as they walked out the door, "if I didn't think of you like a sister, I would have drowned you by now because you're so damn adorable."