Our chance, p.10
Our Chance, page 10
I snorted. "You're an idiot. He won't care about the little details."
"Exactly! So I should just have a register office ceremony and go back to the local."
"You don't want that and Logan won't be happy that you're not happy."
"So I just spend all of his money? It took him years to save for a place and now he's inherited some money, he could do something he really wants."
I held my hand up. "Let me stop you right there, you tit. I don't think there's anything he wants more than for you to be his wife. Plus you're getting married so technically it's your money too. Stop feeling bad. Logan wouldn't have told you to spend more than what he's comfortable to spend. Now I will slap your skinny arse if I have to or can we move past this and get the rest of your day planned?"
She leant forwards, taking her glass of white from the table. "You're the best, Nell."
"Yes. So...what are you feeding us? Not something posh and tiny. Please!"
"Logan wants fish and chips."
"It does. But you should've seen the wedding planner's face when he asked if they could do that instead of something from the menu. Good thing he was wearing that fitted, black t-shirt." She bit her lip, her mind diving into the gutter.
In all fairness Logan was gorgeous.
She grabbed her full folder from the coffee table. "Before we get sucked into this shall we talk about why you've been quiet the last few days?"
"I thought you liked it when I'm quiet?"
"My head does but it worries me. Is something wrong?"
I ran my finger up and down the stem of the wine glass. There was something wrong but I didn't want to talk about it. Chloe knew that my parents argued and broke up a lot but I was trying to keep my mind off their relationship issues.
"Nell," she said much more sternly. "We talk about my problems often so bloody tell me what's going on!"
"We talk about my stuff too."
"No, we talk about what you want to do to your flat, how you wish you had a spare room, that your boss is an arsehole, you want to start your career, and that you have mind-blowing sex with Damon but we don't talk about anything real." She dropped the folder back on the coffee table.
Shit, she's getting serious now.
"Talk to me about what you're feeling and maybe I can help."
No one could help. The only ones that had the power to stop me feeling like a terrified child were my parents and they didn't care when I was a kid so why would they give a flying fuck now?
"Fine! Jesus, you're annoying when you're determined."
"I could say the same about you," she shot back. "Spill."
Tucking my legs underneath me, I pulled the blanket higher. "It's my parents. They were back on but Dad left after an argument."
"Well, that's not unusual, right?"
"No." But she didn't know the whole story so she wouldn't get why I was so distracted with it. I shook my head. "Yeah, you're right. I shouldn't let their petty dramas get to me but they're my parents, you know, and I just want them to be happy."
"Their happiness is down to them. I'd like to see you worry less about people almost twice your age and focus on what makes you happy."
She may as well have said 'focus on Damon' because that was exactly what she meant. He did make me happy, ridiculously so, but I loved being free and the sex was out of this world. What was there not to be happy about?
I nodded once. "Sounds like a good plan to me." And it was one I had been trying to put into action since I was sixteen. Life just wasn't that clear-cut.
"How are things going with Damon?"
"Good. I'm seeing him tomorrow after work. I hope he has a weekend of bedroom antics-"
Chloe held her hands up. "Alright! I don't need to know the details."
"Why not? I wanted to know all of the details between you and Jace and now you and Logan. You still haven't told me who's bigger or better in bed." I almost finished speaking without laughing. Chloe's death stare was actually pretty good.
"We will never be talking about that."
"Sodding prude," I muttered. "Anyway, enough about me and the size of you men's dicks, let's do this wedding thing."
"Sounds good but they are not my men. Me and Jace have been over for a long time."
"I know. You don't have to say that. So, what're we planning tonight?"
She grinned. "We're researching local florists and DJs."
There was a reason I hadn't chosen a wedding planning career like Chlo. For the next three hours I was bored to tears but happy to help my bestie.
After we'd narrowed it down to three based on reviews and a bit of internet stalking, Chloe left to go cuddle with her fiance and I was alone. Being alone when you were stressing and worrying about something was the worst. I tried to put everything to the back of my mind but I'd never been too successful at that.
A huge part of me wanted to just pack my bags and leave so I wouldn't have to deal with it again. Running was easier. I'd been running my whole life but now I wanted to physically do it too. Watching them do the same shit time and time again was emotionally exhausting.
I felt weak and lost. Those were the two things I'd strived the most to not be. I felt like crying. My throat constricted around a lump the size of a golf ball. Even if I couldn't run I could at least hide.
There wasn't one person that I wanted to see, not Chloe or Damon and especially not my parents. I just wanted to be alone and hide under a blanket. Tomorrow I had work but at least I knew that for the rest of the day I could forget about social media or making any type of contact with humans completely.
Curling up on the sofa, I pulled my fluffy blue blanket up to my head and escaped.
The next morning at work thankfully passed quickly and at lunchtime I dashed out of the office to meet Chloe at Chimichenga for Mexican food and final - if there were any - wedding plans.
"Hey," I said, giving her a hug.
"Hey, you okay?"
I nodded and we took our seats.
"You look nice," she said, nodding at my grey trousers and peach silk shirt.
"Thanks. You look exhausted."
She rolled her eyes and picked up a menu. Her amber eyes looked duller than usual and her complexion was pale.
"Does that mean the wedding is almost sorted?"
Chloe was super-efficient and organised. She'd planned every last detail but we had a few things on the list to sort out. I was excited for their wedding but nervous too. What if they didn't work out? If Logan ever hurt her I would do things to his private area that left his manhood resembling an omelette.
"Yep, almost. We just need favours and disposable cameras."
I beamed. "Awesome." Thank God for that. I loved Chloe and would help her with anything, but wedding planning was dull and felt never ending. "If you get them and drop them off, I'll add them to the many boxes we're taking."
She tilted her head to the side. "Are you sure you want to drive all that way?"
"If you think I'm ever getting in a rickety old plane again..."
"Alright. I'm glad you are. Having them couriered all that way would've cost a fortune. You're like my little packhorse."
I deadpanned. "Thanks. You're very, very welcome."
We ate tacos, gossiping about the wedding and then headed our separate ways back to work. Damon had called during lunch but I silenced the phone and noticed a text from this morning. I didn't call him back or reply. Dealing with Damon - particularly how I was feeling about him - was too much on top of everything else right now. I felt like everything was slipping from my grip.
I got halfway when my phone vibrated. Shoving my hand in my bag, I rummaged around trying to feel it. Fucking thing, why didn't I ever put it in the little pouch designed for phones?
Finally, I managed to grab it and then saw the name on the screen and wished I hadn't.
"Hey, Mum," I said, still powerwalking back to the office.<
"Your dad's gone again."
I stopped dead, making someone behind me have to hop to the side to avoid a collision. He swore under his breath and walked past me. "What do you mean gone again? When did he come back?"
"Last night. I found him on the sofa this morning and when I confronted him he went off, ranting and raving. You know how he does. I don't know what to do with him half the time."
"There's nothing you will do other than the same thing you and him have always done." I wanted to bash my head against the window of the Starbucks I was standing next to. "I've got to go, Mum," I said, starting to walk again. "I don't want to be late back." And there is no point in talking about this.
"Are you coming on Sunday?"
I didn't want to and I thought about an excuse because I didn't like them together but I was worried now they were back in each other's lives again.
"Sure. I'll see you then. Bye, Mum."
We hung up just as I made it back to the office, ignoring another text from Damon.
I wish I could stop caring about my parents or be able to cut them out of my life because I knew they would never change, but it wasn't that simple. No matter how many more times they would do this I had no choice but to stay on the ride and go through it too.
"You're five minutes late, Nell," The Ogre said, folding his arms over his enormous belly. His face was red and sweat trickled down the side of his forehead. "I hope you're planning on making that up at the end of the day."
I gritted my teeth. This was where they were going wrong. When you hired someone you were investing in the person. No one wanted to put in that little extra when their employer was an arsehole. Late happened. It was unintentional, and it wasn't like it was thirty minutes.
Don't punch him in his big, fat gut.
"Of course," I bit out.
There were so many things I would change about this place. They way the employees were treated would be first on my list. But there would never be a chance for me to wave my magic wand and make this company more efficient. Besides, Reg-The-Ogre owned it and he could pretty much fuck off.
"And I'll have a coffee," he added and turned away, going back into his office. One of the worst parts was no one said anything. So much change was needed but no one dared speak up about what was wrong. We all needed to eat, I guess.
How bad would it be if I put just a tiny bit of poison in his drink?
I walked straight to the kitchen, counting slowly and telling myself to let it go.
"Hey, Nell," Tommy, the only guy I didn't want to stab in the eye, said, finishing up making his tea.
"Hey, how's it going?"
He turned his nose up and chucked the spoon in the sink. "Better when I eventually get out of this place."
"You're not enjoying it either? I see the way Reg speaks to you, he's done it to all of the PA's he's had. No one lasts long."
"Yeah, I won't either. I'll either move on soon or kill him."
Tommy laughed. "Well you won't be alone there, on both accounts. I've been looking for something new for the last two months."
"Yeah? Much come up?"
Smiling, I replied, "Well that's encouraging."
"Sorry, I'm sure you'll have better luck than me."
He wasn't sure of that at all, he didn't know what I was qualified to do or the experience - or lack of experience - I had.
"I doubt it. But hey, if we've still not found a job in the next six months let's set up a rival company ourselves."
Laughing again, he said, "You're on. And maybe we could get together sometime to discuss the business."
That sounded a lot like him asking me out on a date.
A date wasn't going to happen, ever, and I wasn't attracted to Tommy, so sex was off the cards. There was nothing wrong with him; he was relatively good looking, tall, stocky, with closely shaven brown hair, and he was nice but I had to really want him.
"What're you suggesting?" I asked, needing him to be crystal clear here.
He twitched his head. "I don't know, whatever you'd like. Coffee? Dinner?"
"So a date?"
"Well...yeah. It would seem we're on different pages..."
Ha, we were in a totally different book.
"No, it's just... I don't date. That whole dating/couple thing is so not for me. Always ends bad and all that."
"Right," he said, averting his eyes.
Well ain't that just bloody perfect. The one person I could have a normal conversation with without knowing he'd be talking behind my back I just fucked up. We were left with awkwardness.
"Sorry," I muttered, reaching for a mug to have something to do.
"No, you don't have to be sorry. We can be friends, right?"
"I'd like that. Everyone else here is..."
Smiling, he nodded once. "I know what you mean. I'll see you later, Nell," he said and walked off.
Groaning, I looked up to the ceiling. Could this day get any shitter?
I slammed my front door in a foul mood and lobbed my phone and keys on the side. Nell had been off with me for the last few weeks and dodging my calls since yesterday. It pissed me off a lot more than it probably should. She didn't have to check in but after Scotland I thought we were moving forwards.
My phone rang just as I reached the kitchen and I almost ignored it but I turned back and went to see. Nell's name flashed up. I picked it up and swiped my thumb across the screen. "Yeah?" I said.
"Are you in?" She asked.
I gripped the phone harder. "Yeah, why?" My tone was harsher than I'd intended but I didn't appreciate being ignored.
"Um..." She sighed. "Alright. I'm sorry, okay. I've had a lot on but I should've at least sent you a text."
She should've done much more than that. "What's wrong?" I asked.
"Nothing really. Work stuff. I just needed to be a hermit for a night. But I am sorry that I didn't say anything."
There was more to it than that. If she needed a night she would've just said, like she had a few times before. Something was wrong because she'd hidden the need to be alone.
"Right," I replied, gritting my teeth at her lie.
I would prefer if she didn't offer any explanation than lie to me. We didn't need to confide in each other but I hated that she didn't feel like she could tell me whatever was going on.
"Are you angry with me?"
Closing my eyes, I ran my hand over the top of my head. "No, I'm not angry. You don't owe me anything, Nell, we're just screwing around so if you want a night off without an explanation that's your right."
"Wow, you are angry...and kind of a tosser right now," she snapped. "If you're going to be a little bitch about it just forget I called."
"Oh, I'll wait for you to deem me important enough to reply to."
Shit. Why was I engaging in a stupid argument with her? She sucked me in every time and I ended up acting like a fucking teenager.
She snorted. "Get over yourself, Damon, this wasn't about you."
It wasn't myself who I needed to get over.
"I can't believe we're having this fight. Do you want to talk about why you ignored me?"
"What do you want, Nell?"
"I wanted to see if you were up for getting together tonight. Something I'm thoroughly regretting right now." Sighing sharply, she added 'twat' under her breath.
"Perhaps I'd like a night to myself."
"Fine, suit yourself," she snapped and hung up.
Growling, I launched my phone at the wall and luckily it just missed, flying past and hitting the side of the sofa instead.
Deep breaths. Deep breaths. What the fuck was wrong with her? No one could get me worked up in the best and worst ways like Nell. Half the time I wanted to hold onto her until we grew old and the other half I wanted to throttle her.
Knowing I'd gone too far and completely overreacted, I did the walk of shame to
"Hello," she said in that tone that would usually have me shielding my balls and skulking off.
"I'm sorry. I overreacted and I'm sorry."
There was a good ten seconds silence while she contemplated what she wanted to do. Nell was stubborn and if she wanted to hold a grudge she could very easily, and very successfully, do so.
She signed and I knew I was forgiven too. "It's my fault. I should've handled it better, yesterday and just now."
"Did you call before because you want to come over?"
"I did but..."
"Come over, Nell."
"Yeah? You sure? You don't want a break from my crazy?"
"Nah, it makes life interesting. And in all honestly I think I equally contributed to the crazy back there."
"Hmm, yeah, you kind of did. Fucking drama queen."
"Hurry up, Nell," I said and hung up smiling.
Her place wasn't too far so if she was literally jumping in her car and heading out I didn't have long to pick up the dirty underwear on my bedroom floor. Nell wouldn't care past taking the piss and I never did a big clean before she came over but I drew the line at her walking over my worn boxers.
I pulled my t-shirt over my head and went to my room. My place was usually tidy, mostly because I didn't own too much. I didn't like clutter. Well, I didn't like to tidy so I kept things minimalistic.
Nell rapped on my door ten minutes later; nine minutes after I'd finished throwing my clothes in the washing machine. I answered the door and she smiled sheepishly.
"Hey," she said, biting her lip.
"Come in," I replied, stepping aside.
She walked in much more reserved than usual. We'd argued a million times before but this one was different, it was about something real.
I kicked the door shut and held my hands up. "Are we cool? You're not planning any revenge, are you?"
Tilting her head to the side, she said, "No revenge, I swear. Arguing with you is kinda fun."
Was it? I liked when we teased each other mercilessly but not when we argued.
"I'm sure it'll happen again."
"No doubt." She turned before going into the living room. "Damon, I'm exhausted. Physically and emotionally."
Her words hit me like a fucking freight train. She hadn't come here for sex, she came for comfort. That was a new development.
"Have you eaten?"
"No, but I don't want to."
by Natasha Preston / Romance / Thriller have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes