Andrew called me just before noon on Monday. He didn’t tell me what he wanted to talk about, but I assumed it probably had something to do with the interviews.
“Hey Reese!” he greeted me when I answered. “How’s your morning going?”
“Good,” I told him. “I have a lot I want to do before I leave this job so I’m pretty busy.”
“You’ll have time to do interviews this week though, won’t you?” Andrew asked, sounding concerned.
“Of course. I scheduled them so they won’t interfere with anything.”
“So you’re doing all of your interviews over the phone then?”
“Yes.” Did I have other options?
“Okay. What kinds of things are you going to ask the candidates?”
This caught me off guard. I’d printed off some stuff I found online like “twenty five common interview questions” and “retail manager interview questions” but I hadn’t even looked at them yet. My first interview wasn’t until that afternoon.
So I just bullshitted and told him that I would want to know about their work ethic, how their former supervisors would describe them and some other random questions I kind of remember from my internship interview (my “interview” with Diana consisted of us talking about our favorite shoe designers).
“Good,” Andrew said. “You ought to throw some behavioral questions in there. That’s the direction interviewing is going in these days.”
I rolled my eyes and said okay.
“And like I said, I want to have a team in place by Christmas and we can’t just hire these people over the phone. So I was thinking, you could fly out to Tennessee next Monday and start conducting some in person interviews and hopefully making some decisions. I will be there on Tuesday and we could both leave Wednesday. I assume your job gave you the week off for the holidays?”
I didn’t say anything. I’m going home next Tuesday and Wednesday is Brady’s birthday. No way am I missing that.
“Actually, I already have plans for next week. I’m flying to Texas to see my family on Tuesday,” I said.
“Would you be able to call the airline and change to fly to Texas out of Tennessee? That way you can still interview your own people. I’ll of course cover any additional charge.”
I considered lying and making up some sob story about why this wouldn’t work. I don’t want to be that girl who uses her boyfriend as an excuse, but I can’t help that I already have plans. And even if I didn’t, that’s Christmas Eve. Why would I want to be traveling for a job I technically haven’t even started yet?
“I can’t do that. I have to fly with my boyfriend. It’s his birthday and we have plans that I don’t want to deviate from,” I said, feeling like such a whiney bitch.
“Ah, the truth comes out,” Andrew said and I rolled my eyes. “So are you just expecting me to hire your people, Reese?”
I absolutely hated the way he said my name. “I don’t know what I expect. I guess I didn’t realize you would want me to travel next week before I made my plans. Sorry about that.” Why was I apologizing?
“Okay,” Andrew said, sighing frustratedly. “Well, I hope you and your boyfriend enjoy your vacation.”
Ugh. I wished I never would’ve mentioned having a boyfriend.
Kendra came over on Monday night. She’d hung out with that Eric guy over the weekend and apparently he tried to have sex with her. And she was not having it.
“Why are guys so fucking disgusting? I’ve known him like a week! What gave him the impression that I would have sex him? Do I look like a slut?” she cried.
I smirked. “I mean…”
“Shut up, Reese!” Kendra screamed. “Dating is hard. Where do the guys who aren’t just looking to hook up hang out?”
“Not at the bar,” I pointed out.
Kendra was silent for a moment then peeked up at me cautiously. “So, I have a confession.”
“Yes?” I thought she was going to say she let Eric eat her out or something.
But Kendra said, “I called John. We are going to talk things over tomorrow night.”
I froze. “You what?”
“Before you yell, I don’t plan on taking him back or anything like that. I just want to hear him out. I haven’t really heard his side…”
“Kendra!” I calmly shouted. “His side?! He cheated on you! He had sex with someone else.”
“I know, but I know there must be an explanation…”
“His dick was in another girl’s pussy!” I yelled. “What other explanation do you need?” I know it was harsh, but Kendra sounded like she was softening. Like if John said the right thing, she would fall right back into his arms.
“Reese.” Kendra looked frustrated and tired. “I’m just going to give him the chance to talk. Then if I start acting irrationally, you can kill me.”
I told her okay. I know I originally wanted Kendra to talk to him, but I feel like now she’s not as mad and more likely to forgive. I mean, it’s her prerogative if she wants to forgive him, but as a friend I would encourage her not to.
After Kendra left I went to Brady’s. Chris was at work so we grabbed a blanket and went down to the basement to watch a movie. I told him about Andrew and how ridiculous and hard on me he’s being.
Brady said, “I think it’ll be good for you to have someone constantly challenging you. It doesn’t seem like your current boss does that very much.”
I gave him a blank stare. “Why would I want someone constantly challenging me?”
“If no one is ever challenging you then you won’t get better. You won’t learn anything or improve at your job,” Brady said.
That was a good point. Brady always sees the positive in everything. I wish I was more like that.
I laid my head in his lap and we watched something on Netflix. I was starting to doze off when I felt his phone vibrate on the arm of the couch. I couldn’t help peeking to see what/who it was. Imagine my horror when I saw Jessica’s name. She’d texted him, “Thanks. :)” with an emoji and everything. Brady didn’t make any moves to answer or touch his phone and I couldn’t see him to see if he saw it too. What the fuck was she thanking him for? Did she send him a nude and he complimented her so she was thanking him? Did she ask a work related question and he answered? I had so many theories.
But I wasn’t going to confront him. How many times did we have to go over this? I was exhausted of fighting about it. I told myself it was innocent and continued watching the rest of the movie. When it was over, Brady finally looked down at his phone and read Jessica’s message. Then he put his phone in his pocket.
I wanted to say, “Don’t worry, I’ve already seen it,” but decided against it.
On Tuesday, I texted Brady in the morning asking if he wanted to go to lunch. I wanted to make my presence known since apparently Jessica thinks she’s back in. Brady said sure and would let me know what time he would be able to take a break. It turned out to be at 1:00 so at 12:30 I rushed out of the office to meet him. I told him I would just swing by and get him so he didn’t have to move his car. Before I got out to meet him inside the hospital, I reapplied my lip gloss and powder and made sure I looked perfect in case Jessica decided to show her face.
She didn’t and Brady and I had pasta and salads at a place nearby. Brady said he was “working late” so I spent the evening searching for gifts for him and organizing my interview notes to give to Andrew. Since apparently he will be doing my in person interviews, I wanted to let him know who my favorites were.
On Wednesday, I was supposed to meet Kendra and Carly for dinner and drinks. Kendra still needed to tell me how her talk with John went. Carly and I showed up at the same time so we snagged a table. We ordered sweet potato fries, spinach dip and vodka Redbulls.
Since I still hadn’t figured out what I wanted to get Brady for his birthday/Christmas, I asked Carly what she thought I should get him and what she was getting Chris. She said Chris told her exactly what he wanted so she really didn’t have to guess. Brady would just tell me he didn’t want anything. He’s so modest like that.
And then Carly said, “Oh yeah, I have something to tell you, but you have to promise not to say anything.”
“Okay. What is it?” I asked curiously.
“Seriously!” she exclaimed, leaning close to me and grabbing my arm. “You can’t tell Brady I told you. If you do, Chris will be pissed and never tell me anything again!”
“Okay, I won’t say anything!” Now I was anxious. What was this big secret she wanted to tell me? Obviously, I thought the worst and was already trying to figure out if Brady’s plane ticket to Houston was refundable.
“So Chris overheard Brady arguing with his mom about not coming home for the holidays. Well, maybe not arguing, but having a disagreement. After he hung up, Chris asked him about it and Brady said that his mom is upset because she thinks you’re controlling and you’re forcing him to spend the holidays with you. Chris asked me if I thought that was true.”
“Wha?” I uttered, unable to form words. Me, controlling? Yeah right! Brady insisted on spending his birthday and Christmas with me! If I’d known his mom wasn’t okay with it I would have never even asked.
“Don’t worry, I defended you. And Chris said he doesn’t think you’re controlling either and that Brady just really likes you.”
What kind of person does Brady’s mom think I am if she believes I would purposely try to keep him from his family? I’m not Dom! And didn’t Brady say that he didn’t spend the holidays with his family last year either? Was that my fault too?
Kendra showed up a few minutes later and I grilled her about her talk with John.
“It was fine,” she sighed. “It put a lot of things into perspective.”
“Like what?” I asked.
“He opened up about how he’d been feeling the last few months of our relationship. I’d been trying so hard to excel at my career that I was kind of ignoring him.”
I glared. “Ignoring him?”
“Yeah. I wasn’t concerned about him and his life which is probably just as stressful as mine.”
“So that’s an excuse to cheat on you?” Carly clarified.
“No. Is that what I said?” Kendra snapped. “I just said it put things into perspective. I was working a lot, would come home and get in bed, and refuse to have sex with him.”
“You sound like you’re blaming yourself,” I pointed out, draining the rest of my drink. “None of this makes it okay for him to cheat on you.”
“I didn’t say it makes it okay!” Kendra was becoming visibly frustrated. “But I get it. You can’t just ignore your boyfriend and expect him to take it.”
“I don’t like the way this conversation is going,” I said. “If John felt like you were neglecting him, he should have broken up with you. Not cheated on you.”
Kendra’s eyes cut to me, blazing. “Yeah? Is that what you said every time [Nameless Ex] fucked another girl? Which was literally every single weekend.”
I didn’t say anything as the waitress placed another vodka Redbull in front of me. I took a gulp.
“Why would I take relationship advice from you? You don’t even know what a relationship is! Your first ‘boyfriend’ treated you like shit and was also dating every other girl in school. And now you have Brady wrapped around your finger and he’s like your little lovesick slave. So no offense, but you’re the last person I would take relationship advice from.”
Ouch. That stung. Kendra threw her menu down and stormed out before I could think of a response. But really, I just wanted to cry.
“Wow, that was mean,” Carly said quietly.
“It’s fine,” I said quickly.
We finished our drinks then I told her about Jessica texting Brady. “It could be innocent, but knowing her I doubt it was.”
“Wait, let me see what she looks like again. I forgot,” Carly said.
I pulled up Jessica’s Facebook profile on my phone and let Carly look through her pictures.
“She’s pretty.” Carly held up my phone and picture of Jessica filled the screen. It was a semi professional headshot where Jessica was looking down and the wind was blowing her hair behind her. Carly saw the disapproving look I was giving her so she added, “I guess.”
“Can I message her?” I asked, snatching my phone back. I went back to Jessica’s main profile and clicked the message icon.
“And say what?” Carly’s eyes widened.
“I don’t know. Tell her to stay from Brady?” I typed, “Hey Jessica!”
“Okay, but be nice. You don’t want to make it awkward for him at work.”
Who gives a fuck if it’s awkward? They got themselves into the situation. I stared down at my phone as I waited for Jessica to respond. It said she was active fourteen minutes before so she was probably near her phone. And then the little green circle appeared.
“She’s online,” I announced, excitedly.
“Oh my gosh, what are you going to say?”
The waitress brought us each another drink and we thanked her.
“I’m not sure yet. I’m waiting for her to respond.”
I looked back down at my phone and saw that she had messaged me back.
“Hi Reese, how are you? I heard you and Brady are spending Christmas with your family. That sounds fun!!!”
I don’t know if it was the fact that she and Brady are obviously still discussing their personal lives, or the patronizing sounding message, or the big fight I’d just had with Kendra, or the four vodka Redbulls, but this girl was not prepared for the lashing I was about to give her.
“What are you saying, Reese?” Carly asked as I typed rapidly on my phone.
“Just politely telling her that Brady is taken,” I said two minutes later as I pushed send. I reread my message as it turned yellow and then white.
“Can you stop talking to him? I think it’s a little inappropriate for you to continue to push yourself onto him now that we are together. Just because you gave him one blow job and sent him multiple nude photos of yourself (which I have on standby if you want to keep this up) doesn’t mean he owes you anything. He’s expressed that he’s not interested in you whatsoever and that I don’t want you guys talking about non work related things. So now you’re just being rude. So if you don’t mind, please don’t talk to him, text him, smile at him, send him pictures of your huge tits, or suck his dick. Thanks Jessica!”
I stared at my phone and got excited when Facebook told me that she’d seen it. She started responding as Carly told me about Preston. I haven’t talked to Preston is a few days because he’s holing himself up in his apartment. Carly says he’s trying to repair his relationship with Mr. Murphy because he’s genuinely in love with him (his money), but Mr. Murphy isn’t really having it right now. Apparently he and Dillon are living together. Preston is devastated.
I looked down at my phone and it still said, “Typing…” She must have had a lot to say. I was kind of excited to see how she would respond to this. A couple minutes later she was still typing. I made a bet with myself that she was probably going to tell me that they’re still hooking up or something ridiculous. But then, she stopped typing and it appeared that she logged off. She never replied.
After Carly and I left the restaurant, I went to Brady’s. I waited in his room while he finished up some work then he joined me. I wanted to ask about his fight with his mom without letting him know what Carly told me.
“My parents are so excited to meet you. Are you sure your parents don’t mind you not spending Christmas with them?” I asked innocently.
“Yeah, it’s fine. They’re going to New York anyway,” Brady said, taking off his tie and crawling into the bed next to me.
I pushed him back and climbed on top of him, straddling him. “You’re sure?”
“Mmhm.” Brady started unbuttoning the buttons of my DVF shirtdress. “Now that we’re older Christmas just isn’t the same. It isn’t a big deal.”
He pushed my dress off so I was just sitting there in my underwear.
“I’m really happy you want to come with me,” I said, making sure that he knew it was his decision and I wasn’t controlling him.
“Me too,” Brady said. He looked at me for a few moments before smirking. “Come up here.”
I knew what that meant so I ditched my panties and climbed the length of his body until I reached his face. I straddled him and lowered myself onto his mouth then I grabbed fistfuls of his hair as he began gently sucking me.
Jesus Christ, this man knew what he was doing. Not even ten minutes later, my entire body was quivering as I yanked on Brady’s hair, about to come. He had his arms wrapped around my legs, trying to steady me because my hips were bucking like crazy. Brady moaned into me; he was enjoying this.
I threw my head back and lifted up a bit as I came. Have you ever had an orgasm that was so intense that you just needed to collapse and sleep afterwards? That was me. But Brady wrapped one arm around my waist and lowered me and used the other to unbuckle his pants. I couldn’t even sit up straight, but he still entered me and used his hips and arm to bounce me. I laid on top of him like a dead body. I can’t remember the last time an orgasm has knocked me out of commission like that.
But I didn’t want to be completely useless so with the little energy I had left, I stroked his hair and kissed his neck, ear and chin. When I felt him about to come, I started sucking on his neck hard, knowing it would leave a mark, but not caring.
“Uhh, Reese!” he groaned and the way he said my name made my female parts perk up again.
We laid there for a moment, still intertwined and trying to catch our breath. And then Brady whispered, “I love you so much.”
I smiled groggily to myself and squeezed his face against mine right before falling asleep.