The first person I saw when I walked into the office on Monday morning was a tall, big shouldered guy with the kind of cheekbones I try to contour into my face with makeup and eyebrows I would kill for. He broke into a sexy smile when he saw me.
“Are you Reese? I’m Luke. We’re going to be working really closely together,” he said. He had a deeper voice than I was expecting. He had longish highlighted hair that was perfectly falling in his face. He was very masculine, but something about how well put together he was made me question his sexuality.
Diana didn’t make any mention of anyone I was working with so I was confused. “Okay. What’s your position?”
My look and tone must have been bitchy because Luke kind of winced then threw his shoulders back defensively. “Creative director.”
Diana definitely didn’t tell me there was going to be a new person with a director level position. I know I’m a brat, but I wanted to be in charge. So I just said, “K. We’ll talk later,” and went to find Diana in her office.
“Hi! I just met Luke,” I said, sitting down.
“He’s going to be great! I think you guys will get along wonderfully!” Diana enthused.
“What’s he going to be doing?”
“He’s going to be in charge of the creative side. So while you’re making sure everything is being put into action, he’s going to be designing it. So you’ll be the main one coming up with concepts, he will make them come to life. He’s going to be your little assistant,” Diana said.
“So he’s not the ‘creative director’?” I clarified.
“‘Creative team lead,'” she said.
Ha! So he wasn’t a director. I couldn’t wait to confront him about it later. Which was later that morning after the staff meeting. There’s a new “product development suite” with my new office, a design room (that is honestly jankity), an open space of cubicles, and a conference room for design meetings with the team. My first order of business is turning that design room into a more inspiring space.
I was walking through taking before pictures when Luke walked in. He walked past me and started flipping through a notebook and I guess he was still mad about our first encounter that morning.
“So when did you start?” I asked, trying to start over.
“Last week,” Luke replied, not looking up at me.
“Where did you come from?” I pried.
Okay, cool. Great talk. I continued taking pictures and talking to Luke and he finally kind of started to open up. I was still thinking about what happened with Matt so I blabbed all of this to Luke. Then I asked if he was seeing anyone.
“Well, I’m gay,” he said back and I realized that he probably thought I was making a pass at him. I was mortified. But at least I know for sure he’s gay now. I think Preston will love him. He’s way more manly than the guys Preston usually goes for.
I didn’t hear from Matt until Tuesday morning. I was feeling guilty about the whole thing though so I came clean to Brady about it. I told him about meeting Matt on the plane, exchanging numbers, the pub crawl and Matt squeezing my ass and giving me $200.
“Why did you even go if you knew he was interested in you?” Brady asked, looking confused, but not mad.
“Well, that’s the thing. I didn’t know he was interested in me in that way,” I said.
“Reese, you’re not an idiot. You knew what his intentions were,” Brady said and looked back down at his laptop basically dismissing me.
“Uh, no I didn’t. He didn’t act interested in me until Friday night. Am I supposed to just assume every guy wants to fuck me?”
“Stop acting like a dumbass.” He gave me a mean look and my mouth dropped open because that was rude. I slid off the table I was sitting on and stomped to Brady’s room.
I got in bed and waited for an hour for him to join me. When Brady walked in, I glared at him and didn’t say anything. He got undressed and got in bed.
“What are you doing?” he asked, snuggling next to me.
“Acting like a dumbass,” I said.
It’s like Brady was waiting for me to say something like that because he started yelling.
“You allowed a man to grab your ass and kiss all over you! Why else would he ask for your number, Reese? Do you think he really wanted to talk stocks with you? You don’t know anything about that stuff! Why are we even having this conversation? You should know better.” He turned away from me.
I felt bad. Brady hardly ever yells at me. And he was right. I hate being yelled at and usually get really defensive, but I knew this was on me.
I leaned over him and kissed him and he kissed me back. I said, “Sorry. Are you mad?”
“No. Just don’t do it again,” he said.
I promised I wouldn’t and I know that I can’t do that to Brady again. So when Matt texted me, “Miami next weekend?” on Tuesday, I texted back, “Can my boyfriend come?”
Matt didn’t text me back, but called me around lunchtime. I didn’t answer. That afternoon he texted asking for my birthday. Meaning he was probably trying to buy a plane ticket for me. So I didn’t respond.
My dad was in Chicago for work on Wednesday. We made plans to get lunch like we always do when he comes to town and I invited Brady even though I knew he would be busy with work. To my surprise though, Brady asked where we were going and what time and then said he could probably make it. Yay!
We went to this Mediterranean restaurant that my dad loves and ordered crostinis, scallops, and tartare. My dad asked me about my new job and Brady about his. Then he said, “Your mother has been staying with your grandma for the past month.”
“Huh?” I said back, confused.
“She can stay there until she gets her act together. You know, she charged $18,000 for-”
“Daddy, you can tell me about it later,” I said quickly. I didn’t need Brady knowing about our ridiculous family issues.
“I’m not going to put up with this any longer, Reese. Make sure she knows that.”
I feel like if Brady and I get married it’ll be like my parents’ relationship. I’m going to shop and spend money and Brady is going to passive aggressively send messages through our kids. I can already see it happening.
Not even an hour after I got back to the office, my mom called me.
“Hi Mom,” I answered.
“So Brady can find time to have lunch with your dad, but not me?” she greeted me.
“Mooooom,” I groaned.
“I don’t appreciate you two ganging up on me,” she sniffled.
“We aren’t ganging up on you.”
My mom is so dramatic.
“Then why did you take Brady to lunch?”
“We were fighting when you were here, Mom!” I practically screamed.
She didn’t say anything.
“Dad’s pissed at you,” I said.
“And I’m pissed at him. Don’t take his side Reese, you don’t know what happened.”
My parents are so childish. And I think it’s incredibly inconsiderate of them to try to involve me in their fights and make me pick sides. So I told my mom I had a meeting to go to and hung up.
She called back later on in the afternoon to apologize and to ask what my dad told me. I was like, “I’m not getting involved. Call him and ask him.”
I went to Brady’s that night after happy hour with Kendra and John. He was working and I let him for a little while before I started being annoying.
“How do you know you’re not gay?” I asked.
“What?” he said back, barely looking up at me.
“How do you know you’re not gay?” I repeated.
“Because I’m not…”
“But how do you knowwwww?”
“What? How can you be sure?”
“Because I’m not attracted to men.”
“How do you know? Have you thought about it?” I leaned in close. This was getting interesting.
“No!” Brady exclaimed. “Why are you asking me this?”
“Has anyone thought you were gay? Has a man ever hit on you?”
“Could you imagine yourself sucking a dick?”
“Are you just trying to piss me off? No!”
I could tell Brady was getting irritated with me, but I couldn’t stop.
“No, I’m just wondering. How can you know if you don’t like something if you haven’t tried it?”
“I’m not talking about this anymore. You’re being ridiculous,” he said.
I left him alone until later on when he came in his room to get ready for bed.
“Are you moving away?” I asked.
“What? No,” Brady replied.
“You said your mom had a job opening for you. Are you going for it?” I elaborated.
“I don’t want to.”
“Because I’m okay here. My job is fine and I don’t want to sell my place. I need to be far away from my parents too.”
“Why?” I agree with him on the parents thing because mine are obviously insane, but I wanted him to say it in his own words.
“I don’t like being around them. Reese, you know this,” Brady sighed.
“But when I first met you, you said you were considering moving back home,” I pointed out.
“I was considering moving to the east coast, not back home to be near my parents,” he explained.
“Oh east coast… Like New York City? Where your ex lives?” My face lit up with excitement.
“What? No!” Brady was sounding frustrated again. “Why are you interrogating me?”
“Whattttt? You’re never open with me,” I pouted.
We were both quiet as Brady walked to the edge of the bed. “Okay, what else do you want to know?”
“I feel like your relationship with your parents has gotten a lot worse the past couple of months. Did something happen?” I asked.
“No,” Brady said automatically.
Then I had a realization. “Is it because of me?” It would make sense. I’d overheard Brady’s mom saying she didn’t like someone (probably me) in November and she said I was controlling because Brady was spending Christmas with me. Since then he hasn’t had anything nice to say about them (his conversation with Brittany, him telling me he would be okay with never speaking to them again, etc) and he hasn’t gone to visit them.
“Of course not.”
“Are you sure?” I didn’t believe him.
“I’m sure. It has nothing to do with you. We’ve never had a good relationship,” Brady said. I’m not sure why, but my chest started to feel heavy.
“I know you don’t like talking about them, but can you tell me about it one day?” I asked.
Brady finally got in bed next to me. “Mmhm.”
And then he kissed me and we hooked up so we didn’t have to talk about his parents anymore. So 1. He’s obviously not gay. And 2. I really wish I could get him to open up to me about his parents. Because right now, I feel like he’s being irrational. Yeah his parents are super republican and stuff, but it’s like, they’re still his parents. What if something happens to them? Won’t he feel guilty for hating them? I just want to shake some sense into him.