The other day Mike stopped by my office on his way out. Mike only works in the office about three days a week and strolls out at 3:30pm. On this day it seemed weird though because we had dinner plans with a potential new client.
“Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to dinner tonight,” he said unapologetically, not offering an explanation. “You still have Thomas and Nancy going so you won’t be alone.”
I’m nosy so I wanted to ask why he couldn’t make it to the dinner. Maybe he had a date with a prostitute. But probably not my place so I said, “Thanks for letting me know,” and left it at that.
Since Mike was no longer coming, I invited Kristina to tag along. May as well have someone to talk to since Mike wouldn’t be there. I let her know that it would just be us and Nancy and Thomas and that really, it was a good excuse to drink on the company’s dime.
But when we showed up, Brendan was sitting at the bar with Thomas. He was not invited. Kristina elbowed me as we walked in, knowing that he had come uninvited.
Usually Mike does a lot of the talking at these sort of things, but Kristina and I pretty much led the show. After the clients left, the four of us went back over to the bar to continue drinking.
“The two of you are like the dream team,” Thomas told us. “You could sell ice to an Eskimo.”
Clearly he was just flattering us and Kristina ate it right up.
“Yeah, Reese, we should ask Mike to do this all the time,” she said, batting her eyelashes.
As we were walking out and to our respective cars/rides home, Brendan fell into step next to me.
“Some friends and I are headed up to the mountains this weekend. My family’s got a cabin up there,” he said. “It’s usually pretty chill – we just play drinking games and stuff. Sometimes it’s nice to get out of the city…”
It reminded me of when Brady and I first started hanging out when he would tell me about events, restaurants and things before inviting me like he wanted me to invite myself.
“Do you have plans this weekend?” he asked.
“My boyfriend and I are going to San Francisco to see his brother,” I blurted out, happy to have real plans.
Brendan seemed to look a mixture of surprised and relieved. “Cool. Regan and I haven’t been to San Francisco in a long time. We need to go back.”
Regan is the wife.
Actually though, I was not looking forward to going to San Francisco. I wanted to stay home with Tucker, drink green smoothies all weekend and not deal with Hunter and Dom drama.
Brady did work on the five hour flight there while I slept on and off and read a book.
“Love you,” Brady said, halfway into the flight and leaned over and kissed me.
I pulled away slightly. “That’s what you have to say all the time when you don’t show it.”
He laughed and went back to work.
Brady received a text from Hunter when we landed letting him know that he couldn’t pick us up from the airport and to call an Uber instead.
“Wifey,” he explained.
Here we fucking go.
When we go to their house though, Hunter was home alone with no wife or kids in sight.
“What’s up?” he bellowed, greeting us at the door. It was eerily quiet and odd to me that he could get away with shouting at 10PM.
He and Brady hugged and I dodged him, dragging my suitcase through the hallway. I was exhausted, but heard the two of them talking about going out.
“Cool, I’ll make us drinks,” Hunter concluded and walked around me toward the kitchen. “Hey, Reese.”
“Where’s your wife and kids?” I asked innocently because my nosy ass just had to know.
Hunter didn’t reply and pretended to be busy getting a cocktail shaker and bottle of Don Julio out of the cabinet. I went to the guest bedroom and emerged wearing dark jeans, a white Free People top and heeled mules. Little did I know, we were going to the local sports bar and not anywhere nice so I could’ve just worn my dingy travel clothes.
“So how have y’all been?” Hunter asked as we sat around the sticky high top table. He emphasized the word y’all and looked at me when he said it.
There was a moment of silence before Brady started talking about work because that is all he ever talks about. I sucked down my vodka sodas faster than the server could bring them out and I began to get talkative.
When we got back to Hunter’s, I was completely drunk and in my own world. I sat in the kitchen playing on my phone and feeling disgusting because of all the vodka I’d had. I don’t like to drink as much anymore, if you can believe it. I’m old now.
I realized I hadn’t seen Brady and Hunter for a while and got up to find them. I poked my head into the living room and dining room and didn’t see them, but saw a light on at the end of the hallway. I padded down there considering shouting, “What the fuck are y’all doing?” but decided against it because Dom and the kids could’ve come home while I was gone.
Brady and Hunter were in what looked like a home office, standing with their backs to the door at a huge book shelf. I couldn’t see what they were holding, but they were quiet for a minute before Hunter said something like, “This is the good shit. $80 a pop.”
Again, they were quiet and I marched in.
They both jumped fifteen feet in the air and Brady turned to face me while Hunter tried to furiously hide whatever they were looking at.
“Hey,” Brady said lazily, giving me a half smile.
“What are we looking at?” I pretended to whisper.
Hunter walked out of the room, while giving me one of his knowing looks. Brady grabbed my hand and we followed.
The next morning, I was woken up by screaming children. I discovered that it was 7:00am. Brady was kind of sleeping and I nudged him to make sure he was awake too.
“Like you’re fucking kidding me, right?” I said.
He smiled and rolled over so he was on top of me and started kissing my neck.
“Listen,” I said, pushing him off. “I can’t get in the mood with these wailing children. I can’t even hear myself think.”
Brady looked disappointed, but got up to go shower in the attached bathroom. After we were both showered and dressed, we went downstairs to see what all the commotion was about.
Hunter, Dom and the two adorable children were hanging out in the kitchen/dining room. It looked like the kids had eaten donuts for breakfast and the remnants were all over the counter and floor and clearly all that sugar had made them bounce off the walls. Even I know not to feed small children something like that if I didn’t want them to turn into hyper lunatics. Hunter was freshly showered and clean, looking like a 90s heartthrob with his hair down and parted in the middle. Dom looked super cute in matching yoga pants and a tank, with a zippered hoodie over it. And for once, she didn’t scowl as we walked in.
“Good morning!” I greeted the group.
The kids stood there looking shy and timid – the complete opposite of the crazed monsters there were moments before.
“Morning,” Hunter finally said. “We got some donuts if you want one. I was gonna make an omelet for myself.”
Brady dug into the donut box and grabbed a fat chocolate iced donut with sprinkles, but my hungover tummy could not handle that. I told Hunter that I’d also like an omelet and Dom jerked her head toward me. Oh.
“Hi Dom,” I said, sweetly, trying to pretend we don’t hate each other.
“Hello,” she said back, pretending to be super into the zipper on her hoodie.
Brady and I played with the kids for a while (they are SO goddamn cute and smart. My ovaries were quaking) and then Hunter said we were going into the city. I quickly went and put on mascara and SPF and was ready, but then it took them 45 minutes to get the kids ready and packed into the family car – a big Mercedes GLS 450. Dom insisted on sitting in the back seat between the two kids and Brady sat up front with Hunter which left me in the third row alone. I played Angry Birds the whole way there.
We walked around the cold wharf area for a while looking at the water and marine life. Dom was really annoyed with being out with the kids, but was actually being kind of nice to me (she told me where to stand to get a good picture of the sea lions). We grabbed a quick (it’s never quick with kids) lunch where Brady, Hunter and I ordered cocktails/beer. This infuriated Dom.
“Seriously, Hunter. Can you go through one meal without having alcohol to drink? Your children are here and you are responsible for getting us home,” she said. She was obviously pissed, but kind of just sounded concerned too.
Hunter smiled. “Relax, baby. It’s one beer. I’m going to be fine.”
But then, he ordered another beer before we left the restaurant. Afterwards, when we got outside, Hunter and Dom walked ahead of a little bit and I could see that she was not going to let that slide.
“Dom doesn’t like Hunter to drink?” I asked Brady because I was trying to make sense of it.
He shrugged. “I never really know what’s going on with them.”
They came back over after a few minutes and Dom started wrangling the kids.
“She’s gonna take the kiddos home,” he explained as we all just watched.
“Should we walk her to the car or something?” I asked because it seemed weird to just send her off like that.
“Nah,” was all Hunter said.
Dom had a backpack on and the little boy in her arms and held on the little girl’s arm. “Okay, we’re gonna go.”
“Bye, honey,” Hunter said, pecking her on the lips.
We really should’ve helped her to the car because thinking back, she looked like a tiny single mother trekking back.
We took an Uber to a street of bars and went into a divey dark bar with a pool table and patio out back. Hunter and I secured a table while Brady went to get drinks for us.
“I feel like Dom never wants to hang out with us,” I said to Hunter.
“She doesn’t,” he confirmed and added nothing else.
Brady came back and Hunter began telling us about all the nerdy guys he works with and their lack of social skills with women. It was actually pretty funny, but then these two tipsy girls came over to play on the pool table and Hunter’s attention diverted that way. The girls were like kind of cute I guess, with their mousy brown hair, flowy Old Navy dresses and kitten heels (one of them had on flat white sneakers), but nothing special. But every so often Hunter would shout things to them like, “Ah, so close!” and “Lean into the shot.”
Eventually he got up and went over there to give his commentary face to face. I tried to stop him before he went.
“Hunter,” I called, obviously not loud enough for him hear. “Don’t be a predator.”
After Hunter left, Brady and I danced and made out and had a good time for a few hours on our own. When we realized it was after 5pm and we were hungry again, we decided to find him. The bar was filled with a completely different crowd than when we first got there and Hunter was no where to be found. I was so irritated.
“He needs to learn how to keep his dick in his pants,” I said to Brady as we stepped outside to call his Hunter. Brady gave me a weird look like I shouldn’t have mentioned his brother’s dick and I shut up after that.
We found Hunter at a bar across the street with one of the two girls from before. She was definitely cuter of the two with a clean fresh face, high cheekbones and had pulled her hair into a bun on top of her head. So Brady and I sat down at their table and ordered a bunch of bar food plus more drinks and just had dinner there.
We finally got home around midnight and successfully prevented Hunter from having sex with any random women. I think he would’ve tried it, but his girl from before left at 7:00pm and made it clear that Hunter was not allowed to come with.
Again, the house was silent when we got home and Hunter loudly made more drinks for us in the kitchen. We stayed up for another hour or so before retreating to bed. Brady and I were dying to hook up after being all over each other all day and we excitedly got undressed and in bed. I climbed on top of him and was riding him into the sunset (sunrise?) while he whispered dirty things to me (I love Drunk Brady), when we heard the faint sounds of people yelling. I was going to ignore it, but I’m nosy and stopped so I could hear better. It was definitely Dom and she was definitely mad.
“It’s fine, keep going,” Brady said. And then I heard stomping down the hall outside our door and one of the kids crying. I don’t know, it’s a bit hard to be turned on while hearing parents fighting and children crying.
The next morning, Brady and I stayed in bed until 9:45am then got ready before heading to the kitchen. Hunter was at the dining room table wearing big headphones and was working on his laptop and it was very quiet so I assumed Dom and the kids had left.
“Good morning!” Hunter bellowed, looking delighted. “Sleep well?”
Clearly he was being ironic because obviously we couldn’t sleep well with him and Dom sparring with each other all night.
We had Blood Marys for breakfast before heading to the airport for our 2pm flight. I feel like I need a break from Hunter and Dom until they get their shit together. The weekend exhausted me and not just because we drank for twelve hours straight on Saturday.
When I got to work on Monday, Mike called me to his office.
“I’m behind on some financial data that need to be reconciled by end of day tomorrow. I wanted to see if you have the bandwidth to be able to assist,” he said, not wasting anytime.
And even though I was already swamped, I want Mike to know/think he can count on me for everything. So I spent the next nine hours at the office working on this new assignment and then several hours into the evening at home.
“Work busy?” Brady asked, after even he’d finished his work and I was still working on my laptop.
“Yeah. Mike has me doing this financial reconciliation project that is taking forever. We really need to hire someone to do specifically this,” I said.
“You should tell him if it’s too much for you,” Brady said and it kind of annoyed me. Like you’re not the only one who can be busy and have a large workload.
That Thursday, a few of us from the office went out for happy hour. Kristina and Sam were both in attendance along with two other girls, who are a bit older. We went to a little bar and restaurant not far from the office and gossiped over margaritas and Moscow Mules. We sat for like two hours until I pulled out my phone and saw that Brendan had texted me.
“Thomas and I are at White Horse if you want to join,” he said.
I nudged Kristina and showed her. She got a devilish look in her eyes. “Let’s go.”
I let Brendan know that Kristina and I were going to finish up our drinks and then head over (even though it was on the opposite side of the island). Then we proceeded to order two more drinks and then stayed for an additional hour before hopping in a cab downtown.
By the time we got there, the place was packed with finance bros. Kristina and I elbowed our way in until we found Brendan and Thomas and their entire team crowded around a table.
“Heyyyy,” Thomas greeted us with drunk affection.
He called the server and ordered us beers. Thomas and Kristina immediately fell into conversation while Brendan introduced me to the rest of his team. They were all rugged looking with facial hair and big, rough looking hands and likely at least a few years older than Brendan. It looked kind of weird that he was hanging out with them and that he is their boss. He definitely fit in with the finance boys a little more with his peacoat and designer dress shirt. I can understand him struggling to be taken seriously.
“How’s your week been?” Brendan asked
I sighed dramatically. “Busy. I can’t believe it’s only Thursday.”
“Yeah, I totally feel the same. I’m actually staying in the city this weekend so it’ll be nice to relax,” he said.
“I’m excited for a weekend to do absolutely nothing,” I said and Brendan laughed.
A little later, some of the scruffs had gone home and just a few of us remained. Brendan ordered Jameson shots for us. We were all obviously drunk, but not in a rowdy way. We were actually very well behaved. I was mostly talking to Brendan and his employee, Aaron, as I was sitting between them.
The night was winding down and as Brendan was settling the check, Kristina leaned across to me. “What are we doing after this?”
“Literally going home,” I laughed back. “It’s 11PM.”
She pouted. “Okay, fine.”
As we were filing out of the booth, Brendan grabbed my hand and helped me out. Perhaps I was more drunk than I thought. As we were putting on our coats and walking out, he said, “If you aren’t doing anything this weekend, I’ll be around….”
My heart jumped into my throat and Kristina came and hooked her arm around my elbow.
“Okay,” I said back coyly, strangely delighted that he’d asked me to hang out with him.
I didn’t hang out with him. I deliberately kept my phone on Do Not Disturb all weekend which didn’t matter because I checked the thing every five minutes and he thankfully didn’t message me. Way too much Jameson.