i’m pregnant.

On Monday, I was actually busy at work. Dave and Diana are going on a business trip next Monday through Wednesday and someone is going to have to run the office. So Diana forwarded me the how-to manual on the office operations and I took some time to read through it. After a few hours I started feeling like my eyes were crossing from reading so much. I pulled out my phone to check Pinterest, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Mark had texted me a listing for a condo he thought I would love and asked if I wanted to see it soon. It was a gorgeous updated high rise, but it was a studio and I have way too much shit for a studio. I told him to keep looking.

I logged onto Facebook and the first thing that came up on my newsfeed was a location check-in from Jessica.

“Lunch with my favorite people,” she said and tagged three people including Brady. I almost dropped my phone.

It was from five minutes prior so I knew they were probably still eating. I couldn’t believe it. Brady assured me that he was no longer speaking to her. Why were they going on lunch dates together? Clearly, he lied and they probably never stopped talking or hanging out. Before I could stop myself, I dialed Brady’s number on my office phone. I had to get to the bottom of this ASAP. 

He didn’t answer and I assumed it was because he didn’t recognize the number. I called him again from my cell phone and it went to voicemail after only two rings. RUDE. He obviously ignored my phone call on purpose. What if it was an emergency? I could be dying! I felt my body shaking with anger. 

I texted him, “I’m pregnant.” and sat my phone down to continue working. I giggled when he called back three minutes later (which is actually a long time to wait to check in on your unborn child’s mother). 

I obviously didn’t answer and instead texted, “Can’t talk, I’m super busy right now.”

“You’re pregnant?” Brady asked immediately.

“Yes,” was all I said back. I felt kind of evil for lying to him, but I would tell him the truth after I got some answers about Jessica. He needed to be punished. 

“Can you please step out or something so we can talk?” Brady asked.

Before I could tell him no, my office phone rang and Diana asked me to meet her in Dave’s office so we could go over some things. They spent an hour going over the troubleshooting guide just in case anything crazy happens while they are gone. I mean I get it, they want to be prepared, but I’ve run the office plenty of times while they both were out. Things will be fine.

After that, Dave wanted to take us out for drinks and obviously we didn’t object. I was so thirsty for free drinks that I completely forgot about my phone and telling Brady I was pregnant. By the time we got back to the office it was 4:30. I had two missed calls and several text messages.

“Answer the phone please.”

“Reese.”

“Seriously. I’m freaking out here.”

I felt terrible and decided I would come clean and give him an amazing blow job later.

“Let’s talk later,” I texted back and wrapped up for the day.

Brady called at around six when he got off and asked to come over. I said sure. When he got there, I buzzed him in and opened the door when he knocked.

“You’re off early today,” I said, hugging him.

“Yeah,” was all he said.

We pulled away and I gave Brady my most innocent smile. I hoped he wouldn’t be pissed.

“Are you really pregnant?” he asked me.

I waited a few seconds before saying, “No.”

Brady let out a deep breath. “Then why did you say you were?” He sounded frustrated – almost whiney – but not particularly mad. 

“So you went to lunch with Jessica? You said you haven’t talked to her. Sounds like you guys are great friends to me,” I said in an accusatory voice. 

“A lot of people went, not just the two of us. I didn’t talk to her.”

“Okay.” I wanted to press the issue, but I didn’t want to come off as an insecure brat like Saturday night.

“Why did you lie, Reese? I told my brother and I’m sure he’s already told my mom.”

Oops.

“Sorry,” I said meekly. I actually really did feel bad. His mother would probably disown him.

“It’s okay,” Brady sighed, but I knew it wasn’t.

“Don’t you think it’s weird that Jessica tagged you on Facebook and you guys haven’t talked in three weeks?” I asked.

“Kind of, yes.”

“You haven’t talked to her in three weeks, right?”

“Reese, it’s hard. We work primarily on the same floors and she’s very persistent. I do my best to avoid her.”

What?

“So you guys never stopped talking?” I clarified.

“I told her that you would prefer if she and I didn’t talk anymore and at first, she respected that. The only time she would talk to me was about work related matters. Then she started back asking how my weekend was and stuff like that. I can’t be rude.”

I nodded. So is that why Jessica added me on Facebook – so she could tag Brady in statuses and brag that they are still friends? Cool. 

“Do you want to get dinner?” Brady asked and I nodded. I slipped on my Prada flats, grabbed a jacket and followed Brady out the door.

We went to a bar and grill near my apartment and got beer and appetizers to share. By the time I finished my first beer, Brady was on his third. I hope I’m not driving him into a drinking problem. I know I’m a handful.

When we got back to my apartment I put a movie in and we snuggled.

“Reese, I don’t want Jessica to continue to cause conflict between us,” Brady said out of nowhere. “I’m not interested in her romantically or sexually at all.”

“…Okay,” I started.

“I love everything about you. I only want you right now,” he continued.

Right now? What did that mean?

“I wish you would trust my word on that. I think you’re still punishing me for not being upfront about her. Everyday you have a new issue with me and it seems like there’s nothing I can about it.”

When he said that I really felt bad. Brady completely trusts me and doesn’t seem to be guarding his emotions. At any moment I could rip his heart right out of his chest and stomp it to pieces. Isn’t he afraid of that? I am. That’s why I’m so guarded. But if he’s making himself vulnerable and I’m not, that isn’t fair.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to stop being a psychopath and let myself love him. I mean, I’m going to try. I think he deserves that much.

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no more jessicas.

On Monday morning I woke up much earlier than usual, went for a run, got ready for work, and stopped and got donuts for the whole office. I ended up getting four dozen and couldn’t carry them all so I made one of the workers carry it to the office for me (before you call me a lazy brat, just know that I gave him a generous tip).

I immediately started working away until around 1:30 then decided to take a break and grab something to eat. I found my phone at the bottom of my bag where I’d left it that morning and was surprised to see a new text message from Brady. It said, “Do you want to talk?”

I let out a happy sigh. Finally. Of course I wanted to talk. I sat there drafting about a thousand different responses before ultimately deciding on, “Okay.”

I waited to see what Brady would say back for ten minutes then threw my phone in my bag and headed out to lunch. 

I continued working all afternoon and didn’t hear from Brady again until around 4:00. He said, “Do you want to meet for dinner?”

I said, “Okay,” again.

He responded back with the name of a place near my apartment and suggested we meet at 7:30. I typed, “Okay,” one last time. He gave no indication about what he wanted to talk about – whether he wanted to work our issues out or end things in person – which concerned me. In an ideal world, we would meet up, he would apologize profusely about not telling me about Jessica, he would beg for my forgiveness and then present me with a $12,000 designer bag.

I stayed at the office until 6:30 then went home and changed into a dress and booties. I didn’t plan well and ended up showing up to the place at 7:45. I pulled out my phone to text Brady that I had finally arrived, but I saw him sitting in a booth near the door. He stood up as I approached with an unreadable look on his face and kissed me lightly on the cheek. We both sat down.

“I already ordered. Do you want a beer or anything?” he asked, really properly.

I shook my head. Brady was acting like we didn’t even know each other which made me get defensive. He had no right to be mad. All I broke was his phone. He broke my heart.

“Okay,” he said.

We sat there for a minute not saying anything. Finally Brady said, “Reese, I’m sorry.”

I raised my eyebrows and nodded like “Go on.”

“I wasn’t completely open with you about Jessica. I should have been upfront and told you exactly what happened. That’s all I can say. I won’t make any excuses.”

I nodded in agreement.

“You have every right to be angry that I didn’t tell you and that you had to find out on your own. Seeing you that upset because of me was hard to watch. I apologize for that.”

“What’s the story with you and her?” I demanded.

Brady looked kind of surprised at my question. “Just everything I told you. We began working together a few months ago and she was quite persistent from the beginning. I’m very busy at work so I couldn’t pay attention to her and I think she took that as a challenge…”

“And she just randomly offered you a blow job and you accepted.”

He started to blush furiously. “I mean, yeah.”

“But y’all didn’t have sex?”

“No. I ended things before they could go that far.”

I glared at him for a few minutes.

“Um,” for the first time ever I saw Brady struggling with what to say. “I don’t want to throw everything away because of this. I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you.”

I uncrossed my arms as I started to soften.

“Yeah…” I began, unsure of what to say. Have I mentioned how much I hate talking about my feelings? “I don’t either.”

“You don’t what?”

“Want to throw everything away.”

He looked relieved. “I’m glad we are on the same page.”

I smiled and nodded.

“Those two days I gave you to cool off made me realize how much I really do like you.”

I waited a full minute before saying, “Me too,” really quietly.

“So I would like to make this work. If you want to.”

“What is ‘this?'” I asked.

“Us. Our relationship.” Brady looked confused.

“We never defined our relationship. Except the night when Jessica confronted you about it which doesn’t even really count,” I said in an accusatory voice.

Brady was unfazed by what I said. “I mean, I introduced you to my parents. I told them you were my girlfriend…”

My heart jumped. “Oh.”

“Is that not what you want?”

“It is,” I said. I decided that I was going to have to stop playing coy and hiding my feelings. If I wanted this to work with Brady I had to be open too.

“Okay…”

“I’m not good with relationships,” I blurted out.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m just not. I’m stubborn and needy and possessive and I suck at expressing my feelings.”

“You’re expressing your feelings now,” Brady said.

I let out a deep breath. He was right – I was expressing myself and I had yet to spontaneously combust so maybe it was fine. I kept going.

“I may have some mild trust issues from my previous relationships and you can see how this doesn’t help.”

“That’s completely understandable. I’ve done nothing to give you any reason to trust me.”

Brady owning up to what he did seemed to make everything okay. Whenever my ex did something he wasn’t supposed to, he would reverse it and make it seem like it was somehow my fault.

“My ex-boyfriend kind of ruined me. Not that I was perfect from the beginning. But he did some really awful things,” I went on.

“I’m sorry,” Brady said, although I’m not sure what he was apologizing for. He looked at me kind of cautiously before asking, “What did he do?”

I didn’t expect Brady to ask for details so I had to take a moment to gather my thoughts. Normally, I would have blown his question off, but we were being honest and open. Plus I appreciated that he had the balls to ask.

“What didn’t he do?” I answered. “He had sex with other girls, made out with them in front of me at parties, told everyone on campus that I was a psycho.”

Just talking about it was making me grind my teeth. Why did I ever even put up with that shit? I was such a pathetic, needy little girl. 

“Yikes,” Brady said. “Worse than I thought.”

I nodded. We were silent for a moment then Brady said, “I guess I’m not really the best with relationships either.”

“How come?” I wanted to know.

“I realized that my parents aren’t like normal parents. They’re very…cold and disconnected. I mean, you met them. They aren’t affectionate at all so I never got that growing up.”

I nodded. “I can see that…” So I’m the only one who thinks his mother is a cold, unwelcoming little woman.

“Yeah. They don’t talk to us about anything personal. We never got a sex talk or anything like that. They only wanted to know what colleges we got into and our GPAs and things of that nature. Even now, they rarely say ‘I love you.’ So I think that has affected the way I am in relationships.”

Wow. His parents rarely tell him they love him? I can’t imagine. My parents send me random text messages throughout the day telling me how much they love me. I felt for him.

After our food came, things went back to normal for the most part. He told me about his weekend and he confirmed that he and John went on some sort of golf date on Saturday. He said that his phone was a complete goner so he ended up having to pay to get a new one. It almost made me feel bad, but not really because it taught him a valuable life lesson.

After Brady paid for dinner, we walked outside. Since the place was so close to my apartment, I’d walked, but Brady asked me to walk to his car with him. It didn’t seem weird at the time, but now that I’m thinking about it, it was kind of an odd request.

We got to his car and he opened the passenger door like he wanted me to get in, but the seat was filled with dozens of red, pink, white and yellow roses. There had to be a hundred there.

“I didn’t want to bring them in the restaurant, but I got you these,” Brady explained.

“Aww,” I cooed looking at him. “That’s so sweet.” It wasn’t the designer bag I was hoping for, but I was grateful for the gesture.

He shrugged sheepishly and I couldn’t help reaching over and hugging his adorable ass. Brady offered to carry the huge bouquet to my apartment and my doorman, Frank, said, “Someone must have been in the doghouse.”

I giggled at him calling Brady out. When we got up to my apartment, Brady put the flowers down and we stood there looking at each other. I invited him to sit down.

“So are we okay?” Brady asked me.

“I think so,” I said, nodding then I narrowed my eyes at him. “But don’t fucking hang out with her anymore.”

“I won’t. I didn’t plan on it.”

“Don’t even talk to her. Don’t go to lunch with her. Delete her number.”

“Of course,” Brady said.

I realized that I hadn’t apologized or fully owned up to my part of the fight yet and I needed to to make things right.

“I’m sorry I broke your phone,” I said and surprisingly saying the word “sorry” didn’t kill me.

“Don’t worry about it,” Brady said.

I swallowed, preparing myself to drop the Derrick bomb. “By the way, you remember my friend, Derrick, right? From my birthday?”

Brady nodded.

“Well, in college we like, kind of hooked up, but it wasn’t really a big deal. It only happened once, but he confessed that he still likes me on my birthday,” I babbled. 

Brady’s eyebrows shot up like he was surprised then he nodded slowly as if he was putting some puzzle pieces together and it was all making sense now.

“I guess I could have told you that a while ago,” I said.

“That would’ve been good to know.”

“Just like it would’ve been good to know about Jessie,” I said sweetly.

“Point taken.”

We sat in silence for a minute then Brady said, “So no more Derricks.”

And I said, “And no more Jessicas.”

We stayed up until almost 2:00 AM just talking and not having sex which I think we needed. 

So everything is settled, I think. 

Give me your thoughts.

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the most thoughtful gift.

When I got to work on Tuesday, Diana called me into her office.

“How was your weekend? You had a ton of fun, I imagine,” she said when I sat down.

“I did,” I said, smiling. “It was also my birthday so I celebrated.”

“Well, you’re here in one piece so that’s a great sign.”

I’m glad that even after everything, Diana and I still have a great relationship.

“So, I know you have a lot on your plate right now. You’re taking on so much extra work lately and Dave and I really appreciate you.”

“Yeah. My plate is very full,” I admitted.

“To help take some weight off your shoulders, we have promoted Whitney into a brand new position that was created just for her.”

I was silent so Diana continued explaining.

“Brand strategy manager. She will continue overseeing social media, but in addition, she will work alongside you with branding.”

I blinked.

“I just wanted to run this by you since I know you and Whitney have not always seen eye to eye.”

How did Whitney weasel her way into a promotion? And yes, I was swamped with work, but that’s the way I liked it. I didn’t want help, especially from Whitney.

“Okay,” I said, sweetly.

“You’re okay with this?” Diana looked kind of surprised. 

What was the alternative? Refusing to work with Whitney and looking like an uncooperative brat?

“Don’t worry, Diana. We will make it work,” I enthused.

Immediately after the meeting, Whitney stopped by my office.

“I already have a ton of ideas for marketing pitches. We’ve been lacking in a few areas so I created a file outlining everything. I just emailed it to you,” she said.

I gave her the fakest, syrupiest smile I could muster. “Thanks. I’ll look at it.”

Keyword: look. Right before I moved it to the trash.

Later that evening, Brady and I met for dinner and drinks. I told him about Whitney’s promotion and how annoyed about it I was.

“Don’t be annoyed. At least you’ll be getting some relief from all the work you have to do,” he said.

“I don’t want relief,” I glared.

“It will allow you more time to invest elsewhere. Perhaps spend more time on each project instead of juggling multiple things at once…”

“I don’t want that,” I said sharply. “Everything is perfect as is. I don’t need help.”

Brady saw how irritated I was getting and took a bite of his food. I considered what he said and started thinking of all the upsides. I could treat Whitney like my own little personal assistant. I mean, I have been wanting one. I could keep her so busy with running my errands that she wouldn’t have any time to work on branding. Perfect.

Brady interrupted my thoughts.

“So did you free your schedule for the 19th through 21st?” he asked. 

I wrinkled my nose in confusion. “No. Why?”

He looked at me blankly. “Did you not open the gift I got you?”

I had spent so much time at work and Brady’s that I completely forgot about the little white box he gave me the night of my birthday. It was still tangled up in my sheets.

“No. I completely forgot about that,” I admitted.

A look of disappointment flashed over his face briefly. 

“What is it?”

“Why don’t you look at it when you get home?” he suggested, taking a drink from his beer.

I feel awful about completely disregarding his gift. I should’ve opened it that night.

Brady came home with me and I hurried to find my gift. It was exactly where I left it, tossed carelessly on the bed. I tore open the box and single piece of paper fell to the bed. When I picked it up, I saw that it was the flight information for a trip to Houston, TX. For me. I didn’t say anything for a moment and Brady spoke up.

“I know you don’t get to see your family often so I’m forcing you to go.”

My heart felt too big for my chest and I actually thought I was going to cry. It is probably the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever gotten from a guy. He didn’t book a romantic trip for the two of us, he booked a trip for me.

“That’s…very thoughtful,” I said, sitting down on the edge of my bed.

Brady sat next to me. “I know your family misses you. Go surprise your parents. They will be ecstatic.”

“They will be.” I threw my arms around him and hugged him, hoping he took it as a thank you. 

I know his gift isn’t extravagant or anything I’ve been asking for, but I would never go home if he hadn’t bought me that plane ticket. And I’m actually really excited. 

We hooked up and fell asleep after that. I was woken up in the morning by Brady who quickly got out of bed. I pulled the comforter over my head while I heard him getting ready. He shouted goodbye and I mumbled something back before he shut my door. 

I fell back asleep for little while longer, but my ringing phone woke me up. It was from an unknown Chicago number and even though I usually don’t pick up unknown numbers, I answered it.

“Hey, it’s me,” I recognized Brady’s voice on the other end.

“Hi,” I said sleepily.

“I was in such a hurry that I left my phone on your nightstand,” he said.

I glanced to my right and saw his black iPhone sitting there.

“Do you think if you have time today, you could bring it to me at work? It’s kind of important.”

“Sure,” I said, smiling. I loved the fact that he was asking me for a favor. And if his phone was with me, how did he get my number to call me? He must have it memorized. We’re practically engaged. 

I told him that I would most likely take a break at around 12:30 and he told me to use the south entrance and let the receptionist know to page him.

His phone was dead so his alarm didn’t go off which explained why he woke up late. I put it in my bag to take to him later. 

When I got to work, Whitney was already working away at her desk.

“Reese!” she exclaimed. “I have a meeting set up for us today.”

“Okay. Who with?”

“I found this discount furniture bazaar that I think would be really good for us. It would be something a little different.”

“Discount furniture bazaar,” I repeated. While our stuff isn’t luxury by any means, I wouldn’t put it in the discount category. What kind of message would it send to our customers if we had stuff at some sort of flea market?

“Yes. I want to get some more information before presenting it to Dave and Diana. We’re meeting them at 2:00.”

“I’m busy at that time,” I lied. I actually wanted nothing to do with this foolishness she was trying.

“Oh darn,” Whitney said, not looking at all disappointed. “Well, I’ll let you know how it goes.”

Later that morning she came in my office.

“I was thinking since the last warehouse sale went so well we could do it twice a year. The next one could be around the holidays and we could turn it into sort of an event with other vendors and stuff,” Whitney said.

“I think the way we do the warehouse sale now is fine,” I replied.

“It is, but I thought it would be cool to spice it up a bit. I’m going to start planning it and send you what I come up with.” 

An hour later, she CC’d Diana and me in an email with a sample flyer for the holiday warehouse sale. Diana immediately emailed her back: “Interesting idea Whitney. Please send more info.”

I was so fucking irritated that Diana was even entertaining this. I grabbed my bag and headed off to meet Brady.

I got to the hospital and asked the receptionist to call him then I stood there talking to her because her eyebrows were awesome and I had to know who did them. She tried to tell me that they were natural which was an obvious lie. When I told her I didn’t believe her she pulled up a #TBT picture on Instagram. Same brows at thirteen. Whatever.

I sat down and waited for a few minutes until I spotted Brady walking down the hall toward me. And he was with Jessica. I can’t believe that after Saturday night he had the nerve to show up with her. I watched as they slowly walked down the wide white hallway, chatting and laughing. Brady was in dress clothes, a white coat and glasses, while Jessica wore bubblegum pink scrubs and a high ponytail. Bitch. 

“Hey. Thanks so much for coming,” Brady greeted me with a one armed hug.

“No problem,” I said sweetly and handed him his phone.

“You caught us just as we were heading to lunch,” Jessica said with that condescending ass smile on her face.

“Oh?” I looked at Brady.

“Yeah, we will probably just grab something quick from the cafeteria,” he said.

“Are you on lunch break too then?” Jessica asked.

“I don’t really have a set lunch break. I just come and go as I please,” I said.

“Nice,” Jessica smiled.

“Do you want to go down to the cafeteria with us?” Brady asked.

“No,” I said immediately and gave him a chilly look. “I actually have a lot to do and I put it all on hold to come here.”

“I do appreciate it,” Brady said.

“It’s not a problem. You can just repay me later.”

“How about I treat you to lunch?”

I glanced at Jessica who was watching the encounter with the smile still on her face. Ugh, she’s so weird.

“Okay. I could probably spare half an hour,” I said nonchalantly.

Brady smiled. “Great. You choose the place.”

He started toward the door without acknowledging Jessica so I waved at her before we walked out. We went across the street to a little Mexican place and got tacos because they were quick and we both really did need to get back to work. I asked him if he and Jessica frequently got lunch together. 

“No, it was a coincidence that we were both going to the cafeteria at the same time today,” he said. 

“Coincidence?” I repeated, hoping he would elaborate some more.

“Usually I work through lunch.”

“So do I,” I said.

Sometimes Brady is so oblivious that I think there is no way he could have anything going on with Jessica. It makes me feel like I’m crazy for even thinking it when Brady is so calm and cool about it. He is so casually unconcerned about her so I feel like their relationship is one sided. Not only that, but it took him forever to even have sex with me and we were dating. Even though Jessica seems like a thirsty skank, I just can’t see how anything could happen. Now I sound so naive. I don’t know what to think.

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do i have a boyfriend?

I spent the night with Brady on Friday night (literally nothing happened) and he insisted we go for that run on Saturday morning. This is exactly what I meant by I don’t know how long I can fake it. I’m not a runner. I don’t like running and definitely not at 8:00 AM when I just want to snuggle in bed.

Brady took me home after that because I looked and felt disgusting. He told me he would come pick me up at 6:30 PM for the charity event.

I got lunch with Preston then we got pedicures and he waited while I got a trim. He said that he and Mr. Murphy went and looked at cars last week and he has his eyes on a Jeep. I wonder when Brady and I can go look at cars. I’m definitely ready for a new one. 

I did a light smokey eye for the event with a matte red lip and I was surprisingly 100% ready by the time Brady came to get me. I got out of the elevator and walked through my sprawling apartment lobby. 

“Looking good, Reese! Hot date?” Frank, my doorman, called. 

I smiled. “I suppose.”

Brady was parked illegally in the alley next to my building and was waiting outside his car for me.

When he saw me, he broke into a warm smile. “Wow.”

Brady looked really, really good in a tailored charcoal suit and black bow tie. We didn’t even plan it, but we were totally matching. Soulmates, I tell ya.

He kissed me on the cheek – probably because my red lips scared him – and opened the passenger door for me. The gala was held at a hotel not far from my apartment, in the ballroom on the 80th floor. There was a stage in the back of the room then a ton of circular tables with black tablecloths on them and rose centerpieces. Everyone was walking around the back half of the ballroom mingling and there were waiters running around with what looked like trays of champagne. I immediately snagged one from a passing waiter.

“Well, this is nice,” I said, sipping my champs. 

“Yeah, the hospital does it every year. It’s proven to be quite successful, I believe last year we were able to bring in almost $100,000 for the hospital,” Brady said.

“That’s amazing.” My champagne flute was now empty. Luckily there was a waiter nearby and I grabbed another one.

“How is it physically possible to not get lipstick all over the glass?” Brady asked.

I smiled and started to say, “Magic,” but a blonde girl was rapidly approaching us.

“Hi, Brady!” she sang loudly and threw her arms around him.

When they pulled apart, Brady said, “Reese, this is-”

And before he could finish his sentence, Blondie said, “Jessica,” and stuck out her hand for me to shake. I shook her hand like a professional adult and she gave me one of those limp princess handshakes.

I gave Jessica the once over. She stood at about Brady’s height so she was a few inches taller than me. She wore a cobalt blue midi dress that hugged her curves perfectly without being too Kim Kardash and dainty nude colored heels. I didn’t see her stop smiling once, but it was almost a condescending smile. I couldn’t put my finger on it. She looked like your stereotypical contestant on The Bachelor. I automatically hated her. 

“Jessica is one of the nurses at the hospital,” Brady explained.

“We do our rounds together sometimes,” Jessica continued.

“That’s fascinating,” I murmured.

“Wow Brady, I had no idea you had a girlfriend,” Jessica said with her smile still plastered on her face.

I quickly brought the champagne flute to my lips.

“Ummm…” Brady started and paused for an unnaturally long time. I couldn’t wait to see how he was going to handle this. I felt a smile tugging at the corner of my mouth. 

“Yeah,” Brady finally uttered. 

“Nice meeting you,” Jessica said to me then grabbed Brady’s forearm. “Come find me later.”

“She was nice,” I said once she walked away. I sensed something between Brady and Jessica and I wanted the deets.

Brady didn’t give anything away. He just said, “She is. It is nice to have someone to talk to at work.”

I met Brady’s immediate boss, his boss’s boss and other important people from the hospital. It seemed like the champagne was never ending and it got to the point where the servers were handing me full glasses. Lol thanks. 

There was dinner and some speakers which was boring. I kept rubbing Brady’s leg with my foot and he would glance over smiling, but looking confused. Ugh, hasn’t he ever heard of playing footsie? After dinner, a live band starting playing so people could dance. I was drunk but not drunk enough to dance. I did however want to get out of there to hook up with Brady. I was horny and he looked so damn hot in that suit.

I waited while he stood talking to some coworkers and discreetly took some pictures for SnapChat. Finally, Brady turned to me and said he was getting tired.

“Me too,” I said with a smirk, hoping he caught my drift.

He said goodbye to everyone (including Jessica who insisted they hug again).

“So nice meeting you!” she smiled big at me, but I couldn’t help being annoyed with her.

Out in the hallway leading to the lobby, Brady stopped to use the restroom. I waited outside the door and texted Kendra that I planned on hooking up with Brady tonight. And then I got a brilliant idea.

As soon as I heard the bathroom door open, I pushed Brady back in and locked the door behind me.

“Wha-” he started, but I started kissing him. I wanted to hook up with him – now – in the bathroom. It would be so scandalous and risky. It was the perfect setting for our first time.

He tried to say something again, but I kissed him harder and pushed his suit jacket off so it was hanging off his arms. Brady was rigid, but he was returning my kiss so I thought he was into it. I made my way down to his belt and started undoing it. He started trying to push me away, but he was being way too gentle for Drunk Reese. 

“Reese,” Brady said, pulling away. He was pinned against the sink so he couldn’t go anywhere.

“Let’s have sex,” I said with a sneaky smile.

“Reese, no,” Brady said, pushing my hands away from his pants. I took this opportunity to try to get his suit jacket the rest of the way off.

“Live a little,” I continued on.

Every time I would try to take off a piece of his clothing he would say stop very nicely which obviously doesn’t mean anything to Drunk Reese. Finally, he grabbed both of my wrists and roughly yanked them down in front of me. 

“Reese, stop!” he said in a loud stern voice. The usual Drunk Reese wouldn’t have liked being almost-yelled at, but I was actually turned on by his assertiveness. I broke into a sly smile. Okay. We could wait until we got to his house. 

We filed out of the bathroom and rode in silence to his place. He was obviously annoyed with me, but at least he didn’t immediately take me home, I reasoned with myself. 

We got to his room and he went into the attached bathroom while I took off my dress and bra and changed into one of his t-shirts. I really need to start packing clothes in my purse (although I’m not sure they would’ve fit in my clutch last night).

I sat at the foot of the bed waiting for him to come out from the bathroom. I was thinking he would probably want to go to sleep right away since he seemed to be irritated with me.

Brady finally came out of the bathroom – he had taken off everything except his undershirt and slacks. I couldn’t read the look on his face. We made eye contact and he watched me while he crossed the bedroom and slowly made a beeline for me. It was an intense moment, almost creepy, and I thought he was going to kill me or something. I gave him my most innocent smile hoping he would spare my life. 

He stopped in front of me and kneeled down. I was confused and scared because I don’t know what Brady is capable of. And then he slid off my thong and put one of my legs over his shoulder. I had no choice but lean back on the bed and before I knew it, he was eating my vagina so good that I couldn’t see straight. I mean, this man knew exactly what he was doing. It wasn’t like he was just licking and sucking aimlessly, he had perfected the art of eating pussy. I’ve heard that when you enjoy performing oral your partner can tell, and I could definitely tell he was enjoying making me squirm like that.

I came in under ten minutes which I don’t think has ever happened before. I don’t know what I did to deserve that but I wasn’t complaining. Brady stood up and looked at me. I thought for sure this was it. We were finally going to have sex and I couldn’t fucking wait. If he could do that with his mouth, imagine what else he could do. 

He walked away and started getting undressed and I mentally prepared myself for what was about to happen. I watched Brady take off his shirt and change into a pair of shorts. Then he walked back to the bed and started pulling the comforter and sheets back.

“Come on, let’s go to bed,” he said. It was the first time either of us had said anything for at least half an hour.

So we weren’t hooking up? I nodded and crawled under the blankets. Brady climbed in after me and we laid there looking at each other. I kissed him lightly. 

“Hey,” Brady said, putting a hand on my hip. “Was what Jessica said weird?”

At first I didn’t know what he was referring to and almost told him that Jessica is weird all around. And then I remembered her “girlfriend” comment.

“No,” I said. “Not at all.”

“Okay.”

Brady pulled me closer and that was it. Was that our DTR? Do I have a boyfriend? 

We woke up and had cereal then watched tv for a little while. I couldn’t stop thinking about the night before and how much I had underestimated him. How could Anna ever let him go? I want to marry him and we still haven’t even had intercourse yet.

Standard

drunk brady.

Brady didn’t bring up Wednesday’s little incident so neither did I and we made plans to barhop with Carly, Chris, and Preston on Saturday night. We met at their duplex for some pre-bar beers.

“How are you?” Brady greeted me with a kiss. He handed me a beer and the five of us stood around the kitchen drinking.

I could tell by the way Brady was boisterously telling a story that he’d enjoyed some beers even before we showed up.

“Whatever you do, don’t let me stay here tonight,” I whispered to Preston. Brady was clearly going to be drunk and so would I. That could only end one way.

Preston rolled his eyes. “Are you still pretending you don’t want to fuck his brains out? I’m so sick of this charade.”

I didn’t have a chance to answer as Brady was approaching us.

“You look really pretty,” he said snaking an arm around my waist.

“Doesn’t she? I picked this dress out for her like a year ago. She was going on a date with an NFL player. He actually turned out to be married,” Preston said.

I turned and gave him a discreet, but “Have you lost your damn mind?” look.

He cackled and said, “I’m going to get another beer.”

We took a cab to a street of bars Chris suggested. He bought us a round of shots then Brady bought us a round of shots. Preston and I ran off and got vodka Sprites, people watched, danced and stood at the bar being obnoxious. I started talking to this guy who was kind of douchey but really hot. We were kind of playfully bickering back and forth about whose college was better (he went to Ohio State so I don’t even know why I entertained him). I pretended to be mad and turned my back to him, dismissing him.

He touched my waist and said, “Here, let me buy you a drink.”

I turned to accept his offer when I heard someone say, “I’ll buy her drinks tonight. Thanks though.”

Brady slipped in between me and my douchebag friend and said, “What are you having?”

He didn’t let me out of his sight after that. The three of us hung out for a little while until Mr. Murphy showed up to pick up Preston.

“Ugh. You were supposed to be my babysitter tonight,” I told him. 

Preston kissed me on the cheek. “Do it tonight, darling. He wants you so bad.”

Obviously Brady wanted me and I wanted him too, but not when we were both trashed.

Our night turned into a double date and the four of us went to a few more bars then took the obligatory trip to Taco Bell (the quesarito is phenomenal, def. recommend). We went back to their place and hung out in the dining room. Brady was being super affectionate and kept pulling me on his lap and kissing me. It was the complete opposite of the Brady I know, but I loved it.

Eventually Chris said he and Carly were going to go smoke and asked if we wanted to join.

“Reese doesn’t smoke,” Carly said, matter-of-factly.

Out of all the things I’ve tried in my life, weed has not been one of them. I don’t know why, but it’s just not my thing. I only recently found out that I’m probably the only person in the universe who hasn’t at least tried weed. Even straightlaced Kendra smokes from time to time.

“You don’t smoke anything?” Chris clarified as if that’s so unbelievable.

I shook my head. “Nope.”

Carly and Chris headed down to the basement and Brady and I went to his bedroom. We made out and fooled around for a while. I made sure to keep my clothes (mostly) on, but I felt like I was back in high school. I remember making out with boys in my basement and being worried about my parents coming downstairs.

We took a break and sat there next to each other.

“You’re so different when you’re drunk,” I said.

“So are you,” he replied.

“Well, I know that.” I thought about how I was trying to hide Drunk Reese when actually Brady had a drunk alter ego too.

“I like you either way,” he said.

“I like you either way too, but you’re so reserved when you’re not drunk.”

“I’m sorry not everyone can be as gregarious as you all the time.”

I smiled. “But you can be sometimes with just me.”

“I’ll work on it.”

Brady paused for a moment and I sensed he was going to say something so I was silent.

“We’re having this charity gala at work next weekend. It’s like a dinner thing. Do you want to go with me?”

I was already computing an outfit, shoe and makeup budget.

“Is this Drunk Brady or Sober Brady asking?” I couldn’t help teasing.

“Both,” he smiled.

“Okay,” I said. 

So I need to schedule an emergency shopping session with Preston to find something for Brady to show me off in.

We started kissing again and ended up in the same position we were on Wednesday – Brady on top of me, shirtless with his belt undone. He reached under my dress and tugged at my underwear. I knew if he got them off there was no going back.

“No,” I said really quietly, hoping he wouldn’t hear me. I desperately wanted him to keep going.

“No?” Brady repeated, looking at me. He had the most concerned look on his face and it was so adorable.

I shook my head reluctantly.

“Okay,” he said and climbed off me. I watched him change into a pair of shorts and go into the attached bathroom. I hoped he wasn’t pissed.

I got up and found a t-shirt in one of his drawers, changed, then got in bed. I was just going to pretend to be sleeping. A moment later Brady climbed into bed and spooned me. I actually did fall asleep after that.

When I woke up, my mouth was dry and I had a migraine. I reached over to pull myself closer to Brady, but his spot was empty and I was alone in the bed. My phone was nowhere to be found and it was light outside but it didn’t look like the sun was out so I had no idea what time it was. I rolled over and fell back asleep for thirty minutes or three hours, I have no idea.

Brady woke me back up.

“I got breakfast,” he said, standing over me.

I immediately rose up hearing that there was food. “Give me.”

He laughed and presented two styrofoam takeout boxes and handed me one. There was a mound of french toast topped with berries and whipped cream in it. It’s like he can read my mind. I popped a berry in my mouth.

“You know me so well,” I said.

We sat in his bed and ate then laid there for a few hours talking. While talking to him I decided that I thought I was ready to have sex with him, but only as long as we were both sober. We aren’t exclusive or anything (yet), but it’s bound to happen right? Plus he’s taking me to that work event so that means something. I need dress ideas!

Standard

i think i’m in love.

I added Brady on Facebook on Sunday night and he accepted my request on Monday afternoon. I was so happy that I didn’t (really) have any work to do because I needed to snoop through his page and find his ex-girlfriend. I knew it was kind of a long shot since they broke up two years ago but there had to be some trace of her.

I quickly discovered that Brady doesn’t often use Facebook so I wasn’t missing much. I looked through his tagged photos and couldn’t help smiling as I saw him go through life backwards. It was like Benjamin Button. I looked through pictures of him with Chris, him with some of their other friends, him in Guatemala, etc. Then there was a photo of Brady and a girl with the caption “the happy couple!” So this was her. The photo was from April 2012 so the time frame was exactly right. I was so excited for my find.

They were at a baseball game and Brady looked adorable and young in the photo with his glasses on. The girl was named Anna and she had a long European last name. I’ll admit, she was really pretty. Her long brown bob worked perfect with her heart shaped face and she had the most endearingly deep dimples. She looked like a combination of Emmy Rossum and that fashion blogger Olivia Palermo – not a bombshell, but undeniably gorgeous nonetheless. 

I clicked on her page to find out more. Of course, her page was completely private and I couldn’t click on anything. It did say that she currently lives in New York City, she’s from Boston, Massachusetts and she studied biomedical engineering at Harvard. Of fucking course. I totally felt like Elle in a Legally Blonde. What did Brady want with me? This girl has so much more than I ever will. I do think I’m a great catch, but not for someone like Brady.

I asked Kendra to come to my apartment after work so I could show her Anna.

“She’s cute,” Kendra said.

“I know. And she went to Harvard. Why is Brady even talking to me? I studied marketing at ASU.”

“I’m sure that’s not all he cares about. She may have went to Harvard, but she was probably boring and sucked in bed. That’s probably why they broke up.”

“They broke up because she moved away.”

“And now he wants to move on with you. Reese, he’s talking to you for a reason. If he cared that you’re not a doctor and didn’t go to an Ivy League school, he wouldn’t be continuing to hang out with you.”

In some ways I do think Kendra is right, but at some point I’m not going to be able to fake it any longer. How am we ever going to sustain a relationship if I need a dictionary every time we talk?

Brady texted me on Tuesday morning saying that he would be getting off work early at around six and did I want to get dinner? I said yes and he said he would get me at 6:30.

I spent the majority of the day in my office, but went to the bathroom right after lunch. To my dismay, Amanda was already in there. She and Whitney have been avoiding me for the most part which has been nice. I would rather not deal with them at all.

“Hey,” I said. Amanda was standing at the sink washing her hands and just stared at me in the mirror.

“Cool! Great talk!” I said sarcastically and slammed the stall door shut. What a bitch.

Brady and I went to a Mediterranean place and got really fancy and complex salads. We talked about the usual things: work, friends, family. I found out that he has an older brother who lives on the west coast and makes a great living as an astrophysicist or something really intense. What the fuck do their parents have in their DNA? I just don’t understand. 

I told him about Whitney and Amanda, without going into the BJ situation too much because I didn’t want him judging me. I would judge me.

“The bitches are just crazy,” I said at the conclusion of my story.

Brady took a swig of his beer. “I wouldn’t say they are crazy.”

“They fucking lied to Tracey from HR right in front of my face!” I exclaimed, leaning close to him. I couldn’t believe he was taking their side. 

“But they only did so to protect their asses and make you look bad. They both have some resentment toward you over matters they are obviously quite passionate about. It is completely normal that they’re behaving irrationally.”

I didn’t agree with what he was saying, but I couldn’t help smiling.

“It’s human nature, especially within the female populace. I wouldn’t dwell on it. They are going to get over it on their own time. Meanwhile, distance yourself significantly and don’t get invested. You will only make yourself look bad to the higher ups.”

Wait. Brady was totally right. I am one of the higher ups so why was I worried about the two of them? A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep. Whitney certainly looks like a sheep.

After dinner, Brady invited me over for a glass of wine. He has an extensive wine collection in it’s own little wine cellar. It’s so bad ass. Brady said he doesn’t use it often and I told him that it must be a great way to get girls to come home with him. I mean, I was impressed. There had to have been forty bottles of wine there and I didn’t even know where to start. I wanted a glass of each.

Brady laughed and said, “Yeah. If only.”

I didn’t know if that meant he had trouble getting girls to come home with him or if he just didn’t partake in one night stands and hookups. Both of them seemed like they could be true.

I chose a glass of vintage red and a glass of sparkling white because I couldn’t choose. We went to the back patio to drink. After I finished my two glasses I had to have one more. Then once that one was gone, Brady grabbed my hand and led me inside.

“Do you want to stay?” he asked. “I can take you home really early. I have to be at work at 7:00.”

I nodded.

We went to his room and started getting ready for bed. All the wine made me tipsy so I changed into a t-shirt without going in the bathroom or trying to be discreet. Oh well. Might as well let him enjoy the view since we wouldn’t be doing anything. 

He got in bed after me and I immediately started kissing him. We made out for a while, but then I knew I had to show some self control so I pulled away reluctantly. I caught a glimpse of his tattoo and pulled the blanket back to see it. It was on his pec, just below where his eagle ended, and it said, “starve the ego, feed the soul.”

“Why did you get this?” I asked, running a finger along the tattoo.

“When I was younger, I felt very entitled. I had everything I wanted at my fingertips, a seemingly infinite trust fund. I thought I deserved the world just because I could afford it. I was becoming materialistic and greedy. I didn’t like who I was becoming and I knew deep down that’s not who I was.”

Entitled? Deserved the world because I could afford it? Materialistic? This all sounded like me.

“So I made some drastic life changes. Sort of found myself, if you will. Realized that none of that shit mattered if I hated who I was.”

“Was it a hard transition?” I asked. 

“Absolutely. I lost a ton of friends. I was in a state of depression for months. For a while I thought I wanted to sell everything and move off the grid.” 

I just looked at him and he laughed.

“Luckily I came to my senses and finished pharmacy school. What I do now is gratifying. I think I’ve finally found a balance.”

His story made me start thinking about my life. I’m everything he was before, right? A materialistic, entitled little see you next Tuesday? But at least I’m happy. I think.

We fell asleep and Brady woke me up at some ungodly hour because he needed to leave for work.

“I don’t want to get up,” I whined “Just leave me here and I’ll call and tell them I’m sick.”

Brady laughed. “Don’t do that. You’re fine. Reserve your sick days for when you’re actually sick.”

I opened one eye and peeked at him. He was standing over me looking clean and hot in his dress clothes and glasses.

“Do you only wear those for work?” I asked. 

He adjusted his glasses. “Not necessarily. Just when I’m having a day when I don’t want to put my contacts in. It’s one of those days.”

I smiled and got up and dressed so I didn’t make Brady late for work. He dropped me off at my apartment and as I was getting out of the car, he grabbed my hand.

“Focus on your work today, not those girls. Okay?”

“Okay,” I said back.

He kissed me quickly and said, “You’re amazing, Reese.”

I didn’t know if that was a pep talk for today or a general observation, but either way I melted. 

You guys, I think I’m in love.

Standard

i feel like you’re judging me.

On Saturday morning when I woke up, I had an iMessage from Brady. It said, “Up for a run this morning?” 

It was from thirty minutes prior and while I did not particularly want to go for a run, I did want to see Brady. I replied, “Yes.”

“Should I come and get you? We can run by the lake.”

“Give me thirty minutes,” I told him. 

I jumped out of bed, showered and threw on lululemon shorts and a t-shirt from college. I hoped Brady didn’t want to run far because I was fucking tired and didn’t want to sweat my face off. 

Brady called exactly thirty minutes later and let me know that he was waiting outside my apartment. I grabbed my wallet in case he wanted to get breakfast afterward and met him downstairs.

“Morning,” he said when I got in the car. He drove us to the beach a little bit south of both of our apartments, away from the Lollapalooza and tourist craziness. 

We stretched and he told me we could do a short run (“only” two miles). I silently prayed before we began that I could pull this off like I did the 5K. I’m still recovering from that by the way. 

Prayer works. I managed to finish the run – alive and not completely drenched in sweat. I even managed to talk to Brady about the weeks we’d had at work. Afterwards, we walked a short “cool down” lap and Brady mentioned that there was a pizza place he wanted to try. At first he just kept talking about how he heard it was really good and they had a large beer selection and yada, yada, yada then finally he asked if I wanted to go with him later that evening.

I, of course, said yes and he said that he would reserve us a table and pick me up later.

I spent the majority of the day out shopping with Preston. We had paid off our credit cards so we were celebrating by maxing them out again. And also I needed something to wear for my pizza and beer date so he helped me. 

Brady texted me at 6:30 letting me know our table would be ready at 7:30. Luckily I had already showered and blow dried my hair because an hour is just not enough time to get ready. I’ll have to let him know for next time.

The place was packed, but Brady valeted his car so he didn’t have to find parking. Our table was right by the large open window that faced the street and we ordered a pizza with a ton of random toppings on it (I mean, sundried tomatoes? So unnecessary) and a pitcher of some craft beer the waitress recommended.

Brady asked what I did with my day and I told him about celebrating paying my credit card off.

“That seems a little counterproductive,” he said.

“I feel like you’re judging me.”

“No way. I’m offended that you think I would judge you.”

“I’m offended that you would call my day counterproductive.”

“My apologies. I’m sure you have a logical reason for your actions today.”

Was this our first fight?

“Thank you. I get cash rewards for spending a certain amount. How could I not participate in that?”

“You make a compelling argument, Reese. Cash rewards are certainly a lucrative incentive.”

I just wanted to shake him. Did he ever snap out of it? The night went on with us playfully bantering back and forth like that. Even though he talks like a college professor sometimes, we have the same sarcastic sense of humor. And, he knows how to have fun. After we finished our pizza and beer he ordered us tequila shots. It’s like he knows the way to my heart. After we left the pizza place he invited me back to his place. Chris was home (sans Carly who was nannying) and the three of us drank beer out on the patio. I felt like one of the guys. 

Eventually Chris went inside to bed, but Brady and I stayed outside. At around midnight or one am we were tired and slap happy and laughing at anything and everything.

“I’m tired,” Brady said, yawning. “Do you want to just stay here and I can take you home in the morning?” 

Oh my God. Immediately I thought of Kendra. She would definitely tell me not to do it – we had been drinking and things could happen. I wasn’t supposed to have sex with him. But he didn’t feel like taking me home. What was I supposed to do, walk? 

“Okay,” I said. 

We went inside to his room and he started pulling out extra blankets and sheets and a t-shirt for me to sleep in. I changed, got in his bed and started getting comfy.

“Well it appears that you’ve already claimed the bed. I’ll go sleep in the basement,” Brady said.

He tucked a blanket under his arm and reached for one of the pillows on the bed. I grabbed his arm. 

“You can stay here with me,” I told him as if it was actually my bed. 

He didn’t object. Instead, he changed into just shorts with no shirt, flipped off the light then climbed into bed with me. I noticed another small tattoo on his chest and made note to ask about it later. 

“I’m physically unable to sleep with a shirt on,” he explained. 

What about laying horizontally makes you lose inhibitions? That’s pillow talk, I guess.

“Brady, have you ever had a girlfriend?” I asked.

“Where did that come from?” 

“I’m just wondering.”

“Yeah, I’ve had one serious girlfriend.”

“What happened with her?” I wanted to know. The reason they broke up would give me a lot of insight into how Brady operates as a boyfriend.

He looked off past me for a moment and I almost felt bad for asking him. Was that too personal? I didn’t want to pry or anything, I was just curious.

“She accepted a job in New York City. We tried the long distance thing for a little while, but it wasn’t coducive to a satisfying relationship.”

“So if she was still here, do you think y’all would still be together?”

“Hard to say.” Brady paused. “We are two completely different people now. That was almost two years ago so our lives and circumstances have considerably changed.”

I immediately wondered what the girl is like. She is probably a doctor or rocket scientist or something I will never be smart enough to do. She probably owns a condo, has $100,000 in retirement already and has her finances on lock because she doesn’t spend money on designer shoes, handbags and clothing. She’s probably super low maintanence. The thought of Brady with another girl actually hurt.

“I imagine you’ve had a ton of boyfriends,” he said.

“Hey!” I said, poking his bare chest. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“That you could have any guy you want. You’re probably constantly fighting them off.” 

I considered this. I’ve never had trouble getting guys or anything, but I do have trouble with relationships. I think I expect too much. And I’m also very needy emotionally. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

“I’ve dated around,” I said. “But only one serious relationship, like you.”

“Yeah? What’s the story there?”

I didn’t even want to get into it. “It just didn’t work out. We wanted different things.”

Different things = I tried to turn a player into a relationship guy.

Somehow we started making out. I can’t remember who initiated it – I think it was mutual. Unlike last time, I was (mostly) sober and it felt right to be kissing him at that moment. It was almost innocent for some reason – I knew things weren’t going to go further and I was okay with that. Plus we were both really tired.

We pulled apart and laid there for a moment then I turned so that my back was to him and I was the little spoon.

“Your hair smells really good,” Brady said. And then he brushed it aside and planted a light kiss on my neck. Y’all know how I feel about my neck – it sent a sexy chill down my spine. Brady draped an arm around my waist and we immediately fell asleep. 

When I woke up, Brady was still sleeping but facing away from me. Something about waking up next to a guy makes me so turned on. I wanted to flip him over and do naughty things to him.

Instead, I found my phone and texted Kendra. “I slept with Brady last night.”

She responded, “Of course. I’m not even surprised. Are you capable of not immediately having sex with a guy?”

I knew she would react like this and I couldn’t help grinning at her predictableness.

“For your information, we slept in the same bed but we didn’t do anything sexual. We just kissed.”

“I don’t believe you have that kind of willpower.”

“It’s true. I want to have sex with him eventually of course, but I think waiting until it feels right is best. I don’t want to rush in to anything.”

“Is this Reese I’m talking to?”

“Yes it’s me!”

“You sound so mature. I’m actually proud of you.”

“Thank you. I just realized that I actually like this guy. I don’t want to ruin it like I always do.”

I couldn’t even believe what I was typing. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not into romance or sappiness. I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I’m really guarded with my emotions. I don’t usually share how I really feel which has been detrimental to my past relationships.

I laid there for a little while longer, pinning food on Pinterest. I was pinning something about quinoa when I felt Brady beginning to stir and wake up. He turned on his back and stretched.

“Morning,” he said.

Just as I was about to respond, the door flew open and Chris shouted, “Hey jackass, do you want to-”

He saw me laying in the bed and his eyes widened. “Shit, sorry. I didn’t even know you were still here, Reese.” He backed out and closed the door.

“I guess he didn’t want anything,” Brady said.

I smiled and shrugged.

“Did you sleep okay?” he asked. 

“Yeah. Your bed is so comfy. I could stay here all day,” I said.

“You’re certainly welcome to. I like to stay in bed as long as humanly possible on Sundays.”

“Me too,” I said. 

We laid there for a while, just talking. Then we got hungry and decided to go to the kitchen to find food. I had worn a dress over and didn’t want to change so I just wore his oversized t-shirt down to the kitchen. We poured bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios and sat at the dining room table eating. We lounged around for the rest of the day, watching tv and generally just being lazy. Chris told us he was going to meet up with Carly and I quickly texted her that Brady and I didn’t have sex because I knew Chris would tell her that I spent the night.

Brady finally took me home at 6:30. I didn’t want to go because I was enjoying being lazy with him, but I was excited to shower and put on my own clothes. Before I got out of the car, Brady said, “Do you want to get dinner this week?”

“Sure,” I said.

“Okay. Monday or Tuesday will likely work best for me,” he said.

“I’m glad you’re squeezing me into your packed schedule.”

“I’m going to be cutting it close, but I’m certain it will be worth it.”

Standard

little does he know. [please comment with your opinion]

On Thursday when I got to work, I walked past Amanda on my way to my office. She avoided eye contact with me and I thought about confronting her about lying to Whitney. The fact that she was gossiping about me, a director, was not okay and I needed her to know that. But then I thought it might cause more drama than it’s worth and she will be gone once the summer is over. Still pissed at her though. 

Before I could get to my office, Diana shouted my name. 

“Reese! Come in here!”

She sounded excited so I rushed into her office. She looked ecstatic.

“I just got the email from Martin. They want to do it. Look.” She showed me the open email which started with: “Diana, hello beautiful.”

So apparently Rob wasn’t the only one who was straddling the line between professional and unprofessional. The email basically said that they wanted to our stuff for their website. There were some legal terms and a bunch of stuff I didn’t understand plus a contract attached.

“This is very exciting news, Reese. We’ve never done anything like this before,” Diana enthused. 

So I’m glad it worked out despite Rob trying to ruin it. Diana was in a great mood all day meaning the entire office was in a good mood.

After work, I stopped by Kendra’s. John wasn’t home luckily so I got her undivided attention. I wanted her opinion on Brady plus just catch up with my best friend.

I let her go first.

“I got promoted at the law firm so now I’m a practicing attorney,” she announced.

“Kendra! That’s amazing!” I said, hugging her.

“I know! I’m so excited. Now I will be able to pay rent without dipping into my savings. And maybe even get some new work clothes.”

I hugged her again. I am genuinely happy for Kendra. Of all people, she deserves it.

“How did your date with Brady go?” she asked. 

I couldn’t help smiling. “I think it went really good. He’s like, the epitome of a gentleman,” I said.

“So like everything you’re not used to?”

“Exactly. He is so sweet, but so politically correct. He hasn’t even kissed me. Little does he know I would fuck him instantly if he asked.”

Kendra laughed. “Don’t. Sounds like things are going well between you so far. Wait as long as you can to have sex with him. You know sex always ruins things with you.” 

“That isn’t true.” 

“Yes it is. After you have sex with a guy things go down hill. Every time.” 

“Besides Eric, who did that happen with?” 

Kendra began naming every guy I’ve ever had sex with which was really uncalled for.

“Fine. You’ve made your point,” I said. “But what if I fall in love with him then we have sex and it sucks?” 

“That’s okay. Sex can be fixed. It sucked for me and John at first.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. He couldn’t make me orgasm for the first three years.” 

I looked at her, appalled. Excuse me? Three years with no orgasm? Why would anyone subject themselves to that kind of torture?

But maybe she is right. Do you guys think I should wait longer to have sex with Brady? What is longer? I usually have sex with a guy after the third/fourth/fifth date. 😬

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i need to read the dictionary.

Kendra had us all over for dinner on Tuesday evening. She made some sort of chicken, broccoli and rice dish that was delicious. Ever since John moved in, Kendra has turned into a complete grandma/stay at home wife. We used to do everything together and get crazy every weekend. Now I barely see her. Just like I suspected.

After we left Kendra’s, Preston came over. I hadn’t heard from Brady at all since Friday night so I wasn’t sure if we were still going to dinner. I know we were both completely trashed when we agreed on it, but still. Drunk words = sober thoughts? 

Preston convinced me to text him to confirm and before I could talk myself out of it, I said, “Are we still on for dinner tomorrow?” 

Almost immediately he responded, “If you want.”

I read it over several times. “If you want.” Excuse me? Of course I wanted to! Didn’t he want to, too? Before I could show Preston and have a complete freak out, Brady texted me again. 

“I will probably be at the hospital until 8:30 or 9, but we could do something after that.”

That was more like it.

“Okay, just let me know. :-)” I said back. 

Preston helped me find an outfit that would work no matter what we decided to do (late fancy dinner, late casual dinner, drinks, Taco Bell, rendezvous in his car, etc). We picked out a romper, a printed kimono and wedges with my hair in a fishtail braid. I hope he thinks I look cute.

When I got to work on Wednesday, Whitney followed me into my office.

“We need to talk,” she said.

“Okay… What about?” I said back.

She shut my door for privacy. “The comments you said to Aron on Monday were extremely inappropriate and unprofessional.”

“What comments?” 

I had no idea what the girl was talking about. I vaguely remembered talking to Aron on Monday, but I couldn’t even recall what was said.

“That I told Diana about you and BJ, that I’m drama, that I wanted to get you fired because I’m jealous if you. He told Amanda everything. Reese, we are all adults here. There is no need to gossip.”

Wtf? I had to stand there thinking for a moment. Then I remembered that on Monday I talked to Aron in the break room during lunch. He asked how I was doing after the whole situation and I told him that I was fine and it sucked that people were gossiping. He mentioned that Amanda told him that Whitney was the one who informed Diana about BJ and me and I rolled my eyes and said I wasn’t surprised. That was the extent of our conversation. I didn’t elaborate on the Whitney issue (even though I wanted to) and certainly didn’t claim she was jealous of me or anything like that. And there were a lot of people in the break room while we were talking, including Amanda, but I never said anything directly to her. Which means that not only was Amanda eavesdropping, but she also lied about what she heard. Unless Aron lied to her about what we talked about, but that doesn’t seen like something he would do. 

“Whitney,” I said as calmly as I could. “I didn’t say that about you at all. One of them is lying. If you want to get caught up with what a bunch of people are talking about then that’s on you, but I’m not. I’m not doing this. I am almost twenty five years old and I have a job to do.”

Whitney saw how upset I was getting and her face softened. “Really? I didn’t think you would say that, but I just wanted to make sure.”

I didn’t say anything so she continued.

“All of this is getting blown out of proportion. I don’t know what happened with you and BJ, but it’s really none of my business and I don’t want to get involved at all…”

“You’ve already involved yourself.”

Whitney looked frightened. “I think BJ is the real problem here. I’m so glad he’s gone.”

“Okay, well I’m going to get to work. Have a nice day,” I said, ushering her out.

Ugh. So I’m really irritated with Amanda/Aron/Whitney for trying to create even more drama. 

After work, I stopped and got a facial and a mani/pedi. I needed to relax before hanging out with Brady. I started getting ready at 7:00 so I had plenty of time. 

Brady texted me at 8:40: “I’m just getting off work so I can come get you whenever you’re ready.”

Obviously, I was already ready and just sitting on my couch drinking a Red Bull and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I texted back, “I’m actually ready now.” 

I hoped I didn’t sound too desperate and available.

“I’ll be there in 15 mins,” he said back.

Naturally, for the next fifteen minutes while I waited, I downed the rest of my Red Bull plus a glass of wine. Brady called when he got to my apartment and he was double parked in front of my building. 

“Hi!” I said, getting in. Brady looked hot in his dress shirt with his tie undone and hanging freely around his neck. Clearly he couldn’t wait to take it off. 

We talked about our days then he asked if I was hungry. I told him I was. He drove us to a little ethnic restaurant not far from my apartment. He said that he loved it and would be surprised if I didn’t too.

The place was small, dark and intimate and we snagged a table near the door. It was a little modest given his background and how much I know he brings home yearly, but I liked the vibe.

“So what’s good?” I asked, opening the menu.

“They have a platter I usually get. It has chicken, beef, lentils, potatoes, and bread. It is plenty of food for two people,” Brady said. He was so laidback and chill on Friday, but he was back to being formal and uptight.

As the night went on he started relaxing and I could tell I was making him more comfortable. He was even kind of flirting. I told him about New York City/Rob and Brady said, “I guess you can’t really blame him for being attracted to you.”

Which was sweet. And then he said, “It’s good you had the sagacity not to allow things to go further with him.” 

I consider myself pretty intelligent for the most part, but I’ve never heard that word before in my life. He used several words I’ve never heard before and I made a mental note to start reading the dictionary while I do my squats. Then there was a joke about Napoleon that I didn’t understand. Brady explained it once then when I still didn’t get it, he said nevermind. I haven’t taken a history class in four years and Napoleon just isn’t someone who stuck with me. I even went home and Googled him to see if I could understand the joke, but to no avail.

We finished dinner and stayed at the restaurant until they closed. Afterwards we weren’t ready to go home so we walked to a little bar down the block. We got drinks and sat on their outdoor patio. I found out that he actually owns the duplex he lives in and rents to Chris which is super impressive because he’s only 26(ish?) and it’s a prestigious neighborhood. I can’t even imagine how many hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs him. I told him that I’m looking to purchase a home within the next few years (which is true, but my down payment is currently hanging in my closet so). He said he would get me in contact with his realtor who would be able to help me. 

We talked about how we enjoy going to the beach and he suggested we go this weekend together. And then he said we could invite Carly and Chris which I didn’t agree with but whatever. As long as I get to see Brady shirtless. 

After two drinks, he drove me home. We had a fun and friendly evening, it wasn’t super romantic, but it felt right. I realized that every relationship doesn’t have to be driven by sex like me and Eric’s. He leaned over and hugged me before I got out of his car and then when we pulled apart he kissed me. I don’t know if he was trying to aim for my lips and missed or if he meant to kiss me on my cheek, but it landed in the middle on the corner of my mouth.

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date me then.

On Friday night, I texted all my friends letting them know that I’d had a long week and needed to drink. Kendra, John, Carly and I were going to a club that none of us had been to so I wanted to look hot/sexy/dtf/etc. I decided on a white bodycon dress with my hair down and wavy. Carly came over to pregame and by the time Kendra and John came to pick us up, Drunk Reese was ready to party.

When we got to the club, I immediately went to the bar and found a guy to take a tequila shot with me. Turns out he is a cop, a really effing hot one too. I hung out with him while Carly, Kendra and John danced. I can’t remember what we talked about, but somehow we are now friends on Facebook.

Carly came skipping over after a while.

“Reesie Cup!” she squealed, hugging me. “Chris and Brady are coming!”

“What? They’re coming here?”

“Yes, they’re on their way. They were at a bar nearby so I told them to come see us,” she explained. 

“Carly, I’m drunk as fuck. Brady can’t see me like this!” I exclaimed.

“You’re fine, babe. He won’t even notice.”

I turned to the bartender and ordered a water in the largest cup they had. I needed to sober up fast – I couldn’t let Brady see me in this state. The bartender slid me a glass of water and I downed it. I demanded another and downed it too. Then I ran to the bathroom and peed it all out. While I was in the bathroom I checked to make sure that I still looked like a bombshell and the bathroom attendant girl assured me that I did.

When I got back out there, Carly was screaming on the phone trying to explain to Chris where we were. She hung up and said, “They’re here.”

For the next thirty seconds I stood there trying to give myself a pep talk. I hadn’t seen Brady in almost two weeks and he ignored my text when I did try to reach out. So I wasn’t sure what to say.

Carly squealed loudly which alerted me that they had shown up. Brady walked in behind Chris looking sexy in a white short sleeved button down and nice jeans.

They both hugged Carly then Chris gave me a drunk hug and Brady followed suit.

“Hey, how are you?” Brady said then he lightly grabbed my waist and pulled me into a hug.

“Hi,” was all I could think to say. I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him back.

We pulled apart and he kept a hand on the small of my back. “How is your night going?”

“It is going extremely well,” I said slowly, so I didn’t fumble over my words. “How’s yours?”

“Same here. We just witnessed a bar fight. Crazy stuff.”

“Mmm,” was all I said. 

“What are you drinking?” 

We made our way to the bar and ordered Bud Lights and stood there drinking. He asked about my week and I vaguely told him about my trip to New York. I couldn’t let him know the details of my hot mess life yet.

Suddenly, Brady said, “You are really pretty.”

I was caught off guard, but said “Thank you” automatically.

“No really,” he went on. “You are beautiful. And you look especially beautiful tonight.”

I studied his face to see if I could read him since all of this was coming out of nowhere. I noticed that his eyelids were low and his eyes were bloodshot. Brady was hammered.

“Thank you,” I said again.

“You know, it is kind of intimidating,” he said, leaning on the bar. 

“What do you mean?”

“You’re pretty, you’re confident, you’re smart, you have a great career… Usually pretty girls are just pretty, but you have it all together.”

I have it all together? That was so far from the truth that it was hilarious. I was going to let him believe that though.

“Like, you’re the full package. I would love to date you, you know?”

“Date me then,” I said boldly.

“You’re only saying that because you’re drunk.”

Normally I get annoyed with insecure guys, but Brady made insecure look totally adorable. I wanted to hug him and rest his head on my boobs.

“No I’m not. Ask me on a date,” I said. 

He smiled. “Reese, will you go on a date with me?”

I couldn’t help smiling back. “Of course.”

He suggested dinner on Wednesday night and said he could pick me up after he got off work. I really hoped that he wasn’t just saying all this because he was drunk. 

Brady and I spent the rest of the night hanging out. We talked, drank, held hands, and danced. He even waited outside the bathroom while I talked to the attendant girl for fifteen minutes about how I was in love. I wondered if this was what having a real boyfriend was like.

After a while, we were all hungry and decided to get food. There was a food truck down the block so naturally that’s where we ended up. The guys stood in line to get the food while Kendra, Carly and I stood close by. 

“You guys,” I whispered loudly. “Brady and I are going on our first date on Wednesday. I think we’re actually a couple!”

“You’re a couple and you haven’t even been on a date yet?” Kendra smirked. 

“I know!” I whisper-yelled back. “Things are moving really quickly!”

I turned and looked longingly at Brady. He and John were having a conversation and laughing. My heart just swells for him in a way that I can’t explain.

They brought back tacos or something I wanted nothing to do with, and we all sat at the curb eating. Afterward, Kendra and John were ready to leave and offered to take me home. Carly was going home with Chris so the six of us split in half. Before we parted ways, Brady said, “I will see you on Wednesday.”

He kissed me on the cheek and we hugged before the three of them walked to the el stop. 

So now I think I have a dinner date on Wednesday. I’m actually kind of nervous. What should I do/not do/wear? 

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