can i message her?

Andrew called me just before noon on Monday. He didn’t tell me what he wanted to talk about, but I assumed it probably had something to do with the interviews. 

“Hey Reese!” he greeted me when I answered. “How’s your morning going?”

“Good,” I told him. “I have a lot I want to do before I leave this job so I’m pretty busy.”

“You’ll have time to do interviews this week though, won’t you?” Andrew asked, sounding concerned.

“Of course. I scheduled them so they won’t interfere with anything.”

“So you’re doing all of your interviews over the phone then?”

“Yes.” Did I have other options?

“Okay. What kinds of things are you going to ask the candidates?”

This caught me off guard. I’d printed off some stuff I found online like “twenty five common interview questions” and “retail manager interview questions” but I hadn’t even looked at them yet. My first interview wasn’t until that afternoon.

So I just bullshitted and told him that I would want to know about their work ethic, how their former supervisors would describe them and some other random questions I kind of remember from my internship interview (my “interview” with Diana consisted of us talking about our favorite shoe designers).

“Good,” Andrew said. “You ought to throw some behavioral questions in there. That’s the direction interviewing is going in these days.”

I rolled my eyes and said okay.

“And like I said, I want to have a team in place by Christmas and we can’t just hire these people over the phone. So I was thinking, you could fly out to Tennessee next Monday and start conducting some in person interviews and hopefully making some decisions. I will be there on Tuesday and we could both leave Wednesday. I assume your job gave you the week off for the holidays?”

I didn’t say anything. I’m going home next Tuesday and Wednesday is Brady’s birthday. No way am I missing that.

“Actually, I already have plans for next week. I’m flying to Texas to see my family on Tuesday,” I said.

“Would you be able to call the airline and change to fly to Texas out of Tennessee? That way you can still interview your own people. I’ll of course cover any additional charge.”

I considered lying and making up some sob story about why this wouldn’t work. I don’t want to be that girl who uses her boyfriend as an excuse, but I can’t help that I already have plans. And even if I didn’t, that’s Christmas Eve. Why would I want to be traveling for a job I technically haven’t even started yet?

“I can’t do that. I have to fly with my boyfriend. It’s his birthday and we have plans that I don’t want to deviate from,” I said, feeling like such a whiney bitch.

“Ah, the truth comes out,” Andrew said and I rolled my eyes. “So are you just expecting me to hire your people, Reese?”

I absolutely hated the way he said my name. “I don’t know what I expect. I guess I didn’t realize you would want me to travel next week before I made my plans. Sorry about that.” Why was I apologizing?

“Okay,” Andrew said, sighing frustratedly. “Well, I hope you and your boyfriend enjoy your vacation.”

Ugh. I wished I never would’ve mentioned having a boyfriend.

Kendra came over on Monday night. She’d hung out with that Eric guy over the weekend and apparently he tried to have sex with her. And she was not having it.

“Why are guys so fucking disgusting? I’ve known him like a week! What gave him the impression that I would have sex him? Do I look like a slut?” she cried.

I smirked. “I mean…”

“Shut up, Reese!” Kendra screamed. “Dating is hard. Where do the guys who aren’t just looking to hook up hang out?”

“Not at the bar,” I pointed out.

Kendra was silent for a moment then peeked up at me cautiously. “So, I have a confession.”

“Yes?” I thought she was going to say she let Eric eat her out or something. 

But Kendra said, “I called John. We are going to talk things over tomorrow night.”

I froze. “You what?”

“Before you yell, I don’t plan on taking him back or anything like that. I just want to hear him out. I haven’t really heard his side…”

“Kendra!” I calmly shouted. “His side?! He cheated on you! He had sex with someone else.”

“I know, but I know there must be an explanation…”

“His dick was in another girl’s pussy!” I yelled. “What other explanation do you need?” I know it was harsh, but Kendra sounded like she was softening. Like if John said the right thing, she would fall right back into his arms.

“Reese.” Kendra looked frustrated and tired. “I’m just going to give him the chance to talk. Then if I start acting irrationally, you can kill me.”

I told her okay. I know I originally wanted Kendra to talk to him, but I feel like now she’s not as mad and more likely to forgive. I mean, it’s her prerogative if she wants to forgive him, but as a friend I would encourage her not to.

After Kendra left I went to Brady’s. Chris was at work so we grabbed a blanket and went down to the basement to watch a movie. I told him about Andrew and how ridiculous and hard on me he’s being.

Brady said, “I think it’ll be good for you to have someone constantly challenging you. It doesn’t seem like your current boss does that very much.”

I gave him a blank stare. “Why would I want someone constantly challenging me?”

“If no one is ever challenging you then you won’t get better. You won’t learn anything or improve at your job,” Brady said.

That was a good point. Brady always sees the positive in everything. I wish I was more like that.

I laid my head in his lap and we watched something on Netflix. I was starting to doze off when I felt his phone vibrate on the arm of the couch. I couldn’t help peeking to see what/who it was. Imagine my horror when I saw Jessica’s name. She’d texted him, “Thanks. :)” with an emoji and everything. Brady didn’t make any moves to answer or touch his phone and I couldn’t see him to see if he saw it too. What the fuck was she thanking him for? Did she send him a nude and he complimented her so she was thanking him? Did she ask a work related question and he answered? I had so many theories.

But I wasn’t going to confront him. How many times did we have to go over this? I was exhausted of fighting about it. I told myself it was innocent and continued watching the rest of the movie. When it was over, Brady finally looked down at his phone and read Jessica’s message. Then he put his phone in his pocket. 

I wanted to say, “Don’t worry, I’ve already seen it,” but decided against it.

On Tuesday, I texted Brady in the morning asking if he wanted to go to lunch. I wanted to make my presence known since apparently Jessica thinks she’s back in. Brady said sure and would let me know what time he would be able to take a break. It turned out to be at 1:00 so at 12:30 I rushed out of the office to meet him. I told him I would just swing by and get him so he didn’t have to move his car. Before I got out to meet him inside the hospital, I reapplied my lip gloss and powder and made sure I looked perfect in case Jessica decided to show her face.

She didn’t and Brady and I had pasta and salads at a place nearby. Brady said he was “working late” so I spent the evening searching for gifts for him and organizing my interview notes to give to Andrew. Since apparently he will be doing my in person interviews, I wanted to let him know who my favorites were.

On Wednesday, I was supposed to meet Kendra and Carly for dinner and drinks. Kendra still needed to tell me how her talk with John went. Carly and I showed up at the same time so we snagged a table. We ordered sweet potato fries, spinach dip and vodka Redbulls.

Since I still hadn’t figured out what I wanted to get Brady for his birthday/Christmas, I asked Carly what she thought I should get him and what she was getting Chris. She said Chris told her exactly what he wanted so she really didn’t have to guess. Brady would just tell me he didn’t want anything. He’s so modest like that.

And then Carly said, “Oh yeah, I have something to tell you, but you have to promise not to say anything.”

“Okay. What is it?” I asked curiously.

“Seriously!” she exclaimed, leaning close to me and grabbing my arm. “You can’t tell Brady I told you. If you do, Chris will be pissed and never tell me anything again!”

“Okay, I won’t say anything!” Now I was anxious. What was this big secret she wanted to tell me? Obviously, I thought the worst and was already trying to figure out if Brady’s plane ticket to Houston was refundable.

“So Chris overheard Brady arguing with his mom about not coming home for the holidays. Well, maybe not arguing, but having a disagreement. After he hung up, Chris asked him about it and Brady said that his mom is upset because she thinks you’re controlling and you’re forcing him to spend the holidays with you. Chris asked me if I thought that was true.”

“Wha?” I uttered, unable to form words. Me, controlling? Yeah right! Brady insisted on spending his birthday and Christmas with me! If I’d known his mom wasn’t okay with it I would have never even asked.

“Don’t worry, I defended you. And Chris said he doesn’t think you’re controlling either and that Brady just really likes you.”

What kind of person does Brady’s mom think I am if she believes I would purposely try to keep him from his family? I’m not Dom! And didn’t Brady say that he didn’t spend the holidays with his family last year either? Was that my fault too?

Kendra showed up a few minutes later and I grilled her about her talk with John.

“It was fine,” she sighed. “It put a lot of things into perspective.”

“Like what?” I asked. 

“He opened up about how he’d been feeling the last few months of our relationship. I’d been trying so hard to excel at my career that I was kind of ignoring him.”

I glared. “Ignoring him?”

“Yeah. I wasn’t concerned about him and his life which is probably just as stressful as mine.”

“So that’s an excuse to cheat on you?” Carly clarified.

“No. Is that what I said?” Kendra snapped. “I just said it put things into perspective. I was working a lot, would come home and get in bed, and refuse to have sex with him.”

“You sound like you’re blaming yourself,” I pointed out, draining the rest of my drink. “None of this makes it okay for him to cheat on you.”

“I didn’t say it makes it okay!” Kendra was becoming visibly frustrated. “But I get it. You can’t just ignore your boyfriend and expect him to take it.”

“I don’t like the way this conversation is going,” I said. “If John felt like you were neglecting him, he should have broken up with you. Not cheated on you.”

Kendra’s eyes cut to me, blazing. “Yeah? Is that what you said every time [Nameless Ex] fucked another girl? Which was literally every single weekend.”

I didn’t say anything as the waitress placed another vodka Redbull in front of me. I took a gulp.

“Why would I take relationship advice from you? You don’t even know what a relationship is! Your first ‘boyfriend’ treated you like shit and was also dating every other girl in school. And now you have Brady wrapped around your finger and he’s like your little lovesick slave. So no offense, but you’re the last person I would take relationship advice from.”

Ouch. That stung. Kendra threw her menu down and stormed out before I could think of a response. But really, I just wanted to cry.

“Wow, that was mean,” Carly said quietly.

“It’s fine,” I said quickly.

We finished our drinks then I told her about Jessica texting Brady. “It could be innocent, but knowing her I doubt it was.”

“Wait, let me see what she looks like again. I forgot,” Carly said. 

I pulled up Jessica’s Facebook profile on my phone and let Carly look through her pictures.

“She’s pretty.” Carly held up my phone and picture of Jessica filled the screen. It was a semi professional headshot where Jessica was looking down and the wind was blowing her hair behind her. Carly saw the disapproving look I was giving her so she added, “I guess.”

“Can I message her?” I asked, snatching my phone back. I went back to Jessica’s main profile and clicked the message icon.

“And say what?” Carly’s eyes widened.

“I don’t know. Tell her to stay from Brady?” I typed, “Hey Jessica!”

“Okay, but be nice. You don’t want to make it awkward for him at work.”

Who gives a fuck if it’s awkward? They got themselves into the situation. I stared down at my phone as I waited for Jessica to respond. It said she was active fourteen minutes before so she was probably near her phone. And then the little green circle appeared. 

“She’s online,” I announced, excitedly.

“Oh my gosh, what are you going to say?”

The waitress brought us each another drink and we thanked her.

“I’m not sure yet. I’m waiting for her to respond.”

I looked back down at my phone and saw that she had messaged me back. 

“Hi Reese, how are you? I heard you and Brady are spending Christmas with your family. That sounds fun!!!”

I don’t know if it was the fact that she and Brady are obviously still discussing their personal lives, or the patronizing sounding message, or the big fight I’d just had with Kendra, or the four vodka Redbulls, but this girl was not prepared for the lashing I was about to give her.

“What are you saying, Reese?” Carly asked as I typed rapidly on my phone.

“Just politely telling her that Brady is taken,” I said two minutes later as I pushed send. I reread my message as it turned yellow and then white.

“Can you stop talking to him? I think it’s a little inappropriate for you to continue to push yourself onto him now that we are together. Just because you gave him one blow job and sent him multiple nude photos of yourself (which I have on standby if you want to keep this up) doesn’t mean he owes you anything. He’s expressed that he’s not interested in you whatsoever and that I don’t want you guys talking about non work related things. So now you’re just being rude. So if you don’t mind, please don’t talk to him, text him, smile at him, send him pictures of your huge tits, or suck his dick. Thanks Jessica!”

I stared at my phone and got excited when Facebook told me that she’d seen it. She started responding as Carly told me about Preston. I haven’t talked to Preston is a few days because he’s holing himself up in his apartment. Carly says he’s trying to repair his relationship with Mr. Murphy because he’s genuinely in love with him (his money), but Mr. Murphy isn’t really having it right now. Apparently he and Dillon are living together. Preston is devastated.

I looked down at my phone and it still said, “Typing…” She must have had a lot to say. I was kind of excited to see how she would respond to this. A couple minutes later she was still typing. I made a bet with myself that she was probably going to tell me that they’re still hooking up or something ridiculous. But then, she stopped typing and it appeared that she logged off. She never replied.

After Carly and I left the restaurant, I went to Brady’s. I waited in his room while he finished up some work then he joined me. I wanted to ask about his fight with his mom without letting him know what Carly told me.

“My parents are so excited to meet you. Are you sure your parents don’t mind you not spending Christmas with them?” I asked innocently.

“Yeah, it’s fine. They’re going to New York anyway,” Brady said, taking off his tie and crawling into the bed next to me. 

I pushed him back and climbed on top of him, straddling him. “You’re sure?”

“Mmhm.” Brady started unbuttoning the buttons of my DVF shirtdress. “Now that we’re older Christmas just isn’t the same. It isn’t a big deal.”

He pushed my dress off so I was just sitting there in my underwear.

“I’m really happy you want to come with me,” I said, making sure that he knew it was his decision and I wasn’t controlling  him.

“Me too,” Brady said. He looked at me for a few moments before smirking. “Come up here.”

I knew what that meant so I ditched my panties and climbed the length of his body until I reached his face. I straddled him and lowered myself onto his mouth then I grabbed fistfuls of his hair as he began gently sucking me.

Jesus Christ, this man knew what he was doing. Not even ten minutes later, my entire body was quivering as I yanked on Brady’s hair, about to come. He had his arms wrapped around my legs, trying to steady me because my hips were bucking like crazy. Brady moaned into me; he was enjoying this.

I threw my head back and lifted up a bit as I came. Have you ever had an orgasm that was so intense that you just needed to collapse and sleep afterwards? That was me. But Brady wrapped one arm around my waist and lowered me and used the other to unbuckle his pants. I couldn’t even sit up straight, but he still entered me and used his hips and arm to bounce me. I laid on top of him like a dead body. I can’t remember the last time an orgasm has knocked me out of commission like that.

But I didn’t want to be completely useless so with the little energy I had left, I stroked his hair and kissed his neck, ear and chin. When I felt him about to come, I started sucking on his neck hard, knowing it would leave a mark, but not caring.

“Uhh, Reese!” he groaned and the way he said my name made my female parts perk up again.

We laid there for a moment, still intertwined and trying to catch our breath. And then Brady whispered, “I love you so much.”

I smiled groggily to myself and squeezed his face against mine right before falling asleep.

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bloody boobs.

Kendra and I met for dinner on Tuesday night. I didn’t talk to her at all over the weekend so we definitely had some catching up to do.

She seemed to be in good spirits when we sat down at the restaurant. We ordered panzanella and wine and I asked her to tell me about her weekend.

“It was okay. I went into the office on Saturday since I had nothing better to do and I hung out with a girl from work that night. We went to this lounge that I think you would love,” Kendra said.

“That’s good…” I said. I wanted to ask if she’d heard from John, but I didn’t know if he was still off limits.

“Yeah. How was your weekend?” Kendra changed the subject.

I proceeded to tell her all about Dom, Brady’s parents and Anna and she said, “Ugh. Sounds like a oppressed bitch.”

“She is,” I agreed. “Hopefully I don’t have to ever see her again. What do you think about the Anna thing?”

“I can’t tell if it’s sketchy as hell or if Brady is just a pussy. I hope they’re not like, still hooking up or anything.”

“I didn’t get that vibe,” I admitted. “They hadn’t seen each other in a long time, I don’t think.”

“Well hopefully they didn’t exchange numbers and he doesn’t plan on flying out to see her anything.”

I blinked.

“Or fly her here. Honestly Reese, he’s probably already cheated on you.”

“Kendra!” I exclaimed.

“I’m sorry,” she said and then burst into tears. “I didn’t mean that. I just…”

She just sat there bawling and couldn’t get her sentence out. I didn’t know what to do. Our waiter came back with our food and looked startled and uncomfortable at Kendra crying so I motioned for him to set the plates down.

“Kendra,” I said softly. 

“I’m fine,” she blubbered. “Seriously. I just need a moment.”

Kendra scrambled out of her chair and headed toward the bathroom. I waited two minutes before following her. She was standing in front of the mirror wiping her face when I got in there.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“I’m fine,” she said evenly.

I caught her eye in the mirror and gave her a look.

“This is just hard,” she finally sniffed. “I miss him so much.”

“Do you think maybe you should talk to him?” I asked.

“No. I don’t want to talk to him.”

I knew that she did want to talk to him, but felt like she shouldn’t.

“Even just for closure? I feel like there’s so many unanswered questions.”

Kendra shook her head. “I can’t. It’s fine. I promise. I’m fine. Let’s go eat, I’m starving.”

I followed her back to our table and we didn’t mention John again for the rest of the evening. So I really don’t know what to do. I feel like Kendra needs to talk to him because she’s just going to be miserable if she doesn’t. But I can understand why she won’t. What he did was awful. And I don’t think there’s anything I can do that will make her feel better. 

On Wednesday, I met with Kate after work. I felt kind of guilty for meeting with her, but I was curious to hear what she had to say. We met at Starbucks right outside her hotel and both arrived at the same time.

“Hi Reese! So glad to see you again!” she exclaimed, hugging me.

We got lattes and sat at a little table in the corner. We talked about Brady’s dad’s party and why she was there. She’s friends with a guy who works with Brady’s mom for some charity (she’s philanthropic? Who knew?) and he invited her to be his date to the party. I told her about my weekend (without getting too in depth) and she laughed.

Finally, Kate said, “I wanted to meet with you so we could talk about this position. It just came open and after talking with you, I thought you would be perfect.”

“Okay… What is it?”

“So it’s the sales director for the Midwest region. We have six shops in the Midwest and we’re gearing up to open our seventh. So basically you would be in charge of the operations, the people, the budget, and of course the sales of all the shops in your region.”

I nodded.

“In addition to that, we have products in hundreds of retailers across the country so you would oversee those relationships within your region and be a liaison between those stores and our New York office.”

I nodded again.

“When I talked to you, you seemed driven, aggressive, and passionate which is exactly what we need. The person who held this role previously couldn’t be counted on to really dig in and make things happen.”

I didn’t exactly know what she meant by “make things happen” or why she thought I could do it.

“You would spend a lot of time traveling to your stores and making sure they are functioning to capacity, but you would also have operational responsibilities that could be done remotely.”

“Okay…” I said.

“And with this new shop opening, you would be responsible for staffing it completely from the shop manager to the shop assistants. Meaning you would have to recruit to find the people you think would best fit the store.”

I took a moment to let all of this sink in.

“I mean, my background is in marketing and advertising. I don’t know anything about hiring people or anything like that,” I said honestly. And even though I guess the ad team is technically my team, they’re pretty independent so it’s not like I have to help develop them or anything.

“Well, you would have an intense month long training where you would shadow one of our top sales directors. We wouldn’t just throw you in and expect you to know what to do.”

I nodded and then Kate’s face lit up.

“And what intrigued me so much about you is the creative ways you’ve helped increase your company’s sales and client base. As the sales director, you would be in charge of getting creative like that if any of the sales in your region are lagging.”

“It just seems like a complete change of pace from what I’m used to,” I said. “And to be honest, I feel like I haven’t completed my current job. I have so much more I want and need to do.”

Kate said she understood, but continued to sell the position to me. She even brought her laptop out to show me the layout of one of the shops and pictures from a successful in-store event they had in the store that they hosted to boost sales. Then we looked through the holiday catalog which had a ton of things I wanted to buy. Kate was wearing these amazing printed monogram bracelets that she bought from the company and encouraged me to order some for myself online. I just ordered an “R” and a “B.” Oops.

Two hours later, we were wrapping up and I can’t lie, I was interested. She explained that the company as a whole is young and most of the employees, even the executive team, are young – like under 40. And she gave me a brief overview of their bonus structure, which if all my stores did well, would be extremely lucrative. 

Kate set up an official interview with someone from HR over the phone for Monday. I feel completely guilty, but I don’t see any harm in at least interviewing.

After I left #Sbux, I was excited about the new opportunity and getting to see Brady. We hadn’t really gotten to spend any significant time together since getting back from Boston and we had things to discuss.

Unfortunately, when I got there he was working on his computer so I waited around. It did give me a chance to figure out how I was going to inquire about his parents and Anna. I decided to ask about his mom first then hopefully that would segue into the conversation about Anna smoothly.

I was waiting on Brady’s bed when he finished his work. He started taking off his tie and I said, “Does your mom like me?”

Very subtle.

“Yeah, of course. Why?” he answered, nonchalantly.

“It just didn’t seem like it last weekend.”

“Did she say something?” Brady asked.

I waited a moment before answering. “No, but that’s the thing. She didn’t say much to me at all.”

“I think she just had a lot going on. She likes you, don’t worry.”

“How do you know?” I pressed on.

Brady put his shirt in his closet then came back out and said, “Because I know.”

“Did you ever introduce her to your ex?” I asked, proud of the way I’d shifted the conversation.

Brady looked at me like he was trying to read me before saying, “Yes.”

“Oh. She liked her too?”

“I guess so.”

He went in the bathroom, I think in an attempt to avoid the conversation, but I was waiting patiently when he came out.

“So what did your mom say when y’all broke up?” I asked.

“I didn’t tell her until several months post breakup,” Brady replied sitting next to me on the bed.

“Why?”

“I guess I just didn’t want to explain.”

I wanted to ask what there was to explain besides that she moved away, but decided against it. I had more important things to figure out.

“So y’all were pretty serious?”

He shrugged. “I guess so.”

“What do you mean you ‘guess so?’ Were you guys in love?” I asked.

Brady kind of smirked. “Why are you asking me all this?”

“I just want to know. You never talk about her,” I smiled innocently.

“I don’t have any reason to,” Brady said. 

“Did you love her?” I asked again before he could try to change the subject.

“I did.”

As soon as he said this my heart began to race and I don’t know why.

“Really? Did you think you would marry her?” 

I always thought I would marry my college ex. What a naive little idiot I was.

“I don’t know. Not really. I was young,” Brady said.

“Did you guys talk about it?”

“Yeah.”

Wow. So they must have really been serious. There were so many more questions I wanted to ask, but I decided to go for the zinger.

“When’s the last time you saw her?”

Y’all probably won’t believe this, but I hate catching people in lies. It’s just so sad and awkward when they squirm. So I desperately hoped Brady would tell the truth and have an amazing explanation.

“It’s been a while,” Brady said and my heart fell. So much for that.

I couldn’t confront him without admitting that I’d stalked his Facebook until I found a two and a half year old picture of him and Anna so I kind of had to drop it.

We started making out and undressing each other until we were having sex with Brady on top. Brady has one of those headboards with shelves on it where he keeps a few random knick knacks that I’ve never paid any attention to. Apparently he must have been thrusting hard and rocking the bed because I was just laying there enjoying myself when something hard and heavy fell on my face. I’m pretty sure I made the same noise and movements a squirrel makes when it gets hit by a car.

“Oh shit,” I heard Brady say, getting off me.

I sat up and realized that whatever the fuck it was hit me right between the eyes and I was in agonizing pain. I started crying before I could even stop myself. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve cried because of physical pain.

“I’m so sorry,” Brady said even though it really wasn’t his fault.

I opened my eyes and saw him looking at me apologetically. “Am I bleeding?”

“Um, yeah.”

I jumped up and ran to the bathroom to see the damage. I had blood running down the bridge of my nose and it was dripping everywhere. I started crying again.

“Here’s a towel,” Brady said, rushing into the bathroom. Unlike me, he’d put on sweatpants so he wasn’t completely naked. “I’m so sorry, Reese. I didn’t mean for that to happen.”

He made me sit down on the toilet so he could help clean my wound and after a few minutes said, “I hope you don’t need stitches.”

“Stitches?!” I cried. My main concern was looking like Frankenstein, walking around with stitches in my face.

“Maybe. It looks deep,” Brady said.

I wasn’t about to get stitches so I held the towel on my face until it stopped bleeding. Brady said since it is in a weird spot right on the edge of my eyebrow where I have a lot of facial movement it will probably keep opening and not heal. And it’s not like a bandaid would exactly fit there either so yeah. Walking around looking like a victim of war now.

Please tell me y’all have almost been on “Sex Sent Me to the ER” too? Share your stories. There has to be something more disgusting and embarrassing than bloody boobs.

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i’ll kill him.

I finally decided to just bite the bullet and get my car fixed so I dropped it off on Monday. They gave me a loaner car while my car is being worked on which probably isn’t the best idea on their part. Not complaining though.

After I dropped my car off I invited myself to Brady’s. I was so excited to see him and to see how his trip was. Brady opened the door (when is he just going to give me a key?) and pulled me into a hug.

“I missed you,” I said, hugging him. 

“Me too,” he replied. He kissed me hard and then led me into the house. We went to the kitchen and got water then he sat down in front of his laptop in the dining room. Ugh.

“So how was your trip?” I asked, trying to hide my annoyance. We hadn’t seen each other in like three days, but he was completely engrossed in his stupid computer.

“I had a very good time. I haven’t visited Hunter in a while so I enjoyed seeing where he lives and meeting all his friends,” Brady said. 

“Who did you meet?” My eyes lit up. I thought of the girl Hunter said he would be marrying, Dumb or whoever.

Brady looked up from the laptop at me. “I can’t remember. A bunch of guys.”

Oh. He totally thought I was being a jealous, psycho girlfriend and I wasn’t (this time.) I made him elaborate on the trip and he told me about the game and how they bar hopped and smoked hookah and etc. Typical shit. 

I excitedly let him know that I “ran into” Jessica on Saturday night and he said, “I heard.”

Are you fucking kidding me? It’s one thing for her to brag about them talking, but now he was too? Cool. I decided to let this slide and dragged him to his room. We got undressed and I proceeded to fuck his brains out then fall asleep.

On Tuesday I was pretty busy working on projects at work, but I took a break midday to eat. Whitney and a gay guy from the ad team named Danny were standing at the sink talking, but stopped when I walked in.

“Hey Reese! I love your shoes! You always have the best shoes,” Whitney said, all syrupy sweet.

I smiled and said, “Thanks!”

Lately, Whitney and I have been getting along fine. She kind of does her own thing and I do mine and when we talk it’s pure business. She’s definitely more into the digital side of branding so it actually works out.

Whitney walked out and I said, “I don’t know why she’s being so nice lately.”

Danny shrugged and said, matter-of-factly, “Probably because she feels guilty about talking so much shit about you.”

My eyes narrowed. I knew I shouldn’t care or ask what she said, but I had to know. “What did she say?”

“A lot of stuff. She wants your job. She said you’re lazy and you’re going to get fired because you never do anything.”

Excuse me?

“And the only reason you didn’t get fired for supposedly hooking up with that BJ kid is because your mom is friends with Diana.”

That actually really pissed me off. First of all, I am not lazy. Of course I have my lazy days (we all do), but I’ve done so much for my company. I think I deserve a lazy day every once in a while. Secondly, I thought the whole BJ thing was behind us. Why is she bringing that up? I’ve moved on. Whatever.

I rolled my eyes and told Danny that I didn’t care even though I wanted to go immediately confront Whitney. I knew that wasn’t the smartest idea so I avoided her for the rest of the day.

After work, I went home and showered to get ready to go to a bar and grill with Brady and Chris because apparently there was some sort of game on. I told Brady about Whitney and her comments and of course, he took her side and said that being in a position of power, I shouldn’t ever let anyone see me being lazy. He doesn’t understand. Even when I’m being lazy, I’m doing work like replying to emails or getting on Pinterest for inspiration.

Whatever. I was sick of this conversation so I grabbed Brady’s hand under the table and pulled it into my lap. He looked at me kind of confused at first and then smiled when I slid his hand under my dress. He started rubbing my pussy and I bit my lip trying not to make any noise.

Our server came back and Brady quickly removed his hand and ordered us another beer. Ugh. He’s so not daring sometimes. We barely made it through another inning before we wanted to go back to his place to have sex.

On Wednesday I had some meetings outside of the office so luckily I didn’t really have to be around Whitney. I stayed in the office until 6:30 and I was supposed to meet Kendra for happy hour at 7:00. As I was packing up and getting ready to leave, she called me. 

“I’m leaving right now. It’s only 6:30 you psycho,” I answered, thinking she was calling to see where I was. 

“Can you come over here right now?” she asked, her voice shaky.

“Are you okay? Where are you?” I asked, concerned.

“I’m at home. Just please come over here,” she sniffled. She was clearly upset and crying.

“I’ll be there in a minute,” I promised and hung up. Naturally, I thought the worst like she had poked her eyeball out with her mascara or accidentally burned all her hair off with her straightener so I sped over. 

Kendra answered the door still wearing her work suit, but her face was wet and streaky with tears. 

“Ken, what’s wrong?” I asked automatically pulling her into a hug. I’ve only ever seen Kendra cry a handful of times and most recently it was because her grandfather died.

She hugged me back and then led me to the small living room without a word. Kendra sank into the couch and started bawling.

“Kendra, what’s wrong?” I asked, my concern growing. This was not like her at all.

She waited a few moments before sobbing, “John cheated on me in San Francisco.”

Wait, what?

“What? How do you know?” I gasped.

“I found a receipt. He bought condoms at a CVS on Saturday night. I confronted him and he admitted to having a one night stand. He fucked some random girl!”

Oh my God.

“Apparently they met at a bar and she invited him back to her place. He said he was really drunk, but that is hardly an excuse.”

You guys, John is the nerdiest guy ever. I find it very hard to believe that he could even flirt with a random girl enough for her to invite him home. And how dare John cheat on gorgeous, successful lawyer Kendra? She has always been too good for him. She made him everything he is today. Kendra literally gave him a chance (when she shouldn’t have) when he was obsessed and in love with her. After she let him move into her beautiful apartment and he ruined it with his bike and smelly belongings, he had the nerve to fucking cheat on her?

“I’ll kill him,” I said and I meant it.

Kendra started crying again and I hugged her hard. As much as we butt heads, Kendra is my best friend in the entire world and I will do anything to protect her.

“I can’t believe this. I didn’t think John was capable of doing anything like this,” I thought out loud. 

“I didn’t either. I trusted him so much, Reese. I never thought I would have to worry about him cheating.”

John cheating on Kendra just shows that you can’t trust a guy just because he’s fucking lame. Like do all guys cheat?

“So where is he now?”

“He had to go back to work, but I told him he can’t come back here. I’m going to throw all his stuff in trash bags and leaving it outside.”

I couldn’t help kind of smirking at the thought of a bunch of trash bags sitting outside her gorgeous apartment.

“Kendra, I can’t fucking believe him. Did Brady and Chris know what happened?” I said. 

“They did. They met the girl and everything.” 

Wait so Brady knew John had sex with some random girl and failed to tell me that when I asked about his trip? Why wouldn’t he tell me? Does he have a secret about the trip too?

I let Kendra cry on my shoulder for the next few hours. I told her what an asshat I think John is and eventually she asked me to stop. And then she asked me to leave because she needed to be alone to bag up his shit. I told her that I thought I should stay and she insisted I leave. Which was rude, but I’ll overlook it. I needed to confront Brady anyway.

I called him and told him I was coming over. Brady answered the door and we hugged and kissed and he tried to walk back to the dining room, but I grabbed his hand. I pushed him onto the couch and straddled him. Brady smirked up at me, clearly into my little domineering act. I put my arms around his neck and kissed him making my way down to his throat. I could feel between my legs that he was getting excited and I can’t lie, I was to. But I was here on a mission.

I grabbed the top of his hair where it’s grown out a bit and yanked hard so that he was looking directly up at me. “Why didn’t you tell me John cheated on Kendra in San Francisco?”

Brady’s body kind of deflated and he looked down guiltily. He didn’t say anything for several seconds so I said, “Huh?”

“He asked me not to tell you. He wanted to tell Kendra on his own accord and I didn’t want to strip him of that opportunity. He knew you would tell her,” Brady said.

“Of course I would tell her! She’s my best fucking friend. Why would you choose John over me?”

Brady started to say, “He asked me-”

But I shouted, “Your loyalty is to me, not John! You wouldn’t even know him if it wasn’t for me.”

“I know. I just didn’t want you or me to get involved in their relationship. He deserved the right to tell her himself.”

“Do you know she found out because she found a condom receipt? That asshole wasn’t going to tell her!”

Brady didn’t say anything and I couldn’t help asking, “Did you hook up with someone too?”

He looked up at me, stunned. “Of course not. I can’t believe you would even ask me that.”

“You never know. Kendra didn’t think John would ever be capable of hooking up with someone else either.” I climbed off Brady’s lap and grabbed my bag to head to his room.

He continued sitting on the couch, looking at me. I shrugged and headed to his room to get ready for bed. Brady didn’t join me right away so I sent a really sweet text to Kendra letting her know that she’s beautiful and amazing and John sucks and etc. and that I was here for absolutely anything.

Brady finally came in his room and turned off the light and got in bed next to me. I grabbed his neck and started kissing him and he kissed me back for a few minutes before pulling away.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about John,” he started.

I rolled my eyes.

“I understand that you think it was your right to know, but things aren’t always all about you.”

I started to say that it was my right to know, but Brady put a hand on the side of my face/in my hair and I knew he was about to say something life changing/important.

“I…love you,” he said.

My heart jumped up to my throat and I actually thought I was going to vomit. But not because I was grossed out or anything. Brady saying he loved me – completely sober and looking at me in the eye – was almost too much. But I felt it. I closed my eyes because I couldn’t handle all the love and eye contact.

“I love you too,” I said not looking at him.

We kissed and fell asleep without having sex or anything. Just so you guys know, the only other guy I thought I was in love with was my college ex. And I found out that that wasn’t love at all, it was totally lust. So I’m not even sure what love feels like. (I haven’t even told Kendra that I don’t know if I’ve ever been in love because she would just lecture me.)

Standard

weekend with brunter (brady + hunter).

Did everyone else assume Brady’s brother was going to be gangly and awkward with huge glasses and weird hair? I sure did. 

On Friday evening, Brady was going to dinner with his brother, Hunter, but afterward we were all going out. I went to Kendra’s to hang out for a few hours, but also search her closet because I lost a pair of boots and I knew she stole them. I actually haven’t been to Kendra’s much since John moved in because all of his shit has taken over her little apartment. When Kendra first moved in, I helped her decorate and pick out furniture so she had the most adorable, Victorian inspired Old Town apartment. Now John’s freaking bike is in the living room and the place smells like oatmeal. I grabbed my boots (knew it) and got the hell out of there.

I packed an overnight bag and headed to Brady’s to get ready and to pregame. Imagine my surprise when Brady led me to the kitchen to meet his brother and a giant was standing there drinking a beer.

“Reese, this is Hunter,” Brady said introducing us.

His brother stuck out his paw for me to shake and said, “Nice to finally meet you, Reese. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

He just looked like his name was Hunter. Y’all are going to crucify me for saying this, but he is very, very good looking. He was at least 6’3 (probably taller) with a coarse, but maintained beard and his hair in a low man-bun type thing. He reminds me of Thor, but much more granola, like he wears Birkenstocks and lives in a camper. I shook his hand, which was easily three times larger than mine, and he gave me a knowing kind of smirk. Probably because he’s fully aware that I lied about being pregnant and made a fool of myself in front of their parents. Suddenly I felt really self-conscious.

“Hi,” I squeaked.

“Do you like whiskey?” Hunter asked.

“Um, it’s okay,” I replied. I like all alcohol (obvi), but whiskey definitely isn’t my go-to.

“I was telling Brady, I have this whiskey from the 19th century. It’s insane. It’s not even legal to own anymore,” he explained and a fifth of dark, dark whiskey materialized in his hand.

“How did you even get it on the plane?” I asked.

He glanced at me and smiled slyly before pouring three glasses.

“To a good night?” Hunter cheersed looking from Brady to me.

We were drinking the whiskey straight with no ice or anything and it burned. It had a licoricey flavor and it was really strong. I felt dizzy after only one sip. Whoa. Had to go easy on that stuff.

I took my drink to Brady’s room to get ready. I decided to wear jeans, a Derek Lam tank and booties with my hair down. After one glass of that old ass whiskey, I was already pretty turnt and dancing around the duplex. 

We took a cab to the bar and met Carly and Chris there. Apparently I was the only one who was affected by Hunter’s tainted alcohol and I skipped to the bar to order us shots (jaeger bombs obviously). Even though I was being a little crazy, Brady didn’t ask me to calm down. Probably should have though. 

The night started to get kinda blurry, but I remember talking a lot. I was standing at the bar with Brady telling him about the time I was so scared in a haunted house that I asked them to just kill me, when my mother called me. It’s like she has some sort of radar that lets her know when I’m belligerently drunk. I declined her call and she immediately called back.

“My mom’s blowing up my phone, she’s so fucking weird,” I told Brady.

“Perhaps it’s something important,” he said.

Just when he said that my mom texted me, “Call me babe. It’s important.”

Naturally I thought the worst like my dad was in a car accident or one of my grandparents was dead. I told Brady I was going to call her back and pushed my way outside to the fresh air. To my surprise, Hunter was standing at the curb next to a food cart.

“What’s up?” he greeted me.

I waved and dialed my mom back.

“Hey love,” she answered. “I have your Tory Burch wedges here. Do you mind if I borrow them tonight? I’m going to Flying Saucer with the girls.”

“Seriously, Mom? That’s what was so important?” I practically yelled. “I don’t even wear Tory Burch anymore!”

“So you don’t mind?”

I was so irritated at her for making me panic and think something was wrong at home. Plus she borrows my things without asking all the time so I don’t know why she was suddenly acting like she needs permission.

“Bye Mom! Love you,” I said and hung up.

“My mom is nuts,” I said to Hunter, just in case he was wondering. “What are you doing out here?”

“Aren’t I allowed to enjoy this beautiful weather?”

This was sarcasm because it was really chilly and windy as hell. We started talking about how he lives in San Francisco which has nice weather, but not nearly as nice as like SoCal. We somehow got to talking about Brady and me and I bravely asked what Brady has told him about me. I was preparing for the worst (I caused drama, I was an alcoholic, I corrupted him), but to my surprise Hunter said, “He told me that he’s in love with you.”

I was not expecting him to say that at all and I probably looked like I swallowed a goldfish.

“I know, I was surprised too,” Hunter said. “He’s so private about that kind of stuff. I only knew about the last girl he dated because my parents told me.”

The last girl he dated. Anna or whoever?

“I think he was just a little bit freaked out,” he continued.

Hunter’s confession actually freaked me out. I know Brady and I have said that when we’re high, but I didn’t think he really felt that way. Even though I was drunk, I got embarrassed and felt weird that Hunter told me that. If Brady wanted me to know, he would express it – sober.

“Do you have a girlfriend?” I asked Hunter to take the attention off me.

He pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and lit one.

“There’s a girl. Dom – Dominique. She’s the love of my life,” Hunter said. “I haven’t told anyone about her though.”

“Why haven’t you told anyone?” I wanted to know.

“I don’t want to give my family the chance to disapprove of her. We’re going to elope.” Hunter offered the cigarette to me and I took it.

“Why would anyone disapprove?” I asked.

“Why wouldn’t they? Generally speaking, my parents just…suck.”

I nodded, taking a drag. I don’t know them well, but I could see how his parents would disapprove of his whole San Francisco life. But from what Brady told me, I assumed he and their mom were close. “When are you getting married?”

“Soon. Don’t tell Brady.”

I told him that his secret is safe with me. We passed the cig back and forth a few times until it was gone. I knew Brady was probably looking for me so I left Hunter out there and went back inside. I found Brady exactly where I’d left him by the bar. I threw my arms around and kissed him because 1. I was drunk and 2. We are in love!

“Is everything okay with your mom?” he asked.

“Yeah, she’s just annoying,” I said dismissively.

Brady said that I smelled like smoke and I quickly (probably too quickly) told him that a guy next to me outside was smoking. Which isn’t a lie. We hung out and drank for a little while longer before getting food from a food truck (barf) and cabbing home.

I woke up on Saturday morning and made everyone hot chocolate with Baileys because it was freezing. Brady and Hunter were sitting at the dining room table talking and at first I just sat there browsing Instagram until I heard them say something about Ebola being in the United States.

“Wait, what’s Ebola?” I asked. I’d heard people talking about it in passing, but I thought it only affected people in Africa or whatever.

“It’s a deadly virus that is spread through bodily fluids. Your kidneys and liver shut down and you bleed from every orifice in your body,” Brady said. “A man recently traveled to Liberia and contracted it.”

“He lied about being in contact with anyone with Ebola and brought it back with him. Now he’s being quarantined, but they didn’t diagnose him at first. They gave him antibiotics and sent him home,” Hunter added.

“Imagine how many hundreds of people he could’ve infected within that time. They’re also trying to hunt down everyone who was on the plane with him and contain them.”

“They decontaminated his apartment and sent his family to a confidential location, but he could have spread it to them already.”

“It could be all over the country by now.”

I was horrified. They laughed and said they were kidding and the media is probably making it sound much worse than it actually is, but I spent the next few hours cleaning Brady’s condo
and staying holed up in his room because you just never fucking know. Eventually they said they were going to go eat at one of my favorite restaurants so I couldn’t say no.

I used almost all of my purse sized bottle of Purell. Then I started thinking that the cooks or our waiter could have contacted someone with Ebola and they could have it and could’ve contaminated our food. I told Brady and Hunter and they laughed and kept eating, but my appetite was gone. It was really unfortunate too because my bacon cheeseburger was bomb AF. 

When we got home, Chris was home and they all went downstairs to smoke. After my tiring day of trying not to catch Ebola, I needed to take the edge off so I joined them. I only choked once and when we were done, we sat on the couch for a really long time. They were talking about football or sports or something while I sat there mesmerized by the fact that my nude painted nails matched the wall almost perfectly. What are the chances?

We decided to go to the bar and all got up to get ready. While Brady and I were getting dressed, Hunter showered in the attached bathroom. We were basically done getting ready so while we waited for Hunter to shower we started making out and fooling around. Naturally, we ended up having sex, but without taking any of our clothes off. Every time I would moan or make any noise Brady would shush me so Hunter wouldn’t hear even though the shower was on. I doubt he would’ve heard anything. 

The four of us walked to a nearby bar and started with shots and beer. I felt like one of the guys. 

Once when Brady went to get more drinks, Hunter leaned over to me and said, “You’re not what I expected at all. You’re super chill.”

“What were you expecting?” I asked.

He looked over his shoulder like he was making sure Brady wasn’t coming back yet. “A snob. No offense.”

I’ve actually been called a snob (so 90’s right?) plenty of times in my life so it felt nice to hear that someone didn’t think I was one.

When we got home, Brady and I got in bed. I wasn’t really drunk and the weed seemed to have worn off, but I was still feeling bold.

“Do you love me?” I asked.

“Mmmhm,” he murmured, pulling me close.

I pushed him away so I could look at his face. “Seriously?”

His eyebrows furrowed together in confusion. “What?”

“Have you ever been in love? Do you even know what it feels like?”

“Why are you asking me this?” 

“I just want to know!” 

“Yes, I know what love feels like,” Brady sighed like he was so annoyed with me. 

“How?” I demanded.

“What do you mean how?” he asked.

“Who have you ever been in love with?”

“A girl a few years ago-”

I didn’t even let him finish before saying, “How do you know you loved her?”

“Because I knew. She did a lot for me.”

I hated hearing about other girls Brady’s been with so even though I was dying to know who this girl was (Anna? Someone else?) I decided not to pry anymore.

We fell asleep and then something really weird happened in the middle of the night. I legitimately can’t tell if this was a dream or if this really happened, but I’ll tell it like it really happened.

I woke up in the middle of the night because I heard someone in the bathroom. I assumed it was Brady at first, but then I felt him sleeping next to me. I heard the toilet flush and watched the door open. Hunter was standing there, completely naked with his hair down and his dick just swinging. He saw me and smirked then turned off the bathroom light and walked out. So fucking weird/realistic.

But on Sunday morning we all had breakfast and Hunter didn’t blush or act weird (I personally felt really embarrassed) so now I’m thinking I must have dreamed the whole thing. Plus, why would Hunter be walking around Brady and Chris’s place naked like he owns the place? It can’t have really happened. Which begs the question of ew, why would I have that kind of dream?

Standard

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.

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.

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need to make him fall in love with me.

I had a lunch meeting with some bigwigs from a flash sale website on Monday and we were going to discuss selling some of our previous lines on their website. It would be an amazing collaboration because not only would we be able to get rid of all the stuff that was just collecting dust but we would also gain a ton of publicity and new customers. They flew in from New York City just to meet me so I knew the meeting had to go well and I had to show them a good time.

I met the Vice President of sales, Martin, the senior marketing manager, Rob, and their executive assistant, Lena, at a steakery two blocks from the office. It was a little bit intimidating and I thought about taking someone along with me, but I wanted to do this on my own.

“So Reese, tell me more about your company. Tell me things I may not know,” Martin said, after we’d make our introductions, got seated and ordered a bottle of wine. He was a heavyset older gentleman who was already drenched in sweat. 

I swallowed, set my wine glass down and gathered my thoughts. 

“Our products are sold in over one hundred and seventy different retailers in twelve countries and we collaborate with artists and designers all over the world. Our latest is with a batiker from Indonesia who I discovered on Pinterest. We make it a point to only source materials from socially and environmentally responsible manufacturers, which is something our consumers love. Last quarter, our net sales were up twenty eight percent,” I said.

“If you guys are doing so well then why do you have a bunch of extra product to sell on our website?” Martin challenged. 

I smiled sweetly. “We don’t have a logistics team. We put all of our effort into product development so yes, we’re definitely lacking in that area.”

“So basically, you have a warehouse full of unsold product and you need to get rid of it,” Martin countered. 

I took another sip of wine. “That too. But mainly I just wanted to increase our online presence. Our websales aren’t where we would like them to be so I want us to explore other virtual avenues. Your company is so reputable that I thought it would be a fantastic place to start.”

“I like you,” Martin said, grinning. “You’re honest.”

I smiled. 

“Let me ask you this,” Rob said, leaning close to me from across the table. He was a thirty something DILF type who looked like he used a ton of high end hair products. “If we come to an agreement and go forward with this, how do you see our professional relationship continuing?” 

“I would love to work out something long term. Maybe quarterly. I know that our products are going to do very well with your client base.”

Two hours later, Martin and I were playfully arguing over who was going to pay the $650 bill. I thought my company should cover it since they’d traveled all the way from NYC but Martin insisted on paying it. Finally, we decided to split it. The meeting had gone really, really well and since their flight didn’t take off for another three hours, they decided to stop by the office and meet Dave and Diana. Nothing was official yet but Martin said that he would love to sit down and look at some numbers and see if we couldn’t get a deal figured out. 

After they left, Diana called me into her office.

“Reese, how did you pull this one off?” she asked. 

I shrugged. “A friend from college works in their sales department and put me in contact with Rob, who then put me in contact with Martin,” I explained. 

Diana nodded. “They seemed to love you. And if this works out, it could be really good for us. It would be a great partnership to have.”

I beamed. “It will definitely work out.”

After I left Diana’s office, I ran into BJ in the hallway.

“Where have you been all day? I missed you,” he said. 

“I had an important lunch meeting,” I told him as I walked into my office. 

He followed me in. “So that’s why those people were here. The girl was hot. She had a nice ass.” 

I shot him a dirty look. 

“Almost as nice as yours,” he added with a smirk.

I ignored him, but silently celebrated the fact that the squat challenge was obviously working. 

On my way home from work, I logged onto Facebook Mobile and saw that Carly and Chris had become friends. I immediately clicked on Chris’s profile. Brady doesn’t seem like the type of guy who uses Facebook, but it was worth a look. I clicked through a few of Chris’s profile pictures and found a group photo with Brady, who was looking just as ravishing as I remember. And alas, Brady was actually tagged. I couldn’t believe my luck. Not only could I go through his entire Facebook page, but I also had a full name for Google research purposes. 

First I went through all sixteen of his profile pictures. They were mostly group shots, but there was also one of him at what appeared to be his white coat ceremony and one of him with a German shepherd. So he’s social and into animals. Precious. I found out that he graduated from high school in 2006 and pharmacy school in 2012 so if my calculations are correct that means he’s only two years older than me. His relationship status said single and there were no random girls commenting on his photos (except a girl named Angelina who said “Looking good buddy!”). So it looks like I don’t have any competition.

When I got home, I opened up his profile on my laptop so I could stalk on a larger platform. I mostly just went through his profile pictures over and over because they were the only ones I could see with his privacy settings.

Next, I Googled his name and found his LinkedIn profile and numerous newspaper articles from sports in high school and his PharmD. graduation announcements. I also read about his parents who are like a power couple in Massachusetts. There was an article about a dinner party they had on a yacht in the Hamptons which is seriously P. Diddy level cool. The conclusion I’ve come to is that Brady and I are getting married, I just need to make him fall in love with me.

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