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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 10 (v.1) - Chapter 9

Submitted: August 14, 2019

Reads: 25

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Submitted: August 14, 2019

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The next morning Avery woke up rested, sore, and alone. She expected to wake up in Maxwell's arms, but maybe that wasn't his style. She rolled over to find a note with a rose which read:

Avery, I'm sorry I had to leave so early. I had to grab some things from

my house before heading to the office. I sent over my chef, so when you're

ready, he will prepare a special breakfast for you. In your closet you will

find my gift to you. Happy Birthday love.

Avery wrapped her body in the champagne-colored silk sheet and headed to her walk-in closet as the note instructed. Maxwell had taken the liberty of organizing her closet and added some new designers to her collection as well, including Chanel and Burberry. He embellished her built-ins with pumps styled by Louboutin, Choo, Blahnik, and McQueen while her shelves housed new handbags by Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Chanel, and of course her favorite Marc Jacobs. It was overwhelming. She walked over to the Marc Jacobs handbag, taking it off the shelf and noticed a note sticking out it. 

Just a few new things to wear this summer. I hope you like it.

 Avery smiled at the note. Like it? She loved it. She headed back to her bedroom. On her nightstand she saw her phone lighting up. Brooke. Sighing she reached for her phone to answer.

"Hey Brooke."

"Hey birthday girl, what you doin'?"

"I just woke up—about to shower and have breakfast."

"Is Maxwell around?"

"No, he's at work. Why? What's up?"

"Oh, nothing. I was just wondering. Did you ever find out what he was doing at the social? It felt like he was stalking you."

"Oh-h yea. He was invited by one of the guest. She's a client of his. It's like that on the Upper East Side. Everyone knows each other."

"So Maxwell is from the Upper East Side too?"

"I'm assuming so. I know he's from New York and his dad his a Wall Street lawyer. I mean how else would he know Mrs. Vanhorn? She's like royalty."

"True. Sooo, Do ya'll have plans for tonight?"

"I don't know. He didn't really say," Avery said softly.

"Well girl...it's your birthday...and it's Friday? We are definitely going out tonight!"

"Okay...that sounds good," Avery said reluctantly.

"Why do you sound like that?"

"Like what?"

"All sad and depressed. You should be happy! It's you're twenty-seventh birthday!"

Avery could hear Brooke excitement through the phone. She wasn't sad just unsure if she should commit to something with Brooke or wait to see if Maxwell had anything planned for her. She desperately wanted to have a relaxing evening where the two could talk and enjoy one another's company. 

"Oh, I'm not sad," she faked yawned, "Just tired. I had a late night."

"Oooh okay. Are you going to class today...you know with it being your birthday?"

"Yea, I'm going to go. We only have three more classes until the end of the semester, so, mind as well."

"True. So, listen...Jacob came by again last night," Brooke said pausing "I think he was hoping you were here, but once again, I told him you don't live here."

"Did he say what he wanted?" Avery asked walking to her bathroom.

"No, but he probably came by to wish you a happy birthday. I think I saw a card in his hand."

"You think you saw, or you saw a card," she said putting Brooke on speaker so she could turn on the shower.

"I definitely saw a card. Have ya'll been talking?"

"No, I mean I saw him yesterday at the meeting. We had a brief exchange but nothing major. I'm surprised he remembered my birthday. He never did the two years we were together," she said shifting the tone in her voice.

"Avery." Avery could sense Brooke's eye roll through the phone, "Remember we are creating good Karma. That means leaving things in the past and moving forward. Please don't bring that negative energy into this new year with you."

"You're right. Anyway, I'm going to shower and have breakfast. I'll text you when I'm out of class so we can meet up for drinks later. Sound good?"

"Yea. It's your world birthday girl. Love you."

"Love you too. Bye. "

********

Twenty-seven. Avery sat at Fiddler's, sipping her armaretto sour while she waited for Brooke at the bar. She thought about what this next chapter in life would bring, so much had changed already. Last year, she was drowning herself in self-pity over her failing relationship, but this year things were different. She was different. This year, she was in a relationship that was clear, sort of.

"Avery?!"

Avery turned around to see Jacob and a few of his friends approaching her. He always sounded so surprised when he saw her. She didn't know if it was out of nervousness or eagerness. She stared into his kind, bold honey-green eyes. It was the gentleness in his eyes that had first drew her to him; that and the fact that he offered to tutor her for free.

"Funny running into you here," he said leaning in for a hug, "happy birthday."

"Thanks."

"So are you here by yourself," he said looking around.

"For now. Brooke is on her way."

"Oh, well do you mind if I join you?" he said motioning to the empty chair next to her.

"Sure."

Jacob excused himself from his friends. This would be the first time they would have a real conversation that didn't mention their break-up. He was nervous, but Avery, surprisingly exuded a poised demeanor. 

"Can I order you a drink?"

"Oh, I'm okay for now," she politely declined.

"What?! Since when do you turn down a free drink?" he laughed motioning for the waiter.

"Since now," she laughed shoving him, "I've decided to turn over a new leaf creating good karma and drinking  less."

"You do know wine still counts as alcohol right Avery?" he said raising his brow.

"Oh, no. That doesn't count. I can't live without my wine." 

"Oh I know. I remember," he said flashing a smile, "So, are you excited for the summer?"

"Yea," she said smiling, "even though I'm not really sure what to expect. Sterling was making it seem like a boot camp."

"Ahh no!" he said shaking his head chuckling, "he was just letting us know that this is serious business. I had a few friends intern there before and one of them said it wasn't all that bad. We work hard but there's a lot of time to network at social events too, you know."

"Oh, well that's a relief," she said sipping her drink, "I was starting to rethink everything."

"You sure you don't want me to get you another one?"

"Ah what the hell! I'll turn over the leaf tomorrow," she laughed."

"Yes!," he exclaimed triumphantly, "That's my girl!"

"What?!"

"Oh you know what I mean."

Avery slurped the rest of her amaretto sour through her straw as Jacob waved the bartender down for another one, plus two shots. He knew she wasn't a big drinker but it was her birthday and he insisted they have a good time. They drank and laughed, enjoying each other's company, swapping stories about their previous relationship while casually exchanging flirtatious gestures.

"No, no" Avery cackled, "I was not trying to hide from you!"

"Yes, yes you were! I kept telling you I could see you," he chortled shaking his head, "you were so drunk and then you passed out!"

"Yea," she said wiping joyful tears from her eyes, "and you took care of me. I was such a mess."

"No... You weren't," his tone stiffened, "and of course I took care of you, you were my...girlfriend."

Aside from calling her his girl from time to time, It was the first time Jacob had actually said it. Girlfriend. She had gone two years not knowing what they truly were. It was the validation she was seeking but now through drunken lips,after everything they had been through, the validation seemed worthless. Avery stared blankly at him. She was at lost for words.

"I--"

"I should have showed you...how special you were to me. I was an idiot."

"You're not an idiot," she said lowering her head.

"For cheating? Yea...I was," he said reaching over to cup her chin and raise her eyes to his longing gaze.

"Ahem?"

"Brooke!" Avery said pulling away from Jacob.

"Hey. Sorry I'm late," she glared at Jacob.

"It's okay. Jac--"

"Was just leaving," he said standing, "Avery, happy birthday," Jacob leaned in and planted a kiss on her cheek, "Bye."

Avery watched Jacob rejoin his friends who were enjoying drinks in the corner booth at the far end of the pub. She was torn. On the one hand she had longed for Jacob and wanted their relationship to have a fairy tale ending, but on the other hand was reality and the reality was that it was over between them.

"Uh--what was that?" Brooke asked confused sitting down.

"Nothing. He was just keeping me company until you got here," she said nudging her.

"Mmhm. Anyway, traffic was insane. There was an accident on US-22."

"That's okay. I'm just happy you are here," she said motioning to the bartender.

"Oh so you're really drinking tonight huh."

"I'm sure I'll regret it in the morning, but yes, yes I am."

"Well don't let me stop you. Soooo, are you seeing Maxwell later or..."

"I don't know. I haven't heard from him all day, but I did see him last night and he left me some gifts this morning."

"I was just about to ask if that dress was new!"

"Yes," she blushed, "he brought me all types of gifts."

"And what did you give him,"she chuckled.

"Stop it. It's not even like that. These are birthday gifts."

"Mmmm well, I'm jealous," she sipped her drink sizing Avery up and down, "It really looks good on you though."

"Thanks. I'm honestly still trying to get comfortable with everything.  It can be so overwhelming at times," she said.

"I bet. This guy just shows up out of nowhere and turns your whole life around."

"I know. It's crazy! I mean I'm used to expensive things but it feels so different because it's not coming from my parents, you know."

"So, in all seriousness, what do you want out of this year?"

"I don't know yet--"

"Avery!" Brooke interrupted, "What I want for you this year is to not hear  'I don't know' come out of your mouth!," she teased, "Although it may be unconventional, Maxwell is offering you a way to explore so many opportunities."

"How do you figure? I literally live in the penthouse, wear expensive clothes, and fuck him!"

"Oh, so you've had sex with him?" She asked leaning in towards her.

"Yes," she sighed, "Just the one time."

"Well you're the one that mentioned that being in this arrangement will allow you to take more risk and explore other opportunities. I'm just repeating what you told me."

"I know," she said lowering her head, "I guess I'm just a little frustrated because I feel so invested in making him happy and I'm not really receiving any benefits towards what I want."

"Oh Avery, then you're going to have to step it up. This arrangement has just as many benefits for you as it does him."

"Meaning?"

"Meaning, use what you have to get what you want. I mean you're kind of a baby prostitute anyway," she laughed.

"Really? Why the fuck would you say that?"

"Okay that's two f-bombs in five minutes, you're clearly drunk," Brooke said taking a sip of her drink.

"Not drunk enough to know you called me a prostitute!"

"Avery you know what I mean!"

"No I don't actually. Why don't you explain it to me!"

"All I'm saying is, you're getting paid for your services. Make it worth it! He has connections Avery, so use your position to solidify a career. What do you want?!"

" I don't know," she said in a shaky voice as Brooke glared at her, "I guess...short term...I want to do well as a summer associate."

"Good, and long term?"

"I want my own income, so an actual position at the firm would be ideal."

"And you can get that. You hold the power right between your legs."

"That maybe true but this arrangement isn't just about sex."

"So what's it about?" Brooke questioned in a mocking tone, "because all I see is you getting spoiled with gifts and money and now you're apparently sleeping with him."

"Companionship."

"Right. That's what he wants. What do you want?"

"Didn't I already answer this?"

"Yes but now I'm asking about you and Maxwell?"

"What do you mean? It's pretty clear what this relationship is."

"But do you want more?"

"I feel like we kind of are a little more already which is why I feel weird about 'using what I have to get what I want' tactic.  Aside from the fact that there's contract, this feels like a real relationship. I mean, don't real relationships have unspoken contracts of what you expect from the other person?"

"Yea but--"

"Our expectations are just written down."

"Just because something feels real, doesn't mean it is. I mean your relationship with Jacob felt real, didn't it?"

"This is different," Avery said sternly.

"Okay--I didn't mean anything by it. I was just saying--"

"Well, leave it alone okay?! You really don't know anything about it!"

"You're right. I won't bring it up again. Let's just enjoy our drinks okay?"

"Fine," Avery said lifting her drink.

Avery felt bad for snapping at Brooke, but she was wrong, and she was right. Brooke didn't understand her relationship with Maxwell, which is why it was best they didn't discuss it. As the night started to slow down, Brooke was once again apologetic, and they went their separate ways.

As Avery carefully drove home, she tried calling Maxwell a few times, but was unsuccessful. She still hadn't heard from him. Not even a quick text. She decided not to let that ruin her night. Despite not hearing from him all day, he had spoiled her with a new wardrobe and a delightful breakfast. When she walked into the dimly lit penthouse, she noticed a flickering light coming from the kitchen.

On the island counter top, was a vanilla scented candle next to a small red-velvet cupcake. A gift box and printed note accompanied the cupcake which read:

Avery, sorry we missed each other today.

She smiled. He had taken the time to leave her with one more gift. As she held the note in her hand she noticed ink lightly bleeding through. She flipped it over and it read:

wait for me

 


© Copyright 2019 Danielle Hawthorne. All rights reserved.

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