Book Baby Number 3 is alive and well! Thanks to everyone that has purchased thus far. I am sooo looking forward to reading your reviews. For those of you that haven't, here's a sample to entice you. :)
I walked into the venue for the event and was impressed with what the team had put together. There were life-size pictures of each of the girls hanging from the ceiling making the guests of honor clear for those who may have been unsure. The room was decked in enough pink to make someone sick but since it was the group’s signature color, it worked. I could only dream of what it would look like once my ideas were implemented. As I made my way further in, taking in all of the fine details of the space, I felt a heavy hand on the small of my back before the person it belonged to showed their face.
“Wow Ariel. You look amazing. You always look amazing.”
“Thank you si...AJ.”
“No thank you for getting here early. I wanted you to get a little hands-on experience with some of the prep work before you were working on things of this sort on your own.” It made total sense no matter how much I was bothered by the fact that his hand, surely with an untanned line from the removal of his wedding ring, was still on my back.
“Gotcha. Well, I should probably get to it then.” I tried to get away but he grabbed me gently by the wrist pulling me back towards him.
“What’s the rush? How about we grab a drink first?” I pulled my wrist from his grip, returning it to its rightful place by my side.
“Sorry but I don’t drink on the job. Who can get work done like that?”
Apparently I was a little naïve about the whole thing as he quickly replied, “Quite a few people in this industry, me included. Now come on. One little drink won’t hurt you. And if it does...well you aren’t fully responsible for this event anyway so it’ll be fine. I’ll give you a pass.” He gave me his million dollar smile, pleading with his eyes for me to join him. Everything he was saying sounded like a bad idea, but I wasn’t really in a position to turn down a drink from my boss so I followed his invitation to the bar. He ordered a whiskey and coke for himself and a Ciroc and pineapple for me. I watched the bartender really closely, mentally calculating his severely over-poured shot.
Or maybe he was instructed to do that.
I kindly asked for a few more ice cubes with the hopes of being able to babysit the drink just long enough so that the ice would water it down.
“So Ariel, you went to U of C right? You know that’s my alma mater too.” Of course I knew it was his alma mater considering there was a building in my college named after him for his millions in donations.
“What were you? Class of ‘85? ‘90?”
He laughed harder than I expected him to before he said, “That’s a good one. Actually Class of ‘98.”
“Wanna know what I was doing in ‘98? Still playing with Barbies and worried about whoopin’ ass in hopscotch.” He laughed again and this time I actually gave him a smile as I took a little sip of the drink.
“You’re really funny Ariel. But I can imagine your priorities being a little different than mine at the time. Lucky for us, they’re about the same now.” He placed his hand on my knee under the bar counter and it made my skin crawl. He was eying me, trying to gauge my reaction to his touch and I wasn’t sure what to do. I wasn’t quite ready to lose my job for going off on him but I also didn’t want him getting too comfortable. A few jabs here and there I could take, but getting touchy-feely was crossing the line. So I stood up from the bar stool, using the excuse of needing to go to the bathroom. Surprisingly enough, he actually bought it.
I got to the bathroom and took my time freshening up my hair, freshening up my make-up, checking my phone, seeing what was trending on Twitter, just about anything I could think of to make AJ stop waiting for me. As I scrolled through tweet after tweet, a text came through.
Boss Man 1: You don’t have to play games. I get it. You can come out now.
So he was up on game. Of course he was. He was older and surely had enough experience to read right through my antics. Instead of texting back, I walked out of the bathroom with my hand on my stomach acting like I was sick.
“Sorry about that. The sushi I had before I came must’ve been bad.” I pulled out my phone and said, “Oh, you text me?” I saw a sliver of panic in his expression before he went back to his normal, calm demeanor.
“Disregard it sweetheart. I must’ve sent it to the wrong person.”
I recognized his attempt at a save; a good one but not good enough for me to stop making him uncomfortable. It was the only way I knew I could keep him off my back; well off me period.
“So does your wife ever come to these events?”
“Nah, we’re actually separated. The only thing we have in common is our two kids.” I knew he was lying as I had just seen him and his wife in a picture from some awards show not even two weeks ago. It couldn’t have happened that fast.
Or did it?
“How old are your kids?”
I knew so much about the man that I could answer most of the questions myself but I hoped bringing up the fact that he had a family would deter him from even thinking about having a chance with me.
“My son just turned eighteen and my daughter is fifteen.”
“When your son turns twenty-one, tell him to come holla at me.”
Because we’re a lot closer in age than you and I.
He gave me his usual smirk of amusement as he said, “I’ll pass along the message though I’m not sure he wants to compete with his old man.” He was coming on to me full-fledge, unapologetically, and I knew if I didn’t make things clear fast that he would automatically categorize me as someone he could get.
“Mr. Jones, I’m here for business and business only.” He actually looked entertained by my statement like he had heard the version I really wanted to give him.
You greasy mothafucka. Nobody wants your old halfway married ass.
But since I wasn’t anywhere near drunk and my thoughts were able to subside instead of be spoken aloud, he simply replied, “What’s the fun in business if you can’t have a little pleasure?”
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