I'm Here to Fix You

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Chapter 54

CHAPTER 54 - SAY GOODBYE, FANGIRLS

This is so not how I pictured it would happen, but it’s too late now, I guess. I could always flee, but he would think I’m a coward, which I am not. In the end, if I can put up with Jake Watson on a daily basis and not kill him in his sleep, I suppose I can bear an hour conversing with his uncle. He can’t seriously be that bad, can he?

I was sitting at a nice restaurant whose lunch, by the looks of it, would cost me an arm and a leg. But I won’t allow him to pay for me. Respect is gained, not owned, and it’s the little things that assure you it. I’m pretty sure Keith Watson thinks I’m some greedy floozy after the family money, I’d rather not second his idea.

I was more than punctual, I arrived 10 minutes early, just to make sure. I had to do the impossible to convince my boss I really needed to get off earlier for lunch. My boss might have agreed in the end, but my boyfriend will nag me until I spill the beans. Believe it or not, Mr. Womanizer can be so clingy most of the time.

At exactly half past twelve, a tall, well dressed man in his early fifties made his appearance headed my way. As punctual as death, one could say.

The waitress accompanied him to the table, but he barely said a word. He stood there, in his frightening glory, staring me dead in the eye. Jake looks more like him than I ever imagined, but then again, it’s his father’s brother after all. I look a lot like my dad’s brother, too.

“Good day, Mr. Watson.” I greeted with a small, gracious smile, standing up and stretching my hand to him. “I’m Silvia Banchi, as you might have guessed.”

He didn’t even try to shake my hand. His gazed snapped immediately to the bump on my belly. It’s four months, of course it’s noticeable. I try my best to hide it at work, but I’ll soon start needing maternity clothes. Good thing Hillary spread the malicious word that I’ve put on weight. She’s been bragging that, the moment I get too fat, Jake will dump me, and she’ll be ready to welcome him in her arms.

The downside of dating such an attractive man. Sometimes I feel like I should beware of every single female being on Earth. It’s a good thing his fangirls can’t meet him, otherwise I should beware of you even.

“You’re pregnant.” Mr. Watson spat matter-of-factly, his brown eyes narrowing at my belly.

“Yes, I am. I gather Jake didn’t tell you ...?” I sat back down, feeling tired. It’s impolite to force a pregnant woman to stand for too long, didn’t anyone teach him that?

“My nephew didn’t even tell me he was in a relationship.” The man scoffed, sitting down. I don’t know how’s that possible, but there wasn’t a single muscle of his that was relaxed. The moment his holy ass touched the chair, by the way, the waitress appeared beside us with the menus.

“Well, here I am, now you know I exist.” I smiled as politely as I could not to sound scoffing. I opened my menu to cover up the fact that hunger mixed with pregnancy hormones make my temper tantrums worse. You have no idea how many times did Jake wander around Boston like a fool in the middle of the night to find an Italian restaurant of some sort. Told you, this baby seems more attached to Italy that his mom-uh ... the lady that carries it.

Mr. Watson sent me a poignant look that, I bet, was meant to tell me that he disapproves of me already, but I ignored it as I scanned the menu. I barely got to the main course, though. The waitress was already eagerly back to us to take orders. I’ll barely touch anything, I’m pretty sure, but I can’t let him see that.

“Ready to order, sir?”

Mr. Watson handed her the menu without even looking at her as he ordered: “soupe a l’oignon gratiné and filet mignon. Guess the right wine. The girl takes sesame crusted ahi tuna salad and natural water.”

I frowned. “Sorry what?”

“Alright, I’ll be back shortly.” The waitress assured with a polite smile.

“No, no, no, hey ...” I sent her a dirty look. “I didn’t order.”

“But-”

“Excuse me, but the guy here is not entitled to speak for me. I know my own mind.” I scoffed, handing her the menu. “I’ll take lobster bisque and ratatouille, red velvet cake as dessert. Mineral water to drink.”

The woman seemed astounded, but she didn’t say anything, just took the menu, and left, hopefully having understood my orders. When I turned back to Mr. Watson I noticed the slightest admiration in his gaze. Was this a test of some sort?

“How long have you been dating my nephew?” He cut straight to the chase.

“Eight months. But I’ve known him for much longer.”

“And how many months are you pregnant?”

“Four.”

“Was it planned?”

“Of course not.”

“How can I know you’re not lying?”

“Because I’m not.”

“Did he propose yet?”

“No.”

“Good. Have you considered abortion yet?”

“I-”

“Because you know you can’t keep this baby, right? It would tightly tie my nephew to you, and we can’t have that, can we?”

“I-”

“I know how this works. You get him to knock you up, then you demand he marries you, which he will, because if he’s resisted 8 months with you, you definitely have him wrapped around your little finger. This way you’ll get access to one of the most conspicuous fortunes in the whole East Coast. You’ll probably sweet-talk him into signing a contract in your favor, so that when he’ll cheat on you, which he will while you’re pregnant, we both know that, you’ll have an excuse to divorce him and take away all he has.” Mr. Watson barked in a gruff voice, barely stopping to breathe.

I took a moment instead. Not to take in his words, but to look at him. I could easily imagine Jake becoming partly like him in 20 years. Not entirely, because let’s be honest, my boyfriend is much much more handsome than his uncle. So, I took a long moment to stare at Mr. Watson, until, spontaneously, the laugh rolled out of my mouth.

I started laughing, so loud that people nearby turned to me, laughing so much that tears sprung to my eyes and my lungs seemed to beginning to feel it. I could barely stop, I swear, while Mr. Watson gaped at me, probably thinking I’d gone nuts. “Wow. You’re a born actor, really.”

He shot daggers, but who cared. The waitress meekly came to bring us our orders, then scuttled away, as if a huge storm were in sight. “This only confirms me you’re not suited for-”

“Oh, please, cut it.” I spat, grabbing my spoon. “I only came here today because you’re the closest thing to a father for my boyfriend. I sure as hell didn’t come to be insulted.”

“You-”

“I’m not with your nephew for the money. I couldn’t care less about the Watsons’ fortune. I work my butt off, I have my savings, my plans and my career. Your nephew doesn’t spend a single penny on me, not even for a stupid dinner. I pay for my own stuff, I pay for my own life. Because, believe it or not, I’m with him because I love him, not for his money.”

“They all say that.”

“I’m sorry if your ex wives plucked you like a chicken on Christmas day, but I’m not like that, and the sole fact that you even dare imply it pisses me off so bad that in other circumstances I would have already left.” I poured myself some water. “But ... we’re bound to be family someday, whether you want it or not. So we should get along.” I could barely hide the smirk. “Think about this, I may be the sole thing that could possibly veer your nephew your way.”

“You mean you have him wrapped around your little finger, like I said.” He hissed, already hating me.

“I mean I do have a certain influence on him. And even though I don’t mean to use it in any way, because Jake, whatever you may think, is a clever man and knows his own mind, it’s inevitable that he’ll talk to me about his things. Take it this way, I may be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.”

“Is that a threat?!”

“Goodness, no. Of course not.” I took a sip of my water, not in the slightest bit fazed by his angry manners. “I’m just saying, your nephew listens to me more than he’s ever listened to you. And that may help you.”

“How so?”

“Well, let’s see ... if I told Jake I wanna run away and never come back, he’d follow me. If I told him I wanna go live in Europe, he’d follow me. Do you see where I’m getting at?”

“I wouldn’t have a heir to my company.”

“Exactly.”

“So I’m right. It is a threat.” He glared.

“No ... I’m just saying, be kinder to your future niece, because believe me, your nephew won’t like you any better if you spite me. Especially if I tell him you came here today purposely to convince me to break up with him.”

“Did I?” He feigned a smirk, somewhat relaxing. Mr. Watson poured himself some wine. “I came here today merely to meet you, Ms. Banchi. To see who you are.”

“But-”

“You can’t expect me to welcome just any girl in my family. Not with what’s at stake.”

I frowned, taken off guard. “So ...”

“So your little stunt a moment ago was futile.”

“But you said-”

“I was provoking you. I wanted to see if you’re made of the sturdy stuff I thought.”

“I see.” My pride got the better of me again, damnit. I came here convinced he’d want to either bribe me or threaten me into leaving Jake. And yet ...

“Now that we’ve cleared the misunderstanding, we can move on.” Mr. Watson claimed, taking a bite of his dish. “I see you’re no frail little princess, I like that.” Oh, really. “Now, tell me, how serious is my nephew with you?”

I nearly rolled my eyes to the back of my head. “Well, I’m pregnant and he hasn’t fled yet, so I’m guessing he’s pretty serious about us.”

“Are you going to keep it?”

“Why? Do you need a new heir?” Cue the dirty look. “No offense, Mr. Watson, but these are private matters that concern only Jake and I.”

“So you’re not going to keep it.” Ugh. Cleverness runs in the family, I see. “No surprise there.” He shrugged, leaning back against his seat, and the waitress took the chance to grab his dirty plate. I feel like she loiters around to make sure she’ll serve him in the blink of an eye if needed. “My nephew isn’t cut to be a family man.”

“What makes you think that?” I was expecting nasty comments about Jake’s unreliability and whatnot, so my tone was defensive, but he once more took me off guard.

“There are events in his life that made him hate the word family.” His uncle claimed. “It’s already surprising that he’s decided to settle with you. But a family? I doubt it.”

“Of course. After all his unmerciful parents did to him, it’s no wonder.” I scoffed, unable to hold back. His eyes widened for a fraction of moment. Clearly, he didn’t expect me to know everything. “No offense, Mr. Watson, but your brother as well as your sister-in-law acted selfishly. What they did, they condemned their son to a miserable life. But I’m here to change that.”

“You think you can fix him?” He scoffed, disbelieving.

“I think I can do a better job than his parents at taking care of him, that’s for sure.” Cue the glare.

“You think you can make it? My nephew isn’t an easy man to deal with.”

“Oh, believe me, I know. But that won’t make me give up.”

He half smirked, playing with his fork. “And what will?”

“Nothing.”

“Hardly believable.” He laughed cynically. “I bet even you have a price, Ms. Banchi.”

“You can’t afford to buy me, Mr. Watson.” I spat. “You could offer me all the money in the world, I still wouldn’t change my mind.”

He stared at me, speechless, for a long, long minute, until, in the end, he had the oddest reaction: he smiled. Mr. Watson smiled, sincerely even. “Good. I wanted to hear nothing less.”

“Let me guess, this was all a test, wasn’t it?” I rolled my eyes. “This was you secretly protecting your nephew.” Ah, rich people and their ploys.

“If you think I didn’t know about you, you’re wrong, Ms. Banchi. I’ve observed you for a long time. So this was just to confirm what I hoped.”

“Which is?”

“That you’re the right woman for my nephew. And that if there’s anyone in this world that can do something for him, that’s you.”

“So you don’t want to bribe me or threaten me into leaving him?”

He laughed. “That would be quite counterproductive, don’t you think? When you’re doing so good to my nephew.” What? “I know he’s improved, and I believe it’s your merit. So keep going. Clearly you’re worth way more than the expensive therapists he’s seen throughout the years.”

I smiled, unable to retain myself. “Jake says your only soft spot is Serene. I wonder when will he ever realize just how wrong he is.” I knew my boyfriend exaggerated. It’s a typical situation, really. The relationship between him and his uncle if full of conflicts, but in the end, this man here still loves him like a son.

“Jake is like me, stubborn and proud.” Mr. Watson admitted. “We’ll never see eye to eye.” He heaved a deep sigh, halfway between happy reminiscing and core-wrenching grief. “I fought nonstop with his father, I presume it’s only fair I keep on fighting with him.”

“But ...?”

He furrowed his brows, even though I could see quite well he’d lowered his guard for a slight moment. “But what?”

“But ... you love him.” He scoffed in response. “It’s not the end of the world, you know? At this age we’ve achieved so much that a man can even express his feelings without being always laughed that. So do tell your nephew how much you care, because fighting him as a manner of affection is really childish.” Cue the glare. Ah, these men ... well, I tried.

***

I was exhausted. The more weeks pass, the worse it gets. Tomorrow I enter the fifth month, and I already can’t wait for all of this to end. It’ll have to be quick, like taking off a bandage. The day after tomorrow we start scanning the files, to look for a couple that will adopt the baby. Dr. Stuart says it shouldn’t be too hard, requirements to be added to the file of the agency are quite strict, so only good people. I’d have argued there are no good people, only good decisions, but I kept it.

Now, I came from an interesting afternoon. I saw Ryan. We grabbed a coffee, caught up with each other’s life ... he didn’t agree with adoption, actually, he bluntly pointed out that it’ll be hard to give up the baby, but I ignored it.

It was good to see him, you know. It’s been so long. He told me he’s seeing a co-worker. They’ve only just started going out, but he likes her, so it might go well. I didn’t miss the hint when he said he hasn’t taken a long break from relationships. There was such a heavy underling of, you crushed my heart, I have nothing left to give another woman, that I felt like shouting at him that he broke my heart, too.

Sure, maybe my side of things went better, because of Jake, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Either way, it was nice to see Ryan again. We talked about the chance of being friends again, but ... we couldn’t. It’s too soon. Who knows when will I see him again.

I could have gone home, but after all the talking with my ex, I felt like I needed a good time with my boyfriend to cheer me up, so I went straight to Jake’s place. I didn’t even need to knock, I’m here so often that he gave me a key.

But maybe he shouldn’t have. Because you see, when you give someone the key to your house, it means you trust them blindly, and you are absolutely certain they won’t have a reason to kill you. That can’t be possible when your girlfriend arrives one evening and, upon entering, she finds you exchanging saliva and maybe a bit more than that with your ex.

Olivia. Jake. Couch. No shirts. Making out slash foreplay. Say goodbye to your dearly beloved Jakey, fangirls, because, believe me, when I’m done with him, you’re gonna need a spoon to scratch him off the floor.

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