11 | The New Client
“Mr. Woodwards, what an unpleasant-unexpected surprise! Oh dear, please forgive my slip of the tongue” I say with fake cheerfulness and watch Nate’s smirk vanish from his face upon hearing the word ‘unpleasant’.
Serves the asshole right!
“Oh well, since Blaze Hunter spoke so highly of you in the event about your work, I couldn’t help but contact you” He emphasizes the word ‘highly’ and I resist the urge to hurl a hard object on his face.
Tilting my eyes to the left, I eye the expensive china vase I received from an abroad client and think for a while.
Would do the trick but having Jane as a witness to my display of violation won’t be the greatest idea.
I knew that Nate was toying with me by bringing up Blaze’s name. If he wants to play a game, so be it!
“Ah, Blaze Hunter…What can I say? I guess he enjoyed my work on him a bit too much” I knew that this bastard would never get the innuendo, I didn’t either. But let the boy’s imagination run wild.
I release a short chuckle and place my left-hand flat on the polished wooden surface of my desk with my other hand resting on my hips, I slightly lean forward to focus my attention on the duo. This action causes my breasts to press together and I watch his eyes fall on top of my exposed cleavage that peeked from the slit of my halter neck green blouse.
If this happened 7yrs back, I would’ve been over the moon to have received the slightest amount of his attention but now, he can fuck himself for all I care!
“Nate, I think we should start talking about our home” Our dearest Jane pipes in angrily whilst shooting a glare in my direction.
Hah, still the insecure bitch, I see…
But what caught my attention were the words, ‘our home’.
Nate looks slightly flushed from having being caught by his girlfriend for eyeing me and soon his face is covered with that stupid smirk.
Christ, how did I ever find this cunt charming?
“You see Ms. Carter, my girlfriend and I have bought a house on the west coast but it needs some major innovation and since you are one of the top interior designers along with the fact that we know each other, I thought about asking you for designing our future home” He explains and for some weird reason, I seethe inside.
“Great, just send me over the plans and give me the address of the site. I’ll get back to you regarding the issue within the next day”
“How about you come with us now to see the property yourself?” He asks.
Yeah right and watch you act all lovey-dovey with that bitch on your side? No thanks, I’ll pass.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that” I state simply and shrug my shoulders. He frowns at my lack of cooperation and before he can say anything else, my phone vibrates on the desk with the screen illuminating Blaze’s name.
Despite my foul mood, a huge grin stretches on my face and I excuse myself from the couple before rising from the chair to take my call. However, I don’t move that far because c’mon, who can resist the temptation of letting your ex-crush hear you talking with your hot-shot boyfriend?
Whom he also happens to hate, I smirk inwardly with victory and place the slim device against my ears to be greeted by Blaze’s rich deep voice which flows over me like warm Belgium chocolate.
“Hello love, will it be weird for me to say that I’m missing you at the moment even though it’s been only a few hours since I last saw you?” He asks with his sexy accented voice and my grin stretches further when I hear his words.
“It’s not weird, it’s cute,” I say with a short laugh in the end, and from the corner of my eye, I watch Nate flex his jaw in frustration whilst Jane eyed him with concern. I knew that he saw the name of the caller ID when my phone was resting on the desk and truth be told, all of this made it even more fun.
Suddenly, a thought occurs inside my head.
‘Wasn’t Jane dating Nate’s ex-best friend, Carlos? Or did she fuck him over like she with Nate?’ I ask myself but before I can think about the topic further, Blaze’s voice brings me back to the present.
“Amore, you still there?” He asks with a slightly concerned tone and I nod my head only to realize that he can’t see me.
“Oh yes, I’m fine. Just got a bit lost, over my thoughts, you were saying…?”
“Oh. I was asking if you’d like to have dinner with me tonight.”
“Like a date?” I slightly squeak out in surprise.
Who is he and where the hell is the ruthless CEO of the Hunter Industries that we all know?
“Yes. I mean we do share a peculiar whirlwind romance. So, I want to take you out so that I can properly ask you as my girlfriend. That’s what people normally do right?” he asks warily and I gape at his bluntness.
Who am I kidding? This is Blaze Hunter talking after all…
“I wouldn’t know to be honest but I most certainly would love to go out tonight” I speak in a shy tone and tilt my head in Nate’s direction to find him with his fists clenched as if he was ready to smash something.
Rolling my eyes, I focus on Blaze’s words with a smile playing on my lips, “Great, I’ll pick you up from your workplace. Just send me the time when you’re done with the day”
After saying our goodbyes, he hangs up and I turn around to face a very red-faced Nate along with a silent seething Jane and smirk to myself inwardly.
“Sorry for the interruption. You know personal calls. So, let’s get down to business” I say with a determined face and approach the couple confidently.
By the time, both of them exit my office room; I release a huge sigh of both relief and frustration mixed.
Despite Nate’s wavering gaze in my direction, it felt like I was back in high school all over again. Witnessing Jane and Nate together, opened some pretty fresh wounds which are still visible, even after all these years.
Honestly, I was bitter over the fact that I never got the closure that I full-heartedly deserved. Sure, Nate and I never dated but a part of me still wanted to demand him for answers on why he fucked around with my head back in his college party. If I wasn’t so upset, maybe none of this would’ve happened.
Christ, the mere thought of it makes me shiver in disgust
As much as I wanted to believe otherwise, they still loved each other.
Even after all that drastic break-up drama and everything, they still love each other as they did nine years back. Then again, they have been together for a long time. Forgetting someone could often be pretty hard especially when you’re used to the idea of staying together.
No wonder people stay in toxic relationships even after knowing that it’s fatal for them
My mind goes back to the time when Kyle dated that sex-crazed bitch, Rachel Harrison. That girl literally ran the fuck over Kyle and made him miserable for years. She even almost succeeded in pushing Sophie away from Kyle just because she hated children. Thank God, they broke up. At least Kyle had the guts to get out from that relationship unlike my beloved friend Noah, who’s still suffering under the influence of that witch, Camille.
This is exactly the reason why I never want to be in a relationship. God forbid, I never want mine and Blaze’s relationship to turn into something like that.
Speaking of relationships and not forgetting people, my mind drifts back to my best friend and since it’s already lunchtime, I decide to ring her for accompanying me to lunch.
I reach for my phone and swipe her name from my contact list. Unfortunately, she doesn’t pick up the phone. I roll my eyes at this and call her again but she still doesn’t pick up. But being the persistent bitch that I am, I call her again.
And she still…doesn’t pick up.
This has me worried because Ava is anything but irresponsible. She’s the type to always pick up the phone on time.
’For fuck’s sake, Phoebe! The girl has a fucking job, stop disturbing her!’ My subconscious snarls at me and I perk up.
She has a job! Of course! Just call her office landline
I search her office landline number and press the call option and after ringing two times, her assistant, Natasha picks up.
“This is Ms. Avalynn Hayes’s office, her assistant Natasha speaking. How can I help you?” She speaks in her professional tone.
“Hey Natasha, it’s Phoebe. Can you please get Ava on the line?” I ask politely.
“Uh, mam. Actually, Ms. Hayes isn’t present at the office premises today” I frown at her words.
What the hell? Ava NEVER misses her work!
“Oh…did she like...say anything on why she took the leave?” I ask her.
“Not really mam. She just said that she’s feeling very sick and might not make it to work today. She also didn’t show up to work yesterday too”
My body goes rigid upon this newfound information and I inwardly beat myself for being such a lousy friend.
“Ok then. Thanks for the information Natasha” I thank her and hang up the phone without hearing her response.
Leaning back on my padded leather armchair, I wonder to myself. What if Ian was right? But that seemed impossible for as long as I know, Ava has always forgiven Noah for all his fuck-ups. In fact, the last time I checked, they were on civil terms.
Feeling tortured, I decided to relieve myself of the growing tension by visiting her whilst picking up a batch of tacos on the way. Sick or not, Ava is a huge fan of Mexican food.
For a moment, I feel bad because after all, my best friend’s sick and I had no clue. Recently, Blaze has been occupying my mind so much; I don’t think I’ve talked with Ava after the Woodward’s annual gala.
We were never that type of clichéd pair of best friends you read about in novels, the ones who stay attached to one another’s hip all the time but at least we talked through text every day which has got me worried because it feels like we haven’t talked for ages. Checking my phone, I note that it’s been two days since we last communicated and I instantly regret not checking up on her.
Without any further thinking, I rise from my seat and call my PA through the intercom. She arrives within a few seconds holding a notepad in her hand, like always.
“Yes, mam?” She asks with her professional prim posture as she fixes her round glasses.
“Cancel all my appointment if I even have one after this and tell Mr. Brehmann that I’ll see him tomorrow” I speak and watch her jot down everything on her notepad like the efficient assistant that she is.
After nodding at her one last time, I shrug into my black blazer and summon the elevator to go to the garage. Once inside the elevator, I send one last text to Ava and try my best to calm my raging nerves.
I knock on her door timidly whilst trying to remain calm myself. For fuck’s sake, it’s been almost ten minutes and there’s still no response.
“What the fuck man, c’mon!” I exhale in frustration and walk in circles outside her door with my one right hand resting on my hip and with the other holding the brown takeout bag filled with Dos Locos’ tacos.
Suddenly, it dawns on me that she has a bad habit of keeping her spare keys under the doormat outside her condo unit. On cue, my eyes fall on the dark blue doormat like it’s some invaluable treasure and without a second thought, I bend down on my knees and lift one side of the coarse material to find the shiny silver key which is thankfully there.
For the first time in my life, I’m glad for Ava’s stupid decision at keeping her keys outside the apartment door.
I quickly put the keys inside the small keyhole and twist it and the telltale sound of the lock giving up is like music to my ears.
I push my way inside and instantly chills run down my spine when I see shattered pieces of glasses scattered all over the carpeted floor. The plush pillows were thrown all over the place and the only source of light was from the centre window where the curtains were pulled wide open.
Putting the bag of warm tacos on the floor, I try my best to avoid the mess all over the place as I walk with my stiletto over the tiny broken glasses and call out Ava’s name.
However, my voice soon gets stuck inside my throat when I witness the scene splayed in front of me.
My hand flies to my mouth to avoid myself from screaming at the lifeless body of my best friend which was lying beside the kitchen counter.
A/N - Well, that was a relatively long update. So, what do you all think about this chapter? Also, I have to warn you about the incoming drama in the next chapter.
So, brace yourself!
Lastly, let me know all your thoughts on it!