All of Me

All Rights Reserved ©

What Does it Matter?

||||Naomi Monroe||||

After brunch, Gianni, Eva and I came back to Gianni and I’s apartment to hang out before she needed to go to work.

“You sure you don’t want me to come and make it rain tonight, Gigi?” Eva teases as Gianni finishes getting dressed.

“I told you it’s a private party! Besides, didn’t you just get back from partying in PR? You can chill for a night.”

“Mhmm,” Eva hums. “I guess you right. Mimi and I can turn up here.”

“Shut up. Anyway, I’ll see y’all later!”

“Let me know if you need us to pick you up,” I tell Gianni as she makes her way to the door.

“Will do!”

Once Gianni leaves, Eva and I continue catching up, talking about any and everything. She really is living the life. She travels and parties regularly when she’s not giving business advice to her sister or parents. It’s interesting because she’s super business savvy, but never wanted to take over the company, so she just kind of works behind the scenes.

The other thing about Eva that draws me to her is that despite being the same size as me, she has this incredible confidence that seems unshakable. I hate to be the type of person who is amazed at a fat woman having confidence, because it should be normalized, but society treats us like we don’t have any right to feel good about ourselves.

“What’s on your mind, Mimi?” Eva interrupts my thoughts of her. “You seem to be blanking out.”

“Nah, I’m just thinking about your energy. You’re so confident that it feels almost contagious in a way — like it influences your surroundings or something...” I explain. “I mean, I wouldn’t exactly say I’m not confident, but I’m definitely cautious and well aware of what other people probably think when they look at me.”

“What does it matter?”

“What?”

“What does it matter what other people might think when they look at you? You’re the only one living your life and living in your body and experiencing everything that you experience. What others think is honestly irrelevant.”

“But we have to care what people think to a certain extent.”

“You’re right,” Eva shrugs. “Emphasis on that ‘certain extent’ part. Mimi, you decide whose opinions or thoughts matter and those select people should only be the ones who add more good to your life than bad and absolutely should not be ‘society’ or random ass strangers.”

“People can be cruel.”

“And? Fuck them. Cruel people are worse than scum and don’t deserve any bit of your energy. I know it’s easier said than done, but they can be ignored.”

“How do you do it?” I question as I lean into her. “How do you carry this unshakable confidence?”

“Hmmm,” she hums thoughtfully. “I don’t really think there’s a one-size fits all type of deal on handling these things. For me, I’ve never really cared what others think, but my upbringing played a big role in that. My mom and dad didn’t set expectations for me beyond business stuff and while I definitely got picked on growing up, I just couldn’t bring myself to care about what those kids thought.”

“I know this is fucked up,” Eva continues. “But, I didn’t care about others’ judgements of me because I never deemed them worthy of judging me. I put myself on a pedestal for the longest time and it honestly wasn’t until college when I met you and Gigi that I got some modesty. I think that way of thinking all my life — albeit a bit toxic — kind of protected me from developing forms of internalized self-hate.”

“But what about movies and other forms of media that literally use images of fat Black women as a symbol of ugliness?”

“You know my stubborn ass... That shit only added more fuel to the fire and my confidence is a big fuck you to all of that shit. Plus, I’m fine as fuck, so why wouldn’t I be confident?” she adds with a wink. “And you should feel the same about yourself, Mimi, you’re hot. Anyone who says or thinks otherwise really doesn’t matter.”

“I get where you’re coming from, but people are so mean, Eva. Even if I feel good about myself personally, one can only take but so much.”

“Are you getting cyberbullied or somethi—” She comes to an abrupt pause and eyes me curiously for several moments before speaking again. “I see...” Eva nods and purses her lips. “You’re keeping this relationship you have with Sebastien Laurent a secret because you’re afraid about what the public might say?”

“Y-yeah...” Damn, this girl’s intuition is something — she’s always been able to read any situation.

“Hmmmm... Well, he’s not like an A- or even B-list celebrity, to be honest, so I don’t think you’d get a ton of attention, but it probably will gain some interest considering the age difference and the fact that you are very clearly his favorite journalist to speak with.”

“Right, but even if it isn’t a ‘ton,’ there will still be a lot of people paying attention to us and having opinions. Sebastien is a very attractive older man while I’m some fat girl who interviewed him.”

“Okay,” Eva raises both of her pointer fingers to stop me. “First off, I know your ass isn’t using ‘fat’ as a way to demean yourself. We use it as a descriptor, not an insult. Secondly, you’re talking like you don’t deserve him or something. You deserve a good man who spoils the fuck outta you. Third, and I hate to say this part, but I understand your concerns about a lot of people having opinions on the two of you.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, I mean, I might be out and about all the time and partying and shit, but I don’t really tell people who I am and I don’t post a lot on social media. While the opinions of others shouldn’t matter like I told you, I do imagine the idea of getting constantly bombarded with people talking about you is terrifying. People always seem to have opinions on business that isn’t theirs.”

“Exactly, and that’s what scares me.”

“I’m not going to invalidate your feelings, Mimi. But I will say that you’re excellent at figuring out solutions and I’m sure you can come up with something for this. Also, from what I heard, Sebastien Laurent was kind of a recluse before getting interviewed by you. He might not have an issue with stepping back from the spotlight if that’s what you want to do.”

“You’re right,” I reply softly as my mind wanders to what it could be like if Sebastien and I do go public and how we might handle it.

“Hey!” Again, Eva snaps me out of my thoughts. “If you ever need anything, you can call or text me, you know that, right?”

“Yeah...” I gulp.

“Good!” she exclaims with a clap. “Now... less brooding and more wine.”

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A/N: If you can’t already tell, Eva is going to be the MC of my next book titled “Playing the Bosses.” Synopsis and excerpt are below! I’m SUPER excited about writing this book. There will be a messy ass office with HR complaints galore, a bad bitch MC, and some fun games. I am literally not looking to do anything too serious at all here, just want something fun, especially bc things are about to get v heavy/serious in The Last Petal.

Synopsis:

Eva Thompson is a fun-loving woman in her mid-20s and one of two heirs to Thompson Luxe, a luxury goods holding company. When her older sister Selena, who currently serves as CEO of Thompson Luxe, asks her to spy on their competition, Eva reluctantly agrees and takes a job at PMC Group working as an executive assistant. However, it’s not long until she realizes that she’ll have plenty of ways to keep herself entertained while she’s there.

After a few failed ventures, Caleb Peterson, Justin Matsuda, and Adrian Collins co-founded PMC Group and the company has recently pulled off several acquisitions that quickly turned profits, putting them neck-and-neck with Thompson Luxe as the top companies in their industry. However, their sudden success despite being so new to the luxury goods industry is questionable to say the least.

When they hire a new assistant by the name of Eva Nelson, her unshakable confidence pulls in each of them in three very different ways.

Excerpt:

“Shit!” Eva spouted when the stack of papers she’d just finished copying fell all over the floor. “Why can’t they be environmentalists?” she grumbled to herself. “All of this shit can be put on a tablet, but noooooo, they want to kill the trees.”

“For what it’s worth, we do recycle.”

Eva jumped when she heard Adrian’s voice. She didn’t even realize he was in the doorway.

“Here, let me help you,” he said as he approached and crouched to the floor with Eva to pick up the papers. “Sorry to have you working late again.”

“It’s fine, I’m used to hard work,” Eva said with a smile while she internally rolled her eyes because she was not used to hard work. “Can you get the rest of these while I put the pages I have in order?”

“Yes, of course.”

Eva walked over to the counter in the copy room and leaned forward as she started organizing the documents.

Adrian’s jaw tensed as he looked at her. The woman always wore heels and the taller, the better for him. His eyes then drifted up to admire her sheer stockings before they met the part of her that his gaze was often glued to — her ample backside. She was switching between bending one knee and locking the other in a motion that he interpreted as anxious, but it kept him mesmerized with the way her hips moved and she had a slight bounce with it.

“Can I help you with something, Mr. Collins?” Her head was turned, looking at him with a snide smirk while she was still bent over the counter.

A subtle hint of pink came to his cheeks with his embarrassment, knowing how obvious it probably was to her that he was staring at her behind. “Sorry, I didn’t mean—”

“You’re welcome to keep looking, darling,” she said, catching him by surprise. “I know you know how to behave. You won’t touch without permission, will you?” she added with a wink.

“N-no,” he choked out.

“Then why don’t you continue picking up those papers?”

“R-right...” Adrian continued gathering the papers, but he was practically moving in slow motion as his eyes remained on Eva. He didn’t realize when it happened, but he was suddenly in arm’s reach of her and he wanted nothing more than to touch her.

“M-may I touch you?” he asked softly.

“Hm?” she hummed inquisitively. “What was that?”

“M-may I please touch you?”

Eva didn’t respond for what felt like an eternity to Adrian, almost as if testing his self-control to see if he would touch her before she agreed.

“You may,” she finally said and Adrian’s hands were immediately against her.

On his knees behind her, he gently rubbed his fingertips up her sheer tights and back down, each time, reaching higher and higher up her skirt. When he noticed how much closer he was getting to her core, he felt the urge to ask, “May I touch you here, please?”

“Very well behaved,” Eva purred. “You may.”

Adrian’s fingers brushed against her heat and when she didn’t object, he placed his thumb there and applied more pressure while he rubbed her through her stockings and panties.

When he heard a sharp breath escape her, Adrian’s pants grew even more strained knowing she was responding to the way he was touching her. He started placing gentle kisses against her legs and he soon realized he made a mistake.

Eva lifted her foot, placed it against his chest — her heel slightly digging into it — and pushed him back.

“And you were doing so well...” She sucked her teeth with disappointment before pulling down her skirt and standing up straight. “No more for you.”

“Wait!” he pleaded. “Please, give me another cha—”

“Is something wrong, Mr. Collins?” Eva broke him out of his daydream and looked at him curiously. She was still in her position at the counter, but Adrian was not in arm’s reach of her.

“Oh, um... no.” He quickly gathered the papers from the floor and stood up to hand them to her. He placed one arm across his crotch in an effort to hide his erection.

With a smirk on her face, Eva scanned him from his feet up until she met his eyes. “You sure nothing’s wrong?” she asked with a raised brow.

“Yes, yes. I’m fine!” he replied nervously before rushing out of the room and returning to his office.

He locked the door behind him when he entered the room and his daydream along with other images of Eva filled his mind. Adrian knew he had no other choice and unzipped his pants before pulling out his erect member...

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A/N: I hope the synopsis and excerpt have you interested because I’m so excited to start posting this book!

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