Her Beautiful Addiction (Love and Lust #4)

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Chapter 5

Neva stood underneath the warm shower spray, letting the water run over her head as she rinsed off the suds.

She could feel the tiredness that had been building up the entire day. Altogether, it wasn’t so bad.

She had done great by her standards.

Grayson had refused to take the dinner she’d brought home and had left after she locked the door behind her.

When she’d asked him what was the idea he’d had, he’d just given her a smile and then leaned down and kissed her cheek as a goodbye.

She’d expected him to at least ask for her number, but surprisingly, he hadn’t.

Neva spent the next couple of minutes rinsing herself off completely and then turned off the shower.

Pushing the curtain aside, she grabbed her towel from its place nearby and dried her hair and body, wrapping the material and securing it under her arms.

She glanced at the condensed vapor on the bathroom mirror. Wiping her hand across it, she cleared a space and then looked at herself.

There were slight bags under her eyes, but other than that, she looked in pretty good shape.

She smiled when she remembered her plans for the night. After she’d told her sister, Kaitlyn, about her day, she’d suggested going out for dinner tomorrow.

Neva was looking forward to it.

She stepped out of the bathroom and then got dressed. Tonight, it was going to be her and her laptop.

She’d decided to rewatch the first Avengers movie and have a nice hot dinner, even though it was just microwaved diner food. She didn’t mind at all.

She was on her own. She was in the process of building a new life for herself and she was going to enjoy every single minute of it.

As she pulled the shirt over her head, her phone rang.

She moved to the bed where she’d placed it when she’d come in. It was Kaitlyn.

She answered, “Hey,”

Her sister’s voice was bright and happy. “Hey, Nev! Do you have plans for tonight?”

Neva smiled. No one could be unhappy around Kaitlyn. She was just plain joyful and the happiest person Neva knew.

“I’m eating in and watching The Avengers. What are you doing?”

Kaitlyn responded with a high-pitched voice, “Eating in? Did you cook?!”

Neva wanted to roll her eyes.

“Hey! I can cook if I want to.” She said tartly, placing her dinner in the microwave at the same time without a single regret.

“Riiigghhttt,” Neva could picture Kaitlyn’s green eyes rolling in their sockets.

Neva was suddenly grateful that Grayson hadn’t taken up her offer of accepting her dinner as a thank you. She’d be screwed. She hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet and she had just peanut butter and a couple of crackers in the kitchen shelves.

“Let’s have dinner at your place tomorrow,” Kaitlyn hurried on. Neva could hear her closing and opening shelves, no doubt whipping up something delicious.

If her sister hadn’t already had her current roommates, she’d have lived with her. Neva was sure she’d never have to worry about being unfed. Her baby sister was a great cook and was always making something healthy and mouthwatering at the same time. She was the only person she knew that could combine those two essential aspects in her cooking.

Neva probably needed to take lessons from her.

She stood at the counter, waiting for the timer to go off.

“My place? Sure,” she nodded, grabbing a ceramic mug and pouring herself some water.

While she took a few sips, Kaitlyn began talking about what they’d eat. Neva didn’t mind. She had complete faith in Kaitlyn that it would be great.

“And you can finally meet Alex!”

Neva stopped in the act of gulping down the water.

“What?” She managed at the end.

“My boyfriend, Neva. I told you about him at the party, remember?”

Neva vaguely recollected the conversation they’d had. She remembered her sister mentioning that she’d met Alex through a mutual friend and that they’d hit it off.

“Boyfriend? I thought you’d just been on two dates, K?” She frowned into her cup.

“Neva, that was Zac. The guy I’d met last semester. Do you even remember what we talk about?”

Neva swallowed. She knew she was guilty for this. She’d been distracted with thinking about her first day at work and hadn’t listened with complete attention when Kaitlyn has been speaking.

“I’m sorry, K. I’d love to meet Alex.”

Kaitlyn gave out a little sound of approval and then continued, “Do you have any preference for dinner?”

Neva shook her head, “I’m good with whatever. You know I love your cooking,”

Kaitlyn laughed, ”Good save.”

Neva smiled, “Love you too.”

“Aww, I’ll get you dessert too. Can I come by before six?”

Neva pulled out a plate, “Yup definitely, I get out of work by five thirtyish. Can you pick me up on the way?”

She needed to buy a car as soon as soon as she could.

“Totally. I need to get a couple of things from the store so I’ll get you on my way back. Alex is attending a charity event with his brother tonight so he couldn’t come over,” she said with a pout towards the end.

Neva hummed an okay before continuing, “Where’s the event at?”

“It’s local actually, a black tie event. He asked me to come along with him but I promised Maya that I’d help her with her paper due tomorrow.”

Neva took out the takeout box from the microwave and emptied the food on the plate.

“How have you been doing otherwise, Neva? Are you handling everything okay?”

Neva took a deep breath and cradled the phone between her shoulder and her ear.

“I’m doing good so far, K. Just setting up a bit of a routine for myself. I’m also almost done with my resume actually. So it won’t be long before I work in the field again.”

“That’s awesome. I’m really happy to see you back, Neva. I’ve really missed you.”

She let out the breath that she had been holding.

“Me too, K. I’ve missed you terribly. Thank you for sticking with me through it all.”

Kaitlyn snorted, “Where would I go, you twat?”

Neva laughed.

“All your future boyfriends are going to have to undergo a personal screening held by me, before you go out on a date.”

Neva smiled through the pinch of anxiety in her chest.

Boyfriends?

She wasn’t even sure if she was ready to start dating yet.

A small voice in her head whispered that it wasn’t true. She remembered Grayson.

What had he meant when he’d said about having an idea when he’d dropped her home?

She shook her head.

Sure, Grayson was handsome and a real gentleman, from what she’d seen so far. But look what trusting a guy completely had brought her so far.

Yes, she’d had some happy times. But the heartbreak and the pain that had accompanied it had almost broken her. And she knew she couldn’t survive it again.

“Oh yeah,” she quietly agreed. Injecting enthusiasm in her voice she spoke again, “No one gets on the other side without going through you.”

Kaitlyn laughed in her ear and they spoke for a couple of more minutes.

When she hung up, she stood in the kitchen for a long moment, thinking about how her life was coming up so far.

Yes, she was going to turn things around and be happy again.



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