Oh, my fucking god.
This couldn’t be happening. I refused to believe it. How could…
Serena gazed between us, lips parting and pressing back together, not uttering a single word. I stared at her and clasped my hands together, my heart pounding against my chest. What should I say? Do I tell her? Do I act like nothing happened? Would she tell Melissa that I was sleeping with her father?
“Are you hungry, Serena?” Michael asked, trying to brush off any awkwardness. But it didn’t go away. I could just feel the tension in the air, could already hear all the questions she was going to ask me about this.
Serena glanced at him, then down at her shoes. “Uhm, I don’t want to intrude.”
“You’re not intruding,” I said a bit too quickly. Nice going, Mia, way to look extra suspicious. “Mich--Mr. Bryne was just… leaving.” I pressed my lips together, accidentally slipping his real name into the conversation, and cursed myself.
I didn’t want Michael to leave. Besides spending time with Mom, I looked forward to eating dinner with him every night. It’s not like anyone else came to visit me regularly here.
Michael nodded his head. “I’ll… uhm… see you tomorrow night, Mia.”
Though he tried to brush this off as if it was nothing, I could see that look in his eyes. He was nervous about being caught, almost as much as I was. But, the Mr. Bryne I knew, usually was never nervous. We fucked in his house with his daughter home, in the living room, in front of the damn windows.
After sending me a forced smile, he disappeared into the elevators. I stared at the ground and walked toward the waiting room. Serena followed me in an awkward silence. I took the sandwiches out of the takeout bag and handed mine to her, knowing that she wouldn’t like the peppers on Michael’s.
“So…” she said after we finished eating. I opened the bag of chips and loudly crunched on one. Damn, this was way more awkward than I thought it would be. “You and Melissa’s dad? What was that about?”
For the first time tonight, I looked her right in her eyes and swallowed hard. “Please don’t tell Melissa. Please. Please. Please. I didn’t mean for it to happen.” Lie. “It just kind of did. I thought it was going to be a one-time thing.”
Her eyes widened, and then there was a sudden playfulness in them. “This happened before?” She slapped me on the arm. “And you didn’t tell me about it?”
My eyes widened, and I placed the chips on the table between us. She was okay with it?
“Girl! Remember we used to have the biggest crush on him in high school? We used to talk about what he’d be like in bed all the time behind Melissa’s back. Did you forget or something?”
I sighed in relief. High school seemed like it was so long ago. With all the shit that had happened since I graduated… I barely remembered.
Serena inched closer to me. “So, tell me all the deets. I won’t tell Melissa or Mason.”
“Mason…” I said, guilt plaguing me again.
She rolled her eyes. “Mia, don’t even feel bad about him. It was about damn time you moved on from that lazy ass man-whore. I usually don’t condone cheating, but Mason doesn’t do anything to please you. You complain about him all the time.” She bumped her shoulder into mine. “So… details. Now.”
And, so, I grabbed my bag of chips and told her everything, from the night we first started hooking up to the summer-party to him fucking me senseless at the bar. Her eyes were wide with excitement the whole time, and she was bouncing in her seat.
“God…” She fanned herself. “You are living the freaking dream! Sleeping with our best friend’s dad.” She slumped down in her seat with the biggest smile on her face. “You don’t know how excited I am to hear about all these little sexcapades. I am living for this.”
My lips curled into a smile, and I parted them to tell her about the night at the pool but the elevator doors opened. Melissa walked out of it, her hair messy, her lips curled into a smile, her face glowing as if Victor just gave it to her good. “Hey, girls!”
She plopped down next to me and grabbed my hand. “I thought I’d come visit you. Mason said you were more stressed than usual today.” She intertwined her fingers with mine. “So, I thought that I would get us into the hottest party of the summer to help you relax!”
I furrowed my brows at her. “What’re you talking about?”
“Alpha Epsilon Pi?” Melissa said, giving me a quizzical look. “Remember we went to one of their parties last year? It was the best college party I’d ever been to.”
I sighed through my nose. “Melissa, I can’t go to a party now. Mom is in the hospital.” What was she thinking? I couldn’t leave.
She tilted her head in my direction. “Come on, Mia. You’ve been cooped up here for weeks and haven’t left once. You need to get out for a couple hours. It’ll be good for your mental health.”
My gaze shifted from her to Serena who shrugged her shoulders. “You don’t have to go for long. We can stay for a couple hours,” she said. “It will be good for you, Mia.”
“I bet Mama Jane wouldn’t mind you getting out.” Melissa winked at me.
I glanced back down the hallway toward Mom’s room and stood up. “If she has a surgery scheduled for Friday or Saturday morning, I’m not going.” I hurried toward her room and peaked my head into it. “Hey, Mom…”
She opened her eyes, lips curled into a small smile. “Hi, hun. How is Mr. Bryne?”
After I closed the door behind me, I tensed. “Mr. Bryne is fine…”
“He’s been spending a lot of time here.”
I scratched the back of my head. “Yeah… he has,” I said. She paused for a long time, and I didn’t know if she was waiting for me to continue, if she already knew about us, or if she just needed more rest. So, I said, “Do you need me to come back later?”
She shook her head. “No.” She looked at the chair next to her. “Come and sit. You looked stressed. Have you been eating? Drinking enough water? Sleeping well at home?”
“I told you that I wasn’t leaving the hospital until you come home.”
“You’ve been here this whole time?” she asked, brows furrowing together. “Darling, you have to go out. Get some fresh air. Goodness, you’re probably more stressed than I am.”
“Are you sure?” I asked, grasping her hand. “Melissa wants me to go to a party with her for only a couple hours Friday night. I won’t be gone for long, but if you want me to stay, I will stay. I don’t mind--”
“Go,” Mom said. “Please. It will make me feel better that you’re getting out still.”
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