A Reason To Live

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Chapter Seventeen

I sit in Zander’s office, his real office. It’s nice to actually be out of the house and somewhere else for once. It’s been almost a week since that night. It’s been a struggle, allowing myself this happiness that I feel, it doesn’t feel real.

I sit on the couch, my feet up and bent next to me as I try to read. I can’t focus on my book and have been staring at the same paragraph for the last few hours.

Sighing I close my book and drop it to the floor next to me and when I look up Zander is staring at me, “what?” I say softly, embarrassment filling me as he continues to look at me.

“Move in with me,” There’s a sureness in his voice and my eyes widen at his words.

“What?” He’s got to be joking.

He stands up from his chair and walks over to me, crouching in front of me, “move in with me, it has been a month since the roof and I really don’t want you to leave, so move in with me permanently.”

I raise my eyebrows up as a small smile starts forming on my face, “Really?” Okay, maybe not kidding.

“Yeah.” His hand touches the side of my face.

I tackle him, wrapping my arms around his neck as I kiss him.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” he mumbles against my lips.

I pull away slightly, “yes.”

Zander’s arms wrap around my waist and he stands lifting me off the couch and into the air. A laugh falls from my lips as he spins me around before setting me down on the ground.

A knock on the door interrupts our moment and we break away slightly, but Zander’s hand doesn’t leave my waist as the door opens.

“I’m sorry sir but you have a meeting in the conference room in ten minutes.” Zander’s new assistance says quickly.

“Right, of course. I’ll be there in a minute, Nicole.” Nicole gives a quick nod before she walks out, closing the door behind her.

Zander places a quick kiss on the top of my head before his hand drops from my waist and he walks behind me.

I turn around to find him putting his suit jacket on, “I’ll be back shortly okay?” He fixed the collar of the jacket as he walks towards me. “Go get a coffee or something from the break room okay?”

“Okay,” I say softly. Zander leans down and places a soft kiss on my lips before heading to his meeting.

After a while, I decide to do exactly what Zander said and go to the breakroom to see what I can find. I find a granola bar in one of the cabinets and then turn on the kettle to make a cup of tea.

“Freya?” A familiar voice calls out causing me to freeze in my reach for a mug.

I turn around and face the owner of the voice, “hey Miya.” I say softly. I haven’t seen her since the semi-fight.

She walks over and gives me a hug and I lightly hug her back. She pulls away and looks me up and down before looking at me again, “how are you?”

“Haven’t you been keeping in touch with Zander?” I ask curiously.

“Yeah, but I want to hear it from you. So, how are you?”

I look into her brown eyes, “better now. It was rough, but you were there for most of the rough moments.” She nods at my words, “Miya, I am so sorry for what happened, the things I said to you.” I cast my eyes down to the floor.

“It’s fine, you were going through a lot. I’m sorry you felt like Zander and I were ganging up on you.”

I look back up at her, “that doesn’t make it okay.”

The sound of the kettle whistling interrupts our conversation and I quickly turn around and turn it off before turning back around and looking at her, “how are you?” I ask her curiously.

“I’m good,” a smile forms on Miya’s face, “I met someone.”

“Really? That’s great, who is she?”

“Her name is Samantha.”

I bite back to urge to ask about Emily. The truth is, it’s been a while since we actually talked and anything could have happened. “Do you like her a lot?”

A blush falls on Miya’s face at my question, “yeah.”

“I’m glad, you look happy and you deserve it, Miya.”

“So do you, Freya.”

“I know.”

“Good,” she says quickly, “anyway I should get back to work.” Her hand reaches out and squeezes my arm with a smile on her face, “I’m glad you’re here Freya.”

“Thanks,” I say softly as she drops her arm and walks away.

After making my tea, I grab my granola bar and decide to take a small detour and pass the conference room Zander is in.

When I walk past the room, Zander is sitting in a chair at the table, a neutral expression on his face as he listens to some guy with one of those chart boards and long metal pointer things.

Zander honestly looks bored out of his mind and half of me wants to barge in there claiming some emergency came up but I hold back and walk away instead.

I walk into Zanders office, taking a sip of my tea.

“Who are you?” A female voice speaks up as I walk inside, scaring me and causing me to drop my granola bar as well as spill tea on my clothes. Great.

“I’m Freya Conner,” I reply quickly, “who are you?” I ask her curiously as I reach down and grab my granola bar off the floor before walking over and putting the mug of tea on Zanders desk.

“I’m Zander’s mother.” My eyes widen at her words and I turn around slowly, fear running through my body as I take in the petit woman in front of me. I’ve seen one picture of her in Zanders house, she looks just as polished and proper in real life as she does in that picture. It makes me feel inferior. This is NOT how I was planning on meeting Zanders mother.

The door to Zander’s office opens and Zander walks in, he looks at me, taking in my petrified state but before he can even say anything, his mother talks.

“Zander, my baby,” she says, her voice sickenly sweet, as she walks over and hugs him.

Zander wraps his arms around her, hugging her back as his eyes look at me, confusion written all over his face and all I can do is shrug.

“Mom, what are you doing here?” He asks as they pull away from one another.

“What, I can’t visit my only child?”

“Of course you can but I thought you were staying in Europe for a few more months.” Zander moves and stands near me, why are we meeting each other’s parents in the absolute worst ways? This is a joke to someone and I am NOT laughing.

She waves her hand at him, “I changed my mind, plus there’s only so much you can see over and over till you get bored.” Her eyes move from Zander to me before she looks back at her son, “so are you going to introduce me to your friend or not Zander?” The way Zander’s mom said friend makes me feel dirty.

“Right, of course,” Zander lightly places a hand on my lower back but it does nothing to calm my nerves, my outfit is all wet from tea, and while my outfit isn’t horrible it’s not the best either. “Mom, this Freya, my girlfriend, Freya, meet my mother, Elizabeth Scott.” Girlfriend? Guess that’s right.. right? He did just ask me to move in with him..

I quickly reached my hand out with a smile plastered on my face, “it’s so nice to meet you, Mrs. Scott.” I say quickly. She lightly grabs my outstretched hand and gives it a small shake before letting go.

“I didn’t realize you had a girlfriend, Zander,” she says to him, causing my heart to drop in my stomach.

“Well maybe if you picked up your phone and called me back you would know.”

It feels like I am intruding on a moment between mother and son and the urge to run away and run away quickly, rushes through my body. But before I can even attempt to move a single step forward Elizabeth Scott speaks up, “I have come to take you to lunch son.”

“We would be happy to join you, mom.”

We? There will be no ‘we’ in these lunch plans.

Before his mother has a chance to say anything I speak up, “no, it’s fine Zander, go to lunch with your mother, I’m sure you have a lot to catch up on.” The thought of spending lunch with Zander’s mom freaks me out and there is no way I am going out to lunch with my outfit all ruined and looking like a crazy person.

“Yes, I’m sure your..friend will be fine if I steal my son away for an afternoon.” If it was possible I’m sure my heart would have dropped out of my body if it could have at her words. Friend, she can’t even call me his girlfriend, am I that hideous to look at? For the first time in a week, negative thoughts flood my head at her words. I can’t even look at Zander right now.

“Fine,” there’s a sternness in Zander’s voice as he says it, “I will meet you downstairs in a moment mother.”

The sound of the door shutting causes a small amount of relief but doesn’t make me feel much better. She hates me and she doesn’t even know me..

“Why did you do that?” Zander asks me softly as he touches the side of my face and my eyes look up to his before I roll my eyes and sigh.

“Come on, Zander, she obviously doesn’t want me there. She called me your friend after you clearly stated I’m your girlfriend.”

“She’s just.. set in her ways, I’ll talk to her.” I just nod at his words. “Are you sure you don’t want to go?”

I laugh, “funny, I’m not even dressed properly for a lunch with your mother. Just go, I’ll be fine. I ran into Miya earlier maybe I’ll go see if she wants to grab lunch with me.”

“You’re talking to Miya again?” I can see the joy in his eyes at my words.

“Yeah. It wasn’t much but..” I shrug not finishing my sentence because I wasn’t really sure what to say. The whole situation with Miya is hard, strained.

“Good, I’m glad.” Zander walks over to his desk and grabs his car keys. “I’ll see you after lunch okay.” He gives me a quick kiss on my forehead after I give him a small nod and then he’s gone.

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