Annie & Jack After Forty

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Chapter 21


“We don’t have to go if you don’t want to. Hell, I don’t want to go.” Jack rakes his hand through his hair and paces back and forth in the hotel suite.

“No, you need to go, I don’t mind. What do I wear to a party that takes place in a swanky penthouse? I didn’t bring anything other than jeans and a couple of tops.”

He scowls and stares at me.

I tilt my head at him, “Stop frowning and answer me, please?”

“We should skip the party, and I should take you out. I believe I promised tonight was for my favorite New York pizza.”

“You’ve taken me all over the city yesterday and today. Your friend, Eli, said this is a celebration for the Silvia project. Am I mistaken, or isn’t that the reason you are in New York and socializing with humankind in the first place.” I smile and pat him on the chest. “Your mark, your work is going to be cemented with this building. Those are your words, Jackson Phillips. Now please tell me what to wear tonight. I’m excited about meeting the people you spend time with here when your working.”

“They’re all assholes. I don’t want to taint you with these people.” He pouts.

I giggle. “Of course, you don’t. How about you go and make an appearance, and I’ll hang here, then you can take me out for a late pizza.”

I watch him think this through. I know he dislikes people in general. He’s shared some of his past interactions with the people in this city. How mean, cutthroat, fake, and beyond ridiculous some of these people can be, his words. I know I will find it fascinating to get to see a different side of life, no matter if it is extremely out of my comfort zone. I don’t watch reality TV shows, outside of the Great British Bake Off, but Leslie talks enough about shows like the housewives. I know from reading through enough trash magazines, in waiting rooms and hospitals, that it's a pretty wild scene. I’m hoping it is all staged how these types of people act and not real. I may be about to find out.

“Let’s go; I’ll buy you a dress. You’ll get to see a Sex and the City episode in person tonight.” He raises his brows and smiles. He’s proud of himself for using a TV reference. My stomach flips at the thought of Sex and the City.

“Thank you for the offer, that truly is a Sex and the City episode of a girl’s cliche. I’m a capable, responsible woman and I can buy my own dress. I’ve already researched some second hand, vintage stores to visit. I’m excited about getting to go to them, right now this afternoon. I was planning on making you stop at one on our way to the airport tomorrow. Now tell me what I’m looking for precisely. Please say it’s a cocktail dress?” I smile even though I feel out of my depth. I’m going to embrace the nerves.

He smiles, even showing his dimples. He pulls me into his arms and kisses me softly. “Go, you need to buy a cocktail dress, sweetheart.”

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