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Chapter 16: Damn You, Ronald Felton

Damn you, Ronald Felton

I feel my shoulders tense. I turn back and plaster a big, fake smile on my face. I walk to the edge of the field where she's standing. "Avery." I say once I'm in front of her. "I thought you had a lunch meeting."

"It got canceled." She says. "Nice of you to finally show up for work, five hours late."

"Yes." I say. "But that's only because I was chasing Raina Kent." I'm going to regret this. "I talked with her this morning trying to convince her to come."

"And." Avery asked impatiently. "Did she agree"?

"She's coming by this afternoon. We'll be talking some more then." I add after a second. "I also did my work from home."

Avery eyes me. "Even if you were going to come in late you should have come a little earlier. I slept a total of two hours last night and I was still here before everyone else."

My eyes widen. Is this my future. "That's...impressive Avery."

She sighs visibly tired. "Just don't come in this late again." She walks past me. "And try and secure that Raina Kent thing. I want to have good news for Gabriel." She walks past me to the main field where a few tables and chairs are set up for the guys.

"Okay. The photographer is on his way." She announces to the field. "Clear the tables and chairs, let's make this place look like a real field."

The attendants there begin to clear everything quickly. Amidst the chaos I see Ron making his way over to me. "Avery hasn't fired you yet so I can safely assume you told her about the Raina Kent plan, which you do not have." I don't reply. "If only there was someone who could help you with that." He gasps. "Wait, I'm her boyfriend. And I just so happen to have her number on my phone. Do you have anything to ask me."

"You scheming little twat." I say to him.

"I guess that's one thing we have in common." He smiles. "I'll ask her if she can pick me up from practice. You have five minutes to convince her of... whatever." He stretches his hand forward for me to shake.

I give him the finger and stalk off. "Just call her." I demand. I run around making sure everyone is ready and the field is clear.

The photographer arrives and takes pictures of the guys. Avery and I decided he'll take professional pictures while the guys take normal pictures with each other for their pages and the team's stories. Coach keeps rushing us and the shoot lasts half an hour.

After the shoot, the photographer, Avery and I go to Avery's office to look at the photos. Most of the guys took pictures too and sent them to Avery to veto on whether or not they can post.

We first look over the pictures the photographer took and select five of the best. One of Aidan with some of the team members, two of the players training, one of coach and assistant coach telling the players what to do and the last one of only Miguel scoring a goal.

The picture was taken just as the ball hit the net. The photographer also helps us select which of the guy's amateur pictures is good and post worthy.

The photographer leaves and Avery and I spend the rest of the workday trying to come up with captions. I show her Collin's ideas and she says she'll consider them. A few minutes after five we post the pics and leave the comment section on. The guys start posting their pics and little videos.

Just when I think my day is over, I get a text from Ron saying that Raina is here and my five minutes start now. I drag my feet all the way downstairs and to the reception. Shelby is sitting at her desk trying to discreetly gawk at Raina.

"Isn't your day over." I say to her. She just stammers out. "I'm just packing everything up." I don't blame her for staring. Raina kent is a legend, her mother Adriana Achaval was a Brazilian supermodel who married a British millionaire when she was around my age. She then moved to England where she became a socialite. They had three children together, two sons and one daughter, Raina. Raina started modeling from a young age and has been building her brand for over a decade.

Now she's 23, a self-made millionaire and has over 55 million followers on Instagram. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this girl is too good for Ron.

"Hello, Raina Kent." I say when I'm in front of her.

She looks up and smiles politely. "Hi. Can I help you"?

I clear my throat. "Um what no. Just wanted to know what you're doing here. It's not every day we see celebrities of your stature here."

Shelby huffs. "Riley don't be rude. She's here to pick up her boyfriend."

I place my hands on my chest. "Oh I'm so sorry, I didn't know your boyfriend worked here."

"He's one of the players. On the team." She raises her eyebrows. "Ronald Felton."

I squeeze my forehead. "Oh Ron, I didn't know you two were dating, sorry."

"How can you not know they're dating." Shelby says from her seat. "They post pics together all the time."

I ignore her. "Well it's nice that you're dating, I'm sure you two make a cute couple." I bounce on the balls of my feet. "So should we be saving you a seat at the game on Sunday."

Her face scrunches up a bit. "It's not really my scene."

I feel my heart deflating. "Are you sure. The games are usually really fun." She shakes her head. "It will be nice if you came."

"Why are you so obsessed with me coming." She snaps.

I stop bouncing. "I'm not, I'm not. Just thought it will be really nice if you came." I need to come up with better words.

She tilts her head to the side. "Did Ron send you to talk to me."

"No, no. Of course not, I just thought you could be convinced. Maybe take a few pictures, for the fans."

"What exactly do you do here." She suddenly asks. "Because just walking up to somebody and requesting they come to an event they've repeatedly told you they don't want to attend is weird and quite frankly rude." She says her voice a little raised.

I sigh and decide to go for honesty. "Fine, the truth is I work for Avery, I'm her assistant. She wanted you to attend the game and tweet about it, she even asked me to send you a luxury gift basket. But I didn't because I thought you deserved something...I don't know better." I pause. "And now she's going to fire me if I don't convince you to come to the game."

She crosses and uncrosses her leg. "Sorry about Avery, encountered her once. Isn't the nicest person but I doubt she'll fire you if I don't come. It's not your fault."

"Well, actually she'll fire me because I didn't come into work till after lunch. Yeah, I lied that I spent the morning trying to convince you to come and she let it slide. Now I'm scared of what will happen if I don't deliver."

She drops her phone by her side. "Even if I wanted to come, I don't think Ron wants me at the game." She reveals. "Whenever I bring up coming, he'll always just shoot the idea down. It's subtle but it's clear he doesn't want me here."

I play my last final card. "What better way to piss him off." I say with a small smile.

Before she can answer Ron walks into the reception with a big smile on his face. His smile grows even wider when he spots us.

"Hey, why is everyone gathered here. What did I miss." He walks up to Raina and kisses her.

Raina stands up and her boyfriend wraps his arm around her waist. "Well actually." She turns to me. "Riley." I tell her my name. "Riley here asked me if I'll be coming to your game on Sunday."

He sucks in air through his teeth. "Unfortunately you have that really important photo shoot on Sunday and can't make it." He says. I almost stone him, that wanker.

"I know but it's an important game." She says. "I could cancel and do it another day. I want to start supporting you more."

His smile wavers. "You don't have to. You were saying it's a pretty important shoot just this morning."

"Well, I'm your girlfriend. I love you and I want to be there cheering you on." She kisses him lightly on the mouth. "Besides it'll be fun watching you play in person."

He laughs shakily. "It's really not that necessary." He says his voice level. "You don't have to sacrifice for me."

"Well I want to. I'll stay the whole game then after we can go celebrate." She snuggles into his arm. "Or even better we can go out with the other players, I'll meet 𝗮𝗹𝗹 your friends."

Ron is trying his best not to break his smile. "Great, another thing to look forward to on Sunday. We should get going." He and Raina walk to the door.

Raina turns back and gives me a little smile. I smile back and clap my hand quietly. Finally, something is going well. My victory is cut short by Ron.

He stops by the door. "Oh and Riley, don't forget to go over that project we discussed. I left an envelope in your office." He then walks out with Raina.

Shelby gives me a strange look. "What was that entire scene about." She says finally getting up. "And what did you just do to Raina Kent."

"We'll talk later. I'm going to go find out exactly what I just did." I run up to my office and see the brown envelope on the table waiting for me. I walk up to the desk and very carefully open the envelope. I grunt and slam the envelope on the desk. Damn you, Ronald Felton.

The pictures are from a random photographer who got photos of Ron buying alcohol the night before a game. Mr. Montague is very strict about players drinking so close to games and Ron could get benched for that. No wonder he didn't want Avery knowing.

I call the photographer and set up a meeting. Turns out he isn't even a photographer, he's just a guy lucky enough to catch Ronald Felton on camera with a drink. He's a fan and has no interest in ruining his career. He just wants to make money off the picture.

Ron doesn't trust himself around the guy and wasn't looking forward to handling the negotiations. Lucky for him, he met an unfortunate soul in dire need of a favor.

I met the man at an old pub and after a few minutes, we settled on a price. I don't like Ron so wasting his money didn't faze me. When I was done I filled in the numbers and handed him the check.

"Thank you." He said brightly as I walked away. I then called Ron to let him know it's done.

"That wasn't so hard, was it."

"I hate you so much." I cut the call and went home for the night. I check the comments for the pictures and check for articles.

The pushback for the pics wasn't as bad as we expected. There were a few mentions of how strange it is that the pictures came a day after the news. They were mainly from individual accounts though.

Avery called the newspapers beforehand and convinced them to go with this. She pushed harder and threatened to cut ties with them if they wrote anything negative. It worked, most of the major news outlets just talked about how nice the pictures looked and speculated on Miguel's performance for the Sunday game.

The posts from the guys helped though, at least those didn't look too planned and organized. They all posted pics of themselves training or with each other. I stalked Liam's page and stared at his face for a long time.

Avery called me later that night surprised and relieved that this actually worked. "I got Raina, she's coming." I inform her.

"You actually did it." She sighs.

"My job was kind of on the line, I had to."

She sighs. "I wasn't going to fire you, you were up working till midnight. What kind of person do you think I am."

I pause. "So even if I didn't get Raina, I'll still have had a job."

"Good night Riley." She cuts the call.

I hate Ronald Felton.
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