They make sense, these two. The moment I saw them together at that winter show I couldn’t help but smile.
Connor had contacted me after everything that happened with Clarisse, he’d seen my name all over the news and just wanted to make sure I was okay. We talked, then talked, then talked some more. We did that for months and one thing became perfectly clear.
This man is one of my people, but he was never my man.
We were always destined to be in each others lives, but as best mates, nothing else. Now it actually feels weird that anything ever happened between us. He’s now in the same bracket as Jayce in my head, I can appreciate the package but like fuck do I want to unwrap it.
The spark we had, it’s still there but it’s different now. It’s like we’ve found what it meant, we were always connected just not in the way we first envisioned.
When we started talking again he was still in the early stages of dating with Aniston and he needed a push, well more like a shove off a cliff, one I was happy to provide.
I even dressed him for their first official date. The man could always rock a suit but outside of that his style is piss poor. I’ve worked on him over the years and look at him now, all DILF in his jeans and button up. I don’t think either of them expected Aniston to fall pregnant eighteen months in but I’ve never seen either of them so happy either.
Waiting impatiently for him to walk over to me, Helena and Aniston get distracted by the kids before I grasp Connors wrist and yank him into my office before slamming the door shut.
He smirks at me. “Brie, I’ve told you, we can’t do this anymore.”
I roll my eyes at him, there hasn’t been any sexual tension between us in years and it’s kind of gross to even think about.
“Fuck off good boy, show me the damn ring.”
Reaching into his pocket he passes me a small blue box. Flipping it open, inside is the most beautiful gold band ring, set with three diamonds surrounded by tiny emeralds.
Connor smiles at me. “Do you think she’ll like it? I booked the table for next week but I made sure to get the private room like you said. You still going to be my best woman?”
Running my fingers over the stones, it’s not lost on me how much they resemble his eyes. “Damn right I am. She’s going to love it Con. Don’t forget the lilies, she loves them. Oh and the-”
“Chocolates from that place in the bay. I know Brie, you do know she’s going to be my wife not yours right?” He laughs but I just punch him in the arm as hard as I can before giving him back the ring.
“Fuck off, I’ve worked as hard on this proposal as you have! She’d be lucky to have me.”
Connor pulls me into a hug, one I haven’t had for a while since he’s been so busy being made vice principal at his school, but one I’ve missed.
“Brie, if you could not sleep with another one of my wives I’d really appreciate it.”
Oh that little fucker!
He darts for the door to the office laughing his head off as I grab anything I can from my desk and start throwing it at him. That little prick can never let anything go! You fuck a guys ex-wife one bloody time..
All the kids howl in hysterics as I almost send him flying down the staircase whilst chasing him into the hall.
“I will get you back for that Connor Joseph!”
He just chuckles, poking his tongue out at me and letting all the kids start a game of tag in the foyer as Aniston struggles to maneuverer her way down the steps whilst not being able to see her poor feet. The moment she gets to the bottom he pulls her into his arms, all the kids following behind them as they make their way outside with their lips sealed in a kiss.
“Behave May!” She waves me off before jumping in the back of Connors minivan. He smiles at me before getting in, a genuine smile of affection, and I realise how far we’ve both come from the two people that spoke on a park bench to a stranger.
He’s happy. He’s really happy. They have this whole life together I never would’ve been able to give him. Aniston is the mother Hope truly deserved and she loves that little girl like she was all hers from day one. Some kids grow in your belly, others in your heart. It doesn’t make them any less your kids.
Meg disappeared after she ran out on her wedding, apparently she’d been sleeping with the guys brothers for months and it all came out during the ceremony. Hope’s old enough to make her own decisions now. The day she started calling Aniston her mum made every eye in the room fill with tears. She deserved that, that little girl deserves the world and Aniston earned that title. She’s never missed a concert or a game. She’s the one that sits up with her practising spellings, stroking her back when she’s sick and holding her when she’s scared. She’s her mum.
I’m so fucking happy for them.
Things with me feel at a bit of a standstill romantically, what with the whole not being able to fuck and all. I’ve burned through more vibrators than I can count over these two years but it has actually been good for me.
The way I used sex wasn’t healthy. It’s healthy to enjoy sex, it’s healthy to have a lot of it, but it’s not healthy to use it to avoid actually connecting with someone beyond the physical.
I’d used my sexuality like a shield, one that let people have a part of me without getting too close. It was all a front, I see that now. Sex was something I could control when I felt like I couldn’t control anything else in my life. Now I know it can’t be that way, I can still do it and enjoy it, but I can’t use it to stop me getting close to anyone.
I’m ready to open up... I think.
Helena was in full work mode now that the kids were gone, despite her belly draining her of energy she was still the hardest worker I know. I’m sure Chris will be here in the hour though, his company offices are on the other side of town but he still comes in everyday just to kiss her and tell her he loves her. He’s loved her for longer than she can remember, all she knows is that happiness, but he knows what it was like to lose her. He treasures every moment he has with her now.
I answer some emails, checking in with my clients that can only talk at this hour before moving onto check the magazine deal again for Al.
Then I go back over my proposal for the dance school grant. During Helena’s physical therapy I became a regular at the hospital and made a few friends amongst the team there. We spoke about how physical movement can have such a positive impact on mental and emotional recovery. It gave me an idea for a dance class, one where people could use it as a physical therapy. I was applying to the hospital board next month to try get it credited as a therapy they could offer. I’d have to teach it myself but I actually couldn’t wait to be dancing again, just being here with the music pumping through the floor made it hard for my body not to move.
Helena’s voice buzzes into the phone.
“Brie, I have Sonya on line three and she sounds pissed.”
Oh god. Sometimes that woman forgets I don’t actually work for her anymore, she still rings just to have a decent screaming match with someone who can hold their own against her.
Pressing line three I keep the phone an inch from my head to protect my ear drum before answering.
“Hey Son, everything okay?”
Oh no, she’s doing the heavy breathing thing, that’s never good.
“Am I okay? AM I OKAY?! Well let’s just say, I AM NEVER WORKING FOR YOUR FRIEND AGAIN! SHE’S ADDED ANOTHER FUCKING GUEST, WE’RE DAYS AWAY FROM THE WEDDING FOR FUCKS SAKE!”
Yeah, she got like this last month when Kallie and Drew finally got the confirmation from the team that they could come to the wedding. Who’ve they added now?
“Sonya, I love you but you know what weddings are like. It’s probably just someone Tara knows you can shove in the back, who is it?”
I can hear her rustling through papers.
“Um, a Steven Greenslate. Wait.. is that?”
I drop the phone so hard it bounces off and hits the floor. Helena rushes into the room but my whole body is so frozen I can’t bring myself to say the words.
Steve. He’s back.