~Chapter 8: Cautious
"Got everything ready?" My dad asked. He was in my living room making sure I was fully prepared for my interview. It's been three days since I last saw Lukas and the space, although it was helpful to get me to concentrate on moving forward, it was also a little painful because I just walked out. I walked out and it wasn't even his fault. It was all me. I tried to call him and apologize but he wouldn't answer. I don't really blame him for ignoring me. It made sense. But I'm not going to stay focused on him.
I button my black blazer and smooth my out my skirt. I nod as I
look over to my dad. "Yeah, I'm ready."
I grabbed my purse and we left out the door.
I did my fair share of research on Clearwater Publishing
I know because I'm so new at it, I probably won't get any clients anytime soon. I know that this is something I really thought about when I was in college. I always wanted to get into the writing business. Rather it was writing a manuscript myself or publishing someone else's.
I'm a fast learner and I'm pretty sure it'll take some time to get me to a high standard but I'm willing to do whatever it takes.
Working for Lukas, being his assistant or secretary or whatever
probably would make me a lot of money, but he would be the
problem. A distraction.
The writing and communications is more my field anyway.
Me and my dad exited my apartment and I greeted Anthony before I slipped into the backseat of the car. I was more than prepared. Justin helped me practice. Of course he didn't know what questions to ask. I guided him as much as I could.
The car began to move and I felt my dad's eyes on me.
I looked to him. "What is it?"
He shrugs. "Its weird. The two of you seem to be off."
"You and Kary. Normally you'd ask me all about my day and how's my love life but you're quiet. And he normally is all business ready to direct but he was so abrupt. Did something happen?"
I shake my head. "I don't know what you're talking about."
He raised his eyebrow. "It's me, Peyton. I know when something's wrong. Did something happen between you two?"
"No dad. I'm not seeing him."
He sighed. "Alright hon."
"You know, sometimes it seems like you want me to be in a relationship."
"I want a grandchild is what I want."
My eyes widened. My dad has never said that to me. And honestly I don't see that happening. But I won't deflate his hopes entirely and tell him that.
The car stopped in front of a tall cream building with huge
I looked to my dad.
"Good luck, hon."
I nod and kiss his cheek before getting out of the car.
I wasn't nervous, A bit of confidence was in me the whole time. I was thankful the interview didn't take long and I changed what I wanted to do. I've chosen to be an editor. I'd like to work up to be a publisher.
When I was finished, I had a new attitude. They liked me and I
answered all my questions with as much confidence as I possibly
could. My interviewer even said I did good and I'll be starting
My dad told me there was going to be another charity event that he'll be sponsoring alongside Kary.
I didn't know rather to go or not. Maybe not.
When I got home, Justin was gone. Probably off with some girl or
Justin's jobs are very similar to his 'girlfriends'. It's not that he can't keep them. He just chooses not to keep them.
He doesn't like to stick to something for too long. But for now, he's working as a photographer's assistant and he's said that it wasn't that bad. So hopefully he stays satisfied with that job. But I believe its more because of the photographer herself he told me about.
Me being who I am, it would seem that Justin was never my type. We're very different, me and him. But we were friends before we became anything in college and with the help of him by my side and my therapy, I was able to lock my past up in the darkness and I didn't want Lukas to see that last night.
Just thinking about how I all but ran out on him last night, it makes me feel bad. I should have stayed. The man actually held me after I had a nightmare and I just pushed him away like that because I was scared.
I keep thinking about rather or not I should try to call him again and apologize. I have a feeling I shouldn't. The plan was to 'fuck the attraction' away and that's what happened, only, afterwards, I still felt the attraction. So it didn't work and it was a waste. But at least we both got something out of it. I just have to make sure it doesn't happen again.
After I got in more comfortable clothes, I decided to do what
Justin and my dad told me I should do. I called my therapist, Dr.
Leonard Shrewster, and made an appointment with him for
Its been five months. I guess it was time to start again.
My speaker beeped loudly.
I put my phone down and went over and held the button down. "Yeah, Jacob?"
"A woman named Florence is here, says she knows you."
My eyes grew wide.
"Send her up." I whispered.
I let go of the button.
I've known Florence from therapy. We both used to go to Dr. Shrewster.
I haven't seen her in two years.
I wouldn't know what to say to her.
Florence is a rape victim. Her boss locked her in a room and
raped her for four hours straight.
When she told me this, it brought back so many bad memories. Me and Florence's friendship was tight. As tight as it could be.
She knocked on my door and I stared at it. I was worried for
years about her. She never called, never emailed me or
I stood up and walked over to the door.
I opened it and she met my eyes.
I didn't say anything at first. I was in too much shock. "I can't believe you're here."
She shrugged and took the beanie off of her head of short blonde
hair. "I can't either."
I curled my lips. "Want a drink?"
Her hazel eyes twinkled at the suggestion.
She's a lot like me. Wouldn't mind a shot of vodka during the day.
After she got settled in, we sat on the floor of my living room, a half empty bottle of vodka sitting on my coffee table and our glasses empty.
Florence crossed her arms and leaned back against the couch. "I'm
sorry I left you, kid."
"You didn't leave me. You just stopped talking to me."
She cleared her throat and leaned back.
Florence was skinny and pale. She had small boobs and big hazel eyes with short, and straight blonde hair that stopped to her shoulders.
"I know," She nods. "When you told me what happened, I just
"So I could deal with what happened to you but the second you hear my story you're basically telling me to 'fuck off'?"
She shook her head. "It was nothing like that, kid."
"So what was it?" I asked.
"It took me to a dark place. Okay? You became my best friend at that moment and after hearing what that fucking scumbag did to you, I snapped. I left and maybe it wasn't best thing to do but I'm here now."
I looked away from her. "You know, it was nice to have someone
with me, someone who knew what it was like to be where I
"I'm sorry if you're irritated that I'm mad at you but I don't
really give a damn. Why'd you come back?"
"I missed you."
"Really?" I asked indifferently.
"Yes. I missed us hanging out, talking about the craziest shit. I never had a friend like that and I missed you so I'm back."
I shook my head.
"Hey," She grabbed my arm. "Let's go out tonight."
I raised my eyebrows. "You just came back and already you want to go out."
She nods. "I want us to get back to how we were before I screwed everything up."
"Maybe. I'll have to see if my roommate J-"
The door opened and Justin walked in. "Hey." He said before shutting the door.
Then his eyes fell to Florence. His lips quirked into a charming smile. Ah. The infamous Justin Maxwell Sex smile. He's gotten me with that before. I rolled my eyes.
Damnit, Justin. She's not the one to be dealing with.
"Were you at work?" I asked.
He nods, his eyes stuck on Florence. She stood up and smiled at him holding out her hand.
He shook it. "Justin."
She nods, shaking his hand in a firm grip. "Florence. You her
He shook his head. "Ex. And best friend. And you?"
"Ex best friend, hoping to become a friend again. You coming with us tonight?"
"Depends. Where are you two going?"
"Club. We haven't decided which one yet." I said.
Justin nods his head. "Well I'm in." He gives Florence a smile before walking into the kitchen. I excuse my self and follow in with him.
He goes to the refrigerator and opens it.
"Hey," I lean against the counter and cross my arms.
He smiles. "Hey. How'd the interview go?"
"I start Thursday."
He grins. "Happy for you. And where'd you meet her ?"
"Yeah, about Florence, she's not…you shouldn't try anything with her."
He grabs a gallon of milk from the refrigerator and closes the
door. He grabs a glass from the cabinet and sets it on the
kitchen island with the milk. "Why? She's hot."
"She's also a lesbian."
He paused and met my eyes.
I nod to assure him.
"Damnit." He whispered.
"Anyway, she's a good girl. You shouldn't want to take advantage of her."
"What, like Lukas did to you?" He asked pouring his glass.
I glared at him.
"Whose Lukas?" Florence asked as she walked into the
She leaned against the wall.
"Lukas Kary, the hottest bachelor in fucking America. Ignoring her phone calls." Justin said in monotone. How did he even know Lukas was ignoring me? Maybe he heard me leave messages on his phone.
Florence looked shocked. "You're dating him?"
I scoffed. "No. It was just this stupid thing we did and it ended in a big disaster so I won't be seeing him again."
"I heard the man is unstable with his women." Florence
"He's not unstable in bed." I said staring blankly at the floor.
Justin chuckled. "Well you already figured that. Lets move on from that. Get you someone who deserves you."
"Like I'll be looking." I muttered.
He shrugged. "Who knows. You can probably find another good fuck out somewhere in the club."
That's just it. I didn't want it from anyone else but Lukas.
As time wound around to ten o'clock, me, Florence, and Justin went out to a club called 'VIBE'.
It was dark but full of hype and excitement.
This is the kind of place I needed right now to get my mind off of all the shit that messing with my head.
Florence grabbed my hand and led me out to the dance floor.
I was in no more than a black short dress and silver pumps. I wasn't looking to get laid tonight but that's what Justin and Florence thought I was doing. I was just going to be me tonight and dance and drink the night away.
I closed my eyes and let the music take me away.
Justin was doing his thing.
Florence was dancing with me and with another girl.
I moved my hips along with the music and opened my eyes as I felt
I was receiving looks from a couple guys and I closed my eyes back and continued to move my body any way I pleased, on rhythm with the music.
I ran my fingers through my hair, grinding to the music.
I opened my eyes back watching as a guy eyed me from across the club. I smiled at him and then looked to Florence who was nodding towards him.
I shook my head.
She nodded her head and looked to the girl who was dancing with her.
She turned the girl's head and put her lips on hers.
No. I mean he's a hot guy but he's not the guy I want to see right now.
I spotted Justin coming to me with a glass in his hand. "It's
your favorite." He shouted over the music.
I grabbed my drink and took a sip from the skinny straw. Justin knew me so well.
I leaned over to his ear. "There's a guy staring at me from across the club. Twelve o'clock." I said.
Justin slowly turned his head slightly and glanced at the guy
before looking back at me. He nods. "Boom goes the
"I don't know."
"Just get to know him. He may be the 'one'."
I rolled my eyes. "Like there's a such thing."
Justin just pushed me ahead and I decided to go along with it.
I walked over to the guy and he smiled at me.
He had shoulder length blonde hair and dark brown eyes. He was wearing a pair of black jeans and a long sleeved olive green shirt. "I think I know you. Peyton, right?"
"Yeah, I heard about you."
My eyes squinted. "Wait…you're Daniel's son, right? My dad's ex partner?"
He nodded. "Yeah, your dad kinda screwed my dad over."
I nod. "I know. I warned him not to but he wouldn't listen. Tell Daniel I'm sorry."
"He won't even talk to anyone."
I knew this would happen. I felt terrible about it and I knew it
would run Daniel into the ground.
The Element was huge and Daniel would not be apart of that. It must kill him that my dad was asked to be in and he wasn't.
"So, what brings you here?"
"Nothing. Hoping to find someone to dance with."
I smile and sit my drink down. "You can dance with me."
He grins. "Let's go." He takes my hand and leads me to the dance floor.
We move completely in sync, and with no shame.
He was getting a little too close to my liking but I didn't worry about it too much.
By the time we danced to three songs, I was sweaty and my hair was messy and tangled down my back. "I'm tired." I said to him.
He smiles. "Want to go outside and get some air?"
Immediately, I go into a cautious mode. "Why?"
He shrugs. "I don't know. You look like you're hot."
"I am. But I'll be fine."
His lips turn into a small smile. "Just for a second."
I crossed my arms. "You know if I was to go outside with you, that'd be very, very stupid." I asked.
His smile disappeared. "What, you think I'm going to try
"It's a little obvious. My dad bailed on yours. No doubt you're going to do something really…ugly."
He grabbed my arm, forcing me against him. "Come outside with me,
now." He said between gritted teeth.
I slammed my heel through his shoe and he cursed loudly, let go of me, and bent down to hold his shoe.
I quickly walked away from him and tried to look around for
I found him dancing with Florence. I grabbed his arm tightly. "I'm ready to go." I said.
I turned, looking around for Daniel's son and then looked back to him. "Daniel's son just tried to attack me."
"The asshole was about to take me outside and fucking attack me." I was becoming so hysterical, my eyes watered.
"Fuck me," Justin looked around the club. "We can go home."
I shake my head. "No. You and her keep having fun. I'll catch a taxi home and you can take my car and drive home when you're ready."
Justin shook his head. "I'm not letting you go anywhere
I gave him a look.
"I'm serious. We'll continue this party at home."
"Don't argue with me. Let's go." He grabbed Florence and we all hurried out of the club before the guy could find me.