Chapter 29

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I look up from my computer as Jessica walks in, bag in hand.

"Alright, I'm off. I'll see you in a week."

I nod, grabbing the packet on my desk. "I'll set these on your desk then? For when you get back?"

"What is that?"

"I've drawn up the next exhibit. Landscape art... I have it all in there. I don't know if it's something we can do but it's there."

She takes it from my hands, putting it into her purse. "I'll look at it in Rhode Island. Remember the art fundraiser Thursday... You have to be there."

"I will. I will."

"Maddox Global is the main sponsor along with Tofi Enterprise."

"What?"

She nods, pressing her lips together. "So you didn't know... Look, it's really important that someone is there to represent us. I could try to find someone-"

I shake my head, resting my fingers on the desk. "No, Jessica. I'm going... It won't be a problem."

"Glad to hear it. I will see you in a week."

Without so much as a smile, she disappears back the way she came, her blonde hair tied back neatly. I take my seat slowly as my brows curl towards each other. 

Shit, Tristan's going to be there.

And if Tristan's there... Casey won't be far behind.

Closing my eyes in annoyance, I hold my fingers on the bridge of my nose, calming myself. Just the thought of seeing her again- knowing what she's doing to him-

My phone rings and I pick it up, slightly irritated.

"This is Genevieve Harding."

"SKANK!"

I hear girlish laughter before the dial tone sounds in my ear. Eyes wide, I stare ahead of me, mouth slightly gaped in rage.

"Michelle! You need to start screening the damn calls!" I shout, slamming the phone down. God, I'm so sick of this. She runs in, her eyes wide.

"What? Who was it?"

"Someone who thinks I'm a skank!"

"Oh, god. I'm sorry... They-they said they were a close friend."

I stare at her, still livid but unable to fault her for this. I deflate. "It's not your fault... I'm just fucking tired of this."

She nods and turns, heading back to her desk. I stare after her, feeling like crap. I've never yelled at her before. I stand up, sighing heavily. She's typing away on her computer when I stop at her desk. Knowing her, I can already tell she's about to cry.

"Michelle, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have let that get to me like it did."

She shakes her head, biting her lip. "No, I should have asked more questions... You get enough of that shit in public. I'm sorry."

I stare at her, leaning my elbows against the counter, feeling even worse. I look back to my office, thinking.

"You know what we could use right now?"

She looks at me. "What?"

"Chocolate... I got some I got from corporate today. It's on my desk and we should definitely devour it... I think we deserve it."

...

Two days pass in a raging blur without seeing Tristan. We've spoken everyday but the conversations are short and leave me wanting. I'm scared to think that Casey may catch onto this.

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