Chapter 30

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Tears of rage and embarrassment spill from my eyelids as I turn, finding none other than Tristan Maddox standing behind me. He's staring over me at my table, his mouth gaped in horror.

"And here he is- ladies and gentleman- defending his side dish."

I hear scattered laughter throughout the room before I see a flash before me along with noisy clatter. Tristan has the mans tuxedo jacket between his fingers and he's pulling him closer to his enraged face.

I stare wide-eyed as does everyone else around us.

"You're a fucking piece of shit and I don't want you in my sight ever again... I highly suggest you leave before I throw you the fuck out."

The guy grins, squinting his eyes. "What are you going to do? Have me escorted out of here?"

"Who sponsored this night?" Tristan smiles with a look so full of loathing that the man nods, waiting for Tristan to let him go. He does so, sucking in a deep breath. Tristan runs a hand through his hair as Tom and his wife leave hand in hand, shaking his head. "If anyone has anything else to say about Miss Harding or my private affairs, I suggest you leave. This is a night to raise money for the arts. This is a night for history and I will not let uneducated, arrogant people diminish what we are here for."

Tristan looks over at me and I immediately turn, heading for the exit, not needing to hear another word of this bullshit.


I sit on my couch, staring at the lamp I broke earlier in my moment of rage. My body is still heaving, unsure what to do with all this anger.

I've never been so embarrassed... So belittled.

All I've ever done is love this man. I don't deserve this.

I don't deserve this.

My phone rings for the third time and I ignore it, knowing it's probably Tristan. I don't want to talk to him. I don't want to talk to anyone. What happened in that room is probably on every news station- every article online. I'm a joke because I couldn't even defend myself.

My reputation is destroyed because I don't want to hurt Tristan- because I don't want his dad to go to jail. Because I didn't want to bring the Institute into this.

I should be happy he defended me... But I'm not. I'm done.

The phone rings again and I groan, grabbing my cell from the clutch. My eyes widen when I see Jessica Monroe's name on my screen.


I hesitantly swipe right, answering it. "Hello."

"Why the hell have you not answered your phone?"

"I didn't hear it," I mutter, closing my eyes. "Have you heard?"

"Yes! I damn well heard! I heard that you caused this whole fucking scene in the middle of everyone and that guy- Tristan Maddox- threw out Tom Winkler! Tom Winkler! Are you fucking kidding me?"

"I didn't cause anything, Jessica. I didn't do anything wrong! They came at me and I kept my mouth shut because I didn't want our company to be brought into this."

"It's definitely brought into this, Genevieve! You were representing us! I've just received ten fucking million texts about this from the most prestigious people in our industry!"

"It is not my fault!" She's silent for a moment and I stand up, running my hand through my hair. "Listen, I'll- I'll find-"

"No. I'm sorry, Genevieve but I have no other choice but to fire you."

My heart is in my throat. "What? No, Jessica, please... I work hard for you. I love my job!"

"And you're good at it... The best, if I'm honest... But your personal life is causing too much of a mess for us. I can't have this affecting the museum anymore... I'm sorry. This- This is effective immediately. You can get your things tomorrow."

She hangs up and I stare at the wall as a tear speeds down my cheek. My gaze is stuck on the stone wall.


I'm fired. I just lost my job.

I hear a sound escape my lips as I fall back onto the couch in dismay.

Oh my god. This- This can't be happening. 

A/N: Will be double updating. Loving everyone's comments.

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