Journal 11: All In

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A/N: Hi, everyone! Sorry, this took a while. This was a pretty long entry to write (in comparison to the other entrires in this journal). This also covers Chapter 10 - The Dangers of Falling In Love, which is a pretty epic chapter in TMMM. My apologies for the delay and my apologies for another one coming up. I'll be traveling in the next couple weeks so I won't have the time or amenities to write and post another chapter right away.

Hope this will tide you over for now. Thanks!

***

I'm good at what I do because problems don't stump me. That means I could figure them out. The more problems resolved, the better for everyone. The same logic usually applied to women and my intimate relations with them. 

Somehow, Charlotte didn't fit into the same category which meant I couldn't figure her out, which meant I couldn't solve the problem, which meant it was hell for me and everyone else around me.

In the last couple of days, since that ugly fight we had at Dad's house, she'd been feigning indifference. It's not my ego saying that she's handling it just as badly as I was. Charlotte's tough, but she's the kind of girl who wore her heart on her sleeve, no matter how battered and miserable the thing was. She'd hike up a shoulder, sniff back her tears and march on. 

That made me feel worse than an ass and I wasn't already being kind to myself in the slightest. Charlotte kept a good distance—the kind that would swallow you alive if you tried to cross it. But there was no choice about it. We're about to become husband and wife in a couple of days. Charade or not, I'm not going to meet her at the church like this—like she would willingly marry the devil over me if she could. 

I was going to talk to her the moment I could get her alone. It wasn't going to be an easy feat because everybody needed some damned thing from the bride before her big day that I could barely drag her somewhere private to talk. 

I considered staring people down until they willingly dug a hole for themselves to crawl in but Charlotte wouldn't appreciate that. She would think it autocratic and arrogant of me and those were only two of the many unflattering adjectives she'd have on ready for me. I didn't doubt she'd have at least one from A to Z. Despite her lack of academic overachievement and social polish, Charlotte's intelligence was sharp and incredibly sexy. It was probably one of the things about her that infuriated her critics further. I held my own but she had diced me up so neatly and precisely the first time we met. I was still putting parts of me back together two weeks later.

So I gave her time to let off some steam. But breaking down the fresh walls Charlotte erected around herself was a round-the-clock job and I wasted no time. 

The evening before our wedding rehearsal at the church, I was in my condo with a handful of women. Other men would probably pat me in the back for that in approval but no, it wasn't remotely close to any sort of sexual congregation.  That would be quite disturbing, actually, since two of them were my younger sisters, along with two of Charlotte's closest friends, Aimee and Felicity, and my personal assistant Marissa.

It was quite clandestine though, arranged in secret and set up late into the night so that Charlotte was already having her prescribed her beauty sleep when we all met up. It sounds a bit dramatic, as if we're plotting a military strike. It might as well have been since my marriage to Charlotte was at stake. I must've sounded desperate enough when I called each woman I invited because they all showed up, eager, even my sisters who weren't big Charlotte fans to begin with.

It was a brainstorming session, much like ones I'd have when strategizing at work except that this time, the goal was to formulate the best honeymoon I could surprise Charlotte with. 

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