Chapter 16

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That's what I wanted. To fool around and relieve this damn frustration I was feeling.

But no.

I wouldn't do that. In doing that, I lose and he wins because all of this was just a game to him.

So that is why I simply stepped away from him and threw myself onto the expensive looking leather couch. He looked surprised by my actions.

I smirked. "I would really love that, boss, but the problem is I'm on my goddamned period." I spoke, earning a look of disgust mixed with anguish from Bryce. Heck, I wasn’t even on my period, I just didn’t want him too close to me.

My smirk then mutated into a genuine smile of gratification.

"Any who, is this your apartment?" I asked, coolly changing the topic.

He dug his hands into his pockets. "Well, actually it's yours now."

I did a double take. "Mine? As in this pricey apartment is mine? How?"

"I did say I would allocate you a new residence. Well, this is it."

I had the sudden urge to hug and squeeze the life out of him but I remained seated, trying to act nonchalant.

I failed miserably.

I got up and did in fact run and engulf him in a tight embrace.

He laughed. "So I assume you like it?" he said, rubbing his hand on my back.

"I do! A lot! Thanks!" I squealed, momentarily forgetting that we almost did the nasty a minute ago.

"But," I said, shoving him away from me. "I am still quite angry with you for sabotaging my date with Logan. I hate you!" I almost screamed, my bubbliness suddenly disappearing.

He then smirked, and damn it that smirk made my stomach do flips. "Why don't I make it up to you with some dinner." He said, grabbing my hand and leading me to the dining area.

The glass table had two places set. There was a bucket with ice and champagne in it, along with two wine glasses.

"What kind of dinner only consists of dumb champagne?" I announced, wondering where the food was.

He gave me a blank stare. "It's in the oven, Aubrey. You know, to keep it warm." He said slowly, as if he was talking to a toddler.

I looked out the large window by the side of the kitchen/dining room, embarrassed. Maybe that wasn't a bright question after all.

He grabbed me by the waist and made me sit down at one of the places. "Why don't you have a seat, and I'll serve you."

Bryce took off his tux jacket and placed it on an empty chair. After, he discarded his black neck tie then unpinned his sleeves and rolled them all the way up to his bulging biceps.

From nowhere I started feeling hot. Watching him do all that was like watching a strip show.

Maybe I should have taken him up on his offer to mess around...

I was brought out of my wayward thoughts when he started pouring me champagne.

"Here, have some in the meanwhile." He said calmly, then entered the kitchen.

I took the whole glass down in one swig.

Why the hell did I decline that tempting offer? I haven't gotten laid in such a long time and now I'm feeling too horny!

Bryce came back and laid a plate in front of me. My eyes almost fell out of their sockets when I saw the food.

"Wow," I commented. "Did you make all this?"

"No, this is actually from El Fonci's, that restaurant we went to the other day. It's the same food you ordered." He replied laying his plate down and taking a seat.

"You mean the food you impolitely ordered for me?" I retorted cheekily, then picked up my utensils and began to eat. "I was surprised, thinking you actually cooked because last time I checked you were a terrible cook."

"Yeah, I can't cook for shit." He said, laughing lightly.

"More like your cooking is shit."

We both laughed.

"How come I never ran into you after the divorce?" Bryce asked, out of the blue.

I took a pause from eating after that question. "Umm, I went back to Minnesota for a while. Needed a break from New York." He nodded, but I sensed a bit of disbelief there. "How about you, what did you get up to the last 5 years?"

He took a sip from his glass. "I sort of built a construction empire from the ground up."

Wow. Whilst he was busy upgrading himself, I was busy wallowing in self-pity. That made me a bit indignant.

"Lucky you." I remarked, with a tinge of bitterness in my tone. Why do some people have it easier than others?

He dropped his utensils. "Luck? It wasn't fucking luck; I worked my ass off for all of this." He fumed, his steel eyes dancing with indignation.

I also then dropped my utensils. "I guess neglecting your wife did pay off after all, huh?" I laughed humourlessly, pouring myself some more champagne.

"You know what?" He countered, rising from his seat and getting into the kitchen. "If I remember correctly, all I did was try my best to give you the life I offered you. You are the one who requested a damn divorce!"

I downed the glass in one swig, once again. "It's my fault, yeah? My fault you prioritized your stupid career over me!"

He opened up a cabinet and pulled out a bottle of whiskey, grabbed a glass and poured himself some. He turned to face me, glass in hand, leaning against the counter.

"What's your deal, Aubrey? Why are you still hung over the past?" He said askance, playing with his glass. "Do you still have feelings for me?"

My heart seemed to almost want to leap out of my chest. I think we both knew the answer to that question.

Yes, I do you fucking idiot! Don't you see how I get when I'm around you? Are you that blind?

But I couldn't say that. Even though I was a bit tipsy, I wasn't about to leak that information.

"No," I said curtly. "Why would you think that?" I then asked in return, pouring myself another glass of champagne. I really wanted to get drunk.

"Hey," he said, coming towards me. "Don't you think you've had enough to drink already?"

Bryce now stood in front of me, glass in hand, looking concerned. I grabbed his glass and drank the contents at once. I stood up to get the whole bottle of whiskey.

"Aubrey, stop." He commanded, trying to prevent me from standing.

I shoved him away, and semi staggered to the counter, where the bottle was. Bryce was following behind me.

I grabbed the bottle. "I hate you; you know that?" I sort of slurred, taking a huge swig from the bottle.

"Why, though? I'm the one who’s supposed to hate you for breaking my heart."

I slapped him. That wasn't even necessary but I did it anyway. He looked at me, appalled by my action.

I simply took another swig from the bottle. Slowly my vision began to blur, and I was struggling to keep straight. I was almost fully drunk.

"You b-broke my heart first, Bryce. I left everything for you. I followed you like you were some religion, dammit. I-l loved you." I slurred, tears blurring my eyes.

He just stood there, watching me with a mix of guilt and regret.

"And you know what?" I asked, and he remained quiet. I took one last big swig. "I never..."

Then I conveniently passed out.

                          ___________

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