chapter thirty four

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I've already finished three glasses of water and the entire loaf of complimentary bread since the hostess sat me down at this table five minutes ago

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I've already finished three glasses of water and the entire loaf of complimentary bread since the hostess sat me down at this table five minutes ago. I think the waiter got tired of refilling my glass for me every thirty seconds because the last time he stopped by the table he just left a pitcher of ice water and a new basket of bread with a you okay? look which I just nodded to while instantly grabbing for another slice of bread. I'm anxiously eating just for something to do to keep my mind off of the dinner I'm about to sit through.

I'm buttering another slice of bread when I spot my mother's white-blonde hair walking toward me, she's in a perfectly tailored white pantsuit, and the sound of her heels clicking against the marble floor ring out like warning bells.

I stand up and smooth out any creases in the skirt of my black dress and when she stops in front of me I can feel her eyes surveying me as she reaches out and wraps her arms around my shoulders. She's never been a big hugger, and I can count the number of times she's actually hugged me in the past four years on my hand, but I'm guessing that her first visit to Washington is enough of a momentous occasion to warrant one - that or the fact that she's well aware that we're being watched by the surrounding tables and she has to keep up appearances.

I wrap my arms around her and the familiar Chanel perfume fills my senses, but she's already pulling away and sitting down before I can really appreciate the way it makes me feel like a kid again.

"How was your flight?" I ask, pulling my napkin back into my lap as I sit. She's already flipping through the wine menu and her eyes don't look up when she says, "Terrible. It was delayed, turbulent, and there was a crying child sitting next to me so I wasn't able to get much work done," her eyes finally flick up and I nod, trying to seem sympathetic to her plight.

"I have a meeting tomorrow morning with Roger Mangarelli to discuss buying his firm," she says, flagging the waiter down with a flourish of her perfectly manicured hand. He spots her quickly and she puts in her drink order along with a keep them coming, before looking back at me, "he moved up here after he retired and has been running it remotely for the past few months, but I have a feeling he's going to be inclined to take my offer. I've already acquired quite a few of his clients since he left anyway," she smirks, leaning back in her chair.

I nod encouragingly, because if I can keep her talking about herself than that's less time that I have to talk about me.

"How's work?" I ask, reaching for another piece of bread to butter.

"It's great. We hired on a few new interns," the way she says it makes me look up at her and when her smirk deepens I already know something is about to piss me off, "I've been meaning to tell you. Well, I figured you would find out when you come back for spring break in a few weeks, but Tyler is now interning for me,"

Of course he is.

"Tyler is an accounting student, what would he be interning at a law firm for?" I don't try to hide my annoyance because honestly, this is ridiculous. And she definitely wasn't going to tell me. She was going to wait for me to come home and stop by her firm for lunch or bring her something that she accidentally forgot at home just to have me run into him.

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