Hooked Up_ Book 1(82)

By: Arianne Richmonde

“Don’t fucking cry on me now. I’m not falling for that.”

“I love you, Alexandre.” It plopped out of my mouth—I couldn’t help myself.

“Yeah, right. That, I really believe.”

The tears were flowing now. I mopped my face with my linen napkin and saw the couple at the table next to us staring with curiosity. I didn’t care. I blabbered on, “When I met you at that coffee shop . . . it was a mistake . . . I d-didn’t even know you were there . . . I’d given up . . . I’d missed your talk.” It was all coming out garbled, my lips stuttering as I swallowed air in great gulps—“I don’t care about the documentary. I want to do a film about arms dealing, I don’t care.”

“That’s clear. You don’t care. Well you know what? I did care. I thought we had something special. I thought you were different, but all along I see you wanted to get to know me for ulterior reasons! Not because you were having fun with me, not because you felt for me, but because you had a fucking film to make and I, along with my sister, were your targets. Why the hell didn’t you just say that that was what you wanted? Be straightforward—not sneak about like some snake in the grass.” He was standing now, not even looking at me anymore. He got out several hundred dollar bills from his suit pocket and slapped them on the table. “I don’t know what the check will be,” he snapped. “Please deal with it, keep any change.”

Keep the change—what am I, a whore?

“Please Alexandre . . . my boss was away . . . I never even let her know I’d met you. I wasn’t even going to tell her so she’d forget about that silly documentary—”

“There you go again, Pearl. Not being straight with people. Not telling your boss you met me? Hiding stuff. What are you, ten years old?”

“I’m sorry, Alexandre. I’m so sorry. I lo—” the rest of the sentence didn’t even get a chance to come out.

“Bye Pearl. I’ll get your necklace delivered to your door. And that other ridiculous gift.”

“I love that gift,” I mumbled pathetically.

I wanted to tell him he was the best thing that ever happened to me, that I was besotted with him, but he was now leaving, not looking behind. I observed the jacket of his sharp suit swish away as he walked with steely purpose out of the dining room. Mortification did not do justice to how I felt. I had brought this upon myself. I had dug my own grave. Nobody but my sorry-ass self could be blamed. There I was, fantasizing that I was like Rachel from Friends, a cute-charmer-character lost in a silly little sitcom predicament. But Rachel and I were worlds apart–I couldn’t laugh over it with a mug of coffee. No. This was real.

I had blown everything.

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