I wake up to a soft knock on the door. When I fully open my eyes, I realize that I was sleeping on my working desk.
”Come in. ” I permit weakly as I try to orient myself for a business encounter.
The queens early morning briefing and Rivers meeting and his presence since the moment I stepped foot into my office have drained any energy I might have. That should not be piled on the fact that I have barely slept since midnight.
”I brought you coffee. ” Rivers voice rings through the air and I lift my head up to meet his eyes.
Placing the cup on my desk, he silently takes the seat in front of me and quietly waits for me to say something.
”Thank you. ” I croak out and clear my throat as I take the cup and bring it to my lips. ”I haven had caramelized coffee in ages. ” I comment after taking a sip, placing the cup back down after a wave of nostalgia hits me alongside the taste.
”I thought you liked it, ” River says quietly, almost afraid he got everything wrong.
”Not so much anymore. ” I tell him quietly and smile a little to ease the tension. ”Is there anything you wanted? ”
”Ive been briefed that you
e officially my press secretary. I just wanted to congratulate you. ”
”Thank you. ” Although I wouldn term it as celebratory. The last thing I wanted after college was to be somewhere near him.
”Do you have plans tonight? ”
”After the meeting with Sophia I have to meet with Alexa and Brad. I don know how long that will run. ” I tell him, suddenly finding solace in arranging the scattered papers on my desk.
”Well, I was thinking we could watch a few movies to relieve you of the stress of the day after your day is over. We could go to the theatre and send for some snacks. ” He tells me and before I can protest, he adds, ”just the two of us! We won even leave the courtyard. ”
”Sleep sounds more appealing than movies right now, ” I say tilting my head to the side and he winces a little.
”Tommorow? ” He asks.
Although he had spent the previous hours in the morning in my office, we hardly talked any plans. In fact, right before his departure when I went to debrief his mom, we had been in a serious discussion on whether to file a law suit or leave it for the detectives we had hired to investigate the whole scenario.
When he came back for his meeting at eleven, he had strongly stated his displeasure of having to meet his ex and explain himself on something he clearly didn do.
Now though, the coffee has opened a can of worms I can control at the moment.
”For old times sake! ” He rushes out and I sigh in response.
He of all should know why thats a very dangerous path to walk along.
”Ill pass. ” I tell him in a flat tone, holding his gaze as it wavers when he draws a sigh of his own.
”Youve been around for a week, Ive only seen you twice. Can we at least talk? ”
e talking. ” I say with a chuckle as I stand to pick a few files from my wall cabinet.
”Yeah, I guess. ” He mumbles, ”the coffee? ”
”Do you want it? ”
”I mean I paid a fortune to get it. ”
With a dramatic gasp, I place my hand on my chest and turn to him. ”You mean they didn give you the prince discount? They should be hanged. ”
”Julliard would be impressed, ” he grumbles as he reaches for the coffee and takes a sip quietly.
”Tell me about. ” I say with a laugh as I take a seat and look through the files I picked. Why do royals have so much to be written about and kept record of?
”I certainly do not appreciate how insensitive youve become, talent or not. ” He mocks seriousness but Ive known the guy in the past. If theres one thing he can be good at, its serious, well at least with me.
”Whats there to warrant my sensitivity? ” I raise an eyebrow and lay my cheek on my propped arm.
”My feelings for instance, ” he says and I snort. He cuts me a glare that makes me smile as I laugh to myself quietly. ”We should catch up. ” He says and stands up, taking the cup of coffee with him. ”See you at four. ”
”Sorry Im late, ” I announce quietly to the group of people sat at the meeting lounge.
Safe to say I don like it when attention is on me unless absolutely warranted.
Sophia cuts me a glare as I take a seat on the small pastel blue fur covered couch and cross my ankles as I place my files on my lap.
”At least you- ”
”Sorry Im late, ” River says as he takes a seat next to me and the room goes deathly silent.
When he lifts his head from folding his sleeves, he scans the room before giving me a faint smile as if to ask me to continue.
Sophia narrows her eyes at me and I smile politely as I take in the presence of her bodyguard and two friends alongside her lawyer.
Her bruise is also conveniently on the other side of her face which would mystify me if I hadn dug up as much dirt as I did on her.
”Good afternoon to you all? ” I pause and take in the room before proceeding to open my file while Rivers gaze lingers over my shoulder as I turn to face Sophia and her entourage.
”Could we hurry up? I need to be somewhere else. ” She says with a tight smile.
”If we are going to cut to the chase, could you tell us what your bargain is? ” I am getting irritated with her, and it doesn help that Ive began hating her when I found out she isn the innocent barbie shes painted herself ever since her relationship with River began.
”Well all my client wants is for River to apologize publicly and announce they
e back together. ” her lawyer says and I physically remind myself not to roll my eyes.
River moves beside me but I hold him down with a stern gaze over my shoulder.
”It seems impractical to want to go back into an abusive relationship as you termed it. Wouldn you want him charged and away from you? ”
”He isn always abusive so I can overlook this one time only if he promises me not to do it again. ” Sophia says and I hear River scoff behind me.
”If it were my call I would advise the legal way, ” I say and turn to assess Rivers expression.
”Good thing you have no say in this. ” Sophia cheers sweetly and her voice grates my nerves making me turn to her.
”I agree with her. ” River says quietly from behind me and stands up. ”We all know the truth here and Im not going to play along in your ruse, if you want followers and sympathy, go right ahead but leave me out of it because you and I are done. ”
”You can break up with me like that! ” Sophia screeches and I jump a little as I sit up straighter on the couch, ”we are in public! ”
”I tried to do it the civil way. I asked you if we could talk about it but you refused. ”
I can tell Rivers patience is waning but he still manages to get a grip.
e leaving me because of this slut?! ”
”Sophia! ” River booms before I can properly react to what she says and the whole room goes silent.
So silent that the temperature drops.
I watch as Sophia tries to mold herself into the sofa shes sitting on.
”River- ” she tries to soften her voice as if shes about to cry but River pulls my arm up.
”You and I are over. If I were the monster you claim Id have hit you now with all the allegations you
e throwing around. ”
Tagging at my arm, he pulls me out of the room wordlessly and I say nothing.
Maybe its for the best because if I stayed longer in there Id be pulling out hair.
And it wouldn necessarily be mine.