I’m excited. I’ve never been so exuberated with excitement in my whole life. Well, maybe I have. Most likely, I have. But starting a new chapter in life with the man I love sounds like a good time to me. Today, I woke up with a spring in my step; I was singing in the shower, dancing like no one’s watching (because no one was), and not even the presence of Brad in the elevator with me was stifling. I pretended to be on my phone, so did he; and I wasn’t even uncomfortable by it all. I had the same dopey smile since I left woke up, and not even the weird looks I received made me self-conscious enough to stop.
Like I said before, I realised I’d been worrying a lot about the little things. Like worrying about what a stranger would say when so many others show love; worrying about perversions of a somewhat corrupted cop when really all I have to do is stay far away in all respects. One just outweighs the other. I just have to keep thinking about the good things in my life. And Daniel’s better than good!
“You know that trip down to L.A?” David asked both Brad and I as we sat in his office. We nodded. “Well, that’s coming up soon. Real soon.”
I narrowed my eyes slightly. “How soon?”
“Next week soon.”
“And you didn’t think to tell us sooner?” Brad asked, perceptively annoyed. Good; we’re on the same page in that regard.
David sighed and leaned in over his desk, bringing his hands together. “Sorry, guys. But Amber worked faster than I expected and she has a whole line-up of interviews, press releases, and appearances that start next week. All expenses are paid by the company and it’s only until the end of this month or the beginning of the next.”
“I don’t think my duties as an assistant—”
“Anna, listen, you’re the only person who stuck to this project as much as me. You’ve been there since day one and know Brad and his book to a tee. Technically, it’s not part of your responsibilities as my assistant. However, it’d be greatly appreciated.”
Brad and David stared at me awaiting my response in silence. I’d like to say I wanted to refuse, but I really don’t. Not only is it a great opportunity to further my contacts in the business, but it’s L.A all expenses paid. The downside is that it’s a few weeks separated from Daniel and I wanted to get straight into apartment hunting. And since we’re a team, I had to speak to him about it first. At least, to have him in the know.
I gulped. “I have to think about it.”
David nodded. “Of course…but since it’s next week—”
“I know,” I cut in, “I’ll have an answer to you by Friday.”
“Earlier would be better.”
“Thursday?” I wondered.
“Tomorrow. The day after at the absolute latest, but, tomorrow.”
I sighed. “Okay.”
“Okay,” David smiled. “Thanks guys.”
Brad and I walked out side by side when Brad spoke. “You know, I wouldn’t mind some support there. You know, other than David.” He shrugged.
“David’s great on his own. He’s a good man. A great editor.”
“I mean, you know,” he lifted his brows and tilted his head downwards as if I should know. Then he rolled his eyes when I didn’t figure it out, “David doesn’t know about Lauren and Amber. It’d be great if I had someone there to—”
“At your beck and call day and night?” I crossed my arms over my chest. “Hmph,” I chuckled, “if it ever comes to affecting my business, I’ll jump in, but otherwise, man up and handle your own.”
I started strutting away from him when he grabbed my shoulder and pulled me back awkwardly. I waddled backwards and nearly tripped. “Hey, I’m not the guy I once was you know. You can give me some credit.”
“Oh my God,” I spat through gritted teeth as I pushed his hand away from my shoulder. “And what, you’re not bad, you’re just drawn that way?” I rolled my eyes and sighed when I realised he was staring at me quizzically. “You cannot be this self-involved! For once in your life, it’s actually not about you. I’d be happy to go but only if I don’t have to deal with any of your shit.”
“Fine,” I grinned cheekily. “My decision is still not dependent on you. Bye.”
“So, I have something I need to tell you,” I said to Daniel, “and I have to tell you now because I only have a short amount of time.”
Daniel laughed. “Why, is the world ending sometime soon? Oh no, wait. It’s my scallops. I knew it. They weren’t that great but an apocalypse is a little drastic don’t you think?”
I couldn’t breathe I was laughing so hard. “Da-a—aniel!! No seriously!”
“Okay, serious,” he forfeited, holding his hands up in surrender.
“Okay.” I let out a long breath of air. “Okay. So, uhh,” (I was a little nervous), “I don’t even know how to begin, umm, well, David asked me to go down to LA for some press stuff and appearances for Brad. It’s only going to be for a few weeks, I come back beginning of next month at the latest, and it’s all expenses paid.”
“A few weeks with Brad in another state,” Daniel mused. “Hmmm this doesn’t sound like an ideal scenario for me.”
“What happened to looking for an apartment?”
“Well, there’s another problem with that.”
“I spoke to my landlord and explained to him that I wanted to move out, but he said if I broke the lease I wouldn’t get my deposit back. And I knew that and all, but I thought if I spoke to him—”
“I get it,” Daniel muttered disappointedly.
There was an awkward silence before I quickly spoke. “Look, I’m totally willing to forego my deposit—”
“I can’t let you do that. And I know where this is going.”
“You okay?” I grabbed his hand.
“I’m good for you going to LA. And if I had the money and time to go with I would. Just promise me this, we’re moving in together, right?”
“Of course,” I replied without hesitation.
“It’s just, you have a bit of a habit of being indecisive.”
A heated chill ran through me. I removed my hand from his and shifted in my seat. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Ugh, see, I didn’t want to say that because I knew you’d get defensive.” He stood.
“I’m not defensive,” I shrieked, rather defensively. I think they call that an oxymoron. Then, I repeated in a whisper, “I’m not defensive.”
Daniel chortled lowly at my effort to remain calm. “You couldn’t be more defensive.”
I rolled my eyes. “Okay, let’s give each other a set date to work towards.”
“Not a year’s time, right?” he winked in reminisce.
I tried stifling my smile. “In the New Year. We’ll look for an apartment, and by the New Year, we’ll move in.”
Daniel nodded. “Sounds good.”
I stood up in front of him. “Good.”
“Oh,” Daniel seemed to say as if he only just remembered, “I’m quitting my job. I thought you should know, you know, since it’s like ‘last minute day’ today or something.”
“What the—? Why didn’t you say anything to me?”
Daniel shrugged, taking off his tie and moving away. “Because it was my decision to make regardless of what you say.”
Mmkay, did Daniel just shaft me?