I bent over to close the drawer of my desk after putting away the last number of Vogue. I had spent the last two hours reorganizing my office, everything was white and immaculate again, only now there was no trace of Trey anymore, meaning that the photo of us I used to look at from time to time while working on my laptop was gone.
"So I was right when I thought I had seen you."
I got back up suddenly, almost hitting my head against my desk and smiling as I saw Josh. "No, I'm an allucination."
He leaned against the door frame and seemed to be studying me, his eyes taking in my body while I smoothed my dress. "I doubt it." He said and left it at that, not adding anything else.
There was a part of me that wished that he'd just go away and leave me alone, but another part was really tired of being alone all the time. I wanted my life back. "What are you doing here so late? Everyone went away already." I pointed out, flipping my hair over my shoulder.
"Isn't that why you're here?" He asked back, his gaze on my face and I knew that I couldn't lie. For god's sake I had been working even whenever I was sick, it wasn't hard to notice that I had been away for quite a long time. Sure, I had done everything from my sister's apartment but it wasn't the same.
"I didn't feel like running into people...not yet." I sighed, walking around my desk and leaning my a.ss against the wooden surface. "You know, after what happened the last time I had been to a party." I added, the memory still so painful that I bit my lip immediatly as I felt my stomach clench.
He gave me a smile, a warm huge blinding smile, "No one remembers that anymore Jules."
"I do." I paused then ran my hands through my hair, "God I was so embarassed. I still am. I feel like now no one will take me seriously anymore because...well no need to go through all painful details again."
"It wasn't that bad, really." He said and sounded honest, but I knew that for me had been awful and that was enough. "And you can't hide forever."
"Can't I?" I asked in an attempt to joke as I reached for my coat and put it on before grabbing my bag.
"No, I won't let you." He smirked finally, watching me as I brushed past him and following me when I headed to the giant glass door that led outside.
I turned my head a little to meet his eyes, forcing myself to sound like my usual self and not like a broken hearted girl all mopey and desperate. "Miss me?" I teased him.
"Yes." He said deadpan as we walked side to side, "Parties aren't the same without you freaking out because we're running out of champagne."
I widened my eyes a little and smiled, a real smile this time. "I never do that."
He gave me an amused look, smiling back at me, "Sure. Never."
"You just can't handle all the planning without me." I retorted and for the first time I realized how much I had been missing my job, being around people, doing the only thing I could do perfectly since I was such a s.hitty girlfriend apparently. And wasn't my job the reason why I had lost my love? I'd better not lose that too.
"Touchè." He let out a small laugh, sliding his hands into the pocket of his coat. I swear this man looked like he had just popped out from a fashion magazine...well, he kind of was, he was really...Vogue. "That's why I called you so much. Your e-mails were perfect and full of details about everything I could need...but still."
"Yeah?" I said casually, not wanting to read more into the reasons why I had seen his name lamping on my phone so much during the few weeks. I didn't know if it was right, but it was the only way to not get fired and if I had to be completely honest I felt so lonely that I could use some company. Sure I had my sister, Frankie, my brother and my adorable niece but the emptiness that Trey had left was hard to fill if not impossible.
"Do you need a ride back home?" He asked as he stopped in front of his black Audi, waking me up from my daze.
"I'll just..." I trailed off, waving my hand in the air, "I'll just take a cab."
He ignored me and opened the door for me, "I'll be your cab." He said softly as he waited for me to climb into the passenger seat before walking to the other side of the car and getting inside. "Your sister's place, right?"
"Right." I nodded, adjusting myself against the leather seat and staring in front of us as the car roared to life.
"I remember how to get there." He said and glanced at me, running a hand through his hair, "So how was your Christmas?"
I relaxed a little, letting out a loud sigh as I thought about the last few days. "It was okay." I paused before furrowing my brows at him, "Wait, I feel like I had told you this already."
"You did, but you were drunk, so I thought I'd better ask again." He grinned, driving fast through the traffic.
I ignored him since I had been drunk a lot more lately and I couldn't remember when exactly I had talked to him, "It wasn't bad. I mean, I was with my family, the food was delicious. Kind of perfect actually." I said casually, letting out the part where not having Trey by my side had nearly killed me. That was what happens when you spend almost ten year with the same man, you get used to have him always, day, night, holidays, always. I couldn't stop missing him even if I tried and god knew how hard I was trying.
"You should have come to the Christmas party too." He pointed out, "You've always loved it, if I'm not wrong it's your favorite party of the year."
"I just didn't feel like coming." I said and gave him a weak smile, not saying that there was another reason why I had avoided it.
Silence fell between us as we stopped at the red lights, Josh's eyes staring in front of him as he looked lost in a thought. "Trey wasn't there either." He said eventually, like he had been reading my mind.
"What he does isn't any of my business anymore."
"Come on Jules, you don't have to pretend with me." He shook his head, the tone of his voice quiet and gentle.
I didn't even bother to lie again since he knew me better then I thought apparently, "I've heard enough of him partying, mostly if when we were together he never came with me." I admitted, the bitterness showing in my tone. I couldn't help it.
He nodded slowly, either to agree or just humor me. "I know." He said simply and we came to a stop. He climbed out af the car then walked to my side, opening the door for me like the gentleman he always was. Sure he knew how to treat a woman, I wondered why he hadn't a girlfriend yet. "So...will I see you at the new years eve party?" He asked as he walked me to the door of the building.
"You'll see me at work Josh." I smiled, looking at his gorgeous face.
"You'd better come or I'll come drag you out of your bed myself." He threatened as a smirk played on his lips, "Don't make me do that, it might be dangerous."
I bit down on my lip, rolling my eyes, "I promise. I'll be good."
"I like you when you're bad too." He shrugged, his smirk still in place and I felt my cheeks heating up a little. "But I want to see you at the party too."
I tucked my hair behind my ear, feeling nervous since I was running out of excuses. "I don't know Josh, maybe I'll just stay home instead."
He raised one eyebrow at me, "How fun."
"It's just too-"
"It's work Jules, I'll go crazy without you." He paused, lifting my face with one finger as he gravitated closer too me. Too close. "And you could use a night out."
"Maybe." I managed to say, frozen in place since my body didn't know how to react to that and my mind had gone completely blank. Trey had been my first real relationship and even though I had been with other guys before he had erased them completely from my mind, to not add that I was a crazy teen back then. In a way I felt like I had no experience with men.
He smiled into my eyes, his hand landing on my hip casually, gently, almost as if he was silently asking me permission to touch me. "We both know that maybe means no Jules, I need you to promise."
"Well aren't you pushing your luck now?" I retorted, letting a small grin appear on my lips as I didn't move away from his touch.
"Always..." He trailed off, getting brave and leaning into me so that our noses were almost touching. I probably should have pulled away, but I didn't, he wasn't doing anything bad and I wasn't either. I was single. My ex-boyfriend even wanted us to be friends so I had given up on the idea of getting back together...it wouldn't have worked anyway.
"I promise." I said softly as I forced myself to set my hand on his chest, even though it didn't feel spontaneous. I had to try, I had to get over Trey sooner or later...and I really needed to stop thinking about him every single second.
His smile got wider and he closed the distance between us, his lips pressing against mine in a soft gentle kiss. My heart stopped as I felt like I was going to freak out. It didn't feel right. "Josh." I said quietly as I pulled away.
"I know." He took a deep breath but didn't let his smile fade away, "It's too soon."
I bit my lip, not able to comment his words in any way but kind of impressed for how well he seemed to read me. "I'll come to the party though." I said eventually.
"I promise it will be awfully boring and all about work. You won't have fun. Like, at all." He joked and I was grateful for that. He made things so easy.
I rolled my eyes but smiled as I walked up the three steps that separated me from the black door of the building, "Good night Josh."