[collab with my princess @ssaarah and myself :3]
"A martini please." I asked politely to the bartender as I leaned just so slightly against the counter, offering a small smile to the guy who looked around my age. In some way we shared the same destiny, we were both at a party but we both had to work. I didn't know if I was done or not for the night, but I honestly didn't mind since it was the first party I had been working to since Trey and I had split. Of course there had been the NYE party, only I hadn't worked even a second that night and I had enjoyed Josh being fun and brilliant instead and even though it had been a nice way to start the new year I had still felt quite sad once at home, alone with my thoughts again.
A hand landed on the small of my back and I smiled as I turned, my smile kind of frozing in place when I realized that the hand's owner was Trey and not Josh as I was expecting. "Hi Jules." He said quietly and pulled away, maybe noticing how my body had tensed immediatly. It was like an electric shock.
"Hi Trey." I answered as I tried to act casual, calm and relaxed when I just wanted to run away instead. I had no idea of what he had been up to duting the last three weeks, but what I knew was that I didn't want to see him. It just hurt too much.
His eyes wandered around the room before going back to my face, his hands slipping into the pockets of his pants almost as if he had no idea of what to do with them. How is it possible to be years with a person and then become...this? "Great party." He said casually.
There we are, I thought, trying to talk about nothing. "Yeah, thank you." I answered, keeping my smile in place since I didn't want to be rude to him or, even worse, start acting crazy. He had been clear, he was done with me, I just had to accept that.
"Up to your standards." He added and I just shrugged, "Can I get you a drink?"
I parted my lips slowly, wondering why he was doing that, or why he was there in general. Oh right, he was a party boy now. "I already have one on its way." I said eventually and, as if on cue, a glass filled to the rim landed in front of me.
Trey widened his eyes and gave me a half grin. “A martini.” He said simply.
I looked at the glass and then nodded at the obvious, not knowing where this conversation was taking us if anywhere. I was trying to act cool, but truth was that seeing him like that after sharing so much with him just killed me. “Yup.”
“You must think you did well then.”
I rose a brow , absolutely clueless. “What do you mean?”
“You only order martini’s when you’re no longer stressed.”
I blinked, realizing that he was just talking about my drink and not about anything else. Of course he knew me so well, even better than I knew myself. “I guess I'm not stressed now.” I shrugged, hearing the lie coming out of my mouth. My life was so much simple now in a way, I didn't have to make my schedule work with anyone else's, I didn't have to pick up a fight over the smallest thing, I didn't have to take care of anyone else but me. It made me feel so empty, like nothing had a sense, like I was a little dead on the inside. But I had to try, pretend that I was okay and swallow my misery along with a martini.
“Trey!” His boss slapped him on the back. “Did you bring it?” Way to be rude and interrupt a conversation.
My ex nodded and pulled out a phone, handing it over to him with his keys but not saying a word.
“You’re a god send.” He grinned.
“Your assistant couldn’t have done that for you?” Trey asked, his voice annoyed but his face jovial. Of course when I did that I was fake, when he did it was okay.
“But then I wouldn’t have been able to get you to come out.” He winked, clearly not even recognizing me as his ex. “You’re such a bummer these days.” He was then pulled away by a person across the room while I wondered if he really was or if that pig was just teasing him. For what I had heard he was being a party animal, not a sad guy who couldn't get over his ex. Of course he had to be over me already, he had left me after all...it made sense.
“Um. I should go.” He said fishing for his own phone in his pocket, looking busy or maybe just trying to get rid of me instead.
“You can stay and have a drink if you want.” I said softly, my voice less harsh now and I had no idea of where this was coming from.
He looked up, “Okay.”
I forced another smile, playing with my hair nervously, "What do you want?" He parted his lips, but before he could speak I turned to the bartender, "A whiskey." I asked gently.
"Make it double." Trey added, giving me a weird look that I didn't even try to read. I didn't want to read into things, I didn't want to think, I just wanted to shrug off this awful feeling of having him so close but yet so far.
"So, how are things going?" I asked casually, trying to start a conversation. Part of me wanted to know about him, I had been craving to hear his voice so bad, but at the same time I was too scared to know anything that could confirm my suspect.
"Good." He answered simply, not making things easier but even more awkward if possible.
"Good." I repeated as I nodded my head a little, bringing my glass to my lips and fighting the urge to swallow all of my drink.
"What about you?"
I just shrugged, "I'm okay." I nodded again, serving him another lie. What was I supposed to say? That I missed him so bad that sometimes I felt like I couldn't even breathe anymore? That every atom of my body longed for his touch? No, I was going to be strong and mature. And a liar.
"How was Christmas?" He pressed on, his eyes moving from my face to something or someone behind me while I forced myseld to not turn my head to follow his gaze.
"I was with my family, as usual." Except for you weren't there and I got so drunk I didn't even manage to go to my bed on my own feet, I said into my head. We surely had the worst timing, breaking up just before the holidays had made things even worse if possible.
"Good." He said for the untempth time, making me want to scream for how frustrate I was getting.
"What about yours?" I heard myself ask, my voice so different that it didn't even seem mine. I felt like I was living an extra-corporeal experience and I was just a mannequin possessed by someone else.
He shrugged and ran a hand through his hair, grabbing his drink as the guy set it next to mine. "It was okay."
I watched him as he swallowed the brown liquid, realizing that he looked more tired than usual but still incredibly handsome. I bet he had a line of girls standing at his door, waiting for him. "You look good." I said out of nowhere, honest showing in my voice though since I couldn't ever lie about that.
Trey tried to smirk but it came out more as a grimace. “I'm sure I don’t.” He replied simply. “But you do.”
“Thank you.” I looked at the ground, not even wanting him to compliment me mostly because I was sure I didn't look good, at all. I mean, I did to someone who didn't know me at all, but Trey should have known me better than that.
“What is this party for anyways?” He asked out of the blue and I thought that he really had to be desperate if he was asking about something he didn't care about at all.
“Um…” I muttered, waking up from my daze and looking around. “It’s an anniversary party for an online makeup store.”
She nodded slowly. “Right.”
“I'm sure you don’t actually care about it.” I said under my breath, unable to bite my tongue.
He sighed. “Just because I didn’t care about the parties doesn’t mean I didn’t care about you.”
What? Where was that coming from? I was shocked, I didn't expect him to break the unsaid rule that forbade us to talk about our now dead relationship. “Just not enough right?” I asked finally, looking deeply into his eyes and feeling my heart break over and over again. This was a torture.
“Trey?” A female voice cut in between us and Trey looked up, widening his eyes at the redhead.
“Hi.” He said simply.
She walked up to both of us and smiled sweetly at me as I felt my face turning red and not because I was ashamed or anything, but because I was going to flip, to explode. Whoever this girl was I didn't want her around. He shook his head like a moron, “Sorry. Um…” He started. “Elle, this is Julia.”
I reached out my hand for her to shake. “Do you work with Trey?” I asked, looking politely interested since that was they teach you in expensive colleges. Smile, shake hands and be polite.
The girl laughed. “No, god no I’d have to be a model for that.” She winked at me, as I gave her a tight smile. “We went out a few weeks back.”
"Oh I see." I said with no convinction, but kept my voice low and nice, I even managed to keep my smile in place while I thought that a few weeks back we had just broken up. So I was right, he was over me.
"How do you know him?" She asked back, acting like she knew him since forever and I was just some girl he had ran into while being at this party. She was wrong, I was even less than that.
I shrugged and stared into my ex's eyes, wanting to hurt him just as much as he had hurt me. How was he daring to bring this girl to one of my parties? Was that a way to show her around and say to the world that he was done with me permanently? "We just work together." I answered politely, not wanting this random b.itch to know anything about me or what I had with Trey.
"Kind of." He muttered under his breath, breaking eye contact with me and I felt so furious with him I just wanted to slap his face so hard that I'd leave marks of all of my five fingers.
"Are you a model?" She asked, smiling genuinely at me which irked me even more. The poor girl wasn't to blame, I was smart enough to know that, but I'd have a round of slaps on her face too, just to set my anger free. I had never felt so angry in my whole life, which was good, but I knew it wouldn't last long and sadness would take its place soon.
I shook my head and tucked my hair behind my ear, ignoring Trey on purpose since he didn't even have the balls to talk. "No, I organize events." I paused, downing my drink before I could spill it on Trey's shirt which was the one I had got him for his last birthday. "Like parties." I added, while thinking about a way to get out of this awful situation without looking like a lunatic. My ex had already ruined my party once, I wasn't going to make it happen again.
"Oh god it sounds so fun! It must be great, isn't it Trey?" She asked as she turned her face to him, her arms hooking around his and I felt sick. I couldn't take that.
"It is." I cut her off before he could say a word, glancing at him shortly, "I have some work to do, if you'll excuse me."
She nodded but I didn't give her time to speak, I walked away and straight to Josh instead who seemed to be nowhere to be found. I headed for the staircase and I finally bumped into him, my heart beating so fast that I was afraid I'd faint or die. "Are you okay Jules?" He asked as he noticed the look on my face.
I shook my head furiously, bringing my hand to my throat, "I can't breathe. Take me out, I need some air." I chocked out, my voice broken.
He sets his hands on my arms, tilting his head down a little to study my face, "Do you want me to take you home?" He asked, sounding genuinely concerned and staring into my eyes.
I stared back at him and bit down hard on my lip, considering that option. Did I want to go home and drown in my own misery? "No, I can't." I said after swallowing the huge lump in my throat and forcing myself to breathe regularily since I was starting to feel dizzy.
"Of course you can, I have everything under control here." He reassured me, running his hands up and down my arms slowly as he smiled.
"I know that but I don't really want to leave in the middle of the party." I paused as I tried to clear my thoughts, "It's my job."
He nodded in a condescend way, "As you want, just take a moment to feel better, okay?" He suggested and didn't wait for my answer, instead he grabbed my elbow gently to led me in a corner of the room.
I leaned my back against the wall, closing my eyes a moment as I tried to recompose myself. I couldn't be seen like that at my own party, it wouldn't be professional...or worthy. I was sure that Trey was being all flirty with that redhead by now, not even remotely thinking about me. "Since you sound so bossy I don't have any other choice." I smiled a little, wanting to make the moment lighter and forget about what had happened.
"Good." He nodded and his lips curved in a grin before he got all serious again. "Are you feeling better?"
"Yes." I answered genuinely, "You can stop giving me that worried expression."
"I can't help that..." He trailed off, lifting his hand to push my hair off my face, his gorgeous eyes boring into mine, "You know I care about you."
"I'm fine." I whispered, tensing against his touch but not pulling away either since it felt good too.
"Was it because of Trey?" He asked out of the blue, making me wonder if I was that obvious.
I shook my head, forcing another smile, "I don't really want to talk about it." I almost begged him.
"Okay Jules." He said quietly and leaned into me to kiss my forehead gently, a move that surprised me and made me feel kind of warm. "You're too stressed lately, you should have more fun and relax."
I raised one eyebrow at him, realizing how close we were now, "I basically took a month off, I already had enough relax." I pointed out.
He grinned, cocking his head to the side and staring at me, "That doesn't count."
"What does instead?" I asked curiously.
"Go out with me and you'll find out." His grin widened, tempting me with its charm. He was a stubborn man, that was sure.
"Josh-" I started but he cut me off, shaking his head.
"I know. I know Jules. A night out with me won't kill you, we'll do what you want and I'll be a gentleman." He smiled, making it really hard for me to say no. "What do you say?"
I thought about Trey and the redhead, I thought about my aching heart, I thought about what Frankie had said to me. I didn't feel exactly right, even though I knew that I had to start living again at some point. "Yes."