I've been told once or twice that I have the tendency to make bad decisions especially where alcohol is concerned. That is possibly why I'm wondering what the hell I'm doing here in a club with Zadia at twelve fifteen at night when I have an art assignment to turn in tomorrow that I haven't even completed yet.
A few hours ago, I was in the middle of handling a task Conner gave me, when my mom called me to remind me about that wonderful conversation we had at dinner the other night. We had come to a final agreement back then. She wouldn't force me into the business world and accept my decision to become an artist if I'd help her out one last time. Unfortunately that involved making amends with Zadia, or more specifically her father.
Zadia's company hasn't been all that bad unlike I'd thought.
Worst of all, Dexter has been ringing my phone nonstop for the past half an hour. I know I'm in deep trouble either way.
Nothing good can come from ignoring Dexter and nothing good can come from going against Heather. Right now it's a matter between choosing what's best for my family and what's best for me.
I was forced to attend a business function with Zadia earlier tonight. My mother's company is looking for new investors one of which is Cameron Global. They haven't agreed nor signed anything yet, but I'm not dealing with their CEO tonight, instead he sent his son that recently married some oil tycoon's daughter to represent him and Zadia and I were shoved into a car with them to come here and show them a good time while they're in town.
My hands toyed with the small device in my pocket as I thought about all the places I'd rather be except here-
"Blake!", Jordon yelled my name over the thrashing music, "It's your turn".
I tried my best not to scowl at the couple sitting across from Zadia and I.
If you were wondering, we're playing a very heated game of 'Never have I'.
So the game goes like this; when it's your turn you say something you've never done, like; 'never have I ever drank beer' and then all those who have actually drank beer before has to do a tequila shot. That's pretty much it.
I know, real mature.
But it wasn't my idea.
Nevertheless they were totally grilling me, it's as if they had all simultaneously conspired to get me completely wasted tonight.
I cleared my throat trying to think of something. A smirk formed on my face. "Never have I been arrested".
The three of them all looked at each other and there's a momentary pause before they each do a shot of tequila and I smiled smugly knowing I was the only one here who's never been behind bars.
Sarah perked up beside Jordon, "How about we turn this party up a notch?".
I cleared my throat but they didn't hear it over the thumping of the club music.
"Guys I should probably turn in, I've got classes in the morning", I was about to make a run for it after my brief announcement but immaculately manicured fingers gripped my arm and I felt my legs sway and a wave of nausea passed over me as I was held stationary. I was more drunk that I thought.
My eyes met Zadia's and she smiled coyly at me, "Not so quick babe, are you sure you can even make it to the front door on your own?".
My eyes narrowed a bit as my vision contorted with the flashes of red and green lights flickering around us.
I was contented to prove Zadia wrong indeed, "I'm totally fine by myself", I heard my voice slur, and as I took the first step my body swayed but before I could connect face first with the floor the same slender arms from before snaked around my waist hold me upright.
This time I did not object as she led us towards the exit while waving goodbye to the Cameron's and saying something to them that I wasn't paying attention to.
The doors were barely opened when we were assaulted by a tumult of flashing lights. Instinctively my hands came up to my face to cover my poor retinas. Then the questions came, all their voices were clustered together in my head and I could see Zadia's driver maneuvering a path for us and shielding us from the onslaught of these remorseless reporters.
When did he get here.
By the time I got to the car and was safely in the confines of closed doors I let out a deep breath.
Reporters. That was something I clearly didn't miss.
I could feel a headache already coming on and I stirred in my seat releasing a groan.
"Are you alright Blake," Zadia asked. I turned to face her only to find her looking right back at me appearing genuinely concerned.
She didn't even appear the least bit tipsy.
I refrained from saying anything harsh that I was about to say and instead replied with a; "Not really".
She ruffled for something in a bag that was already on the seat, "Here, she handed me a bottle of water".
For the first time since I can remember I smiled at her without malice, "Thanks Za".
Her cheeks flushed bright pink and even in the low lighting I could tell she was surprised I used that nickname. Considering all that has happened since then and now.
But I was still, drunk. I wasn't thinking straight.
I drank most of the water and I was beginning to feel a tinge better. Well, the nausea was gone. But my eyes were still droopy.
"Why don't you get some sleep until we get back", she said coolly.
I nodded, and it must've been the alcohol in my system but I leaned my head on her shoulder and closed my eyes.
I can't remember the last time I've ever felt this at ease in Zadia's presence but unlike how the night had commenced, right now there was no hostility between us and I must say it was rather interesting.
But before I drifted off to sleep though, I felt slender fingers intertwine with mine. And I fell asleep with a ghost of a smile on my lips, while my dreams were filled with memories of a time when Zadia and I were in a better place.
"You were gone all night", these are the words that greet me before I can even step foot in my apartment at noon the next day.
I rose a brow at Alana as I walked pass her and into the kitchen, she followed me with arms crossed over her chest.
"First of all, what're you doing in here, and second of all how could you possibly know that?", I asked as I opened the fridge pouring myself some orange juice.
"The better question is, where have you been all night?".
My limbs all tensed simultaneously as I remembered the night I'd had and Alana doesn't seem to miss my reaction.
"You were with her", she states as she stands on the other side of the counter.
Finally I concede with a shrug of my shoulders as I drink my juice.
"I actually just got back from my morning class", I argued.
"That doesn't answer my question", she sassed.
"Heather forced Za and I to hang out with the Cameron's, it was tragic!", my distaste for the recently married couple is obvious by my tone.
Jordon and Sarah Cameron were in the same situation Zadia and I were in not so long ago, only, they actually fell in love and didn't mind being married off to merge their parent's company to increase profits.
Alana leans over the counter her brows creasing together, "Za?".
I look at her confused, "Yeah, you remember Zadia, my fiancée".
Her mouth drops open this time in genuine shock, "Since when do you refer to that witch as your fiancée", she says outraged "and Za? I thought you abandoned that nickname when you found out she manipulated you so you'd fall in love with her".
Exhaling a long breath I walk around the counter and place my hand around her shoulder, "Ex fiancée", I corrected, "Relax Lana, nothing is ever gonna happen between Zadia and I again", her shoulders relaxed, "The past is the past. It's just that, I'm starting to think that she's changed", her shoulders tensed up again.
She shoots me an incredulous look and I sigh, "Do you really believe that", she deadpans.
Removing my hands from her I shrug unsure, "It's possible, but don't worry you'll always be my bff".
A look of disappointment and hurt flashes across her face before she covers it up with a small smile.
"You're still hungover aren't you?", she realized.
At that same moment Conner walks into the kitchen and both of us look away from each other to face him.
He pauses immediately, possibly feeling the tension between us. "I'm not even gonna ask", and he doesn't.
"Did you get the software?", he asks instead.
I nod smiling smugly, "Of course. I've got it right here".
My hands go into my pocket but they come out empty and I pause for a second before searching the rest of my pockets and when I come up empty again I look up to Conner with panicked eyes.
He cocks a condescending brow at me, "You've got it huh?".
"I swear I had it last night!", I try to explain.
Conner shakes his head at me in that way he does when he's extremely disappointed. "Blake you know we can't continue the McKnight case without that software".
"Don't you think I know that", I fire back a bit harshly.
He narrows his eyes at me before replying.
"When was the last time you had it?", he asks and I racked my brain trying to think.
"I had it when I left that company event with Zadia last night..." I stopped. My voice trailing off when two pairs of eyes narrow at me at the mention of Zadia's name.
Conner rolled his eyes ungraciously, "And there you go", he says in a matter of fact kinda way, "of course it must've been that cunt".
My eyebrows furrowed as I thought about it, "Guys calm down Zadia wouldn't take the software she didn't even know I had it".
Alana scoffed, tilting her head a bit, "Wouldn't she though Blake?" She retorts.
"But she was being really nice last night and...", it dawned on me, "oh my gosh guys Zadia totally stole the flash drive with the software".
The two, both looked at me as if I should have figured it out already.
I can't believe I was so stupid. I should've figured something was up when she was acting all nice.
"How did she get it though, if you had it on you?", Conner inquired.
The brunette beside him raised her brows glaring at me, anxiously awaiting my reply.
"Must've been when I passed out in her car last night", I muttered.
Alana's eyes darkened as I mentioned that. I don't know why though, I just figured she still hates Zadia for what she did to me when we were together.
"We're gonna need it today Blake", Conner voice dragged me out of my thoughts, "I thought I told you not to screw this up".
Rolling my eyes, I brushed past him and went to sit down in the living room. My elbows on my knees and my face hurried in my palms. Only now noticing the pounding in my head.
I screwed up. Big time
This day was not going so well. First I was late for my art class and didn't even hand in my art assignment. Luckily my professor gave me until next week to complete it, since I'm one of her best students.
There was a knock at the door and Alana opened it to reveal a distraught Siara behind it.
I stood up as she walked in with panic engraved in her features, "Siara what's wrong?", Alana asked beating me to it.
"It's Calder", she sounded almost out of breath, "they've moved up the wedding, he wants to get married to Kai in two weeks/".
Conner, Alana and I all exchanged a look of shock. We know what this means. We have to move up our plans if Kai is gonna get out of this marriage on time.
And for that to happen I need that software back from Zadia.
My phone buzzed in my pocket, but I ignored it thinking it to be Dexter again calling me about another job.
A few seconds later my phone rings, the ringtone blaring Drake through the now silent room.
They all looked to me as I fumbled to get out my phone, only to pause when I see the caller Id. Before I even know what I'm doing I'm sliding across the green button and answering the call.
"Hey Raymond", the voice at the other end says, "It's Calder McKnight, we met at the gym the other day and you gave me your number"..