Tangled Page 53

Loading...

Most of us—but not me.

Before I’m out the door of the office, I’ve got Erin on the cell. No, I’m not a slave driver. If you’re an assistant to one of the most successful I-bankers in New York City, late-night calls are part of the job description. Now that my head has been removed from its weeklong vacation up my ass, I need to find out if I have any clients left to work with.

Lucky for me, I do.

“I hope you can grow a third kidney, Drew,” Erin says. “Because if Matthew, Jack, and Steven ever need one at the same time, you’re going to have to hand them over.”

Apparently, they’re the ones who’ve been covering for me while I was making that permanent dent in my couch.

“Book Jack a table at Scores this weekend. On me.”

Nothing says thank you like a prepaid stripper.

As for Matthew and Steven—I’m going to need to think about that one. I have a feeling titty bars are outlawed on the Dark Side.

After Erin updates me about work, I tell her to clear my schedule and give her a list of the things I’ll need for tomorrow. I’ve got a hell of a day planned—but it’s got nothing to do with investment banking.

By the time we hang up, I’m walking through the door of my apartment. Jesus Christ. I cover my nose with my hand. How the hell did I live with that smell for seven days?

Oh, that’s right—I was a vegetable.

I take a good look around. Garbage bags line one wall. Empty bottles are stacked on the table. Dirty dishes fill the sink, and the air reeks like that stale scent that seeps through your car vents when you’re stuck in traffic behind a garbage truck. Alexandra did her best to clean up, but it’s still a disaster.

Kind of like my life at the moment, huh? How’s that for symbolism.

I walk to the bedroom where I can actually breathe through my nose. I sit on the edge of the bed and stare at the phone. Remember those reserves I mentioned? Time to call them up.

I pick up the phone and dial. A soothing voice greets me after the second ring. The perfect combination of strength and comfort, and I answer back.

“Hi, Mom.”

You thought I was calling someone else, didn’t you?

Deep down—I’m a momma’s boy. I’m man enough to admit it. And trust me, I’m not the only one. Explains a lot, doesn’t it? That’s the reason your boyfriend can’t manage to get his socks or underwear actually in the hamper—because he grew up with mommy doing it for him. That’s why your pasta sauce is good, but not great—because his taste buds have been finely tuned to Mom’s Sunday gravy.

Plus, you know that saying “Mother knows best”? Yes, it’s annoying. But is it accurate? Abso-fucking-lutely. I’ve never known my mother to be wrong. About anything. So at this moment, her opinion is my most valuable resource. I know what I think I should do to fix things with Kate, but I want confirmation that it’s actually the right thing to do. This is new territory for me. And I can’t afford to screw it up.

Again.

My mother starts talking about chicken soup and cold compresses. But I cut her off.

“Mom—I haven’t been sick. Not like you think, anyway.”

With a sigh, I dive into the whole sordid tale. The abridged, G-rated version.

Sort of feels like confession.

After I describe the morning in my office where I screwed the pooch with Kate—okay, you’re right, where I pretty much f**ked the whole kennel—my mother lets loose a sorrowful “Oh, Drew.”

My stomach flips with regret and disappointment. What I wouldn’t give for a time machine.

I finish the story of my downfall and go on to explain my plans to unfuck myself tomorrow. After I’m done, she’s quiet for a few seconds. And then she does the last thing I’d expect my polite, reserved mother to do.

She laughs. “You’re so much like your father. Sometimes I wonder if you got any of my DNA at all.”

I’ve never really seen any similarities between my dad and me. Except our love of business—our drive to succeed. We’ve always been evenly matched in that respect. Otherwise, my father’s as straight-laced as they come. A dedicated, loyal family man through and through. Pretty much the opposite of me in every way.

“I am?”

She’s still chuckling. “One day I’ll tell you how your dad and I really ended up together at Columbia. And I’ll include all the dirty little details he never wanted you to know.”

If that story involves sex in any way, I don’t want to hear it.

Ever.

As far as I’m concerned, my parents have had sex two times in their entire lives. Once for Alexandra and once for me. That’s it. On some level I realize I’m deluding myself, but this is one topic where I prefer to live in denial.

“As for you and Kate, I imagine she’ll be quite…impressed with what you have planned. Eventually. At first, I’m guessing she’ll be livid. You should be prepared for that, Drew.”

I’m kind of counting on it. Remember that fine line Matthew talked about?

“I have to ask you though, dear—are you sure? Are you absolutely positive that Kate Brooks is the young lady for you? Not just as a lover but as a friend, a companion, a partner? You need to be certain, Drew. It’s wrong to toy with someone’s feelings; you don’t need me to tell you that.”

There’s reproach in her voice now—the same tone she used when I was eight and got caught reading Alexandra’s diary.

Prev Next