Perfectly Imperfect(5)

By: Harper Sloan


And naturally, during my inner panic is when Brad walks in … no, struts in is more like it. Not a hair out of place. His suit tailored impeccably to project his normal look of perfection and his whole air of arrogant affluence. Of course, when he walks up to the receptionist, she smiles and bats her thick lashes and—gag—giggles. They look like Barbie and Ken up there. Permanent faces of perfect happiness etched in their expressions.

“Excuse me, but could you stop your pathetic flirting with my man?”

My jaw drops at the voice that interrupts my musings. Probably dropped to the same place my heart just landed.

At my feet.

I’m going to vomit.

There isn’t a thing I can do but sit here like an idiot and gape as my sister walks to Brad’s side, swaying her thin, narrow hips seductively. She threads her arm around his waist before placing one perfectly manicured hand on his chest. The sight of them together holds my gaze hostage as she looks around his body. If looks could kill, I would be dead the second her eyes connected with mine.

I’m going to be sick. It’s official.

I hear the receptionist say something. I assume she’s talking to Brad because, with a nod, he turns and walks to the other side of the room, pulling my sister with him. Her eyes never leave mine, but he completely ignores me.

No shocker there.

It’s been years since Brad has been able to stand to look at me.

After ten terribly nauseating minutes of studying my hands to avoid looking at Brad and Ivy, our attorneys step out. Mine, the first Buchanan in Buchanan and Buchanan, walks over with a sympathetic smile and offers his hand. Randy was an old college friend of my mother’s, so when I needed an attorney in a rush, I didn’t falter in contacting him, even if I can just barely afford his rates. But, true to my unlucky nature, his brother just so happens to have connections with Brad’s family and didn’t have any issues being his counsel, even if family law isn’t his focus.

Rushing to stand, I fumble with my heavy purse, but in my haste to keep my eyes away from the duo of doom, I gravely miscalculate every inch in my rush to stand. Mutely, I watch in horror as the strap to my purse snaps. The heavy bag drops in an embarrassingly slow-motion display, and with a slap against the marble floor, every content inside my overstuffed bag spills and scatters around me.

Lip gloss, pens, notepad, cell phone, wallet, probably every spare coin ever made and—oh, God—tampons and maxi pads. Because, naturally, it’s completely normal for someone to be a walking dispenser for any menstrual issue needs.

“Oh, God,” I gasp and twist to bend so that I can collect all my spilled crap. But before I even have a chance to blink, I’m flat on my back when my ankle gives out and twists on whatever I manage to hook on my stupid granny heel.

This day couldn’t get any worse than right here at this moment as I lay sprawled out on the floor with my personal belongings scattered around me. What did I say? Just like checkers, the final piece—me—has finally fallen.

I can’t breathe, and it has nothing to do with the fact I’m pretty sure all air I had in my lungs just got knocked straight out of my body with the force of my landing. This would have been embarrassing enough without anyone to witness it, but knowing the two people who would love nothing more than to see me stoned got a front row seat.

Yeah, I’m going to vomit.

“What a mess, Brad. Aren’t you thrilled you’re finally going to be rid of … well, that?” My sister’s hurtful words bring a heated blush to my face and my nose pricks with tears. Tears that I’m determined not to shed while they can see me. Tonight, alone in my small apartment, I’ll drown in them, but here … no.

“Willow? Are you okay?” I hear at the same time as the receptionist calls out my attorney’s name and frantically waves at the phone.

“It’s Mr. Logan with the Logan Agency. He says it’s imperative he speaks to you before your meeting with the Tates.”

“Kill me now,” I wheeze when I hear my father’s name. Rolling to my side, I make the always-awkward attempt to climb to my feet. It feels like every eye in the room is watching me. Judging me.