Money Hungry Exes And Penthouse Confessions
Day 266 - 272 of The Andie Chronicles
James didn't want to say it. As I stood over the stove, pushing the pasta sauce around, and he attended to the front door, I knew when he came back to me to tell me his inability to get the words out spoke volumes.
“It's. It's. No, I can't say it.”
“For fuck’s sake, it's him, isn't it?” James nodded.
The last time Douglas Gallo was inside my home, I told him where to go. I made a scene, an undignified declaration of his presence in my home. I made it clear, beyond doubt, he was never welcome inside my house ever again.
Yet, here he was, imposing on my life again, trying to intrude where he didn’t belong. The arrogance. When you think someone couldn’t get any more full of themselves, they outdo themselves.
“You know what? Let him in. Let the bastard in.”
James raised his eyebrows, quickly turned and opened the front door again. No, to no one’s surprise, Douglas was dressed in a full suit. Cufflinks, tie with a bar. The full gamut of pomposity, considering it was a Sunday, I mused. And this was Melbourne, not actually Wall Street.
Yet, there was one thing I could attain from his appearance without his him having to say a word. He wasn't here to be social. He wasn't here to see how his friend was doing, massaging this so-called relationship he had with James.
And he wasn't trying to establish a friendship with his ex. Douglas Gallo was here for a boring old business no one wanted to do with him.
Douglas stepped inside. I put down the wooden spoon in the kitchen and made my way to him by the front door. Despite letting him inside, I wasn't going to let him get comfortable. “What do you want?”
“I have a cheque for you.”
“A cheque?” I retorted in disbelief. “Who has cheques nowadays?”
“I do. I have cheques. It's called doing business, Andie. And I know you don't know much about it, but this is how we do things.”
I let out an audible sigh with an exaggerated eye roll to match. “It's so weird that you keep saying that to me. We keep talking about me not having any business savvy how I’m not a good businesswoman. Yet, for some reason, you keep coming after the business that I created. If I didn't know what I was doing, why do you want Highway so badly?”
“I don't keep coming after it.”
“What do you call the cheque?” Another one of Sherry’s warnings came to mind: he’s going to try and buy you back.
“My employees don't just leave like this. It's always a dramatic plea for more money. I've seen it time and time again. And I won’t let you take what you know to someone else who will then sell me out. Here's the money for you to shut up and get back to work.”
His arrogance once again proved impossible to ignore. Douglas Gallo thought he had experience, knowledge, something tangible a competitor wanted. There wasn’t anything Sherry wanted to know about Douglas. And from all his bad business decisions, there wasn’t anything I could sell, even if I tried.
“I would believe you,” I agonised, feeling James move closer to me, “if it wasn't for the fact my contract had certain dates outlined within it. You know the one? If one of us pulls out before the launch date, then the whole thing goes under. Are you telling me this has nothing to do with that?”
“Well done, you read your contract.” His sarcasm wasn’t lost on me. Did he know what else wasn’t lost on me?
“Douglas, I just don't think you seem to get it. I quit because I didn't want to work with you any more. I don't want anything to do with you any more.”
I scanned his expression, not sure what I was hoping for. Hurt? Pain? A sense of defeat? As much as my ex wanted to control my life, he was better at the poker face. The bluff. The bluff we all fell for and the bluff he was attempting to deliver before me.
“See, you keep making it so personal. Just another reason why you have no idea what you're doing.”
“It's funny because I'm not the one showing up at your house saying this. For someone who is so critical of getting personal, you certainly love to invade my personal life. Or have you forgotten that little confession?”
Douglas went to take a menacing step forward before James put himself between us. “Get out of our house,” my best friend demanded.
As we listened to the roar of Douglas’ McLaren take off down the street, James turned to me and clapped. An awkward yet satisfying applause.
“Girl, you really know your stuff.” His smile diminished upon his assessment. “Wait, is that you said true?”
“With Douglas Gallo, you don't make the stuff up. There's bluffing, and then there are the things we can catch you out on. Remember that when you go to work tomorrow.”
The alarm on my phone began to sound, and for a moment, I wondered why I was torturing myself with the early wake-up.