My phone dings with an incoming text message as I walk into work, and I smile as I read Viola’s name across the screen.
V: My financial marketing professor just announced an additional extra-credit project to be added to our finals! OMG, he’s trying to kill me because I’m a sucker for extra credit!!!!!!!!!
T: But marketing is your thing, babe! You’ve got this!
I answer her text, trying to encourage her and brighten up her mood. She’s been an absolute mess the last couple weeks as graduation approaches. I know she’s a genius, acing all her classes, and is already a shoo-in for the apprenticeship this summer, but I know freak-out mode is inevitable until she walks across that stage toward her diploma.
V: Since when did you trade in your suit and tie for a pair of pom-poms?
I smile at her smartass response—exhausted, stressed, and still able to run her filthy mouth.
T: I’ll role-play for you any day, princess. As long as you’re the one with the pom-poms…and only the pom-poms.
As soon as I walk into my office, she sends another message.
V: Cheerleader fantasy? Really?
T: Does that really surprise you? I set my briefcase down and sit behind my desk. I’ve only been back a week, and I already have a huge project. Alyssa has been glued to Blake, so that’s a relief.
V: Actually, no. Just know that my fantasy consists of cloaks, wands, and nerdy glasses. Oh, and you must speak in an English accent.
T: Hmm, that’s very descriptive…like you’ve been thinking on that for a while…
V: A Potterhead never tells…
T: I’m sure I could persuade you. You aren’t the only one who can cast spells. Just wait until I Slytherin ;)
I turn my computer on and start scrolling through my emails. I miss the days of being home with Viola and just being able to lay low with her, especially now knowing she’ll be leaving in a month. I haven’t allowed myself to think about it too much, considering I want to make the most of the time that we have left before then, but I know I’m going to be completely lost without her.
V: Show me what you’ve got, wizard boy! P.S. Good luck on your presentation today! I packed an extra invisibility cloak in your bag just in case, but I doubt you’ll even need it! Kill it!
T: Now who’s sporting the pom-poms? ;)
V: I mean…don’t fuck it up, muggle.
A knock at the door directs my attention up to Blake who is standing in my doorway. He’s been pretty edgy since my return, and I have a feeling he liked my absence.
“It’s time.” He nods his head to the hallway. “Everyone’s meeting in the conference room in five.”
“Right behind you,” I say, grabbing a file folder with my notes and paperwork and double-checking that I have everything.
Standing up, I look around at the once-promising office that has now turned cold. My heart is no longer here, and the thought of starting my firm becomes more appealing each day. I used to live and breathe this job, but ever since Viola, she’s been the one to breathe life back into me.
I fucking rock my presentation, and once the meeting is over, Blake walks back to my office and asks me to go to a lunch meeting with him. I’m hesitant, considering our history, but he sold me on the company picking up the tab, so why not?
Alyssa watches us both intently as we make our way out. She’s barely said more than a sentence to me, so I know something’s up. I just can’t quite put my finger on it.
I text Viola before heading out.
T: You’ll be happy to know I kicked ass and am now heading out for a work lunch meeting. I expect a celebration tonight…in the form of your naked body on top of mine while you yell how much harder you want it.
I slide into the company car with Blake; he takes the driver’s side, and I sit in the passenger seat. He buckles up, and I check my phone once again for her response, but so far nothing. I know she’s swamped right now, so I shrug it off. Talking with her always makes my days go by faster.
“So, I bet you’re glad to be back finally. I hear bed rest can suck for a king.” Blake’s attempt at small talk is laughable, but I go along with it anyway.
“Yeah, it did. Good thing my roommate’s little sister was around to help me some.” The words flow out before I can stop them.
“Viola,” I correct. “She lives on campus nearby, so she wasn’t too far if I needed anything.”
“How convenient.” I notice his condescending tone and pinch my lips to force back a smug smile. It was very fucking convenient, but of course, I won’t say that to him. The less he knows about my personal life, the better.