It's Complicated Ch. 11byMxdGrlMusic©
The night before with Johnny was the most fun Lyn had in a long time. She didn't get a wink of sleep, they stopped at every club they passed and topped it off with shots she didn't know the names to. After the near death match between the guys, she didn't want to be anywhere near Waylon. It was six in the morning; she was just now making her way back to the Palms with John at her side and just two hours away from her meeting. In all honesty she had no intention of really even going if it meant Waylon was going to be by her side. Lyn figured he pulled out and left her in Vegas and if he didn't leave her she was damn sure going to leave him.
"You want me to wait out here for you?" He studied her face for a minute. "I could go in. Just say the word."
She looked him over, when did he get sexy? "Umm. I'll be okay." She frowned.
He arched his brow. "I'll be close."
"You don't have to."
"It's the southern gentleman in me. Hurry up."
She inserted her key into the door and as soon as she opened it she saw Waylon sitting at the bar with his hands over his face.
"Hey..." He started.
"Shut up." She rushed past him and in to the bathroom to grab her things to start packing.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have..."
"Save it for somebody who cares and just so you know, it's not me."
She turned around to face him. "I'm not your baby."
"Just let me explain." He pleaded.
"Let you explain?" She looked at him incredulous. "Explain what? That you're an asshole? Or that you 're not the 'big boy' you claim to be? Or how about the fact that you came at me sideways without knowing the facts?"
"I think you owe me a little more than that, Jaylyn."
"Really? Because I don't think I owe you a goddamn thing." She turned back to packing.
"I thought we were getting somewhere, and then the moment I don't cater to you, you hook up with the next man you see."
"Wow you really are stupid. I told you we were never going to be more than what we are. Sex wasn't going to change that and for the record, Johnny is a friend, from college."His facial expression turned to regret. "I guess you made good on your promise to be a jerk. Congratulations."
"I...I'm sorry." He reached out for her.
"Not my problem. Never was." She grabbed her bag and turned to leave.
"What about the meeting?"
She had one foot out the door, "Bye Fuller."
As soon as she was in the hall he ran out behind her and grabbed her arm.
"Just let me make it up to you."
She looked at him startled, "Let. Go."
"Come back to the room. Please. I just want to talk." He proceed to tug her arm.
"Waylon, I think you better do as she says if you value that arm of yours."
Both Waylon and Lyn whipped their heads in the opposite direction upon hearing Johnny's voice. He was standing casually against the wall with an unfaltering gaze that promised peril if things didn't go his way.
Lyn shook Waylon's hand away from her arm and walked towards Johnny before disappearing into elevator.
"You sure have a way of attracting trouble; I guess some things never change." He teased. "Did he hurt you?"
"I'm fine, thanks for sticking around."
"My pleasure darlin', but I was kinda hopin' for a good brawl."
"Since when are you a fighter? I thought you were the lover slash hero."
He took her bag from her and draped his arm over her shoulders. "I do it all. Where to now sweetheart?"
"Your place. I need a shower and I have a meeting that I'm probably going to be late for." No use in ruining her book plans over nothing.
"Whatever you say. Do you need me to call a car for you..."
"No just do whatever you would do if I wasn't here."
"When did you get all independent?"
"Shut up." She said jabbing him in the ribs.
Johnny took Lyn to his condo and got her settled in.
"I'm gonna go make some money. Don't leave without sayin' bye to me."
She would never dream of leaving him without telling him bye. She remembered him showing her the same respect. Johnny came looking for her the same night Pierce told her the news. Ashley left the message on the cork board. In some ways she was glad she missed him, she felt weak and probably would have done something out of character to stop him, but that was the past, she was her own person now.
It's a good thing she asked Waylon specific details about the meeting or else she would have never been able to find it on her own. Lyn walked down the carpeted hallway and stopped just before the desk.
"Excuse me." The woman looked up at her. "Hi, I have a meeting with Wesley Banks, I'm Jaylyn James."
Carlene looked up at the woman with wide eyes. "Oh Miss James. You're the author."
"Yes. Sorry I'm late I..."
"Nonsense. Follow me. Can I get you anything? Tea, juice, coffee, donut...?"
"No thank you."
"Okay, wait in here and I'll let him know that you've arrived." She gave Jaylyn the once over three times before leaving.
Jaylyn looked around the room. She half expected to be in a conference room, but this room was small and cozy. It was dark in color, too dark even. It smelled strongly of sandalwood and mint. It reminded her of something; she just couldn't put her finger on it though. She settled in the chair the furthest away from the door deciding that it was more comfortable and reached down in her purse to grab out her vibrating phone. It was Waylon. He had been texting and calling nonstop since she left the hotel. As soon as she was back in New York she was going to change her number. He was starting to annoy her. There was no excuse for the way he acted. She knew better than to think he could handle what they were doing, but too little too late to be thinking about that.
"What?" He grumbled clearly in deep thought.
"The author is here. She's waiting in the den."
"Thank you Ms. Meyers." He paused. "Is she alone?"
Pierce thought his heart was going to beat right out of his chest. He wasn't sure how he was going to keep her still long enough to listen to him. He stood up and grabbed the book and walked down the hall. He felt silly for being so nervous. It was just Lyn, his best friend...ex best friend, but she'd been mad at him before, however he was sure that it was nothing like what he was about to experience.
Walking into the room was the first time he saw Lyn in almost four years. Her hair was still black, but it was longer. She was wearing a grey business skirt that showed off her toned brown thighs and a matching blazer which made her breasts stand at attention. He stood looking at her for long uncounted seconds...minutes maybe. She was busy doing something on her phone. He was grateful for the time to just look at her. He missed her and now it was time to explain his actions. He prayed that she would listen.
He crossed the room stealth like and set a printed hardback version of her book softly and slowly in her lap. She immediately dropped her phone and picked up the book. She thumbed through the pages and examined the cover. Minutes later she started crying. This was a very different feeling from her first book. This book was her own writing without the restrictions she had during her first book. She was proud. He watched her hug the book to her chest, as her tears fell from her face staining her skirt. He wanted to hug her...to touch her.
He took a step closer to her, "Don't cry."
She looked up and in one second she managed to drop her book and press her back into the furthest corner away from him. Pierce shoved his hands deep into his pockets, fighting the urge to reach out to her. She was shaking her head no and her fists were clenched at her sides. Her face was stained with tears that stopped falling. They stood in silence. Hearing his voice was a shock to her entire system. She spent the past few years pretending he was dead, because to her he was, but now he stood in front of her as every single memory floated between them. She imagined what she would say to him if she ever got the chance, but now that the time had come, she couldn't find her words or her voice.
Several minutes later she calmed down enough to look at him. He no longer had the long 21 Jump Street Johnny Depp hair. It was now buzzed off, cropped to his scalp. More professional she decided, taking note of his suit. He, like Johnny looked bigger, somehow. His posture was exactly like her last memory of him, with his hands shoved deep into his pockets. He was holding back. She was glad for that. She didn't know if she could handle it if he touched her. She finally turned her gaze to his face. She nearly forgot how defined his features were behind all the hair he used to have. The one thing that didn't change was the short scruff he still sported, which seemed to be better kept. She looked into his eyes. Still the same breathtaking green, that somehow became more intense over the years. His expression was unreadable.
They held each other's gaze for minutes longer than either of them intended to, until he finally spoke.
"Lyn, I'm sorry. I should have..." She started shaking her head back and forth again. He quickly changed topics. "I read your book." His voice was just above a whisper. He examined her face for a reaction, had she always been so beautiful? He continued. "I uh, actually didn't know it was yours until Fuller told me, but I had a pretty good idea it was you by the end of the first chapter."
"You lied to me." Her jaw was clenched tight and her words were shaky.
"It was the only way I could think to see you." He raked his hands through his nearly nonexistent hair as a force of habit. "Would you have come knowing it was me?"
She looked at him and for the first time ever she saw that he was vulnerable, she had never seen him like that before.
"No." She wanted to leave but she couldn't move. Her legs felt weak.
"Okay." He bent down to pick up the hardcopy of her book and put it on the desk beside her, stepping closer to her in the process. "Let's talk about your book's release date."
"Release?" She was confused. He still wanted to help her?
"You do want it released right?"
"Yes, but I thought..."
He motioned his hand for her not to continue. "Don't. Jaylyn, I'm done causing you pain." He took a deep breath. "I know you don't want anything to do with me, but I need to know some things." She stood in silence, unmoving. He looked away from her for a brief period before he speaking. "What you wrote, is that what you believe? You think I tricked you into trusting me so that I could...break your heart?" His voice went back to being just a mere whisper.
"What was I supposed to think, Cohen?" As she choked out his name she looked as if she just tasted something nauseating. "You lied to me and then you ran from me."
"No." He said his voice slightly escalating. "I never lied to you not before this."
"But you ran. You left me." Her voice was stronger now.
"I asked you to trust me."
"I did trust you. I wholeheartedly trusted you, but you treated me like shit. Part of it is my fault for being stupid enough to believe you when I know that you don't care about anyone, but yourself."
Pure white hot anger flashed in his eyes, but he kept his voice calm and steady. "I cared about you, Lyn. Still do and I didn't run from you. I left for you. There is a difference and I never stopped being there for you. Not once."
"Don't do that. I'm not the same girl I was in college. Your lines won't work on me anymore, Cohen." That bad taste reappeared on her tongue.
"Fair enough. Lyn, I am sorry. I've never been sorry for anything, but I am sorry for hurting you. I don't expect you to accept it, but I want you to know why I did it."
"I want to leave." She grabbed her purse and the hardcopy and attempted to shove past him.
He stepped in front of her he never intended to touch her, but she instinctively fought against him, hitting just above the eyebrow with her ring. He wrapped his arms tightly around her to stop the blows as he felt the warm trickle of blood leak from his face.
"Lyn, you'll be seeing a lot more of me. I intend to make this up to you." When he let her go she stepped away from him and struggled with words, which didn't go unnoticed by him. "Don't worry about the book. I'll take care of it." He was facing the wall as he said that. He didn't want to see her leave, but his self control only stretched so far.
As soon as Jaylyn left that office she went straight back to Johnny's condo expecting to find it empty, but instead she walked in on Johnny standing in the middle of the living room butt ass naked, brushing his teeth and talking on the phone.
Lyn groaned under her breath and turned to leave, "Ugh. Johnny."
"Darlin', where you goin'?"
"Far away from you, naked cowboy." She said motioning towards him.
"Oh. Don't go anywhere, Lyn." She nodded. "Promise me?"
Lyn laughed, "Alright I promise, just put some clothes on."
He disappeared into the bathroom. "You've see it all before sweetheart. No need in being shy now."
"We had a good time in college." She laughed remembering back on the dares they were given in to run naked across the field.
"Damn straight. Me and you woulda had a helluva lot more fun if Pierce gave me the go ahead."
He walked out of the bathroom in sweatpants.
"You never had a chance." She said gathering her things.
"Aw," he feigned anguish.
"It's your turn to visit me next time cowboy."
"Let me know when you're ready for me and I'm there."
"I'm going to miss that twang of yours."
"Good, cuz now you get to deal with it on the way to the airport."
Lyn was happy to be back in New York and back at her apartment. As much as she loved Vegas there was still no place like home. Truth be told she would have stayed another week if not for her little run in with Pierce.
"Jay you're back." He seemed excited.
"Yea, what's up?"
"Nothing much. Are you busy?"
"No." Here it comes, she thought, whatever has been bothering him was going to be brought to light.
"I have not always been upfront with you about everything."
"What do you mean?"
"I knew of you before we actually met. You didn't find your apartment out of luck and I know Pierce." He paused momentarily so that much could sink in before he went on. "He came to me three and half years ago while you were still in college. He...pays me very well to send him detailed reports about you. This won't mean much to you now, but I agreed to this before I knew you, which doesn't make it right and I'm sorry Jay."
"Is that all?" She was looking right through him.
"Why are you still here then?"
He walked to the door and before he exited he said, "I don't expect forgiveness, I just wanted you to know. I couldn't keep it from you anymore."
"So what is three and a half years about the amount of time it takes for you to grow a fucking conscience? Or did you wait to save up enough of his money to retire on? You are no different than him. You can leave now."
She'd awaken to booming knocks on her door. It was the middle of the afternoon, but since she spent the last month isolated in her apartment she had no semblance of the actual hours. The booming knocks got louder. She pulled the covers over her head and buried herself deeper into the comforts of her bed hoping they would go away, but they didn't. The knocks got louder and faster paced. She gave up pulling the giant blanket off of the bed wrapping it around her body as she dragged herself to the door.
Once she saw who it was she half heartedly slammed it back shut and headed back to bed. After a few seconds of silence passed she realized that she didn't hear the door slam, so she turned around and ran smack into Pierce's hard chest as his stern green eyes looked down at her. He placed his hands on either of her shoulders and took a step back to look her up and down. She stared at him confused. He looked as if he was seriously examining her for injuries. She was getting freaked out, so she pulled free of his hold.
"What are you doing? Get out."
"Are you okay?" His eyes were still scanning her. She saw the scar above his eyebrow and smiled.
"I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be?" She was back en route to her bed.
"No one has been able to reach you for three weeks, Lyn."
"If you are included in that statement then good. I don't care."
He always hated when she down played things. It was better left alone though. "Where is your phone?"
"Your guess is as good as mine."
"I want to show you something."
She looked at him incredulous. "I don't want to see it."
"I'm trying to fix this."
"Don't bother. I know about Ryan."
Pierce knew that Ryan would cave in sooner or later; in fact he was actually relieved that Ryan took that much off his plate and surprised that he waited so late to confess.
"What did Ryan tell you?"
Lyn was thrown off by his nonchalant attitude, but she refused to feed into him. "I think you know, but better yet, why don't you tell me what you did. Just so I can hear straight from the devil's mouth."
"Fair enough. I told him to keep an eye on you for me."
"When did you tell him that?"
"When I went to Nevada the first time, he actually works for me...or will when he graduates."
She was confused now. "I thought you contacted him after that, right before our graduation."
"Only to follow up. The first time he came to me he didn't have his degree yet, so I gave him the opportunity to make some money while he finished up."
"I didn't know he was in school."
"You probably never asked him."
"Why should I have to ask?"
"If you want to know something, then you have to ask. Not everyone can read your mind."
That last sentence sounded as if he could read her mind. He was also taking this way too lightly...or maybe she was. Either way she didn't care anymore.
"How much were you paying him?"
"How much is enough?" She didn't really want to know.
"More than I care to admit." He darted his eyes at her emphasizing that he wasn't going to say anymore on that matter.
"What kind of things was he telling you?"
"I wanted to know if you were okay and how your writing was going."
She scoffed. "You haven't changed at all. What gives you the right?" She wanted to ask why it was so important to him, but she wasn't sure it was. There must be another reason, guilt maybe.
"I never claimed to be changed, but did you honestly think that I was just going to let you go and forget about everything? You used to be smarter than that, Lyn." He kept his voice even.
She was about ready to explode. How dare he insult her intelligence? How did this all of a sudden become about her?
"Fuck you. This is not about me. When are you going to own up to the fact that you fucked up and you can't fix it?"
"I am owning it, but when are you going to open your eyes and realize that you are not a victim?" He paused to compose himself. "I could never just leave you. You know that."
"Really? Because it seems like you did."
"If that is true, then why am I standing right here in front of you, Jaylyn? Think about it."
"Good question. Maybe you're here to rub it in my face if that's the case, congratulations, I let you hurt me. Now, you're a long way from Nevada and from what I remember New York was never in your plans, so how about you leave?"
He closed the gap between them and cupped her face between two fingers. "I'm not going anywhere."
She broke free of his hold. "Get out."
"Will you leave with me?"
"No. I don't want to be around you, Cohen."
He pulled a pen from his pocket and grabbed her hand. "Whenever you decide to leave this apartment, go to this address."