“Allegra Millicent Brandt, get off your a.s and get in the shower.”
“Go away Ben it’s my day off,” I muttered into my pillow, trying to drown out the sound of his voice in my ear.
He pulled the pillow off of my head, “Actually it’s almost four and hair and makeup will be here in twenty-“
I sat up and rubbed my eyes.
“You forgot didn’t you?”
I nodded, “It might have slipped my mind-“
He shook his head, “Well get up, you can’t miss this party. What are you wearing?”
I shook my head, “I don’t know, pick me something-“
“Fine,” He replied as he headed into my second bedroom which was converted into a wardrobe.
There was a knock at the door and I groaned, swinging my legs out of bed. I ran my fingers through my hair quickly, not bothering to throw on any clothes in my still-sleepy state, dressed only in my La Perla underwear and an over sized shirt.
“They’re early,” I yelled to alert Ben as I opened the door a crack to see two delivery men standing there. "Um...hello?"
“Allegra Brandt?" One asked.
"We have a delivery for you.”
I sighed and glanced at Ben over my shoulder who was shrugging his shoulders. I held my hand out for the pen, “I’ll sign for it,”
“You uh...” He looked down for a second, grinning. "You might want to let us bring them in."
“Bring what in?" I opened the door wider and they pushed past, their hands full of boxes of white roses. "Oh my god," I muttered as I turned back to Ben, “What the hell did you do?” I asked him as I watched the delivery guys make multiple trips to get them all inside.
He shook his head, “It wasn’t me-“
"Is it your birthday, or did some guy do something he has to make up for?" One of the delivery guys asked.
I stared at him for a second, it definitely wasn’t my birthday; “I think…the latter,” I admitted.
He nodded, "Someone misses you a lot then,"
"Thanks," I replied, not knowing what else to say.
"This must have cost like a thousand or so dollars... These are shipped from overseas," He added.
“A thou-thousand dollars?” I repeated, my mouth hanging open. “Holy sh-“
“How many boxes are there exactly?” Ben piped up.
The other guy put the last box on my coffee table. "Ninety-nine of them."
Fashion Week had come and gone in a marathon of shows, photos, and endless cabs, and as much as I'd enjoyed it, I was glad it was over. My life could finally return to some sort of normalcy. As soon as this party was over.
I stood beside Ben and fidgeted with my clutch, contributing the occasional comment just to keep the group around me happy.
I felt a hand rest lightly on my lower back. “Do you mind if I steal Millie away for a moment?”
Ben looked up at me with a wicked glint in his eye, “Steal away,”
I glared at him as Jake pulled me over to somewhere quieter. I wondered why he was even here; this was quite literally the last place I’d ever expected to find him. I was sure he found the whole thing completely pedantic.
“I’m not talking to you,” I said as I crossed my arms over my chest.
“Because I never called?” He asked as he came to stand in front of me.
“It’s been two weeks Jake. “
“Wait, let me gues...sorry?”
He nodded, “Yeah, I am sorry. But do you know what I’m not sorry about?”
I shrugged my shoulders dramatically and he continued.
“I’m not sorry that I went and got this tux out of storage, or quit smoking, or that I had to bribe my mother to get me into this party, which if you ask me I find this whole thing to be totally pedantic …all at the hope that you would give me five minutes to explain why I’ve been such an a.shole lately and then make it up to you.”
“Fine,” I sighed. “Wait…you quit smoking?”
“I did,” He nodded, “Look can I do something, buy you a drink? Anything?”
I looked up at him and smiled, “The drinks are free,”
“Okay, public humiliation is that what you want from me? Do you want me to publicly humiliate myself?”
“Tempting,” I replied, trying not to smile. “But no,”
“Do you want me to take you home?" He suggested, practically reading my mind.
"No," I shook my head softly.”I think we should stay, that tux is too nice to waste,”
He smirked, “You would know, you picked it out for me.”
“Well I have excellent taste,” I replied as I grabbed a glass of champagne off a passing tray.
“It’s true, you do,”
“In clothes, not men.” I specified.
“I’ll take what I can get,” He shrugged, “You look beautiful by the way,”
I ran my fingers through my hair and took a sip of my drink, "There are a lot of beautiful people here," I murmured.
He wrapped his arm around my waist, holding me tightly against him. "None of them come close to you."
Instead of rolling my eyes as I usually would at his corniness, I pulled his face down to me and planted a kiss on his lips, much to his surprise.
"Oh, did I say something right that time?" He grinned, clearly happy with himself.
“That was for the flowers,”
“You figured it out,” He smiled.
“You never did things like that when we were dating,” I replied as I bit my lip and reached down, holding onto his hand tightly not wanting him to get away.
“Do you want me to stop?” He asked as he went to pull away.
“No,” I replied, "Don't let go," I whispered.
He squeezed my hand in confirmation, staying by my side. “Do you want to go get fresh air?" He asked after a while, letting out a deep breath.
"Could you please just-..." I sighed, wrapping my arms around his neck and kissing him, knowing that I'd missed this. I'd miss spontaneity, closeness, the way his hands made me feel. “-Take me home?”
I closed the door behind me and unzipped my dress, slipping back into my comfortable clothes. I was ready to curl up and go straight to bed as soon as I was done. I sat down cross legged on the floor and arranged the flowers into vases in the living room; it was like I was living in a rose garden.
There was a knock at the door and I pulled it open to find Jake standing there, one hand behind his back.
“Miss me already?” I c.cked my eyebrow at him, “You just dropped me home like 20 minutes ago,”
He grinned sliding his hidden hand out to reveal that he was holding a single rose. The hundredth one.
“Wow you are unbelievably cheese ball,” I smirked at him as I took it.
“Or romantic, depending on which way you look at it,” He grinned, “And I had the feeling that you’d go crazy with there being an uneven number,”
“I kinda was,” I admitted.
He smiled, his eyes dropping to the floor before looking back up, “So I’ll see you around then?” He asked hesitantly.
I leant against the doorframe, “You know it would take something pretty damn impressive to top this.” I said before standing on my tippy toes and wrapping my arms around his neck, kissing him deeply.
He walked me backwards into the living room. “Now THIS is impressive," He replied, looking around to see my handiwork.
“It was your bright idea,” I smirked at him.
He nodded and slid his arms around my waist, tilting his head towards the roses, "So, I did okay then?"
“Way, way better than okay,” I replied as I pushed him down on the couch underneath me and kissed him, his hands running up my legs as I almost ripped his shirt, trying to get it off.
"Wow, calm down,” He laughed, but he was clearly enjoying the attention he was giving him.
"This situation should be reversed," I said, dwelling on that thought. “You still owe me,”
He grabbed me and flipped me onto my back. "I'm happy to oblige,"