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When You Play With The Big Kids

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Steffy had been feeling down in the dumps lately. She had made herself foolish again. She had just had Kelly and Liam was gone. The excuses of he has to work were getting so old. She owned the company that he worked at and his excuses were so flimsy and ridiculous.


The last straw for her was when she found him and Hope getting hot and heavy. He must have taken her for stupid. He tried to give her the mess of it wasn’t what it looked like. Steffy felt she was going to spaz out. Hope was looking bewildered of being caught. She just looked at this girl laughing. Steffy didn’t buy her act of wanting to move on and be friends.


She knows that Hope was only doing it so they could relaunch Hope for the Future but Steffy wasn’t doing that. They had already launched California Freedom and she wasn’t going to invest on a second line that was basically the same thing. She was not going to be party to any Logan vanity projects least of all with the company’s assets.


Steffy made FC viable and profitable again. The endless circle of those in charge being more worried about the drama in the personal lives rather than the business is what made it suffer in the first place.


She would not follow that path. When she opened that door, she felt like cold water had been thrown on her. She won’t allow anyone to think they could ruin her personal life and she sure as hell wouldn’t allow her personal life to dictate how she ran her professional life.


She realized that there was no reason to have Hope at the company. She had nothing of value and she didn’t have to think about keeping the peace with her dad and Brooke because they weren’t married anymore. Dad is with mom and she feels unencumbered.


“I just wanted to let both know that Forrester Creations will no longer need your services. You can clear your things out effective immediately.”


Taking back her power made Steffy feel happy for the first time in a long time. She was tired of begging for breadcrumbs. She always had to fight someone in order to be with Liam and she was just sick and tired of being sick and tired.


Both Liam and Hope looked shocked when Steffy said it. They looked at each other wondering if they heard correctly and judging by their faces they knew it to be true.


She didn’t stick around. She was already emailing the head of HR and PR and letting them know of her personnel decisions.


She can hear the rushed footsteps behind her of Liam and Hope. Steffy just proceeds to go in seemingly nonsensical routes but these two don’t know the secret ways of getting out of the building which is great for her not having to deal with them.


As she gets into her car, she calls her realtor and tells her that she wants her house on the market today. She calls her nanny as she drives and tells her to take Kelly to her mother’s home now. She won’t allow Liam to race home and try to use Kelly as a way of manipulating her. Those days were done… the anger she is feeling doesn’t allow her accept anymore excuses.


She tells her mom that she is sending Stacy to her house and she will be there later. Steffy knows Taylor wants to know more but Taylor knows that she will tell her when she is ready.


Steffy decides to go to the bistro near her best friend’s house and buy a bottle before storming into Luisa’s house.


She feels frumpy and it has been the resident feeling she has had since having Kelly. She loves her daughter immensely but it’s been hard for Steffy to try and be as meticulous as she used to be before the pregnancy.


When she opens the door, she can smell the delicious lamb that someone ordered. If she had the time to wait Steffy knows that the lamb would be delicious. When she looks around and notices all couples around it makes herself conscious again. She tightens her coat a little tighter around her. She wants to will away the baby weight that’s left over from having Kelly.


She does her best to not be so hard on herself and create a complex. She just gets in line waiting to order her bottle of Greek wine and get out of there.


Something happens at the front of the line but Steffy can’t really see what is happening but it’s causing the wait to be longer.


Her phone keeps chiming and she already knows that it’s an endless barrage of messages from people she wishes to not speak too.


“Popular huh?!” The guy behind her comments on the chimes from her phone which just adds to her annoyance. She came here to get a bottle of wine and be done with it. She didn’t want to be bothered by messages from Liam and Hope and certainly didn’t want any strange guys commenting anything to her.


“Annoying much!” She doesn’t bother looking behind her but she does fold her arms. The man behind her just smirks because he knew the woman in front of him is fun.


The line starts moving again its slow but for Steffy its progress.


“You’re the prettiest person here… Are we going to continue playing the Captain Obvious game?” Before Steffy can stop herself she’s smiling at the compliment. It’s been a while since anyone besides her parents called her beautiful.


She is even more annoyed that the annoying man in the line at a restaurant is the person that could put a smile on her face.


She turns around to give him a piece of her mind and she gets more upset that he’s gorgeous. Stupidity takes over her and whatever she wanted to say died on her lips.


She felt frozen and her mouth was slightly parted. The man just winked at her and she’s still in a daze. He was enjoying Steffy like this.


“Hmm cat got your tongue huh? What a lucky cat…” As soon as he said this her fury came back.


“That shit might work in Chicago but honey you’re in LA now…”


“I got an order for a Jay Halstead-Voight… my bad the name for the order is JV…” The man at the counter.


Steffy guesses that must be this man because he starts to move slowly. It looks like he wants to stick around and continue whatever they have going on here but he came here for his food.


“Go ahead and pick up your order junior varsity… wouldn’t want it to get cold now would we?” It’s this man’s turn to be put on the spot. Steffy felt a bit of her old self come back when she felt her eyebrow subconsciously rise.


She was flirting and it was unambiguous for both parties involved.


“Ooh your good… same time… same place next week…” This Jay character picks up his food and gives her a shrug.


She bites her lip actually thinking about it, but she really doesn’t want to give this man the satisfaction no matter how fine she thinks he is.


“Maybe yes… maybe no… maybe when you can hang with the big kids junior varsity…”


She makes him laugh and she stops herself in a bid to keep her deadpan expression.


“Oh comin’ in with the fuego jokes I see. I like that… I like that a lot…” As he comes closer to Steffy she tries to figure out what the hell she is doing.


“NEXT!” The cashier at the counter breaks the reverie between the two of them. It was like the whole room disappeared when Steffy started to speak to him. She forgot what that feeling was like.


She just gives him a wink and whips her hair dramatically making him laugh. He leaves while Steffy orders her wine bottle. To say she was a little disappointed that he didn’t stick around was apt but she realized that she knew this guy’s name.


As she drives to Luisa’s house she asks Google to look up Jay Halstead-Voight and Steffy was not expecting for this guy to be some big shot real estate developer.


She finally gets to her best friend’s house with her wine in tow without missing a beat.


She uses her key to get inside of hears little footsteps and she knows who’s coming before she can see her.


“Oh its only you Madrinha… Mae… Madrinha is here…” Steffy is pressed her goddaughter is not that excited to see her.


Steffy at least gets a hug before Michelle goes scurrying off to her playroom.


“You know you really need to start knocking… You acting like I gave you that key because you live here.”


Her best friend may roll her eyes but it isn’t long before getting a smile and a hug.


She really needed this. She needed to be somewhere that she felt like she wasn’t going to go crazy or that Liam would go finding her.


“At least you are happier to see me unlike Michelle…” Steffy knows she’s a little in her feelings but it’s only because she loves that little girl so much.


“When she heard the key in the lock, I think she thought it would be Erik. I told the girl her father is on a business trip in New York but the girl barely listens to me. She was taking off before I could tell her it was you.”


“One of these days I’ll learn to knock…”


“Conte essa mentira a alguém que possa acreditar em você...” (tell that lie to someone who might believe you.)


É possível...” (It’s possible…)


“Maybe if I was asleep… Now you want to tell me what has you in a tizzy that you went and bought Greek wine?”


“It’s Liam… Before you roll your eyes, I am telling you I am done. I found him hooking up with Hope. If I didn’t find them, I am pretty sure that they would have been having sex. I decided I’m not bringing Kelly into this shit. I’m not going to fight and plead with a man who is somehow always there to save someone else but here I am sinking.”


“Do you plan on returning home?”


“No… you might call me extra, but I put that house on the market as soon as I could get into my car. I am exhausted from being a new mom and I really can’t do the misery anymore. Can I stay here for a couple of days? I would stay with my mother until I could find a new place, but I know that Liam would hound my parents until he could guilt me long enough for me to give him the time of day.” It helped that Liam didn’t know much about Lulu.


The woman hated his guts a long time ago and refused to be supportive of any kind of relationship between he and Steffy because of the sister-wives bullshit he put her through.


“Yeah you can always stay here… If that motherfucker somehow finds himself here, I will have his ass handled…”


With that being said Lu gets up and goes to get the corkscrew so Steffy can have her well-deserved drink.


“Thank you. I won’t stay too long I promise. I just want to find a new place and get it decorated and proofed… I’ll be out of your hair before Erik gets back…”


Steffy watches as her friend gives them both a generous pour and she misses being able to have wine.


“Stephanie please stop! You can stay as long as you need and Erik would never mind you staying and it’s not up to him anyways. I run this…”


“Thank you… You know as I was getting the wine… there was this obnoxious man trying to pick me up…”


“Hmm so how fine was he?”


Steffy hates how well her friend knows her.


“Girl he was so fine… And I just thought to myself how desperate am I to enjoy the flirting from this man I don’t even know. But it’s whatever I’ll probably never see him again. It was just nice him calling me pretty and shit when I don’t feel it. Having spit up in my hair and changing diapers at 2 am don’t make me feel like a supermodel.” Steffy missed the attention she has always been able to garner.


“Are you going to let me set you up on a blind date now?”


“I tell you I am finally done with Liam and the first thing you want to do is set me up on a blind date?” To say Luisa works with a quickness would be an understatement as far as Steffy is concerned.


“I have been trying to set you up on blind dates for the longest, but you have been in this endless game of tug of war with multiple women regarding Lima bean. Girl I am going to set you up with someone who’s easy on the eyes and I know you’ll have a good time with. I’m not saying y’all need to get greasy and shit but you haven’t been out on a real date in years.”


“Fine I’ll bite! I will let you set me up on this stupid blind date.” She may find it silly but she hasn’t had fun in so long. She can recall just about every time she has cried in the last year but she can’t remember the last time she laughed or had real smiles.