Chapter 1: Santana
"Mami! Mami. wake up!"
I heard the sound of my son's voice echoing throughout the apartment. Looking at the time noticing it was 5:15am, I sighed burying my face back into the pillow. Recently my son had been going through a phase where he was waking up early and going to bed late which, unfortunately for me, meant I was doing the same thing. Being a single mother was exhausting, especially when your son is a year and a half.
"Sweetie, it's 5am!" I groaned in response before getting up swinging my legs over the side of the bed. "You have to start sleeping in longer so mami can sleep."
Sighing, I finally got up putting my glasses on before wrapping a robe around my body, walking through to the living room. Even though my son, Dylan, woke me up way too early, I couldn't imagine my life without him. He is everything to me.
"Hey buddy. How about some breakfast?" I asked, smiling when he gave me a smile and a nod. "Toast?"
"Toast!" He repeated grinning, holding up a plastic piece of road he was playing with. "Dam!"
"Okay, okay I'm on it." I said with a chuckle walking to the kitchen.
Even though we lived in the glorious New York, I still wasn't used to it. After only living here for three months it was a huge adjustment. Before New York, I was living in Lima, Ohio with the father of my son. A few months ago, back when we were living there, the guy was driving to my parents’ house after work since I had been visiting them with Dylan, when he got involved in a horrific car accident. He, well, he died before the ambulance service got there. The impact killed him. He was not only the father to Dylan but he looked after me. He was practically my best friend so after the funeral, I made the courageous decision to move to New York. I couldn't stay in Lima. I just...I couldn't do it. All I would have felt was grief and I wasn't about to let myself fall into depression when I had my little boy to take care of. It just wasn't logical. Mami and Papi told me that I welcome to stay with them but that was still in Lima and living there just wasn't going to happen. I needed a new life. New Start. I worked as a family lawyer back when I was living in Lima which was lucky for me since the company was looking for someone to work for their New York branch. I took the position immediately when it was offered. The way Chantelle, my boss, said it was I was a highly respected lawyer, the best in the field, and they would happily allow me to transfer to represent them in New York. Well, not to brag or anything, but I hadn't lost a single case. Not one.
"Here you go, sweetheart." I said putting the plate on the small coffee table. "Eat up. We have a busy day today."
"Well since its mami's day off I thought we could go and find you a nursery. You want a make some friends?" I asked, smiling when he began to eat, well lick, his food whilst nodding his head to the question. "Great, let's do that then."
I have to say, I'm a pretty lucky woman. My life wasn't exactly terrible, aside from the whole losing my best friend thing. Yes, I didn't exactly have any friends in New York to talk to, but I had Dylan and that was something. I have a successful career, a family who love me and a few close friends who I could call whenever. Speaking of which, one was calling right now. What good timing, right?
"Finn. What do I owe the pleasure?" I asked, holding the cell between my ear and shoulder. "I hope you realize what time it is."
"Hey. I actually care about you, believe it or not, no matter what time it is." Finn assured. "I hope you know that Rachel and I are here for you. Ever since you left after Puck's funeral you've not spoken to anyone. We are all worried about you."
I rolled her eyes. "I'm fine, Finn. Yes, I left after he died because I lost the closest person in my life and I could not cope staying there with all the bad memories that were being brought up. I needed a new start leaving behind everything in Lima."
"I know you guys were best friends but I was best friends with him too. I needed someone to talk to who knew him as well as I did. I needed you to talk to, Santana."
I began to get irritated. I hated talking about this and now Finn was trying to get me to. "Will you stop it? Everyone thought he was a Lima loser but I knew different. He was sweet, caring and after we slept together he stayed the night."
"No. You wanted to talk about him so let's talk about him. Let's talk about how everyone misjudged him and how he was actually a good father. How just driving back from work, working to provide for his son, killed him; ending his life at only 20. How about we talk about that?!" I vented, panting once I finished.
"Okay, okay I understand." Finn whispered, pausing for a few seconds. "He told me about how you both slept together because you wanted your first time to be with someone who cared about you."
"I need to go." I mumbled, wiping my eyes. "I'll talk to you later."
I didn't let him finish before I hung up the phone instantly. Why did he insist on bringing up bad memories? Shaking my head I tried to forget about that so I decided to sit and watch Dylan. Hopefully the rest of the day would be a whole lot better than it had been so far.
"Sweetie, please stop running off."
Dylan was pulling on his arm trying to get it free from my grip whilst we walked into the studio. After walking around a few nurseries, I decided on looking around this dance studio. Luxurious Dance Studio was a highly recommended studio which was the first thing I noticed when I did my research. After noticing Dylan dancing to a few songs when we were in the car listening to the radio or watching TV I thought him joining a dance studio would be a good idea. Walking in we were greeted with a huge reception area, very bright actually, with an area to the left which looked like a nursery of some sort. A nursery in a dance studio? Is that normal? Above the reception area in large lettering was the dance studio's name along with a hierarchy of staff. The top of the hierarchy was the owner and manager of the place and the further down it went, the less important the staff were. It was a harsh way to see things but it was true. Each doorway had a rainbow above it, even if she didn't understand it, the signification must mean something happy. Rainbow's are happy after all, and it did compliment the place extremely well.
"You can let him go. It's okay." A soft voice assured me from somewhere behind me. "Our security system is impeccable, so no child can get out."
Turning around I was greeted by a gorgeous blonde haired woman whom I recognized instantly as Brittany Pierce. She still looked exactly like I remembered her back in high school. Blonde hair, blue eyes, amazing figure with an unforgettable smile. Whenever I saw her around school I always remembered Brittany smiling. She was a happy person from what I remembered and it didn't seem as though that had changed. Turning my head towards the hierarchy board, I looked at the very top of the chart.
BRITTANY SUSAN PIERCE
"Looks pretty impressive, right?" The woman beside me said with a smile. Glancing in her direction, I gave her a small smile. Pretty impressive was a phrase I would use. I watched Brittany hold her hand out which I took instantly shaking it. "Brittany Pierce. But, you knew that already, didn't you?"
"Yeah." Santana nodded her head putting her hands into her jean pockets. "Yes, I recognized you. We went to school together."
Faced me, Brittany clicking her fingers before pointing in my direction. "That's why I thought I had seen you before! You went to McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio."
I nodded my head before turning to notice Dylan sat with a book in his hand making me smile. "Yeah, yeah I did. I do not regret leaving Lima though."
"I think everyone who left Lima is happy they got out." Brittany agreed folding her arms noticing Dylan, who I was watching myself. "Is he yours?"
I nodded my head kneeling down when Dylan ran up to me with a book in his hands. Even at home, he loved books and often sat there for ages just looking through each one. I remember that when I was a child I was the exact same and it made me proud to see him doing the same thing. Even now I noticed he was quite intellectual. For example, he was good at running, speaking and had even got some numbers under his belt too.
"Car." Dylan stated pointing to the book with his back against my stomach. "Lellow car."
I ran my fingers through his hair. "That's right, honey."
Before I could say another word, he ran off again allowing me to stand up straight beside Brittany who was watching him just like me. It was weird talking to someone I used to have a massive crush on, but I'd grown up. I was now an adult with responsibilities. Everyone moves in different directions after high school and feelings change. People you were close with in high school become people you knew and most of the time you don't hear from most of them again. It was actually sad when you think about it. Brittany was probably the one person I knew who didn't seem to change. She looked and acted exactly the same.
"What did you name him?" The blonde asked glancing in my direction, before looking back at the young boy.
"Dylan. Dylan Thomas. I chose his first name and his father chose the second."
"Are you still with his father?" Brittany asked in curiosity. "Sorry if I'm being nosey."
"You are, but it's okay." I responded with a smile. "No, I'm not with his father. It was more of a one night stand. I was friends with him, close friends actually. He died a few months back in a car accident so it's just me."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"It's okay. I'm actually a lesbian. It's a funny story when I think back." I started to explain with a chuckle folding my arms. "I wanted my first time to be with someone I trusted so I asked him if we could have sex. Of course, he was completely shocked by the request but he agreed. I ended up pregnant since we forgot to use protection, but at the end of the day the guy gave me Dylan and I will always be grateful for that."
I couldn't help but notice the atmosphere of the building was just so...happy. Calm. The colors just gave the building a blissful feel which was perfect for families and children. It was probably why Brittany decided to design the building this way. Or she just decided on the colors since she likes them. Not everything needs an explanation at the end of the day. Wow, I never thought I would think that myself. I was brought out of my thoughts when Brittany turned to face me directly.
"Are you here to enroll him for classes?" Brittany asked curiously. "Or are you just looking around at the moment?"
"I am looking to enroll him in classes and I can see you have a nursery too." I pointed out, motioning towards the area where the nursery was. "I want him to make friends, that's the main goal here. If he's going to grow up in New York, which is what I want, then I want him to have friends here."
Brittany pressed her lips together before nodding. "I totally agree. I grew up in Lima and was there from when I was born up to the age of 18 which was when I moved away for college and I think growing up somewhere, with the same house and people I mean, is important for a child's development. I can give you the paperwork to look at if you like."
"That would be great. Thank you, Miss Pierce." I stated with a smile watching Brittany walk away towards a door which had a plaque with golden lettering upon it with her name. It looks better than my office door at work, that's for sure.
I walked around the reception area before noticing there were three doors, excluding the main entrance and Brittany's office, within the area. One to the left of the reception desk, another to the west of the area and the final door was to the east. Brittany's office door was in the corner near the main entrance. Walking towards the door to the left of the reception desk, I got closer reading the lettering on the door.
MAIN DANCE STUDIO
Looking inside, I gasped noticing just how big the studio was. It looked like any studio except for the fact that there was a stage at the far end of the room. It was as though there were two parts to the room; practice and perform. How the hell was that even possible? Looking at the area just from outside there had to be an occupancy of at least 100 people at one time. The room looks like it wa used for advanced dance classes as well as all performances. I'm pretty impressed, to say the least. A hand rested on top of my shoulder making me jump in surprise. I turned around.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you."
Shaking my head with a small smile, I put my hands into my pockets. "It's okay. Did you know Australia has over 10,000 beaches? You could visit a new beach everyday for over 27 years."
Pressing her lips together, I noticed Brittany smile. "That's pretty interesting. I mean, it's not exactly relevant right now, but it's a pretty cool fact."
"I know I always seem to blurt facts out when I'm either startled or nervous. Anyway, are those the papers?"
"Oh yeah! This is the application form for the studio. We do have a waiting list, quite a large one, but I'll still take it if you want him here." Brittany stated handing me the paperwork. "Just fill it all out and hand it back to Tina at reception. She'll sort everything out for you."
"Thank you, Miss Pierce." I said in gratitude. "Thank you for the application."
"It's okay. Also, please, call me Brittany. Miss Pierce is what my business associates call me and I'm still not comfortable with it."
Chuckling, I nodded. "Brittany, it is."
I felt a tug on my leg to see Dylan standing there with his arms up in the air whining. Smiling, I picked him up before putting the paperwork into my bag so it was somewhere safe. I noticed Brittany look at him with a soft smile. Well she must like kids if she owned a studio where there were a lot of children throughout the day.
"How about I show you round?" Brittany offered glancing at the ground before raising her head to look at me once again. "I can show you all the facilities we offer."
"I appreciate the offer; however, we have places to be. I'm sure you have something useful to be doing." I responded walking towards the door before turning back around. "Thank you though. It was lovely to see you again."
Smiling, Brittany nodded shaking my hand once again just like she did earlier on. "It was a pleasure to see you too, Santana. Come by anytime."
"Bye bye!" Dylan shouted whilst we walked towards the door, waving with a wide grin on his face.
Chuckling I looked back towards Brittany noticing her raised her hand waving back at him. "Bye Dylan. See you soon."
I walked out of the studio onto the street. Well, that wasn't something I was expecting at all. How was that even possible? The last thing I heard, Brittany was off to college on a full scholarship and now she's in New York with her own dance studio? Was this a good thing? Should I allow myself to get close to her? Let someone get to know me again? No. No, it was not a good idea. I will end up getting hurt yet again and logically speaking, I couldn't let that happen. I have to protect myself. Protect my son. Yeah, that's what I meant to say. If I get close to Brittany and allow myself to get close to her I could get hurt. No. It was not a good idea. Okay, maybe I am over thinking things right now. I have only spoken to the blonde for the first time today. For the first time in what, three years? Yeah, I am totally overreacting. I've been told this before. It was one of the negative effects of being intelligent. I think about stuff wa-hay too much.
Turning around, I was surprised to see Brittany jogging towards me. Did I leave something at the studio?
"Brittany? Did I leave something behind? I do that sometimes." I admitted bouncing Dylan slightly in my arms.
Putting her hands on her hips, Brittany chuckled before shaking her head. "No, no, I actually have a question."
"Well you do not need my permission to ask a question."
Brittany chuckled again smiling at the ground before looking up once again. "I know."
Raising my eyebrow, I leaned forward slightly awaiting an answer when the blonde stayed quiet. "Well?"
"Right! This may be weird since we only really met today at my studio, but I can't help myself. I was just wondering...can I have your number?"
My eyes widened instantly. Shit.
Chapter 2: Santana
Throughout high school, I was one of the most intelligent students in the school, if not the most intelligent. All the classes I did, aside from gym, were AP classes. Students either hated me for it or tried to do better than me, even though they clearly failed. I graduated with a 4.0, however, what most people didn't know was I was also studying for my Law degree whilst in high school. Yes, it hardly ever happens, however, Principal Figgins thought since I was considered a genius I would be smart enough for college work early on. I remember all the channels I was put through to make sure I knew what career she wanted, even though I always knew what I wanted to do, so after a meeting in freshman year I ended up doing both my high school and college work. I hadn't heard of anyone else in the past doing what I did which made me feel pretty special actually. Yes, I might not have had much of a social life, but I did well. It was a complicated process but I'll explain the basis of what happened. Technically I didn't end up going to college since I did all the work needed throughout high school, which was sent by the top ivy league school in the United States. Columbia University; situated within New York. Once a year the university paid for me to be sent to New York for the exams and to talk to Law faculty about how I was doing. They were impressed with me every time I went. I ended up graduating from Columbia, without even attending that much, with a GPA of 4.33 which definitely impressed my entire family. I didn't really have friends to impress back then, however, Puck still congratulated me. After leaving high school I was lucky enough to get an internship at the law firm in Lima who happily took me when they saw that I did both my Law degree and high school work all within four years. No one had seen anything like it, so they took me on and I ended up working there full time. Difficult to get your head around, right? It confused everyone when I tried to explain.
Throughout the internship, I got along with most people, but never once did I go out with them outside work. It wasn't that I didn't feel comfortable or anything; I just thought work life should stay within the workplace. Like colleagues, for example, should remain colleagues instead of friends. I'm pretty lucky that I got an opportunity to gain experience at an actual Law Firm, especially one as good as Travis & Parker Ltd. It was named after the founders Philip Travis and Zackary Parker. I researched quite a bit before applying for the firm so I had excellent knowledge about the place. Lucky for me I have a photographic memory. It always helped with revising since I could look at a page and remember every word on it. It was also how I was able to survive doing the law degree and high school work all at once. It was one of the things I hated about myself too.
I couldn't stop reciting what happened with Brittany in the street before I left to look around other places. I remembered exactly what happened in that moment. How when I walked away Brittany watched her every move, how I stepped with my right foot instead of my left and how I couldn't stop the smile form on my face when I made the decision to give Brittany my number. Everything was remembered perfectly like a photograph was taken and I was looking at it explaining what I could see. Since earlier on when I had seen Brittany, I looked around a few more nurseries to try and find a place for my son to enjoy, however, every place I had gone to, my son hadn't seemed as relaxed as he had been at Luxurious Dance Studios. I tried to get him relaxed but it was as though the place Brittany owned was the place he had chosen before I had. Of course, I always believed that Dylan choosing where he was going to be was the best idea, I always hoped in some way that it wasn't going to be Brittany's studio. After what happened when Brittany caught up with me that day, I tried to avoid filling out that application form. But was her studio the best place to be? It seemed that way since Brittany had mentioned herself that she was happy to bump Dylan up the waiting list just for me. Was that fair, though? Many other parents were waiting for a place; however, I am young and need a place at the studio so I could work and provide for Dylan. Brittany had written her number down and handed it to me after all, so I could literally just pick up the phone and call her. However, I tried to ignore the nagging feeling in the back of my mind.
Currently, I was sat on a bench watching Dylan play in the sandpit. There were a few other children there and Dylan was quite a friendly child so he was happy to sit and play with other children. He was good at sharing too so he was content to share everything he had in his possession with the other children. I knew I had raised him well if that was who he was as a person. Proud was definitely a word that came to mind. Ever since Noah had gone, I had raised him by myself and it wasn't exactly easy. I always had my parents to help out, however, with them in Lima I couldn't exactly just call them to babysit. I was alone with no one to talk to in retrospect since I didn't really have any friends in New York. All my friends were elsewhere, nonetheless, I had been told by Rachel that she and Finn were thinking about moving out here which would be good since I would have some friends to see instead of just being in the apartment all the time. I wouldn't feel so alone. With that thought in mind, I felt a vibration against my leg. Taking my phone out I saw my mother was calling. Well, it wasn't exactly unusual for mami to call but I still wasn't expecting her to.
"Hola, Mami." I greeted once I answered. "What do I owe the pleasure?"
"Just calling to see how you and Dylan are doing," Mami responded, causing me to smile. "How are you both doing? Have you found a daycare for him to attend yet?"
"Not yet but I think he has one in mind. It's a lovely place with a daycare within the dance studio and everything is included. The owner even said she would bump me up the list just so he could attend. "I explained biting my lip remembering the message Brittany had written on the note she gave me. "It's a lovely sentiment, however, what about all of the other families wanting their kids there?"
"Well, there's no harm in allowing Dylan to try it. I know you, quite well as a matter of fact, so I also know you need this for Dylan. If you don't hand in that application and someone else gets the place, then you might not find somewhere that he likes. Think of yourself for once."
"Yeah, I know, mami. There's one problem, though." I admit, getting some water out when Dylan moves in my direction leaning against my leg holding up his hand. Smiling, I undo the cap handing the water to him. "The owner is Brittany Pierce."
"Brittany Pierce? The 'high school crush' Brittany Pierce?"
Chuckling I nod before realizing she can't see me. "The very same one."
"And she is still living, why?" Mami asked, with a stern tone.
Crap. I completely forgot my parents never liked Brittany when we were in high school. "You do realize Brittany never bullied me in high school, right? It was all her friends. Plus, she was two years ahead of me in school."
"She never stopped them, Santana. To me, that still counts."
Sighing I knew my mother had a point. It was true, Brittany never did stop the bullying that occurred when I was at McKinley but the one thing I always noticed was Brittany never joined in. In fact, I remember a moment in the bathroom in my sophomore year when I had just got one of my many morning slushy facials, however, this particular day was different.
- 2011 -
I rushed into the toilets as quickly as I could with the sound of everyone's laughter ringing in my ears. Every single day I went through the same damn thing. Karofsky had yet again thrown another slushy into my face and I'm sick of it after going through the same thing day in and day out for a year and a half. I wasn't even doing anything to bother him either which was what pissed me off the most. All I was doing was putting books away so I could get ready to join my friends outside for some lunch, but no. He was obnoxious, self-centered and let's not forget how he was just so damn jealous because I was out of the closet happy with myself, whereas he was stuck so far in Narnia there was no chance of him getting out anytime soon. Yeah, that's right, David Karofsky was indeed gay. Not that I was about to tell anyone of course, however, he was really starting to push my buttons.
Taking hold of some paper towels I began to soak them to wipe the slushy off of my face when a pale hand rested on top of mine. I wasn't used to having someone actually care about me and since my friends were outside it wasn't any of them. Without a word being said I felt myself being lead to a seat, which was odd since there wasn't usually any laying about, with a hand pushing my head back slightly to allow the person to clean the slushy from my face. It was a pretty considerate gesture since everyone usually kept their distance, however, I allowed the stranger to help me anyway. God knows I needed it.
"You shouldn't worry about David." The stranger, who I recognized was a girl with the voice of an angel, spoke out into the silence between us. "He's got personal stuff going on, that's all."
I scoffed. "I really don't care. He's been doing this to me for a year and a half now, and I'm so damn sick of it."
It felt lovely to have someone else help you. Usually, I was in the toilets for a good half an hour, but I felt the drink already being washed away from my skin making me feel less sticky by the second. It was fantastic. I felt my eyes start to clear up so I reached up rubbing the water from them and looked up to see Brittany Pierce. She was a senior, Captain of the Cheerleading Squad, Senior Class President as well as the lead runner for Prom Queen. Well, it's safe to say that this girl had everything going for her. Maybe that's why she was helping me; to get more votes for her campaign.
"Felt sorry for me, did you?" I snarled rolling my eyes. "Want more votes for Prom Queen? Is that what this is about?"
I heard the blonde haired girl above me sigh. "You know I am a decent person, whether you believe it or not. I saw you in trouble and I wanted to lend a hand. Not everything I do is for personal gain."
"That's bullcrap. I know you aren't as mean as your friends, but you are still one of the bitchiest people I know, behind Quinn Fabray." I snapped sitting up taking the towel from the side wiping my face. "What do you want?"
"I don't want anything from you. Like I said, I just wanted to lend a hand." Brittany repeated with a sigh, running her fingers through her hair. "I'm sorry you think that of me. I don't intend to come across like that."
Nodding my head, I stood up. Frankly even I would admit that my attitude was uncalled for. Brittany had only just come in to help me, and here I was treating Brittany as though she had been the one to throw the drink in my face. Shaking my head, I handed the towel back to the blonde with a small smile.
"I'm sorry. I didn't...I'm not used to popular people, such as yourself, being kind to me. I know you were just trying to help."
"I was, but I understand," Brittany said with a small smile wiping the pair of glasses she had in her hand with her jacket, before taking a step forward placing them back onto my face. "There. Now you can see me properly."
"Where did you find these?" I asked in surprise, finally being able to see the girl clearly. I had struggled to find her way to the bathroom without them and somehow Brittany had them in her hand.
"Outside your locker on the floor. David knocked them off your face." Brittany said in a soft tone. "Don't let people like that get you down."
Shaking my head, I sighed. "They might be your friends, Brittany, but they hate me."
"They hate you because you're going places. They might be my friends; however, I don't agree with their reasoning."
"Then why don't you stop them?" I questioned folding my arms. "If you don't agree with what they are doing then why do you allow people to get bullied every day?"
"Because if I tried to stop it I would make everything so much worse for all of you," Brittany responded honestly, walking towards the door before turning back, getting a Cheerios top from her bag and throwing it in my direction, which I caught in my hand. "You'll need that."
I stood there in shock. First Brittany helped her get clean, told her the reason behind her actions (which she didn't even have to do as a matter of fact), and now she was allowing me to borrow a top from her? What was going on right now?
"When should I give this back to you?"
Brittany smiled. "Keep it. I have a ton at home."
Without another word, Brittany Pierce left the bathroom leaving me stunned in her wake. Did that really just happen? Shaking my head in disbelief, I changed my top throwing my jacket over the top of it before walking out of the bathroom moving in the direction of the football field. I definitely had some things to talk about with my friends.
- Present Day -
"Mija? Mija, are you still there?"
I was currently sat staring into her space when my son, who was pulling on my jeans, and my mother, who was talking nonstop through the phone, brought me back into reality. It was true; I knew how good of a person Brittany was when we were in school together but my mother never did like her. I actually have no idea why since they hadn't even met before, but I knew only a personal meeting would change her mind and that was not about to happen anytime soon. Pulling Dylan onto my lap I noticed that it was starting to drizzle a little.
"Yeah, I'm still here, but I have to go. It's starting to rain and I really need to get us somewhere dry. I'll call you, though, I promise." I promised my mother before putting Dylan into his pushchair whilst holding the phone between my shoulder and ear. "I love you. I'll speak to you soon."
"Okay, honey, I love you too. Speak soon."
Hanging up the phone I made my way to the nearest dry spot which, at this particular time, was a small cafe just around the corner from Central Park down Fifth Avenue. It was a cafe which looked like it had been there for a good few years. Stepping inside I walked up to a table sitting down but not before taking my coat off and sitting Dylan in one of the highchairs provided. Lucky for us we got inside before it started to throw it down with rain. Good timing on our behalf. Looking around I noticed how even though the cafe had been in the same place for a long time, the new owners made it more modern. The seats were comfy with cushions on every seat, the tables came with a table cloth on the top and a menu in the middle of the table along with sauces and what made it perfect was the fact that there was even an area for you to just sit and read if you wanted to just keep out from the rain. There were a group of teenagers over in that area currently, reading what looked liked to be English Literature. Must be a study group of some sort.
"Hi, there! What can I get for you?" A waitress asked who came up and surprised me making me jump in surprise. Why do people find the need to sneak up on people? It's a tad rude for one. Great, now here comes a useless fact.
"Did you know that your body produces 25 million new cells each second? Every 13 seconds, you produce more cells than there are people in the United States of America." I stated before pressing my lips together looking down at the floor in embarrassment. "Uh, a coke would do me fine thanks."
The waitress chuckled writing down the order in her notepad. "A coke it is."
I watched the waitress walk away before getting out the same bottle of water I had given Dylan earlier on at the park, handing it back to him which he took gratefully. Shaking my head, I had no idea why I came out with facts about anything when I became nervous or startled but it started from when I was younger. As a child, I read a lot of books which included fact books that I found laying around the house, and with my photographic memory, a lot of facts were lodged in my memory without being forgotten. So now whenever I got nervous or scared I started blurting them out and there was a lot of information stored up there.
"Here's your coke, miss." The waitress said putting the coke down on the table in front of me. "Anything else for you?"
I shook her head giving the woman a small smile before looking down at my drink sipping it through the straw I was given waiting for her to walk away before looking up again. It wasn't that I got nervous around women often, well okay maybe that bit was true, but I just...I wasn't used to the women in New York yet. It wasn't my fault that the women were very attractive around here and that I couldn't talk to any of them without making a fool out of myself like I just had. Like anyone would, I blame my parents. If it wasn't for them having such an intelligent and gifted daughter maybe I could have been normal and had the ability to talk to people, but no. I had to have the intelligence part instead. Plus, to make matters worse, I wouldn't be able to forget this moment due to my memory being so damn good.
Looking outside the rain had died down a little, however, it was still quite heavy. New Yorkers were rushing down the sidewalk in both directions trying to get where they needed to. The amazing thing about New York was even when it rains the place still looks as beautiful as when the sun is shining. It was as though nothing could make it look bad. It was what fascinated Santana about the place. Well, and the fact that this was one of the largest places in the USA to live. Many people only dreamed of living here whereas I actually made it. It was a pretty decent place at the end of the day. Yes, it had negatives such as the high crime rate, but I never went near the bad areas anyway. I got enough warnings from my parents as it is.
I turned my head and noticed Dylan pointing out the window. Maybe he just liked the rain? Nonetheless, I turned my head and saw a couple of people I didn't think she'd see. Marley and Jake? Weren't the both of them supposed to be in California? Jake had mentioned before Noah's funeral about taking over his business to feel close to him since they never really had a lot of time together when he was alive. Why on Earth would they be in New York? It wasn't as though I had spoken to them either, so it was my fault if they had moved here without my knowledge. Still, how would Dylan recognize them? He more than likely just saw the picture in the living room. I highly doubt the pair of them would think to look in the cafe anyway, and since it was raining I wasn't about to go prancing outside just to say hi. I would just see them another time.
Looking up I was met with the both of them looking at her with smiles on their faces. How did they get inside so quick?
"Marley? Jake? Oh, my god, it's so great to see you both." I expressed happily hugging the both of them before taking my seat yet again. "How are things? I thought you were both in California, with Jake taking over Noah's business."
Jake sighed moving his hand over his head. "I know, however, I changed my mind. Don't get me wrong we were getting quite good money, but after a joint decision we decided to move here instead."
"Why would you do that?"I asked out of curiosity. "California is beautiful."
Jake put his hands in his pockets shrugging his shoulders. "Honestly? I wanted to get to know my nephew better."
Marley put her arms around his arm before kissing his cheek which made me smile. Out of everyone in their year I knew Marley and Jake were a couple that were going to make it. I knew ever since Jake told me about how he ignored Bree's advances towards him during Junior year. He actually waited a long time before the both of them got a physical relationship, still, Jake had explained that it was worth the wait. As you can imagine, Bree was furious.
"You could have called, Jake. I want him to get to know you."
"I know, San. I just thought you needed some time to get to know New York." Jake responded before motioning his head towards Dylan. "Can I?"
I nodded, allowing Jake to move towards Dylan picking him up whilst Marley sat across from me, leaving Jake to bond with his Nephew. She hadn't changed all that much since I saw her at the funeral six months ago - it wasn't like it had been that long but then again, six months was half a year. So, technically, six months was a long time.
"How have you been?" Marley asked putting her hand on top of mine, giving me a look of concern. "We've all been worried about you."
Shrugging my shoulders, I had no clue what to say. How have I been really? Happy? Sad? Distressed? Getting through life as it comes? Yup, probably all of them actually but did I really want to tell my friends that I'd been struggling? Of course, not. They would just worry and that was the last thing I wanted.
"I've been alright. Dylan has been a handful, but I've always got friends and family on the other end of the phone if I need them. I'm grateful for that; I really am."
I watched whilst Marley nodded her head, but I knew the brunette didn't believe me and, frankly, I didn't believe one single word I was saying either. I had struggled and pushed all the feelings to the back of my mind. To be perfectly honest I didn't want to think about all this. About how all I wanted was a friend to talk to when I was struggling with everything; Dylan, Noah and the stress which was taking over slowly. I would never say anything, of course, however, the amount of pressure I was under right now was just...overwhelming. With work and raising a young boy, it was becoming increasingly difficult and I wouldn't tell anyone but there were nights where I couldn't do anything but break down completely. I just couldn't tell anyone.
"Now, how have you hidden this little one away from me for so long?" Jake asks, holding Dylan up in the air above him whilst the young Hispanic toddler giggled before holding him sensibly once again. "He is just the cutest little thing. Definitely, has the Puckerman genes."
Chuckling, Marley and I both nodded in agreement. I actually never realized until I saw Dylan next to an actual Puckerman. When Noah was alive, I didn't really take notice, but now he was next to Jake I couldn't help but notice how they had the same nose, mouth and facial shape. It was scary how much they looked alike as a matter of fact.
"Babe, put Dylan down before you hurt him, which you know you'll end up doing if you don't stop," Marley warned giving her boyfriend a stern look after he began to lift Dylan into the air again. "I am not paying for another hospital bill."
"That was an accident and you know it!"
"I know. I just love teasing you about it." The brunette responded with a giggle standing up kissing him softly on the lips before taking Dylan from him and putting him in the highchair once more. "You behave like a child sometimes."
"I do not! I'm a total badass." Jake defended folding his arms showing off his muscles a little which caused Marley and I to roll our eyes. Typical Puckerman behavior. "Have you seen these muscles? I don't just wake up like this, you know."
"Oh, I know that more than anyone," Marley said, making me chuckle. "Anyway, we have to head off, but call me. Here, I'll even write down our address so you can pop over at some point."
Marley took out a bit of paper from her bag writing down the address before putting it down on the table. I watched the way the two of them acted towards each other. Arms around each other, kissing each other every so often and let's not forget the loving gaze they send one another. I'm definitely happy for them, however, I wish I had someone to be that way with. It was very sad but I hadn't technically kissed anyone before. Well, Noah pecked me on the lips occasionally but we never kissed properly and I hadn't kissed anyone else that way either. No one knew apart from Noah and he was gone now so he literally took that secret to the grave. Okay, that was horrible to say. The point was none of my friends knew nor my family. I didn't want to seem as though I was some kind of inexperienced loser, especially to all my friends. Watching the both of them walk out of the cafe, I noticed the rain had stopped. Looking outside at the weather actually gave me some perspective on the whole daycare situation. Smiling, I took out one of the application forms along with a pen and began to fill it in. What was that saying? No time like the present? Well, it sounds right so I'll go with it.
Walking through the doors the brightness of the entrance lifted my spirits up. Dylan was asleep currently which was a shame since he loved the place last time he came. Walking up to the reception area I stopped, reaching into my bag getting the form out I filled out earlier on before ringing the bell. If this were my office and the receptionist wasn't there I wouldn't be a happy lady, but it wasn't so I would have to deal with the absence of her for now. I leant against the front of it noticing the daycare children were out playing. I don't think I could see one child that didn't look like they were enjoying themselves. That had to be a good sign, right?
"Sorry! Sorry, I was in a meeting with the business owner." The receptionist spoke out taking a seat in her chair behind the reception area. "What can I do for you?"
I shook my head giving the receptionist a smile. "Don't worry, I wasn't even waiting long. I was just here to drop this application form off."
"Oh! Well, I'll let you know the protocol for Luxurious Dance Studio. We-" The receptionist began before a familiar voice cut me off.
"Now now Tina, allow me to take this one." A familiar voice spoke out walking towards me with a smile. Brittany. "Shall we take this to my office?"
Shrugging my shoulders, I followed the blonde to her office. It was weird being inside as though I was in trouble or something being sent to the principal's office. That was how it felt but that was due to how massive the room was. Brittany's desk was on the far side of the room with a plaque on the desk with her name on it, you know, like you see on the Principle's desk in school. This one, however, looked really cool. Golden as a matter of fact. There was enough room for a desk, two chairs, a couch, coffee table, mini fridge as well as a TV on the wall. Sounds good, right? Well, it certainly looks impressive.
"Couch or desk?" Brittany asked motioning to each one. "Some prefer professional whereas others prefer personal so it's up to you."
I blushed a little. "You're making it sound like we're going to have sex or something."
Brittany let out a small laugh. "Sorry, I don't mean to come across that way. I have a girlfriend if it makes you feel better."
'Girlfriend? Well, that's a letdown.' I thought to myself before smiling at the blonde in front of me. "That's great news. Have you been together long?"
"Two years this month actually. She's really great; you should meet her sometime."
"Um, isn't that more of a friends’ thing?" I asked raising an eyebrow making the decision to sit on the couch after pushing Dylan to face it. "I'm just a customer."
Brittany shrugged her shoulders in a non-caring manner. "I knew you in school. You seemed pretty cool back then."
Brittany joined me on the couch laying one leg over the other resting her hand on her knee. How is it possible for her to still look sexy? Crap, I thought these thoughts had gone away!
"You are still the same person, only older. Now I don't do this for just anyone so please don't take it lightly."
Okay, now I'm confused. "What do you mean? Don't take what lightly?"
"Santana, I would like to offer your son the full package. No payment is required. That includes daycare, dancing lessons as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for five days a week. We don't open on weekends, I'm afraid. But he still gets everything during the week."
I was stunned. Brittany was actually offering me a full week's worth of daycare which included food throughout the day? Okay, wait just one second! Why did Brittany ask for my number if she was in a relationship? Who even does that? Was she messing with me or something? Okay, okay this is about Dylan. Focus!
"Everything? Are you sure about this?" I asked for confirmation to make sure I wasn't dreaming. "Brittany, I am fully capable of paying the bills myself."
I noticed Brittany's lips form into a smile. "I know, but this is me offering you the chance to have free daycare so the money you earn is to go on everything else that you can't get for free."
I didn't have a clue what to say. Yes? No? Give me a week to think about it? Maybe I was getting special treatment since we knew each other? No, Brittany is a kindhearted human being. She is probably doing this just to be nice. However, it is a lot just to be given for free. God, damn it, what am I supposed to do?
"So," Brittany spoke up after a few minutes of silence, "what do you say, Santana? Are you in?"
Looking from Dylan to Brittany and back again, I took a breath nodding my head before smiling.
Chapter 3: Brittany
When I moved to New York I had no idea what I was going to accomplish whilst I was here. It actually all began whilst I was in college after I left school. I had been offered a full scholarship to the University of Louisville, however, I realized not long after starting that it wasn't for me. Don't get me wrong they had a fantastic cheerleading squad, the people were lovely and the campus itself was just fantastic. After a while, though it became boring and it felt like high school once again. I couldn't deal with that so I left and made my way to New York and I haven't regretted the decision since. I moved to New York when I was nineteen and it wasn't long after I moved that I began to make my dream about opening up my own dance studio come true. Ever since I was a little girl I had always loved dancing and even though I got taught how to dance at a young age, not many children were as lucky as me. I wanted to share my gift of dance with as many people as I could, so opening up a dance studio of my own would be a way of me to do that. I knew it wasn't an easy thing to do but I was looking forward to the challenge. As a matter of fact, the idea for the studio came to me in a dream. Yes, I know it sounds either clique or exactly like a movie but it's the truth. In the dream, I was walking down a long road that seemed never ending when there was a building in the distance upon the horizon. The building looked gorgeous from a distance and the closer I got to it the more beautiful it got. I actually didn't even get to look inside the building itself since I woke up, however, that dream was the beginning of something I didn't realize would be life changing. That same day I used the money I had in my savings account to buy an old studio I had seen up for sale which, after some work, transformed into Luxurious Dance Studios. It became popular very quickly and within two years it was the most successful studio in New York. So, as you can imagine, I got rich faster than I thought I would. People travelled from all across America just for a session with me or another dance instructor within the studio. This was due to the fact that I only work and employ the absolute best which is the reason it became so popular.
Even though I don't live with my family due to my parents and younger sister living in Lima, I have a girlfriend who stays with me on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, she lives with me quite a lot. Her name is Hollie Coleman who is around 5'4, brown eyes and long brown hair. We met three years ago, at a concert when I had just moved to New York and she just made my life so much easier from that moment. She got along with my family, friends and, the most important person, my twin sister, Bethany. She is the one person who means the most to me so, as you can imagine, her opinion means a great deal. She lives in Chicago with her fiancé, James. They met during college and, according to Bethany, it was love at first sight and before I could even give my opinion on the matter, the guy proposed and now here we are. They have been engaged for a year and a half with a six-month-old called Finley. I've only met him once which was when he was born. To be totally honest with you, I'm not a fan of Bethany's fiancé. It's just something about him that I find a little off. Yes, having a baby at the age of 22 isn't exactly uncommon in this day and age, however, Bethany had always said she wanted to wait until she was at least 25, but I guess when you get pregnant there isn't anything you can do. It sucks that I have to live apart from my twin sister since we were inseparable growing up but at the same time we both agreed it was nice to have time apart and grow individually.
At the moment, I live with my best friend, Quinn Fabray. We've known each other since middle school and we're still very close now. Since she has a boyfriend it isn't weird for her when Hollie stayed over for a few days without going home since her boyfriend did the same thing. She is dating this guy called Mike who is another close friend of mine. We grew up together since he lived down the street from me in Lima and we also went to the same dance classes. He was literally at the same level as me even though he was probably better than me now. During school, he took a break with the fact that he was part of the football team but from junior year he put all his dedication back into his dancing and now he is better than ever. He works for me at the studio and the classes he teaches are very popular. It's not exactly surprising really.
Every day I had to go through the fun part of the job and go through a ton of paperwork, Yes, I was being sarcastic. I knew that owning my own company would come with some negativities but everything you do does. For example; in life, you have relationships whether you are in one romantically or not. That person could be your whole world but you will still find a negative thing about them that you may not like. You just learn to deal with it as you love them. Same with anything you do. If you like something that much and are willing to put the effort in to keep it in your life, you learn to deal with the negativities. It's what I do on a daily basis.
"Brittany? Hollie is on line one for you."
"Okay thank you, Tina," I respond through the intercom before releasing the button and picking up the phone. "Hey, babe. What's up?"
"What's up is I haven't seen you in three days, Brittany!" Hollie snapped making me sigh. This happened all the time. It was why I didn't like talking about my relationship too much with people. "You do realize that my parents are coming over tonight, right? You need to be here by then!"
"I know Hollie! I have stuff I have to do here then I'll stop by mine to get dressed before coming over. I'll be there before your parents, I promise."
Literally, her parents only liked me being around Hollie because I was rich. Her father even told me himself by saying 'if you weren’t rich I wouldn't let you anywhere near my daughter. You are too much of a free spirit.' I mean, what does that even mean? How can being a free spirit be harmful? I have started thinking whether being with Hollie is even worth it anymore. She was so much fun when we started dating but now she was just, well, how do I put this nicely? Stuck up. She loved that I had so much money because she gets me to take her to expensive places. I really do regret telling her how rich I was. She only uses it selfishly now and brags to her friends how I'm rich. It's really changed her and I hate that. Okay, I know that I told Santana that she was great but if I didn't she would have asked why and that was bullshit that I didn't wanna get into.
"You better be here Brittany. It's not the first time that you've decided to just not show up."
"Because your parents are assholes, Hollie!" I snapped back feeling my anger build. I don't like yelling at people. honestly, it's not like me, but she just got me so wound up I couldn't help it. "You know for a fact they don't like me and any decent girlfriend wouldn't make me go and see them every time they come over. You make me see them every week so either they are forcing you to make me see them or you really don't give a shit about how I feel!"
"Brittany, I didn't know you felt that way."
"Don't lie, I know you knew how I felt about all of this. Change of plan, I'm not going to be there again so have fun seeing your parents!" I say before slamming the phone down hanging up on her running my fingers through my hair. A knock at the door made me lift my head up to see Tina stood there.
"Hey, I heard yelling and I wanted to check up on you."
I smiled before nodding my head sitting up straight in my chair. "Yeah, I'm good thank you. I apologize, I didn't mean to yell so loud."
"No, it's okay, but are you sure you're okay?" Tina asked with a look of concern on her face. "Your face is a little red."
I nodded my head in response. "Yeah, I'm alright. Let my class know I'll be there in five."
"Of course; I'm here if you need me, okay?"
"Thanks, Tina, I appreciate the sentiment."
After the door was closed I let out a sigh of relief. I wasn't one to upload my issues onto others which was the reason behind why my personal life was so personal. I didn't let others know when I was in pain since that meant talking to them and I couldn't do that. Looking at the time I got up and freshened myself up a little before walking out of the office. I had classes to teach and the students weren't going to get any better without me. I stepped into the studio.
"Okay, class I apologize for my lateness. Today I was thinking we could do a bit of free will. I want to see your favorite dance movements that you have been taught and put them into a routine for me. How does that sound?" I ask with a cheer from the class as a response. Okay well, find a spot in the studio and practice. You have fifteen minutes."
I didn't usually give students free will sessions since I enjoyed teaching everyone new moves and dance routines but after that phone call I needed a bit more time to get my head together and this was the best way to do it. I watched each of my students start to practice their routines and they all equally looked great but I was particularly impressed with Chloe's routine. She was one of my quieter students but she seemed to have impeccable listening skills since her routine looked quite complex but impressive. It was times like these where I was happy I took on this job as a teacher. I was always so proud when a student showed me what they had learnt from me. It really did make my day and just by seeing her practice it distracted me from my life's problems. Now I can finally focus.
"So, you actually told her you weren't going?" Quinn asked before laughing.
"I did as a matter of fact. Why? Didn't think I could do it?" I asked raising my eyebrow at my best friend whose laughter seemed to die down.
"I have never been more proud of you than right now." Quinn responded grinning. "You finally stood up to that bitch. Remind me again why you are still with her."
"I love her," I said before pressing my lips together in thought. "Well, I think I do. I've been with her almost two years which is the longest I've been with someone."
Quinn shook her head before tutting. "Brittany, she has treated you like shit ever since she found out you were rich. Why should you even give her the time of day? Need I remind you that she yelled at you for a solid half an hour when she found out you didn't tell her how much you were earning because of the studio. Now all she does is take your card and go shopping."
I couldn't deny that she was right because she was. I didn't tell anyone about how rich I was until I felt like they weren't going to treat me differently and I thought Hollie would be one of those people but apparently not. I really need to think clearly before allowing myself to open up to people.
"I just need to be careful who I trust," I mumbled before looking at my best friend, "now I think about it I meant to talk to you. Remember high school?"
Quinn groaned before nodding. "Please don't remind me of that school. I hated it as much as this conversation right now."
Laughing I nodded. "I know. But do you remember a girl called Santana?"
I watched Quinn's eyes widen before she spat out the water she had just put into her mouth spraying it all over my face. Yup, this was the girl who I was best friends with. I might need to put an ad out for a new best friend since that was just gross.
"Santana Lopez? Oh my god, I envy that woman! She did the impossible in high school! I heard she was doing both her high school and college work all within four years!" Quinn stated which made me gasp. I had no idea that was the same girl who I met a few days prior. "What about her?"
"She came into my studio a few days ago looking for a place for her son," I responded watching Quinn's eyes widen once again. "Apparently, Noah Puckerman was the father."
"Well she could have had better taste in men but her son must be adorable. Please let me meet her!"
"Friggin hell Quinn she ain't the queen!" I reminded her shaking my head. "No, I'm not using my job to allow you to meet a customer. Meet her yourself."
I laughed watching my best friend pout before grumbling to herself. "But I can't just walk up to her when she probably doesn't remember me."
"Then tough luck for you. She looks gorgeous now too. The years have been good to her." I commented before clearing my throat out of nerves. I have no idea why I just said that.
Quinn raised an eyebrow. "She's only twenty-one, Brittany. The way you said that was as though she was like thirty or something. "
"Well, I didn't mean for it to come out like that. I just meant that she looks good. Not that she hasn't always looked good because in school she was still pretty hot but you know what I mean. Why are you continuing to let me babble on like this?!" I asked annoyed at the fact that my best friend was just sat there laughing at me. "I hate you so much, Quinn Fabray."
"I just love seeing you like this," Quinn responded laughing loudly before letting herself calm down to talk. "Okay I didn't mean that but you have to admit if you saw me talking about someone like that you'd react the same."
Okay, she has a point. I did the same thing when she sat talking to me about Mike. I just couldn't ever help myself. It was nice to see her so in love though and I was so proud of her for taking this step with someone. Before Mike, I could never imagine her being with anyone but now look at her. She had been with Mike for a while now and she was really happy. I'm glad she has someone who loves her as much as she loves them. I envy her a little bit.
"I would, you're right," I admitted nodding my head fiddling with my fingers. " It's bad, isn't it? I mean...I'm with Hollie and I'm talking about Santana in that context; it's not right. I shouldn't be talking about Santana in any context aside from a customer. I even asked for her number."
"WHAT?" Quinn squealed happily hitting my arm in an excited manner. "As if you did that-"
"I know, I know. I already feel bad enough, Quinn. It was unprofessional and I shouldn't have even let it cross my mind in the first place."
Quinn hit my arm again but this time it was harder and let me tell you, it hurt. "No, you idiot! I am so proud of you."
I looked at my best friend in confusion. "Hang on. You're proud of me? But Hollie is-"
"I could not give a flying fuck who Hollie is right now," Quinn said looking at me with a smirk. "You totally pulled and you're not even in a night club!"
I shook my head in disbelief. The fact that I was friends with this human being astonished me at times. She had been my friend for years so she isn't one I want to get rid of personally.
"I did not pull Quinn Fabray. It wasn't as though I was flirting with her beforehand or anything to even indicate that I liked her." I explained shrugging my shoulders. "I know it may have looked odd when I asked for her number but I didn't have any bad intentions behind it. To be honest I didn't even think before I asked for her number."
Quinn smiled before dropping the conversation. I knew she wanted to ask further questions but she also knew her limit before I would snap so I was grateful she dropped the subject. I wasn't a cheater and I wasn't about to start now. Shaking my head, I decided to stand up and put our cups in the kitchen when Quinn's phone rang. I knew it was Mike so I left them to it. No one enjoyed listening in on a conversation they weren't included in. No? Just me then. I just found it rude and I wouldn't want someone doing that to me so I always left the room when someone picked up the phone. Sign of respect I guess. Plus, it saved them leaving the room themselves. My parents did the same thing when I was young so I guess I got the habit from them. Of all the habits, I could have picked up I'm glad I got this one.
After the cups were washed I heard my own phone ring from my room which I went to pick up seeing it was Bethany. Smiling I answered immediately. It had been a few weeks since we last spoke and from a twins point of view, it had hurt not hearing from her.
"Hey, Bubbles." I greeted with a smile. Okay so since the aged three we've had the same nicknames for each other. She was bubbles and I was Monkey as I was always such a climber of trees as a child. She was just really bubbly and that's where her name came from. Don't judge.
"Monkey! How are you doing?" She asked cheerfully. "I've missed you and since my afternoon was free I thought I'd give you a call to catch up."
Since she lived all the way in Chicago with her son and fiancé I didn't get to see her much and now even phone calls were starting to get less frequent and I know it killed the both of us but there wasn't anything either of us could do. We had different lives no matter how much we wanted to be together in the same city, it wasn't possible. Well, not right now anyway.
"Thanks for the call!" I responded with a smile laying back on my bed. "How are things?"
"Not bad thank you. Finley and James are both well and so am I. How is your love life going?"
I held in a groan. I did not wanna talk about this right now and I know she just wants to know about my life but my love life is the one thing I wanted to avoid during conversation. Can't get everything in life I suppose but I'll just be honest without it seeming like there are problems.
"Everything is fine thanks," I responded neutrally rolling my eyes. She's going to know.
"Well that's clearly a lie and I know for a fact you just rolled your eyes. What's going on? I thought you were happy with Hollie."
I let out a laugh. "Happy? Yeah, that's a word we could use, however, I would much rather we use the word…unsettled."
Bethany laughed. "Unsettled? What a word."
"Hey, I was on the spot give me a break," I responded with a laugh following hers. "To be honest, we've not been good for a while. She's been different ever since I told her I was rich."
"Dump the bitch. She doesn't deserve you." Bethany stated instantly making me smile. She always had my back. "I'll even do it for you if that's necessary and trust me, I'll enjoy doing it!"
Chuckling I shook my head in amusement. "Its okay I can handle myself, but thank you. I'll deal with it."
"I hope you do because you don't need someone who's only using you for money, Britt. You deserve better than that."
Sighing I nodded my head running my fingers through my hair. To be honest I hadn't thought of what to do. She's the first person I knew when I arrived here and to just leave the person who welcomed me doesn't seem right. I just feel like I owe her in some way but I also have self-respect and I do know I deserve better. I wasn't about to stay with someone who didn't respect me or love me the way I loved them. Like Quinn and Bethany said; I deserve better than that.
"I agree with you, I do." I began to say before I heard Finley starting to cry from her end of the phone. "Well, you better go then. Mothering duties and all that."
"I better do yes. Listen, James has a meeting he has to attend in New York next week so I was thinking Finley and I could come and stay with you whilst he's there. I miss you and it'll be nice for you to bond with your nephew." Bethany suggested a king the smile appear on my face once again. I tell you, she never fails. "How's that sound?"
"Amazing, I'll write you down on the calendar! See you next week. Love you."
I could tell she was smiling from the other end. How do I know? I just do, okay? "I love you too. Catch you later."
We hung up the phone and I sighed laying in the middle of my king size bed looking at the ceiling. Why was life so hard sometimes? I sat up holding my legs up with my arms looking around the room. I had some of Hollie's stuff here which wasn't gonna help me think so I decided on getting up and going for a run. What better way to clear your head.
Halfway through my run, I stopped to have a sip of water from my water bottle when I saw a familiar face that made my heart race standing with her arms folded watching a bunch of kids play at the park. Santana. I jogged over to the woman putting my hand on her shoulder when I was close enough which made her turn her head and beam at me. Fuck, this was not good.
"Hey, Brittany!" She greeted with a grin upon her face. Well, I have to say I haven't been greeted like that in some time and it felt…good. You have a girlfriend. You have a girlfriend. "Afternoon run?"
I shrugged with a small smile. "It's a nice day so I thought, why not? Where's Dylan?"
She pointed to the little boy playing in the sandpit beside the swings which caused a smile to form on my face. He's just so adorable I can't help myself. I'm pretty sure he's around the same age as Finley actually which could totally give me a reason to bring Santana round next week. I know I shouldn't and Hollie would kill me but I couldn't care less about her right now. I'll probably get back to a hundred voice messages of her yelling at me or something anyway.
"I have a nephew around the same age."
Santana turned her gaze towards me. "Really? I didn't know you had any siblings."
I nodded my head smiling at her. "I have two. A twin sister called Bethany and a thirteen-year-old sister called Taylor. Bethany lives in Chicago with her son and fiancé and Taylor lives with my parents in Lima."
"That's awesome! What's his name?"
"Finley Jacob Lawrence-Pierce. Bethany doesn't plan on taking his name completely when they get married so they've hyphenated his name." I explained when she looked at me in confusion. "She says she likes her last name and wants to keep it which is fair enough I think."
"Of course, it is." She said with smile before looking back at Dylan once again.
I couldn't help but stare at her. She's super sexy but most of all she's beautiful inside and out and I like that about her.
"Do you wanna maybe come over next week to meet Finley?" I asked nervously. "I think they'd get along quite well and you can meet Bethany."
Santana nodded her head. "I think that sounds wonderful. Let me know when she's in town and we can arrange something."
Damn, that was easier than I thought it would be. I thought I'd have to convince her and shit like that but nope not this time. I nodded grinning a little before wiping it from my face looking at the floor. It was hard to see how this girl was two years younger than me the way she acted but I liked that. To be honest, even if she didn't act mature I'd still like her. Woah, what? I don't like her. She's cool and everything but no. No, I'm not gonna admit that I like her. No.
"I have to…"
Santana nodded her head smiling a little. "Yeah, me too. We have to get back so I can get some work done."
"Right! I have a thing I need to get to" I responded motioning towards the street. "Finishing my run and all that."
Chucking she nodded her head again. "Okay, I'll see you soon. Call me."
I nodded too before running off in the opposite direction but not before flashing her a smile. Why did I get so nervous? I don't get nervous! Shaking my head, I finished my run before heading back to the apartment. I'll let my thoughts deteriorate there where no one can see me.
Chapter 4: Santana
Some days having a child can be the most delightful thing in the world, however, it's not always like that. For example; some mornings Dylan can really be a pain in the ass. This morning he woke me up really early, wouldn't eat his breakfast and now he doesn't want to get dressed. I have to drop him off at daycare this morning which makes it worse. I cannot be late to work. I have an important I must attend, so Dylan having a tantrum today had to be the worst timing. I didn't like yelling at him either so I usually just knelt down and spoke to him. He's quite intelligent, as you've seen, but he's still a child and when he doesn't want to do something, he has a tantrum. Sometimes it can be just a small one, however, sometimes they can be really bad. Usually, they happen in the supermarket in front of everyone. It's embarrassing, but he's my child and I always deal with it appropriately. There is nothing worse than seeing parents scream at their child in public. It's embarrassing and I don't believe yelling at a child does anything for them. It just makes them cry more. Dylan knows I don't shout so sometimes he tries pushing me to the limit, but even then, I stay calm. I feel as though it's the right way to deal with the situation.
It took a few minutes of me struggling but I did succeed in getting his clothes on before we got out of the door. It was a lovely sunny day today and where was I? Stuck in work. This would be the perfect weather to take him to the Zoo. He loves different animals and I have wanted to take him for a while, but whenever I get the time, it is usually raining. With his bag on my shoulder, we made our way to Brittany's studio enjoying the nice weather. He was carrying one of his toys just so he had something of his own to take with him. I knew it would help calm him down. I hadn't ever left him for a day with people I don't know before so it was going t be a struggle for me and him. Mostly me because I know I'll be worrying all day but I suppose you just have to deal with these things. He seemed to have calmed down on his own so he should be okay without me. Well, I'll give it until lunch then he'll know I'm not there.
I walked into the building writing his name down on the register at reception. I felt him wriggle so I let him down whilst I filled out the paperwork needed. Looking at the time I knew I couldn't stay long at all but I wanted to make sure he settled in okay. I couldn't just leave him; I'm his mother. I looked around trying to figure out where I was supposed to go when one of the women from the day care walked up to me.
"Good morning. Is there anything I can help you with?" The woman asked.
I sighed in relief before nodding. "Yes, please. My son starts today and I haven't got long before I need to be at work, so I really need to make settling him in as quick as possible. Also, I have no idea where I am supposed to put all of his things."
"Okay so if you come this way with me I'll show you where his peg is." The woman stated with a smile leading me to all the pegs outside the day care building. "Dylan Lopez, is it?"
"Yes, that's him," I responded with a smile putting his bag and coat onto his peg. "I'm sure you have my number on the system, however, I have left a list of contact details in the front pocket of the bag. He has everything in there that he needs. He takes a nap after he's had his lunch and a bottle of milk but it's all in there."
"Of course. We'll take good care of him." She assured me but how was I supposed to know that? That's my son and I only have one. I don't want him getting hurt here. "He is going to be safe here. Our staff are handpicked by Brittany herself. We all know what we're doing."
I nodded my head before walking away to see Dylan before I go. "Dylan come and give mami a hug before I go to work."
He looked up grinning before running to me hugging me. I smiled hugging back before pulling away sorting his hair out a little. "Okay, so you be good for the ladies here, okay? I love you."
Smiling I stood up to go to the door when I saw Dylan following me. I knew this was going to be hard for a reason. He was so used to being around me that he thought we were just visiting; not that he was going to be staying here. I sighed before picking him up. "Honey, you're staying here."
Dylan pouted, shaking his head. "Wid you."
"You can't come with me, baby," I told him stroking his back. "Mami has to go to work by herself. That's why you're here - so someone can look after you whilst I'm away."
"You work?" He asked, but when I nodded he shook his head. "'tay."
I sighed kissing his head before putting him down. "I can't stay. I wish I could, but I have to go."
I walked him over to one of the women who was sorting out the children giving his hand to one of them. It broke my heart seeing his face like that but I had to. I couldn't stand around here forever unfortunately and even though I was going to drop him off earlier so I could settle him in better, we couldn't because Dylan had a tantrum this morning so we were behind schedule. I made my way to the door when I heard the pattering of feet behind me. I turned to see Dylan running towards me. Okay, this was not going well at all. Before he could get to me, though, a blonde figure scooped him up holding him in her arms. I smiled looking into a pair of familiar blue eyes,
"Hey, little man. Why don't we let mami go to work?" Brittany asked Dylan who seemed to have relaxed more once he was in Brittany's grasp.
Dylan shook his head. "'tay wiv me."
"She could stay here but then what stories are you going to tell her when she returns?" Brittany asked glancing at me before looking back at Dylan. "You can tell her all about your day when she picks you up later if she goes now."
"Color?" He asked looking at Brittany who nodded with a smile handing him to one of the women who worked there. "I'll come see you soon, Dylan. Color me a pretty picture."
I noticed his grin and nod allowing himself to get taken into the daycare building. I sighed running my fingers through my hair in relief. How did Brittany even do that? She seemed to have worked with different kids before. Maybe she joins the daycare team occasionally, however, she did tell me she has a nephew so maybe that's it.
"Thank you so much. I thought he would never let me go." I said before smiling up at the blonde. "You're a lifesaver."
Brittany shrugged as though it wasn't a big deal. "He seems like a lovely boy, Santana. He's very lucky to have you as his mom. By the way - you're looking lovely today. Work suit?"
I laughed nodding. "Yes, I have to wear this for work. Can you make sure he eats something today? He didn't have breakfast because he had a tantrum this morning. Also, thank you. I feel lucky every day to have him."
"You should," Brittany said. "Don't worry he is safe here. I'll check up on him if it makes you feel better."
I nodded. "Thank you. I'll see you later on, Brittany. Thanks again."
I made my way out of the studio walking towards work. I never thought I would get out of the studio and even though I didn't have time to settle him in, I trusted Brittany to take care of things. She seemed to be doing a good job so far so I'll put my trust in her and see what happens. I know, without a doubt, I'll probably get a phone call at lunch from the studio but that's okay. I'll be on my lunch break anyway so I'll be able to talk to him. I knew work was going t be busy, however, I had Amanda and Samantha on hand to help. I didn't need the help since I was the best in there, nevertheless, extra help is always nice to have.
Walking into work I noticed everyone seemed to be in some sort of panic. Well, this was rather strange. I fussed my eyebrows together in confusion before making my way to the conference room. Generally, whenever anything in this place was happening, the conference room was the place to be. All the big bosses would be gathered in there chatting, which was amazing since that meant big cases and a lot of money. My heels clicked on the floor whilst I walked which got the staff huddled around the front desk to turn their heads towards me. I looked at all of them in confusion before standing beside them seeing a group of people inside the room. Damn, this must be big. There was the boss of the firm, Andrew, sat at the end table with a bunch of other people sat at the other end.
"Damn, this must be a big case," I whisper to Daniel, who's stood beside me. "Any news?"
He shook his head folding his arms. "Nah, but Andrew has had a look of panic in his eyes a few times."
"That's not like him. Who are all those people?" I ask, not noticing a single person aside from our boss.
"No clue, but they all seem to be new since no one recognizes them," Daniel whispers before unfolding his arms. "Crap, they're all coming out. Look busy."
"I have work to do anyway," I say before walking away from the scene towards my office.
Inside I take note of the large pile of case files on my desk, which I left there from a few days ago. Couldn't anyone have put them away? I had been going through them all before Dylan started to become fussy so I had to leave. It was the first time I had been here without my son so it was a little unusual, but I knew a lot more work would get done. I walked up to my desk, transferring all the files from the surface to the floor for the time being before sitting down. Well, today was going to be a long day that was for sure. Looking at the pile I decide to take one from the top, putting it on my desk looking through it. Since I was considered the best lawyer around here, I got the most complex and interesting cases. I loved working with families because I have a son of my own - helping other people in the same situation as me really does let me sleep better at night. This case which I picked up for example - a practically single mother needs help getting full custody of her son since her husband is violent but apparently, he doesn't realize it. How can you not realize you're being violent? Okay, I'm going to call this mother right now and take her case. The child's protection is a priority here and if the father doesn't know what he's doing then I need to act quickly. Plus, a social worker might need to get involved if one isn't already at hand. I dial the number on the file before putting the phone to my ear, tapping my pen on the desk.
"Hello, am I speaking to Mrs Moore? - That's great, my name is Santana Lopez. I'm calling from Travis & Parker Ltd. which you filed a case to get help with getting full custody of your son. Am I correct? - Fantastic. I just wanted to let you know I have decided to take your case so if you could come in and see me at some point today we can talk about the steps we're going to take when we go to court." I explain writing notes down whilst she talks from the other end of the phone. She does seem quite lovely. "12 pm? - Okay Mrs Moore, just come into the building and request to see me and I'll be around - Yes, my office is on the 5th floor so just come up and I'll be waiting - Okay, I'll see you then. Goodbye."
Just as I hang up the phone, Daniel walks into my office, closing the door behind him. He goes to sit down before noticing the pile of files on the floor beside the desk, giving me an astounded look. Yeah, that's exactly how I feel.
"Are they all files from people who want you to be their lawyer?"
I press my lips together nodding, fiddling with my pen. "Indeed. I thought they would have been filed away whilst I was gone but apparently not. I had no idea where else to store them so they kind of ended up there instead."
"I guess you should be flattered so many people want you as their lawyer," Daniel affirmed with a smile. "I mean - it's better than having no clients at all. Look at Abigail - she's been here months and hardly got any clients."
"She lost that huge case against Walmart though." I reminded him leaning back in my chair. "The minute she lost, her reputation went downhill. She knew the risk of taking it and, I'm sorry to say, she wasn't good enough."
"Too bad Dylan was ill that week or else you could have taken it no problem."
Shrugging, I closed the file I had been reading not long ago. "Maybe, but my son comes first. Damn, if I won that it would have boosted my reputation instantaneously."
"You've not lost a single case since working here," Daniel said. "But I suppose you don't have a girlfriend to entertain either so you have a reason."
I let out a laugh, shaking my head. "You're right, I don't. Unlike you, I have a son instead. He takes up my time - I found out my high school crush lives in New York, though."
"Oh, my god I have to meet her!" Daniel exclaimed, grinning. "Is she hot? I bet she is to have your eyes on her."
I stand up, putting my hands up in surrender. "You caught me. She's stunningly gorgeous. She has a girlfriend so it wouldn't even matter if I liked her or not - I can't make a move."
"That is the perfect time to make a move!" Daniel proclaimed excitedly. "You show this girl you're better than her girlfriend. Have you kissed her?"
I put the files back on top of my desk, resting my hand on top of them. "I'm not an ass likes you. If she's happy, which she claims to be, I'm not getting involved. She's doing well actually - owns her own dance studio. Sorry to disappoint you, but no I haven't kissed her either."
Daniel presses his lips together shaking his head in disappointment. "Have I taught you nothing in these past six months? The best way to find out if a girl likes you after hanging out with them is to kiss them. If they pull back nervously, they want to but have mixed feelings, if they slap you or push you away you definitely know they don't like you. The best one is where they kiss you back because that's how you know they like you."
"I am not going to go and kiss someone else's girlfriend!"
"Your loss then," Daniel said, holding his hands up. "You'll never know."
I roll my eyes in annoyance. "Don't you have someone else to annoy?"
"Andrew came out looking either disappointed or angry, so since your office is far away from his I had to hide here." Daniel conceded with a shrug picking up a picture from my desk. "He looks cute in this picture."
I beam, taking the photo back looking at it. "He rolled onto his tummy for the first time when I took that. He was just laying on a blanket looking adorable when he turned over onto his stomach surprising me."
"He looks like you."
"He has many Lopez features." I chuckle to myself quietly. "He's got the Lopez smile to a point. Anyway, stop hiding in here and go get some work done."
Daniel rolls his eyes. "You are worse than Andrew sometimes."
"I am not worse than him," I state, folding my arms. "You just need someone to push you so I'll be that person."
He groans before making his way to the door. "Alright fine, I'll go. You still owe me a drink and don't think I'll forget either."
"Just go." I laugh before sitting down once he's gone. "He could talk for America, I swear down."
With Daniel gone I could actually focus on what I came here to do - work. With the notes, I had from the phone call earlier, I put them with the case before putting it to the side. I was about to start looking through the huge pile of case files I had when Andrew walked in the door. Well, at least I wasn't busy.
"Hey, Andrew." I greeted with a smile. "What can I do for you?"
"No need to greet me every time I walk in, Santana." He said chuckling. "However, this time, I do need a favor."
"What kind of favor?" I questioned fiddling with my pen once more. "Is everything okay?"
He nodded his head smiling. "Of course - I just need you to take this case which needs to be won for the promotion of this company. It involves a lot of money which makes you the perfect candidate. Will you do it?"
"If the case file is left on my desk over lunch, I'll have a look and see what I can do to help." I correlated nodding. I have some stuff to do over lunch in relation to my son, but I'll be back by the time lunch is over."
"Fantastic! I'll leave the file and you can read it." Andrew acquainted, leaving the file on my desk. "Come see me at the end of the day to discuss."
I put the time on top of the one I was about to read. "I always do. See you then."
With everyone out of my office, I leant my elbows on the desk with my fingers on my temples, sighing. Damn, I always forgot how much hard work being here is. I can usually handle anything with how I handled my school years but the number of cases I got a day was ridiculous. I swear I didn't get a day's rest. Well, I presume getting started might be a good idea.
Conjectural to belief, the morning didn't turn out all that bad. I mean - there were a few stressful moments just trying to get through each case file individually, nevertheless, I did it all plus keeping my appointment with Mrs Moore too. I even got around to reading the important one Andrew left in my office. It was a huge case and I understand why Andrew didn't want to give it to just anyone. I was going to sort everything out when my phone went off. I looked at who it was which made my heart flutter instantly. Brittany. Something must be going on with Dylan. I put all of the files away in my desk, well, both of the drawers in my desk since they wouldn't fit into only one, before making my way out of the office I picked up the phone whilst walking down the stairs.
"Hey, is Dylan alright?" I asked, instantaneously. Well, he was my priority after all. "Sorry, I hope that didn't sound rude."
I heard the blonde laugh on the other end of the phone. Her laugh was angelic. "Of course not, I understand. He's been alright all morning but he's starting to become fussy now. Do you mind popping down? Unless you're busy then we'll just try and sort it."
"No, it's fine. I'm on my way down now." I inform the blonde making my way out of the building towards the studio. "Has he began crying yet?"
"Nope, not yet. Is that a bad sign?"
I let out a soft laugh. "Yes, it means he's really irritable. Don't worry - it usually takes a lot for him to get to that stage if it makes you feel better."
"I wasn't particularly worried in the first place, but thank you anyway." Brittany laughed once again. "He just misses you I think."
"Well if he didn't I would be rather offended. Okay, I see the studio so I'll see you in a second."
Hanging up the phone I walk towards Brittany's studio which is only a few blocks away from work. I guess I chose a pretty good place for him to go to since it doesn't take me long to get there. I walk inside where I see Brittany hanging up the phone to put into her pocket. She notices me with a bright smile before walking in my direction. Has she just put an extra sway in her hips just for me? I bit my lip without realizing before looking up at the blonde. Well, I guess I was looking straight at her today since I had heels on.
"Hey, Santana." Brittany greeted, kissing my cheek. Shit, I was not expecting that. "Come on, I'll take you to Dylan."
With shaky legs, I followed Brittany to the nursery part of the studio. Everyone was eating currently aside from one child - Dylan. It didn't surprise me since we always ate lunch together. He was in a new environment too so I didn't blame him. Smiling, I made my way over to him, kneeling beside his seat.
"Hey, buddy. You not hungry?"
He shook his head. "You not here."
"I am now," I said with a smile, picking up his fork. "How about we try a bit of this food? I'm sure it's yummy."
Dylan shook his head again. "Home."
"Honey, we can't go home." I try and explain stroking his head. "You have to start eating here now because mami needs to work."
"No." Dylan pouted, banging his hands on the table. "Home."
"Please don't bang your hands on the table, sweetheart." I request, pulling his hands into his lap. "Try for mami. You need to eat something otherwise, you'll have your belly rumbling."
Dylan pouted looking at his hands before shaking his head causing me to sigh. I knew this transition wasn't going to be easy so giving up definitely wasn't an option. He was used to me being around constantly so going from seeing me all the time to hardly seeing me at all was going to be difficult for him. I kissed his head before standing up.
"He's been alright mostly," Brittany commented standing beside me whilst he sulked at the table. "It got to around 12ish where he started to get fussy and called out 'mami'. I left it around half an hour before I tried to step in and help him out. It worked for about ten minutes before he started to call for you again. We made it an hour before we all knew phoning you was necessary."
"It's fine - he's used to being around me all the time so I knew this transition would be hard for him," I explain running my fingers through my hair. "I took him to work with me since I didn't have any friends or family around here to help me out. I still don't really have any friends around here which makes the whole situation harder because I'm still trying to be a good mother for him."
"You are a good mother, Santana." Brittany declared, putting her hand on my shoulder. "He loves you so much and I know you feel the same."
I glance at Brittany smiling. "New haircut?"
Brittany looked at me in surprise. "Yeah, I got one this morning. You noticed?"
I just smiled in response shrugging. "I guess I notice things better than other people."
"Yeah," Brittany whispered before pulling her eyes away from me motioning to Dylan. "I think someone is tired."
I chuckle nodding. "He never tells me when he's tired. He always falls asleep at the table at home or on the floor."
Brittany and I watch him for a few minutes until he eventually falls asleep. I smile walking over to him whispering in his ear that I loved him before kissing his temple and standing up straight once again. One of the practitioners lift him up from the table and take him away to the back room for a nap. Brittany taps my shoulders motioning to follow her out of the room which I do. He might not have eaten anything but I know he'll at least sleep well. I'll just get Brittany to make sure he eats something.
"I apologize if you coming down here was a waste of your time since he practically just fell asleep," Brittany said, turning to face me. "I hope I didn't pull you away from anything important."
I follow her stopping in front of the blonde folding my arms. "Oh, I assure you - you saved me from a huge pile of cases. I should be thanking you."
"Well, you're welcome." Brittany laughs putting her hands in her pockets, looking at me intensely. Okay, I'm not sure whether to be turned on or scared right now. "Can I show you around?"
"You want to show me around?" I questioned.
"I do. If you want to see the building that is."
I motioned to the door. "Lead the way."
Brittany grinned before leading me towards the first door opening it motioning me to enter before her which caused me to chuckle softly. Very gentlewomanly. We walked into the first studio which was huge. It had a stage right at the end of it as though it was split up into two parts - the performing part of the room and the practicing part. It was impressive nevertheless.
"This is our main studio - it's the biggest out of all of the studios in the building." Brittany began walking slowly around the room giving me time to look around. "I actually expanded just from this room."
"How did you do that?" I asked, impressed. "I mean, it makes sense with this being the biggest studio, but still - how did you manage to expand just from here? New York doesn't give a lot of room for expansion."
"That is very true but this small studio was surrounded by empty houses so I got the rights to knock them down and build this building. I want to expand eventually."
I could definitely see that being successful. "You should definitely expand, Brittany. I can see this being a very successful business. You must be rich already."
"Uh, yeah," Brittany mumbled, looking rather uncomfortable. "I'm bringing in a lot of money."
"There's nothing wrong with that, you know," I said, laughing softly. "You need money in daily life."
I noticed Brittany become rather uncomfortable - her feet began to scrape across the floor whilst she kept her gaze down. Was I the one causing this behavior?
"Brittany, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable."
I heard the blonde sigh from across the room. "It's fine, Santana. It's just a lot of people use me when they find out I'm rich, that's all. So, if you want any favors ask them now so we can get that over with."
What? She didn't seriously think I was going to ask her for money, did she? Damn, I had enough of my own without needing Brittany's too. Well saying that a lot of my wages go on Dylan so at the end of it I don't have as much as I would like. Anyway, I don't like to spoil him - he needs to understand the concept of money when he gets to the age of wanting to ask for things. Not now though since he doesn't even understand that a toilet even exists. But he isn't my main concern right now - Brittany is. Shit, did I seriously put Brittany over him?
"Brittany, I'm not going to ask you for money."
I watch as she raises her head with a look of complete surprise on her face. "What? You're not going to ask me for anything?"
"Why would I?" I asked, raising my eyebrow. "I mean, did you want me to ask for money because a few seconds ago, you didn't want that. Mixed signals aren't exactly best taken with me."
"Sorry, I'm just - astounded." The blonde confessed blushing a little from embarrassment. "I don't have that many friends anymore because I only trust a certain amount with this. I'm shocked I even admitted it to you."
I walked over putting my hand on Brittany's shoulder. "I don't blame you for not telling anyone. I would keep it to myself too."
I shrugged in response. "It's not like I did anything, but you're welcome."
"How old are you?" Brittany asked, looking at me in a questioning manner as though she was trying to figure me out. "You weren't in my year at McKinley since I would remember seeing you in classes."
"Two years below you." I moved behind her to look at something on the wall allowing my hand to drag around her body without realizing. I dropped my hand only to fold my arms. It was a defense mechanism I will admit which was why I did it so much. "The color coordination in here is impeccable."
"Thanks, I designed it all myself," Brittany said proudly. "I didn't want anyone else's input since everything in the building, down to the tiles, is my design. No one else could even tell me their ideas without being shot down. It was my dream so it would be designed the way I wanted it - no other people."
I couldn't help but let my eyes drift to the floor gazing at the laminated flooring before looking back to the walls. Literally, every detail was Brittany and you could tell too. Not that it was poorly designed - she did an impeccable job. The coloring was on point and it suited the place - it definitely showed that it was a happy place to be. There were quite a few bright colors and hardly any dark - it was the way a studio should be.
"Your girlfriend must be super proud of you." I breathed out loud. "I know I would be."
Brittany started to become uncomfortable yet again - another topic to avoid by the looks of it. I turn to face her with a small smile. "Another uncomfortable topic?"
"Not uncomfortable as such - I just don't like talking about my personal life here," Brittany muttered before shaking her head smiling. "Come on. I'll show you the next studio. You'll love it just as much - maybe even more."
We make our way to the next studio which is pretty much the same as the first one aside from it's a bit smaller. I stop and look around the room feeling happier. The room might be smaller but the colors and mirrors made it look bigger. Well, it's definitely really nice.
"Are all the rooms like this?" I ask, with a smile. "They're beautiful."
"Thank you. I like all of them to be colorful." Brittany confessed, shrugging her shoulders. "The kids love them because it brightens up their day. A lot of parents have complimented my color combinations."
"I don't blame them," I said honestly. "Your home must be beautiful."
Brittany chuckled. "It's not as colorful as it used to be I'll be honest."
She was about to respond when a woman came through the door. She had brown hair and eyes and looked around 5"4. Well this must be Brittany's partner.
"Hollie? What are you doing here?" Brittany asked, obviously in complete surprise at her arrival. She smiled kissing and hugging her in greeting. "I thought your parents were still over?"
Hollie sighed nodding, her hands on Brittany's biceps. "I was an ass to you, Brittany. I know the way you've been feeling but I've just been stressed with work lately. I'm really sorry about that."
"Babe, it's fine," Brittany assured the brunette, kissing her forehead. "You know how much I love you."
"I love you too," Hollie whispers, moving her hands up and down Brittany's arms. "I want, to be honest with you. I know you think I'm only with you for your money."
This totally seems played but maybe it is genuine. They have been together for a while after all and only being with someone for their money is a pretty low move.
"Hollie...we don't need to talk about this now," Brittany assures her girlfriend with a smile. "We'll talk when I get back, okay? I'm just showing Santana around right now."
Hollie turns towards me with a friendly smile on her face - her arm staying wrapped around Brittany's waist. "Hello, I'm Brittany's girlfriend Hollie Coleman. Santana Lopez, I presume?"
"Yeah, that's me." I chuckle shaking her hand. "It's lovely to put a face to the name."
"Same goes to you. Brittany has mentioned you a few times to me and I always wondered who you were and now I know." Hollie comments, a bright smile on her face. Damn, she has a smile like Brittany's. "You're quite dressed up just for a look around Brittany's studio."
I look down before shaking my head. "I came from work. My son comes to nursery here and the nursery called me when he started to become fussy. He's fallen asleep so instead of my time being wasted, your girlfriend decided to show me around."
"Such a lovely gesture babe," Hollie said, kissing her cheek.
I notice her shrug her shoulders in response. "It was nothing really. Are you here to join me for lunch, Hol?"
"I have to get going. I was just dropping your studio bills off. They got mixed up again."
"Thanks, sweetheart," Brittany said, looking surprised at the gesture. Doesn't she do that all the time? "I'll see you back at my place tonight."
"Okay, I'll see you later. I love you."
"I love you too."
We both watch her leave the studio. How did she even know we would be in here? I give Brittany a questioning look, which she shakes her head to. I'm guessing she didn't know what just happened either.
"That was very...full on," I said, looking from the door to Brittany. "Is she always like that?"
Brittany sighed running her fingers through her hair. "Honestly? No. She only does that when she thinks our relationship is threatened. Basically, she's jealous of you."
"What the fuck have I done?" I questioned. "I have literally done nothing to be a threat to your relationship."
"Exactly." Brittany agreed nodding her head. "She's doing it for no reason whatsoever."
I scoff a little before shaking my head. "I've never seen someone flaunt a relationship so much in my face before."
"I apologize profusely for her actions. She gets like that sometimes and believe it or not, she can be a decent person."
"You don't need to explain your girlfriend to me. She's yours to deal with." I laugh softly, sitting down on the bench taking my heals off. Damn these hurt my feet so much on occasion. "If you're happy then that's the main thing."
I was rubbing my feet to take the pain away when Brittany knelt in front of me taking my foot from my hands. She puts it in her lap before starting to massage my foot which, believe it or not, helped a lot. Where did she learn to massage feet so well? She looked up at me with a smile, moving her thumbs around the bottom of my foot easing the pain away slowly.
"How does that feel?"
I nod my head gripping the bench. "Good. Really nice actually - where did you learn to massage feet?"
"Self-taught. My twin sister and I used to go out running a lot when we were in school and when it came to being injured we couldn't make our own muscles better so we practiced on each other. It's helpful when I have classes where people don't stretch since I know exactly how to massage the muscle better. I guess it works on feet too."
"Oh, it definitely works on feet. They feel tremendous now."
The blonde raises her eyebrow in amusement. "Yeah? Want the other one done?"
I blushed nodding, switching feet so she could work on my other foot. She used the same method and my god my feet felt amazing. Being in heels all day can be a real pain on my feet and I wasn't about to deny it. For someone who taught themselves to massage muscles, she was great. She could be some sort of masseuse. I watched the blonde in concentration noticing how naturally beautiful she was. Seeing her girlfriend kiss her earlier did spark something inside me that I couldn't explain. I knew my sexuality and was comfortable with it, but I didn't agree with destroying a relationship to get who I want. Brittany is a beautiful woman and Hollie is lucky to have her - nevertheless, I don't think she deserves her. Brittany deserves so much more than Hollie. I don't mean she needs me in her life to make everything better - she just needs better than the brunette. The blonde released my foot, looking up at me.
I nodded my head whispering a response. "Much. Thank you."
We looked at each other for a few minutes in complete silence before I got up putting my heels back on. I almost fell down putting my second shoe on, but Brittany gripped onto my waist to stop me. Our noses were almost touching we were that close. My eyes raised to look into her ocean blue eyes which caused my breath to get caught in my throat. Her eyes are just - I can't explain. Perfect. My heart pounded against my chest bringing me back to reality, allowing me to look away.
"I have to - I need to - back to - I have work." I stuttered, walking past the blonde quickly to the door before walking out of the building completely.
Shit, what have I got myself into?
Chapter 5: Brittany
The way Santana and I had been acting around each other wasn't exactly - well, it wasn't just friendly. I noticed her looking at me when I wasn't looking and I swear she knew I looked at her when she had her back turned. The truth is - when we both attended McKinley High School back in Lima, Ohio, I noticed her. Oh, I definitely noticed Santana Lopez. No one really knew about her since she is two years younger than me and we were two years apart in school but I noticed her all the time. In my senior year, I went to the library to study for an important exam and there she was - sat at the corner table where she usually studied. I heard rumors around the school that Santana wasn't only studying for her high school diploma but had her college work to do alongside it. Santana Lopez is and always will be a genius. Her IQ must be super high. When I was in school I focused on extracurricular activities more than school work. I mean, I didn't do that bad to be totally honest but I didn't get grades higher than a B. Actually, the only B I did get happened to be in Math. I didn't even know why since I'm not that great with numbers - okay, that's a lie. I've always been good with numbers for some reason and I couldn't explain it either. It definitely helped with the finance side of the company.
Hollie and I used to be in a good relationship, however, once the money came into it things changed. The bad thing is I saw the way her face lit up when she found out about how much money I have. A little bit of my heart died when I saw her reaction and I don't think she realized. No, I'm completely aware she didn't know. The reason behind my loyalty towards her? I don't agree with infidelity one bit. I've never cheated and I never will. My opinion on relationships is the minute you start a relationship with someone, you need to stay loyal to them. If there becomes a point where you're not happy, then leave. You don't sign a contract stating you have to stay with them for the rest of your life. Happiness comes from within - it doesn't matter whether you are in a relationship or single. I used to be happy with Hollie, but now I'm not. I know it sounds clique but bumping into Santana caused me to realize exactly how unhappy I am. Hollie and I - we just live together. If I had a reason to spend all my time at the studio, I would. We just - we don't connect the way we used to. I work, go home where she usually is and spend most my time in the office I have. I keep all the files that I don't have at the studio in there. She cooks for me sometimes, just not a lot. We're like roommates more than anything and, as bad as it sounds, I prefer it this way. It's easier to just let her spend the money she wants to avoid confrontation and arguing.
When you love someone, you are supposed to feel some sort of special connection. That's the reason behind why I know it's not working with Hollie anymore. I don't feel the special connection we once had and I know it's not unusual for that to happen - it can happen to anyone. It's different for me though because Hollies' happiness with the fact I'm rich is why I'm not happy. She doesn't love me anymore - she loves the fact I have money. Her parents feel the same and, even though I'm a supposedly free spirit, I haven't exactly been that person lately. I want to be more than anything because that's who I am - I am a free spirit who loves life. Why should I change my personality for someone who only cares about one thing from me? She had taken a part of me away and I hated it. I didn't like going back to my place just to stay stuck in my office or lay uncomfortably in bed beside her - I deserved to go home and relax. Why didn't I feel as though I couldn't? Why am I still with a person who makes me unhappy?
Bethany is coming down from Chicago to visit which, most importantly, meant no Hollie. God, I couldn't wait to go home to my twin sister being at my place. I couldn't wait to show her New York and spend time with Finley. He is one person in my life who brings light and makes me genuinely smile. Everybody deserves to have that - even me. I am a successful twenty-three-year-old woman who owns my own dance studio and day care facility. I know a lot of people think I'm young, a few parents tell me this, but it doesn't stop me. As a matter of fact, it causes me to work harder to keep the business going. It's one reason behind why I want a supportive partner. I needed someone who I could go and talk to and get real answers on how to improve the business. So, basically, anyone who isn't in the relationship for money.
A knock at the door brought me out of my thoughts. Today is one of my days off meaning my assistant manager, Mike, was in charge whilst I'm away and since I know Hollie is working, I knew it couldn't be her. Plus, she isn't a person who knocks before entering. Opening the door my face lights up when I'm face to face with my sister. God, I have missed her so much. Instantly I pull her into a tight hug. We both had the same facial features - the famous Pierce blonde hair and blue eyes. We were technically identical twin sisters, however, after being apart for a few years we had grown individually so we looked different from one another. My hair is longer than hers and she has a bit of extra weight due to the birth of her son six months ago. Nevertheless, we were twins and no one could say we weren't. It 's kind of obvious just by looking at us both.
"God, I have missed you," I mumbled before pulling back and cupping her cheeks. "You look amazing as usual."
Bethany pushed me shaking her head. "I've just flown on a plane and you know how anxious that makes me. I look like shit and you know it."
I chuckled before taking her bags walking into the house. "Well, I was trying to go for the 'make you feel better' approach."
"I don't need that. I'd rather you be honest." Bethany responded, putting Finley down on the floor. "I get enough lies from James."
I put her bags down putting my hands up in defense. "I'll never say you look nice again."
Bethany shook her head in amusement whilst I walked to the door closing it behind us. Whilst Bethany made herself comfortable I picked up her bags taking them to the spare room. I had to make up Finley's bed too since I assumed James would be by later meaning my nephew would need a bed to sleep in. When I got to the second door on the right I walked in setting her bags down before getting the bed sheets out. Since Finley had been born I kept a cot here just in case Bethany ever needed a place to stay so I bought sheets and everything to go with it. Look, I'm a cool auntie and I want the best for my nephew. I guess my sister is cool too - kind of. Let's not go crazy.
I put a sheet and blanket in the crib for Finley before starting on the duvet for the king size bed I had for the spare room. The room itself is a pretty good size but the reason I bought the house was for the size of the bedrooms. Even though I'm the only one who lives here, I pay for a two-bedroom place. It means whenever I have a guest stay over. I have a room for them to sleep in. I'm also prepared since the couch is a pull out one so that makes three beds. Not that I have that many people stay at one time, but you know - just in case and all that.
Once the room is all sorted I make my way downstairs to see Bethany playing with Finley on the floor in the living room. It's not that big but it's big enough for him to play on. There's a fireplace with a rug in front of it - not that I ever put the fire on. There's no point since I rarely get cold. I walk over to them sitting on the floor too. Finley sees me and squeals happily before rolling onto his back kicking his legs and arms. I can't help but beam at him before lifting him up, holding him in a standing position with a grip on his waist. He grins holding his pacifier bringing it to his mouth.
"I didn't expect to see him so happy to see me," I admit, smiling when he bounces a little. "He knows what I look like? I haven't really seen him since you gave birth."
"I show him pictures of you all the time and he's seen different videos too," Bethany says, stroking his cheek. "I didn't want him to not know who you are."
I turn my head to look at her with an appreciative smile. "Thank you, bubbles. That means a lot to me."
"I know." She smiles leaning her arm on the couch, whilst her head leans on her hand. "He's so fond of you. The way he squealed gave that away I suppose."
"It did, yeah." I laughed, sitting him down to lean back against my propped-up legs, stroking his cheek softly. "How have you been?"
"Good. He's a handful and James works a lot but we make it work. He always makes sure he's home for dinner so we all eat together as a family. What about you? Things with Hollie still toxic?"
I sigh nodding my head. "Yeah. I was showing this woman around the studio when she came in and threw herself at me. It was totally unnecessary and looked bad too. She walked in pretending she came to give me my mail when I could have easily got it at home."
"Did you talk to her about it?"
"I told her she shouldn't have when I got home but, of course, she acted as though she did nothing wrong. She has gotten so hard to talk to lately. I hate her being in the house because I feel as though I can't be myself. God, I can't feel relaxed in my own home How messed up is that?" I explained, laughing out loud. "I want to break up with her but I can't just accuse her of being with me for my money. She would just go running to her father and he's the last person I want to deal with."
"Who cares about him? You are unhappy and I could tell the minute you opened the door." Bethany stated, rubbing my shoulder. "You really have to think of what is more important."
I looked at Finley seeing his happy expression which caused a smile on my own face. For the past year and a half, I hadn't been happy and I knew that. The only thing that kept me happy was the studio but what if that isn't enough anymore?
"I know. I'm just trying t make things easier for myself, Bethany. I know you're trying to help, I do, but let me figure this out myself." I request, giving her a small smile."Please?"
Bethany looked in my direction before sighing."Okay - I'll let you figure this out yourself but if you need me, I'm here. I'll always be on your side."
"I know," I say, with a smile on my face. "I've missed you a lot."
"I've missed you too. When we're apart I - I can't explain it but-"
"It pains you." I answer for her, chuckling."I feel the same too. You just had to go away and get engaged."
Bethany laughed nodding her head."He walked into my life and I couldn't let him go. Yes, that's what I wanted to talk to you about. We have picked a wedding date."
"Yeah? When's the wedding?"
"Next year. July 23rd to be precise. We've decided to wait until Finley is old enough to be part of the wedding too. He'll be a year and a half by then so it made sense." Bethany explains, before standing up. "I'm going to go unpack. Are you okay watching Finley?"
"I'm supposed to actually watch my nephew when you're not around?" I ask, groaning aloud. "That's effort."
Bethany pushes my head laughing. "Bond with your nephew. I'll be back in five. Don't kill him whilst I'm gone."
I laugh before turning back to Finley when she walks away up the stairs. The baby looks at me with his blue eyes, the same as mine. This is the first time I've seen him since he was born six months ago, and I'm happy to have the opportunity to know him. Maybe I can call Santana and ask her to come over at some point. I know Finley isn't Dylan's age but it's a way to spend time with Santana. I want to spend time with my sister and Santana at the same time but, of course, I don't think that's actually possible without Bethany figuring something out. There is also the fact that Hollie could walk in at any given moment. I didn't want her going after Santana - I wanted Hollie to figure out for herself that we aren't right for each other. Not that she will - she'll just ignore everything and pretend we're okay. Seeing my phone on the side I was about to reach for it when someone knocked on the door. Who could that be? I looked at Finley.
"Who do you think that could be, buddy?" I ask my nephew before standing up, walking to the door. "I don't know many people who know where I live so we best be prepared for the worst."
He giggles when I tickle him before I open the door to be face to face with my parents and Taylor. Okay, why the hell are they here? I didn't invite them and they certainly didn't let me know they were coming. What is going on? I didn't know what to say when I hear Bethany come down the stairs. I turn my head to look at her and I can tell she's feeling nervous - yeah, she totally planned this herself. For god sake - why did a family reunion have to happen? I was happy for Bethany to visit when it was only her visiting but now the entire family is here - things change.
"Mom? Dad? Taylor?" I question, turning to look back at them. "What are you doing here?"
Bethany walks over taking Finley from me and for good reason. My parents wrapped their arms around me before walking inside. Taylor gave me a hug too which I'm happier to give. Closing the door, I turn to look at the whole family together again. Where the hell are they supposed to stay? I have no room.
"We weren't going to visit, but when Bethany spoke to us on the phone about visiting, we had to come along too." My mother explained with a smile. "Your home is lovely - it could do with a bit of a clean, though."
"It would be clean if I had been expecting you, but I wasn't," I state, folding my arms. "I don't mean to be rude, but I don't have room for you to stay. I have two rooms and as much as I love the both of you, I'm not sleeping on the couch. If you're planning on visiting, you have to find somewhere else to stay."
"We're staying in a hotel not far from here, don't worry." My father assures me with a smile. "We know this place is only two bedrooms which is why we made other sleeping arrangements. We just hoped you would allow Taylor to stay here."
I looked from my parents to my sister and back again before sighing running my fingers through my hair. "Alright, I have space for her to stay. You'll be on the pullout couch, though, Taylor. I hope that's okay."
She shrugged her shoulders. "That's fine by me. Mom and dad just want an excuse to have sex without me around."
"Taylor!" My mother gasped, causing me to smirk in amusement. "That's just - not even true!"
"Of course, it's true," I say, defending Taylor. "You used to pawn Bethany and I on grandma and grandpa all the time."
Well, that definitely shut them up. I looked at my sisters who were trying not to laugh at our parent's reaction too. Well, my mother's reaction anyway - my father didn't tend to get embarrassed about stuff like that. He's pretty cool.
"Okay, let's get away from all of this." Mom suggested, obviously to take the attention off her. "I want to go for a family meal. It's been months since we were all in the same city at the exact same time."
"Mom, I don't have time to go to dinner. I have stuff to sort out for the studio."
"So, you don't even have time for a family dinner?" Mom asks, folding her arms in disapproval. "Okay, let me rephrase the statement. We're going for a family meal whether you want to or not. You should bring your girlfriend, Brittany"
"I'd rather not." I say, rolling my eyes." I'll go to the family meal, but Hollie isn't coming."
"Why not?" Dad asked, disappointment in his voice. "I thought you were happy with your girlfriend."
"I am happy with Hollie. Just because I don't want her to join us for the family meal does not instantly mean we're having issues." I say, lying to their faces. I don't want them figuring out I am having issues otherwise, they'll begin to question me. "I'm happy with her. I have been since we met."
My parents smile at each other before turning their heads back to me. I know it's wrong to lie but, for me, it's a lot easier to deal with. The worst thing I can think of is them going after her for using me for the money in my bank account - I couldn't allow that to happen. I might dislike her for the way she treats me, but I also don't want her being affected by my family's wrath. She might be an ass, but I still care for her.
"Good, you deserve to be in a happy relationship with how successful you are. I do hope you're with her for a long time."
"Me too, mom," I whisper, putting my hands in my pockets trying to ignore Bethany's disappointed gaze.
"I'm going to go and book a reservation. Come on honey, we can go for a walk around New York." Mom says, pulling my father towards the door. "You're alright looking after Taylor, right?"
Before I could answer, my parents walked out the house. I looked at Taylor who just rolled her eyes before walking into the living room, sitting on the couch putting her feet up on the table. Really? Was she raised on a farm?
"Hey, hey. Can you please not put your feet up on my coffee table?" I requested, putting Taylor's bags to the side. "Were you raised on a farm?"
Taylor giggled which makes me smile. "No, I was raised by the same parents who raised you."
"So, that's a yes," I say, chuckling. "Sorry, you go dumped on me. Mom and dad are terrible when it comes to their sex life."
"Oh, I'm completely aware." Taylor agrees, nodding her head. "God, I wish they would stop. They are in their forty's and still l doing that in the house."
Bethany laughs shaking her head. "Well, they do own the house. You can't blame them for wanting to preserve their youth as it were."
"You're not the one who gets to hear constant wall banging at night," Taylor commented, shaking her head. "Do you mind be watching TV?"
As I watch Taylor put the TV on, Bethany and I walk into the kitchen - I decide to put the kettle on to make us both a drink. The both of us are hefty tea drinkers - have been since we began our exams at fourteen. Instead of alcohol, we drank tea. Our parents were over the moon with joy when they saw how little alcohol we were drinking - I guess it was unusual for two teenagers to prefer tea over alcohol.
"Why did you lie?" Bethany asks, leaning against my kitchen table folding her arms. "You could have told them - they would have understood."
I sigh making our drinks. "You wouldn't understand even if I tried to explain the situation."
"Try me. I understand you better than anyone. Talk to me, Britt."
I made the drinks before turning around looking at my twin sister. Bethany had a point - she always did understand me better than anyone. Even though we are twins, there is so much we have in common, we are different. I love to dance whereas Bethany can't. We went to the same classes growing up but she didn't enjoy them as much as I did. I became this amazing dancer whereas Bethany became good at academics. She's always been smarter than me - I'm super proud of her. I might own my own studio, but Bethany is a high school teacher. She works as a Chemistry teacher - science has always been her favorite subject. She's doing great and I know she's got teacher of the year at least twice in the past few years. Not only does she have a great job, she's in a relationship with a guy who loves her a lot. She has a great life and, now, I want what she has. I may be only twenty-three but I want that life.
"I don't want mom asking me questions. I don't need that on top of my situation with Hollie." I explain. offering a mug to her which she takes. "You're lucky to have a partner who genuinely loves you for who you are. I may not be happy right now, but I will be."
Taking a sip of her drink, Bethany nods her head."Okay, I trust that."
She smiles. "I do. I trust your judgment."
"I'm glad you do," I say in honesty, standing up straight. "How does watching TV this afternoon with Taylor and Finley sound?"
"I think that sound fantastic."
The past few days weren't too bad. I thought my family being around would stress me out, but it has helped me. My stress levels have decreased dramatically but I suppose that is due to the fact that my girlfriend hasn't been around to bother me. She's on a business trip apparently - I only knew that by checking on Facebook. She didn't even text me but it doesn't bother me. Having family around makes me happy and I've noticed that too. The family meal we all had went well too - well, aside from my mother being embarrassing and making a scene over a salad she ordered. Yeah, she's one of those people who just has to complain. As well as my family being over, I've been texting Santana a lot the past few days. She's been working a lot but since she drops off Dylan in the mornings I've seen her every day. We have mainly been speaking in the evenings since we both work during the day. It's been friendly conversation so it's not as though I'm cheating on Hollie - well, not physically. Emotionally? Maybe.
Santana is amazing. Our conversations never get boring and I love it. She might be two years younger than me but I can have the most intellectual conversations without either feeling that she is trying to make me feel stupid or I'm smarter than her. Okay, she's smarter than me I won't deny that, but she doesn't make me feel stupid. A lot of people can do that, but a lot of the time they don't with me based on the position I have within the company. The difference between my company and any other is I hire my staff based on who they are as a person. It's not all about the skills, even though they do help. As a matter of fact, one of my top employees had no qualifications whatsoever, but I let them prove themselves and now he's my assistant manager. He's the best employee within the company.
Since my twin sister is attending a conference with her fiancé, I chose to babysit my nephew for the afternoon. I called my assistant manager to let him know I wouldn't be in - he understood he would be the one running the studio today. I'm walking through New York pushing Finley in his pushchair currently. I've had a few people notice me because of the studio, otherwise everyone is too busy with their own lives to say a word to me. It's a good thing though because I like the space - being alone can be the best thing to do sometimes. I don't have much alone time nowadays what with the business and Hollie - I guess I'm used to it, though. Damn, I actually sound super depressing right now.
Stopping at the crossing, I picked up my phone to look at any messages I may have. Okay, I kind of look at my phone all the time - it's really bad. I go to press the button when a hand touches mine when they think to do the same thing. I look to the side when I feel my hand tingle to see Santana. My heart begins to race the minute I look at her. Wow - just - wow. She looks really good - I mean, really good. She wasn't in her work suit today but sweatpants and a baggy top whilst her hair just flowed perfectly, resting on her shoulders. How did she make casual look so hot?
I snap out of my daze, looking at Santana properly with a smile. "Santana. Sorry, I was completely out of it. What are you doing here?"
"Just on my way to the gym actually. Only had a meeting with my boss today so since your plan includes daycare five times a week, I thought I'd take advantage of being childfree and work out a little." Santana explains before noticing the pushchair squatting down next to the pushchair. "Is this your nephew?"
"This is Finley," I say, leaning over to see him biting one of the gel rings my sister gives him to bite on. "Say hi to Santana, Finley."
He giggles which causes me to chuckle and Santana to smile. She really does have the most beautiful smile I've seen. Well, I definitely shouldn't be thinking that but it's done now, so what can I do?
"He's so cute, Brittany. You must love the fact that your sister is down so you can see him."
I nod my head when she stands up once again. "My whole family is here actually. My twin sister told mom and dad she was visiting this week and they surprised us both by arriving as well. My younger sister is thrilled, though - to be honest, I've missed them all."
"That sounds like a lovely surprise. I prefer my mother to be kept at a distance. She gets way too involved in my life sometimes."
I can't help but smile. "Mine too. It's one of the reasons why she is here. She arranged a family dinner and everything. Tried to get my girlfriend to come along, but lucky for me she's away on business."
"Lucky for you?" Santana questioned, furrowing her eyebrows in confusion. "Don't you want her there?"
"Did I say that? I meant lucky for her." I lied, smiling. "She's not a fan of my family."
I look away instantly. I've never been that great of a liar which makes it easier for people to know when I am.
I shrug. "I'm not that great of a liar. It's kind of obvious when I'm lying."
"Actually, I didn't know you were by the way you looked away." Santana pointed out. "I knew you were lying because if anyone was going to have a problem with Hollie going to a family meal, it would be you. I can tell by the way you perceive yourself that you're unhappy."
I didn't know what to think. I know Santana is dangerous territory because of the relationship I'm currently in, but they way she's looking at me and the way I know I look at her makes me just - I can't even explain it. I knew I had to stop myself before I did something I regretted. The bad thing is, I know Hollie is doing the same thing. She goes on these 'business trips' but she always comes home smelling of another woman's perfume. It's been like this for months before I even met Santana. The difference between Hollie and I is I don't want to cheat - she's doing it deliberately. We did love each other once upon a time - it just faded as some relationships do.
"I better let you go."
Santana kissed my cheek. "I'll see you soon, okay?"
We smiled at one another before she rubbed my arm walking ahead of me going towards the gym. I sighed walking in the direction of the park. Maybe being in a different environment would help me forget about what just happened. Shit, I really had to talk to Hollie about our whole situation because I'm getting closer to the possibility of cheating on her.
Chapter 6: Santana
The routine that I've had for Dylan has been amazing. It's only been a couple of weeks since he started and he's already used to it - I'm actually able to just drop him off and leave for work now. He knows that no matter what I'll always be back to pick him up later. He actually really enjoys it and from what he's been telling me, Brittany has put him into a class for dancing. It's only been a couple of days since he joined but he really seems to be enjoying himself. I couldn't be happier since it means he'll want to keep going back and from what I hear from the staff, he's making friends too. I think sending him to Luxurious Dance Studio was definitely a good decision on my part. Brittany and her staff are treating him very well and I know he's with safe hands when I leave. It means, for me at least, I can get things done at work and home since he's started to fall asleep earlier. It's been a lovely change for me. and I feel a lot more relaxed too.
Things with Brittany have been - well, they've been pretty good actually. We've been chatting every day and that's including weekends since we text each other then. The sad thing is she has a girlfriend so even if I wanted her, which I may or may not, I can't even go any further. I don't want to be the person Brittany cheats on her girlfriend with - I would never want to have that label. Every time we see each other it feels as though my heart is beating twice as fast and even though that is a good feeling, it makes me nervous. She makes me nervous. Whenever we're stood in close proximity my hands feel sweaty and all I can think of is what her lips will feel like if I lean up a little more and connect them. She does have a lot to do with running her own business but, at the same time, she always makes time to talk to me every morning. Dylan gets along great with her and I love that. I want him to make good relationships so whenever I'm not around he can find someone to talk to who he trusts. He needs that because I'm not around him 24/7. The thing is ever since Noah died I've not had any help to raise him really. My family and friends live miles away, so when I moved to New York I pretty much put myself and Dylan into isolation. I've been raising him alone with no help and it has been difficult. I guess that's why it's nice to have some help from the studio. Plus, Dylan loves it so, as I said before, things have been running a lot smoother.
Aside from my parents, I have an older brother who is twenty-nine. He lives with his wife in Michigan and I don't really see a lot of them. He's busy with work and his wife, Tamara, is the same. They've been trying to have kids but, from what Jacob has told me, it's not working very well right now. It will happen eventually - they both just need to give it time. Unfortunately, with how my job is, I don't have much time to visit him either. Sometimes life just gets in the way. It's annoying because I miss him and my parents and I want them to have a bond with Dylan but, in these unforeseen circumstances, it just isn't possible. I just have to hope that we will all get together at some point in the near future.
When I get to the studio after a long day at work, the atmosphere feels different. It's quiet for one and another thing is I don't see Brittany anywhere. I usually see her interacting with the parents at home time so what is the reason for her disappearance? Maybe she just went home early? I try and ignore the nagging feeling I have inside me so I decide to just go and collect Dylan. The problem is, where is he? All of the other children are with their parents so where is my child? I look around worried when I see Brittany’s door open slightly which, of course, makes me curious. Walking away from the play group I move towards Brittany's door opening it slightly to see him asleep on the couch with Brittany’s jacket over him. Smiling I walk inside the office kissing his head.
"You should knock before entering." A soft voice says causing me to lift my head. I notice she has bags under her eyes and she definitely isn't her usual happy self. Now that does give me a reason for my concerns. "I'm the manager and you can't just walk in here."
"My son is in here let me remind you." I retort, looking back at Dylan. "I had no idea where he was so since I know you have a bond with him I thought I would check in here. I apologize for coming in but at the end of the day he is still my son."
Brittany bites her lip before nodding. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have talked to you in that manner."
I nod my head before making my way over to the door, closing it. I could tell Brittany is a private person and since I'm going to ask her about her life I didn't want anyone listening in. Taking one last look at Dylan I walk over to Brittany, leaning against the desk giving her a look of concern.
"Is everything okay?"
Sighing, Brittany shakes her head. "No. I'm having a terrible day and I've been taking it out on everyone. It's why you didn't see me this morning. Well, that and I got in late."
"That doesn't sound like you," I comment before silencing myself when I see she wants to continue. "Sorry."
She nods her head. "I need to tell someone."
I look at the woman in surprise. "Well, I'm here if you need someone to talk to."
"I left." Brittany runs her fingers through her hair sighing, "I just...I tell everyone around me that you shouldn't be in an unhappy relationship so shouldn't I follow my own advice? I'm unhappy so I spoke to her last night and she got so pissed at me."
"She didn't get upset?" I asked in surprise. "She got angry instead of crying?"
"Exactly." Brittany sighed once again. "I don't want her turning up at my house but I know if I go back to mine she is going to. The last thing I need is to get into an argument with her."
I feel bad for Brittany. She's clearly been in this unhappy relationship for much too long and now she wants to leave she can't even stay at home. Don't get me wrong I'm glad she got out, it's just upsetting seeing a woman not being able to go back to her own place. Clearly, this woman is psycho - I met her and she's definitely a character. I put my hand on Brittany's arm.
"Come and stay with me." I offer, doing my best to comfort the blonde. I definitely was not about to let her stay here all night when I have a perfectly safe apartment of my own. "There isn't any room for arguing either. You're coming back with Dylan and me. I know you're safe that way."
"Are you sure? I wouldn't want to intrude and you do have a son to look after."
"Nonsense. I offered. Now get whatever you need because you aren't sitting in this office any longer." I walk towards Dylan picking him up allowing him to sleep on my shoulder. "Come on."
The three of us leave the studio walking down the street towards my house, well, apartment. It's weird thinking I'm bringing a woman back with me this time because, honestly, I never thought I would. Well, for a few years at least. Being focused on my job doesn't allow a lot of room for friendships and when I add Dylan into the mix it means I definitely don't have time for friendships. I can't allow Brittany to stay here all night, though. It's not her fault she has a girlfriend, possible ex, who is a bitch. She could have been a decent person when they met and changed.
It never does take long to get back so when we're inside I tell Brittany to make herself comfortable whilst I put Dylan to bed. I didn't like him being asleep now but if he's asleep then why not just let him nap for a bit. I reached up lying his favorite blanket on top of him before closing the door walking back to the living room. Brittany is looking at the pictures I have of Dylan and me in there. I don't have many but the ones I do have, I love.
"He's such an adorable baby, Santana."
I smile standing beside her, looking at the picture of Dylan and me when he was born. "He always has been adorable. He's definitely someone I'm proud of."
"You should be. Raising a child young must be hard by yourself."
I shrug my shoulders. "I had no choice. When you make the decision to raise a child instead of aborting the baby when you have the chance, you give up everything for them."
Brittany nods her head in understanding. "I can only imagine. My sister is lucky and has her fiancé to support her but you play the role of mother and father all in one. I admire people like you."
"Thank you, that means a lot to me," I say, walking to pick up a mug which I left on the side this morning. "Would you like a drink?"
"Coffee would be great."
I give her one last look before walking into the kitchen to boil the kettle. So, I'm not sure what Brittany's situation is with Hollie, but I know no one should be afraid to go home in case their ex-girlfriend or boyfriend turns up at their door. Are they ex-girlfriend's now? It wasn't really made that clear but I shouldn't be thinking about it anyway since it isn't as though I date. I've never even been in a relationship before so I would most likely be terrible in one. Why am I even thinking about this? Brittany has a girlfriend. Well, she's just got out of a relationship anyway, or whatever went on. I'm not quite sure. Once the kettle has boiled I pour both our drinks before walking back to the living room, sitting on the couch where Brittany had decided to take a seat. I handed Brittany the cup of coffee.
"Thank you," Brittany says, with a small smile. "Not just for the coffee."
"You're welcome. I'm happy to help." I respond taking a sip of my tea. "So, do you want to talk about what happened with Hollie?"
The blonde woman sighed, looking down at the coffee in her hand, "It's nothing."
"Don't do that."
Brittany looked at me surprised, I assume, due to my tone. "What do you mean?"
I leant forward putting my drink on the table. "Don't pretend everything is okay. You couldn't even go back to your place because you were scared of Hollie going over there. So, you telling me it's nothing is, frankly, bullshit."
"Let me just point out now that I am not scared of Hollie," Brittany states, putting her cup beside mine, turning to face me. "She's my girlfriend and I love her."
"Okay," I respond, pressing my lips together before nodding. "But does she respect you? Care for you? Love you back?"
"What the hell are you implying, Santana?" Brittany asks sharply. "You don't know her."
Nodding my head, I silently agree with her statement. "I know I don't."
"Then what are you trying to say?" Brittany asks, before holding her hand up. "Actually, I don't want to know."
Before Brittany can say anything else, I pull her hand down onto her lap resting my hand on top of hers. "I'm not done. I know you. I may not have known you personally for as long as Hollie but, what I do know, is you deserve better."
Brittany pauses for a few minutes which I assume is to think about what I just said. As much as I hate being so point blank truthful to her when she's already emotional, I think it will help. She’s a strong woman and I know she will get through this. I meant everything I said too - Brittany does deserve better. I may have only met the girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend, once but I only needed that one time to make an interpretation on her. She's a woman with two faces - one for the public eye and one when she's at home and around Brittany. I wouldn't want to be friends with her, put it that way.
"She was fine when we first met, you know." Brittany began, whispering slightly as she began. "We had such a great time together. We went out on dates, had a healthy romantic relationship and I loved everything about it."
"What changed?" I asked, picking my drink back up. "What happened that changed her behavior?"
"I made the mistake of telling her how rich I am. We were on a date at the time - I think it was around a year after we started dating which would have made me twenty-one. Yes, that sounds about right actually because her birthday is April 21st so we would have been out for her birthday." Brittany explained, trying to gather her thoughts together. "Anyway, I trusted her enough to tell her about my finance situation and her whole persona changed. She started to demand I pay for everything, whenever we went out we had to go somewhere expensive and, the thing I hate most about it all is she brags to her friends that she has a rich girlfriend who willingly pays for everything for her. She makes me out to me some sort of millionaire who pays for her to be my girlfriend. It's fucking horrible."
"I am so sorry," I say, not being able to keep the shocked look from my face. "That is just...she really is a bitch."
Brittany lets out a giggle, nodding her head. "Yeah, she kind of is actually. I've given up entirely on the thought of her loving me again."
"She doesn't deserve you anyway. I mean, you're all kinds of awesome and she just uses you." I say to make a point before shrugging giving her a smile through my cup. "Just saying."
The blonde woman flashes a smile in my direction before taking a sip of her coffee. "Wow, okay, you make really good coffee."
"You took a sip earlier." I point out with a laugh. "Was it not good then?"
"That is just...so not the point I'm trying to make," Brittany says before taking another sip. "Just say thank you and accept my compliment."
"You're asking me to say thank you?" I question, raising my eyebrow with an amused look on my face. "People don't generally ask for a thank you. If I want to thank you for your compliment, I will say thank you."
I can't help but nudge her shoulder with my hand with a smile before looking to the side when I hear Dylan's cry through the baby monitor I have on the table. Without another word, I stand up putting my drink on the side walking through to his room. I see him standing in his crib with tears falling down his face causing me to walk over.
"Hey, hey it's okay," I say in a soothing voice, picking him up. "I didn't leave you anywhere, honey."
He seemly begins to calm down whilst I walk back to the living room where Brittany is sat.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude."
She shakes her head instantly. "Don't be silly. He's your first priority after all. I guess he got scared when he woke up in a place that wasn't the same one he fell asleep in."
"I guess he does that at daycare too?" I question, sitting back down in my seat with Dylan in my lap.
"He's done it a few times. I check up on him so he knows I'm still around." Brittany says, stroking his leg with her thumb. "I guess he's used to it now because when I didn't go looking for him earlier on today he got upset and one of the practitioners had to come and get me."
I give her a smile of gratitude stroking his head. "Thank you, I appreciate you looking out for him."
"I'll always look out for him as long as he is under my care and supervision."
I feel Dylan start to move around meaning he is starting to wake up a little. I kiss his head before rubbing his back. "Hey, buddy. You awake?"
He nods his head slightly. "Si."
"He is so adorable and he speaks Spanish too." Brittany points out putting her empty cup on the table. "I never knew that."
"You know the only time he will on his own is when he's half asleep," I state before chuckling when he wriggles to the ground. "He never remembers speaking it either. I try though and that's the main thing."
"Of course - I'm sure he is picking it up if he's saying it half asleep," Brittany assures me patting my thigh before standing up. "I'll wash these up for you."
Is she really expecting me to allow her to wash up in my own home? No. That is definitely not happening. Standing up I block her way which, for some reason, she seems to find amusing. Well, I'm not exactly tall so maybe that's the reason.
"I'm not letting you wash up in my own house. I'll do it."
"It's totally fine, don't worry about it," Brittany says, trying to move past me. "C'mon just let me past."
I shake my head folding my arms trying to look strong and touch which, obviously, doesn't work. Brittany puts the cups down, lifts me up and puts me on the couch once again before walking towards the kitchen. Damn, she's good.
"You know you can't just pick me up whenever you want to get past me," I call out to her, standing back up again. "I'm not a child."
"You're right, but you are light," Brittany called back, before walking back to the living room. "I mean, it didn't take much from me."
I chuckle shaking my head with my hands resting on my hips. "It wouldn't since you're a dancer and your body is practically made of muscle."
"Well, when you put it that way." Brittany chuckles going to move past me before stopping. "Are you saying I'm attractive?"
"No! I wasn't...I mean...no. No, of course not." I stutter hating myself a little bit "I mean...you have a fit body - physically fit. You know...from your years of dancing. I'm not saying you're not attractive...I just...you're a very beautiful woman. Any person would be lucky to have you."
I notice a blush form on Brittany's cheeks slightly. "Thanks. I appreciate the compliment."
"You're welcome," I respond, with a small smile. "I'm only telling the truth."
Turning my head, I see Dylan hitting both hands on the TV which can only mean one thing - he knows it's time for his favorite show. I make my way over to the television pulling him away to sit on the play mat where all his toys are before switching it on.
"How's that, baby?" I ask, kissing his head kneeling beside him. "Want some fruit?"
I make my way to the kitchen putting some grapes into a small bowl before walking back putting them in from of my son. He mumbles a thank you whilst engrossed in his show. I make my way back to the couch taking a seat once again.
"You are too, you know."
I turn my head to look at the blonde. "Sorry?"
"Beautiful. You are beautiful, Santana." Brittany says, looking me in the eyes with her body facing mine. "I don't say that to just anyone."
Not knowing what to say, I chuckle nervously before shaking my head. "I'm not beautiful. I'm able to put on this persona where I show other people how confident I can be but beautiful? No. The last person who said that to me actually was my mother."
Brittany looked at me for a few moments without saying a word before she moved her hand slowly towards mine causing me to freeze. I watched her hand rest on top of mine joined with a tingling feeling shoot through my arm. Moving my hand around I slide my fingers through hers slightly looking up at her to be met with a smile. Her hands are really soft as a matter of fact - it's as though she uses some sort of lotion. Coconut if I'm not mistaken by what I can smell. Feeling my heart beat a little faster I return her smile before pulling my hand back.
"What do you fancy for dinner?" I whisper, standing up slowly. "I'm cooking as per usual."
Brittany cleared her throat nervously before joining me in a standing position. "Whatever you want and I'll help you cook it. I haven't had any home cooked food in a while."
"I'm up for a little help," I say nodding my head. "You like chicken, right?"
With a nod from Brittany, we made our way to the kitchen to begin cooking. Well, this was certainly going to be an interesting evening.
Dragging myself to the kitchen, I put the kettle on, yawning. Last night went very well if I do say so myself. Dylan has definitely taken a liking to Brittany and I couldn't be happier. The way he began talking to her last night and wanted to show her his room explained everything. Well, it did to me anyway. Pouring myself a coffee I sit myself down at the table enjoying the silence of the apartment for a few minutes longer. Dylan doesn't tend to stay asleep for long after I'm awake and since I have work in a few hours I want to enjoy it for a bit longer. Taking a sip from my coffee I use it to try and wake myself up a little more. No matter how hard I try I'm still not used to these early mornings. Lucky for me it's Friday and I have the weekend off.
"You always up this early?" Brittany's voice asks from the doorway. "It's 4:30 am."
I look up slightly motioning to the seat in front of me. "I like to have time to myself to wake myself up before Dylan wakes up."
I shake my head with a small smile. "It doesn't always work but if I can then I will. How'd you sleep?"
"Well thank you," Brittany responds taking a seat in front of me. "Your couch is actually really comfy."
"My parents bought me it as a moving present, I guess. But you're right about it being comfy. Some of my best naps have been on that couch." I state, sipping my coffee. "Why are you awake anyway? Did I wake you up?"
She smiles pointing to the kettle on the side. "I heard it boiling."
"Shit, sorry. I'm used to it just being me and Dylan." I say, with a shy smile. "I can make you a cup if you like?"
"I can make myself a drink, it's okay."
Before I can say another word, she stands p moving to make herself a drink. It's as though she's been here long enough to know exactly where I keep everything so, of course, I can't help but watch. I'm not watching in a creepy way, though - just a curious way. She intrigues me in a way I can't explain.
"Am not. Observing is a term I prefer."
Brittany chuckles turning her head to look at me. "Which pretty much defines as staring."
"That is where you are wrong," I say, laying on leg over the other. "Staring is where you gaze at something or someone fixedly and intently whereas observing is to see, watch, perceive, or notice. See? There is a difference."
"Of course, you would know that," Brittany says, turning to lean against the counter with her freshly made drink in her hands. "You're smart."
"Extremely. I'm the youngest and best lawyer around New York." I say proudly, standing up to rinse my cup out. "You're pretty smart too, you know. I mean you run an entire studio on your own."
Brittany shakes her head turning to face me. "I own the studio, Santana. That doesn't mean I do it alone."
I shrug moving to stand closer. "Well, you seem to pretty much run the studio by yourself. It's impressive and you have the whole plaque on the wall too. Looks expensive."
"I can afford it. Plus, it looks good when people walk in and see who is on top so they know who to turn to. It's handy when people want to complain." Brittany explains, laughing a little before looking down at her drink. "I handle so many of them it's unbelievable."
"You've done so well saying that you're only, what, twenty-three?" I question, receiving a nod in return. "See? How many twenty-three-year-olds do you know own their own business?"
"How many twenty-one-year-olds have finished their law degree and have become the best lawyer in New York?" Brittany questions, raising her eyebrow. "Yeah, I guess we are both pretty spectacular."
I smile nodding my head in response when I hear Dylan calling for me. Looking at the blonde I motion with my thumb to the door. "I better..."
"Yeah, of course," Brittany says, understanding the situation. "I'll still be down here when you've got him all sorted. We can walk to the studio together."
"Sounds like a plan to me."
I make my way out of the kitchen towards Dylan's room feeling my stomach go crazy the entire way there. How can one person make me feel so many things at once? Putting everything about my feelings for the blonde to the back of my mind I focus on getting my son up and ready for the day. I have a full day at work myself and with the case that I've got, I need to be focused.
Chapter 7: Brittany
Okay so here’s the thing – I have a serious crush on Santana. I don’t want to. I didn’t expect to. All of this came out of nowhere from the minute she walked into my studio. I know we went to the same school but since I’m a couple of years older I left before she did and even when we were in school together it was hard to talk to her – my friends didn’t like her basically. I know it isn’t an excuse since I have my own thoughts, but that was definitely one of the reasons behind why we didn’t talk a lot. I did defend Santana when my friends talked shit about her – I didn’t accept it at all. I guess even in school I saw how attractive Santana is and I don’t mean just physically. I will admit though that physical attraction does make the looking part pleasing. I just cannot believe how close Santana and I are becoming. I didn’t expect it but since my relationship with Hollie is falling through I guess I allowed myself to become emotionally involved in Santana’s life – including her son, Dylan. He is such a lovely little boy and I know he feels safe with me since most of the time when Santana leaves him at the studio he pulls on my hand silently asking me to play with him. It’s become a routine that we have and I’ve even started slowly introducing him to dance. Well, I’m going to anyway. He’s watched a few classes and I plan on enrolling him at some point when I see a peak of interest come from him – he’s only young after all. Saying that I found my love for dance at a young age too. I think I may talk to Santana about it and get her opinion on the situation.
Every night I have to sort out my class schedule for the next day. Yes, I’m aware I should really do this weekly but I find it better to do it the night before so I know what I’m going to be doing the next day with it being fresh in my mind. All of my students know though so I have a lot of them come in at the very start of the day when I open so they know when their class is – a lot of my students tell me they prefer the way I do it as it helps them get up early in the mornings. I got the idea from a studio I used to attend myself when I was a teenager. The teacher always put the schedule up bright and early so every student would have to go into the studio itself to know when the class was. I always preferred it that way since it didn’t allow me to sleep in. I guess it stayed with me in adulthood too since I am always up at the crack of dawn. Hollie hates that since she enjoys sleeping in most days – well she doesn’t have a job though so that’s probably why. She has nothing to do aside from go out and see her friends. When she isn’t doing that, she has my card in her possession spending money – how have I allowed it to get this far?
“You seem distracted.”
I raise my head to see Quinn standing over me before she takes a seat beside me glancing at my paperwork. I look at her with a small smile shaking my head. “I’m fine – a lot on my mind I guess.”
“Care to share?” Quinn asks.
I sigh shaking my head. “It’s complicated.”
“Try me – I might surprise you.” Quinn says, putting her hand on my arm. I stay quiet for a few moments considering my options. “Brittany, what is it?”
Looking at the paperwork for a few minutes I link my hands together looking at the blonde beside me. “I have feelings for Santana. I – I don’t want to because I have a girlfriend but she just – she’s different than anyone I’ve ever met.”
“She cares for me in a way I can’t describe, Quinn.” I begin with a small smile. “She listens to me, wants to talk to me and she knows I have money and doesn’t care.”
She returns my smile squeezing my arm before pulling it back. “You shouldn’t feel guilty over this, Britt. Hollie treats you terribly that you were bound to connect with someone else eventually. Frankly, I’m surprised you haven’t ended the relationship.”
“You know I have trouble breaking people’s hearts.”
Quinn, surprisingly, lets out a laugh. “Like she has a heart to break. If she has one at all then it’s ice cold.”
“If it’s ice then it can technically be broken.” I state before clearing my throat noticing the look on her face. “You weren’t being literal. I got it.”
“You know I don’t like her, B.”
“Oh really?” I ask sarcastically with a smirk on my lips. “You showed no indication that you didn’t like her. I’m totally shocked by this confession.”
Quinn hits my arm playfully. “Shut up. You know where I’m going with this.”
I nod my head with a sigh looking down at my hands. “You want me to break up with her.”
“You might have an actual shot with Santana,” Quinn says. “If you continue to stay in this toxic relationship you’ll end up unhappy, possibly causing you to have depression. From there you’ll pull away from your loved ones wanting to be alone causing you to become withdrawn as well as depressed. You’ll end up hating your life allowing Hollie to ruin it which will end up with you hating everything so much you’ll end your life completely. I would rather that not be the outcome.”
I glance at Quinn with a disbelieving look on my face. “Well that escalated quickly.”
“You get my point though.”
“I’m not going to kill myself if I stay with Hollie. Becoming bankrupt is a more plausible explanation.” I state patting Quinn’s leg standing upright gathering the paperwork on the table. “I’m grateful for your concern however.”
Quinn stands beside me folding her arms across her chest. “You deserve better, Brittany. I hope you know that.”
Squeezing my shoulder lightly, she walks away towards her room. I sigh running my fingers through my hair. How did this get so complicated? I still have so much to do in preparation for tomorrow but at the same time I have what Quinn said on my mind. She had so many points but at the same time I feel if I just give up then I’m bailing on this relationship and I might regret it. However, at the same time, I feel as though she wouldn’t change even if I spoke to her. Picking up my paperwork I walk towards my bedroom to turn in for the night when my phone catches my attention. Turning around I pick up my phone from the side seeing a message from Hollie. Sighing I open the message whilst walking back to my room.
From Hollie: I thought we could go to dinner tomorrow. There’s a new restaurant just opened and it looks pretty good.
Of course, it would be about going out and spending money. What else would it be about? She really is starting to get on my nerves now and I know it could be just because of my conversation with Quinn, but I think now I’m starting to see what everyone else sees – what a gold digger she is. I know I need to end the relationship with how toxic it is, but I also know her – she won’t make this easy. But if I do it in a restaurant I know fully well she won’t make a scene because she hates bringing attention to us when we are out. For example, when we went out a few months back she wouldn’t even send her food back even though it was cold and even though I offered, she sat and ate cold food. It was pretty funny actually.
To Hollie: Sure, I need to speak to you about something anyway. We can go tomorrow.
I get myself ready for bed laying down under the sheets sorting through my schedule. It needed to be done tonight after all and even though I could have sat downstairs and continued to work on it, I enjoy the comfort of my bed in the evening. I really should have started this earlier but can’t do anything about that now. It’s not as though this is even on my mind since now I have the whole Hollie situation to think about. How the hell am I going to sleep tonight?
Walking to work seemed to take forever. I had no sleep last night due to figuring out how to break up with Hollie as well as trying to get this schedule sorted out. Luckily, I did get everything sorted out before I had to come here. Unlocking the building I open the doors walking towards reception to put the schedule up for today’s classes. Shit I really need to get some sleep but I have so much to do. Coffee will have to do for today I think and, hopefully, I can leave early to get a nap in before tonight’s dinner. Leaning against the reception desk I yawn rubbing my eyes trying to will myself to wake up. God sometimes I hate having to come in so early just to post the damn schedule when I could be sleeping. Shit, sleeping sounds so good right now. I make my way to the office laying down on the couch with my arm over my eyes. I have so much to do today. Classes. Paperwork. Santana. Okay, that one is more of a seeing than a doing since she definitely deserves more than just…doing.
Moving my hands over my face I look up at the ceiling in thought. How did things get this bad? How did I allow things to get this bad? I’m currently lying on a couch in my office at work tired because I didn’t have any sleep due to trying to figure out how to break up with my girlfriend. When I met her I never thought we would ever get to this point but I suppose that is my fault – I shouldn’t have told her about how much I make from the studio. I suppose anyone else would have done the same thing but I really do miss the romance between us. The problem many people have these days is when they tell their friends about the bad parts of their relationship it builds up a negative concept of the person and that said friend will begin to think they aren’t good enough. The difference between that and my situation, however, is I don’t go around telling everyone about how bad she is – they all find out themselves. I have spoken recently about her don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, but the ones I do speak to I trust. Quinn found out when we accidently picked up each other’s phones and used them for the day. She texted me telling me she had seen a text from Hollie and what was going on so I explained. Even Santana saw when she came to the studio what she is like. I wish when you meet someone you could see your future with them because it would save so much time instead of it being wasted.
Reverting my gaze to the table I pick up my phone scrolling through my contacts stopping on Bethany’s number. I knew she would be awake with Finley and, right now, she definitely is the only person I can think of to talk to. Pressing the call button, I hear a few rings before a voice come from the other end.
“Britt, this is unusual.”
I chuckle running my fingers through my hair. “I am aware it’s early but I thought you would be up with Finley.”
“Oh, he is always up early so, for once, you are right. What’s up, B?”
“I just needed to talk to you. Is that okay?”
“Always. You’re my sister.”
I smile looking back up at the ceiling. “You’ve always helped me see sense since we were kids and I need some of that right now.”
“Okay. What can I do?” Bethany asked. “Whatever you need.”
I sigh shaking my head. “I just – did you ever - what do you -”
“What is it, Brittany?” Bethany questions, with a concerned tone. “It must be serious or else you wouldn’t be stuttering the way you are right now.”
“I don’t know what to do anymore.” I whisper, my hand moving to cover my eyes when I feel them start to tear up. “I’ve been with Hollie for so long that I just – I don’t want to just give up but I can’t do this anymore, Beth. I need someone who actually wants to be with me for me.”
“I know you do, Britt.” She whispers. “You deserve so much better than her. I know you don’t think giving up is the right thing to do because of how long you’ve been together but, sweetie, she isn’t going to change. I know secretly you are hoping that she will, but she isn’t the type.”
“I know and that is why this is so hard,” I reply choking on my words a little bit when tears begin to fall down my face. “I just – I want her to change.”
I hear Finley crying on the other end of the phone with Bethany shushing him softly. “I know you do, but if she hasn’t changed by now do you honestly think she will?”
That is definitely a question I couldn’t answer. Did I honestly believe she would change when she hasn’t even tried in the past few months? Why should I believe she would? She has made no indication to before. Wiping my eyes, I shake my head before realizing she wouldn’t be able to see it.
“No. I don’t believe she will. If she hasn’t tried already why would she in the future?”
“Then I guess you know what you need to do, Britt.”
“I know. I was planning on ending it tonight over dinner I just wanted confirmation that I should.” I state sitting up when I hear the door open and close. “I better go, I hear the door. I’ll call you later?”
“You know you can call me anytime.”
I can’t help but smile. “I know. Thank you for helping me see sense. I love you.”
“I love you too. Be safe.”
I hang up the phone standing up to make my way out of my office seeing Tina stood there against the reception counter looking into her bag. She turns her head to look at me with a smile.
“Morning Miss Pierce.”
I shake my head with a chuckle. “How many times do I have to tell you to call me Brittany?”
“It’s a force of habit. I don’t want to seem rude since you are my boss.”
“I might be your boss but that is definitely too formal for me. I already have to deal with it in meetings I attend so I don’t need to hear it from my staff.” I explain with a smile. “Have you got those reports I asked for?”
Moving around the counter I watch as she opens one of the drawers handing me some files. I hate doing paperwork so much but it needs to be done and I’m the only one who can do it too. Being manager has its drawbacks as well as benefits as you can see. With a smile, I take the files before walking back towards my office.
I turn my head slightly to look at Tina. “Yes?”
“I hope everything is okay.”
With one last nod of my head I make my way into the office shutting the door behind me sighing as I lean against the door. I wish I didn’t have to lie but it is so much easier to do than telling everyone what is going on. Santana is the only one who knows and I can hardly speak to her without wanting to pull her towards me and kiss her. Maybe once this is all over I can actually kiss her and take her out the way she deserves. Plus, Dylan is absolutely adorable and I love spending time with him. I just hope Hollie isn’t expecting this because if she suspects a break up is going to happen she won’t show up. It’s her thing and she has told me before that she suspected her last boyfriend was going to dump her and never showed up to where they were supposed to meet. Yes, she’s bisexual. By what she told me they didn’t end on good terms and it really does make me wonder whether it was due to money as well. Before settling down to sort this paperwork out I pick up the phone. Hearing it ring I pull out a piece of paper and a pen.
“Good morning, this is Kites dining. How can I help?”
“Hello, my name is Brittany Pierce and I would like to make a reservation for this evening if you have any available.” I request picking up my pen to write down the name of the restaurant.
I hear shuffling which I can only assume is the reservation book that they have. “We have one table available but it is right in the middle of the restaurant so there won’t be much privacy. Is six o’clock, okay?”
I allow a smile to form on my face, writing down the details for tonight. Hollie will have no chance to argue with me when we’ll be in the middle of the restaurant. Tonight, might actually go according to plan.
With that one final signature, I add it to the pile before stretching with a groan. Sitting in a chair for too long really does a number on your back. Looking at the time I notice it’s time for the children to be picked up meaning I have literally been in here all day. I went out of my office for a bit when Dylan asked for me as he usually does but aside from that, I’ve been stuck in here. I have a meeting later on this week with the finance team and I need to make sure we are all heading for the same goal. I’m planning on opening up a new studio and as long as it goes well, I should be on my way to making it come true. It would mean going away for a few weeks but it would be worth it.
With a knock at the door I raise my head sitting up properly.
Opening the door slightly, Santana comes in causing my heart to beat even faster. God how does she do this to me? I smile motioning for her to close the door behind her.
“Hey, Santana. How are you?”
She nods her head. “I’m good. I’m just picking Dylan up but I wanted to talk to you about something.”
I stand up making my way around the desk leaning against it with my hands beside me. “You can talk to me about anything, you know that.”
Taking a few steps forward she puts her bag on the couch moving her hands together slowly pacing slightly. I watch her to give her time to gather her thoughts together since I highly doubt me questioning her is going to do any good. She looks cute though and, as inappropriate as it is, her ass looks good in those pants. When she turns around I raise my head with a comforting smile.
“We had a moment when you were at my house the other day.” Santana stated, looking at me seriously.
I raise my eyebrow with a small smirk upon my lips. “We did? I don’t recall.”
“Shut up, you felt it too.” She responds with a playful smile. “I just – I had to talk to you.”
“Well I’m here to listen.” I say folding my arms. “Go ahead, the floor is yours.”
With a deep breath, she takes a step closer to me causing my stomach to go crazy as though butterflies were going about in there and it’s causing me to become very nervous right now because I have a feeling what she is going to say. Actually, I do know what she is going to say because I feel the same things. She’s made me go crazy a little bit because I dream about her a lot and she’s pretty much all I think about aside from work.
“Brittany, you make me feel things which I’ve never felt for another person before,” Santana begins causing a small smile to form on my face. “I liked you back in high school and when you left I thought that they just disappeared but, standing in front of you now, I know they never went away. I’ve just been focusing on work for so long but after that moment we had the other day I just – I realized I wanted more.”
“More?” I question, raising my eyebrow.
She nods moving so she is stood in front of me before moving to stand between my legs. She gazes at me for a few seconds before reaching forward cupping my cheek softly causing my eyes to flutter closed when she strokes it with her thumb. “More. You deserve everything Brittany and that includes a romance where you are happy and feeling loved on a daily basis.”
She has a good point. I do deserve all that and she just makes me want to pull her close and kiss her until we can’t kiss any longer. She makes me feel so much all at once – definitely more than what Hollie has made me feel in the past year.
“You think?” I whisper, looking at her trying my best to contain myself.
She moves her other hand to cup my other cheek. “I do.”
I notice her lips hovering over mine and when she leans closer to brush her lips against mine I put my hand against her chest to stop her moving closer. I can’t do this right now and it really does pain me when I see her face. Heartbreak. Disappointment. I didn’t want to hurt her, trust me. I just couldn’t kiss her in that moment – it wouldn’t be right. She pulls back increasing the distance between us.
“Shit. I’m sorry – I just – after the other day I thought – well it doesn’t matter what I thought.” Santana rambles causing a smile to form on my face. I can’t help it, she’s adorable. “Look let’s just forget this happened and we can go back to the way we were before. Friends.”
“Santana I’m not rejecting you.” I state, talking a step closer putting my hand on her arm.
She raises her eyebrow in disbelief. “Are you serious? You just pushed me away from kissing you.”
“Because I don’t want to kiss you when I have a girlfriend.” I explain, deciding to brush my fingers along her cheek softly. “I’m breaking up with her tonight but you deserve better than to be kissed when I’m in a relationship with someone else. I don’t want you to see me as a cheater because you know what they say; ‘’once a cheater, always a cheater.’ As much as I want to kiss you, and believe me, I really do want to, I want to kiss you the way you deserve when I’m single.”
Santana moves her hands to rest on my neck lightly with a smile. “So, you’re coming over later?”
“If you want me to,” I respond moving to rest my hands on her waist. “It shouldn’t take long as I am literally breaking up with her then leaving. Doesn’t give her time to disagree.”
Sighing, Santana nods before pulling back. “I’ll leave my door unlocked.”
“Aren’t you sweet?” I comment folding my arms and leaning back against the desk as she walks towards the door. “Hey, Santana?”
The Latina turns slightly to look at me. “Yeah?”
“Your ass looks great in those pants.”
With a chuckle, she smirks. “I know, you keep checking me out when you think I’m not looking.”
“Damn, and here’s me thinking I did it subtly.”
“You can’t do subtle around me.” Santana responds with a smile. “But I have to say, your ass always looks good.”
With that comment lingering in the air, she leaves the office closing the door behind her. Standing up straight I make my way to the other side of the desk picking up my phone to see a message from Hollie. I’ve had my phone on do not disturb all day so it makes sense that I wouldn’t have gotten the message until now.
From Hollie: What time are we meeting tonight?”
Well, the positive thing is she didn’t cancel. That’s something.
To Hollie: Within the next hour. I assume you’ve been getting ready just in case.
I’ve known her long enough to know she is usually ready to leave the house pretty much when I ask. I tell her a while before usually but tonight is different. I don’t care enough to see her. I’m getting myself ready to expect anything since I am well aware what she is like.
From Hollie: See you soon.
Sighing I run my fingers through my hair. I am not looking forward to this and the only reason I agreed to dinner is because of the amount of people around. I would have said no otherwise. She doesn’t know it yet but she will be paying for dinner too since I’m taking all my bank cards with me. The other day I even took my card from her purse so, as you can tell, I’ve been preparing for this. She deserves this is what I should be saying. Walking to the couch I reach behind it getting out a dress I stashed there for emergencies. I’m going to put some effort in, I’m not that horrid.
Stripping down I put on the dress slipping into a pair of heels. Okay so I know my hair doesn’t look great but I’ll just put that up so it doesn’t look too bad. Since I’m going straight from work to the restaurant I’ll just have to suffice with what I’ve got. I’m definitely not going back home as I know I won’t leave again. It needs to be done and it needs to be done tonight. I leave my work bag here and I’ll come and get it later before I meet Santana. It’s actually surprising how much I have at work instead of at home but there we go. Walking to my desk I take out a small clutch bag from the bottom drawer putting in my keys, lipstick, phone and card. I won’t be using it but I like to keep one with me just in case.
With one last look in the mirror I walk out of the office locking it behind me stopping to say a hello to some parents who are regular and some who are new. I like to know that they are all happy being here so I try not to hide in the back so much and leave everything to my staff. I like to be involved and what better way to know the children’s parents than personally? I don’t stay long mind you since I have somewhere to be but, the minute I see Santana again, I walk up to her putting a hand on her back. I thought she would have left by now.
“Just heading out. I’ll see you tonight.” I whisper in her ear making sure my breath hits her ear enjoying the shiver that comes afterwards.
She turns around and her eyes widen. “Brittany – you look – damn. You better come by later with a dress like that on. She doesn’t deserve to see you in that.”
“Gotta make the effort, Santana. I enjoy making an effort, especially if it causes reactions like that.”
With one last wink, I make my way to the door walking out of the building towards the restaurant. Looking at my phone I notice it’s only half five but I still decide to make my way to the restaurant. I don’t mind sitting at the table I’ve reserved for half an hour alone. It will definitely be a lot better than when Hollie joins me since it will not be a good conversation. Turning the corner, I see the restaurant in the distance so I make my way towards it opening the door walking inside once I get there. It’s lovely and warm which is a bonus as some restaurants can be so cold it’s unreal. It is quite modernized and I like that about it since it complements the building well. I smile walking up to the podium.
“Hi, I have a reservation under Brittany Pierce. I am a little early I know.”
The man smiles. “It’s perfectly fine. I can seat you now if you like.”
“That would be fantastic.”
I follow the waiter who seats me at the table which, I can see, is in the middle of restaurant surrounded by lots of other people. I smile at the positioning taking a menu when it’s given to me looking over it. Maybe I could be a bitch and order something really expensive since I have no intention of paying tonight. Saying that the most expensive thing on the menu is lobster and I’m not a fan of it. Looking around the restaurant I see all these happy couples, friends, family and I have to get through a dinner with my soon to be ex-girlfriend. It’s been a long time coming though. Shaking my head, I try and ignore any thoughts of her and focus on what I’m going to say. What I’m going to do. I know it is quite harsh to break up with someone in the middle of the restaurant but I have given two years of my life to her and I think it’s about time I thought of myself.
After ten minutes, I’m so into my head that I don’t even notice Hollie sitting in front of me. I jump in surprise when I see her sat there taking her coat off. Wow, she actually looks pretty good. Saying that she always puts the effort in.
“Evening.” She greets with a small smile. “Have you ordered?”
I shake my head. “I was waiting for you. What do you want?”
Of course, she would say that. I think to myself shaking my head before nodding it looking over the menu. “Sure. What sort?”
“Well I know you like white wine, so what about that?”
I scoff looking at her in disbelief. “Since when do you care what I want?”
“I always care what you want.” Hollie mumbles looking over the menu. “I’m just trying to be nice.”
“You’ve not been nice within the last year so don’t try and be nice now, Hollie.” I snap, before changing my attitude when the waiter comes up to us. “Hello can we have your best Sauvignon Blanc wine, please?”
“Most certainly. Just a glass or the bottle for the both of you?”
I take a glance at Hollie before looking back at the waiter. “Bottle will be great.”
He smiles at us before walking away. God, it is so easy to be nice to other people but when I look at her I just get so angry. It’s as though all my emotions are coming to the surface at once and I am not a fan of that happening either. We are in public and I don’t want to be shouting and screaming at her around other people – I might want to break up with Hollie but I don’t want to embarrass her. I’m not that mean.
“So, you said you wanted to talk.”
I nod looking over the menu. “I do. It can wait until we’ve eaten though.”
“You sure?” She asks, looking at me. “You can tell me now if you like.”
“After dinner.” I finalize, putting my menu down. “I think I’ll have the chicken parmesan. What are you having?”
“Um, I’m going to have the steak and chips I think. Definitely looks delicious.”
I nod before motioning the waiter over to take our order. I want to get this awkward dinner over with as soon as possible. It isn’t going as bad as it could be but it’s still not great. She’s acting weird and all nervous and I don’t like it. It’s as though she knows she is going to be dumped and is trying to show me she can act like a normal human being. Whatever she does won’t stop what I’m going to say or do so she might as well pack it in. She’s a gold digger and she probably always will be. I’m not going to allow it any further – I want to be happy and I now know that happiness isn’t with her. It hasn’t been for the past year.
“Why did you start acting up when you found out I was rich?” I question, resting my hands on the table. “I’ve always wondered why you suddenly changed your demeanor the second you found out about how rich I was.”
I watch as Hollie looks down biting her lip as though she doesn’t dare tell me the real reason and, frankly, I don’t blame her. I have always been so angry and right now I am doing a pretty good job at keeping my anger under control. I wait a few moments when the waiter comes up to the table with our wine in a bucket of ice. He puts two glasses down in front of us, pours us both a glass before putting the wine back into the ice bucket. I thank him quietly taking a sip before raising my eyebrow at my girlfriend. She must have an answer by now and she’s just trying to not respond but I’m not allowing that to happen. I want answers.
She takes a deep breath and a sip of wine before looking at me with sorrow filled eyes. Great – here we go.
“I first off want to say how sorry I am for the way I have acted the past year since you told me. I have been a complete bitch to you.” Hollie admitted and, quite frankly, I am shocked. I had no idea she could apologize since I haven’t heard her do it in ages. “And I had no right treating you the way I have been.”
“That’s correct.” I agree before shaking my head. “Actually, I stand corrected – you have no right to treat anyone like that.”
“I know.” She whispers taking another sip from her flute. “You got the worst of it and I can only apologize.”
I roll my eyes taking a sip from my own flute glass. “That’s not good enough.”
I pause when our waiter puts down the food in front of us. Without a word, I begin to eat trying to ignore her gazes towards me. God no one needs that when they’re eating – it’s as though I’ve got a dog at my feet or something. I actually kind of want a dog now I’ve said that. A husky. His name will be Jasper. He will love me forever. Well if it’s a girl I might need to change the name a little but I still want a husky. They are so beautiful.
“I know why you are apologizing.”
Hollie looks up at me. “Because I am sorry for the way I’ve acted?”
“No. I don’t believe you are sorry for your actions since you treated your previous boyfriend the same way. I looked him up and he had money too and the reason he broke up with you is because he had enough of your bullshit.” I explain looking up to see her shocked face. “He looks really happy now actually. That’s what I want – I want to be happy. Frankly I don’t think you are the person to make me happy.”
“What are you saying?”
I shake my head. “I’m breaking up with you. I’ve had enough and I know your family doesn’t like me anyway so, to be totally honest, I’m doing you a favor.”
“You’re breaking up with me in a restaurant?” She asks, a hint of anger in her voice. “This is really not the best place for it, Brittany.”
“Actually, you’re wrong. This is the perfect place because I knew you wouldn’t argue with me about it.” I state calmly, continuing to eat my food. “Oh, and I also won’t be paying. I have paid for every meal we’ve had together the past year so, for once, you can get your hand in that pocket and pay for it yourself. I’m done paying anything for you.”
I ignore the shocked look upon her face and continue to enjoy my meal. Damn, it’s actually really good. I will have to bring Santana here but get a table in the back so we can have some privacy. Looking around I notice a few booths around the edge of the room which look perfect for privacy. I can’t help but smile at the thought already. What gets me is the fact that once I’m done I can walk over to Santana’s place and kiss her the way I’ve wanted to for ages. I’m all giddy about it which makes me want to leave already. I don’t give a damn about this dinner and if I had eaten earlier I would leave but, unfortunately, I hadn’t. I’m starving and since I’m not paying I’m going to enjoy the food – even if it means having to share the table with my ex-girlfriend. Damn, ex-girlfriend sounds pretty good actually. I’m officially single and I had never been so happy about it.
Walking up to Santana’s apartment had never made me so nervous. I know she likes me and I like her so it’s not as though I should be nervous but tell that to my beating heart which is apparently trying to give me a heart attack with how fast it’s beating. Shaking my head, I try and calm myself down before walking up to the building and knocking on her door. I’m still in my dress from earlier so I hope she still likes it. I know she is probably putting Dylan to bed so I’m patiently waiting at the door. I’m about to knock again when it opens to show Santana in the pants she was wearing earlier and her shirt untucked without the jacket on top. Smiling I walk inside when she allows me into her house.
“Hey, how did it go?” Santana asks, closing the door behind us both.
I shrug putting my heels to the side of the door. “It went well. I didn’t really give her an option to argue and after I finished my food and wine I left. She knew she would be paying so I didn’t give her a chance to try and get me to pay either. I guess I was excited to see you.”
“I’ve been excited all evening and now Dylan is asleep it’s just you and me.” Santana states leaning against the door with her arms folded.
With the smile I’ve had to hide throughout dinner, I begin to walk over to Santana stopping in front of her. My fingers make their way towards her face stroking it softly before I lean forward slowly with my other hand next to her head. I stop just before meeting her lips.
“You sure you can handle me?” I whisper, moving the hand on her face to her jaw before lifting her chin up so our eyes meet. “I’m quite complex.”
Santana’s eyes shine when she smiles nodding moving a hand to the back of my neck fiddling with the small hairs there. “Then I guess we are pretty alike because I come with a lot of baggage. Are you sure you can handle that?”
“I’ve never been so sure of anything in my entire life.”
Leaning forward I brush my lips against hers finally meeting Santana’s soft lips. I move closer to our bodies are pressed up against one another with Santana sandwiched between me and the door. She wraps her arms around my neck pulling back slightly to meet my lips in a deeper kiss. Our lips start to move against one another slowly but, as it seems, we both get impatient and it becomes passionate very quickly. We’ve both wanted this for so long and even though I am trying my very best to keep this PG, I am struggling a little when Santana’s fingers fiddle with the zipper on the back of my dress. Fuck, this is too much too soon. Our tongue’s meet in her mouth when we both give access to the other. I moan into the kiss enjoying the feel of our tongues meeting and our lips moving together. It’s as though we don’t know what to do with ourselves. I pull back panting, noticing Santana’s bruised lips causing my own lips to curve up into a smile.
“You’re an excellent kisser.” I comment, brushing her hair back from her face.
She chuckles. “You’re not so bad yourself, Pierce.”
I press my lips to hers one last time before pulling back taking her hand. “As sappy as it might be, I would love to cuddle and watch a movie.”
“As sappy as it might be, I think that sounds perfect.”
Chapter 8: Brittany
Is it bad that I'm regretting the way I broke up with Hollie? It's only been a few days but I could have done it a little better – right? My head is all messed up right now because Santana and I have been hanging out more but we've also both been really busy with our respectable jobs and lives. She has a son to look after and I've got some important meetings I need to attend; not to mention I've realized I need to travel to Chicago when this plan for the new Luxurious Dance Studios building comes into place. I have so much on my plate right now with work and I know she has a big case going on too so it's not as though we have time. Okay, I'll be honest with all of you – I broke up with Hollie but I'm not sure jumping into a relationship is such a good idea. I was with Hollie for over two years and even though I like Santana, I want her to have the best. It's what she deserves. Is jumping straight into being her girlfriend a good idea? No – no it is not. We need time to process whatever it is between us before going there. We spoke after I got to her house about it and she agrees – yes, I am being honest. Why would I lie? We spoke a lot of stuff actually. Work. Family. Friends. What we want in the future. You know, basic stuff really. Surprisingly she asked if I wanted to have children at some point which threw me completely off course. We were talking about Dylan at the time and I suppose it just came to her mind. I don't blame her, obviously, but it's not something I've ever thought about. I love my nephew and Dylan is an amazing little boy but, to be totally honest, I never have sat and thought about if I want kids. I've never needed to. Hollie never brought it up and since I never did either, the subject was never even hinted.
The thing is, even though I totally adore Santana, I don't want to let her down. If I was to get into a relationship with her and screw up somehow that would be our friendship gone in a second. How many people do you know that are friends with their ex's? I don't know many people and that's the problem. I don't want to ruin that we have – our friendship isn't like any other one I've had. With Dylan in the picture, I just want to protect both of them from harm – I want to be there when they need me. Since I screwed up my relationship with Hollie, I don't want to do another round of it. She deserves better than that and, to be perfectly honest, so do I. Quinn obviously has an opinion on the situation but I've not been focusing on it because, this time, I want to do things right. If I'm going to date Santana in the future then I'm going to do it the old-fashioned way – take her on dates. I'm not going to jump into bed with her and I'm certainly not going to be treating her any less than a queen deserves. She's going to be swept off her feet by yours truly – she won't even know what hit her. Before any of that can occur, I need to sort myself out so I can be the woman she deserves. Any less than that isn't good enough.
Even though I share an apartment with Quinn, we do have a decent place. It's very spacious with laminated flooring around most of the apartment, however, our bedrooms do have carpet which I find is much comfier on the feet. I offered to pay for the majority since I earn more and, strangely enough, Quinn accepted. She's not doing that well in the job department at the moment since she's not long finished college but she's getting by. I'm happy living with her and I know Mike will help her out when he can too, which I'm sure you can guess, is pretty much all the time. He doesn't mind though because it means he has a reason to stay over more – he helps pay for it so he pretty much spends half the week here. The thing is even though he helps pay Quinn's quarter of the rent, he never holds it against her. If she wants him to leave he will no questions asked – that's why I love the way they treat each other. It's actually kind of sickening how much they love each other. I'm just glad I don't have to see it myself.
It's funny how even though I have my own place I always end up falling asleep at the desk in my office. Even now I've woken up to paper stuck to my face as I lift my head up. My hands go over my face as I slowly bring myself out of my sleepy state – shit, what time was it? Turning in my chair I look outside and notice it's pitch black. The last thing I remember is doing some reports that I need for tomorrow's meeting so it must have knackered me out and I dropped off to sleep. Standing up I gather all the papers up putting them in my bottom drawer which I decide to lock up. The last thing I needed was for them to go missing. Processing that it is really late I pick up my phone seeing a few missed calls from Quinn which is probably due to how late it is. I send her a quick text explaining my whereabouts before noticing the time: 12:13 am. Fuck, it can be pretty dangerous walking around the city at this time of night alone. Maybe I should just stay here – it might be safer. Pocketing my phone I move to the couch to get some blankets and a pillow when my phone begins to ring. It's probably Quinn again wanting to hear my voice for confirmation – she gets worried as you can tell.
"Quinn, I'm fine." I state picking up the phone."
"It's Bethany, not Quinn. She's been contacting me though asking if you are alive which, of course, I didn't know." Bethany began not sounding too happy with having to call me. See? She does care – sometimes. "Where the fuck are you?"
"I'm at the studio, obviously," I answer rolling my eyes as though it's obvious. She should know better than anyone where I would be since when I don't answer I'm usually at home or the studio – there's nothing between. "If I'm not at home I'm obviously here. You should know that better than anyone."
I hear her sigh and I know exactly what she is going to say. She thinks I work too much and doesn't think I put enough time aside for myself – I just don't have time for that. I have loads to do and owning a studio is time-consuming. I didn't pick this job to have a lot of time for myself. I picked this career path because I want to inspire other children and bring light into their lives through dancing. A lot of the time I focus on trying to help parents who don't have a lot of money to give their children that chance to have something to look forward to every day. Every child deserves to smile because of at least one thing and if I can bring them in here and help them shine then I will. I have a few children on payment plans and I am very aware Santana is, but she is a single mother – even without asking I know she struggles a little.
Children are different to adults – they don't judge each other based on what they are wearing or how much money they have. I don't want the children who take classes here to look at each other and know what background they come from. I want them to look at each other and see that they are all on the same wavelength. They are all here to dance. Every child who is in a family who struggle I give them dancing clothes from a box in my office. I bought a bunch of outfits of different sizes when I started up the studio because not everyone has the money for new clothes and I didn't want them to miss out or be embarrassed. All the other teachers here know the protection scheme I have in place and they all respect it. Even now, I have parents coming into my office to thank me for making their child happy and influencing them – it really helps me see things in perspective.
"You might not understand why I spend so much of my time here, but this place helps inspire people," I explain to my sister after smiling at a picture I have on the side of the students and teachers of the studio. We had it done a year ago and I decided to have it done yearly after that so I can see just how many people come and go into this place and how many lives we have touched. "I am giving a lot of children a chance they might not have had before. This studio is very popular, Bethany, and there is a reason for that too. This is important to me and I know I spend a lot of time here, but I need to so it runs smoothly."
"I know, Britt. I admire you so much for what you do and how many lives you touch. Heck, I don't recall a time you ever took the credit for something."
I let out a small laugh knowing she's right. "I know but we work as a team here. Why would I take the credit for something I didn't do alone? Mike does a ton of work for this place as my assistant manager, and I don't know what I would do without my dance teachers and daycare practitioners."
"And this is why you are awesome," Bethany says and I know she is being heartfelt and honest. "You are a beautiful person inside and out and this is why I think you really should find someone who loves you for that person. The person who deserves to be loved right."
That everyone is why I love my sister - she knows me so well that it's scary sometimes. "I'm not jumping into a relationship after breaking up with Hollie. It wouldn't feel right and she deserves better than that."
"She?" Bethany questions, causing me to curse myself a little. Shit, I did so well at keeping this away from her and I just screwed all that up. "Who is this 'she'? Is there another woman?"
I let out a breath I didn't realize I was holding. "Well – basically – I mean – kinda?"
"Oh my god there's another woman!" Bethany squeals happily. "Why didn't you tell me? How long have you known her? Is she hot? Shit, is she the reason you broke up with that bitch? Please say yes."
"Woah, calm down, bubbles. She's a woman I met when she came into my dance studio wanting a place for her son, but we went to the same high school." I explained feeling a smile form on my face as I talk about her. "We've been getting close and – well, she kissed me."
Bethany squeals happily again causing me to wince and hold the phone away from my ear momentarily. She can get a bit excited sometimes but I love how happy she gets about my dating life – especially when it's someone new. "She fucking kissed you?! Why didn't you tell me? Oh my god I want to meet her already."
"I didn't want to tell you or anyone else for that matter. She's special to me and the kiss was also unexpected – I didn't see it coming myself." I point out running my fingers through my hair. "You won't be meeting her anytime soon either – it's too soon for that. Plus, I don't want you scaring her."
"I wouldn't scare her – okay, maybe I would a little bit but that's my job as your sister," Bethany said and I knew she had a point. You wouldn't believe how much I scared her fiancé when I met him. "However, I just want you to be happy – if this girl makes you happy then you should definitely keep her close."
I knew she had a point but right now I can't get myself to be involved in a relationship ad I mentioned before. I know she kissed me and we made out and I'm totally fine with doing that but, at the same time, it wouldn't be fair to her. She's made it known that she likes me and if I tell her I'm not ready to be in a relationship straight away but I'm fine with kissing on the odd occasion it would be sending mixed messages. I don't want to be the person to do that to her. Also, I have to remember that it wouldn't just be Santana's life I would be affecting – it would be Dylan's as well. I'm definitely keeping her close but just not in a relationship kind of way.
"I want to keep her close but I just need to make sure I'm not sending her mixed messages. Like I said earlier I don't want to jump straight into a relationship with her. I want to enjoy getting to know her during the period between me ending my relationship and possibly starting a new one."
"That's a good idea, Britt." Bethany agreed when I hear shuffling in the background. "Listen, it's late so I should probably go, but don't be a stranger. We are still sisters and I want to know things about your life instead of you keeping them from me."
"Hey, I didn't intentionally keep this from you since, clearly, you are on about my personal life," I state looking at the clock. "Shit, it really is late. I'll keep you updated and don't worry – we'll never be strangers. You'd miss me too much."
Bethany lets out a loud laugh at the comment. "I would miss you? I think it's the other way around, monkey."
"Nah, I'd survive without you," I say with a smirk before yawning as I start to realize just how tired I am. "Alright, I'm tired so I'm going to go. I'll call you later."
"Okay, I'll talk to you later. I love you."
"Yeah yeah, I love you too."
Hanging up the phone I gathered my blankets together before turning the lights off and settling down on the couch using my jacket as a pillow. This is a pretty comfy couch so I'm hoping it will continue to stay like this as I sleep – we'll just have to see and hope I don't have a bad back tomorrow.
Waking up on a couch isn't one of my best ideas. I feel the sunlight come through my blinds covering the window which hit my face to the point where I couldn't ignore it anymore. Stirring slowly, I hear children laughing and running around meaning it must be drop off time. I groan as I stretch out my body to get rid of the stiffness from within them before sitting up and rubbing my eyes. When I was with Hollie I sometimes stayed here overnight so, believe it or not, I have everything here to get me looking presentable. I might not look my best but it's my fault for falling asleep at my desk last night. Looking up at the clock it read 8:20 am which is a little after drop off time but I suppose the daycare are doing something with them. I don't mind – as long as they are learning I have no issues with the noise. Growing up in Lima, our street was always pretty loud and I grew accustomed to ignoring the noises so I'm able to sleep and work through any type of noise. Plus, my sister snores, so I'm pretty grateful I was able to ignore that.
After making myself look presentable I walk over to the calendar I have on the wall realizing I have a meeting today to discuss the development of the studio I'm opening in Chicago. The building itself I had already bought, well, I got one of my financial advisors to buy it, so all we had to talk about is sorting the building out to look like this one and run smoothly. I didn't want just anyone running it and I certainly wanted to be part of the hiring process. I don't just hire people off the street. Yes, I do give people a chance but only if they show me they are good enough. When I hired Mike, he had suffered from a dance injury and didn't have that many extra qualifications to help out with the business side of things. I decided to give him a chance to build himself up and he's done a fantastic job at showing me what he can do. Another one of my dancers, Charlie, just really needed the job – even admitted this to me as well. She didn't have any college qualifications, not a lot of dance experience either, but I saw how enthusiastic she was and I gave her a trial period and my god – she really did show me what she could do. It's important for me to not be the type of employer who hires just based on experience and what they have studied because I don't believe in that. Someone who has studied hard might have the grades but have the personality of a rock. I can't have people like that working for me. It's a fun place here and the kids need enthusiastic individuals so they can have an enjoyable experience.
Walking out of my office I see all the children playing in the reception area which, as much as I am fine them doing that, it could be a safety risk due to the door opening and closing. I don't know who is going to come and go into the establishment today and even though we have secure security around the building, one of the children could easily run out if the door opens. Walking over, I smile at the children before making my way over to Lucy who is one of our new practitioners at the daycare after Emma ended up leaving after moving away with her boyfriend.
"Good morning, Lucy." I greet with a smile standing beside her. "How are you getting along?"
"Morning, Miss Pierce. I'm doing alright, I think. I have the other staff helping me if I need it." She responds putting the child she is holding down on the floor as he begins to wriggle in her arms. "It's a fantastic place to work."
I press my lips together putting my hands into my trouser pockets. "Well, I do try and keep a happy environment around the studio. However, I do need to speak to you about the children playing around the reception area."
Looking at me, she bites her lip nervously. "Are they not meant to play here? I've seen other practitioners bring them out here, that's all and -"
"Hey, don't worry – I'm not here to yell at you. I'm just requesting you either move them back into the daycare to play or you move them all to studio three. It's just I have important business associates coming along today and if the door opens the children are close enough to the door to be able to run out if they have that ability." I explain looking over to the door and back. "If no one comes in, it's safe but if they decide to turn up early then we are pretty much screwed as the door will stay open if it motions any movement. Do you understand where I am coming from?"
"I do, Miss Pierce. I'll move them now."
I put a hand on her arm with a smile. "Thank you. Oh, and tell Hayley to stop doing paperwork when there are children about. If she argues with you then let me know and I'll speak to her myself. I've told her a number of times to do it when the children are having a nap or in her own time."
Lucy nods her head with a smile. "I will do."
Waving to all the children I make my way back to the office when I feel little hands on my trouser leg. Looking down I notice Dylan grinning up at me with a pacifier in his mouth. He reaches his arms up to me once he lets go of my trousers. Reaching down I pick him up tickling enjoying the giggle that comes from his mouth. He takes his pacifier out handing it to me.
"Is this mine?" I ask with a nod of his head in response. "Well thank you, Mr Lopez. Are you going to go and play with all the other children? I'll be getting in trouble with favoritism at this rate."
"No." He responds shaking his head. "'tay wiv you."
I normally would give into him staying with me for a bit but today I wasn't able to have him by my side. Plus, it would be good for him to be comfortable around the practitioners as well as me. I know he can stay there and have fun since I have seen it – I think sometimes he just misses Santana which is understandable and attaches himself to me instead. I love how much he likes me as I like him too – he is a spitting image of Santana and is pretty smart too. I think he knows what he is doing most of the time too.
"Not today, Dylan. I have a lot of stuff to do today which means you have to stay and play with the other children." I explain pointing to the children going into the daycare. "I would love to spend time with you but just not today. How about you draw me a picture?"
He shakes his head whimpering a little. "No."
I walk over to the daycare walking inside with Dylan. All the other children are playing and doing other things. I walk over to Peter who has been one of our practitioners since I opened up.
"Dylan, this is Peter. How about you play with him today?" I ask him pointing to the man in front of me. "He's playing with water. You like water, right?"
Dylan looks at him with a shy expression before noting the water and nodding. "Pway?"
Peter looks at Dylan with a warm smile. "Hey, Dylan. You wanna play with us?"
I hand him to Peter who gets straight into helping Dylan settle in. Sighing gratefully, I make my way out of the daycare towards my office when I see a group of men in suits who I notice instantly are the advisors I'm supposed to be having a meeting with today. Well, this will be fun. I make my way over shaking the hands of all of them.
"Thank you all so much for joining me. If you just give me a second to gather all the documents we need, we can all gather in the conference room."
Before getting everyone to follow me, I pop into my office getting the appropriate documents from the bottom drawer of my desk. I didn't want to get into the meeting without any relatable documents – it would be pointless. Locking my office door, I motion for them all to follow me before walking through the studio. I look through the windows of a few classes to make sure everything is running smoothly since I don't like visitors to see anything going wrong – it just doesn't look very good. Plus, if I was to get involved in any classes for whatever reason, it would just push this meeting back and I definitely didn't want that happening. Not today anyway. Reaching the second to last door on the right, I unlock the door motioning for everyone to get inside before closing it behind us sitting down at the end.
"Okay, so I assume you have thought about my proposal." I begin clasping my hands together on top of the folder.
James, a frequent associate of mine, nods his head. "We have and we have agreed to the opening of the studio in Chicago."
"Everything is to go ahead and be refurbished. As you know, it is under your name so it does belong to you," An older man states looking over the folder in front of him. "However, we do have some concerns where it comes to the running of the establishment. Have you thought about who will be running the studio since you are based here?"
"I want to do the hiring for that studio and I also want it to look similar to this one so when people see it they will know it is the same company," I explain taking a sheet of paper out of the folder putting it into the middle of the table. "I want to find the perfect person to run the studio in my absence and I may even ask one of the staff members who works here to go over there. I haven't made a decision since it will be a while before we open this new studio. What I want to focus on is getting over to Chicago as soon as possible and making sure it all goes to plan."
I hand the advisors the signed documents so the important part is out of the way. Where I bought the building, I should say where James bought it, they do a lot of things electronically so they sent me the documentation I needed to print and sign. Once this document is checked and approved I'll be able to get my letter of confirmation for the property and finally be able to start the refurbishment. I'm actually really excited to be able to open up another studio since it's what I have wanted for a while. People travel here to be taught by the instructors I have, so if I'm able to get the studio in Chicago up to the same standard it means another place for people to travel. I want to eventually get this company worldwide, but one step at a time as they say.
"Well, the documents seem to be in order. We will get in touch with you when the confirmation has come through then we can get started on the refurbishment in Chicago." Andrew, another one of my frequent associates, explains. "However, we will need you to travel to Chicago during this time."
I knew this would need to happen and I understood the reasoning behind it. "Of course – I'll be prepared to travel back and forth. My assistant manager, Mike, will be able to take over when I'm not here."
"Excellent. Well, as always Miss Pierce, it's been a pleasure." Danielle, one of my newer associates, says.
I chuckle standing up. "You always know what words to say, Danielle."
"Well, I try my best to keep the room light."
After everyone leaves, I close and lock the door leading everyone back to the main reception where I get all of them to sign out. Shaking everyone's hands, I bid them all goodbye before deciding the take a look at the classes. The office can get too much sometimes and after a meeting, I like to stretch my legs. It might have only been a short meeting, but I hate going into them. They are super boring and everyone is in suits so I feel underdressed since I definitely don't go around like that. Well, there is no point thinking about that now. I take a step into studio one to watch Mike's class getting back into the spirit of dance. This is the reason behind why I love my job – why I love my company.
I know Mike has noticed me since he gets the class to practice what he just taught them before making his way over to me.
"Hey, Britt. You overlooking my class today?"
I shake my head in response. "No, I'm taking a look around the studio to make sure everything is running the way it should. But now you're here I do have to explain something to you."
He folds his arms standing beside me keeping an eye on the class. "Yeah, sure. What's up?"
"I just bought a building in Chicago which is going to be refurbished into another studio for the company. However, this does mean I'm going to be going between here and Chicago within the next few weeks. I'll need you to run the studio whilst I'm gone."
"That's fantastic I didn't even realize you were thinking of expanding the business," Mike stated before walking over to correct a student's movement so he doesn't injure himself. When I see things like this I know I picked the right people to do the job. He makes his way back, standing back where he was previously watching over the students. They are actually doing an exceptional job. "Do you have a date when you're going to be going between each one?"
"Not quite yet since the confirmation still has to come through," I explain turning to face Mike face to face. "You're going to be okay handling things? I'll obviously train you to sort out my reports and any other documentation that need seeing to in my absence."
"Of course – it will give me an opportunity to see things from where you are."
"It's not that fun, trust me." I chuckle shaking my head before patting his shoulder. "Thank you, Mike. Your class is doing great by the way – keep it up."
He winks in my direction with a smirk. "Don't I always?"
I make my way out of the studio when he goes back to teaching walking through the doors to the other studio classes. Watching them through the window allows me to see just how many students we are teaching here and how many lives we are influencing and, honestly, it makes me loves my job even more. With one last look, I walk into the second studio to watch the youngest class.
The end of the day is always a nice time for me. I get to watch the children get picked up by their parents and see all their excited looks whilst having the opportunity to talk to the parents myself. Well, I sometimes stand to the side and other times I'll go straight and talk to them myself. It really does depend on what I have going on that day. I love seeing the positive and friendly environment I have created alongside my team – it really is amazing to me. Today I've decided to stand beside my office door leaning against the wall for support. It's been a long but successful day all in one and I wish more were like it. I have to remind myself at some point to let Bethany know what is going on so she is kept updated – she hates being kept out of the loop. I should probably call my parents about this too. I am a family orientated woman and even though my family annoy me, I love them all dearly. I really don't know what I would do without them.
"So – do you usually stand all the way over here by yourself?" The familiar voice causes me to look up and see Santana. I grin standing up straight to greet her personally.
"Well it depends on the day but today I decided to stand on the sidelines," I respond before leaning forward kissing her cheek with a hand on her waist. "How are you doing?"
She is about to respond when Dylan attaches himself to her leg babbling excitedly. She reaches down lifting him up before kissing his cheek. "I've just been busy more than anything. I am, however, doing pretty good. Plus, it's always a nice surprise to see you out of your office."
I would argue her statement, but she is kind of right. I am in there most of the day unless I have a class to teach. "Well, I thought I'd come out and see everyone. Plus, you were coming in so I made sure I was out of there."
Her smile just makes my heart swell. I can't explain it – it's as though as much as I want to keep my distance so I don't get too invested too quickly, I can't. I know being friends, for now, is going to be a struggle but I just hope she understands my reasoning.
"You got something on your mind?" Santana asks, looking at me with a look I've never seen before. I press my lips together not knowing what I'm going to say but I know I have to say something. Well, I could just keep quiet but what good would that do?
Biting my lip nervously, I look down and back up. "I guess I do."
"Care to share?"
Moving my hand up to her face, I brush a piece of hair to tuck it behind her ear. "I can't be in a relationship with you just now."
"I know." She says bouncing Dylan up and down slightly when he starts to become fussy. "I understand that you've just come out of a relationship."
"Right. It just – I wouldn't want to send you mixed messages, that's all." I try and explain meeting Santana's eyes. "I care about you, more than I probably should actually, and I just want time to process before I get involved."
Santana puts her hand on my arm. "Brittany, it's okay. Honestly, I didn't expect you to jump from one relationship into another. I'm happy to just spend time with you and if you need time to be single, then go for it. I just have one request."
I raise my eyebrow curiously. "What is this request?"
She takes a step forward putting her fingers on my chin so both of us are locked into our eye-contact before giving me a warm smile. "If you feel like kissing anyone, come and find me and not some random person."
I grin nodding my head. "I can do that."
Pulling back, Santana gets her sons things putting the bag on her shoulder when I remember he gave me his pacifier earlier. Reaching into my pocket, I hand it to Santana which she takes in surprise.
"He gave this to you?"
I nod my head. "Yeah, he came to me and when I lifted him up he just handed it to me. Why?"
Santana puts it in her mouth for a few seconds, which I assume is to clean it after being in my pocket, before she hands it back to Dylan who puts it into his mouth leaning against his mother's shoulder, closing his eyes. I can't help but smile – he's just such an adorable child. She looks at me as though astonished which I couldn't understand. I didn't do anything spectacular.
"The only person he has done that with is me," Santana confesses which, I have to be honest, makes me feel pretty good about myself. The young boy must really trust me then. "He has never done that with anyone else – not even my parents."
Before I can say anything, she looks at the time cursing silently. "I better go. I have a lot of stuff to do, but I'll see you later?"
"Yeah, of course," I respond waving the woman off before settling my hands into the pockets of my jacket, "go ahead. I'll see you soon."
Santana flashes me one last smile before walking out of the studio with her sleeping infant in her arms. My stomach flutters a little as I watch her walk away. Well, I have realized one thing – being friends with her is going to be a lot harder than I first anticipated.
Chapter 9: Santana
My head has been all over the place the past few days – mainly due to Brittany. One thing is she has an amazing bond with my son – I can't even explain it myself. When I saw that he had given her his pacifier I couldn't believe it. He is pretty serious about it and only gives it to people he trusts and the fact that he willingly gave it to her without any request bewilders me. It might not seem important to some people but to a mother it is – to me it is. She has a certain way about her I cannot explain; nor do I want to. He is the most important person in my life and the fact Brittany has formed a bond with him causing the trust between them amazes me. I'm so happy they get along – that's the main thing I wanted. There's one other thing I have on my mind – but I don't want it to be negative. I care for Brittany deeply and even though it upsets me a little that she wants to remain friends, I understand her reasoning. She has only just got out a relationship and I definitely don't expect her to jump straight into one. I guess after she came over and we made out on my couch after watching a movie, I just thought we would get somewhere other than being told she needs time. I shouldn't pout about it however because it's not as though she is kicking me out her life – she just needs to time to process everything. I'm not a child – I am not about to go in a huff because someone I like doesn't want to be with me right now.
Since Dylan isn't feeling too well I've had to take the day off from work since I don't have anyone to take care of him. Even though I do have Brittany in New York, there is no one else I can count on for childcare. He's currently curled up against my side as I read a case file. Even though I am off, I can't stop thinking about work. I'm currently in the process of looking into a child abuse case. I have a wide variety of cases I can get since family law is a wide range of different things. I have some cases which aren't that bad and it doesn't affect me but some, just like this one, pull at my heart. It's harder to not put your own personal feelings into the case since everything had to be factual – it's so damn hard at times. I push my glasses up into my head and rub my eyes before looking down at Dylan. I hate him being sick because I can't do anything to make him feel better aside from giving him medicine. He has a fever at the minute so I've got a cold flannel to put on his head so it cools him down a little – it's definitely better than doing nothing. I'm his mother and he needs me to make him feel better – to make him well again. That's my job.
Moving my hand over his back slowly in a circular motion, I hear him cough a little whilst his hand grips onto my top. I put my hand against his forehead to feel how hot he is before lifting him up onto my stomach so he's laying on top of me. It doesn't take him long to figure out where he's been moved to since he instantly grips my top in his hand. He usually does that when he's either tired or sick. I hate my little boy being sick because he's not himself at all. He's very quiet and he doesn't talk to me as much. He just needs me to be close to him which is fine but I miss his chattering. He's a very happy child and you can definitely tell when something is wrong with him. Putting the case file away I move to a standing position holding him against me as we walk into the living room. Even though I hate being off work, sometimes it can be a blessing. It means I can catch up on my television shows which I don't have the chance to usually. I don't take much time off since it is just me and Dylan – work is pretty good with the situation and don't usually complain about it.
Before I go to the living room I go into the kitchen to make up a beaker of water for him. He doesn't drink a lot when he's ill so I have to try and persuade him a lot more than usual. I don't enjoy doing it since he gets a lot fussier but I need him to drink something – it will help him get better after all. During times like this it's why I hate being a single mother. I don't have anyone to help me make decisions- it's all down to me. If I make one bad move it's all my fault. It scares me a lot but I've done well the past nineteen months and nothing bad has happened so far.
Walking to the living room I turn the television on to settle down with him when the phone rings. Dylan becomes fussy and starts to whine a little so I pick up his pacifier from the table before giving it to him which he accepts gratefully. I kiss his head before picking up the phone bouncing him a little in my arms to help him settle.
I hear Daniel laugh on the other end of the line. Of course it would be him – he can't survive at work without me. "Now that is an official answer. Have you always done that?"
"Well it could be anyone calling so I would prefer to be formal than not," I answer defending myself before laughing. "I know, it can sound stupid sometimes when it's just a friend."
"You're telling me! How is the little tyke doing?"
I sigh stroking his back. "Not well. He is incredibly quiet and just wants to be with me, which is fine as I love bonding with him, but it's just not like him."
"As long as you are there to help him feel better he will be better in no time. Once he is better you can come back to work so I can annoy the crap out of you again." Daniel teases.
Even though he does annoy me sometimes, I can honestly say I don't know how I would get through work without him. He makes the day go by a lot faster and he's actually really good at his job. He's a criminal lawyer and I can tell you something – he's does a good damn job. I wouldn't want to go up against him I can tell you that much. I haven't introduced him to Dylan but he knows what he looks like by the pictures I have in my office. I think it's important when I have a client come in that they see for themselves how important family is to me – heck, it's one of the reasons I decided to pursue family law in the first place.
"Well I'll be looking forward to seeing you when he gets better then." I tease back before hearing a knock at the door. Who could that possibly be? I'm not expecting anybody. "Dan, I have to get going. Thank you for calling me though – I really appreciate it. I'll talk to you soon."
"Alright, talk to you later, Lopez. Hope Dylan gets better soon."
Hanging up the phone, I put Dylan on the couch with a blanket on top of him surrounded by pillows to stop him from falling before making my way to the door. Undoing the chain, I open the door to see the blonde dancer stood there with a bag in one hand and pizza in the other. I bite my lip leaning against the doorframe with my arms folded. How did she know what I needed? I haven't eaten much since I've been keeping an eye on Dylan all day and then Brittany turns up with pizza. Gosh, she is good.
"How did you know?" I question, motioning to the pizza in her hand. "I'm starving."
Brittany chuckled shaking her head. "I just thought you could use some company whilst Dylan is recovering. Plus, I wanted to see the little munchkin for myself – I missed him keeping me company at work."
I raise my eyebrow a little. "What, to keep you from doing your job?"
Brittany nods her head with no shame on her face before pointing at me. "Exactly. Anyway, I wanted to check on you too – we've not really spoken since the other day."
I look around the hallway before tilting my head towards the door. "Come on – we can talk inside. I don't want someone hearing us."
"They should be jealous that someone as hot as me is coming to your place. Heck, I would be."
With a wink, she walks into the apartment putting the pizza down on the table along with the bag she brought with her. Gosh, what is she up to? I close the door reattaching the chain before locking the door. What? I don't want some random person bursting in – there are probably some right weirdos on this floor.
"How is he doing?" Brittany asks. I notice she has knelt beside him stroking his head which just makes my heart beat a little faster. Not many people would do something like that with a look of worry on their face. "He feels hot."
I nod my head folding my arms walking towards them standing beside her looking down at my son. "He has a fever which is why he is asleep right now. Sleeping usually helps him but it means I can't keep him hydrated which I really need to do. He has hardly drunk anything today."
She looks at me for a second before kissing his head standing up. Brushing hair out of my face she gives me a warm smile which, for some reason, just makes me feel ten times better than I have felt all day.
"How about I make us some tea? I would say coffee but that will keep you awake and you look like you didn't sleep a wink last night." Brittany goes on before taking my glasses from the top of my head. "You will end up straining your eyes if you don't wear them, Santana."
I really wish she didn't notice them there. I hate wearing my glasses in front of people because I know I look even nerdier than usual and people always comment on it. My mother is one of them. She insists I wear them when she comes over and always makes sure I at least wear them around the house. I have the same eyesight as my father which, basically, means my eyesight is shit. He wears them all the time too but tends to wear contacts at work most of the time – he does keep them in his pocket, however. Especially when he has a really long day.
"I don't like to wear them around other people," I mutter shaking my head, "because they always say I look even nerdier than usual. No, that isn't a good thing before you say anything."
"You shouldn't care what other people say. If you need to wear them you should." Brittany states before moving the glasses around in her hands as though admiring them. They aren't even that great – just rectangular glasses with a black frame surrounding them. Simple yet elegant. Brittany raises her head to look at me once again biting her lip. "Will you please wear them? For me at least? I don't want your eyes to get worse."
Looking up at the blonde I know I won't be able to disagree. Sighing, I take the glasses from her hands before sliding them onto my face once again. Well, it's certainly nice to be able to see her properly but I still hate them being on my face.
Brittany gives me a soft smile taking hold of my chin lightly raising it so she can see my glasses better. She strokes my skin with her thumb nodding her head.
"I think you look beautiful. So, how about I make that tea for us?"
She doesn't let me respond before pulling back walking into the kitchen where I hear her putting the kettle on. I don't tend to have tea that much since coffee keeps me awake which I usually have to do when Dylan is around if he isn't asleep. It would probably explain why I haven't slept properly since I gave birth to him. Sitting on the edge of the couch, I move my hand to stroke his head. I'm glad he is asleep but I just wish I knew what to do to make him feel better. In times like these I really don't feel like I am doing my best – I feel terrible for not being able to help him. He's my son and out of anyone in the world I should be able to make him feel better. If only I got a doctor degree instead of a lawyer one then maybe I would know what I should do. I've only been a mother for nineteen months and I still get terrified when he is sick. I feel a hand on my leg which I know can only be Brittany's. I look up to see her sat on the coffee table – I honestly didn't even hear her come back into the room.
"You look worried."
"He's my son, Brittany. Out of everyone in the world I should be able to make him feel better." I explain moving my hand to rub his back in circles. "I have been a single mother for nineteen months and I still have no idea what I'm doing."
Brittany squeezes my leg lightly. "Hey, you're not going to know everything. You learn as you go along and I know he is grateful he has you as his mother, Santana. You do everything you can for him, which apparently includes not sleeping."
"I can't sleep when he is sick. I did that once a while ago and I woke up to him screaming for me. He was red in the face screaming, Britt, meaning he must have been crying for a good few minutes before I heard him." I explain moving my hand over my head. "I don't want that to happen again – I can't let it happen again."
"I know that was probably a scary experience for you, I get that, but you can't just stop sleeping. You'll get even more tired which could cause you to fall ill and that won't be any good for him." Brittany says before kneeling in front of me taking my hands in her own. "You are not alone, Santana. You have me and I don't want you to feel as though you can't ask me for help."
"I'm his mother."
Brittany presses her lips together nodding. "You are and I'm not doubting that, however, you are also only twenty-one."
I nod my head in agreement. I know I am hard on myself because I am a single mother but I just want to be perfect for him. I know Dylan doesn't expect that from me at all but I expect it from myself. I've always excelled at everything in my life, especially school, so I want to excel at this too. Dylan deserves that so I don't want to fail him – I want to raise him right.
"I've always been a master of doing everything better than most people – school is the main one I can definitely say I did better at," I explain looking into the blonde's eyes. "I never really failed so when it comes to Dylan I want to be perfect. I know he doesn't expect that from me but I need to be for myself."
I notice a small pout form on Brittany's lip and I have to admit, it's kind of cute. She squeezes my hands gently. "Santana, that is way too much pressure to put upon yourself. No one is perfect – frankly I don't know anyone who even comes close to being that way. You are who you are and you can only do your best. Everybody has flaws – it's called being human."
Before I can give her a response she gives my hands one last squeeze before walking back into the kitchen. As much as I want to believe her, it's as though my brain won't allow it. Surely Dylan would rather have someone who isn't a screw up as a mother than someone who tries her best to perfect everything she does. I guess becomes I'm still learning everything myself it's different than if I had been older. I'm still learning half the time and it's not only at home either – even during my job sometimes I'm having to teach myself new things. It's a lot of hard work. Now, with Brittany in the picture, I may need to learn how to be someone's girlfriend – how the fuck am I going to manage all of that at once? Well I don't have to manage the whole girlfriend thing yet since Brittany wants time to sort herself out after ending things with Hollie so I should be okay. I do want to be with her, don't get me wrong, it's just so much to deal with. I'm just glad she's here to help me with Dylan being sick and the fact she came over voluntarily makes my heart flutter a bit more. How sweet is she? Standing up, I settle down into one of the arm chairs so I can give Dylan his space to sleep when Brittany comes in with two cups of tea.
"You are a lifesaver." I say sighing happily taking the tea before taking a sip. "Wow – you make a good cup of tea, too."
Brittany chuckles sitting in the armchair opposite my own. "Well, I do try."
There is a moment of silence between us before I have to break it. "Why did you come over?"
"I told you. I wanted to -"
"I know what you said but I want to know the real reason. You told me you needed space to sort your head out which, to me, made me think you didn't want to see me." I explain folding my leg underneath me so I'm pretty much sat on it. "I don't get it – I'm honestly now confused."
Brittany bows her head looking down at the drink in her hand. "Yeah – I can see why you would be."
"So – why are you here?" I question once again. "I'm trying to understand, but I don't."
I watch Brittany for a few minutes whilst she thinks about what I said to her. I'm not trying to be awkward or anything, I just want to know what she is thinking. You can't kiss someone one minute whilst saying you can't handle a relationship right now then the next be coming over to have tea. I know it might look that I'm being difficult but I'm genuinely not. I just want to know what her thoughts are. I understand her reasoning behind wanting to just be friends right now but she can't want that and then go about holding hands with me. Gosh, I am so frustrated right now.
"I'm sorry if I'm confusing you, Santana. Honestly, that isn't my intention because I do still want to be around you." Brittany explains putting her cup down before walking over to me sitting on the coffee table in front of me. "Remember how you said if I wanted to kiss someone I should come to you?"
My heart began to beat a little faster in excitement. I let out a shaky breath nodding my head. "Yeah – I remember."
Brittany took my cup putting it on the table and before I knew it, she was straddling my lap. Her fingers were running through my hair brushing it away from my face whilst she looked at me whilst biting her bottom lip. Fuck, it made her look super sexy. My hands moved up and down her thighs enjoying the firm feel they had – it's clear she's a dancer I can tell you that much. Her hair covers her face a little as she looks down at me and before I could even say anything, she cups my cheeks kissing me deeply straight away. My hands grip at her thighs a little whilst I try and get my head together. I can't believe how good her lips feel and the softness of them is indescribable. I begin to move my lips along with hers but it's obvious she is going to be controlling this kiss. I follow her lead tilting my head in the opposite direction to hers so we don't clash whilst our lips move together in a way I've never kissed anyone else. Well, it's not as though I have much to compare to but still.
It doesn't take long until I feel her slide her tongue into my mouth moving it along with mine. I can't help but feel a little turned on at her dominance – does she always kiss like this? I move my tongue along with hers noticing the way I'm pressed back into the seat a little bit. My hands move slowly up her thighs moving behind her to cup her ass pulling her closer to my body which she accepts. The kiss slowly grows more passionate the longer it lasts. Our lips move against each other a lot faster than they were before but it just makes the whole experience hotter. Her tongue and her lips are the only thing in my mind right now before the kiss comes to an end and we're sat panting with bruised lips and our foreheads leant against one another. She traces her fingers down my cheek moving down to my neck cupping it softly along with her other hand. Her thumb strokes the skin there whilst we get our breath back.
"Damn – are you usually that controlling of a kiss when you're straddling someone?" I question chuckling a little which causes her to blush.
"I – umm – yeah." Brittany responds nodding her head. "Sorry, I just find it easier to take control of the kiss when I'm on top. Did you – well – was it okay?"
I let out a small breath before nodding whilst moving my hands over her ass cheeks. "Yeah, I loved it. I've not got much to compare it to but it was – damn. I've never been kissed like that – ever."
Brittany's cheeks turn a hint of red before she runs her fingers through her hair. "Can I ask you a question?"
"You can ask me anything."
"You told me Puckerman took your virginity, correct?"
"That is correct."
"Have you ever – you know – slept with a girl?" Brittany asks, moving her hands over my arms.
I shake my head. "No I haven't. Frankly, before today, I hadn't even kissed a girl. I guess that's why I was so surprised at how good it was."
"Were you expecting anything less?" Brittany smirked brushing her lips against mine once again. "I do aim to please."
I whimper as she pulls away. "Well you definitely did please. No doubts about that."
I move my hands away from her ass resting them on top of her thighs once again stroking the material covering them. She was wearing some grey jogger bottoms and a yellow tank top which, from what I can see, seem like the clothes she usually dances in. I don't dance but I've seen her go around in these types of clothes before. Looking down I look at my hands on her thighs noticing how they seem to tense a little as I rest my hands on there. It wasn't plainly obvious but it was enough for me to notice. Knowing the effect I have on her really does something to me. Smiling, I move my hands over her thighs enjoying the feel of them underneath my fingertips.
"Hey, you okay?" Brittany asks, tracing her fingertips down my arms. "You seem to be deep in your thoughts."
I shake my head looking up with a smile. "Of course. I'm just – thinking I suppose."
"Well I discovered that for myself," Brittany laughed running her fingers through my hair, "but I want to know what you're thinking."
Biting my lip, I lean my head back against the back of the chair. "Lots of things."
Brittany raises her eyebrow. "Oh yeah? Wanna share?"
Clicking my tongue, I look up into her blue eyes. "I could."
She tils her head to the side with a smile. "But?"
"But I don't want to give everything away so soon." I state shrugging my shoulders. "If I do that then you'll have nothing to look forward to."
"You do have a point; however, I would still like to know what's going on up there."
"Patience is a virtue as they say." I whisper, tracing my hands over her arms before hearing some shuffling. "I think that's Dylan waking up."
Brittany looks over to the couch getting off of my lap walking over to where my son is sitting on the edge of it. I stand up myself walking over kneeling beside it stroking his stomach as he slowly stirs opening his eyes. He looks at me blinking a few times lifting his arms up to be picked up. Smiling I stand up lifting him into my arms rubbing his back as he settles his head on my shoulder. I sit beside Brittany sitting him on my lap sideways facing the blonde allowing him to lean against my chest.
"Hey buddy. Look who's here." I whisper kissing his head whilst stroking his back.
Brittany smiles stroking his leg with her finger. "Hey, Dylan. How you feeling?"
He sucks on his pacifier for another few seconds before pulling it out looking at Brittany. "Icky."
"I bet you do, honey. You'll feel better before you know it." Brittany assures him stroking his head with a soft smile on her lips. "I bought you something."
He puts his pacifier back in but I notice his eyes sparkle when she gets up to pick up the bag she brought with her. Sitting back down, Brittany opens the bag taking out a soft toy version of Thomas the Tank Engine from his favorite program. She holds it out for him allowing him to reach out and touch it for himself. I watch as he touches it a few times before taking it from her pulling it against his chest. I kiss his head.
"What do you say to Brittany, baby?"
He takes his pacifier from his mouth once again holding it out to Brittany which she accepts. "'tank you."
"You're welcome, honey." Brittany responds putting the pacifier on the table beside the couch. She looks at me whilst Dylan gets acquainted with his new toy. "I've seen him playing with trains a lot in daycare so I thought he might like it. It's not too much, is it?"
"Of course not, Britt. He loves it and I have no problem you buying him a present." I assure her stroking Dylan's arm. "If it keeps him happy then I'm happy. Honestly I love how close you have gotten with my son."
Brittany blushes shrugging her shoulders. "He's adorable. I guess I have a soft spot for him which is pretty bad considering the job I do."
"It's not as though you never talk to the other children – I've seen you talk to many of them."
"Not the way I talk to Dylan though." Brittany admits watching Dylan cuddle the toy close to his chest. "He's different."
The doorbell rings cutting our conversation short. I stand up causing Dylan to become fussy so, surprisingly, Brittany takes him from me sitting him in her lap allowing him to settle back down. I look at the both of them in surprise when another knock at the door brings me back to why I got up in the first place. Flashing Brittany with a smile of gratitude I make my way to the door opening it to see my mother standing there. Shit.
"Hey mami," I greet with a smile hugging her as she makes her way through the door, "what are you doing here?"
She chuckles shaking her head. "Honey, I can turn up to see my daughter."
I groan walking over to close the door before making my way to where Brittany and Dylan are. "Mami, I'd like to introduce you to Brittany."
I watch as my mother walks over to the three of us looking Brittany up and down in a judgmental manner. I know she didn't like her very much due to high school and I know changing her mind is pretty difficult. I run my fingers through my hair shaking my head – why did she have to do this now?
"Brittany? As in high school Brittany?"
I look between the two women before nodding my head. "The same one but don't lecture her – she really is lovely and she's here because Dylan is sick."
"That doesn't take away the fact she upset you in school."
I sigh shaking my head. "Stop talking about her as though she's not in the room. It's making me do that and I hate it – it's rude."
Brittany stands up holding Dylan underneath his legs with her arm against his back. "I can leave if you want to spend time together."
"No don't be ridiculous, Brittany." I say looking at her putting my hand on her arm. "You're my friend and I want you here. Plus, Dylan looks comfortable."
"Well, I think I'm just a substitute for you."
I grin shaking my head. "You know he adores you and if you haven't noticed, he hasn't let go of that train you gave him earlier since it's been in his grasp."
Brittany nods her head pressing her lips together. "You do have a point. I'll go see if he'll drink anything. I'll be in the kitchen."
I watch Brittany walk away before turning to my mother when the door closes. I sigh running my fingers through my hair. "Mami, you can't say stuff about a person when they are in the room."
"She wasn't exactly nice to you in school, Santanita." Mami whispers, looking towards the kitchen. "Along with her friends, she caused you pain during high school."
"That was three years ago, ma." I hiss rolling my eyes. "You need to stop holding a grudge. Believe it or not, she's a good person."
"People don't just change, Mija."
Looking at the floor I shake my head sitting down on the arm of the couch. "I'm by myself here – she's the only friend I have."
"You don't understand, Ma. She – I need her around. She helps me with Dylan, she keeps me company and -"
Mami looks at me questionably. "And what?"
I shake my head standing up. "It doesn't matter. What does matter is you need to back off Brittany."
"Don't use that tone with me, Santana." Mami states giving me one of her famous Lopez stern looks. "I'm your mother, not your friend."
"Are you staying here?" I ask, noticing her lack of baggage. "You normally have a lot more luggage with you. Plus, the last time you came I just moved in so, frankly, I'm surprised you even found this place."
"I'm staying in a hotel downtown – I didn't tell you I was coming so I thought it might be better if I stayed elsewhere."
"What about Papi? Didn't he come with you?"
She shakes her head. "No. He has to work but I missed my daughter and grandson so I thought I would come and surprise you."
As much as I love my mother, she can be a bit overbearing sometimes. Well, you've just seen the way she treated Brittany just because of what happened in high school – that's not the worst she's been either. I love her to pieces and even though I'm glad she has been here for me throughout everything, I've enjoyed my freedom of New York. When she actually gets along with people in my life, maybe it won't be as bad when she visits. Shit, Brittany is still in the kitchen with Dylan.
"I'm glad you are here but can we pick this up later on tonight?" I ask folding my arms. "You know I love you, but Brittany is here with me currently and I would like to spend some time with her."
Pressing her lips together, my mother nods her head. "Alright, I'll come by later on tonight and we can go for a family dinner."
"Sounds good, Ma."
Walking her to the door I give her a hug goodbye opening the door myself when we've pulled away to let her out. She looks at me tucking my hair behind my ear with a smile. "Just be careful, alright? I wouldn't want you to get hurt."
"I won't, but I appreciate your concerns."
"I'll always show my concerns because I love you and I want the best for you," Mami explains.
She does have a point but it doesn't make the whole Brittany bashing go away. "I know. I'll see you tonight."
With a final goodbye, she makes her way out of the apartment which causes me to sigh in relief. Why was she here exactly? Mami usually at least calls when she comes over so something must be going on. I hear the kitchen door open and close from behind causing me to turn around. Brittany stands there with a sleeping Dylan on her shoulder which, I have to admit, makes everything better. She is so good with him and I couldn't ask for a better person to be around him. I give her a smile before making my way over to them.
"I'm sorry about her – she's protective."
Brittany chuckles. "I can tell but I'm glad you have that. You shouldn't worry about what she said."
"I don't like the way she spoke about you as though you weren't in the room." I explain shuffling my feet a little. "She isn't very forgiving about how I got bullied in high school by your friends."
"I'm not very forgiving about that either, Santana." Brittany responds shaking her head regrettably. "I just didn't want the situation to get worse for you – it was my way of protecting you. If I stopped my friends from doing anything they would have probably hurt you more. It made sense at the time."
Moving closer I put my hand on her bicep before taking Dylan from her. "I know and I appreciate what you did. It makes sense – well, it does to me anyway."
"You know, I think the pizza I bought has gone cold."
Moving my eyes to the same direction as her, I shrug my shoulders. "It'll be alright. Cold pizza is just as good as hot."
"Sometimes even better."
I laugh nodding my head. "Yes, sometimes even better. If you give me a minute I'll put Dylan back on the couch and we can watch a movie or something."
"Actually, I should go." Brittany said with a hint of regret in her voice pressing her lips together. "I have a bunch of paperwork I need to get done at the studio. It was only supposed to be a short visit but the more we talk, the longer I want to stay. If I don't go now I'll be here for even longer."
I chuckle nodding my head walking in the direction of the door. I didn't want her to go but I understood why – she had stuff to do and my focus should be on Dylan. Undoing the chain on the door, I open it up watching as the blonde sorts herself out to leave rubbing Dylan's back in a circular motion.
"I'll see you later, Santana. Let me know when Dylan gets better."
Without another word, she walks out the door and away from my apartment. Sighing, I close the door leaning against it closing my eyes. How the hell am I supposed to get through a dinner with my mother with Brittany on my mind?