Maggie walked into Perk You Up the next morning still groggy and sore. No matter how hard she tried, she wasn’t able to get to sleep last night. Thoughts of Trevor kept replaying in her mind. And, if it wasn’t him, it was the necklace. Not to mention every move she’d make, her body screamed in protest reminding her of how stupid she’d been.
Subconsciously, she reached into the front pocket of her jeans. Her fingertips grazed the jewelry that was safely tucked away. Her body betrayed her with its sudden relaxation of knowing it was still safely on her. She tried to walk out of her apartment leaving it behind. However, she was only able to make it a few feet before turning back and retrieving it. Which, ultimately annoyed her even more than she already was.
“Mags, love,” Lexi chirped from behind the counter.
Jerked out of her thoughts, Maggie smiled at her friend. She knew coming to Perk You Up would fix all of the craziness that was surrounding her. “Hi, Lex.”
Lexi stared at her, her head cocked a little to the side making a purple ringlet fall out of place. Maggie took a deep breath hoping that Lexi was just doing her, “coffee magic” and not analyzing her thoughts.
A quick sharp nod accompanied by thin lips had Maggie’s heart plummet. Oh no.
“I’ll be over in a few with your drink, missy. And, as soon as the rush leaves I’ll be over.” With that, Lexi turned from her to make whatever drink she’d decided was in order for Maggie. However, Maggie could tell something had changed in Lexi’s demeanor. Her posture was stiff and her foot tapped with annoyance.
Trying to ignore what was sure to come, Maggie moved to find a spot by the window. Maybe coming here wasn’t such a good idea.
A few moments later, Lexi brought her over a mug. “Drink up, love. I’ll be over in a little while and we will have ourselves a little chit-chat. No need to be upset over that jerk.” Maggie physically relaxed. Lexi must have thought she was still upset at the way Trevor treater her at his house. Whew, okay, she could deal with that.
Maggie sat back bringing the mug up to her nose and inhaling deeply. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Mmm. She took a sip and her eyes nearly rolled back into her head. It was as if Christmas was poured into a mug. She closed her eyes taking another sip. Comfort washed over her. She was taken back to the holidays she would spend with her Grammie.
They were some of her best memories. Waking up on Christmas morning, Grammie greeting her with her special Christmas breakfast. Grammie never had much money, but she never let that hinder their holidays. She would fill Christmas with so much love and joy, Maggie never needed anything. Most of the time, Grammie would have gotten her something really small and watched movies with her, all day long. To her it was perfect.
Taking another sip, she opened her eyes in search of Lexi. She was behind the counter bouncing around as she filled orders and chatted with her regulars. How in the heck did she know that Maggie needed a “comfort” drink was beyond her? Shaking her head trying to figure out how she did it, she decided to let well enough alone and admire the view from the window.
Absentmindedly, she reached into her pocket and pulled out the necklace. It was beautiful. The diamond star was breathtaking. She let the pendant glide through her fingers as she examined the shine. In all her life, she’d never received a gift like this. Never. This was by far the most expensive, beautiful item she’d ever had the pleasure of holding in her hands.
She bunched the necklace in her grasp as she shut her eyes tightly. What in the hell had she done?
“Wha’ cha got there, Hun?”
Maggie opened her eyes to see Lexi sitting across from her. A mug in her hands as she took a sip. “Uh, nothing,” she answered.
“Uh huh,” Lexi said. “That the necklace?”
Giving up the charade, Maggie opened her hand to reveal the pendant. She still didn’t know why she brought it with her, or why she kept touching it.
“It is beautiful,” Lexie said. “I’m actually kinda surprised you still have it. I thought you said you threw it back at him at his house.”
Maggie looked at the pendant. “I did.”
Lexi cocked her head to the side. “Okay.”
“After you guys dropped me back home Trevor showed up.”
Lexi sat her drink down and moved to the edge of her seat, her face going hard and her lips tightened. “Did something happen? I thought you were just upset about the way he treated you at his place. I swear to God if he did anything else to upset you I will beat the shit out of him and start putting laxatives in his coffee.”
For the first time since everything happened, Maggie threw her head back and laughed. Leave it to Lexi to not only go to the extreme but to find a way to really hit the person where it hurt. “Well, I mean, I’m not going to stop you if it’s your lifelong mission to make him suffer,” she said, as she whipped a tear from her eye.
Lexi face lit up. “I’d do it just for you, babe.” She picked up her drink and took a sip. Her eyes showing all the mischief possible in one person. Over her cup, she said, “For reals though, hun, what happened after he showed up?”
Maggie coming back to the realization that last night really did happen and she needed someone to talk to, closed her eyes and took a pained breath. “I don’t even know where to begin,” she said.
“Normally the beginning.”
Maggie nodded. “Yeah, well… Shit, Lexi. I screwed up. I’ve made a mess out of this.”
“I’m sure you didn’t, Mags, and even if someone did mess up, I am one hundred percent positive that it was Trevor’s fault. Didn’t we decide it was always going to be his fault?”
Maggie blew out a breath. If only it were that easy. “I was in my room trying to get out of that skin-tight dress… alone.” She glared at Lexi. Who then shrugged. “And, out of nowhere, he was there, in my room.”
“He broke in?” Lexi panicked and then threw her drink on the table. “Let me at him!”
“Simmer down, killer,” Maggie remarked.
Lexi glared at her but sat back down motioning for her to go on. “Anyway, I guess I didn’t lock my door and after not getting a response from me when he knocked, he checked the knob and was able to get in. God Lexi, I was dancing around with my arms flailing everywhere trying to get out of that damn dress.” She groaned.
“Yeah, those dresses are made for someone else to get you out of them.”
“I know that now.” Maggie glared back. “Anyway, we started arguing and it got pretty heated. We were toe to toe when…” She stopped.
“When what? When what? I swear to God woman I will murder you where you sit. Do not keep me waiting.” Lexi said from the edge of her seat.
Looking down, Maggie whispered. “We slept together.”
Maggie refused to look at her.
“Repeat what you said, Maggie.”
“We had a fight,” she said finally looking at her. Lexi’s eyes were wide and her body was stiff.
“No, ma’am after the fight. You and Trevor what?”
“We uh, sorta, you know.”
“No, I don’t know.”
“We slept together, banged, bumped uglies, you know, did it.”
Lexi sat there staring at Maggie as if she’d grown another head. She was about to make sure Lexi was still breathing when a smile spread across her face. She jumped from her seat and started doing a happy dance.
“What are you doing?” Maggie asked trying to get Lexi to sit back down.
“Yay! Yay! Yay!”
“Lexi sit down. Now!”
“Hell no! You got yourself some! And, from Trevor, mmhhmmm what a fine man he is! Yay!” She did another spin.
“Lexi, this is not a cause for celebration. It was a mistake a huge mistake and now I need your help to figure out what to do next.”
Lexi sat back down not even trying to hide her enthusiasm. “What do you mean mistake?”
“Lexi, I hate the guy.”
“There is a fine line between love and hate,” she mumbled while taking another sip of her drink smiling even wider.
“I’m being serious here.”
“So am I. Sooo,” she said. “You slept with him. Is he good? Did he make you scream?”
“Lexi!” Maggie warned.
“What? I’ve been dying to know if all the rumors are true.”
“Can we please be serious here and find a way for me to fix my completely fucked up life?”
Lexi put her drink down. “I don’t know why you think this is such a bad thing? He obviously likes you. He took you home that day, fixed your car without you knowing… I need to thank him for that,” she said looking away. “No laxative in the first coffee I give him.” Looking back at her, she said, “But anyway, he’s been good to you. Plus, he bought you that beautiful necklace you have yet to let go of.”
Maggie dropped the necklace onto the table as if she’d just been burned by it. Lexi went to grab it but Maggie snatched it back up involuntarily. Shit!
“It obviously means a lot to you,” she said. “Tell me, Mags, what’s so bad about what happened between you two?”
“Are you kidding me? He’s a jerk,” she said.
“Yeah, most men are.”
“Danny’s not.” There was a wistful look that ran across Lexi’s face.
Clearing her throat, Lexi said, “We are not talking about Danny, Maggie. We are talking about you and Trevor. What is so bad about him that you can’t enjoy yourself?”
“He’s a rude, pompous asshole. He made my life a living hell and you know that first hand. Not to mention all the mean things he’s said about me. To my face.” Maggie growled.
Lexi sat back in her chair and nodded. “I will give you that. Trevor can be an ass, and he was an ass to you. Hence, the reason I have decided to add the extra ingredient in his coffee, but and I mean this, he only did that when he first met you. As time has gone by, he’s actually started changing his ways around you.” She held up her hand. “And, I know being nice now is absolutely no excuse for the things he’s said to you and about you in the past. If it were me, I would make him apologize every single day for a year between my legs, and only after that year was up I would decide if he were worthy enough but-“
“What? You wanted honesty here and I am giving it to you. Is Trevor an asshole for saying those things and acting the way he did? Yes. But do I think you should forgive him and see where this could go? Yes. And, you want to know why Maggie Connolly? It’s because you deserve to be happy for once in your life. You deserve to be able to wake up each morning and not question if you are good enough in a world full of hateful jerkwad people. And, I think Trevor can do that for you.”
Maggie sat there completely dumbfounded. This was Lexi, her best friend and she was evidently on Trevor’s side here. No. Lexi needed to be on her side. The side where she hated Trevor and thought he was a jerk and was going to spend the next few hours trying to come up with a plan to fix the mistake Maggie made. Not trying to put her together with Trevor. Maggie narrowed her eyes. “How do you know this wasn’t one of his famous one night stands? Huh? How do you know he’s not out there talking crap about me right now?”
Strangely Lexi smiled at Maggie. Picking up her drink and standing she nodded to the necklace. “That’s how I know this isn’t a one night stand type of thing. Do I agree with a lot that Trevor’s done and said? No. But, I’ve known him since the first day I opened this place. Deep down he is a good guy. He’s got a lot of walls up around him just like you. He’s been hurt in the past and that man doesn’t know who to trust or who is really his friend to save his life. But beneath all of that, he’s just as vulnerable as you are. Giving you that necklace meant something to him. He wouldn’t have done that if he was just trying to get into your pants.”
Maggie sat back, her mouth gaping.
“And, I know for a fact, he isn’t out there talking shit about you right now,” she said before starting to walk away.
“How do you know that?” Maggie asked.
Looking over her shoulder she motioned to the door. “He’s walking in the door right now.”