It’s a deal
“Engaged?!”, Valerie was shocked. What the hell was Ethan thinking?
“Yeah, fucked up, isn’t it…”, Eva hung her head. She sobbed quietly. “I think I need to go I can’t deal with this right now.”
“Why don’t you just go down there and tell Jenny about everything?”, Valerie blurted out. So you don’t have to do that yourself, huh?, a voice inside her head said. Eva frowned.
“You think that’s gonna make him love me more? What use would it be?”
“Now, who’s talking.”
Valerie blushed. She knew what Eva was referring to. Her shady deal with Ethan was still on the table but by the second Valerie doubted its worth more.
“I need to go”, Eva said and rushed out of the door, her eyes still filled with tears. Valerie followed, but Eva was already gone as she got downstairs. Waiting for her were only a smiling Jenny and Ethan, with that smug grin on his face that just wouldn’t go away. Valerie wanted to punch him. She walked back to the table.
“There you are!”, Jenny called out as Valerie sat down, “I was just about to tell you… We’re getting married!”
Jenny showed her a giant diamond ring on her hand. How did he afford this?
“Wow, congrats”, Valerie managed to force a smile, “I didn’t see that coming.”
The slight edge didn’t bother Jenny at all.
“Isn’t it beautiful?”, she was marveling at her own hand.
“It sure is! Excuse me, Ethan, could I talk to you for a second… outside?”
Jenny’s eyes narrowed but Valerie interrupted her before she could say something.
“Don’t worry I’m not stealing him. Since you’re getting married, there’s some planning to do, isn’t there?”, she winked and Jenny’s eyes lit up. The surprise party excuse worked perfectly once again.
“Ethan…?”, Valerie poked his arm and he reluctantly followed her outside. She took a deep breath before confronting him.
“What the actual hell are you doing?”, she tried to keep her voice calm but it grew louder with every word.
“Sheesh, calm down, she’s gonna hear you. These doors aren’t that thick.”
“I’d be a lot calmer if you weren’t getting engaged to a girl you’re cheating on! Why are you doing this?”
“Marriage is bullshit anyway. I don’t need to love Jenny to marry her. It’s a deal.”
“A deal? What kind of deal?”
“Money. Her family’s rich you know. Really rich. Marrying her sets me up for life. And I can still have Eva for… my other needs.”
Valerie felt the urge to slap him but doing that would have alerted Jenny for sure. She could feel her watching him through the glass doors of the cafe.
“Yeah, you said so quite a few times. So why haven’t you informed on me yet? I’ll tell you, because you’re disgusting too and you know it. We actually have something in common there.”
Valerie felt a hot surge of shame rise to her face.
“At least I’m not a gold digger.”
“You might as well be.”
There was silence for a few moments, but another question rose in Valerie’s mind.
“Wait a second why would you need to be ‘set up’ your family looks pretty rich to me!”
Ethan’s face fell.
“None of your business that is. Let’s just say my dad isn’t as good with money as it seems.”
Valerie shook her head.
“You know what. This stupid deal is not fucking worth it.”
Ethan’s eyes went wide as Valerie marched back into the café.
Next: Chapter 24