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Page 46 of A Beautiful Mess (Beautiful Mess 1)

“I can make that work. I’m off until Monday,” Carol replied, giving Alexander a quick peck on the cheek before turning to her youngest brother. “Come on, Ty. Let’s go get some oysters. My treat.”

Alexander looked at his siblings, a hint of jealousy on his face.

“You can blow off Miss Fake Boobs and join us for oysters, too.” Carol winked.

He hesitated before answering. “I can’t. I’ll meet you all later and we’ll have some drinks. Promise.”

“Okay. But leave Adele out of it,” Carol said.

“Got it. See you both later.” Alexander walked out of the study, thankful that he hadn’t left his siblings on a bad note. He was actually looking forward to spending some time with them during the weekend. He normally didn’t get to hang out with them, although they all lived in the greater Boston area.

His younger brother went to Boston University and was in his last year there. His older sister, Carol, had joined the Boston Police Department nearly twenty years earlier. She had gone to college in Boston as well and never left the area.

Growing up, Alexander wasn’t close to either one of his siblings, there being such a big age difference between both. Carol was in high school when Alexander was born. Tyler was born the day before Alexander turned nine. And for the longest time, he blamed Tyler for Olivia’s death. If he and his dad weren’t at the hospital visiting a newborn Tyler, maybe they could have gotten to the DeLucas in time to prevent their deaths.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

NO GOOD DEED

“MR. and Mrs. Peters,” Alexander said, standing from his seat at the bar. “Wonderful to see you.” He shook Mr. Peters hand and gave his wife a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Oh, Alex, darling. It is wonderful to see you again,” Mrs. Peters said with a fake smile on her face. Her bleached blonde hair was pinned back. She had the appearance of a woman who fought the aging process, with disastrous results. “We’re so happy you and Adele have gotten back together. You really do need to date someone within your social status, you know. Your mother, God rest her soul, should have taught you that at an early age, but I don’t mean to speak ill of the dead.”

Alexander turned to the woman in front of him who had clearly received far too many Botox injections and lip implants. “First off, my mother is alive and well. Second, I am not dating your daughter. She begged me to accompany her today and I am here as an old friend. Last, I don’t give a damn about dating someone in my social status, and you shouldn’t comment on that either, given your family’s precarious financial position of late.”

Alexander threw back his drink and excused himself from the bar. He remembered why he avoided functions like that. It was good to go for business reasons, but, unfortunately, there were so many trust funders who continued to jockey for position in New England Society just by associating themselves with Alexander, whose successful company had secured him a place as one of the most sought after bachelors in the country.

Alexander walked through the front entrance of the country club, hoping to get some fresh air, when a photographer snapped his photo.

“Hey. I thought I told you to leave, jackass.” He walked briskly toward the photographer. He recalled just a few hours earlier, seeing the same photographer snapping photos of him and Adele as they entered the country club. He had an inkling that she or her mother had set it up in order to plaster Adele’s photo all over the internet again, but he wanted to avoid arguing with her that day, if it all possible.

“I know you did, but I’m getting paid for the day. So make it financially beneficial for me to leave and I will. But just so you know, I’ve already sold some of the photos of you and blondie over there.”

“What!?” Alexander exclaimed.

“Yeah. You’re hot news. Who would think I’d get a good dish on you here in Connecticut?” The photographer lit a cigarette.

“You know what? I don’t care. Sit out here as long as you want.” Alexander turned to head back to the bar. How low would Adele stoop? he thought to himself.

Alexander re-entered the lounge area, happy to see that Adele and her parents had gone to the deck patio to have a seat. He needed a minute. Grabbing his cell phone out of his pocket, he saw one more missed text from Olivia. He thought again about responding, but with it being the supposed anniversary of her death, he simply couldn’t do it. He didn’t know why. He just needed that day.

After ordering another scotch from the bartender, he reluctantly returned to Adele and her parents. He thought her mother was a catty bitch, but actually got along quite well with her father. He was thankful to see Mr. Peterson sitting alone at the table as he made his way across the deck patio overlooking the perfectly manicured greens of the golf course.

“Alex. You’ve returned. Don’t worry. They’ve gone to find someone else to sink their claws into,” Mr. Peterson laughed, motioning toward a chair for Alexander to sit in.

“My apologies, Mr. Peterson. I had no intention of being rude,” he explained, sitting next to the gray-haired older gentleman. “But there are some things I cannot hold my tongue over. And I apologize for taking a dig at any financial difficulties you and your family may be going through.”

“Oh, Alex. Don’t you worry about that. I’m perfectly set for the remainder of my life.” He smiled and Alexander could see the kindness in his eyes. He wondered how he could stand being married to such a fake woman. “My dearest Adele, however, having only viewed college as a way to find a wealthy husband, is going to have a difficult time once I pass. And I’m sure her mother will face the same problems.”

“I’m sorry. I wish I could help, but I prefer to devote my time and efforts to real charity cases…”

“Oh, my dear boy. Of course, of course,” Mr. Peterson replied, placing his hand on Alexander’s arm. “I would never ask you for anything like that. But that’s me. My wife and daughter are a totally different story, I’m afraid.” He paused briefly before continuing. “I’ve always been fond of you, Alex. I remember watching you grow up and play with that dear friend of yours, oh, what was her name?” Mr. Peters took a sip of his bourbon.

Alexander looked out over the golf course. “Olivia,” he whispered.

“Oh, yes. Olivia. And if I remember correctly, you couldn’t pronounce her name. You always called her Olibia, right?”

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