The Stubborn Suitor

By: Alexa Wilder



“I know, right?” Maggie responded. “Our problem isn’t catching men… it’s catching men who aren’t complete dicks.”

“Exactly! I’m beginning to think that they’re extinct.”

“Speaking of, though,” Maggie said, “I have an opportunity for us—an opportunity to catch even more of these rare, elusive men your mother speaks of…though I cannot guarantee they won’t be dicks.”

“Do tell,” Cami said, becoming intrigued.

“So, the family dinner tonight was actually about a party my dad and brother are throwing this weekend at the beach house. It’s gonna be part business, part pleasure. There will be a bunch of rich, snooty people there talking business, but there will also be boating and cocktails and sun tanning.”

“Sounds like fun!” Cami stated.

“Good,” Maggie responded. “Because you’re coming.”

“I am?”

“Yeah. You said Ken has Madison this weekend, right?”

“Yeah, he’s supposed to. And I doubt he’ll cancel, since he’s obsessed with custody right now.”

Bitterness and fear began to seep back into Cami’s chest, but Maggie must have noticed because she quickly moved the conversation away from Cami’s ex.

“Good. Then you’re coming. I’m required to be there all weekend and I cannot bear to do it without you. Grant is bringing some of his friends as well. And I know there will be some other eligible bachelors our age. It’s going to be fun, I promise!”

“First you say that you’re required to go—and can’t possibly handle it without me. Then you promise me it will be fun. You’re sending me mixed messages.”

“It will be fun,” Maggie assured her, a little more confidently. “Especially, if you’re there. And if it isn’t, we’ll just keep drinking until it is.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Cami said, smiling as she thought about sipping cocktails on the beach—or on a boat.

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been on a boat. At some point, she’d gone sailing with Ken and his family, but it had been miserable because, well, it had always been that way with Ken and his family.

After finalizing their plans, Maggie hung up the phone. Cami sipped her wine as she thought about the weekend that lay ahead of her. She could still feel the stress and fear sitting heavy at the pit of her stomach, but she also felt happy and hopeful for the first time all day. She still had to deal with the lawyer situation and gear up for a meeting with Ken next week, but at least she had something to keep her mind off those things over the weekend.





5





CAMI





The rest of the week passed uneventfully. Cami continued to feel anxious and scared about the future custody battle, but she did her best to push it to the back of her mind so there would be no more almost-mistakes at work.

She dropped Madison off at Ken’s a little earlier than usual on Friday, so she could get ready for her weekend away. Her ex-husband was still at work when she arrived, but Natalie was there to greet them at the door, cooing over Madison in a way that made Cami’s stomach turn. Cami offered her fakest smile before quickly kissing her daughter goodbye. She had the urge to turn around, pluck Madison out of Natalie’s arms, and take her right back home. But she couldn’t be the one to break the custody agreement—not when she was about to fight for it to remain as it was. So she kissed Madison once more and headed home, struggling to hold back tears as she left her daughter with the blonde bimbo.

Thankfully, she didn’t have much time to stew in her own self-pity. Maggie showed up at her house soon after Cami returned home.

“What are you doing here so early?” Cami asked, surprised to see her best friend in her doorway. “I thought I was supposed to meet you at your house in a couple of hours.”

“I told the driver to meet us here,” Maggie said with a smirk, pushing her jet-black hair out of her face as she moved past Cami and into the house. “I knew you’d need help picking out appropriate weekend wear. You never dress sexy enough.”

“I’m the working mother of a three-year-old. I don’t have time for sexy,” Cami said as she followed Maggie through the house towards her room.

“You do this weekend,” Maggie replied with a mischievous grin. “There will be a lot of single, attractive men at this party. We’re going to make the most of it.”

Without waiting for an invitation, Maggie began sifting through Cami’s walk-in-closet, pulling out a few skimpy dresses Cami had purchased but never really wore.

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