Jameson Fox

By: Nina Levine

“A friend is opening a club tonight. He asked me to attend.” Her gaze cuts to Jeff who has joined us.

“Miss Murphy is here,” he says, letting Adeline know her assistant is waiting. He hands her a large envelope. “She asked me to give you this, but she also has a matter to discuss with you. She advised it will only take five minutes.”

“Thank you, Jeff,” Adeline says, giving him a smile. “Please let her know I won’t be long.”

“You’re not going out,” I say after Jeff leaves us.

Her head snaps back to face me and I don’t miss the fire that’s now in her eyes. “I’ll go out whenever I damn well want.”

“Not on the first night of what is supposed to be our honeymoon, you won’t. Not when the whole world is watching this marriage.”

Thanks to Adeline’s celebrity status, Bill isn’t the only one watching us. Adeline was a fashion model before starting her own fashion company. After losing control of it to me, she started another company, Adeline, a brand that she’s built bigger than her first. Fashion, beauty, fragrance, and jewelry. Not to mention the celebrity endorsements that bring in millions. She perfectly leveraged her celebrity status to build a cult following around the world. Hundreds of millions of social media followers later, and she feeds that fan base to the point where I wonder how the hell she maintains her sanity.

“This is my work,” she says. “Surely that’s something you understand.”

“I understand needing to work, but right now, I’m focused on the success of this marriage. You showing your face in public without me on the second night of our marriage won’t help us convince Bill that we’re in love.”

She stares at me in silence for a good ten seconds before snapping, “Well, you’ll have to come with me then because I’ve made a commitment to attend, and I don’t break my commitments.”

Not giving me a chance to counter, she moves past me to go to her assistant. It’s my turn to stare now and not just because she has the best damn ass I’ve had the pleasure of looking at, but because I know I have to go out with her.

My preference in life is to always manage the situations I find myself in. It’s not so much that I want control, it’s that I don’t ever want to be ambushed. I don’t ever want to chance losing everything I’ve worked hard for. So, I take charge at all times to ensure that never happens.

Managing this marriage is my current top priority because the stakes are so high. Up until now, I’ve framed the marriage as a job in my mind. Simply another situation to be managed. I thought I could establish rules and guidelines to be followed by both of us. I thought that so long as we had a blueprint and followed it, we’d make it through the twelve months. It was a no-brainer for me, but I see now it’s not that for Adeline. I see how vastly different our approach to life is.

There’s a push and pull between us I haven’t allowed for in my plan.

I’m used to being the one who pushes in any given situation, and whenever I encounter pushback, I always find a way to achieve what I want. That way rarely involves me backing down or compromising.

Adeline is more like me than I gave her credit for and I’m fast understanding that she’s going to push against me just as much as I push against her. And unless I want a fucking headache for the next 364 days straight, I need to learn the art of compromise.

Tonight, that’s going to involve me going out with her.





4





Jameson





Nights out at clubs aren’t something I enjoy. Changing my plans at the last minute is also something I don’t enjoy. Since this night out with Adeline involves both, as well as her bad mood, it was never going to be anything less than a shitshow. And it’s been that right from the minute we shared the drive here.

I’ve endured two hours of it now and I’m almost certain Adeline is intentionally trying to push my buttons. She knows I have little patience for her celebrity status. I understand it’s part of her business strategy, but I don’t tolerate the social-media-worthy moments well, or the constant attention when we’re out. Pausing a moment in my life to take a fucking photo to post to social media is not how I want to live. I was introduced to some of her world during our engagement period, but tonight has been on another level altogether and she’s worked it all to frustrate the hell out of me.

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