Daniel smiled. He’d found her Achilles heel. She was his ticket. Being a great manipulator he always struck the vulnerable at their weakest point. Hers was warmth. Ava was discerning, that was obvious. Still, he was a better actor he was sure of it.
The warmhearted act had won her over, finally. It was a fight, but he was the victor and soon he’d gain entrance into that glorious golden inner circle of the elite he’d ached to be part of since he was a teenager and first understood the have and have not principle.
Daniel was meticulous in groundwork and therefore did his homework. There wasn’t much about Ava he hadn’t ascertained either through reading about her or through accessing her closest friends. Each eagerly extolled her finer points. All except Vanessa that is. She constantly eyed him as though he was a bug to be crushed.
Little did he know that Ava’s friends had her back and while she hadn’t asked them to, they’d done some digging of their own. What they’d found disturbed them to such a degree they’d called a “family meeting” and brought her to the office.
Ava was shocked when she saw all the stony faces. “What’s up? Something catastrophic occur in, the 12 1/2 hours since we last spoke?”
“You could say that,” Darren responded. “Come, sit, there’s something you need to know.”
“What, it takes 12 of you to tell me?” she asked with a half laugh.
“In this case, yes,” pausing for a large intake of breath he said, “read this, don’t say anything until you’re done.”
Dumpstruck! Completely side-swiped. This she hadn’t seen coming. Well!! Looking at the concerned earnest faces around her, the shock still evident she said, “Well! Thank you. Thank you for caring, for having my back. I never thought…I didn’t do my homework it seems.”
“Didn’t want you getting in any deeper unless you knew what you were up against.”
“Thanks, thanks everyone. I’ll take care of this, obviously.”
Daniel bounced through the door in eager anticipation. Yes, this was his moment! Ava had never invited her into the inner sanctum before. Progress. He was to find out otherwise very shortly. Broadsided by a bus on steroids. That was how this was going down. Vaness smirked. Poor form, but she couldn’t resist. She’d disliked him on sight. She’d saved her best friend from trouble and heartache. Her word alone might not have been enough, but with everyone in attendance, it had been.
She nearly laughed out loud when the swagger turned into a skid and his face registered shock as they stood in unison surrounding Ava. The jig was up. No easy way out now you creep, she thought. Good riddens to bad rubbish!