Jameson Fox

By: Nina Levine

“We’ll go away for a weekend.”

“A weekend? That’s barely more than a day by the time you factor in travel time.”

“It’s all I can manage at the moment.” A text comes through from Hudson, distracting me. “Mom, I have to go.”

“Don’t think this conversation is finished. We’ll pick it up on Tuesday night. I assume since you’re not going away, you’ll both be able to make it for Taco Tuesday.”

My mother is easygoing, except when it comes to Taco Tuesday. My brother and I are expected at her home every Tuesday night for dinner. Adeline has attended three Taco Tuesdays. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well she and my mother get along. She also gets along well with Hudson, choosing not to extend her dislike of me to my family. However, while Mom has been a little reserved with Adeline during our engagement, I’m more than aware she won’t be reserved going forward. As far as she’s concerned, Adeline is now part of our family. I fully expect she’ll treat her like a daughter. Our next Taco Tuesday will be vastly different to the three Adeline has experienced.

“We’ll be there,” I say as I take the seat next to Adeline in my Mercedes. “I have to go.”

“I love you, Jameson. Tell Adeline I’ll call her later. I want to check in on her to make sure she’s okay while you’re busy working, not to mention find out how happy she is and get all her thoughts on your wedding.”

“I’ll let her know.”

“See you on Tuesday.”

We end the call and I reply to Hudson’s text. Another work issue.

“How is your mother?” Adeline asks, drawing my attention.

I look at her. She only initiates conversation with me when necessary, but always asks after my mother. “How do you know it was her?”

“All traces of asshole disappear from your voice when you speak with her. No one else gets that special treatment.”

I ignore her attitude. I’m going to have to if I’m to survive this day because she seems intent on keeping hold of it. “She’s concerned your happiness has been interfered with by the cancellation of our honeymoon. You should expect a call from her today.”

“I’ll find it in me to project disappointment,” she says drily. She then glances out the window at the passing traffic for a long moment before looking back at me. “I’ve asked Max to drop me at my office. I take it you’ll be busy all day.”

“Yes, I imagine so.”

“And just to confirm, our honeymoon is canceled, which means I can schedule work commitments in now?”

“Yes. If I can manage it, we’ll go away next weekend.”

“And if I can’t manage it?”

“The only thing you had on your schedule for next weekend was our honeymoon, Adeline. You can manage it.”

The glare she gives me could light a fire. “Make sure Shantel checks my calendar before scheduling anything in. I’m as busy as you are, and our marriage contract doesn’t have a clause that says my needs come last.”

With that, she directs her attention to her phone, making it clear she’s finished with this conversation. Since I have no desire to continue it either, I engross myself in emails, pushing thoughts of Adeline to the side. It’s a good thing my assistant is tasked with coordinating my calendar with Adeline’s; it would drive me insane to deal with her unpredictable nature and inclination to fight with me over every fucking thing.

I spend the day going over the state of my hotel business with Hudson and Josiah. By the time I leave the office just after 8:00 p.m., we’ve formulated a new plan and scheduled an appointment for tomorrow morning with Paulina Rossi, an expert in hotel branding and strategy. She’s known as a ballbuster within the industry, an agitator, and I’ve hesitated to work with her due to this reputation. I support agitation when it’s required, but I don’t always believe it is required. However, she recently impressed me at a conference we both attended, so I’m interested to hear more from her to see if we may be a good fit now.

A text comes through from my mother as I step off the elevator into my penthouse.

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