40 | don't go

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A I D E N


"Can't you see that we're not done?" Kai shakes his head in disbelief. "You're not even living together." The last sentence is barely a whisper, said with disgust.

"I'm waiting for her answer, not yours," I speak through gritted teeth.

My mind, however, rewinds Kai's words. Nevaeh must have told him that we're not living together, just as I expected. What else could she possibly tell him?

Nevaeh still doesn't say anything, and my heart sinks.

A frown touches her lips. She squints at me. She must be wondering why I'm acting this way.

Please say yes. Come home with me. Please help me get rid of this restlessness. I fucking hate this feeling.

"Kai is still teaching me something," Nevaeh finally says.

I can see the disappointment in her eyes when she looks at me, as though she's seeing a different person, not the one she knows.

I'm being a jerk. I know that I'm acting like an asshole, and it pisses me off even more.

She looks down, pressing her fingers on the page of the book. There's a graph on it.

"What are you studying?" I ask.

"Marketing," she says without looking up at me. "Mapping brand strategy." She's deep in thought. It's probably about my selfishness and not about the book.

"I can help you with that," I insist.

I'm not trying to brag, but I'm sure that I can get her an A+. She doesn't have any idea how much research I've done about that subject. I've even published my own paper.

"Sorry, but we're good," Kai interrupts again, now standing up. He thinks that I have no idea about what I'm talking about. "It's a specific theory that the professor taught us this morning. It would be impossible to map the brand strategy before conducting relevant case studies."

It's my turn to scoff. "Try me."

Kai tilts his head, eyeing me with a look that says I'm going to lose.

Does he think that I'm going to back off from this stupid challenge?

Nevaeh looks up at Kai and then at me. She must have not expected that we would be taking this too seriously.

Kai takes the book from Nevaeh and rotates it on the table so that I can get a clear view of the graph on the page. I narrow my eyes and bite my smirk.

For other people, it might seem complicated. But for me, I know it like the back of my hand.

It's game over for you.

"Do you have time to explain that?" Kai asks calmly, but I know that he's laughing inside.

He must be thinking that it would require days -- or even months -- for me to master what he must have studied before.

"Do you have time to check the source and contributor of the business model?" I retort.

Kai squints at me, not expecting that response. His eyes fall on the information below the graph, written in small letters. The words are so small, I'm thinking about suing the book after this.

Source: Aiden Klein

"I invented it," I say.

Kai freezes. Nevaeh senses the war between us and stands up too.

"I'm really sorry, Kai. I really didn't expect this interruption." There's so much guilt in her voice, and it irritates me how much she cares about him. Her eyes squeeze shut as she balls her fists on the table. "I'm really sorry, but I have to go now."

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