1051: Ratchet“There’s a lot of decorations to put up, I’m sorry, this is going to take awhile.” Ava said as she surveyed the boxes on the floor.
“You don’t need to apologize. I don’t have a problem with a little hard work.” Unlike your silver spoon husband, Xavier was tempted to add. He knew it. He knew that guy couldn’t be trusted. He knew this friendship thing had to be scam, that the whole time Sebastian was looking to put a knife in his back. Xavier just didn’t know how. Yet.
“I really don’t have plans tonight,” Xavier went on. “So I’m glad I stopped by to pick up that book you recommended. I’m glad I can help you out, but about paying me, we’re friends, it isn’t necess-”
“It’s only right. I can afford it. Look at all this stuff, I want to compensate you properly since I’ll get a boost in sales for turning the store into a Halloween wonderland. This transformation wouldn’t happen nearly as quickly with just Sebastian and I working on it, so let me thank you by paying you. A little extra pocket money going into the holidays never hurts.”
“Okay, just the minimum though, really. And you’re sure Sebastian won’t mind that I’m here tonight?” Xavier asked just as the devil, takeout food in hand, let himself into the closed bookstore.
“Why would I mind?” Sebastian asked, smooth as can be. “Ava told me you might stop by for that music history book or whatever it is. I’m always happy when Avalon makes another sale. The success of the store means a lot to her so it means a lot to me, too. Thanks for shopping here instead of online.”
Yep, the guy was as smooth as could be. It made Xavier all the more eager to ruffle him.
“Actually,” Xavier said, “I’m not just shopping here, I’m working here.”
Sebastian could not conceal his stunned response. “Uh, what now?”
“Just tonight and tomorrow,” Ava interjected. “Obviously we can’t hire another full time employee. But when he stopped in tonight and saw the decorations he offered to help. I just thought, he’s helped out before and the sooner we get them up, the sooner we draw in more customers. I mean, you don’t have a problem with Xavier being here, do you? I thought we were past that. I would have asked Monica to stay late but she had plans. I did think the two of us could handle it, until I took in just how much stuff I had accumulated and along came Xavier. He wanted to help and it seemed serendipitous that a friend would stop in just when we needed one.”
Sebastian, the expert liar, recovered from his less than enthused response about Xavier’s presence, again smoothing everything out. “Perfect. I’m sure I bought enough Chinese food for all of us, then we can get to work. The more the merrier, right?”
“Sure,” Xavier replied, knowing that like him, Sebastian felt just the opposite. There was nothing merry about the two of them breathing the same air. Like Xavier, Sebastian just wanted the other guy to go away. He didn’t consider him a friend in the slightest. The only question was, when would Sebastian slip up in front of Ava.