Obsession is the Devil, Part Nine

“Hello?” Quinn asked after picking up the phone receiver at Quinn’s Books and Brew. It had the makings of a slow day at the store, so Quinn was looking forward to some human interaction even if it was just verbal. 

“Quinn, honey, I just got off the phone with Tristan.” 

It was Laurie, Quinn’s best friend from New York City and the newly appointed editor-in-chief of the New York branch of Z Publishing, Quinn’s former place of employment before moving back home and opening her bookstore. Quinn thought about the proposition Laurie gave her just a week ago, offering Quinn her job back now that her sexist ex-boss was fired. Quinn had dwelled on it over the past week, quite eagerly during most thought sessions. But one thing always stood in her way from returning back to her old life, the life, with her ex-boss out of the picture, she felt destined to live out, and that one thing was a person, a man, Tristan. 

She couldn’t leave Tristan, especially after everything they’d been through since she’d returned home. His relationship with Emily, his breakup with Emily, his book he wrote, and the argument they’d last had were all the big set pieces of their relationship over the last couple of years. And during that time, Quinn always let a certain thought exist in the back of her mind. Maybe, she thought, maybe he’d see just how right they are for each other. 

It hadn’t happened yet, and, for a minute, Quinn thought it would never happen after their last fight. A stupid fight that Quinn started all over a lie. She’d lied to him about how good his book was, his first novel, self-published. She had made a big to-do about the release at her book store for months, but after selling only a handful of copies, Tristan became frustrated. He took that frustration out on Quinn, and Quinn, never one to stand down from a confrontation, dished her frustrations back at him, albeit masked behind lies of mediocre writing on his part. In truth, she was frustrated about his blindness to them, and she was frustrated by the reason for his blindness; Emily. 

“How did things go?” Quinn asked. “How did he take things?”

“Baby, he’s so excited. Completely unaware of your involvement. I made sure of that. Sounds like such a sweet guy. Anyway, I told him to go, be happy, celebrate and to tell his friends. So…I’m hoping that means he’s going to be calling you.” 

“When did this happen?” 

“Just five minutes ago.”

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

“Hey, my phone’s buzzing; I’ve got another call. ”

“It’s gotta be him! Ok, I’ll let you go; call me later!”

“K. Bye. And thanks!”

Quinn wasn’t sure if Laurie heard the thanks. She heard the click from the other line and awaited a response from the new caller. She was hesitant to make the first move this time. If it really was Tristan, should she acknowledge their last argument? Would he bring it up? Or should she just go about business as usual? Quinn was left wondering until a voice came through the phone. 

“Quinn? It’s Tristan.” 

“Oh, hi Tristan.” Quinn spoke back bopping her head from side to side trying to find a comfortable position. “How may I help you?” 

How may I help you? What cheese! thought Quinn. 

“I, uhh, actually have some news for you. For us, really. I, umm, am going to, uh, be… published.”

Quinn smirked at the trepidation in Tristan’s voice. 

“I mean, I already am, haha.  But I got this call?”

Quinn frowned to hear her friend struggle. She could hear the fear in his voice, clearly he didn’t practice this before he called. Then Quinn realized why it was so hard for him. He didn’t want to lord over her that he was a good writer, unlike what she had said during their last argument. Aww. She knew she’d have to address it now. 

“Tristan. Can I say something?” She didn’t wait for a reply. “I’m sorry about our fight. I’m sorry for what I said. I know you didn’t mean what you said. I think you’re a terrific writer, and I know you know I know that. And, well, I’m just so happy for you.”

“I.” Quinn heard a long winded sigh of relief from the other end. “I am sorry too. Oh, Quinn, these past couple weeks have been terrible without you.” 

Quinn proceeded to listen as Tristan went on to explain how he ran into Emily in the park with her new fiancĂ©, how it was a total disaster, and he didn’t know what to do because “I couldn’t face seeing you.” He told her how depressed he got again, as bad as the breakup all over again. 

“I was at my wit’s end. Until just an hour ago I got a call from Z Publishing. That’s where you used to work, right?”

“Uh, yup.” Quinn was surprised Tristan remembered that since she had only explained her time there once with him as they both felt that was plenty by the time she finished. 

“This woman named Laurie said one of their scouts found my book and loved it. She said it could be the next Shoulders of Giants. They want to work out a book deal. They are going to re-publish Haurou and have me do a press tour. Then they want me to write another trilogy taking place in that world.” 

“Well well well, Tristan, this is awesome! It’s better than I imagined. So when does all this start?” 

“She said about a month they would have enough copies to do a soft launch.”

“That sounds about right. ”

“Oh and Quinn? Laurie said I could choose someplace local to hold the first book signing. I told her Quinn’s Books and Brew. Is that okay?” 

Quinn’s heart melted. 

“Yes, Tristan. That’s so okay. Now get yourself over here. We have a lot to do to get ready. ”

A hundred ideas flew by Quinn’s head, but the first and weightiest of them all was, no mention of Emily. 

“We are going to do it Quinn. For real this time. No more five books.”

“Darn tootin'” Quinn caught herself saying. But she didn’t cringe. She knew it came from a place of pure elation. 

“I’m so glad we are back! I’ll see you soon.”

Quinn’s slow day was turning right aro-

“And now, I’m finally going to get Emily back.”

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