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Chapter 4: The Invitation

Alexander MacWatters’ POV

The long drive was a quiet one. I asked Azalea where she wanted to go first. At first, she wanted to go home but then she realized that she had all her stuff at the recreational center. I arched my eyebrow at her as she also told me that she did not want to bother me as she drove to the center.

“so, where do you from?” I tried to make a little conversation, something to break the awkward silence.

“I’m from NYC,” she replied. She did not say much as to what I asked her, so I might as well keep going.

“so, you’re born and raised here?” I asked her as I looked briefly her way, she was looking outside the window and I was trying to read her face. She nodded at least to my question.

“what about your ma and dad?” I asked her. She turned to look at me as I was the craziest person.

“I think we’re not into that phase yet, Mr. MacWatters,” she replied. I smiled at her.

“Maybe you’re right. sorry,” I said as I went to focus on my driving instead.

We were at the gate of the campus. I stopped to talk to the guard that was patrolling in the morning.

“Morning, Hank,” I said as I showed him my badge. He looked inside my car and stared at Azalea. I smiled at him.

“My niece, I thought it would be nice to have shown her around my workplace,” I said as I took the badge.

“well, you don’t have to say niece, professor. I once a young man like you,” he said before he pressed the buzzer and let me inside the campus area. I went to the recreational center and parked in front of it. Not so many people in the morning, if you included the cleaning crew.

“Thank you,” she mumbled as she went outside the car. I wanted to open the door for her but she was quick on her feet.

“Azalea, wait,” I said as I was calling after her but she went straight inside the building and I thought I have lost my chance to see her again.

After I sent Azalea off to the recreation center, I went straight to my office as I have morning classes. I stopped by to greet my friend and colleague, Ian.

“hey, man. Where have you been?” He asked me as he shook my hand. I smiled at him as I went to shift my bag on the shoulder.

“well, you know, here and there I supposed,” I said as I noticed that he was holding something in his hands.

“oh, yeah. I forgot to mention. Here, one for you,” he said as he handed me a card. A wedding card.

“Woah, so soon,” I said as I read the date. It was next weekend.

“Yeah, I just felt like something might happen if I don’t take her right now. Like the chance might fly away, you know what I mean?” He said as he patted my shoulder. I thought of Azalea that ran off from me this morning.

“yeah, I get it,” I said as I looked at the name of the bride. Amber Johnson, now why was that surname sounded familiar?

“Anyway, glad to see you, man. Could you make it for the bachelor party? All the guys in our department are coming. Will you?” He asked me. I smiled at him, trying to come up with the best answer.

“I don’t know. I have to take a rain check,” I said with the safest answer. He smiled.

“well, let me know if you’re free. There still space in that party,” he said before I excused myself to go to my class. I went inside my office to put the stuff that I don’t need before I went to the class, thankfully it was inside the same building.

Azalea Johnson’s POV

Thank god I ran out on him. I can’t believe that he was a professor, at this campus as well. I thought he was not older than me. And how dare he told those guards that I was his niece? We were barely the same age.

“ugh,” I said as I opened the locker in the recreational center to get my stuff back. Thankfully, I lied to him about having a car. I just needed to get away from his presence for a moment so that I can think clearly.

Breath in.

Breath out.

Simple.

suddenly, someone called my cell. I took it out and it was Amber calling me. I answered it.

“Hello?” I asked her.

“oh, thank god you picked up. Do you have any idea how many times I have called you since last night?” She scolded at me that I have to put the phone off from my ear for a moment. When she was breathing hard, then I put the phone back onto my ear.

“sorry. I have been busy,” I lied to her as I took all my stuff from the locker. She scoffed at me before I rolled my eyes.

“sis, you’ve always been busy. That I why I don’t choose you to be my maid of honor,” she said. I smiled at her.

“well, thank you for your consideration then,” I said as I closed the locker and went out of the recreational center. I was walking in the oversize clothing of Alex. I sighed as I needed to return this to him.

“Okay, enough about that. Will you able to make it to the rehearsal this weekend?” She asked me. I rolled my eyes at her even though she can’t see it.

“of course, I would not miss that for the world,” I said as I was getting to the bus stop on campus. I was looking at my watch and I have about 10 minutes to get there before I was running late.

“good and one more question, will you be having plus one? You know mum. She might be worried if you show up, alone again,” she said. I gritted my teeth. What do they think I can’t get a date?

“of course I would come with my date. What, you think I don’t have time to date?” I asked her, more like challenged her today anything about that.

“well, you do have less time with your family,” she mumbled. I gasped at her.

“Amber Johnson!” I hissed at her. She laughed at my outburst.

“Alright, alright. Fine. I believe you. For once, I wanted my sister to be happy,” she said.

“and you know I am, I just not that committed like you, just yet,” I said as I saw a bus that was coming toward the bus stop. however, to make things worse, I was on the other side of the road.

“damn it!” I cursed.

“language!” My sister said.

“Okay, fine.i will show up on the weekend and be a good big sister to you the whole weekend but I have to go now, bye, see you next week,” I said before I hang up on her. She could not say anything to me nor do I wanted to hear it.

“wait, wait!” I shouted as I was running toward the bus stop. There were not so many cars in the morning that I just jaywalking on the road.

“wait, wait!” I shouted as I went running behind the bus but it already left. I stopped at the bus stop before I huffed and grunted as I took a deep breath. I don’t think anything could get any worse than that.

“Lea?” A voice was coming from beside the road. I turned to look at it and luckily it was my soon to be brother-in-law. I always forgot that he worked on this campus as well.

“Ian! When did you come back?” I asked as I went to hug him. He got out of the car and hugged me as well.

“I thought you were on the field trip to Greenland and would not be coming until tomorrow,” I said as I remembered he will be coming on Tuesday.

“well, I cannot have Amber planned all the wedding by herself. besides, your mum was freaking out and your dad has been angry with me for leaving on that field-trip. I think I might want to redeem myself.

“Well, I glad you did and you can start with me,” I said as I laughed at him. He looked at me as he arched his eyebrow at me.

“Okay, what is it? I know you. You need something from me,” he said as he was pointing his finger at me.

“well, in that case, I want you to take me home. The bus just left and I have so many things to be done for my lab class,” I said as I was begging him to take pity on me. He laughed at me.

“Alright, alright. You know, you’re the most difficult sister-in-law I ever had,” he said as he went to open the door for me.

“you can say that again,” I said as we went inside before Ian drove off from the campus into the destination of my home.

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