Hate Notes: Chapter 38


Staff meetings when Charlotte was in attendance were always distracting.

It didn’t matter that I’d moved her into my apartment and got to sleep with her every night. Whenever she was around, I could focus on nothing else. But today, that feeling was particularly strong, and I knew exactly why.

Iris always wore a permanent smile on her face whenever Charlotte and I were in the same room with her. My grandmother considered Charlotte a part of the family already. At Sunday dinner in Bedford last week, Iris had taken out my old choir recordings. I could have fought it, but I let her play them for Charlotte. That was how confident I was in Charlotte’s love for me, that nothing could deter how she saw me, no matter how embarrassing.

The accountant was going on and on about the quarterly reports, and I honestly hadn’t heard a word he’d said.

Discreetly opening the folder on my laptop that contained my bucket-list document, I added a line item: Marry Charlotte Darling.

She looked over at me, and I immediately closed out of the document, even though she couldn’t see what I was writing anyway. It felt like she knew I was up to something, though.

As the meeting wrapped up, I took my pen and scribbled on my notepad.

From the desk of Reed Eastwood


Take the rest of the afternoon off. Boss’s orders.

I slipped her the note as the meeting was dispersing.

She looked down at it and squinted. “What are you up to . . . boss?”

“I’ve cancelled my afternoon meetings. Let’s go home and chill.”

“Who are you? You’ve come a long way from the workaholic I used to know.”

“Yeah, well, I have better things to do these days. Namely, you.”

Back at the apartment, Charlotte had just stepped out of the shower when I decided to let her in on a couple of surprises I’d had up my sleeve.

“Remember our first showing together in Bridgehampton? The owner was an artist who painted portraits depicting how couples met?”

“Yeah, I remember thinking that was so cool.”

“Well . . . I looked her up and asked her to make one for us.”

Her mouth hung open. “Are you kidding?” Then she seemed to think about it some more. “Wait . . . how we met? That wasn’t exactly the most romantic experience; quite the opposite. This is going to be interesting.”

“Well, I realized that. So let’s just say I put a unique spin on it.” I walked to the corner of the room and lifted the portrait, bringing it over to her.

Peeling the bubble wrap off, I slowly opened it. I hadn’t seen it yet myself because I wanted to be just as surprised as Charlotte.

“Oh my God!” Charlotte yelled. She covered her mouth with her hand and then began laughing uncontrollably.

I was holding on to my stomach in laughter myself.

The artist had done a phenomenal job depicting Charlotte and me on a surfboard—with a dog in front of us. We were dog surfing. Her interpretation of Charlotte’s face was spot on. I’d given the artist actual photos to work with. In the painting, I was on the back of the board, hanging on for dear life and looking terrified while Charlotte was laughing without a care in the world. The dog’s tongue was hanging out and his eyes looked possessed. This was classic and would forever be displayed front and center wherever we happened to be living.

She was grinning so hard. “This is seriously . . . the best gift anyone has ever given me.”

“I’m not exactly done with the gifts today,” I said.


Rubbing my hands together, I geared up for my next surprise. “So I was thinking . . . as of last check, you only have one more item on your Fuck-It List that you haven’t completed.”

Her eyeballs flitted back and forth as if she had to think about it. “Sculpt a nude man . . .”

“Yes.” I smiled nervously. “Anyway . . . I’d like to be your model.”

“Are you serious?”


My spare bedroom was now Charlotte’s art space. I had no idea if she even had the right tools to do this today, but I was hoping she’d go along with it.

“This is nuts . . . but in a good way.” She was beaming. “I would love to sculpt you.”

“Well, then I’m your man.”

“I can’t believe you actually want to do this.”

“Why not? It’s not like I want you sculpting some other dude naked, right?”

“I guess I can see your point.”

“And I’m pretty sure this will somehow end in sex. So I’m looking forward to that.”

“You’re gonna have to stand there for a while, you know.”

“I’m in it for the long haul.”

A wide smile spread across her face. “So am I, Reed.” I knew she wasn’t just referring to today.

“Remember the first night I ever came to your apartment, when I said Allison dodged a bullet?”


Placing my hands on her shoulders and looking into her eyes, I said, “I was the one who dodged a bullet, Charlotte. I can’t imagine having gone on to marry her. I would have never known that my one true love was still out there. What I feel for you is beyond what I’ve ever felt in my life. Even the MS . . . everything had to happen exactly the way it did for me to be with you. I wouldn’t change anything if it still meant finding you. I will always be grateful to Allison for leaving me, because I now know that I have a deeper capacity to love than I ever thought possible. It would’ve been tragic to never realize that. I just hope I can make you as happy as you make me.”

“You’ve already made me the happiest woman in the world. I don’t know if it was the magic of the dress, or fate, or God, but something brought me to you. There was never a moment where I really doubted that I was meant to find you and meant to be yours. I always felt your love for me, even when you were trying to fight it like hell. That was what kept me from giving up on you. I will never give up on you, Reed. I’m in this for the long haul, because I want to be. Do you understand?”

“I understand that now, baby.”


I smiled. “Shall we get going into the art room?”

“After you.”

Charlotte turned the lights on and began gathering her supplies. “Normally, I would just do the torso. But I would love to try to sculpt below the waist.”

“You want to mold my cock? Do you have enough clay?” I winked.

“I can make do.”

“If you want me hard, take off your shirt. It’s only fair if I have to stand here naked for an hour that I get something to look at, too.”

To my delight, she obliged, agreeing to sculpt me with her beautiful tits hanging out.

It was fascinating to watch her so focused. She’d placed a big slab of clay onto a metal pole and used what looked like a spatula to smooth around it.

At one point, she said, “I just have to get some water. I’ll be right back.”

This was it. This was my moment to put my plan into place. I somehow had to stay hard for this to work.

Stay hard.

Stay hard.

Without Charlotte and her beautiful tits in the room, it wasn’t guaranteed. I reached over to my pants pocket and took out the small velvet pouch, tying the drawstrings to form a loop at the end. I slipped it over my still rigid cock and let the bag hang from my dick as if it were an ornament.

When she returned, I resumed my stoic pose and waited for her to notice.

A few seconds later, she looked down. “What is that?”

“What do you mean?”

“That black thing hanging from your cock.”

Stifling my laughter, I said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

She tilted her head. “Reed . . .”

I looked down. “Oh! This . . . yes.” I nudged my head. “Why don’t you come here and see.”

She wiped her hands and slowly approached before carefully sliding the velvet pouch off me.

“What’s inside of this, Reed?”

I took it from her. “While sculpting me nude completes your Fuck-It List for now, I happened to add a very important item to mine today, one that my life would not be complete without.” I got down on one knee and opened the pouch, taking out the two-carat, pear-shaped halo diamond engagement ring. “Charlotte Darling, will you help me make my ultimate bucket-list wish come true? Will you be my wife?”

My hand trembled as I placed the ring on her finger. It gave her pause. She looked down at me, and I smiled reassuringly, refusing to believe it was a tremor and convincing myself it was just nerves.

Not now. Fuck you.

Tears were streaming down her cheeks. “Yes! Yes, of course, I will!”

Still stark naked, I lifted my topless beauty into the air. “You’ve just made me the happiest man on earth.”

“I can’t believe you pulled this off without me knowing.”

“It wasn’t hard.”

She gave me a tug. “I beg to differ.”


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