The moment the jaunty brunette sauntered through the glass doors, Jackson was at her side, greeting her with a curt nod. “Ivy,” he murmured loud enough for only Ivy to hear.
She smirked and gestured to her right. “Walk with me,” she demanded – to which he obeyed. They ambled through Armani for a few moments as Ivy scanned the men’s section in pursuit.
Even though Jackson knew that Ivy wouldn’t have commanded his presence without reason, he couldn’t bear waiting for her explanation any longer. “So?” he broke the silence between them. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
She ignored him and tilted her head curiously. She selected two different colored suits, one blue and one black, from their rack and held them in the air. “Are you a blue or black guy?”
He sighed in frustration, “Ivy.”
“Jackson,” she whined, mimicking his childish behavior.
He glared at her, hoping she would give in. When she didn’t, he groaned. “Black.”
“That’s a respectable choice,” she praised before quickly checking the size and passing him the suit. She started towards the display of ties, and he followed, perplexed by his mysterious friend.
She immediately selected three silk ties in varying shades of blue and raised them beside his cheeks. Ivy squinted in concentration. “Charlotte once told me that she loves seeing you wear blue,” she mumbled, reaching to trade one of the paler ties for a deeper shade of blue.
Ivy raised them a second time. He cleared his throat. “So this is about Charlotte then?” he inquired, watching her switch out two of the ties for two others.
“Isn’t it always?” she said without bitterness or irritation as she handed him the sky blue colored-silk tie and dropped the others atop the display haphazardly.
She strutted towards the register, and he followed inquiring, “If this is about Charlotte, why do I need all of this stuff?”
“You want her back don’t you?” Ivy asked, already aware of his answer.
“Of course…but I don’t see how any of this will help my cause,” he muttered.
“Then I’ve overestimated the number of your brain cells,” Ivy laughed, reaching for her cell phone. She typed furiously, not bothering to look up as she asked, “Do you still have the cuff links she gave you?”
He nodded as the cashier announced that he could help the next guest. He stumbled over to the register and instinctually removed his wallet to hand over his credit card.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, Jackson,” she began. “And hardly any time to accomplish any of it.”
Jackson had a million questions for her, but only one worth asking. “Why are you doing this? Helping me?”
She paused for a moment so that she could choose her words carefully. “Because I know you love her…and miss her more than anything,” she explained quietly. “I don’t want to see her end up with anyone else.”
Jackson’s breathing hitched. “There’s someone else?” he choked out, receiving his new purchases from the cashier.
“Not for long,” Ivy replied, her jaw clenched.