Single Mum

"Damn, she's hot."

"What the hell, Calum? She's got a kid."



In which Calum falls in love with a single mum.

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3. deux

C A L U M 

"I can't! I can't believe you thought that mum was hot! What the actual fuck, Calum?!" Michael laughed, shaking his head. Heat rose to my cheeks as I looked down, starting the car. 

"Shut up, Michael." I mumbled, embarrassed. 

"Haven't you seen her before?" Ashton asked. 

"What? No! If I had do you really think I'd say that? How was I supposed to know that she had a kid?" I asked, annoyed by their constant teasing. 

"Well why else would a single chick be around here?" Luke asked. 

"Trust me, a lot of single chicks hang around here because the guys come and do their training here." I scoffed. 

"You haven't seen any you like that haven't popped a kid yet?" Michael asked, sarcastically. 

"Nope, but there are a few slutty ones you might like, Mike." I knew Michael hated that nickname. 

He was silent after that. And I appreciated his silence. 

THE NEXT DAY 

J A D E 

"Come on, Noah, baby." I cooed, ruffling the four year old's hair as I pinched his cheek. 

"No, mama, I'm a big boy." He argued, pouting as he puffed his chest out. I laughed, standing up straight as I locked the car. 

"I know baby, but mummy has to go to work today and I would love to take you with me -"

"It's okay, I like playing with the toys." I smiled, taking Noah's hand in mine as we walked toward the entrance of the kindergarten. 

"Hello, Jade. How are you?" Sue asked as we walked in. Sue was the manager of the kindergarten, she was a close friend of my mum's. 

"I'm good, thank you. Sorry, I'm running a bit late today. Okay, bye love. I'll pick you up around 4." I called, watching as Noah waved before running off towards the Legos. 

I sighed, saying a quick goodbye to Sue before walking back to the car. 

In reality, I had planned for Noah to come to work with me today, but I knew that today was not going to be a good day. I had too many things to do and too little time. And to top it off I shared the same workplace as my ex husband. And I regret ever saying hello to him on his first day or allowing him to but me a coffee after work. 

I regret every moment of it now because every day I have to look my child in the eye and lie. I tell him that "Daddy's on a business trip, so he won't be here for a few days" or "Dad came late last night and left early this morning but he told me to tell you that he loves you." My ass. If he loved Noah then he would have at least tried to not cheat. He would have tried to not tear my heart out and crush me with all his stupid lies and disgusting actions. I regret meeting Eric Thompson and I hate him. 

I groaned as my phone rang, thankful that I had Bluetooth otherwise I'm sure police would find some way to fine me. 

"Hello? This is Jade Thirlwall speaking." I said, putting on a happy voice but inside I was dreading the long work day ahead of me. 

"Hey, Jade. It's Jesy." I pulled into the parking lot of the building, eyes darting around as I looked for a free space. 

"Ah, hello love. How's life treating you?" I replied, rolling my eyes as I realised I'd have to park at the end of the parking lot. 

"Good, good. I heard about you and Eric." My heart sunk. 

"Oh, um... Yeah." I didn't know what to say, really. 

"Are you okay?" Jesy asked, worry evident in her tone. 

"Yes, yes, I'm fine. I've got Noah." I assured, turning the car off and undoing my seatbelt. 

"Has he visited you to see him yet?" 

"No. last time we spoke he told me he wanted nothing to do with Noah or myself. I'm completely fine with that." The other line was silent before Jesy spoke again. 

"Well, just remember that we're always here for you whenever you need. Perrie, Leigh and I." Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jesy were my closest friends. We'd been friends since high school and somehow we've always kept in contact. 

"Aw, thank you. I'll see you all soon, I hope." Jesy and I exchanged goodbyes before I grabbed my bag, locking the car before walking towards the building. 

I was a photographer, so usually I'd spend my days going through yesterday's photoshoot deciding which picture would best suit the product. 

I enjoyed my job, I loved interpreting people's ideas and stories into a picture. Everyone would always have their own perspective on each image and somehow trace it back to one of their own personal experiences. 

"Good morning, Jade. Today we need to finalise the prints for tomorrow's magazine, take some new shots for next weeks edition and you'll have to write up a few things." Evelyn explained, handing me a coffee which I took with gratitude. 

"Alright, I'll go get started then. What time is the photo shoot?" I asked, already making my way towards my desk.

"Around 12. You've got plenty of time." Evelyn smiled before walking away. I sighed, sitting at my desk as I started up my computer, shuffling through the papers that had been left from the night before. 

"Jade? Jade?" I looked up, seeing Chris run towards me. 

"Hey, what's up?" I asked, watching as he frantically tried to catch his breath. Chris was a friend of mine in the industry, we had met in college a while back. 

"H-He's been promoted to CEO." Chris stuttered. 

"Who?" I asked, not expecting the name that came out of his mouth.

"Eric." My eyes widened and in instinct I stood up. 

"What?!" I asked aloud, embarrassed after realising I had said it too loud. "How?" I whispered. Chris opened his mouth to say something when the jackass I've been asked about all morning decided to step in. 

"Ah, good morning, Chris, Jade." I gritted my teeth and mustered a smile. "Uh, could I see you in my office, please?" 

"Who, me?" I asked, glancing at Chris. Eric nodded, turning his back to me as I reluctantly walked behind him. Who the hell did he think he was? I've worked my ass off for longer than he has. I do more for this company than he ever will in his lifetime! 

I watched as people glanced at us before mumbling things to others around them. Everyone knew about our split. But what was the big deal? The big deal was that Eric had been sleeping with the owner of the company's daughter. For 2 months. And I, so naive and unaware of all his nasty ways, shrugged it off and assumed he was doing work. 

More like doing that other chick. 

We entered his office and I stood by the door, holding in a scoff as he sat behind the desk in a large leather seat. I shut the door, causing him to look up at me. 

"Take a seat." He said, smiling. And to think I loved that smile once upon a time. 

I obliged, sitting in a chair across from him, holding back the anger from all the things I had never gotten to say to him before he took off. 

"I know that this is something to do with our personal lives and nothing to do with our work here, but I need to tell you something." Eric explained. I already knew this was going to end badly. 

"Eric, please. Save it for someone who actually cares. We've divorced, there's nothing more to talk about." I was able to stand up when he spoke again.

"I want to see Noah on weekends."

"What?" I asked, I knew exactly what he had said. But I needed to hear him say it again, I needed to know if he meant it. 

"I said I want to see Noah on weekends." 

"Do you really think a man - a father like you deserves to see their child? What was the last thing you said to me the night you left? I don't want anything to do with you or Noah. That's what you said. And now you're asking to see him on weekends? He doesn't deserve to be treated like this by his own father."

"Jade, please." I stood up. 

"Why? Huh? Give me a good enough reason to make me allow you to see my son." 

"Because I love him. And he's not just your son. If it weren't for me you wouldn't even have him!" Voices were being raised and I was sure th other people outside could hear us. 

"Oh, please Eric! You love him?! Is that a joke to you? The word love? You don't know what it bloody means! And yes, you're right, if it weren't for you, i wouldn't have a son who now has to go through all this bullshit because his dad couldn't control his dick. Now, if you'll excuse me." I turned around, walking towards the door. 

"Jade, come on."

I scoffed, rolling my eyes as I looked back at him, "I was just going to give you an 'I fucking quit' letter but I'm sure the big CEO can handle that himself."

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