PREVIOUSLY in Charm!: Finn died; Marcus was a cad; Parker was a spoiled bitch; Avery grew up poor and unhappy and thinks about it all the time; Avery is intrigued by Brad, a handsome stranger; Avery receives a strange voicemail from a woman claiming to be her mother; the awesomeness and badness went up to eleven.
I was at Barnes and Noble the other day and Charm! is prominently featured in one of their displays. A woman who was browsing picked it up and said to her friend, "This girl is pretty!" and it took every single fiber of my being not to squeal and accost her and say "Ohmigod, it's the worst and simultaneously most BRILLIANT book I have read in AGES". Because it is!
Avery is not perfect--she doesn't rise early to work out, eat a sensible breakfast and go to work in a jolly mood. And on this particular morning, she overslept and is incredibly out of sorts and is having a horrifically bad hair day. She's still a little freaked out about the fact that a woman called claiming to be her mother, but shrugs it off as an over invested crazy doing the sort of thing that over invested crazies do. I, on the other hand, would be totally bugging about some nutbar claiming to be my mother and probably wouldn't be able to go to sleep at all, let alone sleep and then oversleep.
As she makes coffee, she daydreams about the kiss that she and Brad had and tries to get over it because you don't succeed in life when you go all gooey and lovestruck over a guy you spent half an hour with. Which does not bode well for me, a lot of my day is spent going gooey and lovestruck over Chace Crawford, who I do not even know. (aside: OMG! New episodes of Gossip Girl may be ready in APRIL!) I am never going to succeed in life!
When she leaves for work, she finds Marcus and curses his handsomeness. He's charming and sincere and she's giving him the proverbial hand, because the face isn't listening, and she starts to walk away. He tries to apologize by saying that he's been busy at work and he needed to have some fun. She counters that there are other ways to have fun besides getting trashed and sleeping around. He's all "I did it! And by admitting it, you can't be mad at me anymore" and says that he knows it will hard, but he'll get her trust back. She asks if his escapades were due to the fact that he was mad at her and he says "I hadn't thought of that but, yeah, well, probably. You've been so damn busy. It's like, if she's so into me, what gives?"
That Neanderthal logic brings out the drama queen in Avery and she says, "What gives? My future gives, that's what gives. This is make-or-break time for Flair, you know that. Couldn't you just bear with me for a little while? You bastard!" (p. 27) Melodramatically saying "You bastard!" will never not make me positively gleeful. Like, when the fax machine gets jammed up? Kick it and say "You bastard!" and you'll feel much better.
He's still trying the whole, "If I agree with you thing and show that I think you're right, it will be easier for you to stop being angry with me" thing and when she starts to leave for her train, he tries the last desperate move in his arsenal, shouting after her that he loves her.
Avery hesitates before finally saying that more than words is all you have to do to make things real, then he wouldn't have to say that he loves her because she'd already know. Girl power!