468 - Emma
"You shouldn't have to remind him," Kenna tells me, fixing the strap on my shoulder. "Either he remembers or he doesn't, and if he doesn't, you'll have the perfect reason to be mad at him."
She has taken me out for a surprise trip, and I was truly surprised when I found out she and my other friends had rented a boat to take out.
The sun is beaming down, and after fully covering myself in sunlotion, I'm lounging on the deck with my favourite ladies surrounding me.
I try my very best not to think about Callum, or the case and the meetings, nor do I think about how Lucien just texted me good morning and good luck this morning.
At first I told Kenna that I saw her plan through, that I knew she must have gotten Lucien to fly in and surprise me for my birthday, and that that must have been why he was playing dumb. Kenna being Kenna, however, immediately let her face give it away: she had no plans relating to Lucien.
I got to hers late last night, and she pretty much forced me to stay over, hinting to a surprise she had planned for my birthday. It feels weird celebrating, considering the circumstances, but she still managed to drag me out to the water and surprise me with this boat.
I was taken back to one of the many Lucien birthday surprises last year, where after dinner in a greenhouse and a private screening of Pretty Woman in the theater, he took me out for a romantic stay on a boat.
Now, I'm not with him, but with five of my friends, all chatting loudly. Accompanied by Kenna, I've told them all about my reunion with Lucien, and now it's their turn to talk. I haven't seen them in ages, a year to be exact, and it's nice to hang out again. My mind, however, keeps getting brought back to Lucien.
"Em," Pearl sighs, her hair now a pale lilac, as she turns from her back onto her stomach. "He's probably just busy."
"I wasn't," I protest, though quickly silenced by the women surrounding me. One of them throws me a strawberry, landing on my bare stomach.
"You're definitely worrying about your boyfriend," Liz tells me, taking a bite from a strawberry herself, pushing her strawberry down with her other free hand. "Which is totally fine, because right now, it looks like he has forgotten about your birthday."
"Which he definitely hasn't," Kenna tells them, stealing some fruit from the bowl. "He's a great guy, he's just busy like Pearl said."
Isabella rolls her eyes, chuckling at Kenna. "When did you become part of the Lucien fan club?"
"Ever since he helped me when I went into labour," Kenna simply shrugs. "We're really being too hard on him, you guys. He's in a whole different part of the world, he's probably just a little confused by the time difference."
Bree nods. "I agree with Kenna and Pearl on this one. He seems great, he's just busy. He'll call, just you wait."
Even after dinner, still had on the boat, he hasn't called. We've all shared a lovely arrangement of seafood, our stomachs entirely full especially after the ice cream we had. Quite a lot of bottles of wine have been shared, and a joint or two have been passed around, all feeling like we're in our early twenties again as we lay on the deck, now a little more covered than we were this afternoon.
Some of us, not me for a change, are complaing about how sunburnt we got, as we stare up at the stars.
One of our phones as been connected to the little speaker we've got, and awful yet lovely music is playing.
My mind keeps drifting off to Lucien, and I keep on getting dragged back into reality by one of my friends cracking a joke or asking a question.
Plenty of pictures have been taken, but I ask all of the girls not to post anything. I'm in hot water currently, and just a simple picture of me celebrating my birthday in a bright yellow bikini could be enough for people to hop back onto the Emma hate train.
"Stop it," Kenna taps me on my nose, handing me a glass of ice-cold sparkling water.
"Wasn't doing anything," I lie, sipping on the bubbles and enjoying the taste in my mouth.
"You," she tells me, checking if the other girls are listening in, which they aren't. "Were worrying again."
"Can you really blame me?" I ask her. "I know I'm supposed to relax, celebrate my birthday and such, but my life is a mess right now. Luce is away, and my ex is trying to make me look like some kind of villain for all of the world to see. It's quite hard for me not to worry."
She holds out part of an already-smoked joint, raising an eyebrow. "Are you dying?"
I chuckle. "No?"
"Your situation, no matter how shitty it is, can be solved. You've got one of the world's best lawyers by your side, and yes, your boyfriend is away. But he's also Lucien du Castellon, one of the sweetest men you've ever met. He'll be back, and he's totally behaving like a gentleman whilst he's not by your side. Sure, you miss him, but that's no reason for you to just worry for the last...," she checks her watch, "four hours of your birthday. So smoke up, have some more of that cake Bree made, and relax. You're dating one of the hottest men at the moment - I can say that, I'm married and have a kid - you have great friends and a pretty cool cat. You're going to fine. Now, enjoy the shitty 2012 Taylor Swift that's playing, and breathe."
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