778 - Emma
I realise the last time I saw Liliana must also have been one of the first times seeing her, back in Rome when she was still on Lucien's arm and I hated, or at least disliked, both of their guts.
Now, I can't see her that way anymore, nor can I see her as any form of a threat. I see a gorgeous woman Lucien onced shared his life with, who now so gracefully has taken the fall for something she needn't have, and who is now reuniting with old friends.
When I look around the room, I can't help but feel... complete. Almost everyone we love is here. Our sisters, tightly knit as ever. Brie and Matt, totally having overcome their break-up. Selene and Charles by the bar, possibly arguing about whether or not the bartender made their drinks right. Kenna and Tom, dancing together like they're newlyweds, madly in love.
And then the two of us. Lucien's arm sweetly around my shouder. It doesn't show his posessive side, moreso his caring side. He doesn't care if other people look at me, because he knows I've chosen him and will do so a million times over. There's no jealousy, just pure adoration for one another, and for the circle of people we've created around ourselves.
Eschieve nudges me, surprising me because I could have sworn she was all the way across the room. "Beth's plus one is here. Don't act suspicious, but..."
I try my very best to not immediately look over where she's carefully pointing me, but it's very hard to surpress my curiosity. Before she asked to bring a plus one, I had never heard of this girl, and even now, I don't know her name.
Beth looks nervous as the two of them make their way over to us, their hands nearly touching, but not quite. The girl by her side looks equally as nervous, as well as completely blown away by the absolute madness that is a Lucien du Castellon party. Her light brown hair is braided and she's wearing a dark green dress, looking gorgeous beside my sister with her long, flowy hair and navy blue dress that looks like it might have come from my closet at one point.
"Em," Beth's voice tries its best not to tremble, but I can tell from everything she is terribly nervous, even though we've assured a hundred times. "This is Christine. Christine, this is my sister Emma. You already know Eschieve.."
The girl reaches out her hand, which shakes slightly. "I go by Chris, usually. It's nice to meet you, Emma. Thank you so much for inviting me... This party is..."
"Absolute madness? I know," I smile, taking her hand. "I'm glad you made it. Please don't let all of this craziness fool you, we're pretty normal people..."
Eschieve coughs, hiding her laughter when I softly slap her in the upper arm. Lucien, whose arm has slowly come off of my shoulder, is deep into a conversation with Brie, Matt and Liliana, but I peel his attention away from Brie's vivid speech by softly placing my hand on his arm.
"Luce, this is Chris, Beth's... date?"
"Girlfriend," Beth and Christine say in unison, both girls blushing as soon as they notice they've done so.
Lucien smiles that charismatic smile that is known to make people like him immediately, and I'm pretty sure it works, because suddenly Christine seems just a little less nervous. "It's nice to meet you, Chris."
"You, too. Oh, and, happy birthday! I was going to bring something, but I didn't know what and Beth told me not to..." she blushes. "Thank you for inviting me, I'm totally not used to parties like these.."
"Neither were Beth and I until a few years ago," I smile. "It's just once a year, so take it all in and take full advantage of the open bar and the lavish hotel room."
Lucien chuckles and fakes shock. "Is that the only reason you're here, Emmeline?"
"Of course," I tease back, frowning. "What other reasons would I have to stick around?"
Beth shoots me a death glare, and when I look over at Christine, she looks unsure of the situation.
"Nothing to worry," Eschieve laughs. "These two are madly in love still, they're just annoying. Now, let me show you two to the bar - Emma is right, we should take full advantage of it, since Lucien turning thirty is a once in a lifetime thing, and who knows if he'll even be able to party next year..."
She easily dodges the kick Lucien aims at her before walking off with both girls, leaving us with the company we started with in the first place.
Brie is still talking, Matt and Liliana hardly getting a word in while he rambles on.
"I'm going to go check up on the girls," I smile, "and Charlie and Selene. After that, you owe me a dance, du Castellon."
He kisses my lips softly. "Of course, mon amour."
My friends have apparently spread out across the party, and through the crowds it's nearly impossible to find them in time before they're already off to some other place. Knowing them, though, they're having the time of their lives and there's nothing to worry about, so after losing them for what feels like the tenth time, I give up and find myself at the bar, sipping a low-alcohol cocktail.
"Emma Middleton, in the flesh," a vaguely familiar voice sounds. I can't immediately place it, but when I turn around, multiple puzzle pieces fall into place. Her blonde hair cascades her face and she truly looks like a fairy in her dress. "Looking gorgeous as always."
"So do you, it's quite a difference from the whole bloody look," I chuckle, wrapping the woman in a quick embrace.
"It did manage to draw you in, now didn't it?" She eyes me up and down and I just stand there, unaware what she's looking for. "Still no engagement ring, I see? And here I was, waiting for my invite to the wedding..."
I shake my head, a faint smile playing around my lips. "So sorry to disappoint, Anne.."
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