26 | Ready to Meet The Hunters?
“I swear I’m just one second from suffering a panic attack” I yell over the phone as I scramble searching for a decent dress.
It’s not like I stuffed my suitcase with slutty outfits and leather skinny tops and jeans before traveling to Rome. It’s just that – I mean what the fuck you wear to meet your boyfriend’s parents.
I don’t remember ever visiting any of my lover’s folks which reminds me that I’ve never kept anyone around long enough for them to introduce me to their family.
Fuck, I need a drink
“Just chill out, bitch. Plaster a fake smile and behave graciously like a subservient wife. I’m pretty sure that’ll do the trick” Ava laughs over the phone and I almost feel like strangling her for laughing at my expense.
That's sexism, what the hell!
“Is that what you did when you met John’s parents?” I begrudgingly mutter through my jumbled brain and my eyes widen with alarm when I realize that I’ve uttered her cheating asshole of an ex’s name.
‘Seriously, Phoebe? Fuck you!’ My subconscious tuts at me with disapproval and before I can apologize to Ava, I’m surprised by her fits of laughter.
“Ahahahaha, John’s parents were literally glad to see me. They probably thought that I’m a meek bitch who’s ready to comply with all their son’s wishes. Poor lad, now that he cheated on me, his parents constantly curse him for losing a gem like me”
Despite my shattered nerves, I burst out sniggering at the asshole’s demise.
Serves him right!
“Who told you that?” I ask curiously after finally coming down from my laughing high.
“His younger brother called the other day,” She says and instantly I rub my temples as my over-protective friendly instinct starts kicking in.
“Please don’t tell me that you’re still in contact with that slimy bastard,” I say with growing annoyance. One of the worst things about Ava is that she always finds it hard to let go of toxic people from her life.
I’m pretty sure that many people face the same problem but Ava is a fucking pro at this.
“What? No…” She drawls out before continuing, “Drew contacted me because, despite mine and John’s indifference, he really looked up to me and still considers me as his little sister”
Oh Lord, help me…
“That’s a fucking ploy, Aves. Blood never betrays their own. The next thing you’ll know, he’ll start that crappy emotional thing saying how much his brother misses you and bla bla and boom! You’re back with him”
“Phoebe, I’m not dumb. There’s no way I’m going back to that cheating bastard. He’s the last thing I care about right now. Sure, it feels a tad sad knowing that I wasn’t enough and all but - ugh, nevermind, I don’t even want to talk about it” Her tone is tinted with irritation as she abruptly stops talking and I wince when I realize that I’ve managed to sour her mood.
“Shit, Aves, I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that…I care for you…so much that I’m afraid of thinking, what if you get hurt? It’s not because of that incident three months back. I know that I fall off the grid sometimes but that never stopped me from caring about you. That’ll never change.
“I love you. Nothing in this world will ever change that and you are one of the most important people in my life. You mean so much to me. I just-t…I just don’t want to go through the pain of losing you again” I finish with my eyes misting when I recall that horrible moment of me witnessing her almost dead body.
“I know Pheebs and I love you too. Stop worrying so much. You’ll start getting wrinkles” She brushes it off with her melodious giggle even though I know that she means each and every syllable.
Blinking back the moisture away from my eyes, I smile and say, “Ok, now seriously, help me with the dress!”
“Ok, listen. You don’t want to wear anything too revealing or too conservative. Two options – Wear the black one with lace sleeves or wear the other black one with chiffon peach boat neckline, you know, the one with a bow on the left side of the neckline…”
I nod my head and search through the heaps of black numbers strewn on the bed for the latter dress that she mentioned.
Finally finding it, I raise the dress and observe it under the light. The dress was exceptionally beautiful with the hem stopping a few centimeters above my knee. It was also quarter sleeved with a peach border in the end. It didn’t look too conservative or slutty.
“I think I’m going to go with the peach neckline you mentioned. It’s cute. The lace one looks like I’m going out on a date” I state and hear Ava hum in agreement through the phone speaker.
“Hey man, I got to go. My client’s here. Just stay cool and composed and smile occasionally but don’t laugh at everything. Just be neutral. K? Bye!”
She hangs up before I get my chance to say thanks and smile at the phone gratefully. Moments like this made me emotional knowing that I have a friend who’s always there for me. Maybe, Emily wasn’t the ideal best friend I was looking for but Ava definitely filled that place in my heart to the brim.
After that horrible experience, Ava and I became closer to each other. We updated each other on our lives just in time. However, I’m still not happy about Ava sleeping with Andres.
It’s not like I don’t want to make her lead a life of a nun. I want her to be with someone, I just want her to be with someone who will appreciate her and not just use her for her body. Then again, it’s not really my business. I just hope that she finds the happiness that she deserves.
Shaking my head, I focus on the task at hand and laying down the dress on the bed, and sweep my hand across the messy pile of dresses so that they fall on the ground for me to fold later.
By the time the clock strikes 6 pm, I’m ready. The front long strands of my brown waves are pulled back with the layers hanging like bangs in front of my eyes and my face is almost bare of makeup save for the brown nude lipstick, the wing-tipped eyeliner, and of course the moisturizer.
When I’m putting on my nude strappy stilettos, I hear a subtle knock on my hotel door and make my way to the door to open it right before looking at the pile of clothes lying on my bedroom floor haphazardly.
No offense, but tidying my room is the last thing on my head right now.
I pick up my purse and hotel key-card from the chaise lounge inside the living room area and twist the doorknob revealing Blaze and instantly my mouth waters when I take in his appearance.
He was wearing a black dress shirt with camel colored pants. The sleeves of his shirt were folded up to his forearms, revealing the tail of the intricate ink drawn over his left arm and I almost refrain myself from letting the drool fall down my chin.
Why does he always have to dress like a walking wet-dream?
Finally urging my eyes to remove themselves from his bulging arms that hugged the fabric of the shirt and trailing my eyes up, I see his lips curled into an amused smirk.
Fuck my life!
“Hey,” I say nervously and watch him frown when his eyes run up and down my appearance.
“Hello love, is it me or do you look like an innocent virgin?” I almost double with laughter over his words at his ridiculous expression.
“No way!” I exclaim and clutch the door handle for support as I keep on laughing.
“Do me a favor and leave your hair loose. The last thing I want my parents is to think that I’m a pedophile” He tells with a semi-horrified expression plastered on his face.
My smile gets wiped off at the mention of the word ‘pedophile’.
I know that Blaze felt uncomfortable knowing that he’s dating someone who’s six years younger than him. Despite him always brushing it off casually, I can often feel some nosey people's judgemental stare when we walk inside restaurants for dinner dates.
Great! Another one of the reasons why we should be together
I screw my eyes shut as my head starts hurting with all the negative thoughts and I feel a hand clasping my shoulder.
I flicked my eyes open to see Blaze eyeing me with concern etched upon his face.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes, of course, I’m fine,” I say with a reassuring smile and watch Blaze relax after hearing my response. I pull the thin crescent-shaped hair-pin that’s holding my front strands together comb my finger through my hair to put them in place.
Seeing this, Blaze smiles his glorious dimple-kissed smile and places a chaste kiss over my lips before offering me his outstretched arm which I take gratefully.
As we wait for the elevator, I release a shaky breath praying heavenwards for everything to go smoothly.
A/N - Damn, even I'm nervous about meeting the Fam.
Let me know your thoughts on the chapter and brace yourself for the drama that's about to unfold next. Take this chapter a breather ;)