Levi has sent out invitations for my birthday party at Bejoux unbeknown to me. There will be two parties one on the Friday night for my friends that have no clue about my mafia status and one on Saturday also at Bejoux for the mafia clan with their spouses. Same protocol as before, the hostess to be dressed in a specific color, which he is yet to reveal to me, the spouses and girlfriends in yellow this time and the ladies providing entertainment for the men are to be dressed in orange.
I contacted a contractor to start with the work on the Apartment. I am literally breaking through the floor of the Apartment to the Penthouse ensuring easy access for the guys to me. I will be living in the Apartment and they will remain in the Penthouse. All the furniture in both apartments will be replaced with new ones. There will be a few additions to my living quarters such as a walk-in safe for all the weapons and a few minor other things. I am enlarging the bedrooms in the Penthouse for the guys. The need more space for themselves.
Construction will commence on Monday. I am looking forward to the end result. It will give us all a fresh new beginning.
Something I think we all need under the circumstances.
Before the party was to commence I called all the guys together for a meeting. Fuck I missed their company. They were always close but I kept them at arm’s length while I went through my mourning period.
Sitting down each with a whiskey in hand I ran through all the various business transactions over the past three months. The guys were impressed with how all the businesses have grown. I mean, if you only work and train what do you expect.
I handed each one of them a cheque as an incentive. They deserve it, not everyone would have put up with my shit. I believe it is mostly because of Levi that Alex and Blaine stuck around I am just glad that they are all still here now.
“So guys, as you can see, from Monday it will be business as usual. I have compiled itinerary packages for each of you. We will be travelling for two weeks I have meeting with some of the bosses in person. Some have defaulted on their payments to me and as you all know, no one double crosses me and gets away with it. During the celebrations tomorrow evening it will be re-iterated, no names will be mentioned but they will know who they are. If they pay up before our visit, which I hope happens; nothing will happen but this time, there could be some deaths. I am not tolerating their shit anymore. Each of them has made a lot of money since I have been running things. The least they can do is pay their dues”, I say in my no nonsense business tone.
I look at them and see they all nod in agreement.
“Ms Taylor… “
“For fuck sakes Blaine, how many times have we been through this, it is Emma. If you can’t call me Emma get the fuck out. You, pointing at them individually, are my only friends; the only difference is you are closer to me than friends will ever be. I entrust my safety in your hands on a daily basis, if you don’t see it the same way I do, then there is no room for you. Do I make myself clear”?
“Yes Emma”, Blaine says.
“Blaine, what were you about to say”, I ask a lot calmer than before.
“Well, we were wondering if we could continue the business side of things on Sunday before we depart on Monday so that we can show you a wonderful two days to enjoy your birthday. Hell, you deserve it. We even have gifts for you that we want to give you before your party tonight”.
I feel like a complete bitch. Since Diablo’s death my fuse has been a lot shorter, which is not fair on the guys. He was trying to be nice to me and as usual I had to spoil it with my attitude. I couldn’t look at them for a second, I gulped down tears. They were truly my only family and friends and this is how I treat them, it is unacceptable. I need to seriously start working on my attitude towards them.
“I am sorry Blaine, I didn’t mean to be rude”, I promise to work on my attitude. I get up and walk to each one of them hugging them and pecking their cheeks. When I sit down again, Levi hands me a re-filled tumbler of whiskey.
“Thanks Vi”, I mumble. “You always take such good care of me”. He smiles before sitting down next to me while handing me large white box.
“Open it,” he urges. Lifting the lid I see the folded green fabric. Standing up I remove it completely from the box. It is a long neon lime green dress. On the other side of the box were black lace-up stiletto shoes.
“It is your dress for tomorrow night. I know you like the color, Ems. You are going to look stunning in it”.
Tugging his arm I pull him up from the couch for a long lingering hug my eyes blurry again from the unshed tears.
“Thank you Vi, you know me so well. I will definitely stand out tomorrow night in this color”.
For the first time I see him blush before he turns to take his drink to sit back down on the couch.
The next gift was from Alex. I open the box to see a bottle of my favorite perfume with the body lotion. I did the same with him as I did with Levi, I gave him a big bear hug the hug didn’t last as long but it was comforting.
Blaine’s gift was last, I can see he is nervous. He only has an envelope in his hands. Getting up from the couch I walk to him and sit on the armrest of the couch he is sitting on. “I am sorry again Blaine about before, I know it was insensitive of me, can I please have my gift now”, I ask with a smile filled with encouragement. I can see the hesitation in his body language.
“My gift is not as good as theirs. I promise I will make up for it next year”. “Blaine, any gift you give me will be appreciated as much as I appreciate theirs, even if you didn’t get me anything I still appreciate the fact that you are here celebrating my birthday with me. Just hand me the envelope”. He hands the envelope begrudgingly to me. I tear open the envelope, he bought me a spa day filled with massages, a manicure, pedicure with food and drinks throughout the day, I absolutely love it.
“I love it Blaine, thank you. I am going to enjoy my day there”. I hug him and peck his cheek while getting up, I see the relief on his face.
“Thank you guys you have really made me feel very special today, I appreciate all of your effort”.
“Now it’s time to get ready for the party”, I say excitedly.
“Before we jump back into reality, we just want to make sure that you are doing alright. You have been through a lot these last three months. Are you sure you are ready to face the world”?
Standing in front of the guys, I know I can’t hide my true feelings from them. They know me too well by now.
“I am not going to lie and say there won’t be bad or challenging days Vi but I have made peace with what happened and what I have done. I cannot hide for the rest of my life. It is time to face reality and to start living again, I am finished with feeling sorry for myself. I hope that answers your question”.
“It does, we just want you to be happy Ems”.
“I will be Vi, I have the best three friends anyone can ask for. With you guys by my side I feel anything is possible. Not to sound rude or crass but I don’t ever want to speak about the past again unless I have to. We have all been through a lot and it is time we all moved on and stop living and fearing the past. What happened, happened, I don’t want to change a thing. I know I have an attitude problem at the moment, which is a defense mechanism but I am working on it. I hope all of you can respect that. Now, enough of the somber mood, it is time to party”, I say before turning to go to my room to get ready.
I shower washing my long black hair before washing my body. No one has touched me since that day. Not that I miss the loving touch of a man but I am not ready for that yet I can’t even fathom another man’s intimate touch on my body.
I get out of the shower I wrap my body in a fluffy white towel and walk into my room. I notice the bedroom door closing but no one was in my room. I look around and notice another large white box on my bed. Walking closer I see a note with my name on it.
I start reading it.
I wasn’t sure if it is appropriate to give you this but since I bought it I might as well give it to you as it is your birthday. I want you to feel special tonight and I know you haven’t been shopping in months.
I hope you like it, it is a bit revealing almost like your business suits but I know you will look classy and sexy in this dress.
Opening the box I pull out a red dress. It had long sleeves, the hem ends a few inches below my ass, my stomach was open showing off how toned I was as well as the area above my breasts showing a lot of cleavage. It goes around my neck accentuating all the features I usually try and hide. It is definitely daring and not a dress I would usually wear. I wasn’t even sure if I had it in me to pull off such a dress. Next to the box was a pair of black stiletto shoes that will lace up to where my dress ends. I must admit he does have good taste but I was still unsure if I could pull off a look like this. All of my insecurities returned since I found out Diablo fucked Lauren.
Well only one way to find out. Lathering my body in the lotion Levi gave me, I put on the dress and the shoes follows. I turn to the mirror shocked by what I see. On the one hand I wanted to take it off, it was too revealing but on the other hand I know it was about time I switched things up a little. Sitting down in front of the mirror I apply my make-up darker than usual going for a black / grey smokey eye. I dry my hair and add a curl here and there leaving it to cascade all the way down my back. My hair was longer than the damn dress. Chuckling to myself I grab my purse and phone before walking to the living room, knowing the guys will already be dressed waiting for me.
Stopping in the living room none of the guys say a word, they all stand staring at me.
“Oh for fuck sakes does it look that bad” I ask, feeling very insecure about the look.
Levi gulps but keeps quiet; Alex and Blaine does the same.
I was agitated with their reaction. “Seriously guys can one of you just tell me if it looks alright to go out like this or should I go and change”, I say running my hand down the dress to get the invisible crinkles out, feeling self-conscious under their respective gazes, something I last felt before I met Diablo.
Blaine walks over to me. “No need to change Emma, you just took all of us by surprise. You look breath-taking. The dress fits you like a glove. We are going to have our hands full tonight trying to keep the guys away from you”.
“I am not so sure about that Blaine, I just look like any ordinary woman”, I say my face crimson.
“You are not like any other woman Ems, don’t ever forget that”, Levi finally says his voice husky. “Shall we go”, he asks.
My face was red with embarrassment probably matching the color of the dress.
Nodding yes, I start moving towards the entrance of the Penthouse with the guys hot on my heels.
I just hope tonight was a good night.
I needed a good distraction.