The ride to her mother's was thankfully long and she had plenty of time to catch up with Evan. They talked about everything, work, relationships and memories from the past. Mostly about how stiff their mother had been. It was great to talk about it with someone who had felt the exact same thing. Both of them had lived for a longer time alone with the ambassador, her when Evan wasn't born and him when Emily went to Yale. It was no piece of cake to live under the same roof as her and that's why Evan had run away plenty of times and Emily would have to help her mother look when it happened in America. Or sometimes he had ended up at Emily's place, which made her task much easier. She had also tried to visit him as much as she could so that he wouldn't feel alone. They were close to each other and she loved him more than anything. Nothing would ever happen to her baby brother. But things did often happen to him when he was a teenager. He would be out partying and get high, even if Emily had tried to get him to stop. There was also a time just after Emily had finished Yale and had just bought her very own apartment that she had offered that to take Evan in for some time, just so he could cool off. Instead the ambassador solved this by moving to the Middle East with Evan to get him away from his friends, but she managed to pull him away from a person who truly loved him. Despite these things in their past they had no problem getting along now.
Emily recognized the road they were driving on now and she knew they were close. Her nerves took over and she started biting her nails until Evan took a hold of it to stop her. When Evan was about 10, visiting her at Yale, he really tried to get her out of that habit since it had gotten so bad that it would bleed. He'd tried so many different things like grossing her out by saying that biting your nails is the same thing as licking the insides of a toilet and he had put something on them to make it taste like nail polish remover. None of them worked and it ended with her growing to like the taste of nail polish remover. He smiled reassuringly at her as they pulled into their mother's estate. It was the same as when Emily had lived there. Even the dozens of cars parked outside was a normal thing from her childhood. It was just typical that a party had already started because after flying for so long she must've looked like shit. Unconsciously she moved a hand over her hair to get a picture of what she looked like.
"You look perfect, sis. Just go upstairs and change to a dress, put on some make-up and brush your hair." Evan said and brushed a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Thank you." Emily said while they both jumped out of the vehicles and slammed their doors shut.
Inside all the guests were standing in the big hall in another room than where the entrance and the staircase were. Evan showed her to the room where she would be sleeping and then left to let her get ready.
Emily walked down the stairs 30 minutes later in a new red cocktail dress and took a few deep breaths before walking into the big hall. People seemed to notice her when she walked inside, but there were only a few of them she recognized. She approached her mother who was standing across the room, talking with an older couple.
"Hello, mother." she said, attracting Elizabeth Prentiss' attention.
"Oh Emily, dear! I'm so glad you wanted to come." Elizabeth exclaimed and hugged her daughter.
"Like I had a choice." Emily muttered sarcastically into her mother's shoulder, making the older woman pull away and look at her.
"Emily, I don't..."
"Mother, Mills, let's not make a scene." Evan interrupted the two women, a bit nervously. Emily rolled her eyes and followed her brother to the appetizers. If there was something Emily would enjoy it would be the food.
As the night progressed she didn't get to talk to her mother, Evan had kept the two apart so that they wouldn't get into a fight. But she did have to mingle with other people who were just as judgmental as the woman who gave birth to her. Apparently they didn't like that she was in her 40s with no husband and no kids. Even if they didn't tell her so she could tell by the way their faces fell when she told them. They asked a lot of personal questions and almost everyone pitied Elizabeth for not getting any grandchildren. Every time, Emily would end the conversation with a sarcastic 'I'll get right on it.' As she emptied champagne after champagne her answers would get bolder and to one older lady she had said that she was just going to find someone in the room to bang. It didn't surprise her what little humor her mother's friends had. After that she had gone to look for her baby brother who'd gotten lost somewhere during the last 40 minutes. They had promised that they would hang out the entire time so he'd better not disappear on her. The alcohol helped a little bit while mingling, but there was only so much she could handle.
She found him sitting on the porch in front of the house holding his cell, glancing down on it from time to time.
"Find something interesting out here?" she asked, making him jump out of his skin. "Sorry, I didn't know you were so easily scared." Emily chuckled.
"I'm not." Evan said distantly.
"Hey, are you okay?" Emily asked, concerned.
"What? Yeah..." he said, staring in front of him. Then his shoulders seemed to visibly relax and he turned around to face his older sister. "Come sit with me." he said, patting the seat next to him and she hurried to sit down, clumsier than usually.
"You know I'm a profiler, right?" Emily said, placing her head on her brother's shoulder.
"Yeah, I know." Evan answered and kissed Emily on her head. They were quiet for a while, enjoying the silence until Evan got a crazy idea. "Hey, do you know what would be fun?"
Emily looked at her brother and shook her head. "No, what?"
"If we went swimming in the lake right now." Evan said, a little too enthusiastic.
Emily laughed. "That's crazy! I have nothing to swim in."
"Afraid to get your clothes wet?" Evan teased.
"Well, yeah! It was a pretty expensive dress." Emily said, pulling on the fabric of her dress.
"Then swim in your underwear... Now, come on!" Evan said and dragged her off the porch, starting towards the lake. Emily couldn't stop laughing behind him as he walked with determent steps. One night of fun should be okay and tomorrow they could be serious again.
The lake wasn't too far away, but enough so they wouldn't be seen and heard if they were to scream. Which they did from the time they started to undress until they both were under the water.
"God Evan, how come you always bring out my wild and crazy side?" Emily laughed. It was true, though, that he always made her a bit younger. Normally she wouldn't jump around in a lake, splashing water at her brother and acting somewhat childish, but her brother was 12 years younger than her.
"What can I say, sis? I'm just bringing out the true Emily." Evan said, pushing himself away on his back. "We should ditch tomorrow night's party and hit the town."
"Wouldn't that be great, but I doubt mom would let us. I mean she practically forced me here." Emily rolled her eyes. She wished that they could sneak away because anything other than that stupid dinner tomorrow would be fun.
"I think I might be able to persuade her." Evan winked. "Besides, do you still have to do everything she wants?"
"I'm here aren't I? I just don't want to argue." Emily dove into the water, deciding that the conversation was over, and swam to grab her brother's legs, pulling him under the water too. She could hear him scream before he sank under the surface and Emily swam away before he could have his payback.
He swam after her and pulled her back by her legs. Emily let out a squeak as she tried to struggle against her younger brother's grip. When she managed to kick him away she went up to the surface for some much needed air and she saw her brother doing the same.
"See what you're doing to me?" Emily asked with a chuckle as she tried to catch her breath.
"I think the child in you is quite fun." Evan told her. "But I think we should get back in."
"I would have to agree with you, but there's one minor problem..."
"What?" Evan asked in disbelief.
"We can't dry ourselves! And I will not walk inside dripping wet in only my underwear."
"Eh, just throw the dress on top, or if you don't want the dress to get wet take them off and wear nothing underneath your dress." Evan winked at her older sister.
"Oh, shut up," Emily said and slapped his arm.
Emily chose to wear her dress over her wet undergarments just because she would feel so naked to not wear anything under her clothes among her mother's friend. Evan couldn't care less about that, but he didn't care about getting his trousers wet either. So when they were both in clothes it immediately soaked through and for once Emily didn't care what her mother would think of them coming in like this. Their mother was staring at them when they walked inside and every other guest, who were just about to leave, did too.
"Mother..." Emily nodded.
"Emily... Evan... What is this?" Their mother asked and it felt as if they were teenagers who just got caught doing something bad.
"We decided to go down to the lake." Emily admitted and her mother did not look pleased with her answer.
"Emily, you're 40 years old and you know this is no way to behave. Evan, I can understand, but don't let him drag you down with him."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm going to bed now since the party seems to be over. See you tomorrow."
With those words Emily started up the stairs. Evan shrugged at his mother before running after Emily. She didn't really have time for her mother's lecturing right now. The only thing she wanted was some dry clothes and a warm bed.