Chapter 21: U is for Un-delightful
I was sweating, why the hell was I sweating?
It wasn’t that I could feel the sweat on me, it was the feeling, it was hot, stuffy, and I couldn’t breathe and not to mention it felt like my head was being pounded by a hammer.
A large hammer.
And what’s that lovely smell? It was a soft fragrance that came and went. I opened my eyes, it had to be Charlie sitting his arse on my face again, that stupid cat. I really needed a cat proof bed.
But it wasn’t.
It was an arm, pretty much trying to choke the life out of me, the fingers were against my ear, the inside of the elbow over my neck acting like a heavy anchor. Why the hell was there an arm? Shit, did I chop someones arm off?
I turned my head to see the arm continues to a body, well thank god, no murders.
Well obviously, if it was just a piece of arm I would most likely have screamed. And that’s what I realised where I was. Did I fall asleep here? The last thing I remember was talking to someone at the bar about Satan, what was his name?
The back of my head throbbed as I sat up, or tried to, jesus how fat was he, it felt like a mini work out getting his arm off me.
But then I realised why it was at my neck, just like I would at home, I had habit of sinking further down the bed when I slept, I would start with my head on the pillow and somehow end up curled at the bottom at home. Whilst I wasn’t curled at the bottom, I was half way down the bed.
Pushing the red blankets off I breathed in the cold air, thank god, it felt like a freaking sauna in there. I probably lost ten kilos due to the hot temperature.
Reed stirred beside me and I stilled looking down at him as he still slept, lying on his stomach, the hand that was around me now hugging the empty spot and his other hand on the pillow he was on.
Bloody hell, did he have to take up all the space in the bed? He looked like freaking Charlie sprawled out, not to mention there was space on the other side of the bed and he took up my half. My bloody half.
Ogre without layers.
Never sharing a bed with him again.
Narrowing my eyes, I brushed the hair out of my face before I turned around to see the clock, a silent scream leaving my mouth. It was quiet, but loud enough for Reed to stir. I hurried out of bed tripping when my leg got caught in the sheets and fell face first to the ground.
“What are you doing?”
“Kissing the ground, what do you think?” I untangled myself from the sheet sitting on the ground rubbing my nose, don’t tell me I broke it, I can’t afford plastic surgery. Nor did I want some weird man with sharp things near my face.
“It’s Eleven! ELEVEN,”
Reed rubbed his face hazily as he sat up and I was momentarily stunned at how good someone looked in the morning. Self consciously I touched my puffy cheek, what happens when I have too little, or too much sleep, can never win. Was my hair a mess as well?
“I have work!”
“I have an event.” I stood up off the comfortable ground, and I was pretty sure I was meeting him at eleven, I just hoped Jenny was there on time, but why would she, this was my event. She was going to take care of the other one.
“I thought you were joking?”
“No, Liam was a joke, but I’m meant to meet Anderson.”
“My client, where the hell is my shoe?” I bent down looking under the bed, nothing, how can my left shoe just go missing. I found my bag placed neatly on the bed side and grabbed that, as well as my vest jumper, “Shoes come in pairs right?” I asked looking at Reed.
“Huh? Ah yes,” he climbed out of bed, stretching his arms lifting the bottom of his shirt. No Violet, one does not simply stare.
“I can’t find my left shoe,” I waved around my right one holding the heel.
“Told you, client,” oh man I needed to brush my teeth, have a shower, and so much to do! I turned to look at Reed, “How fast can you drive?”
“I am, so sorry, for being late.”
Anderson and Jenny looked around as I rushed into the venue, both of them looking perfect, and hopefully I somewhat looked decent. My hair was still wet from the shower and I hoped I didn’t smell like toothpaste.
“That’s alright, your coworker has just been briefing me,” he smiled shaking my hand as I sent her a thankful look, thank god. “So I presume everything is set for tonight? The decorations look great, what time are the caterers coming?”
Jenny and I briefed Anderson as we walked him around showing him where everything was going, and by five, it was chaos. Caterers were coming in, the last touches were being placed and the doors open at seven. I glanced at the clock, I could get off in half an hour, just half an h-my phone started buzzing in my hand violently and I looked down shuddering, why was she calling me?
“Hello?” I asked tentatively.
“Are you coming tonight?”
“Dinner.” Oh right, about that, “Well mum, I’m really bu-,”
“Great I’ll see you at eight.” and she hung up on me. Well....nice talking to you too. I grumbled shifting on my feet, I was so not in the mood to go see them, and take Reed, ugh why did I offer to take him. Maybe he forgot about it, yep, he probably did. No need to remind him.
“Hey Violet, where are the napkins?” I looked up to see Jenny calling for him and rushed over.
My phone started vibrating and I jolted awake, shit when did I fall asleep?
I was half on the bed, with Charlie sleeping next to me, at a distance. Why was he sleeping over there? Oh right, the incident half an hour ago. The side of my shoulder and neck area still hurt. Stupid cat. I looked at the caller ID to see it was Reed.
“Yeah?” I asked, so much for a quick nap. My feet hurt from running up and down at Anderson birthday venue and getting everything ready.
“What time are we going to your parents tonight.” I groaned, “You remembered.” I said as I rolled out of bed, kneeling on the ground with my head on the blanket. I didn’t want to go.
“Of course I did, what time?”
“Nine.” it was already eight, oops, sorry mum I guess I was too late to come now. “Alright I’ll be there in half an hour, formal or semi formal?”
“Come in your pajamas,”
“Just wear clothes who cares?” I grumbled as I stood up, it was my family, a nightmare of a night was in plan. I ended the call looking at Charlie, “What should I wear?” He opened one eye before going back to sleep, yes, maybe a toga blanket.
I was sitting on the ground at the underground car-park, I looked up as I heard the sound of a car, one that I recognised.
I sighed staying on the ground as the car came to a stop, too comfortable to get up till Reed stepped out walking around, raising an eyebrow seeing where I was sitting.
“I didn’t say anything,” He said holding up his hands up, palms facing me, yeah, but you were thinking it. And that’s still a crime. He stood in front of me holding a hand out and I sighed letting him pull me up.
“Do we have to go?” I felt like a little girl complaining about going to the dentist, but right now I would rather go to the dentist. Reed raised an eyebrow placing his hands on my shoulders, rubbing down my arm and then back up, “You know we have to,”
I scoffed, if only he knew how bad they were. He pursed his lips his hands cupping my face, thumbs stroking my cheek before he bent down to place a soft kiss on my lips, “Let’s go before we’re late,”
He turned to walk back when I grabbed his blazer, realising he was in formal clothes, which did funny things to my stomach. It was a very casual suit, pants, white shirt and a blazer, casual enough that he didn’t look dressed up but still formal enough to “Meet the parents,”
I told him to wear his pyjamas. Stupid boy.
“Or, we can go upstairs,” I said wriggling my eyebrows. He groaned his hands coming around my waist pulling my body closer to meet his.
“As tempting as that is, I think we need to go meet your parents, or family, who’s actually coming?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes,” he breathed out against my neck making me shiver, he placed a kiss on the nape of my neck before pulling away and stopping, “What’s that?”
“Last offer,” I said before I realised his question.
I looked at where he was looking, the red gash and pulled the slipping shoulder back into place, “Nothing,”
“Doesn’t look like nothing,” he said slapping my hand away and I rolled my eyes as he pulled the material back down my shoulder, “Jesus. Satan?”
“No, Charlie,” I said not mentioning that he used Jesus and Satan in one sentence. His finger brushed over the claw marks and I winced, “Sorry,” he said pulling the shoulder back to sit in its spot, “Why did he claw you like that?”
“Misunderstanding. It was actually cute, not the clawing, he tunneled into my blanket and then he got freaked in the middle of his nap and clawed me trying to get out. It wasn’t his fault he had a nightmare, but the bastard just gave me a meow, a lick as an apology as I just sat there bleeding, and went off back to sleep at a distance.
I sighed pulling the door open, “Let’s get this over and done with,” I said and Reed nodded going around to his door. “Why didn’t you bring your bike?” I could’ve drove. I was an excellent driver.
“I don’t think your mother will really approve me driving you on a bike,” Oh true, he had a point there. But I decided not to mention that my probably wouldn’t even approve him driving his posh little car.
She didn’t approve of anything.
“Any advice?” he said as he pulled out of the underground car-park and I nodded.
“Sit between me and my father and you’ll survive tonight, don’t talk, don’t look and don’t breath.”
“Ready?” I asked as I opened the door and got out, “You’re meant to wait for me to open your door! I just lost brownie points,” Reed frowned rushing around the front of the car.
I rolled my eyes, “Don’t worry my mum wasn’t peeking through the door, and pretty sure the aunts don’t care” and you’ll never get any brownie points in this house, brownies were pretty much illegal, they were pure sweet fat which dad wasn’t allowed to eat.
He reached for my hand and I slapped it, “No physical contact,”
I nodded, “My mum likes to believe I’m virgin Mary,” I said as I ignored the bell and banged against the door incredibly hard, and continued till the door opened. Well that was good anger-relief, while Reed just looked stunned at me.
Well, my arm sort of hurt now, wriggling it I stared at the person glaring at me.
I smiled at him walking in, my brother, one of them, the engineer, Adrian just opened the door and then let go of it, and I had to stick my foot out before it closed and we walked in.
“That’s my brother, one of them,” I said as Reed walked in, “How many do you have?”
“Three, that’s Adrian, there is Cameron, Dr Cameron and Henry the Lawyer, that’s Adrian the engineer,” I said, “And they don’t give two rats shit about me so don’t worry they won’t beat you up for dating me,” not like loving families you see on the tv.
“You’re late,” Henry said looking up as I walked into the kitchen, Good, I wanted to be, I ignored him. “Where’s mum?”
He shrugged and that was the pleasantries for tonight. But speak of the devil, she came down the stairs in a stunning form hugging black dress smiled seeing me, “Violetta!”
“Violet,” I gritted out, I hope she wasn’t still trying to change my name, I was over eighteen I was pretty sure she couldn’t change the name.
Oh right, I looked over my shoulder to make sure Reed hadn’t run away yet, “Alexander meet birth giver, mum meet Alex,”
“Violet! Don’t be so crude, go get your dad will you, everyone will be arriving soon”
“Pleasure to meet you ma’am,” I walked away leaving Reed in the very capable hands of my mum trying not to laugh, man why was I so mean? I bet ten bucks he was going to offer to leave when I got back.
Thankfully dad wasn’t too far away, “Ah there’s my baby girl,” He said looking up smiling.
“Sup dad, let’s go people are coming,” I turned around walking back and to his credit Reed stood there, unfazed answering all the questions mum would probably be throwing at him. But hopefully there were enough guests talking to her, and enough marriage proposals for my brothers.
“Is the table set up? Do you need water or-,”
“Nope it’s all done,” She said and I nodded, “Violet can I speak to you for a second?”
I sighed nodding, “You go sit down,” I told Reed as I followed my mum, slightly confused when she took me to the bathroom.
“How many times do I need to tell you to put your hair up, and what are you wearing?”
“What, don’t like it, ouch,” she ran a comb through my hair, pulling at the strands and knots, pretty sure I heard my hair rip a few times as she tied it up. I thought I looked fine.
“I told you to wear a dress,”
I know, that’s why I didn’t wear it. Besides I already had a feeling this was going to be a very long night, so I wore jeans and a comfortable, well sort of comfortable shirt that I found with the tag on.
“Ow!” I grumbled as she pulled it into an incredibly high pony-tail, which was going to look stupid because it was all going to fall down with the quantity of hair I had, thick and heavy. Not to mention I looked disgusting from the front with everything pulled back so tightly.
“There, now we have a special guest coming,”
I asked as I followed her out the bathroom. As usual she ignored me continuing her way down and I tugged at the strands of my hair so I didn’t look so bald.
I looked at the couch to see my dad, Damien was talking to him and winced, man I hope they were getting along. Reed looked up meeting my eyes, he didn’t have the, Help I’m dying, look so he should be fine.
“Can I talk to you” I looked up, surprised, incredibly surprised to see Henry looking at me.
This was weird, why was he talking to me willingly. The only other time was “Mum is looking for you,” or “Dad wants his keys back,” or “Where is my dash,” dash filled out with a item of his I stole, well borrowed, just without asking him.
“What is he doing here?”
“Who?” I asked only to realise it must be Reed he was talking about. I cast another look at Reed but he was talking to dad.
“Him,” Henry said raising his glass of scotch no doubt to his lips, “He’s here to look at my case and tell information to the other party,”
What on earth was he talking about?
Oh wait, Case? Lawyer shit? Probably.
“He’s here because I’m dating him?” why else would he be here. Henry looked at me raising an eyebrow and then scoffing, “Don’t be silly. He’s only dating you so his sister can find out information about the defendant”
My jaw dropped as I looked at Henry as he walked back to Adrian who was already hogging the TV. I was going to add salt to their drinks tonight.
I jumped looking up to see Reed, “Eh, yeah, totally,” I said at the same time the doorbell rang and I groaned. Let the chaos begin.
Chaos was the understatement.
“Smaller Violet! I told you dice not chunks!” I looked at mum and sighed, at least she got my name right. And I could get the size of these stupid cucumber if she told me to chop them before everyone came not now.
I was pre-occupied, like glaring at my cousins who were way too talkative and touchy with Reed. I’m going to mix a knob of butter into Larissa’s mashed potato separately, if she touches his arm one more time.
And one cube of butter into Reeds for letting her touch him.
I looked at the chopping board, these were small? How small did she want them? I groaned and went back to chop all the pieces in half, again. She wanted “mince” not “dice”.
By the time I was finished I was onto another job, refilling drinks which was annoying. It was like the old hag was doing this on purpose. I looked at Reed who was thankfully eight metres away from Larissa and smiled evilly.
“Not that much,” Oscar said and I stopped pouring the wine. He leaned against the counter with the camera around his neck, it was his usual duty of taking all the pictures.
“So talked to your boyfriend, hear he’s an architect,”
“Huh? Yeah,” I said absent minded as I put the cork back into the bottle. Stupid cork, fit. Wait, a cork won’t go back into an opened bottle, what the hell was I even doing. I threw it carelessly behind me.
“Do you think he’ll get me a job?”
“What?” I asked and realised Oscar was pretty keen in the construction business, “Ask him not me,” I said shrugging.
“Yeah but sweet talk me up okay?” He said nudging me, making me nearly drop the bottle
My heart leapt a beat, thankfully it was caught between the bench and my body and I lifted it up, god if I broke another bottle I’d ever head the end of it.
“Sorry,” he said patting my head. I flicked his hand off making a refill for Aunt Eliza, the old hag.
“I want some brandy darling, but with one drop of brandy and a lot more ice,” and when you gave her “One drop” she wanted more. You give her more, she wanted less.
“You think this is enough for your mum?” I asked holding up the glass. Oscar nodded, “A bit over but I’ll drink it,”
“So what do you say?” he said as I placed the bottle away. Man I should get paid for this, be the family bartender.
Oscar gave me his empty wine glass and I glared at him, he was old enough to wash it. I placed it on the counter. I couldn’t be stuffed being the dishwasher girl for the night as well.
“Sweet talking me,” Oh right, I shrugged, “Fine but you owe me,”
“Deal,” he said suddenly hugging and kissing my cheek.
“Oscar gross,” I said, I hated his hugs, it was like every part of your bones were breaking.
“You love me couz,” he said walking away raising his camera to take a picture and I was so tempted to throw a bottle at his head.
“Finally,” I looked up to see Reed, “Want a drink Sir?” I mocked holding up a bottle and putting on an accent.
“No,” He said coming behind the bar tending counter. He reached out and I slapped his hands away, “No touching,”
“How come he gets to kiss you and I don’t which bring me to the point, are you dumping me?”
I rolled my eyes, “He’s my younger cousin, he’s not your competition,”
“He’s saved,” he said hopping onto the stool. He kicked my leg and I narrowed my eyes at him as he hooked his foot around my knee pulling me towards him. Not happening.
“Are all your cousins touchy?”
Reed nodded and I looked up at Larissa, “She’s annoying, I need to burn this shirt,”
Alright no butter into his potatoes.
I hid my smile and shrug, turning around, “I’m surprised you’re not enjoying the free action,” I said picking up a glass to wipe it.
“The only action I’ll enjoy is from you,”
I nearly dropped the glass as I looked over my shoulder, he did not say that, “Did you just kick my arse?”
I narrowed my eyes the same time I heard my name being called and looked up, “Violet look who I found!”
“Oh fuck me,” I said seeing a familiar person in the doorway.
“With pleasure,” Reed snickered and I threw my hand towel at him as I walked around the counter. I was going to murder her.
She was doing this on purpose. “Mother, what is he doing here?”
“I thought it would be lovely to have Erek and his family over, I had such a pleasant time meeting them,” I scoffed, didn’t she hate Erek. And who was that before him? Radley? Oh and John. She hated everyone.
“Well...it’s not,” I said looking at my ex-boyfriend, “Erek you should leave,”
“Don’t be so rude Violet! He’s your guest”
“My guest? You invited him mother so why don’t you show him around!” I huffed crossing my arms.
But of course she just huffed and puffed throwing her braided her over her shoulder and sauntering off in her dress, which I hoped she tripped over and fell straight first into a high calorie cake.
I looked at Erek smiling, “Would you like a drink darling?”
He hadn’t changed a bit, Erek would always wear those stupid posh sweater with the logo, even on a summer day which pissed me off, and yet again here he was in his favourite pale blue sweater, which I must throw some food on, on black jeans looking flustered as ever.
“That’d be great,”
“Two options, toilet water, or wine with cyanide jerk,” I said and turned around hoping the message. God, that was it. Never coming to a family event again. He should be scared even hearing our family name, the stupid puppy dog running back at the first mention.
I bumped into a chest and looked up to see Reed, “Oh you,”
“Yes me,” he said I saw his hands around to grab mine and then pull back tucking into his pockets making me smile. So I reached up wrapping my arms around his neck pulling his head down to kiss him.
“What happened to the no touching rule?” He asked as his hands hesitantly wrapped around my waist. I shrugged, if my mum was being that annoying, she can go to hell.
“Good,” he said lowering his head and I made a mental note to be R rated, there were kids present. And dad, dad was around here somewhere.
Having a fake smile on was like having a work out for your face muscles. Thankfully it was dinner and we all went to the dining table that was filled with food, and a billion chairs squashed around it. But of course my mum was prepared with tables attached to tables, the younger kids usually filled their plates and ran to the TV area with the mat in case they spill stuff.
And the rest of us had to sit around the table being squashed. Thankfully the seat next dad was empty and I made Reed sit there, and sat beside him, and once again thankful that Oscar sat beside me. At least soemthing was going my way tonight.
“Did you ask him yet?”
“About wh-oh yeah I’ll tell him later,” Man Oscar was keen on the job. That seemed to be good enough for him as he nodded passing around the food.
It was a few more minutes as the chatter quietened down to half the sound and replaced with clanging cutlery.
“Why is he staring at you like that?”
I looked at Reed confused and followed his gaze to see Erek, meeting my eyes smiling showing me his not so pearly whites, and I rolled mine my eyes ignoring him for a few moments before I replied.
“Ex,” I said stabbing my avocado, thank god there was avocado. I should marry avocado, avocado gets me.
“Ex?” Reed said looking at me. I shrugged.
“X, Y, Z.” I joked but Reed didn’t find it too amusing by the way he frowned at me. Okay Mr I don’t have a humour.
“You know when you date someone and then you dump them, they become your ex?”
“I know what ex means, I don’t get why he’s looking at you like that, or why he is here.”
I rolled my eyes patting Reed’s knee, “Chill, I dumped him ages ago, and mum invited him.” I said as I flicked through my food to find another avocado. Aw, I ran out. I frowned looking at Reed’s plate.
I stabbed it smiling at him as I stole it, pretty sure he wasn’t paying attention to it anyway”Is he your ex-boyfriend as well?”
“What?” I asked looking up, “Oh, that’s either Stewart with a W or a U, I can’t remember he’s Adrian’s friend,” I said, “And everyone stares at everyone, they’re sitting opposite us,” why was he asking so man questions.
“Diagonal,” he corrected me.
“Same thing,” I said pulling back my hand but he wrapped his over it keeping it there. His fingers linked with mine and they were surprisingly cool and not too hot.
“Are you asking him now?”
“Oscar,” I said looking at the over excited child beside me, “Patience, I’ll text you,” I said and stabbing the avocado on his plate, “This is my payment,”
“Okay but make sure you ask him,”
“Kay,” I nodded.
“Violet stop playing with your food,” I looked up at my mum sitting beside my dad. How did she notice from there. Wait, the witch noticed everything.
“Kay,” I muttered stabbing a piece of chicken and eating it, chewing anything but like a lady, but you win some you lose some. With a nod she looked away and I rolled my eyes. I wonder how I look every time I roll my eyes, probably scary. I mean could you see the pupil or would it just be the white of the eye?
Wait no, don’t think about eyes when you’re eating. The food was going to come back out.
“Are there any more ex boyfriends here I should know about?”
I looked up and around the table, “Nope, pretty sure they’re not here,” I said. I just leaned over checking just in case there were some, I wouldn’t be surprised if she invited them.
“How many did you have?”
“One does not ask a lady how many men she’s dated.” A lot I silently added, commitment was just not my thing.
I raised an eyebrow at Reed, “Why so curious about my ex-boyfriends hmm?”
“Just seeing if I have any competition,” I scoffed not bothering to mention that Ex boyfriends are Ex for a reason.
But it was fun to tease him, see him get slightly frustrated as he kept squeezing my hand, not that it was painful but it was funny. “Well the only person who is competition, is John, he was a model before he decided he was gong to become a wrestler instead,”
Reed choked on his water and I looked up, “You okay?”
“Don’t worry you don’t have to fight him, actually maybe, would you fight him for me?” I smiled before going back to finishing my plate off. He muttered something softly before shaking his head. I wonder how many ex-girlfriends Reed had. But I didn’t question him, I had no reason to since I had him now. I bet he had a lot. But I doubt he had as many as me. Who knew the quiet shy nerd would have more than the hot jock?
I looked up, smiling when I saw the avocado on his fork.
He’s understands me.
I shouldn’t have worn jeans. Now I was so full that I felt like the buckle was imprinting onto my skin and I had to keep shifted to pull it up so it didn’t feel like I was about to give birth. Someone needs to invent jeans that stretch as you eat.
“Thanks Aunt Violet,” I nodded as I handed out which I hoped was the last ice-cream, or not, I narrowed my eyes as Erek walked up.
“Bubblegum or Chocolate?” I asked picking up a waffle cone.
“No I just want to talk,”
“Okay talk,” I said filling mine up with bubblegum, after a quick scan of the room to make sure my calorie hunting mum wasn’t there.
“Take me back,”
I continued to place the gigantic scoop and then decided I shouldn’t and took a bit off. There. No that didn’t look to big, it was leaning to the side because...it didn’t have enough. Maybe I should add some more to the other side.
“Come on Letty,”
“Erek it’s been like....a year, get over it,”
“Seven and a half months,”
“Okay a long time. And if you haven’t noticed I moved on, so should you,” I said placing the lid on the ice-cream and placing, “Besides, aren’t you ashamed to run puppy as soon as my mum called?”
He pursed his lips shifting on his feet, “What happened to orange?”
“The one with orange hair,” the one you dated whilst you were dating me, but of course that was none of my business. Pretty sure I saw you kiss her too. But oh well. I licked my ice-cream leaning against the counter.
I wonder how Reed was coping looking after the kids. I nearly laughed at his face as I told him to baby-sit them while I gave out dessert.
There were a lot of kids.
“I broke up with her,”
“Aw well you’ll find someone else, maybe someone with blue hair!” I said walking off but Erek didn’t seem to like my joke.
I walked back into the lounge area with all the younger kids nearly laughing seeing Reed hold a toy teacup, “Having fun?” I asked flopping onto the couch next to him, throwing my legs over his knee.
“Do you want some milk?” he held up his empty cup and frowned, “Where’s mine?”
“Go get it yourself,” I said, my hand ached from making over fifty scoops, some were greedy, like my dad who wants three fucking scoop before he threw my hard work away seeing mum. I took a bite and the second the ice-cream was away from mine, Reed’s mouth was on mine. The warmth against the cold ice-cream a weird contrast, one that I liked.
I leaned forward wrapping my arm around his neck, my fingers brushing the collar of his shirt.
He bit my lip making me gasp and his tongue met my colder one, swirling, and I shuddered from the weird sensation before he pulled back.
He leaned into his seat, “Bubblegum, interesting,” he said while I just stared at him with my jaw dropped.
And turning my head I realised the kids were staring.