Elegant Deception

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Dean returned to my table and sat down. Grant excused himself and got back to his office.

“If these people don’t leave, Grant has agreed to give permission to call the police for some assistance. But I reassured him I called back-up and we are good,” He leaned close and kept his voice low.

“Would we able to secure the place before the guest arrives? I don’t want any ruckus to happen…” I stopped when I felt my phone, which I had been holding, vibrate with an incoming call. “It’s Zoey. Where should I take it?” I looked up at Dean.

He nodded towards Grant’s office. “Go to Grant’s office. He’ll let you use it.”

I walked towards the direction he pointed until I reached a small room besides what seemed to be the staff room. I knocked twice.

“Come in,” Grant called out.

I opened the door and snuck a peek before I entered. “Mr. Sarchet, I got Zoey on the phone. May I use your office for privacy?”

Grant got up and opened the door wide enough. “Please do. And let me know how to handle this situation better. I don’t want to stress the staff that something might… you know,” he said.

I nodded. “Of course, I will do. Thank you for accommodating us.”

“It’s my pleasure, Ms. Nolan. And Jensen’s not going to like if I ruined his sister-in-law’s party.” He added with a cheeky grin.

After he left, I called back Zoey as I already missed her call just getting here. She picked up on the second ring. “Amy, I just read your message. I’m sorry. Julian called me and told me everything Dean told him. Are you okay? Are any guest there already?”

“I’m okay, Zoey. It is just Dean and me for now. So we’re still good. Where are you?”

“We’re still at the apartment.”

“Zoey, I suggest you stay away until we sort this out. If any of the guests do arrive, I think Dean and I will be able to handle it. The owner of the café, Mr. Sarchet, is giving us a hand as well.”

“I’m glad those two are there to help out. But Julian has a plan.”

“What plan?”

“He’s calling for back-up. Just hang on and let Dean take the lead.” She ordered before ending the call.

Once the time was up, the staff helped Dean vacate the premises. However, a group of paparazzi refused to leave the entrée way of the café. Dean, at first, gave them a fair warning. Yet these groups were too persistent. When the first group of the guest arrived, I was outside with Dean, but close to the door. It was Kyla and her friends. They were bombarded with flashes of their camera as they got off the black SUV. Thankfully, they weren’t alone. Another car pulled up. It was Jensen, Dante (his personal assistant and chauffeur), and a man I wasn’t familiar with.

Grant broke off from us and called out to Jensen and other guys, who he named Reed. Dante and Reed walked up to Dean and me by the door, while Jensen caught the attention of the group of paparazzi. This gave Kyla, her friends Coleen, Megan, Rose, and Marie time to safely get inside the café.

Kyla was able to grab hold of me and drag me along with her group. As we were securely inside, Kyla turned to me in worry. “Are you okay, Amy? What were you doing outside with that commotion?”

“I’m okay, Kyla. I was helping Dean and Grant since they were short of manpower. Plus, the staff already has their hands full for the party,” I replied and gestured at the five staff, who just finished cleaning up and successfully covered the window for privacy.

“We heard the news from Julian, so I asked the men to help out. Marie’s about to ask some of her police friends for help after their shift,” Kyla said.

Marie added in nonchalance. “They’ll be here in a minute. If they’re going to start making a ruckus, they’ll make an arrest for obstruction or harassment.”

“And by god, these people don’t stop? What do they get out of this?” Coleen remarked.

“And Julian and Zoey aren’t even famous, even Bill Gates have some privacy. It’s ridiculous,” Rose commented.

“True.” All of the girls nodded in agreement.

“Oh god, I forgot about my husband. Is he still out there? He did offer himself as a diversion, but I can’t feed him to the sharks…” Kyla rushed to the door.

Yet someone opened the door before she did. It was Jensen. He looked breathless. He quickly closed the door behind him. We all stepped away from the entrance to give him space.

Kyla approached and gave him a hug. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Kyla. Don’t worry. The boys are there and handling it. Dean’s getting pissed as well.” He commented.

It was then I got a call from Zoey. I moved away from the group as they discussed softly amongst themselves.

“Zoey, I’m sorry to have not called you. Kyla and her group have just arrived,” I informed before she got to say anything.

“Oh, good. Kyla texted me she had arrived, and I got worried.” She said. “And how was it?”

“It’s crowded out front. Jensen just distracted them long enough to get Kyla and the rest of the girls inside.” I explained. “Zoey, should we…?”

Zoey interjected. “Don’t worry, Amy. I brought a security team with me. And they’ll deal with this. Also, don’t panic,” she paused until I responded ‘okay’, “I’m five minutes from you.”

“What? Should I tell the boys outside?”

“No. Dean will know it’s us. He is still outside, right?”

I didn’t even need to look to know he was. “Yes.”

“Then, they’ll get the heads up. See you in a minute.”

After the call ended, I gathered everyone’s attention. Even the staff were looking at me. They were feeling the high-stress situation, and I feel bad that their weekend was ruin somehow.

“Okay guys, the guest of honor will be here in five minutes or less. Let’s just be calm and wait. Also, girls, please find yourself a comfortable seat and order any drink you like,” I ordered and gestured for the staff to attend to them.

The staff member was happy to find a distraction from all of the commotion. It wasn’t long when we heard it. The loud calls of Zoey and Julian’s name outside. Then, there was a brief silence. Everyone inside with me was quiet too, listening to what is happening without opening up the blinds.

We could hardly make out the words on that short pause. Then the loud calls returned again. In the next second, the door opened and Zoey, Julian, and April entered. It was then we heard what the paparazzi was shouting.

“Julian! Zoey! When’s the wedding day?”

Another called out. “Have you set the date?!”

“Do you want any comments about the break-in at your office a couple of weeks ago, Julian?!” shouted another.

Then Dean followed in and closed the door.

We watched the four of them sighed heavily from the weight of the situation. I couldn’t blame them. Everyone felt the tension raising too.

“Are you okay, Zoey?” Kyla was the first to approach the group, then Jensen followed.

He walked up to Julian and patted his arm without a word.

Dean quickly scanned the room and found me standing idly at the back. He breathes a sigh of relief and walked up to me.

“Are you okay? I didn’t see you enter the café,” he asked.

“Kyla dragged me in. And I’m okay. How are you? Are Greg and Albert outside?” I replied and inquired.

He nodded. “They are. And also, a few men had shown up as well. They said they were a friend of Marie…” he trailed off and faced the rest of the guest in the room with us. “Who’s Marie?” He called aloud.

Marie got up and raised her hand. “That’s me. So that boys have arrived.” She quickly excused herself and gone out, which now we could no longer hear the yells of the paparazzi.

Dean turned to me and asked. “Who were they?”

Kyla overheard our conversation and answered Dean. “Marie’s a police detective. Those men must be her friend for her precinct. She called them for back-up after their shift.”

In that instant, someone knocked. Dean opened the door. As a dark-haired, sun-kissed skin man peered around the corner on the small gap, Marie got up from her seat. “Nick! What are you doing here? Are you with the boys?”

Nick nodded. Dean gestured for him to go in.

“I saw them as they clocked out of the precinct. Why did you text me you did a hand?” Nick said and quickly scanned the room. He held up his hand towards Kyla’s group. “Hey girls. How’s it been?”

“Hey, Nick. We’re good.” Kyla and her group said in the monotonous kind of greeting you say to a family member.

“And how was it? Are those men gone? Did you enforce something?” Marie asked, getting back her brother’s attention.

“It took a couple of minutes, but we were able to keep them away. However, I suggest that one of those private security should man the door and keep these window covered until the party is done. Also, you should have picked a better location. Why are you…”

Marie interrupted him and lightly pushed him towards the door. “Thank you for helping you, bro. Let the guys know that I’ll be buying them a round of beer on bar’s night next week, okay?”

“Why are you pushing me out of the door, Marie?” Nick quipped. “At least introduce me to your new friends…” he trailed off again as he peered around her, giving us a sweet smile.

“No, Nick. This is a private party. And you’re already seeing three women. That’s enough to get you entertained.” Marie gave him one last push while Dean kindly opened the door for her.

“Okay. Okay. No need to rat out your own brother like that. You’re not mom, Marie,” he scoffed and walked out.

“And thank god I’m not Nick. She would not like what I know about you,” she spat back. She then called out those the people outside. “Hey, guys! Thank you for dropping by. Drinks on me next week!” She then closed the door behind her.

Dean clasped his hand, getting everyone’s attention. “Well, I think we cleared the nuances in the area. I think it’s time for the third party to vacate the premises and let these ladies enjoy their night.” He glanced at Julian and Jensen, who had found a comfortable table by the register.

The two brothers looked at Dean for a second, processing his words. Then Julian got up and grabbed his brother. “Let’s go, Jensen. It’s time to leave.”

Jensen quickly walked to his wife and gave her a quick kiss on the cheeks before joining Dean by the door. Julian also approached Zoey, however, she met him halfway.

“Let me know if you have any problems…” Julian started.

Zoey interjected. “I know, Julian. And you’ll leave one of the guys with me anyways, so we’ll be fine.”

Julian grinned and gave her a quick kiss. “You know me so well now.”

“I can read you like an open book.”

Zoey started giggling, which only made everyone in the room look away. We were intruding at a very private conversation. The girls started idly chitchatting to distract themselves from eavesdropping on Julian and Zoey.

After their short goodbye, Julian joined Dean and Jensen by the door. Julian called everyone’s attention again. “We’ll be going, girls. Enjoy your evening.” He said and opened the door.

We all waved. In the chorus, we said a short goodbye and take care of them. And finally, we were back in the company of all-female (excluding some male staff). It was then Zoey remembered to call and texted the rest of her guest that the area was clear and they should start making their commute to the event.

Half an hour later, all the ruckus about the paparazzi were forgotten. Everyone was focused on Zoey, as we were in the middle of a drinking game about the fact on Zoey and Julian’s relationship, which was hosted by my little sister (obviously). The girls were gauging out her reaction to April’s statement to get it right. On the tenth statement, after getting sixty percent of it right, the four shots of tequila were affecting me severely. Kathy, on the other hand, was drunk enough on her third drink. She hadn’t gotten the right answer since the fifth round. She wasn’t the only one too.

Amongst the drunkest, including Kathy, were Coleen and Megan. Kyla and I were the once on the lead and winning. However, in the end, Kyla won. A loud cheer erupted as April handed her a kinky matching lacy undergarments. Being the head of this party, I should have screened the prices April had bought for the games. When Kathy ecstatically jumped and pointed at herself for picking the said lacy garment that Kyla won, I should have known better it was a two-woman job.

Any other night, without the four-shot of tequila, I would have done something about it. Yet tonight wasn’t that night. So I allowed it. It was the biggest mistake (it wasn’t really all that bad after the fiasco with the paparazzi). April pulled out, from god know where, a bag full of crude candies shaped after a male genital.

When Kathy got it out of the bag, half of the girl had the same reaction as I did. And the other half were eccentric to join in the fun. Zoey, who was the guest of honor, shared my concern.

“Kathy, come on. I thought we won’t be having these things on my own bachelorette party,” she grabbed on candy and started pointed it at her. And it didn’t look great, no matter which end she directed at her.

Kathy grabbed the candy out of her hand and placed it back on the pile with the rest. “And did you hear me say I won’t do it. You know me, sister. At least loosen up tonight. We all need this fun after the stressful week we had.”

Though Kathy didn’t mean to make a statement about it, she did have a good argument. With a heavy sigh of defeat, I lightly placed my hand on Zoey's shoulder. “Let them have this one fun, Zoey. At least I was able to get this place rather than the VIP club had suggested,” I reasoned.

“Club? Which club are you talking about?” Coleen, one of Kyla’s friend interjected as everyone eavesdropped on the conversation. It was a small intimate place, and they're only ten people in attendance. There was no way of finding a private area to discuss it.

Kathy perked up and turned to Coleen. “It’s the one by downtown, across that cute boutique,” she replied.

“No. You don’t mean…” she trailed off and gasped. “We could have this party at that club, yet we were stuck here? Whose insane enough to think this was a great idea?” She scoffed.

Kathy cheered in agreement. “I know. That’s what I told Amy and Zoey, but those two were the deciding team.”

Coleen glanced between Zoey and me. “You should have at least considered that place. This party would have been… Aw! What the heck, Kyla?” She started rubbing the back of her head after Kyla lightly smacked her.

“Don’t bully and soon-to-be sister-in-law, Coleen. I won’t allow it.” Kyla sincerely said.

Zoey chuckled and smiled at Kyla. “Thank you, Kyla. But it’s was okay. I know she only means well. And I’m sorry that party wasn’t at that club, Coleen. I hope at least these candies would heat up things now.” She winked.

Coleen grinned and walked over to us, picking up one of the candies. “So what’s the plan with these sweet things?”

Kathy’s wicked grin was back. “Oh! I have a few in mind.”

Beside me, I heard Zoey groaned. But she didn’t stop her either.

I leaned close to her and whispered in comfort. “Don’t worry. If it gets too rowdy and kinky, I will intervene.”

Zoey sighed in relief. “Thank you, Amy. I know I can count on you.”

It was then Kyla joined us. “And don’t worry about my girls, if Coleen get out of line or Megan, Marie and I are here to help out kept the party back on track.” She offered.

Zoey chuckled and gave Kyla a brief hug. “Thank you, Kyla.” She stepped back and the three of us watched our friends and family talking aloud, throwing ideas for a new game. “You know, if we haven’t met our significant others, I don’t think we would be here right now.”

“True. And I’m glad I did.” I remarked.

“That statement is worthy of another drink, Zoey.” Kyla held up his hand to get one of the staff attention, motioning them for drinks.

After each of us got a glass, Kyla raises her and Zoey and I followed. “Cheers, ladies,” Kyla stated.

“To the love of our lives,” Zoey stated.

“To love.” I echoed.

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