CHAPTER 15: PART-AY
We both sprang apart like our touch burned each other to see Ryan standing in front of us with a smug look on his face.
“Oh my fucking God! This can’t be happening. I swear if you fucking tell anyone-” I instinctively started rambling.
“Don’t worry. Your secret will be safe with me but you should watch that mouth of yours.” He smirked at me. “I wonder what else that snarky mouth of yours could do.” His eyes shifted over to Reid who was weirdly calm. “Reid would know, wouldn’t he?”
“Enough Ryan. What did you want?” Reid said with a frown on his face, reaching out for his shirt and pushing his arms through the sleeves.
“Oh what’s the hurry? I can talk about that someday later...but as for what I just witnessed, care to explain to me how that happened?”
“Not really.” Reid and I said it at the same time and looked at each other awkwardly.
“Isn’t that cute?” He sat down on a stool. “Anyway Reid, I want you to come to the anniversary party tonight at my parents place.”
“I can’t. I already RSVP’d no. I have things to do.”
“Oh come on. I will be bored out of my mind if you aren’t there. Plus, I want to introduce you to James Forbes. You showed interest in meeting him last time you went but he didn’t show up.”
I stood awkwardly, looking at the exchange going on in front of me. I looked at my abandoned plate of cold pasta and popped it into the microwave.
“I’ll make an appearance then. Don’t forget to inform Evelyn, you know how particular she is with these things.”
“Yeah, sure.” Ryan replied.
I grabbed my plate and left the kitchen to eat in the living room.
As soon as I finished, I looked up to see Reid walk Ryan out of the door and sit down in front of me.
“Come with me to the party.”
“Are you serious?” I coughed in surprise.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
He frowned at me, “Why?”
“I don’t have any clothes to wear and... ”
“I’ll buy you something. We still have a few hours.”
I tried to think of whatever I could say to get out of this situation. Reid was persistent and wouldn’t settle until I agreed to go with him.
“Wouldn’t it be awkward? I have never been to a... rich people party.”
He stood up and extended his hand to me.
“You are a Parker now. You are the rich now.”
“You know, I am not changing my last name.” I placed my hand in his extended one.
“I know and I am glad. It makes this less awkward.” His lips came crashing down against mine.
“Are you alive? Hello?” Becca asked as I didn’t say anything.
“Okay wow. I don’t think so.” I said as my eyes fell on my mirror image. I looked good, better than I have her looked. The red dress accentuated my curves and made my legs seem longer.
“I’ll talk to you later Becky.” I needed the call before I could hear her reply.
“This is beautiful Elijah.” I said to the talented designer who was assessing the dress on me.
“Yes, I think this is the one for you gorgeous.”
Reid had been called for some meeting but he had brought me to this designer store where everything looked more expensive than my entire life’s savings.
“How much is this?” I said, trying g to reach towards the tag.
Elijah stopped me. “Don’t you worry about it. Mr. Parker said to add anything you like on his tab.”
“But I just can’t accept this...”
“How about you argue about this with him later? You can pay me tomorrow. Now sit down in that chair, we only have five hours to make you look perfect.”
Only five hours? Huh. I didn’t fight back as I sat down and he started working on my make up.
These are gonna be some really long five hours of my life.
“...Return these diamonds tomorrow.”
“What?” I asked mortified.
I was not good at keeping things safe and I lost almost everything.
“Just return them later.” I didn’t struggle as he put the earrings on me.
“How expensive are they exactly?”
I gasped. “Oh my God. One could erase world poverty with these.”
Well no, not really. The little voice said in my head and I already knew that but I couldn’t recover from the shock that something that expensive was just sitting on my neck.
Elijah and his team didn’t fine my reaction amusing at all as they helped me step into some beige heels.
Elijah dragged me to the full length mirror. “We are done.”
I stood frozen as I gazed at myself. The dress showed a little bit of leg but it looked absolutely perfect. I looked like trash on my prom in comparison to this and I was awestruck.
“How did you do that?”
“We’ll keep that conversation for some other time. Mr.Parker’s driver is waiting for you. You will straight away go to the party where Mr.Parker will be waiting for you.”
I nodded my head, “What about the money?”
“Mr. Parker already took care of it.” I rolled my eyes.
The car ride was long and boring. I dreaded thinking about what all could happen at the party. I could slip on the dress and fall on my face. I wasn’t very balanced in these towering heels in the first place.
Or I could embarrass myself by getting....
My thoughts we’re interrupted as the driver’s voice broke me out of my reverie.
“We are here ma’am.”
“Okay thank you.”
The driver got out of his seat to open my door and I got out of the car all the while hoping not to trip.
A bunch of photographers stood by the huge doors and made me realize how important this party actually maybe.
I panicked as I looked around for any sign of Reid. I had just entered and I could hear so many whispers already saying ‘who I was?’, ‘why was I not escorted by anyone?’, ‘whether I was someone’s escort?’.
Deciding to ignore the voices, my eyes looked around for any sign of Reid.
A arm grabbed mine and I looked up to see Ryan.
He put his arm around my waist and guided me forward.
“You look absolutely stunning.”
I blushed at his statement. “Where is Reid?”
He looked down at me, smiling. “I am taking you to him. Is anyone of you going to explain to me what is going on between you two? ”
“Nothing is. What you saw earlier was a mistake... It shouldn’t have happened.”
“Then why did you come today?”
“You know how Reid is. He was going to convince me to come here whatever happened.”
“And from the five minutes I have met you Elizabeth, I surely know that you aren’t one to cave in so easily.”
I said nothing as we soon stopped behind Reid whose back was facing us as he talked with someone. Ryan dropped his arm from my back.
“May I borrow Reid from you sir?” Ryan interrupted.
The man left and Reid turned around to look at him. “What happened-?” His voice got stuck in his throat as his eyes fell on me.
“Look who’s here. I have to go talk to some other guests.” Ryan said and left, not before giving us a knowing look.
“Elizabeth.” Reid said my name and I automatically moved closer to him.
His arm came to wrap around my waist and he pulled me closed to him. He dipped his head and bent it towards me to whisper in my ear. “You are so darn beautiful.”
I blushed at his statement. “You don’t look so bad yourself.” He was sporting a black suit coincidentally with a red pocket square. He smiled at me and I smiled back. With these heels on, I wasn’t a head shorter than him. I almost reached his nose.
He led me towards a group of people, introduced me and I tried to answer everything anyone asked but to be honest, they weren’t really interested in me. Engaging in a conversation with me was just an excuse to grab Reid’s attention.
Reid passed me a glass of champagne from a waiter passing by.
I sipped on it a couple of times, wanting my nerves to let loose for once to be more calm.
“Calm down tiger.” He said as I gulped down my drink. “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, I just feel slightly nervous around people.” He nodded, amused, his lips pursing and giving me a sight of a dimple on his right cheek as he tried to hold his smile in.
“Nothing. Everyone here today is feeling nervous because of you.”
“All the girls are jealous of you... And all the guys want to steal you from me and are figuring out ways to not be turned on by you.” I rolled my eyes at him.
“That is the lamest thing I have heard in my entire life.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Believe it or not, it’s the truth.”
“Want to get out of this lame ass party?” He asked.
I nodded my head a little too eagerly, “Gladly.”