“Are you alright?” The woman asks me with a concerned filled voice, as I get back to the table.
“You should ask this question from that creep.” I smirk, “His little soldier will not be able to rise any time soon.”
“Oh, God! I can’t believe you just did that.” She covers her mouth with her hand and laughs.
I arch my eyebrow when Alec also sits with us.
The manager brought an extra chair for the couple, as my table is for two people. But I don’t know, from where Alec got a chair.
Maybe I should have a word with that manager. My table is not a bloody waiting table, that he is bringing more people.
“What is your name?” She asks.
“My name is Avery, Ma’am.” I politely smile at her, then give Alec a what the hell look subtly which he completely ignores.
“Avery!” Her eyes widen happily, she looks at me then shares a look with her husband.
Meanwhile, Alec is acting like a jerk. I glance at the table and take a deep breath, then I kick him under the table. His head jerks up while he slightly flinches, as my foot connects with his knee.
He should be thankful I am not wearing heels, otherwise, I would have punctured his knee.
This time I keep a straight face and pretend to ignore his shocked look.
“Yes?” I tilt my head and sweetly smile at him, asking him what the hell is he doing here.
So much for keeping our friendship secret.
“Avery, it is so nice to meet you. I am Lorene Gregory and this is my husband Harold Gregory.” She places a hand at her husband’s arm and smiles looking expectantly at me. Like I will immediately remember her after her introduction. However, the truth is that I haven’t heard these names before.
“Nice to meet you, too.” I slowly nod my head and give her a small...a really small smile. Otherwise, my smile would have resembled grimace.
“We haven’t met before, but we know so much about you.” She smiles.
If there was anyone else other than her, then I would be thinking why isn’t her jaw aching from smiling so much. But Mrs.Gregory has an easy and beautiful smile. This must be her natural expression.
“Should I be happy? That I am unknowingly so famous.” I raise my eyebrows, “Or should I be worried that I am sharing my table with stalkers?” My eyes shift between her and her husband, then pauses at Alec.
“I like her.” She laughs not sounding offended.
“Well, thank you.” I shrug, “I rarely hear this from people. So, for a change it is refreshing.”
“I think I should reintroduce myself.” She clears her throat and pauses, looking at me.
Should I make drumroll sound?
“We are.” She smiles at Alec, “This guy’s Mom and Dad.”
“Yeah, okay.” I simply nod, then my eyes widen in shock and confusion combine, “What the fu-”
Mrs.Gregory arches an eyebrow and gives me a pointed look. The look which I have seen many times for others, but for the first time someone directed it towards me. The reprimanding yet adoring look which a mother gives her child.
“What the food!” I lightly squeak, quickly changing the F-word. Alec, on the other hand, is coughing into his fist.
“Hell, no!” I look at Alec, who is silently enjoying this whole thing, then to the couple to my other side.
“He is nothing like you.” I make a face and wave my hand in Alec’s direction, “Just look at him.”
“He is not handsome like Mr.Gregory.” I glance at the suit-clad man who seems to be in his fifties. He is too fit, even compared to most of the people half of his age. He doesn’t smile much, unlike his wife, and has a no-nonsense persona.
“Neither, he has your personality or your beautiful hair.” I point at her dirty blonde hair. I can’t help but mention her hair, just to point a dissimilarity between him and them.
“He is...” I pause thinking for word, pursing my lips, “He is just... um.”
What is he exactly? He is still someone whom I have yet to figure.
“He is just Alec.” I shrug. Yeah, this should explain. Alec is Alec, a different and mysterious guy.
“I already love her.” She throws her head back and laughs, while Alec his lightly shaking his head trying to hold his smile. Mr.Gregory also holds amusement in his gaze.
“Well, honey, sorry but it is true that he is our son. Even if he is just Alec and doesn’t look like us,” she says with a lighthearted tone.
“Is he adopted?” My nose lightly scrunches up as I point at Alec while looking at Lorene.
“No, trust me, this bun.” She pats Alec’s arm, “is baked in my oven.”
“Mom.” Alec groans looking utterly embarrassed.
“Just between you and me.” She slightly leans forward on the table and lowers her volume, like she is telling me some secret, “Alec exactly looks like his Dad, when his Dad was in his twenties.”
“Then I guess, I am sorry for your twenties, sir.” I glance at Mr.Greogory.
This earned me a small chuckle from Mr.Gregory. The flash of surprise passes Alec’s face as he glances at his dad.
“Alec told me, how you saved him that day.” His gaze travels to Alec then back at me, “I am just slightly curious to know weren’t you afraid, because they were all well-equipped.” He lightly tilts his head and asks. He very subtly used the word well-equipped other than clearly mentioning armed.
This is the first time he has directly talked to me, as most of the conversation was carried by Lorene. Even Alec has been quiet all the time, I think he doesn’t even talk to his parents much. However, their relationship doesn’t seem strained, you can feel their love for each other.
“There is no place of fear when you are doing the right thing.” I seriously answer him, “At that moment, it was the right thing to do. I don’t think I could ever live with a thought, that someone was hurt in front of my eyes and I did nothing to prevent it. My conscience would never forgive me for that.” I shake my head.
“Someone has told me, that we should not let our fears control us.” I slightly smile and stare at Alec, “So even my fears will not stop me from doing the right thing.”
The more I look at them, the more similarities I notice. Lorene is right, Alec does share the majority of his features with his father, however, he got his blue eyes from her.
“Sir, your table is ready.” The manager comes and informs Harold before our conversation gets any further.
“Okay, thank you.” He curtly nods.
“Why don’t you join us for dinner, Avery?” Lorene asks.
“Thanks for the invitation, but I am waiting for my date.” I politely smile and decline the offer.
Alec’s head snaps to me, his jaws seem tense.
“And I am sure Alec would want to spend this dinner just with you. As he misses you guys a lot, even though he will not admit this himself.” I softly smile at Alec.
Alec’s parents don’t live with him here, due to his father’s work. They visit him from time to time, but from his talk, when he mentioned about his parents, it is clear that he misses them a lot.
And also I wouldn’t want Alec to face any trouble by seeing with me any longer. I think his parents don’t know this. So, I kept quiet.
“Thank you for letting us wait on your table.” She smiles, as they stand to leave, “And I am so glad to meet you.” She comes and embraces me in a hug.
“Thank you, I am glad to meet you, too.” I naturally return her hug.
Pops comes ten minutes after they left the table, normally, I would have been slightly annoyed waiting for so long. But then I notice a bouquet in his hand which instantly brightens my mood.
“For my dearest Avy.” He smiles and gives me a handmade Smarties bouquet.
“I love it, Pops.” I happily hug him, then opening the packet I quickly throw some smarties in my mouth, as soon as we sit.
“Open it.” I give him his gift and excitedly wait for his reaction.
Unwrapping the small box, he carefully takes out the small music box. His eyes light up when he rotates the lever and Harry Potter theme starts to play.
“I am going to keep this in my office.” He smiles brightly, his eyes still fixed on the box, “I will play it whenever I will get bored.”
He is going back to work from tomorrow, for which I am slightly worried as I don’t want him to stress himself. But I know, he is not someone who can sit at home for a long time, so I will visit him daily at work, to make sure he is not overworking.
“Pops, I want you to know something.” I play with my food, then I look at him, “Don’t expect me to hold myself back whenever that driver comes in front of my eyes.” I seriously hold his gaze.
This conversation was dropped that day, but this doesn’t mean I am going to let go of this topic.
The feeling to hunt that bastard down has boiled down, but the anger is still there. If he will come face to face with me, then I am not going to stop myself from giving him two black eyes and some fractured bones.
“I have never taught you to hold back,” he says coolly, ” So, I can’t expect that from you. However, I will prefer eating dinner with you at home, rather than visiting you in jail. So, do whatever you want to do, keeping this thing in mind.” He shrugs and continues to eat his dinner like I haven’t just mentioned that I might beat the shit out of that guy in the future.
After a while, we fall into our normal conversation as Pops starts to share some funny stories about grandma and himself.