VIII. Manipulative Little Punk
I threw the doors open and marched into the room. “What are you thinking?”
Nina lays down the beautiful heels. “Can everyone give me some time with my sister?”
The crowd of strangers inside the room bowed and left one by one. They’re probably in the middle of deciding something for the wedding.
“What were you thinking?” I ask again. I marched towards her. “Inviting...dad?”
Nina sat on the bed, “I already heard it from Tyler. It’s a crazy idea.”
“Piper,” Nina said softly, “I want dad to walk me down the aisle.”
My eyes widen, “What? W-Why?”
“Because...Because I’m done.”
“But what about mom?”
Nina exhales softly, “I already talk about it with mom.” She stood up, “Piper. It’s been over five years. I’m done with this.”
She nods, “Dad may have been unfaithful, but in the end, he’s still our father.” Nina held my shaky hands, “And I would like it if you talk to him again. He misses you.”
I bit my lower lip.
“And I know you miss him too.”
I swallowed and looked away.
“I don’t want to see that woman.”
Nina hugged me, “Me too.”
“She’s a bitch.”
Nina nods, “I know. I talked to him, and he told me he talked to her. She won’t make any trouble.”
“She better not. Not when it’s your weekend.”
Nina smiles, “It’s my weekend. I will kick her out if she messes with it. So-” she puffed her chest, “call me if she says a single unpleasant word. I’m going to send her back.”
I gasp, “In your nice private jet?”
Nina rolled her eyes, “Please. I’ll send her back in a cage.”
“Can you do that?”
She flipped her hair, “I’m about to marry a billionaire. I can do whatever I please.”
“And I am about to become the sister of the woman who is about to become a billionaire.” Then, the realization occurred. “Did you sign a prenup?”
Nina laughed, “Sure. I did.”
“He made you sign a prenup?”
“What?” I was even more shocked. Prenups are the norm in the wealthy world.
“Matt says whatever belongs to him, belongs to me. He insisted I don’t sign a prenup.”
I lean back, “How good are you in bed?”
Nina laughs, “What?”
“Emerson makes me sign an agreement not to eat his ice cream whenever he leaves for work!” As ridiculous as it sounds, I did sign a contract not to eat his ice cream. In return, he will always drop by the store to pick up whatever I want after work.
The door spread open to reveal a handsome man. The years may take a toll on him, but he still looks good. “Hey there, soon to be, brother in law.” The last time I saw Matt was when he went to California to ask the guys to become his groomsmen. Other than that, I rarely see him.
Then again, he is a busy billionaire businessman.
Matt smiles, “Hey, Piper. You two having fun here?”
Nina and I exchanged looks before we grinned wildly. “Maybe,” we said.
Matt kissed Nina’s cheek, “Mind if I have some time with my wife?”
I lean back, ”Pardon? When did the wedding happen?”
Nina smacks Matt’s chest, “Stop it. I told you not to call me that in front of other people.”
Matt grinned widely, “Must have slipped my mind.”
I wrapped my arms around my body and shivered, “You two stop it. I’m getting goosebumps.”
Nina and Matt are constantly mushy, and sometimes it makes people feel uncomfortable. I mean, good for them, but it’s still weird.
I stood up and made my way towards the door. “I’m going to leave before my meal leaves.”
“Thanks, Piper,” Matt said.
I closed the door while they were squirming in each other’s arms.
Before I could take a single step, a small couple appeared in front of me. “Oh? Hey there Josh.”
“Hi, Auntie Piper.”
I look over, “Hi, Hailey.”
Hailey smiled widely, and her eyes scrunched together. “Hewoo.” She waved towards me with her free hand.
My eyes flicker towards their tangled hands. “What are you two here for?”
“I wanted to ask mom if HayHay and I could go to the beach together.”
Hailey giggled, “We’re going to build a big sandcastle!”
“Oh? Um. Your parents are busy right now. How about you two come with me, and I can take you guys to the beach with Crystal.”
Hailey claps, “Ice Cream! Ice Cream!” Hailey calls Crystal ice cream because Crystal always eats ice cream.
I blame Emerson. If only he didn’t always stock ice cream at home. Then Crystal wouldn’t be hyped up in sugar, and I wouldn’t become a thief. An ice cream thief.
Josh’s face twisted, “Okay.”
They followed me out of the house and towards another house. When we got inside, Emerson told me that Crystal is still asleep. She must be exhausted from the flight.
“Aw shucks,” Josh said. “I guess it will just be HayHay and me.”
I want to roll my eyes so badly.
“What about Vinny and Martin?” I suggested.
Josh’s face twisted again.
“Martin?” I question the young teenager on the couch.
“No, thank you, Auntie Piper.” His face didn’t leave the small screen on his fingers.
Vinny stood up, “Yes!”
I look at Josh, “And we can check your other cousins if they want to go too! Walter, Arden, Hayden, Fiona, Yen, Stacy, and Macy. Then, there’s also Cousin Madeline and Dylan.”
Josh’s face got even uglier.
I clasp my hands together, “And your younger brothers! I know Theo is still a baby, but you got Caleb!”
Hailey grinned, “We should go ask Caleb.”
“Yeah. Sure,” Josh grumbled.
Most likely, he wants to go to the beach with only Hailey. Well, Auntie Piper is here to ruin all your plans.
“What’s going on?” Sarah asked.
“Mom! Can I go to the beach?” Vinny question.
Sarah frowned, “Vinny. You haven’t taken your medications.”
“And you know how you feel after your medications.” Sarah cups his face, “How about you take your medications early tomorrow, and then, I’ll let you play with all your cousins. And, cousin Walter, Arden, and Hayden are all asleep, so they won’t be there. You know how much you like playing with them.”
“Amanda’s boys are asleep?” I asked.
“They’re all asleep,” Sarah replied. “Todd accidentally books the wrong flight, and they end up in France. So, they had to re-book it and come here.”
She shrugged, “No idea. And also, Chase and Tim aren’t here yet.”
Josh looked at me and grinned, “Guess Cousin Madeline and Dylan won’t be with us.” He looks at Sarah, “Fiona, Yen, and the twins are busy, right?”
“I don’t know, sweetheart. You have to go next door and ask them.” Sarah looks at Vinny, “Come on, Vinny. They will be here tomorrow.”
Vinny pout, “Okay.” He looks at us, “Bye.” We watch as he rushes up the stairs.
Sarah exhales softly, “I’ll see you two.”
“Come on. Let’s go.” I push the kids out of the house.
When we’re in the house next door, we could clearly hear a young girl’s shrieks.
Hailey placed her hands over her ears.
“No!” Josh screamed. “No! No! No!” He gripped Hailey’s hand and ran out of the house.
“I swear-” Lizzie screamed, “If you don’t settle down. I will whoop all four of your asses!”
Ben made his appearance.
Quickly, he shook his head.
I took his message and backed away.
Josh hugged Hailey, who cradled herself. From what I know, Hailey is quite sensitive. So whenever she hears someone scream, she gets really scared.
“HayHay, it’s okay. We can go to the beach together. Just us.”
Hailey looks at us, “But...everyone-”
Josh held my hands, “They will understand.” He looks at me, “Right, Auntie Piper?”
This manipulative little punk.
Hailey’s teary eyes look at me. “But, everyone-”
I forced a smile, “Everyone will be fine. I’ll watch you two play in front of our beach house.”
Josh’s smile only widens, “Thank you so much, Auntie Piper, for understanding.”
I don’t know much, but I do know that I’m glad Josh isn’t my son. Crystal is spoiled but straightforward. This child is straight out manipulative.
I lay down on the chair while Josh and Hailey build their sandcastle. The sun gleamed above me, and I exhaled softly. I cannot believe I traveled to Spain to watch most of my family pass out on their beds.
Then again, traveling from one country to another can take a toll on the body.
“Pardon,” a random voice said. I don’t recognize it.
“You’re on private property,” I said. It feels good to say that. I don’t say that enough since I never caught a stranger on my front lawn. “Now step aside. You’re killing my tan.”
“I apologize, but can you lend me some of your time?”
I believe someone is interested in me. I am an attractive female. “I’m married.”
“I can see that.”
I groaned and took off my sunglasses to see two delicious men. “Hello.”
The one in the front smiled, and through the casual t-shirt, I can see his divine muscles. It’s a skill.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I’m looking for someone,” he said.
I placed my feet on the ground, “Name?”
“Oh? You’re looking for Matt?”
He points at me, “Nina Lun?”
If I was Nina, Matt can’t handle me. I would probably drive him towards insanity. Wait a minute. “Close. Piper. I’m Nina’s younger sister.”
His brows twisted together, “Piper Lun?”
“That’s my name.” I struggled to stand up.
He placed out a hand, “Allow me.”
I grabbed it, and he supported me up. “So, who are you, and why are you looking for Matt?”
They exchanged glances, “Well-”
I turn left to see Jack, who went towards Mauricio and Vincent. They embraced one another, “I haven’t seen you two in ages! How are you?”
“How are we? How are you!”
The three of them talk about old and new times.
Times that I’m unfamiliar with, so I decided not to say anything.
Jackson looks at me, “Hey, Piper.” He hugged me, “When did you get here?”
“Not too long ago.”
“Napping with Crystal.”
Jackson smiled, a bit too long before he turned his attention back towards the strangers. Strangers for me. “Oh. Piper. You haven’t met them. Um. This is Mauricio and Vincent. They went to high school with Matt and me.”
I nod, “Nice to meet you.”
Mauricio eyed me oddly, “You’re...Piper.”
His eyes went down towards my stomach before it went up.
“Got a problem?” I ask.
His eyes widened, “No. No.”
“How about Liam?” Jackson changed the subject. “Is he here?”
“Liam said he’ll be here before the wedding. He has some fashion show to attend,” Vincent replied.
“Piper.” Emerson walks over from the house beside us.
“Emmy.” I kissed his cheek. “Feeling better?”
He yawned lightly, “Yeah.” His eyes flicker around.
“Oh. Emmy, this is Mauricio and Vincent. They’re here for the wedding. They’re Matt’s and Jackson’s old friends. Everyone, this is my husband, Emerson.”
Emerson shook their hands, “Pleasure.”
“Same here,” Vincent said.
“Hi,” Mauricio said.
“Well-” I smack my lips, “Josh! Hailey! Come inside! It’s getting late!” The sun is setting, so I’m going to assume it’s almost their bedtime.
That, and I want to leave.
“Okay!” Josh and Hailey dropped their stuff. They rushed back inside with tangled hands.
I look back towards the three men that aren’t my husband. “Matt is inside. So-” I stepped aside and pulled Emerson along with me. “Have a good reunion.”
While we left, I noticed how Emerson zoned out. “What’s wrong, Emmy?” I asked. It might not be necessary to ask that since Emerson always zoned out.
He yawns again, “Just zoning out.” Emerson took a few blinks as he opened the sliding door, “You’re not sleepy?”
Crystal waddled downstairs with tired eyes. She hugged Emerson’s leg, “Mommy. Daddy. Sleepy.” Crystal is always tired whenever we travel.
Emerson lifted her and yawned again. “Okay. Okay. Sleep.”
One step after another, Emerson supported me upstairs so I could get ready to sleep with them. I’m not tired, but I know I should rest.
After all, the next few days will be chaotic.
When we passed a window, my eyes flickered outside only to notice the same man inside the airplane.