My legs trembled as I followed the driver from earlier through a thin hallway.
So far, the two Price's I'd met hadn't been too pleasant. I didn't want to make a third.
I couldn't help but notice that unlike where I had been before, this part of the house was a lot more antique. Natural colors such as black and brown filled this part of the house and I was pretty sure I had spotted a bookshelf somewhere around.
I glanced down at the white Chanel purse in my hands, wondering what on earth I was going to do with it. I hadn't meant to pick it up but the fact remained, I couldn't just leave it lying there on the floor.
After a few seconds, we stopped in front of a set of huge white double doors. The man in front of me pulled the doors open and then walked in and after swallowing hard, I walked in after him.
I took a step back, taking in a moment to adapt to the sight in front of me.
If I was being honest,I'd expected to walk into to magnificent, overly-decorated room but the sight I walked into cut me completely off balance.
I was in an impossibly huge room, filled with hundreds of mannequins of different shapes and sizes. Unused fabric lay neatly arranged in a white shelf and just across where I stood was a huge white table and a sewing machine. Around the room were different pieces of paper, filled with ink... rough Sketches, the words 'Princeton' imprinted in bold dark ink few inches above the sketches.
My eyes scanned through the room, landing on the picture of a man on the table. It was the exact same picture I had seen in the portrait beside the staircase.
"Raul?" A voice called from behind the shelf, the silhouette of a figure suddenly coming into view. I held my breath as the figure drew closer, revealing a mop of curly, platinum blonde hair, and then she sharpest blue eyes I'd ever seen.
She was tall and slender,a few dimples sprawled perfectly on each side of her cheeks.
She was dressed in a skin tight red dress that stopped few inches above her knee,a thin gold belt buckled tightly around her waist, highlighting her curves. A yellow measuring tape hung loosely around her neck.
She barely had any make-up on but God,was she beautiful. Freckles excluded, she and Vanessa could be twins for all I knew.
She stopped dead in her tracks the moment her eyes landed on me, her mouth hanging open in surprise.
"Hi." She straightened immediately. "Hi, you must be Jordan." She continued, a genuine smile appearing on her face as she moved closer, the strong scent of her perfume becoming more pronounced with every single step she took.
What on earth was the deal with Prices and perfumes?
My eyes widened in surprise as she pulled me in for a hug and I froze completely, making it awkward in every way possible.
"I'm Meredith." She stretched her hand towards me. "Meredith Price." She continued. I starred down at her slim delicate fingers, my heart beating hard against my chest.
Crap, my hands were sweaty.
I quickly brushed my hands against my dress before taking her hand in mine,hoping she wouldn't notice. If she did, she didn't show it.
"I'm-" I paused. "I'm really grateful you agreed to do this with me. It means a l--"
"No." She frowned. "No, don't mention it. Its nothing." She shook her head. "I'm glad I can do this for you, for Anne." There was sadness in her eyes as she called mums name,sadness I felt too and for the first time since I came through the huge black gates, a genuine smile crawled up my face.
Meredith Price was not who I thought she was.
"Thank you, Mrs. Price." I told her. She smiled, slowly pulling the tape away from her neck.
"Oh,please. Call me Meredith." She grinned. I stared blankly at her for a second, taking in what she said before I nodded even though it was something I knew I would never do. "You must be hungry." She turned away and began to walk towards the table. I watched her drop the tape and then scribble some things on a clean piece of paper. "Raul will get you something to eat." She added.
She was right.
Because of Raul's impromptu arrival,I hadn't gotten to eat any breakfast before I left home. But I smiled stiffly anyway, kindly declining her offer.
"N-no thank you Mrs. Price." I faked a smile. Her face fell.
"Some snacks then? Milk? Cookies? Brownies?" She raised expectant eyebrows at me. I exhaled.
Brownies did sound nice.
"Thank you, Mrs. Price." I said warmly and almost immediately,her smile was back. She dropped her pencil and then looked at me,taking in my full appearance for the first time since I walked into the room and I shifted nervously in my spot.
I sincerely hoped deep down down my heart that she didn't think my dress was horrible.
If the did,I hoped she wouldn't say something about it.
But after a while, she finally pulled her gaze away and then sighed.
"You look like her." She paused. "Anne." She added and I visibly swallowed,feeling tears crawl up my cheeks. I lowered my gaze and then smiled,unable to meet her gaze. She studied me for a minute and then nodded to herself.
"We have brunch by 12. You should join us if you're not too tired." She added. "I'm sure the kids would be psyched to meet you." She continued. My smile faltered but I managed a small nod. "Your friend mentioned you're Ashton Price's biggest fan." She grinned. "I think you'll be surprised." She added.
I swallowed hard.
"Thank you,Mrs. Price."
"Raul please show her to her room." She told the man beside me. He nodded and then turned to face me.
"Please come with me." He told me and then walked away. I stole one last glance at Meredith before I turned away to follow the man out of the hall.