𝓞𝓷𝓮: Unexpected Reunion
Surprisingly for them, I'm the black sheep at this party. No bickering over my mother's expensive dress she bought, so I could blend into the crowd. No expensive jewelry except for the ones my mum used to own. No complaining about my makeup or looks as if my face was melting away by the heat in the room. I kept myself simple with the dress my mother got which reveals the most skin I've ever worn in my life.
My back and a slight slit along the chest area were more than the skirt that has slits stopping midway towards my thigh, close to where my waist is at. The pale pink fades to a white at the ends of the flowing skirt. I adjust the neckpiece of the dress, attempting to get comfortable with the sensation around my neck as if it's slightly choking me when in reality the soft fabric isn't.
I knew why my mother dragged me to this place. She wanted me to meet new people besides my two friends outside of the rich fest. However, these people are the last I'd want as friends. Constantly backstab anyone once their heads are turned away from the person they think is a close friend. No matter the age or friend group... they're not as loyal as they tell you. Or at least some are. It's rare to see anyone like that.
Exhaling a breath, I slip the white decorated mask away from my face and pulled out my phone to check the time. Eleven forty at night. Maybe if I chug enough champagne I'll get tipsy enough to have my mother drive me back to my small home. My body is aching for the comforting mattress at my house, relaxing until going I have to leave for work in the morning.
The need of checking on my son weighs over me, but the sound of Susan's voice causes me to shut down the phone and slip the mask back over my eyes. Placing the device in the small pocketbook again, I lift my head towards my mother and exhale deeply through my nose.
Please... please be the sound that we're going home. I thought to myself, but by the ecstatic tone and how her eyes are lit up... leaving this dreadful party has flown out the window. I'm stuck here much longer than planned.
"Heaven, what are you doing sulking around with your champagne?" Susan inquired with a curious expression on her face.
As I was about to answer her question, she instantly interrupted me the moment I opened my mouth.
"Never mind that. Come! I want you to meet someone." Susan's grip around my arm is delicate as she tugs me towards the direction of this mysterious person they met.
If it's another perverted old man again... I'm leaving. I make a mental note in my head, attempting to sync my feet with hers. Walking in these heels becomes difficult, especially when rarely wearing them unless it's for special occasions as this party is. I would've worn some of my flats I wore when working at my mum's business, but knowing Susan's lectures would make my head pound more than the champagne.
Fidgeting with the skirt of my dress, the palms of my hands begun to build up an abundance of sweat. How is this mysterious man already making me anxious when I haven't met him yet? Hell, he could be a married man attempting to make a move on me or it could be someone genuine who doesn't brag about how much money they earned from their well-paid jobs. If so, I couldn't care less about it.
Then, my brain goes to someone in particular. Someone I'm completely familiar with. His dark hazel eyes filled with kindness. Waves of shoulder-length hair that has more volume than anyone else's hair I've seen. That contagious dimples smile whenever he greets anyone or walks into the room. He constantly roams in my mind after parting ways, even when doing my best to move on from the past. He finds a way back into my mind.
How much I missed that man and regretted not giving him another chance.
"Wipe that sorrow expression from your face, honey," Susan gives my arm a reassuring squeeze and walked more until my father became visible, chatting with a man a few inches taller than him. "Heaven, I'd love to introduce Benjamin Jay to you. Benjamin, my daughter Heaven Sutton."
Benjamin Jay? My eyes instantly widen once the man averts his attention toward me. The familiar dark kind eyes that bore through my own are staring at me with a similar shocked expression. Our mouths agape and bodies stiff as if someone pressed the pause button on a television. It didn't take long for Ben to regain his composure and a smile spreads along his face, playing the part of us not knowing each other.
I never told my mother who I was seeing in the past and we did well hiding our relationship. Ben kept it secret also, especially his younger brother who's married to my best friend and knew about us from May. At times I've always wanted to open up about the relationship we had with my mother but feared she'd use it as public propaganda for the paparazzi and that's the last event I'd want. Especially now that I have a son. His son.
I wouldn't want our son to go through the hellfire of those people who were photo hungry and shoving cameras in other's faces or following his every footstep. I knew it would overwhelm him completely since those moments were overwhelming for me as his age. Seeing him stressed or not happy with what goes on in his life would make me feel as though I'm a god awful parent.
"It's nice to meet you, Ms. Sutton." Ben bows his head in respect, eyes closed before reopening to peer into my own again.
Goosebumps rush along my entire body. It's been a long time since we've seen each other, yet he still has my body reacting this way. The butterflies were revived and fluttered my stomach. I shouldn't be reacting this way, especially when he's the one who broke me. Caused me to build up the barriers around my fragile heart, so it doesn't shatter into a million pieces.
Clearing my throat, I return the gesture and forces a smile. For once, I'm letting myself falter and focus on what's going on in front of me. Probably letting take his addicting effect on me that I've longed to feel again.
"Nice to meet you too, Mr. Jay," I replied almost inaudible for him to hear, but knew he did by the grin twitching at the corners of his lips.
The thought of us hinting that we used to together course through my mind, Susan and Richard are right beside us. Tearing my eyes away from his addictive ones, I glance over at my mother and took a sip of the champagne that's rested calmly in the glass. I couldn't let my parents know about us... especially at this party where the paparazzi could be hiding in any perfect spot to snap the photos they want.
"Benjamin Jay here owns your mom's business. He kept her plan of helping the economy and citizens of Seattle. He gave all credit to her than himself which I found outstanding." Susan explains with a proud smile along with her slightly aged features, sipping at her drink.
"Well, of course, I'd give all credit to Jaina Hill-Harbor. All that work she put into at such a young age has been a huge inspiration for anyone that worked in her business. Even when busy, she spent the time listening to anyone's issues and does her best to assist them with the advice she had from her past." Ben responded with interest, his eyes gazing towards me.
"Jaina also did everything she could to give her brave, yet astonishing daughter the life she deserved. A second chance even. You guys are her second chance and I'm thankful for that." Ben finishes averting his attention away again and took a sip of his champagne.
A second chance at life I never got to have. Why does it feel as if he is my true second chance in life? He taught me how to appreciate what's in front of me instead of drowning myself in the past. Blaming myself for my own mum's death when I was a little girl. No sight of my dad or anyone. Just me and my mum laying there until her final breath was taken.
It felt as though her blood is on my hands and remain stained along with the palms of them. Endless nightmares and constantly pleading for a restful night's sleep. Of course, it's too much in life that I've asked for and never received any of it. Living in pain, head deep into the past that became my secret life. Regret the choices I made before quitting my job at mum's building.
Everyone tells me that life will get easier someday. Will it though? Highly doubt it for me, but probably for other people that have found their happiness. The positivity I've once had has diminished to a void of darkness. Darkness I've been drowning in as a little girl. At times I see the light by one of the choices we made. A mistaken choice, but a life saving one all at once.
"Well, you're doing a fantastic job, Mr. Jay." Susan praised, earning a respectful nod from Ben.
"Please, call me Ben." He suggested with a dimpled smile, his eyes instinctively roaming towards my own.
Biting the inside of my cheek, I rip my gaze away from his. The last thing I want is the barriers around my heart to collapse into debris and return to sulking about the man again... but I knew my thoughts will get invaded by Benjamin Jay again. I could feel it through me.
My skin instantly forming goosebumps at the thought of his hands roaming along every inch of my body he could touch. The warmth of his lips capturing my own and get me addicted in mere seconds. Hell, even just by standing in front of him my brain is already obsessed at how much he hasn't changed much since our separation. Unless he's hiding it which the towering man isn't well at keeping his emotions locked up.
Just like he could see my own emotions without me realizing at all.
You need to get out of here... now! My thoughts began to go haywire, pushing away any images of Ben from my head. You can't get pulled towards him again. Don't give him or your mother any ideas about you two.
My mind wants me to sprint off and never see this man again. My heart, however, spoke differently as if it's too late and breaking out of its safety. Getting tugged like a rope has clung to the horse's neck to lead it back to its home. Ben is where my heart felt like home. Safe from harm. He held that trust and cracked heart in his delicate grasp, slowly attempting to nourish it back to health again. Bring back the positive memories I've forever cherished and kept stored in my nonexistent file cabinet, so they don't get ruined.
"You two go and have fun together. Get to know one another. Dance! Do something!" Susan's smile grew along her red painted lips, sipping her drink and following Richard to meet other guests.
My eyes follow their steps until they disappeared within the swarm of masks, leaving me alone with the man that slowly moves steps towards my side. He sticks his arm out to me, offering me to take it. At first, I attempted to pretend my attention wasn't fixated on his muscular arm poking out to my side, but later decided to accept the offer. I tuck a free hand underneath his arm and let him lead me to the dance floor that's now filled with couples swaying to the slow music.
Slow dancing has been my main flaw of mine. Fearing I'd step on someone's expensive shoes and ruin them with my own. Ben, however, doesn't seem to be the type to care about his perfectly cleaned footwear. Hell... I hardly ever hear him complain about anything. Whatever foods on his plate, he eats. His drink doesn't taste the same as last time, he drinks that beverage anyways. Those shiny shoes now wrinkled and filthy, he'd shrug it off and keep walking as if it's nothing.
Ben has always been easy, especially around me when all I ever did was remained closed off. Yet, he never gave up on attempting to get me warmed up to him. The man desperately wanted to get to know me more but kept it slow to make me comfortable.
I hesitantly slow my steps with his as we reached the dance floor. Unhooking my arm, I rub the other while my eyes scanned around the room of people twirling and swaying. Not wanting to be judged wracks up my brain and my chest starts to grow heavy.
As if witnessing the nervousness in front of him, Ben breaks the silence for me and gives me a reassuring smile.
"Hey... if you want, we can just sway. No movement from the feet. Just... swaying." He offered, but quickly widens his eyes and scratches the back of his neck. "Only if... you want to. I don't want to make you uncomfortable, Heav."
Averting my attention to his, our eyes bore into each other as if we'd see our future together or either one of us has moved on. I could tell Ben hasn't moved on. He stares at me the way he always has when we first met. As if I'm the only girl in this whole room or world even.
With a nod, I place my hand on top of his while the other rests along his upper arm not being able to reach his shoulder. Ben's fingers delicately cup around my hand, the warmth radiating within his grasp. I forgot about our size differences when it came to our hands. Mine would get easily covered whenever we held hands anywhere we went.
Ben respectfully places his free hand to the middle of my back and begins to sway our bodies together. He left enough space in front of us... but I want to close that space so there's none left. Dance as if we're the only ones in the room like the other slow dancers on the floor. However, I fought to keep myself from moving forward and continued to sway side to side with Ben.
"This was an unexpected reunion. Never thought you'd be at a party like this one." Ben breaks the silence between us again, his thumb brushing the skin of my back.
"Yeah, it shocked me. You know my mother... gotta drag me out at some point." I replied with a shrug of my shoulders, a chill racing up my back by the unexpected touch.
Ben nods with a chuckle slipping from his lips.
"That's Susan alright," Ben grins, but his expression changes to a curious one. "How's our child doing? Is he doing well?"
Our son. Those words made my heart warm up. As if our break up didn't exist and it was all a nightmare we woke up from. I knew that wasn't the case though. The memory constantly kicks back in and knocks me out of that hopeful state.
"He's doing great. An extremely smart kid that's for sure. He just got into first grade." I replied in a slight whisper so no one could hear our conversation.
"I'm glad. He's smart like his mom." Ben commented, his deep voice in a whisper with my own. "I missed you, Smols. Whether you believe me or not... I missed spending every moment with you."
My heart fluttered to his words, the dust from the wall surrounding it already seeping from the cracks that are starting to form. More of his words will tear them down if he doesn't stop... but I don't want them to stop. I don't want his words to fall silent. I need more of his words. I need to know whether he still misses me as much as I longed for him.
It's only been one night and you're already falling head over heels for a man who broke your heart! My subconscious screams at me, attempting to knock my brain out of the unholy thoughts it wants me to relive in. A fantasy was full of bliss and pleasure that my body longs for. His hands roaming every inch of skin and the warmth of his mouth to cause goosebumps to pebble up.
"I can't lie straight in your face saying I don't miss you at all," I grumble and lowered my attention to the ground for a moment before lifting my eyes to his again.
A chuckle leaves Ben's lips as his eyes bore into my own. "I'd know when you're lying... pretty horrible at it if I do say so myself."
I roll my eyes in response and earned a deep laugh from the man. I've constantly missed hearing his laughter ring in my ears. It felt comforting. A light that snuck through the darkness and caused the shadows to scurry away to their natural habitat again.
I couldn't help the smile to spread along my face by how his contagious positive energy radiates through me.
"You know, I kinda wanna sneak out of this place," I revealed my true feelings for this dull party.
Ben nods, pondering for a moment, and lets a small shrug of his shoulders.
"Well, we could sneak out and head to my place. Catch up on things, especially since your parents aren't going to drive you home at some point." He offers and slides his hand away from my waist.
Pondering on the idea, it couldn't hurt to catch up on what we're doing now outside of careers and money. A place that's homier than this expensive ballroom connected to the mansion that seems as if it's a castle. Someplace where I'd feel more comfortable chatting in.
I shake my head up and down in response. Slipping the phone out from my small pocketbook, my fingers danced along with the screen as I messaged Jared about coming home later than usual. Of course, he responds with his "Okay, get laid honey ;)" response I'd constantly get from him whenever I come home late.
Getting laid by my ex is the last event I'd want to visit. What could go wrong with a little catching up?