I stare at my reflection in the mirror. This is not happening! I take deep breaths running my hand through my hair. My skin has paled and my palms are sweaty.
I drop my purse on the counter as I practice deep breathing muttering curses under my breath. I jump from English to Spanish to Italian calling Dylan — No Cristiano, some colourful words.
A toilet flushes and one of the stalls opens, a redhead stepping out. She washes her hands, fixes her face and smiles nervously at me before leaving.
Closing my eyes, I grab the face basin with white knuckles trying to school my features. Slowly I open my eyes and stare at the woman in the mirror before me. She looks nervous, fumbling, weak... That is not me. I need to get my shit together!
I calmly take two sheets of tissue and dab my sweaty face. I reapply my lip gloss, fix my wild hair in a messy bun and look my reflection dead in the eye.
“I’m at my fiancé’s business lunch and I can’t embarrass him—more than I’ve done already. I’m Indiana Blake, daughter of Christina and Johnattan Blake. I will not make him wreck my life again. I’ve grown, I’ve survived and I will continue to move on with my life. For me and her.”
After my pep talk, I grab my bag and make my way out of the bathroom with my head held high.
I spot a head of dark curls and concerned blue eyes staring at me as I make my grand exit. Roberto stands hands in pockets looking me over for a few seconds before moving to cup my face.
“Are you okay, princesa?” he asks huskily, caressing my jaw. “You’ve been acting strange.”
Placing my hand on his I assure him I’m fine and proceed to blame it on my period—which I know is a couple of weeks away— before hinting that we should return to the table.
He takes the bait, holding my hand as we manoeuvre around tables to get to ours.
“Finally, they’re back,” one of the older men state as they stand for me to sit. “Young couples, always running off to have their fill of each other.”
His companion nods with a chuckle. “We were just as bad with our wives... Not even the office was spared but who can blame us. It’s human nature.”
The men chuckle agree wholeheartedly and I smile avoiding the gaze of a certain someone.
“Right you are Mr. Wenson,” Roberto says resting his hand on my thigh. “I can’t get enough of her...”
He leans in placing a chaste kiss on my lips and I blush red before licking my lips.
“The feeling’s mutual babe,” I reply staring into his eyes as his hand finds itself up my dress, so dangerously close to that sweet spot.
“Well, that escalated quickly,” Mr. Jenson, chuckles uncomfortably. “So Mr. Silvestre, any lucky lady in your life?”
Roberto slowly slips his hand from my thigh leaving me disappointed before placing his focus on his business conquest. I refrain from looking at him but rather his companion Mr. Divato who’s eyes are already locked on me with a cold gaze.
“Not at this moment,” he replies bluntly. “There was one a few years back... I thought she was the one but I see that’s no longer the case.”
When he says this I can’t help but stare at him in shock. Those beautiful eyes hold mine and the coldness chills my bones.
Where does he get off glaring at me? Getting upset with me? He left me! Alone and with child —given he didn’t know I was pregnant but it doesn’t change the fact he abandoned us!
Mustering up a chilling smile, I lean forward my breasts pushing upwards and I don’t miss the glance he makes at them, licking his lip.
“That’s unfortunate Mr. Silvestre. I’m sure someday you’ll meet someone who’ll give you exactly what you need.” Whether a kick to the balls or a knife to the heart. “Just like how Roberto mended my broken heart.”
I lean back in my chair with a smile as his eye twitches, he always did that when he got angry... Some things just don’t change.
Taking my fiancé’s hand, I kiss his knuckles, earning an award-winning smile.
“Thank you,” Cristiano says straining to keep his composure and I stifle a laugh. “For your well wishes.”
Smirking at him, I wink. “No problem.”
“You’re here.” My mother smiles as she opens the door. “…and with Roberto.”
Her voice is less enthusiastic but I give her props for keeping up her smile.
My mother is in an off-the-shoulder, silk, blue top which she pairs with black slacks and blue crepes. Her hair is marvellous as always but she wears no makeup just some gloss.
“Come in!” she states stepping to the side and we enter the warm house.
“Your father and brother are on the patio with Diana,” Mom informs me before turning to Roberto. “You’re welcome to join them. I need Indie’s help in the kitchen though.”
“That’s fine Mrs. Blake,” he smiles before turning towards me and placing a kiss on my lips. “Have fun babe.”
“I will, you play nice,” I warn playfully.
“Always,” he winks before saying farewell to mom and exiting the room.
“You can do so much better,” Mom says with a roll of her eyes.
“So I’ve heard numerous times,” I state making my way to the kitchen.
Roberto and I had stopped at my place to dress for dinner and have our fill of each other… and ladies and gentlemen, I got my fucking orgasm... Multiple if I’m being honest. Yeah me!
So I’m in a great mood, such a great mood... one my mother can’t dampen with her Roberto hatefest.
“Indie, you know I wouldn’t interfere with your love life...” she presses following me.
“And I’m grateful mom,” I pipe up hoping she’ll drop it...but...
Shaking my head, I start getting the plates and utensils for dinner while mom rants on about how unworthy Roberto is. By the time she’s through, I’ve set the table, bring out the food and placing the juice pitchers.
“Really though Indie, what do you see in him?” she asks, leaning on the counter, arms folded.
“Mom I’m happy with him. He understands me, he respects me and it works,” I state with a sigh as I fill a cup with wine and take a sip. “He’s safe for me and... the sex is great... most of the time.”
“Child you may be a grown-ass woman now but don’t you dare think you can throw your sex life up and about like that. I am still your mother and I don’t need to know all that. Do I need to remind you who your father is?” Mom scolds staring at me like I grew a second head.
“And why would she need a reminder of who her father is?” Dad asks as he strolls in unceremoniously.
“Nothing,” I answer quickly shooting my mom a look while walking up to the only reliable man in my life.
“Hey Dad,” I say as I wrap my arms around him and he gently caresses my hair.
“Hey Angel...” he chuckles kissing my hair. “How’s your day going?”
“Great,” I say pulling away.
I make my way back to the island and finishing my wine. I take the glass to the sink and rinse it as I explain my day minus car sex to my dad.
“So how was yours?” I ask as I dry my hands, propping down on a stool.
“Good,” he says as he holds my mother close to him kissing her cheek, earning a big smile.
“Would’ve been great if I hadn’t walked in on my little girl talking about great sex...” my face flushes red and I advert my eyes whilst my mother laughs.
“I love you and I’ll try to respect your choices in men...but don’t tempt me when my Glock 19 9mm Compact Semi-Automatic Pistol is upstairs and he’s in clear view of our bedroom window,” he states walking towards the door with mom. “Now let’s eat.”
Laughing, I cover my mouth as the wine goes down the wrong pipe. Joanna gentling pats my back as she too fails to hold in her laughter.
My parents may dislike Roberto but it’s undeniable that he is an excellent entertainer and has some of the funniest stories.
“Your family sounds wonderful,” Mom says sipping her wine after scaring down a forkful of mashed potatoes.
I look over at Diana and smile as she plays with her uncle, Christan. They seem lost in their little world and the smile on her face almost makes me jealous that he’s the one beside her and not me.
“They are a strange bunch but it’s never a dull moment with them,” he states taking my hand. “Indie can attest to that.”
Christan shows her a basic magic trick which involves a coin, she frowns retracing his moves and executing the trick perfectly. Christan applauds her and she smiles again her dimples making an appearance. She’s so beautiful.
“Babe?” Roberto calls and I drift out of Dianaland.
“My family... aren’t they a strange bunch?”
Oh, his family was a strange bunch and it was never a dull moment. His mother didn’t like me one bit but she accepted the fact that Roberto wasn’t going to leave me and was intent on marrying me. His father was more welcoming, a little too welcoming. He had no qualms about voicing how his son scored a nice one and always saying that if he was a young man... need I go further?
He never tried anything though, maybe he had some respect for his son’s fiancé or he knew my father wasn’t a man to trifle with. Roberto had no siblings, he was the only child hence his need for constant attention and praise in our relationship but he had no problem reciprocating.
“Yes, they are...” I reply with a smile.
“It’s great that you and your in-laws are on good terms, Indie ...” my brother comments. “After all, you’re such an honest person. What’s not to like?”
“Christian.” my father says sternly and I sigh.
Christan is a great uncle and brother but he doesn’t hesitate to his disapproval and me not owning up to my mistakes and child is one.
Christan has evolved from that cute boy he was years ago. His hair is now platinum blonde, he’s adorned with multiple tattoos and he looks like he spends most of his time at the gym than anywhere else.
He runs a chain of night clubs around the country and is doing well for himself. Unfortunately for dad, he didn’t want to follow the family business neither did I but Joanna seems to be eager to.
“It’s okay dad... As for my brother, this conversation isn’t fitting for this setting. If you’d hold your witty comments until we’re alone I’d love that...” he rolls his eyes at me and returns his attention to Diana which I am thankful for.
“So, Joanna how’s college life?” I say staring the conversation off myself.
Joanna takes the bait and for the next ten minutes, she talks animatedly about her life and boyfriend, Gerald Hyman, the famous tennis player.
Christan however continues to glare me down, Roberto even asked if all was okay with us and I had to lie saying we’re good... something I’m used to doing with him.
The doorbell happily saves me from listening to my little sister’s obsession with her boyfriend. I happily volunteered to get the door wanting to escape the tension between Christan and I. Hastily, I made my way to the large French doors.
Upon opening the door my eyes widen as did my smile. Finally a friendly face.
“Uncle Ryan!” I scream engulfing him in a hug which he happily returns.
“Indie! How’s my beautiful niece?” he asks pulling away from the embrace.
He’s in a white dress shirt and khaki pants with grey converses. His blonde hair is faded with a few grey strands but he still doesn’t look a day over thirty, especially with his muscular physique.
“Great! Everyone is in the kitchen! Come in and join us...” I say eagerly gesturing for him to enter.
We need someone to steer the outcome of this dinner in a good direction and no one lightens the mood like Uncle Ryan.
“I’d love to... But I also brought someone,” he states before looking behind him.
I try to get a glimpse of the person but it’s too dark. Mom needs to turn on the lawn lights.
“You have a date?” I smirk, hand on my hip. “She’s welcome to join... I’m sure dad will love to embarrass you.”
He shuffles nervously.
“I’m sure he would,” he chuckles. “…but not a date but rather someone we both know...”
“Come on!” he calls out at the person.
My eyes are trained to the shadows as a figure steps out into the light and my breath ceases to exist once more. So much for lightening the mood.
“Hello Ana...” he says with a jerk of his lips and my body stays rooted in place.
“Dylan,” is the only word that passes my lips.