“He’s an Over-the-Top Bastard.”
“Are you seriously dragging me to this? I don't like him, mom and you know that.” I say in irritation as I tug on the bottom of my dress, not remembering it being this short, but I guess I can't be surprised since it is like two years old. I give my mother an exasperating look as we continue to walk up the path of the too fancy clubhouse. See, this is why I don't like the guy my mother's dating. Not only is he a rich bitch who doesn't care to flaunt around his Benjamin's, but he's an over-the-top bastard.
My mother looks down at me and shames me with her brown eyes, “Enough, Zara. I told you last month, please behave.” She almost begs me, as she knows how I can get. Tiring, bitchy -- all-around rude and not giving a single damn. Oh well, I get it from my dad. I love that man. A smile forms on my face and I clutch my jacket to me tighter as the frigid wind blows. Now a scowl takes over my face as we walk up to the revolving door of the clubhouse and push through; showing a huge (over-the-top) sign, welcoming guests into Steven's fortieth birthday party. I look up at my mother and she sighs, “Don't say a word, Zara.”
Cool, I can't say a word. Awesome. I lift my eyes to the ceiling as we continue walking, then I drop my jaw when entering the party room. This honestly looks like a party for a sixteen-year-old -- such as myself. Not a forty-year-old man who sits behind a computer all day and dictates to a company of more old people. I follow right behind my mother as we zig-zag through the tables set up all fancy-like and finally, we find the man of the night...
“Steven!” My mother shrieks happily and I watch him turn around, smiling his pearly whites (which he probably paid good money for) at her. In three quick strides, he's where we are, enclosing my mother into the tightest hug ever. I plaster on my polite smile and just in time too, as he leans back after planting a kiss on my mother's mouth and smiling softly at me,
“Zaria... you look lovely, dear.” He says and I just smile tightly. So I don't blurt out something disrespectful like, ‘Oh, not as lovely as your receding hairline looks!’ Yeah, my mother would kill me. After all, I am the reason why her last two boyfriends didn't work out, but Steven; unfortunately, is a tough one. I can't seem to scare him off. He leans down and wraps his arms around me, hugging me tightly. Jeez, doesn't this guy know of something called boundaries? Cause he's crossing all of mine.
He soon pulls away from me and starts to whisper something to my mother. I can tell it's serious as the age lines around his eyes deepen with nervousness and lots of worry. Oh yes, worry is good. Worry means problems and maybe if I'm lucky -- problems that can't be worked out. My moms face completely falls and then, she's pulling away from Steven; pointing at me furiously and I watch her lips move like she's arguing.
That tone she often uses with me when I try to take her there when she pisses me off. We both watch Steven straighten his tie and walk off towards the small stage where the DJ summons him. Applause is happening and my mom turns around, waving me towards the tables. I start my journey towards one and nearly trip over my feet as at a table next to the only empty one, is a girl with red hair. It's more towards a crimson red and she has brown eyes that contrast with it well. But she's not why I'm freaking out. It's the guy sitting next to her, texting on his phone, which is why I'm freaking out.
Can someone just explain to me why he has to look so perfect? His build is that of a guy who likes to stay fit and he's tall compared to the girl he's sitting next to. Jesus... let's get to the real feel killer here -- his blue eyes. I mean, mine is like a powder blue, but his are like an electric type of blue mixed with a neon blue. It's just unlike anything I've ever seen before. I watch him as he's leaning forward in his chair with his head angled towards redhead. His hair is swooped up into a jet black mohawk and I feel like I know him, but then again I know there is no way in hell that it's possible. If I knew him, I would know and I wouldn't be staring so profoundly right now.
My mom nudges me forward and back into reality, “Zara, go and sit at that table. It's fine, now go.” She nudges me again and I suddenly forget how to walk in heels. Left foot slightly in front of right and then switch. I nod and walk towards the table, then create a blonde curtain as I look down while walking past the tables. I hesitantly lookup and pull out my chair, then I feel like being swallowed up as the guy glances up from his phone and starts looking around. God, please don't let him notice me and my ugliness. Thanks and amen. I dig in the pocket of my jacket and take out my phone as I sit down. Mom smacks her lips together, “Sweetheart, take that jacket off and relax. It's going to be a long night.” She says and I huff, but pull my arms out of the jacket and let it drape on my chair. I feel the warm heating system flowing around the room and kissing my revealed shoulders and I shiver slightly. After what seems like forever, Steven's voice booms through the microphone and startles everyone in the spacious party room as it's way too loud.
“Whoa, sorry about that everyone. Good evening and thank you all for joining me on this special day! It's one I've been dreading of course.” He jokes and causes the sea of older people to cackle in agreement and understanding. I rest my elbow on the table, then my chin on my hand as I listen attentively, “Tonight is going to be special, not just because I'm making it another successful and healthy year in this world, but because I've been spending this year with a wonderful, bright and strong woman -- Ms. Janine Lisle.” He says and I raise my eyebrows and look over at my mother who is blushing brightly. Her blonde hair is in beautiful curls (courtesy of me), surrounding her face as she smiles nervously, then I die along with her as a spotlight puts her on blast -- getting me in it. I lean out of it slightly and then watch as Steven stalks his way towards our table.
Where in the hell is he going with this?
“You are one captivating and exquisite individual to have ever stepped into my life. I feel I don't know you enough, but I want to get to know you better and share all of my secrets with you. All of them.” He repeats that last statement and it makes me realize it's referring to what he just told her not too long ago that got her all worked up. Moms face is happy though and her brown eyes are sparkling in the spotlight. Steven finally comes to a pause in front of her at our table and my stomach drops into my ass. Oh no! Please no, tell me he's not going to...
He breathes deeply and then does what I wish he didn't -- he drops to one knee. Gasps echo in shock and my mother looks taken aback, startled and excited. Shit. Her eyes start gathering tears as Steven looks up at her in his sharp suit and breathes into the microphone he's clutching, “Janine, will you please do me the honor of marrying me?” He asks and it's dead silent. My mouth is hanging open, but I don't care -- how dare he ask to marry my mother? How dare he think he's just won her over? How DAR--
Wait. What now?
I widen my eyes as applause is roaring in my ears and everything goes slow. From the moment Steven stands and pulls my mother to her feet, then dips her into the most romantic and over-the-top kiss, all the way until he's shimming the bright ass rock onto her left-hand ring finger. Steven picks up the microphone he sat on our table and is now grinning like he's completed his last task to become master of the universe. “Everyone, thank you and please -- enjoy the rest of the evening.” He says and then the party kicks up.
Everyone abandons their tables to get food and drinks and I blink rapidly as a handful of people swarm my mother and Steven. She's smiling so hard right now that I'm afraid she's going to get her face stuck. I finally get my thoughts together and stagger to my feet; trying to escape, but Steven smiles at me, “Zaria--” Fuck, if this man doesn't stop using my full name... “Come and take a photo with us, dear.” He holds out his hand and I reluctantly take it slowly, allowing him to pull me into his free side. I turn towards some guy clicking away on a fancy camera and after about three minutes of getting my pupils dilated, I'm set free.
Set free to bitch about my now horrid life. How dare he!? I'm so livid I feel like everything I'm touching and everywhere I'm walking, I'm burning holes through it all! I blow out a deep breath as I smack my way into the bathroom outside of the party room in the clubhouse and I just observe myself in the row full of mirrors above the sinks. My blue eyes are wide and angry, face is flushed like an over-washed pink t-shirt and my straight blonde hair is hanging comfortably at the end of my breasts, but a little wild as I keep throwing it over my shoulders. What am I doing? I don't need to be calming down in a bathroom! I need fresh air! I turn and clack to the door; pushing on it without realizing someone may be trying to enter and of course, luck is never on my side.
“Ouch!” A shrill voice shrieks and I gasp, stepping backward and letting them open it. It's redhead and she looks annoyed. Well duh, I'd be annoyed too... I just hit her in the fucking face with a fancy bathroom door.
“I'm so sorry, I--”
“It's fine.” She responds while walking into the bathroom and then she squints at me, “You're the girl that was sitting at the table with Steven's new fiance, right?” She suddenly asks and I feel my sour expression invade my face.
“Yeah,” I mumble and try to walk out of the bathroom, but she starts yapping her trap again.
“Oh, you're going to be his stepkid. Maybe he'll treat you better than he treats his biological kid.” She mutters in annoyance and I am no longer irritated by her talkative personality, but intrigued at her information.
“Steven has a kid?” I ask and furrow my brows. He's never mentioned, well, not to me at least, but my mom tells me everything about him and if he told her that, I would've known. I wonder if that's what they were talking about earlier. Redhead tilts her head in confusion.
“Steven's never mentioned him?” She asks.
I raise a brow, “Him? He has a son?”
Her head flies back and she laughs loudly, “Holy shit! This is great! Don is going to have a good laugh off of this.” She mutters more so to herself and I feel confused and left out of the joke and I don't like to feel or be left out.
I blow out a breath, “Don?” I ask impatiently and redhead pulls herself together.
“Donovan. He's Steven's son and his only child. I'm not surprised he's kept him a secret for a whole year. He does next to shit for him and will try to disown him at every chance he can get. The only reason he invited him to this thing is that he probably wants to let his new fiance meet him. This is going to be interesting.” She says to herself again and it's now after this small conversation with her that I'm deciding whoever she is -- I don't like her. She sighs, “Damn, I gotta use the bathroom, but it was good talking to you. Have fun with Steven -- he's a lot to deal with.” She says, giving me so-called advice. I roll my eyes at her as she walks past me and towards the stalls, then I walk out of the bathroom and widen my eyes in panic as that guy I was ogling earlier is leaned against the wall facing the bathrooms.
He looks up from his phone quickly, looks back down, and then looks back up as if he didn't get a good enough look the first time. He clears his throat, “Hey, did you see a redhead girl in there?” He asks and I nod numbly, not speaking. He smiles tightly, “Thanks.”
I nod again and then walk away slowly, but not before running into Steven coming out of the party room. He looks relieved once he sees me, “Oh Zaria, there you are! I wanted you to meet someone, but it seems like you've both runoff. Teenagers.” He mutters the last part and I open my mouth, but then he catches something from behind me with his eyes and smiles, but it doesn't touch his mouth, “Never mind, I see him -- Donovan!” He calls and my stomach sinks as I now know who it is exactly, that he's calling. I don't turn around as footsteps near behind me, but Steven takes it all into his own hands. He grabs my shoulders and turns me around, making me face the guy.
“Donovan, meet Zaria Lisle -- she's the daughter of your stepmother. She's going to be your new stepsister.” He explains as if our minds couldn't figure it out themselves. Donovan stuffs his hands into his pockets and stares down at me before looking back up and shrugging, “No... a marriage does not make me related to this girl in any type of way. She's just a girl that's the daughter of the woman you married. That woman's not my second mother and this girl is not my sister.” He replies heatedly and I feel like puking. Right now -- on all of our shoes.
Steven scowls, “Donovan, don't start. Now just shake Zaria's hand and welcome her into our lives.” He grits and I look up at Donovan as he stares at Steven, then drops his exotic blue eyes downwards and gazes at me.
“No, she'll never be welcomed into my damn life. She's not my sister and I'm not gonna stand here and listen to any more of this shit. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be going to get my girlfriend and attempt to enjoy the rest of this old ass party.” He rolls his eyes away from us and walks back towards the bathrooms without a single glance back and I feel -- annoyed.
One; he is highly attractive but is dating that redhead whom I cannot stand. Two; he's a rude asshole. Three; he's a huge asshole and four; he's not even accepting of me or my mother. This is great, just fucking great.
This cannot possibly get any worse... but being Zaria; I know good and damn well that it can and it will.