The driver Gail had designated to me pulled up to the gates of where the art exhibition was being hosted. Spectacular was an understatement just driving up to the building itself. A setting to be proud of, with incredible French architecture and Greek statues lining the long driveway, captured my eyes from the moment it all came into view. Though I've seen a lot in my time, this has to be up there with the best of it.
Passing the paparazzi who tried to get my attention, I made my way into the palace. I had no desire to tell a bunch of strangers who had nothing better to do, about what I've been through and what is currently going on in my life.
From the moment I stepped in, I was greeted by an atmosphere full of conversations and the feint sound of smooth jazz in the background. People dressed to the nines filled the space seemingly without an issue. I could hear myself breath in my ear and the pulse in my throat was choking me.
What am I even doing?
Before I could even think about leaving, Gail appeared in a silk velvety burgundy suit and his hair combed back neatly into a pompadour. He flashed his million dollar smile at me and I gave him a gentle tight-lipped smile of my own. “Ilaria,” his deep voice said and he took my hand to kiss it, “you look fetching.”
I remember someone else saying that to me when we first met.
I shook my head trying to not show how empty I feel at this moment. “Thank you. You look quite handsome yourself.”
He chuckled and tucked a hand into his pocket casually. “Thank you, madam. Would you like some champagne?”
I smiled. If it meant not thinking about my children at the moment, nor their father, then I was down. “Please.”
He snapped his fingers at a waitress and she approached with haste. I hated men who did that. I can't believe Gail was one of them either. He took two flutes of the bubbling drink and passed one to me. I thanked him and took a discretely long sip as I looked around the room while another man who got his attention talked to him.
My eyes found their way to the lounge where a few people sat and talked casually. Then, all I saw was grey.
Those spectacular, silvery eyes that belonged to my children looked right back at me, for a while now it seems. My heart rate escalated and I felt my stomach drop.
Why is he here?
My eyes then went to the woman who walked up to him and sat on his lap. A slender blonde with porcelain skin and brown eyes who looked ready for a Vogue photoshoot. She smiled at Grayson who was still staring at me, and said something. I'm not sure he heard it because he had moved an inch. She frowned and followed his line of sight to find out what he was looking at and her eyes met mine.
Hello bitch. Enjoying my husband over there, are you? Don't think one little famous qualm is an invitation for my replacement… He's still got 4 babies and a woman who fails to disappoint. Watch your skinny ass.
She smirked and gave him a peck on the cheek, leaving. Message received, I guess— though she was trying be bold. I could scoff to that.
But then suddenly that face I hate so goddamn much appeared and occupied the seat where the blonde was before. Only this time, she got Grayson's attention. She searched the crowd for what he was looking at and found my gaze of red.
I clenched my jaw to keep myself in check. Though… how long would that hold me off?
Grayson looked to me again, and sadly all I saw was emptiness. The cold...
I briefly looked away. Ouch.
When my eyes met them again, that traitorous bitch cupped Grayson's jaw and brought him to look at her. It felt like my heart had been ripped right out of my chest as I watched Grayson bring his lips to Ilina's…
But not before his eyes met mine.
Had I not dropped my flute of champagne right now, I would have beared with my emotions —keeping them at bay like I did best. But the single teardrop that escaped my eye wasn't having it.
I'm going to kill that bitch.