I'd avoided the lift just in case, so had run up and down the side stairs enough times to complete my steps for the week. Three hours later everything was where it should be and I could finally breathe. There'd been a slight disagreement with the florist but I gave her my 'bitch don't mess with me look' and she soon backed the fuck down. After checking over the suite to make sure I hadn't missed anything, I threw myself down on the couch for a quick five minutes then I'd call a cab to get me the hell away from this place before the lunch started.
*knock knock knock*
Oh you have got to be fucking kidding me! I slide my swollen feet back into the boots I'd just managed to pull off before stepping to the door. If this is that fucking middle aged guitarist from last night coming back to hit on me I'm going to shove his base right up his...
I had messaged Helena this morning and she'd rang me as I was sorting through the silverware. She was a mess, barely making coherent sentences as she spoke through her sobs. On top of the blow of what Christopher had done there was the added pressure that she'd finally told her mum about them, who by all accounts didn't take well to her nineteen year old daughter being in a relationship with a married millionaire with a pregnant wife, I'd love to say she was being unreasonable but it was hard to argue with the woman.
"What the fuck do you want?" I didn't work for this family now so I didn’t need to be nice, plus after what he did to Helena I didn't need to give this prick a second.
He shuffles uncomfortably, glancing up from the floor just to peer down the hall and check we didn't have an audience. "Have you um... have you spoken to Helena? I feel like I'm going crazy, she won't answer any of my calls or messages. I don't know what to do."
I sprint back from him, pulling open every drawer and cupboard I could find, riffling and searching through each one like a mad man. Christopher stares at me in complete confusion. "Brie what are you doing?"
I stop, staring at him with a smirk. "Looking for a fuck to give."
Slamming the doors shut again I walk towards him, ready to make the door he's on the other side of my last victim. Before I can reach it he slips through and places himself on the couch, he really does look broken but it's hard to feel bad for him at the moment considering his part in all of this.
He holds his head in his hands, barely acknowledging me as I sit on the chairs opposite him, I’ll hear what he has to say for Helena’s sake, not his.
"My mother says we have to pretend the baby is mine. That a scandal like my wife leaving me for years and getting pregnant by another man, who then left her before she came back to me, could ruin my family’s reputation. She said when the kid’s born he'll have nanny's until he goes off to boarding school, she'll give Emma one of the cottages on the land to stay in and I'll never have to see either of them except for events we'll all be required at. It'll almost be as if nothing has changed, or so she keeps saying."
This is bullshit. "I get the family obligation Chris but it's not your fucking kid! You owe no loyalty to people who would do this too you, this isn't a life. You know you can still leave, still be with Helena like you planned and leave Emma to deal with her own fucking mess."
He runs his hands over his face in frustration. "Don't you think I want that?! I can't do that to the child Brianna, that baby is innocent. I never loved Emma or her me, we were forced to get married by our families and I was fucking relieved when she ran away. I still care about her though, her world is just as hard as mine. She didn't want to come to the engagement party, she didn't want me to know about the kid at all but she didn't have much choice. The father of her baby left her, she went to her family but when she told them the kid wasn't mine they said they'd disown her, so she made that show at the party so we'd have no choice but to take her in, and the baby. If I back out now... I don't know what my mother will have done to her or the baby to cover this up. She's not what she seems Brie, my mother has done unspeakable things to protect her sons."
He's not upset anymore, he's so scared. Christopher was always softer than the others, I could see that from the first time I met him. He doesn't want to see harm come to an innocent child because of a decision he made. It's easy for me to say that Emma should just do it on her own, like millions of single mums before her, but that's not the world they've been raised in. Growing up with so much privilege means they don't know how to survive without it. They're not strong like the people I grew up with, pulling themselves out of bed everyday not knowing If they were going to eat but carrying on anyway. It's a different life.
"What are you going to do? Helena is devastated Chris, I don't think you understand what this is doing to her, I don't think she'll survive this if she has to just step back and watch you play happy families with another woman."
His eyes fill with tears, his knees coming up to meet his chest as he clutches them tightly. "She won't speak to me, she hasn't even come to work today, I called to check. I know the other girls in the house are covering for her so she doesn't get in trouble but they won't be able to do that forever. I need to talk to her before Saturday because I don't want her finding out off someone else."
I look at him confused. "What's Saturday?"
He shakes his head. "My mum says it looks bad that we hadn't told anyone about the pregnancy so she's throwing like a baby shower thing. I don't want Helena to see that, it would destroy her more than she already is."
Yeah she can't fucking see that. "I'll tell her... You need to come up with a plan though Chris, whatever it is you need to do it quickly because this isn't going away."
He nods, wiping the tears that now coat his face and rising to his feet. "I know. My mum’s keeping Emma from me, I'll be able to talk to her Saturday and we'll decide what we can do then. Maybe she'll be okay leaving with me if she knows I'll still help her with the baby even if we're not pretending to be a family."
I fucking hope so.
"Chris, either way you need to decide what you want. You can't have it both ways, Emma in the streets but Helena in the sheets. That girl deserves more than this, she deserves to be someone's whole world."
He shakes his head. "She is my whole world. I just can't turn my back on people when they're vulnerable, Emma may not be someone I love but we've known each other since we were four years old. I know I act pissed at her for leaving but a part of me was just jealous she had the strength to do it when I didn't. I want to go, I want to be with Helena but I won't ever be okay if I let someone innocent get hurt because of me. I know Helena wouldn't either, if she'd just listen and give me a chance to explain I know she'd understand."
The sad thing is, she probably would. Helena isn't selfish, I've seen how much she sacrifices for the people in her life that she cares about. She'd want Christopher to make sure they're both safe before he left, she's just too emotional to hear it right now.
"I'll talk to her but I can't promise she'll talk to you. You've hurt her, right now she's supposed to be leaving with you to start a new life together, not crying alone in her bedroom."
He doesn't say anything else, his eyes filling with tears again as he stands. I don't move, I have nothing else to say to him. Finally he leaves, the door shutting closed behind him as I let my body relax into the chair. There was something about the way he spoke about Clarisse then, a fear I haven't seen in him before. What did he mean she's done unspeakable things to protect them? What has she done?
My head itched from all the product I haven't washed out yet and my body aches. All I want right now is a hot bath, I look behind me at the giant pool in the bathroom and smile, it would be a shame to waste it... right?
No I can't, Granny has already had May alone for the morning so I'd better get back before they kill each other. I sit and wait by the window until I see the cab pull up, my shoulder still hurts as I grab the last of my bags and make my way down the stairs, the nice guy from last night now back on the front desk and giving me a large smile as I return the room key.
"You had an eventful night huh?" He chuckles.
Oh mate, you don't know the half of it. He offers to help me with my bags but I tell him I've got it, I casually slip into conversation about this friend I have but suddenly notice the wedding band on his finger that I somehow missed last night. Ah well, next time Joshy boy.
He opens the front door for me just in time for my whole body to freeze at the sound of a voice from behind me.
No, I can't do this. I can't see him. I don't turn back, hurrying out the door and shoving my bags onto the back seat of the cab along with my body without so much as a glance behind me.
Driving away I feel a moment of weakness, my head turning to look out of the back window as the hotel behind me grows smaller... along with the gorgeous man still standing in front of it.