Second Impressions

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Archie

Hiding in a corner of the luxury tent where the event was taking place, I sipped from a glass of delicious brut champagne. Dear lord. This was fine one. I knew because it was one of my hobbies; drinking wine, I mean. The tiny effervescent bubbles rise evenly, emphasizing the excellent quality of the wine.


I’ve never been in an event as glamorous as this one. All the glass tables were so delicate, complementing the gold decor, but what was more impressive was the work on the walls and the flowers that hung from the ceiling, making it look like a Christmas fairytale.


A classic orchestra stood in the middle of the room playing the nutcracker, and I sat down and observed all the new snob faces that arrived in their etiquette dresses.


This made all my past Christmas feel tacky. Let’s remember I am the girl that just wears the same pair of jeans with a baggy sweater and a bun.


What the fuck am I doing here?


Nothing here brought coziness or warmth; this was a high-society event, not a family reunion. I saw people from different ethnicities, but they all smelled like power. This was a meeting from the Rothschild empire to all its associates, partners, and stakeholders worldwide.


Of course, Anna Elizabeth Rothschilds was in her element. That woman, being the epitome of class and distinction, flattered everyone with her PR skills.


Jesus! How she made it look so easy and natural, impressive.


Remember, she is the enemy. Stop admiring her!


She wore a black satin dress with an off-the-shoulder neckline and an enormous ball gown skirt that floated with every step she made. Her hair was pulled up, and the necklace she was wearing had three strands of natural pearls, connected by an emerald and a diamond clasp. Just like a modern Audrey Hepburn. A timeless look.


I kind of felt embarrassed, not because I was underdressed, but quite the opposite. I could give her some competition. I was wearing a dress only a beauty pageant queen in a coronation would wear, and I hated every part of it.


Not in a million years would I think I would wear something as flashy and over the top as this. This was the long sleeve, Haute Couture gown Sarah had chosen for me.


The tight mermaid figure and low back cleavage complimented my tiny waist. The long feathers in the tail were so dramatic that I was about to become the leading actress of a soap opera called Who Stole the turkey, just because I looked like a fucking bird.


Beside my left breast, the beautiful peacock brooch popped, swallowing all the protagonists and complementing the beautiful golden embellishment on the dress’s fabric.


Sarah said I had never looked so beautiful, but my imposter syndrome was kicking in.


Damn me and all my insecurities.


If I could hide now, I would, but three security guards followed my every move, making it impossible to accomplish. Sarah had to deal with only one of them.


Shit!


This peacock brooch was what they were guarding. I tried taking it off, and one of the guards freaked out, asking me not to touch it with my bare hands.


“Please don’t touch the gem again,” one muttered. “You’ll have to wait until Mr.Keller comes to retrieve the jewels at the end of the night”


Fucking great...


“If you keep your distance, I won’t touch it again,” I said, playing my cards smart. At least I won a little bit of privacy. They could watch me from a safe distance, but I had to admit it, I was a prisoner, holding a family heirloom and looking like a flashy bird.


This night was special for Sarah and Alexander, but I am sure it would be a catastrophe for the Rothschild Family, and here we were, waiting for the big announcement. I had a feeling that something terrible was about to happen tonight.


“That over there is David Zinman” I heard someone speaking to me from behind.


I had no idea who was talking to me, and the music was becoming so powerful that I didn’t dare to take my eyes away from the orchestra. Even all the guests took a seat, and we all watched in awe as a polished older man, probably in his eighties, guided the Symphony into a glorious peak.


I was hypnotized hearing the live classical music this near, it was an experience I could not even start to describe with words. He was full of personality with his white mustache and round nose, but those kind eyes were filled with such a fierce passion that brought everybody into a state of euphoria. Every instrument hit the perfect notes, each guided by every stroke of Mr. Zinman’s hands in the air falling into the perfect melody.


“One of the world’s most respected conductors,” the person behind me kept talking.


“Wow” I was speechless as I turned. A dazzling male was seated to my right, his legs crossed and one of his arms reclined on the table, staring right into my face.


“My name is Archibald,” he said with a dashing smile. “Don’t you dare, call me Archie. I hate that nickname”


“I….” I mumbled, not knowing what to answer to this complete stranger.


“It’s a pleasure to meet you! You are?” He chuckled sweetly.


I had to smile. It was kind of refreshing to find such a different personality in this environment. Everybody I had met here had been so controlled, cold, and not human. He just felt like a breath of fresh air.


He was bright as the sun. His long golden curls and dark emerald green eyes captivated me. I even felt he could burn me if I dared to lean closer.


“Olivia Summer,” I said in a beat.


“Olivia,” he said slowly, savoring my name on his lips.


Even though I didn’t want to admit It, a part of me enjoyed having his attention. I mean, who wouldn’t? He was hot, and that was bad news. That meant I was about to do the thing I was worst at, flirting.


“The one and only. I mean, there is only one. Me. Olivia,” I said back awkwardly with a small grin while shrugging my shoulders.


Someone, please kill me!


“I know,” he said with a warm smile. “I would have remembered if I ever met an Olivia Summer as beautiful as you”


Oh dear lord, was he flirting back?


“Tell me. What is someone like you doing here?” He said in genuine curiosity.


“What do you mean?” I answered back.


“I mean… from the real world.” He whispered as if he was telling me a secret.


Think, Olivia. Think of something smart and funny. Show him the bold Olivia.


“I am a jewelry model,” I whispered back, pointing at the peacock brooch.


Jewelry model? Really, Olivia?


“Bringing the big guns!” He smirked.


“Yes, my shift ends at 10 o’clock,” I said in a playful tone.


“Such a tiny model; I’ve never heard about that before.” He said, sizing me up.


“Oh yes, we exist. I’m a hand model, too,” I said, waving a hand at him.


Hand model? Can someone just fucking kill me now?


“Not buying it, your hands are too…” he said, reaching for my hand in the air, placing it against his palm.


Oh my gosh! Is he touching me now?!


Electricity ran down my hand, I felt goosebumps through my body.


Does he know the effect he has on women?


I saw his face and I dared to look at his eyes. He was enjoying this. His big palm was almost three times the size of my hand and his skin felt warm, soft, and inviting against mine.


“They are too natural” he finished the sentence, still examining my fingers.


My nails had no nail polish and were cut short, but they had a feminine and delicate form. I am pretty sure I could have pulled this one if I did a little manicure before the event.


I pulled my hand away from his touch and placed it on my lap feeling a little bit uncomfortable. At this point, my heart was beating fast.


“What can I say? Your fun-sized pinkie blew your cover” he added.


“Damn pinkie” I replied feeling a bit self-aware, and with a shy smile, I hid my hands on my lap.


His charming personality opened me like a book, and he got to know one thing I was really good at hiding behind my bold personality. My goofy, awkward, and insecure self.


“Has someone told you how adorable you are? He asked, tilting his handsome face to one side.


I even felt how my blood vessels popped showing my flushed skin. I was as red as a tomato.


“You are in a new league of cuteness,” he added. “I swear if you blush again…you might steal my heart,” he said jokingly and I, Olivia Summer blushed again.


Oh boy, I am in trouble.

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