Second Impressions

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The granola bar

“May I offer you something to drink?” Someone from the staff asked.

Isn’t red wine good for the heart?

“Yes, red wine” I answered with a smile.

The key is moderation, right? Besides, I need it to survive this night.

I watched carefully how Anna hugged Sarah with a sudden change in her attitude, Alexander had his protective hand over her shoulder, and Darius, well he wasn’t here. Probably was back in New York, handling all the chaos.

Did she have a change of heart?

“Heard you almost died,” Vivian said as she sat right by my side on the couch.

“I’m alive” I muttered with a fake smile.

“It feels like I am witnessing the end of the world, or in this case, The end of the Rothschilds. It is the first time the business is this close to bankruptcy and here we are… just ignoring the fall”

“Bankruptcy?”

“Apparently”

“Isn’t this family’s net worth over four hundred billion? How is that possible?”

“I know, right? Just the idea of being poor is unbearable. Darius already cut everybody’s expenses, this is a disaster.”

“Isn’t there worse things in life than being poor?” I glanced at her as I took the first sip of my glass.

These people crying over lost billions when I don’t even know how the fuck I am even going to pay for the monitor they placed in my heart.

“Besides, I don’t think you will end that poor, if everything goes down the flush” I added quickly.

“Are you supposed to be drinking?” She paused for a second “Anyway, do you think I could live with a couple of millions? Are you out of your mind? That won’t last me more than a year. This is honestly the worst day of my life and it’s all your sister’s fault” She sighed.

What the fuck.

“Wow, hold it there”

“It’s what everybody thinks, at least I am being honest.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Because it’s the truth. Alexander’s affair has almost cost us everything. Look around Ollie, tell me who looks genuinely happy by your sister’s presence.”

“Anna seems happy,” I said sarcastically as Anna put her hands on Sarah’s flat belly.

“Oh, please. She is just a fake Ollie, once Sarah delivers that baby she will be back to being a bitch.”

This girl doesn’t know how to catch a joke.

“Anna a fake?” I asked as if I was receiving the revelation of the century.

“Yes. Believe me, she is not happy” She said in a serious tone.

“What about their happiness? Do you rather see your cousin unhappy?”

“No one can be unhappy with resources, Ollie”

“Well, his life before Sarah seemed pretty shallow to me”

“Maybe, but how are you so sure he will not return to his old ways?”

“I don’t,” I said, taking another sip.

“I hope that this...was not for nothing. I might not be happy about the money but I am expecting a big wedding and all with more babies on the way.”

That’s a weird way of saying she is on Alexander’s side.

“So, tell me. Which one of my cousins are you planning to catch or is it just for fun?”

“Cousins? What are you talking about?”

“Oh, like if you don’t have the same talent as Sarah for men? Reveal your secret and help a sister out!”

I remained quiet, frowning my face.

“He was asking about you, you know?”

“Darius was asking about me?” I asked in genuine surprise.

She broke into laughter.

That wicked girl!

“I knew that picture wasn’t photoshop! But, no. I was talking about Archibald. He called this morning to ask if you were going to be here tonight. He seemed interested.”

Oh, Archer!

“But now that you throw Darius in the mix, this is going to be fun to watch.”

“Alrighty, I think I need a refill,” I muttered as I stood and walked away from Vivian.

Ding! The doorbell rang and Anna went straight to the door.

“Oh, my sister and my sweet boy, Archer!” I heard her voice from the other room while she greeted the guests. I exchanged a glance with Vivian who was smirking.

“Go catch them, tiger!” She exclaimed, barely holding her excitement.

I rolled my eyes for her to see, but inside I was nervous. I felt all the awkward swirl in my stomach, making me feel nauseous. It was evident, I was anxious about Archibald’s arrival, and it made my heart beat faster.

“Oh, not again” I muttered to myself, putting a hand to my chest.

I saw him entering the room with what looked like Anna’s blonde twin. It was just like her, so of course, it had to be her sister.

Great.

Archer’s golden locks shined in the light as his beautiful green eyes searched the room. I hid in a corner of a wall near Sarah, who was now focused on searching for something in her big purse.

I watched him carrying a big bag full of presents that he soon put beside the Christmas tree before greeting all his family members. I could tell everybody in the family loved him as they all took their time to hug him and greet him properly.

He was wearing a light sweater that showed his broad shoulders and his lean athletic physique. I wanted to look away but his dazzling smile was mesmerizing and I couldn’t help but keep spying on him a little more.

Oh, he is beautiful.

I started twitching my hands and pulling my hair, sometimes crossing my legs and changing my standing position.

“Are you alright? Do you need to go to the bathroom?” Sarah asked, emptying her bag with the most bizarre items.

“No, I am okay. I just need to stretch my legs” I lied while her Mary Poppins bag took my full attention. She had been searching for something for a while and it was starting to bother me.

“Jesus, what are you looking for? Is that a peanut butter jar?” I asked.

“Please don’t judge, I am just very hungry... all the time,” she said with a concerned expression on her face.

“I need my granola bar,” she added with urgency.

“But you hate granola”

“Pregnancy craving”

That is so weird...

“What else are you hiding there?” I asked.

“Nothing,” she said, closing the purse with a quick movement as she found her snack.

“Nah, let’s see,” I said, snatching the bag from her arms.

“No!” she giggled fighting back and in a second we were pushing the bag like little kids from each other’s grasp.

“Wow, ladies there is no need to fight,” Archie said approaching with his hands raised.

Sarah took the distraction as an opportunity and grabbed the full purse. “I’ll be hiding this,” she said, walking away and leaving me alone with Archer.

“You left without giving me your number,” he said with an unreadable expression on his face.

“Oh, hi Archer” I muttered back shyly.

“Aren’t you happy to see me? May I have my Christmas hug?” he said sweetly, watching me with those deep emerald eyes while he opened his arms and that smile brighter than the sun.

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