“Oh, that is just breathtaking,” Mom says when Eden opens the next gift. She scrunches her nose, eyeing the five-piece place setting. It is some vintage set that is far too expensive, I’m sure. Whoever bought this gift didn’t get it for Eden. They got it in order to suck up to my mom.
“I’m guessing this isn’t dishwasher safe.” I snort a laugh at Eden’s comment. I love that she’s so down to earth. A few of the girls let out gasps.
“That’s real gold,” Katie Winchester informs her tartly. She’s the worst one in the entire group. All day she’s been trying to get close to Eden, being extra friendly. I knew she would only be able to last for so long before some of her nastiness began to slip out. The same way it always does.
“On a plate?” Eden’s eyes glance over to me, looking for help.
“Better than Elvis’s toilet,” I say, making Eden giggle. No one else joins in.
Mom hurries on to the next gift but not before shooting me a warning look. I smooth the nonexistent wrinkles out of my dress, wondering if this is going to be over soon. I hate when there are this many people at the house. The uncertainty makes me feel uneasy.
Once everyone arrived and were all seated, my nerves calmed down some. It's the moving around and people coming in and out that can get me worked up. I noticed everyone here is female, including the people helping with the party.
I wonder if Sebastian had something to do with that. I wouldn’t put it past him. He can be a bit of a control freak when it comes to my safety. So I’m sure he went over every detail with a fine-tooth comb for this get-together. Is that one of the reasons I’ve been seeing less of him?
For a moment I let myself pretend he did it because he’s beyond jealous when it comes to me and not because of all my messed-up issues. The ones that are starting to affect everyone’s life around me. Even though no one will come out and say it. Even Mom has kept her lips sealed. It's making me a bit self-conscious, wondering if they might be talking about it when I’m not around.
“So. How about you, Violet? Any wedding bells in your future?” Kinley asks.
“Are you dating someone?” Clare leans in more, wanting to be the first to know any gossip.
“Nope. I’m not dating anyone,” I say, trying to shut this down.
“It’s okay. I know it’s weird your brother is getting married before you and all.” She gives me a sympathetic smile. “But I’m sure one day you might find someone.” She doesn’t sound as if she believes that. You’d think I was an old maid or something.
“Thanks,” I mumble before I shoveI one of the small cucumber sandwiches into my mouth. It’s so terrible I end up spitting it out in my napkin. I really can’t deal with the no carb or gluten free thing that everyone seems to be doing these days. I would kill to have a pizza right now.
I grab the water off the table and take a drink to wash the taste out of my mouth. At the sound of a high-pitched scream of excitement, I drop my glass on the table, shattering it. My heart lodges in my throat. I start to inwardly panic.
“I got you that. Isn’t it just perfect?!” Katie squeals. All the women at my table stare at me like I’ve lost my mind. One of the servers rushes over to help clean up my mess. Out of the corner of my eye, I see that Sebastian has stepped outside. He’s got his eyes locked on me. I instantly feel a sense of relief, knowing that he’s close by.
“Did someone hire entertainment? I didn’t think your mom would get a stripper.” Clare laughs. She wouldn’t. I would have at one time as a joke to ruffle her feathers, but lately I try to not be noticed or bother anyone more than I already do.
“Damn. I hope so. He’s looking this way,” Kinley says. It’s then I realize they are all staring at my Sebastian. He’s not mine, I mentally correct myself. I’m at my limit for the day, and I’m starting to get hangry.
“Excuse me. I need to use the ladies’ room,” I lie to make my escape. Guilt hits me when I see Eden and Mom’s faces fall at me slipping out. They both try to quickly hide it, but it’s too late. I see the pity in their eyes.
“Violet,” Sebastian calls after me once I enter the house. I keep walking, wanting to get away from the staff flooding the kitchen. He follows, pulling me into the study. “Are you okay?” I hate that question coming from him. I hate it more knowing that it’s the reason he’s chasing after me.