Infatuation:A Rebel Stepbrother Romance(12)

By: Phoenyx Slaughter

“Dammit, Summer. I told you not to get too much sun. You were an NC 25 just last week. Now you’re more like an NC 35,” I grouch as I test each foundation out on her skin.

Gina giggles from the other side of the room. “Told ya!”

“Come here.” I grab Summer’s hand and drag her onto the balcony overlooking the ocean, so I can see the foundation in the sunlight. “Turn your head.” I mix in another shade and try again. “That’s better.”

With a critical eye, I walk around Summer, fixing and dabbing on each pass. When I’m finally satisfied, I let her go back inside and ask her to send my next victim out.

“Hi, Mrs. Clancy.” I still blush around Summer’s mother. My mother must have explained why I got sent away junior year, and the thought fills me with shame.

“Sweetheart, I haven’t seen you in forever.” She places a kiss on each of my cheeks.

The sight of my friend’s mother almost makes me cry. She’s lost a lot of weight since the death of her husband. Her beautiful mother-of-the-bride dress hangs on her like bedsheets. I’m ashamed for not visiting her more often.

“I’m sorry. I’ve been busy with school and trying to find a job,” I answer, feeling like a jerk.

“You’re so talented, Ella,” she says as she admires my work.

When I’m finished, she motions me to follow her inside.

“Jeez, no one will believe you’re my mother,” Summer says as she hugs Mrs. Clancy. “You look more like my big sister.”

Her mother chuckles. “Ella’s a miracle worker.” She grabs her handbag and pulls out a bracelet, handing it to Summer. “Here’s your ‘something borrowed’. You’re such a beautiful bride. Your father would be so happy. He always liked Stu.”

Summer’s lip trembles at her mother’s words. I say a quick and silent prayer she doesn’t cry and ruin her makeup. Even the waterproof stuff can only take so much, and Summer cries like a fire hydrant when she gets going.

“Thanks, Mom, I needed to hear that today.” She takes a few breaths, then grins at the bracelet as her mother helps her fasten it around her wrist.

“Thank you so much for this, Mom. I always loved Grandma Janice’s charm bracelet. It’s perfect.”

“Well, it’s both old and borrowed. I want it back after the ceremony.”

“You bet, Mom. Thanks.”

Mrs. Clancy leaves and I work on Gina’s makeup next. When she’s camera ready, Lena joins us. I behave myself and do not give her a Bozo-the-Clown makeover.

Once everyone’s picture perfect, I take some time to get myself ready.

“Did you sleep okay?” Summer asks Lena.

“Not really. I spent the night in Flynn’s room, and you know how it is.” She stretches and yawns.

I cough-snicker from my spot in the bathroom. Through the open door, I see Summer trying to contain her laughter. Only Gina doesn’t recognize Lena’s lie.

“Have some tact,” Summer scolds.

Lena shrugs. “See you ladies downstairs,” she calls out over her shoulder as she saunters away.

“What a liar!” Summer titters after the door shuts.

“What?” Gina asks.

“Flynn and Ella are sharing a room.”

Gina’s wide-eyed gaze swings in my direction. “You are? When did that happen?”

Summer giggles some more. “Room mix-up.”

Maybe Flynn finally fixed the mix-up and Lena was telling the truth. “He never came back to the room last night, so who knows.” I shrug and return to the bathroom to finish my makeup.

“There’s no way he was with Lena,” Summer insists. “He probably didn’t want to wake you and stayed with Stu.”

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