Unbreakable(7)

By: Emma Scott


I waved the card away. “My mother has already hired someone. Aside from a few appointments and fittings, my schedule will remain blissfully unaffected.” I smiled and forked a piece of hard-boiled egg from my salad.

Antoinette’s normally unruffled expression turned to one of shock. “You’re letting your mother plan the wedding? Everything?”

“Of course not. I’ll be making the major decisions. Mother is just going to put it all into place.”

Antoinette sat back in her chair. “Still. I can’t imagine turning something as important as my wedding over to my mother.”

Me neither, I thought but it would only shock them to know how little I thought of the wedding. It loomed in my mind much the same was my engagement party did: as an expensive announcement of something inevitable. The butterflies and sparks I’d always imagined I’d have when I was a girl were absent. Truthfully, I worried more about how the whole affair would disrupt my work schedule. I know Drew felt that way. And the honeymoon…Any minute now, the Posse was going to turn this interrogation that direction and that was the last thing I wanted.

I dabbed a napkin to my mouth and set it over my half-eaten salad. “My mother has meticulous taste and all the time in the world. It’s a perfect task for her.” I checked the time. “I have to get these invitations to the post office today and then run to the bank.”

“But you just got here!” Minnie cried.

“You don’t eat enough to maintain such a hectic schedule,” Rashida said.

“It’s how she maintains such a cute figure,” Antoinette put in.

“I have a one-fifteen,” Lilah said. “I’ll walk you out.”

It didn’t escape my notice that no one protested Lilah’s departure. I wondered if she’d noticed too. I reached for my wallet. “My turn?”

“No, it’s me,” Rashida said, waving me off. “You’re next Monday.”

“Of course I am,” I said, rising. “Ladies.”

#

“Are you okay?” Lilah asked as we waited for the valet.

I gave her a sideways glance. “Of course. Why?”

“You were late, for starters, and you’re never late. And secondly, since when do you lose track of whose turn it is to pick up lunch?”

I laughed. “I hardly think either qualifies me for an intervention.”

Lilah crossed her arms over her beige blazer. “This is me you’re talking to. Not Her Ladyship Antoinette.”

I shouldered my bag. “I’m fine. Waiting for the Munro verdict, which is slightly nerve-wracking. You know how that is.”

Lilah nodded. She was an attorney as well—the best attorney—in a small, boutique firm in Brentwood. Few things escaped her sharp eye, and judging by the way she was watching me now, that included me. She arched a feathery brow expectantly.

I opened my mouth to say that nothing was wrong, that she was being overly protective, and instead heard myself blurt: “I had that dream again.”

“Again?”

I nodded. “It was vivid. And realistic. Very realistic. I woke up feeling…excited, and…”

“Horny?”

“Lilah! Really!” I glanced around to make sure no one else waiting in the brilliant August sunshine was listening.

“Well? You’re human, for chrissakes. It’s allowed.”

I felt my skin grow hot but Lilah was the only person who knew of my and Drew’s…difficulties. I always felt a bit better for talking to her about it—not that I made a habit of it. It was embarrassing enough what little she did know. If she knew the whole truth…

“It doesn’t matter,” I said. “Drew was already showered and dressed, and I would have been late had we…”

“Had sex?” Lilah puffed out her cheeks. “You can’t even say the words.”

I ignored that. “He’s working hard. He has to, if he wants to make chief counsel. I’m sure he’s just too tired…most nights.”

“Most nights,” she scoffed. “Every night. He’s always too tired. He’s always working, and so are you.” Lilah took my arm gently but firmly. “And now this talk of not having kids? What is that all about? Is this your mother’s idea?”