I just stared at Rollar blankly. Had she really just told me she was pregnant? It wasn't like we could continue our conversation now that Kirkwood, the butler was at the door.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, sir," he said with a warm smile.
"Not a problem, Kirkwood. Has Mother been berating you again?" I asked, forcing a smile onto my shocked face.
"I suppose you could say that, sir."
"Well done for putting up with it. This is Rollar, by the way, my girlfriend."
He quickly hid his surprise at my introduction of her, holding out his hand to her.
"The name's Kirkwood, ma'am," he smiled.
"Just Rollar's fine," she murmured, slightly embarassed.
Kirkwood smiled at her, turning around and walking back into the house, standing aside so we could pass. He shut the door behind us and led us into the living room.
"Dinner will be ready in a manner of minutes, sir," he said, opening the door for us.
He bowed slightly and left us in the living room. Mother and Dad were nowhere to be seen, but Lauren was sat on the sofa by herself. Her blonde hair was slightly darker than my own and we shared Dad's green eyes. Her skin was tanned now, which it hadn't been the last time I'd seen her but that had been to see her off to college last year. Her head turned in our direction and a grin broke out over her face.
She stood up, her dark red dress swishing about her knees.
"Jaimie," she said as she wrapped her arms around me.
After a moment, I returned the affection, letting go of Rollar's hand.
"Oh, Jaimie, I've missed you," she grinned.
"I missed you too, Lauren," I smiled.
"Who's this?" she asked, looking to Rollar as she stepped back.
"This," I said, wrapping my arm around Rollar's waist and pulling her to me, "is my girlfriend, Rollar."
"So you did go for a girl in the end," she laughed. She stuck her hand out to Rollar enthusiastically. "I'm Lauren."
"Rollar," she said, shaking her hand.
"Hi. It's so nice to meet you. I hear you're in a band now, Jaimie."
"And this is our lead singer," I said, squeezing Rollar slightly.
"Oh, really? That's awesome. And the bassist?" she asked, a twinkle in her eyes.
"Not your type, Laurie," I chuckled.
"Gambler?" she asked.
"Gay," I laughed.
"Oh, I'm sure I could fix that," she said with a wink.
"Just like you tried with Carter?"
"He was too obsessed with you," she pointed out.
I could tell that Rollar was feeling uncomfortable now so I changed the topic away from my ex-boyfriend.
"How's college?" I asked.
"Oh, boring really. Better than school though."
At that point, Mother strode in through the other door, wearing a long dress. Her dark brown hair was done up in a bun as always, her slim figure that of the model she'd been in her younger years.
"Your father won't be joining us this evening," Mother said.
Oh, God... The only one who could actually control Mother - relatively - wasn't here to help me stop her from harassing Rollar. I saw her gaze settle on Rollar, looking her up and down disdainfully.