A few seconds after Theodore's departure, Mrs Xaviers walks away, leaving me standing awkwardly in a hall full of rich, and no doubt powerful, strangers. I am not surprised. We have never exactly warmed to each other. Any interaction that occurs between us is purely for show. Sometimes I wonder if Theodore ever suspects.
A women walks up to me and hands me an empty glass. "Be a dear and fetch me another," she says before turning away.
"Um..." I tap nervously on her shoulder. She stares down at me from over her nose and I instantly know she's one of those people. I stand my ground and hand the glass back to her. "Sorry for the confusion, but I'm not a waitress."
"Oh?" She glances down at my outfit and I sense that she is suppressing a smirk.
"No, but there's one nearby that will be happy to serve you," I smile brightly and gesture to the waiter who has just come up to us carrying a tray of hors d'oeurve.
The waiter blushes and turns to the woman. "How may I help you, madam?"
"Another champagne, if you will." She says, handing the empty glass to him, but otherwise ignoring his presence. "So," she addresses me, "who exactly are you?"
I flinch at her blunt tone. Usually when I have to face such rudeness, especially during formal occasions such as this, they at least sugar-coat their words. I feel my cheeks burning. They must almost be the same shade as my hair.
"Bridget. Bridget Sinclair." I respond plainly, not knowing what else to say. She looks at with an expression of confusion heavily powdered with frustration. I still haven't answered her question.
I hear Theodore's voice float across the room and try to locate it. When I spot him I mumble an embarrassed excuse to the woman and walk towards him. He smiles when he sees me approach and introduces me to a man in a grey suit.
While Theodore puts his arm gently around me and continues on with his conversation I have time to take in his converser's appearance. Iron grey hair, broad shouldered, well-oiled moustache, professional-looking... There is something familiar about him and I can't figure out what.
I glance around. Everybody here more or less looks the same in their over-priced power suits. But still... There's something about Nelson Elbert that rings a bell...