Beth walked over to the refreshments table and picked up a small plastic cup of water. She searched the room with her eyes as she sipped at the water. She saw Robert talking with a girl and a pang of jealousy and anger shot up. She frowned at herself; Robert was free to talk to whoever he wanted.
Beth studied the girl more closely. She quickly realised she wasn’t a girl, but a woman. She looked a couple of years older than Robert did, maybe twenty-five years old or so. She was wearing a long black leather trench coat that reached just below her knees. She was wearing the highest heels Beth had ever seen. They seemed to be thigh high boots but Beth couldn’t tell because of the coat. The woman had flaming red hair that fell to her waist but she had her back to Beth so no other features were visible.
The woman leant forward to whisper in Robert’s ear. He handed her something, a key maybe? After a moment, he nodded and kissed her cheek, enveloping her in a hug which she returned. Then the woman stalked out. But before Beth could think about it, she was being pounced upon by one of her old friends.
“Beth,” Emily said cheerfully, looking wonderful in her tight black dress that pooled on the floor. Emily had curves in all the right places, making guys flock around her like moths to a flame.
“Emily, how are you?” Beth asked, embracing her friend.
“I’m okay,” she nodded as she stepped back slightly, still grinning. “I heard about you and Alex. Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” she said, genuinely meaning it.
“So, who’s the new guy? He’s gorgeous,” Emily said.
“Oh, um, that’s Robert. Alex’s older half-brother,” Beth murmured.
Emily’s hand came up to her mouth. “No way. Are you dating him?”
“I don’t know really.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I met him three weeks ago and, I don’t know, he was just... different than Alex. He just seems genuine, you know? I left Alex for him.”
“Has he said it?”
“Said what?” Beth asked.
“Has he told you he loves you?”
“He said he thinks he’s in love with me.”
Emily grabbed Beth’s hands. “Oh, Beth, that means he actually means it. What did you say?”
“I told him I love him. And I meant it.”
Emily pulled her into another hug. “I’m so glad you found someone. He seems to be worth keeping.”
“I think so,” Beth said.
Emily grinned and said her goodbyes, telling Beth she was leaving now. After another embrace, Emily left on her boyfriend’s arm.
Beth felt arms curl around her waist and instantly knew it was Robert, somehow. He kissed her bare shoulder. Beth tilted her head back against him and felt his lips touch hers gently.
“Who was that you were talking to earlier?” Beth asked.
“Was. I gave her the house key so she could wait for me there. She’ll find something to do until then.”
“Do you want to leave? Drop me home then go talk to her?”
“Do you want to leave?”
Beth shook her head. “No.”
“Then neither do I.”