When I got home, Dad was back so I told him I was going out with a couple of friends and he just nodded at me. “Have fun.”
“I will.” I put the groceries away then went to my room and picked out a one shouldered yellow dress and slid it on. I looked in the jewelry my mom had left me and picked out a red rose pendent necklace with a gold chain. I held it up and sighed. Something told me this dinner wasn’t just any other dinner but I had no idea what was really going on.
My hair went up in a simple half bun to tone down the fancy-ness of my outfit and I pulled on my favorite gold heels. I looked in the mirror and saw my mom. The thought of her almost made me want to cry. That she couldn’t be here to help me with everything going on and Dad certainly wasn’t the on to talk to yet.
I was done about 5:30 so I waited in my room so I wouldn’t upset my dad. When I heard the doorbell ring, I hurried to the front room where my dad was just about to reach for the door. “I got it Dad.”
I reached my hand out in front of his and he stopped short, staring at me. “Catherine?”
I shook my head silently and kissed his cheek. “It’s me, Dad.”
His eyes filled with tears and he looked down sadly. I hugged him and was surprised when he hugged me back tightly. “You look beautiful, Isabelle.”
I smiled and pulled back. “Bye dad.”
He went back to the dining room table while I opened the door to see Josh in a T-shirt and jeans. “Wow do I feel underdressed…” I blushed as he looked at me.
“You look great!” I smiled and put my arm through the one he held out to me and we went down to his car.
We drove downtown as he asked how I was doing. He was so easy to talk to I trusted him with the fact that I still thought about Niall all the time. He smiled when I said that but didn’t answer why. We pulled up in front of a bar and both got out but instead of going inside, Josh took my arm and pointed me down across the street to a building where golden light was filtering through the windows.
“Go ahead. There’s a surprise for you.”
He smiled then walked into the bar. I was curious so I turned to cross the street to the building and saw Gavin leaning against the wall.
“I thought he’d never leave!” He walked over to me and pecked my cheek. “So he’s ‘work’ is he?” His voice still had an arrogant ring to it as always but also a bit of something else. His hard set jaw told me it was anger or at least a little bit.
“Gavin I really don’t want to do this with you right now.”
“Well isn’t that too bad now.” He grabbed my arm as I tried to side step him. “We don’t always get what we want do we?”
“If you don’t let me go, I’m going to scream.” He seemed so much scarier at night in low light than he ever had during the day trying to show off. He was definitely mad now.
I got a text from Josh saying they were just pulling up but when Belle didn’t walk in, I started to feel really stupid. Greg and Denise were waiting in the bar Josh pulled up at and sent me a picture of them pulling up but she wasn’t there.
I started to feel nervous too. I decided to peek my head out the doors and check if maybe he was still trying to get her to come over.
Instead, I heard Belle talking to someone and saw him with her hand wrapped around her wrist. “If you don’t let me go I’m going to scream.” She told him.
“Hey! Get off of her!” I yelled at him as I ran down the steps. She whirled around and saw me. First she smiled, then it faltered and she seemed sad. That hurt but I was focused on getting whoever this was off of her.
“Who are you?” He spat at me, his hand still clutching hers.
“I said let her go.” I growled and finally got up to them. He let go like Belle’s arm had burned his hand and I thought for a moment he was just going to back off. Instead, he lunged a fist at me that I only barely missed.
“Gavin! Leave him alone!” I heard Belle scream at him. She tried to pull back his arm but he pushed her feet and she fell back on the concrete.
I reached to help her up and felt something hard crash into the side of my face and knock me to my knees. It felt warm where he had just hit me but I ignored it for now. With Belle behind me, I reached back and got him in the stomach, causing him to double over. After that, Belle pulled at me to get me to go back inside before he got air back in him. She turned my face to look at her and he voice sounded slurred.
“Niall please come on.” She pulled at my arm and I followed her back, not turning to look at the fallen Gavin.
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