london calling: emma carpathia
I woke up to a kiss on my lips, “Nate?”
“Who else would it be?”
“I don’t know, my adorable boyfriend, maybe.”
“Adorable? We’ll see about that,” he murmurs, kissing and nipping at my neck, leaving me laughing uncontrollably underneath his touch, “What’s so funny?”
“You’re really bad at the whole I’m-sexy-and-I-know-it thing. It’s cute.”
“Ah,” he rolls over, facing me, “Stop calling me cute and adorable. I /am/ sexy and I know it.”
“Whatever you say, darling.”
After we get dressed, we take a trip to my parents, as they are having their annual dress-in-white party with all of their closest friends and family. Nate seems a little overwhelmed, so we stop by the bar before meeting up with everyone.
“Mum, dad,” I gesture towards the shy guy next to me, “This is Nate-“ they don’t let me finish; they are already attacking him with hugs and questions- more so my mum than dad, he tries to be serious.
“So, Nate, what do you do?” I shove my dad, “I mean, I’m sure whatever it is, you’re great at it and you make enough to support both you and Emma.” I shove him again.
“Uh, yes, I’m an architect. And I do my best to support Emma, sir,” Nate stumbles, grasping onto my hand for help. I squeeze it back, giving him a smile.
My father clamps a hand over Nate’s back, “I’m kidding. Lighten up, it’s a party.”
Next come my siblings, all in order- Mary, Claire, and Jacob. They ask him about America, architecture, exes, pets, family- there’s no subject that goes untouched.
Thankfully, my grandmother pulls me aside, leaving Nate stranded. I give him an apologetic shrug and link arms with my grandmother as we roam the garden.
“I’m glad to see you happy, Emma, but there’s someone here to see you,” she points behind her to a white table, party of one, “I’ll keep the American company while you talk things out.”
“His name is Nate, grandma. And he’s my boyfriend.”
“Oh, of course he is, now go,” she pushes me in Carters direction.
“Carter,” I tap his shoulder.
“Oh, wow, Emma, you look… wow,” he stands up and hugs me, picking me up as he does so, “How have you been? How were the States? Sit down, will you?”
He pulls my chair out for me.
“Thanks, er, I had an amazing time. I miss it, I do, but London is my home.”
“How are you? I hear you’re a big shot singer now.”
“No, no, just starting out,” he says, always humble. His face lights up and he takes my hand, but I draw it back quickly. Carter blinks and forgets it in an instant, “What do you say you become my publicist? Your grandmother told me you were working for my record label… and I just thought…”
Curse my grandmother. She loved Carter because he came from old money and was everything she wanted me to have and more. I glared at her before returning my gaze to Carters.
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea…”
“It is, Emma. Don’t you see? We’ll be a great fit.”
“Carter, it’s going to be weird…”
“I promise it won’t be.”
I shake my head, “I’ll think about it.
He doesn’t answer, his eyes are fixed on something behind me. Carter stands up and reaches behind me. I turn around and see Nate, sporting a frown as he and Carter shake hands.
“Just tell me what you decide, Emma,” Carter says and walks off, leaving Nate and I to talk.
“What was that about?”
“Nothing really, Carter just being his pushy self.”
“I don’t like that guy, Em.”
“Are you jealous? It’s kind of hot,” I say, leaning into Nate, trying to change the subject. Thankfully, he buys it.
“Oh really? I’m not cute and adorable anymore?”
“Nah, you’re still cute and adorable. Just accept it.”
++ SUNDAY - for the debut of a new talent group kelsey has scouted there's a party at funky buddha club for just about anyone who's anyone in the music industry. ++
“Nate,” I call, walking into our bedroom, “I’ve got news.”
“What is it?”
He’s working on designs for a new building in the heart of London, but pulls me onto his lap, tracing circles around my bare hip. I try to remember this as I realize he is going to be upset with me in a few seconds.
“I’ve landed my first client.”
Nate jumps up and spins me around, “Congratulations! Who is it? Would I know them? Are they from around here? Oh, Emma, I’m so proud of you,” he kisses me.
“Carter Mays,” I squeak, holding my hands over my eyes and peaking through so I can catch a glimpse at Nate’s expression. Like always, he’s level headed, but I can see something boiling inside of him. “It’s not going to be a big deal, but you have to understand… it’s a really big deal for me.”
“I get it, it’s just, a little weird, don’t you think?”
“No doubt, but I can handle it.”
“Well, anyways, I’m proud of you, Em, and I don’t want to be the one to stop you from chasing your dreams. If Carter is your first client, then… okay. I’m alright.”
“Anything for you, Emma Carpathia.”
“Good, well, then, get dressed. There’s a party at some funky club and I want you to be my date. I had a lot of other options,” he rolls his eyes, “But I think you’re my best bet.”
“I don’t know, I kind of wanted to stay in tonight,” my face falls.
“Um, yeah, just tell me what you decide,” I try to hide my disappointment, “I’ll be getting ready. It’s at 9, so you have quite some time to decide what you want to do.”
Unfortunately, Nate decided not to go. I showed up at the party, alone, and went straight to the bar, running into Carter on the way.
“Emma,” he hugs me and I inhale his familiar scent, “I’m so glad you could make it. Are you-“
“Er, yes,” he runs a hand through his hair, seemingly not embarrassed in the slightest. Screw him and his confidence. He could have anyone, but he couldn’t have me. At least, not anymore.
A hand rests loosely on my waist, “No, I’m her date.”
I smile up at Nate and give him a light kiss on the cheek, murmuring a small thanks in his ear. He shrugs and looks toward Carter, the two of them not letting up on this stare down.
“Well, Carter, I think I’ll make my rounds. See you tomorrow at work.”
“Sure thing,” he kisses my cheeks and turns to Nate, “Nate.”
“You know,” Nate says once Carter is out of earshot, “I still don’t like that guy.”
“I know. I don’t think he likes you either.”
The rest of the evening is a blur; I meet almost all of the people in the music industry and more. This Kelsey really knows how to throw a party. I find myself clicking with all of the girls, just as I had hoped, but in the back of my mind I know that it’s not the girls that are my problem- it’s Nate and Carter.
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