25 | Family Ties

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It took a week for the gossip to finally settle down

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It took a week for the gossip to finally settle down.

Had it not been for the newest gossip about Lara McDonald getting knocked up and Mickey Jantzen breaking up with his girlfriend of two years, I had a feeling the drama revolving around me would have lasted a hell of a lot longer.

What truly surprised me though was the support Sebastian and his friends had offered me. Sure, Michael cracked more boob jokes than I could tolerate at times, and Jacob tended to let his eyes wander to my cleavage whenever we spoke, but all four stood by my side throughout the ordeal. It had been a long time since I'd had a group I truly considered friends, but at this point, there was no denying what they had become. Even Jude, who usually kept his distance from Sebastian's friends had started hanging out with us more often. It was nice, it was strange, and it sure as hell wasn't something I had ever expected to happen.

The six of us were currently gathered around Sebastian's car after the last bell of the day. Jude was standing behind me with his arms wrapped around my waist, head resting on my shoulder as he chatted about the latest buzz circulating around the school. The other four were discussing where everyone was going for the upcoming long weekend, but I'd already tuned out their conversation and was entertaining myself by toying with Jude's caramel bangs. It wasn't until someone's phone rang and Sebastian swore loudly that I finally looked back to the others.

"What's wrong?" I questioned, taking in his peeved expression. "Who's calling you?"

He put a finger up to silence me before putting the phone to his ear. "Yeah?"

I frowned as I watched his shoulders stiffen, realizing that whoever was on the other line wasn't saying anything he wanted to hear.

"She's what?" he seethed after listening for a moment. "Are you serious? What time? ... Yeah, yeah, I'll be there soon. Tell Mom to set an extra place, I'm bringing Taliana with me. ... Don't even try it, William." He hung up a few seconds later. "Asshole. I can't believe we're even related."

"That was dear William, I'm assuming," Michael said, straightening up from leaning against his Ferrari. "Haven't heard from him in a while. Is he still up at Yale?"

Sebastian scowled. "Not at the moment. He randomly showed up at home yesterday, just in time for some huge dinner party our mom's throwing tonight." His gaze flicked to me, the dark blue depths losing some of their animosity. "Before you even ask, no, you have no choice in this. You're coming with me."

Damn it.

"Why?" I groaned. "I'm really not up for socializing tonight."

"Too bad. Blair is going to be there because my mother still loves her, and possibly Zak since Marcus and his family always come to these stupid things."

I glanced to Marcus, who was standing to Jude's left. "I resent you for being related to that bastard."

"I resent myself for it too," he muttered, ruffling his dark curls. "He gives our entire family a bad name."

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