Chapter 23

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She's dressed in a large, elegant cut-out dress, displaying her perfect body whilst he's classic, vintage in a black and white tux. I've never seen a more beautiful couple and it rips my heart in two. My eyes drift to their hands entwined and I exhale, looking back up.

"Hello."

Casey speaks first. "Genevieve... Quite an evening you've thrown here."

"Thank you." I turn, gesturing to my boss. "This is my boss, Mrs. Monroe."

Casey smiles wide, looking at Jessica. "Oh my goodness, It's a pleasure to meet you. I've always been a fan-"

I look from Casey's face, scared at what what i'll see... Tristan staring right at me. 

Uncomfortable, I look down immediately, hating the fact that my heart is practically about to rip from my chest. The bartender hands Jessica her drink and she takes it, seeming uninterested in Casey's conversation.

"That's lovely, dear... Enjoy your night." She stares at me and I immediately know it's a warning. She doesn't want me doing anything stupid. I look back to them, raising my eyebrows.

Casey inhales, gesturing with her hands. "I wanted to apologize for the way I acted- you know, in the apartment... I was upset."

Is she for real? "... Uh huh."

"It's actually a blessing this happened because it's only been better for our relationship." She wraps her other hand around his arm, looking up at him. He doesn't say a word but smiles slightly. I nod, chuckling when he doesn't answer.

"Yeah, you both definitely deserve each other... I have to see to my guests. Have a good evening."

I turn, not bothering for a drink- not bothering to stop and greet anyone. My palms are sweaty and trembling. I head through the hallways of hung art, looking around desperately for Trisha but she's nowhere to be found.

"Shit," I whisper to myself, breathless. I feel like I'm having a panic attack. How could he do this to me? I mean, he's a low son of a bitch but coming to my exhibit with her is horrifying.

I hear Jessica begin her introduction to make our way back to the main hall for dinner. I bite my lip, watching as people clear from the hallways. I'm alone within three minutes and I close my eyes, practicing calming exercises in my head.

"Gen?"

I open them, seeing Trisha before me, staring at me as if I were a freak. I move closer to her, grabbing her arm.

"He's here... Tristan's here... With her."

The look on her face could kill. "That fucking bastard! Where is he?"

I tug on her arm, shaking my head. "No. No, don't do anything. My job is on the line."

"Well, let's go."

"I can't. I threw this party."

She huffs, shaking her head. "Alright, we're gonna get through this night, together and then go get smashed back at your place. Sound good?"

I swallow, unable to breathe normally. "Alright."

...

Turns out the showstopper wasn't Monet... It was Casey Mathews. Well, Casey Mathews, me and Tristan all in one room together. More people looked at us than they did at the work. During dinner, I kept my conversation tight with all the people around me, forcing myself to not look up.

I felt his gaze on me and it made me curious. In fact, his actions tonight made me curious. He brought her here... I don't even know how they got in without an invitation... But he brought her here I thought to spite me but he's not acting like that at all. He looks genuinely embarrassed. Maybe his plan backfired? I don't know.

After closing the evening, Jessica walks up to me as I step down from the stage, a full drink in her hand. I set the raffle tickets onto the table, nodding.

"Success, right?"

"Yes, very good. The profits were more than we were expecting so well done."

"Wow... All these niceties... While you're still happy with me, I think I deserve a raise." I smirk, raising my brows and she laughs.

"Don't push your luck."

I shrug, grabbing the tickets to put them into the metal box. I nod at Ray, relieving him.

"He wants to speak with you."

I freeze, my fingers stop trying to lock the box as I process her words. I force myself to turn, eyes wide. "What?"

"He came up to me, not even two minutes ago and asked if you would meet him in the private lounge."

"But that's not in use."

"Which is why I suggested it," she utters, looking over at me. I stare at her, mouth gaped slightly.

I shake my head, grabbing my clutch from beneath the table. "He's with Casey. I'm not going."

"He went there alone."

At her words, I stop, closing my eyes.

"I'm just relaying the information... Have a good evening. I'll see you next week."

I watch her go, walking over to her silver-haired husband, unsure of what to do. Terrified at the possibility of what he'll say. He probably wants to clear his conscience... This may end only bad for me but unable to stop myself, I walk over to Trisha who's waiting for me at the table and bend down.

"I have to check something upstairs. I'll be back in a couple minutes. Are you okay?"

"Yeah. Go, I'm fine."

I nod, leaving my clutch with her and turn, hurrying towards the lounge. 

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