11 | SERA'S TWENTY-THIRD BIRTHDAY

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( CHAPTER ELEVEN; SERA'S TWENTY THIRD BIRTHDAY )

( CHAPTER ELEVEN; SERA'S TWENTY THIRD BIRTHDAY )

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★☆

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"You guys didn't have to do this for me, you know I hate my birthday," Sera frowned, looking around at the swarm of people in the bar, many of which she recognised from work or university. Shuffling uncomfortably in her seat at the head of the long table, she was itching to be at home. It was a Friday night, and Murder She Wrote was on television, which meant she'd have to miss yet another episode.

"You need to stop being so scared of getting older, Sera," Angela, Sera's step-sister poked her side and Sera flashed her a quick glare. Angela raised a thinly plucked eyebrow, an irritated expression hinting at her tanned face. "Don't be a bitch about it, we've put in effort to make your big day special."

"Sorry," Sera muttered apologetically, looking around the bar before running a hand through her frizzy blonde locks. The New York humidity wasn't doing her any favours, and the blasting air conditioning in the establishment made goosebumps rise on her skin. Pulling her long sleeves over her hands, she reached for her chilled apple and strawberry cider. "Just the birthday blues, I guess. Have you seen Tony?"

"Loverboy?" Angela grinned and the mood suddenly shifted to a lighter one, Sera releasing a soft laugh at the nickname her sister had given her boyfriend of two years. "He hasn't spoken to you at all today?"

"He called me yesterday and said he'd be here, but I haven't seen him," Sera shrugged, and Angela chuckled, moving her arm across the blonde's shoulders and squeezing her tight. Sera glanced down at her sister, an unsure expression on her face. "You don't think he's gonna do something, do you?"

"I wouldn't be surprised," Angela mused cheekily, causing Sera's eyes to widen a fraction. She knew Tony was one for making scenes and lavish events, which was something that Sera really wasn't. "I think it's sweet. That boy really does love you, you know."

"He's too young to know what love is," Sera denied and Angela rolled her eyes at the woman's pessimistic outlook on almost everything. It was a well known fact that Sera barely ever told people she loved them, as she thought it was empty words. In all her years, she had never uttered the three words to anybody but her family members, and even those times were special occasions. She briefly remembered saying something of the sort when she was absolutely hammered, but she'd never repeated it since. Checking her watch, she sighed and began standing up, catching the attention of her friends. "Hey, guys, it's getting late. I'm gonna go home, okay?"

"No, you can't!" Bobby protested. The blond haired man, as well as Luca and Micah all stood up to keep her in the bar. "Tony isn't here yet! He never forgets your birthday!"

Sera couldn't help but chuckle. Though it seemed like she didn't care that Tony was missing her 'special' day, she couldn't help but feel a little hurt that he hadn't shown up since they arrived at seven-thirty that evening -- it was now nearly eleven. She was genuinely growing tired, not just because of her lack of sleep. Tony, as much as he cared for her, kept blowing her off and she was continuously finding him at clubs when he said he was doing business. She didn't want to be that girlfriend, but she was getting sick of hearing about his wild adventures he was going on with his friends when he couldn't even find time to visit her when he was in town. She was pretty sure he was meant to be coming over from Venice, but she barely knew anymore. They were polar opposites, but somehow they had lasted longer than she thought they would.

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