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I walk up to Henry and stand next to him. I give Carmen a look that should tell her to back off, but she just smiles and takes her sweet time to remove her hand from his arm. 

"Ah hello... Linda, was it?" she says in a sweet voice that makes me want to twist her wrist or inflict other pain on her. 

I narrow my eyes. "It's Lauren. Hello, Carmen." 

"Yes, Lauren, sure. I was just asking Henry about you." 

I look at Henry. He shrugs and looks at me apologetically. I'm not sure how long she's been here talking to Henry, and probably also flirting with him. The way she looks at him is enough to make me want to punch her pretty face.  

Liam, who just returned from the dancefloor too, joins us and looks just as surprised to see Carmen.  

When she sees him, she shrieks and throws herself at him. "Liam! What a pleasant surprise! I didn't know you'd be here too. How are you?" 

Liam returns her hug but darts a confused look at Henry. "Carmen! I didn't expect to see you here either. I'm good. How about you?" 

She lets go of him and gives him a sweet smile. "I'm great. I lived in Florida for a while with my sister. But now I'm back and glad I found you guys again." She directs her smile at Henry and puts her hand on his arm again. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. 

One... two... three... four... five... Calm down, Lauren, don't do anything stupid!  

I open my eyes and notice she is looking at me—and still smiling. But it's not the sweet smile she gave Henry. No, it's a wicked smile. And if I didn't know any better, I'd say it's a declaration of war. 

"Wow, Florida, that's nice." Liam comes closer to her, puts his arm around her shoulder, and points to me. "Since you've just gotten back—have you met Henry's girlfriend, Lauren?" 

I want to burst out laughing when she glares at me. She obviously didn't expect that. And I want to hug Liam for telling her.  

Henry sighs next to me. "Carmen, could I talk to you for a sec? Alone?" 

Now I stare at him open-mouthed. What? 

"Sure." Her evil smile is back when she follows Henry outside. I look after them, still trying to figure out what just happened. 

"Don't worry, Lauren. He's gonna tell her to back off," Liam tries to reassure me, which I am glad about. 

"Is he?" I cross my arms in front of my chest, feeling a little uneasy. 

He nods. "Of course. Henry told me she had shown up again. She tried to call him a few times, but he told her he wasn't interested." 

I stare at him with my mouth agape. "A few times? Are you kidding me? Why didn't Henry tell me?" 

Liam shrugs. "Probably because it's nothing to worry about. At least not for you." 

I raise my eyebrows. "Why? Does Henry worry?" 

Liam sighs and gives my shoulder a reassuring squeeze. "Stop pondering. Everything is all right. She's not posing a threat to you." 

I give him a weak smile and take a deep breath. "Okay, thanks, Liam." 

"Sure. Do you wanna dance?" 

He points to the dancefloor, but I shake my head. "No thanks. I'll wait for Henry." 

Liam nods. "Okay. Can I at least get you another drink?" 

I smile at him. "Sure. I'd like another beer, please." 

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