--- 9 ---

*Arianna Lancaster*

My hands and feet were going colder as the moments passed. Nervous? I guess. Chase’s parents were coming over. Both parents. At dinner. It wasn’t something that had happened before. In fact even if we had dinner with them, it was so long ago I don’t remember much and that was at Chase’s father’s estate.

Those were the days Chase and I were like the enemies in a battlefield.

So yeah, it was different now. Having Chase’s parents over our place for a family dinner was kinda nerve cracking. But even a bit exciting. Junior and Louisia were joining us. So I won’t be totally alone. And food was taken care of, and Chase was besides me and Junior would be there and Louisia too—

“You’re doing it again.” Chase called out joining me in the lounge.

“Doing what again?”

He butted himself on the coffee table opposite me. “That thing you do when you’re nervous.”

“I don’t do anything.” I denied giving him a smile. If he can tell by looking at me, anyone can. But then Chase knows me better than anyone. He took my hands and fiddled with my ring. “Do I look nervous?”

He looked up at me, a smile tucked at the corner or his lips. “Do you feel nervous?”

It was a typical Chase-Way to tackle me out of my situation and it surprisingly it worked. I nodded slightly, gulping the dry lump in my throat.

“Well, I can’t expect you’re not. After all it’s my father who’s coming over. Who is not nervous here?” he looked down at Milo who was quietly sitting at my foot. “Are you nervous?” Milo barked. “See?Now ask me am I nervous?”

I raised my eyebrow but did what he asked. “Are you nervous?”

Chase let out a series of howls –which sounded immensely like Milo’s and grinned at me. I laughed out so hard until my stomach started aching.

“Feeling better?”

“Super.” I gasped for air, wiping the tinniest of tears that oozed out at the corner of my eye.

“Great.” Chase grinned leaning closer to me staring right in my eyes. His teal-grey eyes twinkled as he whispered. “But I was hoping I’d have to use the other way to make you feel alright.”

I bit my cheek hiding my smile. “No time for that.” And that was the ‘making-out’ session which could make even the worse thing alright. As much as I would love to take that kind of help to keep my nerves in control, I didn’t want to get caught by Mr. Lancaster. Last time that happened, it was our one month anniversary and we were doing it openly, sensually and with the strawberry cream. It was pretty embarrassing when Mr. Lancaster had walked in on us –he was embarrassed himself and I would give anything to take that moment of extreme mortification back. My cheeks colored even at the thought of that time.

“Then let us stand up to give a fabulous reception to my father.” Chase pulled me up smirking deeply.

I narrowed my eyes at him. “Was that supposed to be sarcastic?”

“Not at all! I’m hundred percent non-sarcastic.” He grinned widely, showing his perfect white teeth.

Yeah right, I thought. He’s kidding about being fine but even if he is, he’s doing it so perfectly it seems almost real…

*Chase Lancaster*

I’m not ready, I thought. Not for this at least. Even though I had tried to calm my shaky nerves and told myself to be a man and face my father like one, I couldn’t help but feeling the uneasiness in the pit of my stomach.