Chapter Nine

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Turns out I sprained my ankle due to my clumsy accident. Thankfully it's nothing too big; I don't have to wear a cast for the rest of the vacation. The sprain is tiny, and the lodge doctor says it will heal completely in a matter of a day or two.

I felt more humiliated than hurt as Declan lifted me into his arms and brought me straight down back to the lodge, Delia and Elliot in tow. I assured all of them that they could leave me alone and go back to ski with everyone else, but they insisted on staying while the doctor assessed my injury. I apologized profusely to Declan for missing out on hanging with his friends, but he waved my apology away with a strong hand and stayed for the entire examination. Delia and Elliot watched on like concerned parents witnessing their only child having a doctor checkup for the first time. To say I was red and embarrassed would be a sorry understatement.

I had to stay in bed for the rest of the day, my bruised ankle sitting on a throw pillow, and the Montgomery's coming in and out of the room to keep me company. Catherine wept when she saw me in bed and wrapped me in a hug, wishing for me to get over the excruciating pain—which was non-existent—very soon. Samuel practically had to pry her from me after a solid five-minute hug and her emotional crying. I blushed for the rest of their kind visit, but I can't lie about how amazing it felt to be cared about. I thought after losing the three prominent people in my life, I wouldn't feel loved again, truly. But these people... these people are the closest thing to a family I have. The irony that they are my ex-boyfriend's family is forever not lost on me.

When the clock beside me says it's eight o'clock, I unwrap the shawl Catherine laid over me before leaving half an hour ago and use the wall to hop into the bathroom to get ready for dinner. Despite her protests about getting the bed rest the doctor instructed me, I waved her off and promised I'd have dinner with them. I was rude to them this morning after my phone call with her stepson; I want to make it up to her and the rest of the family. Taking a shower on one foot proves to be difficult and tiring, but I manage ten minutes before exiting the large shower. Hopping back into the room, with a fresh towel around my body, I go to the vanity and begin my hair and light makeup.

The room is deathly silent after I finish blow-drying my hair, making it easy to get lost in thought. I hate that I let myself get angry at Blue, influencing me enough with his ignorance and rudeness to hurt myself. He got inside my head, stuck under my skin. I'd been doing such a surprisingly good job of keeping him out of my thoughts leading up to last night. But, of course, the second I was beyond drunk, he was the first person to call. It was like all of the lies, the hurt that consumed me, they all vanished from my drunk mind and I only felt the longing to hear his voice. I was left alone with the painful sorrow of missing him, and I was desperate to close plug the ever-growing hole in my chest, even if that meant dealing with the inevitable consequences.

Sighing, I focus on painting my lips a glossy red. I don't think I've ever worn anything red on my face. The bold color always scared me, but maybe I need to get out of my comfort zone. I've already started by deleting Blue's number from my phone and shutting off my phone indefinitely. To match my bold agenda, I put on mascara, put on eyeliner, the straightest my naturally shaky hands can make it, and use a light shade of red blush over my cheeks. When I look into the mirror, I'm taken aback by how different I look... more mature?

Shocked by my look so far, I walk over to the closet where I've put out the rest of my outfit earlier, bored and restricted to my room, and pull out a few options. After examining each one, I settle for a cute white dress with cherry patterns. The neckline is sweetheart and the lower half of the dress is flowy, while the top half of the dress accentuates my chest which makes me a tad uncomfortable, but tonight is about pushing beyond my own boundaries. I slip on a pair of shiny red flats and grab my white shoulder bag and put the little stuff inside.

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