Chapter 15

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We finally reached Hugh's house after getting back home, changing into a midnight blue dress. I paired it with a light yellow cardigan and thick stockings to keep me warm for later. Pierce had also changed into some dress pants that he paired with a burgundy long sleeved shirt and a black tie. He looked deliciously striking as usual.

Borrowing Ed's car, we had to drive over to Hugh's since the weather was getting colder throughout the night. It had also been a long day for us. My feet were already tired and I certainly had put up an appetite for Hugh's cooking.

We stood in front of Hugh's house, pressing the doorbell to let them know that we had arrived. Katie opened the door after a minute, holding Emma in her arms. "Hey Katie, hi Emma baby." I cooed, pinching her chubby cheeks. She just giggled at my attempt to squish her face.

"Hey guys, everyone is already out back. I'm just going to settle Emma down." Katie beamed as she signaled us to come in.

The Lawson's house was a typical suburban home. Walls were cream colored and were accented with dark walnut wood furniture. Picture frames from different years hung on one side of the wall. I had a picture up with Hugh during prom night and a few others with his family during the holidays. It felt really homey since this was where I stayed most of my days in high school. A few things had changed ever since Hunter moved out from this house. Then a few years later, Hugh had left with me to New York.

Although tonight, everyone was here and I could feel the life that once surrounded this house again.

When we got out to the backyard, a fire was lit at the center. Picnic tables surrounded the campfire to keep us warm during dinner. I couldn't believe they were doing a BBQ in this fall weather. To my right, Hunter was manning the grill. Hank was sitting by the fire enjoying a bottle of beer while Caroline displayed some plates and utensils on an empty table. Hugh was nowhere in sight, probably in the kitchen.

"You guys made it!" Caroline beamed when she saw us walk out the back porch.

"Coming through," Hugh emerged from the back, holding a huge plate of raw meat. He smiled at us then called out Pierce's attention. Placing the meat aside, he approached him. I saw Pierce smiled sheepishly at Hugh as they exchanged a few words. Was there some secret why-is-everyone-friends-with-Pierce cult? I couldn't recall them being friendly with one another.

My brows were creased as I approached them, "I guess ignoring your best friend for a guy is okay."

"I'm not trying to hit on your boyfriend. Chill!" He laughed, ignoring my annoyed expression.

"What?" I choked on my saliva. Pierce chuckled lightly. I glared at them both, getting flustered on Pierce being called my boyfriend. That was an absurd notion. Looking at them both, they shared something that I had no knowledge about.

Did Pierce find out?

"The food awaits your arrival." Hugh began to drag me to the tables.

The inkling I had died down when Hugh presented me a fresh plate of grilled steak. Dinner was enjoyable especially with everyone here tonight. The grown-ups were talking about current events from the news that they had recently watched while the boys, Hunter, Hugh and Pierce, were mindlessly chatting away at one corner with a cold beer in their hands.

I was observing Pierce. He was relatively getting along with the Lawson brothers. It just didn't add up for me.

"He's a catch, isn't he?" Katie chirped from beside me.

"What are you talking about?" I turned to Katie, focusing my attention to her.

She grinned, "I'm talking about Pierce." Her eyes gleamed with excitement for the latest gossip which unfortunately revolved around me.

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