53 | Take Me Home Tonight

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author's note: make sure you've read chapter "52 | The Fairytale Continues" first! it explains everything about these new chapters!

Two hours into the party, Sebastian found himself pleasantly buzzed as he watched Taliana do shots and commit more embarrassing acts of "dancing"

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Two hours into the party, Sebastian found himself pleasantly buzzed as he watched Taliana do shots and commit more embarrassing acts of "dancing". God, she was so awkward, but damn if it wasn't endearing. He couldn't help but think about how much had changed in such a short amount of time, because if you'd asked him what he thought of Taliana Avilla this time last year, he'd have stuck with his old standby of hating her guts. Now? Well, that was clearly no longer the case, but all that had gotten him was a mean case of heartbreak and a sick sense of hope that refused to die.

He must have been scowling because Jude appeared at his side with a drink and a placating expression a moment later. "Deep thoughts?"

"No, just stupid ones," he sighed, wishing he could tear his attention away from Taliana.

"I mean, nothing new there."

Sebastian's scowl deepened, not amused by the banter tonight. "Oh, gee, thanks."

Jude's expression turned serious as he sat down next to Sebastian on the couch, his eyes moving from Sebastian's face to Taliana spinning around like a giddy kid. "Thinking too much about your not-girlfriend?"

Sebastian groaned. "Am I really that obvious?"

"You always are," Jude teased. "But you just have to be patient. Give her the time she needs to figure things out. You put her through a lot of shit, so this is the absolute least that you owe her."

As much as Sebastian hated to admit it, Jude's advice was spot on. The guy might have even looked sage had he not been sipping his bright pink drink out of a curly straw.

"I don't like being patient," Sebastian sulked, not about to confess to Jude that he was right.

"Yeah, I'm aware. But look, I think she'll come back to you. She just has to figure that out on her own without you constantly pushing for it."

Sebastian was momentarily distracted by Talia's laugh, loud and raucous and free. Her smile lit up her entire face, softening her sharp bone structure and thawing her icy blue eyes.

It took a moment, but he finally glanced back at Jude. "You really think so?"

"Yeah, I do. But she's gotta think that getting back with you is her idea. You know how our girl is—nobody tells her what to do."

Sebastian huffed out a laugh. "Very true." He gave Jude a light punch on the shoulder. "Thanks, man."

Jude beamed. "You know I'm always here to be your little ray of sunshine. Except when somebody needs to rain on your parade, then I'll gladly step up to do that job too."

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