Chapter 28 - It's What?

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Richard narrowed his eyes at Mia who sat at the bar with a stranger. He could see her laugh and inch forward, her elbow rubbing his arm. It made the alcohol in Richard's system go straight to his head.

"Who is that?" he spat. "Who is that?"

Kit wasn't listening as he watched his wife from afar, noting how beautiful she looked in her lace gown. Rose was busy entertaining her bridesmaids and dancing with them, enjoying anew as a missus.

"What?" Kit finally responded.

"Who is that!" Richard repeatedly loudly, almost a shout. He stood up and pointed at the bar.

"Christ, calm down," Emilia scolded. She tugged on the cuffs of his sleeve to anchor him back into the chair. "It's probably one of her mates."

Richard's expression turned cold. His lips were pressed together and only opened for another drink. His eyes were frosty and threatening, mercilessly bitter. His jaw was clenched and rigid, and sharp, like the edge of a knife.

He shook his head. "I'm her only mate here."

Knowing it wasn't very proper, Kit found Richard's reaction absolutely hilarious. He couldn't help but relieve a chuckle with every sip he took of his own drink, and Emilia would return the same sentiment with a playful wink. They actually enjoyed drunk Richard, but they were nervous to see how he'd mix with the presence of Mia, the woman he unconditionally loved.

"Fuck," Richard mumbled. He looked at the man carefully as Mia stood up from the bar and motioned for her friend to do the same. "I know that bloke."

It wasn't easy to forget the classmate Mia had, who held a nickname so similar that it went well with hers: Mav and Mia. Mav and Mia.

Maverick Hughes and Amelia Cunningham, a voice in his head reminded him.

It was a pairing Richard openly despised. He remembered when Mia had met Maverick in a random class she got stuck in after an error in her enrollment. They clicked instantly, and for awhile, people forgot about the childhood friends, Richard and Mia.

For awhile it became the schoolmates, Mav and Mia. Then it became the close friends, Mav and Mia. Eventually, it had almost surpassed Richard's title: the best friends, Mav and Mia.

Luckily for the actor, the odds had always been in his favor, but he wasn't so sure about now.

Mia approached Richard's table with her cheeks rosy red and her dress still damp along the chest. She brought Maverick forward and introduced him.

"Richard!" she nearly squealed. "You remember Mav? Maverick Hughes?"

Richard forced a smile and extended a hand. "How could I forget?" he mumbled.

Maverick shook his hand, and felt Richard's grasp become tighter and tighter until Mia spoke again. When his palm was finally freed, he lightly rubbed it, confused by the unpleasant gesture.

"I actually go by Eric now," Maverick clarified. "But no worries, Mi. You can still call me Mav all you want."

She giggled. "As it should be. Oh, and this is Emilia, and of course, Kit," Mia continued.

Emilia shook his hand quickly before standing up. "Excuse me," she simply said, running to the restroom. She had been holding in her bladder, waiting for Mia to return with some water for Richard, which had also failed.

Maverick and Kit shook hands as well.

"Yes, I think we've met before. You were at Rose's birthday last year," Kit said.

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