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| chapter song: flashlight - jessie j |
| dedication: dangerous-society - for the pretty cover <3 |


My eyes were glued on the two people ahead of me, and even though my head was screaming for me to look away, my eyes stayed put. A gasp escaped my mouth when I saw the guy lean in closer, the side of his head covering the girl just after I caught a glimpse of her face. I didn't miss the bright smile that appeared on her face before it was obscured by her kisser.

I should have looked away then, since from a very young age it was drilled into me that staring was rude. But how could I look away? Especially with what I was witnessing and - regardless of the fact that it was happening right before me - I still couldn't decipher exactly what was happening.

Link must have felt the urge to throw salt at the wound because I heard him speak in my ears again. "That's Brandon right there," he pointed out with his voice and my heart clenched tightly behind my ribs.

I breathed out through my nose loudly, suddenly feeling too beat and annoyed. Because I always had this nagging feeling that something was going on. But I would always push it to the back of my head because I was waist deep in the illusion that we had the perfect relationship. I should have listened to my gut when he started acting up a few months ago but I feared I would lose the only thing that kept me sane. That made me forget about all the other things that were going on.

But damn, did it sting like a bitch to be slapped to the side. At my own Father's company anniversary nonetheless. I yanked myself out of Link's grip and made a bolt for it, suddenly feeling sick to my stomach and really embarrassed. I dodged the couples that were twirling around the dance floor and managed to get to the wall quicker than I thought. I placed my hand against it, to hold myself up and threw my head up.

The ceiling looked magnificent, with small mirrors plastered on top and scattered around in a way that it caught as much reflections of the people mingling on the floor. I closed my eyes when I heard my name being called and hoped that, just for a second, everyone would leave me the hell alone.

"Orianna!" someone carried on yelling and I opened my eyes to see a young brunette girl rushing towards me. I furrowed my eyebrows at her as she approached me cautiously.

"Your Mother asked me to collect you."

Collect me?

I didn't say anything to that. I wasn't entirely sure whether it was a good idea to open my mouth since I was sure nothing polite would come out of it. I breathed out heavily and pushed a curl out of my face. "Alright, I'll be on my way."

When the girl didn't turn around and leave, I questioned her with a raise of my eyebrow.

She shifted on her foot before she answered me. "She... err... she wants you to be right behind me when... err..."

I fought the urge to storm to my Mother and throttle her. Did she really get this small girl to collect me back? I couldn't believe her but regardless, I stormed past the girl and back to where I left my Mother, Father and Link's Father.

I spotted her the minute I managed to disentangle myself from the dancing couples and back to the area where people where mingling and drinking. My Mother was standing with a woman now I recognised within a second and I felt as though a hand reached inside my gut and twisted it around.

The woman spotted me first and I flinched inside when she threw a small smile my way. My Mother, who seemed annoyed someone distracted her away from the conversation, drifted her eyes towards me. She fired me an appalled look she always did as I slowly approached them.

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