Cumberland Baby

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I slipped into the gauzy black dress. It had a full skirt that reached below my knees, and a structured, almost corset like top. The neckline was square, and the straps tied in bows at the shoulders. All and all, it was quite elegant.

I looked over to see India in a slinky, champagne colored dress silk dress that was draped in a cowl neckline, and hugged her curves beautifully. Ivy's dark green silk wrap dress paired nicely with her skin tone.

The three of us looked amazing as we sauntered out into the hallway, where the boys were waiting for us.

"Ok! Let's go!" I announced, not thinking twice and I walked towards the door.

Caspian scoffed as he turned around to face us, "Took you long enough.'

I stick out my tongue in frustration, not carrying that I most definitely looked like a child. Matteo rolled his eyes at me and grabbed India by the waist and started walking towards the door. She turned around, looked over his shoulder at me and Ivy, and decided to make very crude motions with her hands.

"Babe?" Matteo said, looking at her puzzled.

"I was just waving goodbye!" She said innocently, and looked up at him with puppy-dog eyes. I had to bite my lip to refrain from laughing.

"Shall we?" I heard a voice say close to my ear. I turned to see Rowen standing close behind me, his messy hair combed well. He looked insanely handsome in his tux, I couldn't help but blush when I glanced over at him.

"Of course," I said, taking the arm he was offering. I don't think we were necessarily dating, but I hadn't forgotten the other day in Caspian's room and I doubt he had either.

A limo was occupying the entirety of the street in front of the house we were staying at. It seemed a bit cheesy to me, and not exactly what I wanted in life. But, I smiled and Rowen held the door open and we all piled in.

I sat beside Rowen, and he put his arm around me, as if claiming me as his. I couldn't help but lean into his side and smile at him. I took a deep breath and inhaled the cologne. God, he smelled good.

The car ride was short, and we rolled up to Hyde Park. There was a huge white tent in the center of it, and paparazzi everywhere. Multiple other cars like ours had already been parked around the area.

I couldn't help but shake from nervousness from the realization that Caspian truly hadn't been joking when he said it was some big A-list party. I was aware that they were wealthy, but this seemed insane.

Our car rolled to a stop, and a man opened the door. Bright light flashed, blinding me. I white gloved hand and reached into the car, helping us out. I took it tenitavely, and stepped out into a mess of shots and calls.

I felt Rowen reach around, and offer me his arm. I took it, and looked up into his eyes. I felt a sense of relief flood through me as his eyes softened.

We followed Matteo and India, with Caspian, Ivy and Laurent in tow. I tried to look as nice and put together as I could, but all I felt was a sense of urgency that I had some sort of piece of food in my teeth or something. We stepped inside the huge tent, and it was insanely beautiful. Sparkling chandeliers littered the ceiling, but they were nothing compared to the people in the room. The light bounced of all the jewels covering everyone.

"I'll be back, would you like something to drink?" I heard Rowen ask, but all I could manage was a shake of the head.

I felt like my dress suddenly became a whole sweater, and itches like hell. It felt like the volume of the room rose to unprecedented heights, and the heat began to rise slowly. I clenched my jaw and tried to focus as it felt like everyone in the room's eyes landed on me. They would be able to see every imperfection, every blemish. They could see my arms which would never be thin enough, they could see my wait wasn't small enough, that my feet must be too big, and my hair and skin too dull.

I glanced up to see if I could find Ivy or India or any of the boys, but the room was filled with unfamiliar faces. I forced my eyes to the floor once more, and moved towards the back of the room.

I was close to bursting into tears when I heard a soothing voice near me.

"Hey, Nola, are you alright?" I looked you to meet Rowen's green eyes searching my face. I was unable to speak, or even odd, but I know my face displayed every sign of weakness I had. What's wrong with me? I'm the girl who dances on tables, but I can't handle a simple dinner party?

"Let's get out of here," Rowen's voice was strong and assertive, like his hand on the small or my back, leading me to another door, not the one we entered from. I stayed close to him, not even bothering to look up and tell Ivy or India where I was going.

It wasn't until we made it out into the street when I felt myself begin to breathe heavily in relief. I didn't think before wrapping my arms around Rowen, soaking up whatever it was that made me calm enough to not actually break down in tears.

I missed Nashville. I missed it with all my heart. I was used to traveling for long periods of time, but for some reason, that one party triggered some level of realization in my mind. Deep down in my soul, I was a Cumberland baby. And that was so deeply entwined in my identity, I didn't know I missed it until I stopped feeling like myself.

"Hey hey hey, it's ok," he said, and slowly rubbed my back and I held on to him for dear life.

I felt a sudden wave of guilt wash over me. "I'm sorry," I said, into his chest.

"Don't be, it's not exactly my scene anyway," every word he said made it a little easier to breath at a normal pace.

I pulled away, quickly wiping my eyes and adjusting my hair. I couldn't help but laugh a little as I looked up at him.

"Come on, I have someplace I rather be, would you care to come?"

"Of course," I signed, my voice not hiding any of my ragged feeling. 

Hi! I miss home- I haven't been home in two months because of quarantine.

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