08 - waver

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"I can't believe we're here again." Leslie's baffled tone was barely audible with the wind blowing around Esmé's ears.

"Just a few drinks," Esmé assured her for the hundredth time, glancing at her friend with a half-smile, hugging her coat tightly around her body as they approached the notorious pub. "Nothing else."

"Why are you making this a big deal, my Lady?" Leslie huffed, crossing her arms as she stopped in her tracks. They had arrived in front of the pub already. There was no point in arguing.

Esmé whirled around annoyed, "It's freezing!" She exclaimed, pulling her friend, "Can you hurry up?"

"No," Leslie said, gaining a loud groan from her Lady. What a thickheaded woman.

"It's not like I can break off the engagement if I want to - and you know that."

"But we'll find a way out of this."

"How, Leslie?" Now Esmé was the one to cross her arms defensively, "I don't want it to happen but there is no way of getting out. So, can you just let me apprehend this with some alcohol?"

They stared at each other, having nothing left to say.

Golda had been excited about throwing a small dinner party to celebrate with families they were close to, preparing everything for the last two days - Esmé's dress, the decorations for the dining hall, music. Just everything. It was only an engagement party. But all those preparations pushed the scale up, making Esmé more nervous.

Meaning it was not just a simple engagement. For her family, it was much more. And knowing that her father was marrying her off because of a business deal he had with the Winstons was sickening.

"Only a few drinks." Leslie gave in with a deep sigh when her Lady insisted. And that was the only thing Esmé needed at this moment - people letting her do whatever the heck she wanted to do.

"Alright, only a few drinks," Leslie exclaimed, pointing her finger at her Lady. "Let's go inside, my Lady." She pushed her slightly from behind, "Your nose is turning red."

Esmé opened the doors to the White Shore with smile tucking at her lips, starting to feel familiar with everything the more she came here. It was past 8 pm and visitors slowly began to gather, filling up all the tables. Clinking glasses, cheerful laughter and jazzy pieces playing in the background.

Leslie spotted an empty table when Charlotte approached them with a surprised yet delighted expression.

"Lady Esmé!" She smiled brightly, her red hair hidden under a chic hat. "Leslie," She nodded at her approvingly, "welcome."

Esmé returned her smile, looking around to see that the table they had spotted was occupied already. "You want me to arrange you a table?" Charlotte asked. "Or are you here for William again? He's-"

"No, we'd like a table." Esmé cut her off, not wanting this conversation to drift off, "and something light to drink." William had caused her enough headache the last time she saw him. She didn't come here to see him.

Charlotte nodded, telling a waiter to prepare a new table. Then she rushed behind the counter, ordering another woman to pour their drinks, "Two Highballs."

Sitting down, Esmé leaned against the table, resting her chin on her hands, examining her surroundings. It was indeed like a movie. A gripping sight to see - women in tempting attire with low cleavages and exposed legs. Men in loose shirts with suspenders, messy hair and red cheeks from too much drinking.

The group of people next to them played a drinking game. Immersed in their own world, Esmé watched as a short blonde-haired woman leaned down to whisper something to the man whose lap she was sitting on.

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