16 | Sibling Rivalry

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"Isn't she the girl who--"

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"Isn't she the girl who--"


"But how come you're--"

"We got over our differences."

"Didn't she--"

"Yes, she did. But I'm over that."

"But didn't you--"

"Yes, but that black eye healed long ago, and her heart did the same."

"But what about--"

"Yes, my cheek is better now. She feels quite bad about that one."

"I thought you said--"

"I know I said I would hate her for eternity, but things change."

Sebastian found himself fielding questions left and right about his new relationship with his sworn enemy, and so far it didn't look like anyone was buying it.

Sitting to his left, Stick Girl was politely answering the questions that his family fired at her, and kept giving him loving -- yet slightly panicked -- looks whenever he managed to catch her eye. In a way, he was glad he had picked her for the job since she held up well against pressure, but then again, if he had picked literally anyone else, his family wouldn't have been asking so many questions. Hell, they probably wouldn't have said anything if he had suddenly proclaimed he was gay and brought a dude to dinner. But he had already decided to make Stick Girl his fake girlfriend and there was no getting out of this now.

The inquiries ceased for a few moments when the food arrived, but Grandma Stanton was the first to resume the interrogation.

"Do tell," she began as she set down her half empty glass of red wine. Unlike everyone else, she was still working on her first, while the rest were already on their second or third -- save for Nana Phillips who was now on her fifth glass. "When was it exactly that you two got over your... differences."

Sebastian glanced down at Taliana, who had just looked up at him with wide eyes. They hadn't gone over anything beforehand and he certainly hadn't prepared any answers, even though he should have known it was bound to be asked sooner or later.

"I was wondering when that question was going to come up," Taliana answered amusedly, gaining a chuckle from a few people at the table.

If Sebastian hadn't known better, he never would have realized she was stalling for time in order to come up with something, but with the way her foot was bouncing up and down nervously under the table, it was obvious. Once the chuckles died out, she continued on as he listened nervously to what she had to say.

"Well, I guess everything started on Sebastian's birthday," she began again. "I had just gotten back into town from LA the day before, and my sisters told me about his party. At first, I didn't want to go, but I eventually gave in and tagged along. But since I have such great luck, I ended up losing the girls and had to fend for myself. For a while I just sat by myself until I worked up the courage to get up and dance a little. And that was when I saw him."

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