Sequel: Acrasia
Status: Da-da-da-da Da-da Done.



Chris watched out of the corner of his eyes as Rae fixed her hair in a small pocket mirror. He didn't want to admit to her that he thought she looked incredible. It would make him seem like he was interested. She closed the mirror, smiling as she noticed him look away.

"What?" she asked.

"Nothing," Chris muttered.

"You look great in a tux. Jeremy has been texting me about it non-stop. He's asking me for your measurements."

"This Jeremy guy," Chris looked at her, "He's a bold one."

"That he is," Rae giggled, smoothing out her dress.

She turned to watch out the window in silence at the big city disappeared, replaced by a stretch of grassy highway.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"My family's estate, like I said. Where I grew up," Chris answered bluntly.

"So, you weren't always a city kid?"

"I was born in New Jersey. My mother raised me there by herself until I was four years old, while my father was out doing some major project in China," Chris explained, "When he returned, he moved us out here into the house he had inherited from my grandmother after she passed. It's a family thing. The house has been passed down every generation since the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock."

"Do you get the house, then?"

"No, my sister does. I'm not a very big fan," a smile played at his lips, "My mother used to tell me that it's because I had gotten terribly lost in it when I was six. She said that she found me in a closet, crying my eyes out. Apparently the experience left an impression on me."

"Your mother seems sweet," Rae smiled, "Will I get to meet her?"

"No," Chris ended the conversation there, not wanting to talk about his mother.

He pulled up next to the large estate, all clean and lit up. Piano music and soft laughter could be heard from inside, flooding Chris with memories of all the birthday parties he had spent in a place like that, rather than the game of laser tag he had always wanted. There were already a few cars parked outside, each far more luxurious than the last. Chris looked to Rae, who’s mouth was open as she stared at the house wide-eyed.

“You grew up here?” she said softly, “Why in the hell are you working as a bartender when you’ve got such a great like here?”

“You’re about to find out,” Chris got out of the car, opening the passenger side door and gesturing out.

Rae wobbled slightly as she got out of the car, but quickly straightened herself out end held her head up high and confident. Chris smiled, knowing that she wouldn’t be questioned if she kept it up. He led her inside, where billionaires twice their age were in small circles, gossiping and discussing life and business. People would constantly come up to Chris and pat him on the back, congratulating him for something they probably didn’t even know about.

Marissa spotted him from the dining hall, holding her skirt so she wouldn’t trip over it as she rushed towards him. She was dressed in the beautiful blue evening gown she had been debating on wearing for days, and her blond hair was piled up on her head in curls. She was draped in diamonds, making her look just that much more expensive than everyone else.

“You’re late,” she snapped at Chris, eyeing him, “This is the same suit you wore last time!”

“No one can tell,” Chris rolled his eyes, “Men’s fashion hasn’t changed in the last millennia.”

“You wore the same one before! You moron! You never understand how important these things are,” Marissa stopped, noticing Rae hiding behind Chris’s large build.

“Hi,” Rae said softly.

“Who are you?” Marissa frowned, putting a hand on her hip.

“Rachel Warrick,” she shifted awkwardly, “I’m his friend.”

“Rae, this is the she-wolf I call my sister,” Chris gestured to her, annoyed, “Marissa.”

“Oh, you’re Marissa,” Rae lit up, “Alex has told me about you.”

“Alex?” Marissa frowned, “Not the clown kid.”

Chris shrugged, and Marissa glared at him. She opened her mouth to say something, but was distracted by a poor waiter who seemed to be doing something wrong. She rushed over to him, the clunking of her heels echoing through the room.

That was your sister?” Rae looked up at Chris, “You guys are so different.”

“Different doesn’t even begin it,” he smirked, snatching two champagne glasses off of a waiter’s tray. He handed it to Rae, holding her hand down as a way of telling her not to drink it yet.

“Is it poisoned?” she asked.

“No, but you’re going to want one in your hand,” Chris explained quietly, “It will look strange to others if you’re empty handed, and even stranger if your glass is empty. You gotta take it slowly.”

“Any other tips?” she smiled, raising the glass to her lips but not taking a drink, like Chris had explained.

“When they talk, smile and nod. When they make a joke, laugh. Don’t laugh too loud, because they don’t like that. Speak confidently, and don’t give too much detail. They’ll assume you’re an heiress or something. And above all, stand your ground,” he warned, “Here comes example number one.”

Chris smiled at a man and woman who came towards him. The woman embraced him, laughing about how big he had gotten since the last time she had seen him, twelve years ago. The man simply shook his hand, bowing his head slightly.

“Christopher! Your arm has healed, I see!” the woman gushed.

“Yeah, it was only fractured. Twelve years ago,” Chris tried his best to keep the smile from twisting into an annoyed scowl from her sheer stupidity.

“Who is this?” the woman smiled at Rae, who confidently gave back a dazzling smile

“Rachel Warrick,” she introduced herself, “A friend of his.”

“You are a true beauty!” the woman embraced Rae as well, catching her by surprise.

“Thank you,” Rae laughed softly.

“Has Jim met you yet? Jim!” the woman called over to Chris’s father, waving him to the little circle.

“Marie, a pleasure to see you again,” Jim put a hand on her shoulder.

“Look at the beauty your son has brought with him!” the woman nudged Rae forward.

Chris watched as his father looked Rae up and down, most likely making a mental file for her in his head. Jim shook her hand firmly, without even cracking a smile. He asked a few generic questions about her, which Rae answered with pride. She made herself sound like a celebrity, exactly the way Chris had asked her to. She seemed to crack slightly at Jim’s cold personality, and started to get a little uncomfortable. Desperate for a way to keep her from backing down, Chris stepped behind his father and started making faces, mocking the way his father stood and acted. Rae held in her laughter, standing up straight again as she powered through the rest of the interrogation. Satisfied, Jim excused himself to greet the rest of the guests. As soon as he left, both Chris and Rae broke out into laughing, trying not to attract too much attention by holding their breaths and hurrying outside.

The two of them sat alone out on the balcony, cracking up as they made fun of Jim’s cold and brutal personality. It had been a long time since Chris had laughed like that, and it made him feel great. He stood up from the bench, brushing off his pants and holding his hand out for Rae.

“No offense, but this party blows,” she giggled.

“I know,” Chris shook his head, “Why don’t we leave? Bail this dump?”

“It’s about time you asked.”
♠ ♠ ♠

Song for Sienna by Brian Crain
Alive by Krewella