Chapter 1: Dinner

"Chris!" I shouted. "Chris, come on! We're going to be late!"

I turned in my bedroom to face the mirror, flicking a few pieces of my done-up light brown hair over my face for stylish-ness. I ran my hands down my body, smoothing the silken fabric of the deep blue dress I was wearing. I touched my belly, which seemed to be expanding by the day, and tried to suck it in, failing miserably.

I looked at myself sideways in the mirror again. "Chris! Get in here!" I yelled.

The door behind me opened and Chris stepped in. "Does this make me look fat?" I asked, turning around to show off my outfit.

Chris smiled. "You look gorgeous."

I smiled back as the door closed behind my fiancé and I sighed, smoothing my dress again and following him out.

"Do I really have to come?" I whined at him.

"Amy, they are my parents … we're getting married for crying out loud! You have to meet them eventually. I've known you a year now and somehow you've managed to weasel out of meeting them every time I suggested it." He sighed and walked over to me, putting his hands on my shoulders and looking down at me, affectionately, his ginger hair obscuring his eyes. I reached up and brushed it gently away with my long fingers. "I want my mom and dad to see the wonderful, beautiful girl I'm going to marry."

I put my hand on his cheek. "You sweet talker, you," I said, smiling as he bent down and kissed me softly on the lips. His kiss was tender and loving, it made me feel safe and content but it didn't send shivers through my body like I told my friends it did. I hadn't felt anything like that since … but no, I wouldn't think about that.

I kissed back and then pulled away. "You smudged my lipstick," I accused, rushing to the mirror to reapply it and bringing back a tissue to wipe away the lipstick transferred onto his lips.

"Alright," he said, kissing the top of my head. "Lets go, love."

I hooked my arm through his as we walked to the car, dreading the evening ahead, even if it would liven up my otherwise boring life which I wished would get more interesting.

From what Chris had told me of his family I had gathered that his mother, Eleanor Wells, was intolerant. She blatantly spoke out against homosexuality and lesbianism and would have nothing to do with anyone with a shade darker skin than her. Chris' father, Hudson Wells, was a successful, cold hearted, lawyer that cared about nothing beyond money. His sister, Abigail Wells was seventeen and was a cheerleader and the most popular girl in school. She was also a bitch.

Oh, how I longed to meet his family. Not.

But, nonetheless, I climbed out of the car when we reached the restaurant and went in on his arm, taking our seats at the table laid out for five people. We sat side-by-side as we waited for his family to arrive.

When they did they paused by the doors to leave their coats and I took the opportunity to check them out. Mrs Wells was a prim woman with her greying hair knotted into a tight, formal bun on her head. She wore glasses and a simple crimson dress. Mr Wells was wearing a suit, had short ginger hair and looked like he had a stick shoved up his ass. Actually, he looked like he had a whole tree up there.

As for Abigail … she was wearing a pale green dress and high heels. The dress was a long way above the middle of her thigh and it had a plunging neckline. I surmised she was hoping to draw eyes in the restaurant, which she managed to do – including my own. She may be a bitch, but she was a damned hot bitch.

The family sat down and I stared at my lap, trying not to eye up the sister of my fiancé. I looked at my engagement ring to remind myself of him. "You must be Amy Weber," Mr Wells said. "It is a pleasure to finally meet you."

He was stood next to me, his hand extended to shake. After the drawn out formalities were over (in which they grilled me about my parents, their jobs, my job, my home and even my high school grades) Mrs Wells looked across the table at me.

"So," she said in a casual manner, which rang warning bells inside my head. "Ever been in a serious relationship before?"

I choked on the water I was drinking. "Mother!" Chris snapped. "What kind of question is that to ask?"

"I was merely wondering if my future daughter-in-law knew what she was getting herself in to. And if she had broken any hearts along the line," she replied, frostily. She smiled at me, but it didn't touch her eyes.

"I …" I started.

"You don't need to answer, love," Chris said, placing his hand over mind.

"No," I said, giving him a dazzling smile. "I want to." I put my glass of water down and turned to look Mrs Wells right in the eye. "I have never had as serious a relationship as I have now. But I won't break your son's heart." I paused to smile weakly. "I know what it's like to have your heart stamped on and I would never do that to Chris."

"I see. Who was it that broke your heart?" Mrs Wells asked.

"Huh?" I said as memories came flooding back.

"What was his name?"

"H-h-his name?" I stammered.

Chris looked at me funny. "You can't remember his name?"

"Oh, I remember the name," I said, petulantly. "I just … don't see why it's relevant."

"We're just interested," Mrs Wells said.

"Well … uh … don't be," I said, picking up my menu. "Let's just order."

As meat made me nauseous, I skipped to the vegetarian options.

"May I take your order?" a polite voice asked. Her voice was like velvet and it made me shiver slightly. I knew it from somewhere, but I couldn't quite place it.

"Oh, yes," I said politely, realising I'd been in a trance since I'd heard her voice. "I'd like the vegetable …" I broke off mid-sentence as I moved my menu and the waitress and I looked at each other. It was Emma Bailey, in the flesh.

"Aim?" she breathed.

"Em?" I replied, my voice as weak as hers.

"Is that really you?" Her eyes shone with tears and all the hurt I'd felt since she'd so cruelly left me started to wash away.

"Last time I checked," I replied, wryly.

"I looked for you everywhere …" she muttered.

"We ended up moving around a lot more after …" I let my sentence hang.

"I'm sorry," she whispered.

"Don't worry," I said. "Water under the bridge."

I stood from the table, letting go of Chris' hand, and gave Emma a quick hug. Noticing she'd dropped her notepad, I bent down and picked it up, when I stood straight again I realised I'd given her full view of my cleavage and she was blushing. "Sorry," I said, quietly.

"It's okay," she replied taking the pad.

"Aren't you going to introduce us?" Chris said, rising from beside me.

"Oh," I said, the bubble around me and Emma bursting and sending us crashing back down to Earth. "Oh!" I said again. "Chris, this is Emma. Emma, this is Chris …" I paused, almost dramatically. "My fiancé."

"Y-your … fiancé?" Emma breathed. I nodded. Out of the blue she started to laugh, hysterically, drawing glances from the whole restaurant.

"What's so funny?" I hissed.

"You!" she said through laughs. "Marrying … a … a …"

I shut my eyes with a grimace. If she said 'man' I was sunk. His mother would go berserk.

"… redhead!" she finished. She smiled at the shocked look on my face. "I thought you'd sworn off redheads forever," she said.

"Yeah," I replied. "But when I fell in love with a brunette and the brunette hurt me I swore off them instead."

Chris was looking puzzled, so he quickly changed the subject. "So … where do you know each other from?" he asked.

"We used to go to high school together," I told him.

"Which one?" he asked.

"Jackson high," I replied. "We were friends all the time I was there."

Emma laughed again. "Friends? We were so much more than friends!" Off my bunny-in-the-headlights look, she smiled. "We used to do everything together. She was my best friend. When she got hurt I blamed myself."

I realised what she was trying to do … she was trying to explain what happened in code. I glared at her and put on a fake smile. "Emma, we need to catch up," I said, smiling. "I want to know all about how Liam and Angie are!"

"You're right," she said. "What's your address? I'll swing by one of the days."

I hesitated before turning to Chris. "Got a piece of paper?" I asked. When he provided a slip, I quickly jotted down our address and telephone number and gave it to Emma.

"Thanks Aim," she said, taking and putting it in her pocket.

"Hey Emma!" a voice yelled from across the restaurant.

"Oh," Emma said, smiling at me. "I have to go. My shift has ended and Sharon and I are going to go get some furniture for my apartment. I got some unexpected cash so I have money to spend."

"Is Sharon your …?" I asked, letting the sentence hang, hoping she'd understand.

"Nah," she replied. "I'll send another waitress across to you as I leave." She smiled at me, obviously deciding something, then, lightning fast, she grabbed and gave me a hard kiss on the mouth. "Lovely seeing you again!" she said, happily. "Expect me to drop by soon."

And with that she was gone, running across the restaurant to join up with her friend, telling a waitress to serve us on the way.

"Odd woman," Chris said, shaking his head. We sat down again and he started talking to his mother, who swore she'd seen Emma checking out my breasts. What thankfully no one noticed was the dreamy look on my face, and the hand wandering to touch my lips.

Life just got more interesting.