“The most difficult step ever is the first step. It comes with doubt, uncertainty and fears.
But it’s the only thing that will get you closer to your answers.”
Newcrest The Elysium
With a heavy sigh, Keira shrugged.
“I know it was super-nice of my cousin Sawyer to invite me to his wedding squeezing me onto the guest list kind of at the last minute since nobody knew when I’d be back, myself included until very recently, but I feel awkward going without a date. Not going isn’t an option, my dad would be pissed, since it’s his side of the family. It just sucks.” she concluded the story she had been telling Chase and Hailey, with Connor in the background as silent audience.
“Oh, you are a modern young woman. We don’t need dates to enjoy a party, honey. You can go alone, I don’t see anything wrong with that.” Hailey told Keira.
“I agree, but a wedding? I’ll probably end up at some singles table made up of a bunch of children, probably my cousin Creighton, the perpetual bachelor – and whatever rejects are on the bride’s side of the invitees. Just great.”
“Right, I get that. I am sure Connor could make an exception and clear his schedule for an afternoon on that weekend and help you out, can’t he?”
Connor coughed up the sip of coffee he had been drinking, staring at his mother as if she had lost her mind.
“Mom! Me? Hello? I have a girlfriend! How would THAT look?” he protested.
“A-ha! So, she IS your girlfriend, and you ARE serious about her!” Keira exclaimed.
“None of your business is what Lexie is! And this conversation is OVER! I am NOT going to any weddings, least of all with YOU! I’ll take you to Vatore Castle to get those shots so you can eat and taste food again whenever Caleb says they are ready because that is my obligation – but that is IT then for me taking you ANYWHERE!” Connor ranted at Keira.
Before Keira or his parents had a chance to react, Connor had run off. It was just easier to let him go and simmer down, trying to reason with him now would just end in another argument. Plus, Keira was pretty sure she’d rather go to that wedding alone than worry about Connor and his unpredictable moods the entire time. Way too awkward.
Sawyer McCoy & Sasha Wright's Wedding
The day of the wedding started out just as Keira expected, with her following her parents and little brother around the wedding venue like a puppy, standing and sitting with them as if they all were connected by a string, until after the ceremony the whole wedding party relocated to the reception area, after the cake cutting and dinner the guests were left to roam. Colton and Maddie ended up in some animated conversation with Colton’s sister Annaleigh and her husband KC, who had recently been turned into a vampire, Keira wasn’t too interested in their topics, plus her feet were hurting in the heels, so Keira went to find a quiet spot to rest for a moment. She had just sat down at an empty table and kicked off her shoes underneath, hidden by the long tablecloth, when someone approached her from across said table.
“Any of those seats taken?” he asked, smiling.
Looking up at a man with slightly messy blonde hair, tan skin and blue eyes, Keira felt hot and cold, for a split-second she could have sworn she was looking at Connor. That guy was a dead ringer, except his voice was very different and the hair was much shorter. He was shorter too and not as broad-shouldered and buff. Well, the longer she looked at him, the more differences she noticed now. But almost … the way he stared at her from those baby blues … then Keira remembered why he was staring at her. He was waiting for an answer. Oops.
“Oh, I am sorry. No, as far as I can tell, every seat is fair game.”
“Do you mind?” he pointed at one of the chairs.
“Uh uh.” was all what Keira could say, while shaking her head as she watched him sit down, unable to not stare at Connor’s almost-doppelganger, who now smiled at her and spoke again.
“So, since this wedding is close family only, and you are not a Wright, you have to be on the groom’s side. I don’t recall seeing you at the engagement dinner though and I would definitely remember someone like you.” he told her.
“Sawyer’s my cousin. I was … ahem … travelling extensively when they got engaged. And who are you exactly if you don’t mind?” Keira honestly was curious to know.
“I am Josh, Josh Wright. Bride is my sister.” he explained and now it became very obvious to Keira. He and Sasha looked a lot alike. Almost enough to be twins, but Keira knew that wasn’t the case.
“Ah. I am Keira Vatore. Sawyer’s mom was a Vatore before she became a McCoy, making her my aunt on my dad’s side.”
“Well, how come you are here alone, Keira? Not to sound creepy, but I couldn’t help watching you since you arrived. Someone like you is very eye-catching, I am sure you have been told that many times before.” the way he said it made it sound natural, not creepy at all, despite the obvious flirtatious nature of his words.
“Like I said, I have traveled for a long while and just recently came back. This wedding invite was a bit last minute for me. Nobody I knew could clear their schedule, so here I am, alone, at the reject table. My parents and grandparents are talking to my aunt and uncle as if they had been the ones away for a year and I really don’t know your side of the family.”
“Lucky for me, as I have been dying to talk to you since you arrived. I travel a lot for work as well, so I know what you mean about having to attend events alone. From one reject to another, I am tired of trying to have a conversation with you dodging this impressively sized centerpiece, so would you prefer me to come sit next to you or would you maybe like to dance? This is a wedding, after all. And I am Mr. Wright after all, just saying … don’t let a single letter stand in the way of maybe giving fate a little chance. Yes, lame I realized that too as I heard the words out loud.”
Keira stared at him, couldn’t help but smile, then realized ‘Cruel Summer’ was playing. How fitting. Her Summer had definitely been pretty cruel so far. Jobless and hated by the one guy she wanted to be forgiven by the most, while she had to watch him be all sweet to that Lexie. Cruel was putting it mildly.
“You know what, Josh, I would LOVE to dance.” Keira smiled and meant every word.
Maddie looked up, then nudged Colton, gesturing at the dancefloor with her chin. Colton smiled at her and winked.
“Looks like the wedding turned out not to be such a drag for her after all.”
Keira danced with Josh, slow dances, fast one, then the DJ started a bunny hop, both got in line and hopped along, but as soon as they got near the exit, Josh broke from the line, grabbed Keira’s hand and ran into the night with her, laughing until they dropped into the grass next to each other.
“Look up there, Keira, Perseus and Andromeda visible together, it’s what in astronomy is called a lover’s constellation.” Josh pointed at the firmament, before he continued.
“Never heard that before. Are you a scientist?”
“I wish. No, I am just a boring desk jockey, but astronomy is a passion of mine, as is ancient mythology. The story goes a little like this: once upon a time King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia had a daughter named Andromeda who was more beautiful than Poseidon’s own children, which angered him, so he sent a sea monster to destroy their kingdom. To appease the beast, Cassiopeia chained Andromeda to a rock as a sacrifice for the monster. Demigod Perseus, returning from slaying the snake haired Medusa, found the beautiful woman struggling in chains, so he killed the beast and rescued Andromeda. Sadly, they couldn’t marry as Andromeda was betrothed to a man named Phineus. The mortal Phineus and the demigod Perseus fought violently for Andromeda in a struggle that only ended when Perseus brandished Medusa’s head at Phineus, turning him to stone. Andromeda and Perseus married and lived long lives filled with joy and love. When they died, they were placed together in the sky as eternal beacons of love and loyalty.”
Newcrest The Malton
The next weekend Keira waved after the car driving away, then smiling absent-mindedly she walked up to her front door, jumping terribly when a voice came out of seemingly nowhere.
Connor was suddenly behind her. Some vampire skill he must have picked up, he couldn’t have been hiding nearby, as it was broad daylight.
“You scared me!” Keira complained.
“Why? Guilty conscience?” Connor’s tone was testing.
“Hardly. What do you want?”
“Who was that?” Connor demanded.
“None of your business, that’s who.”
“You have your one-night-stands drop you off in front of your parents’ home? Ballsy.”
“Not a one-night-stand, but a gentleman, even opened the car door for me, as you saw.”
“If he were a gentleman, he would have walked you to the door, sealed it with a kiss or at the very least would have waited for you to go inside before driving off.”
“Josh offered that and I declined. We are not really dating, at least not yet. We may, he definitely brings a lot to the table and has a lot of potential, we’ll see. So, get your dirty mind out of the gutter, Connor. He and I just had brunch together, because he will be traveling for work until next week.”
“Nice to see that me taking time out of my busy schedule to get you the shots so you are able to eat and enjoy food again helped you pick up dudes like Josh? What kinda loser-name is that anyway? Which dive bar did you find that guy at?”
“I didn’t pick up ANYBODY, I met him at my cousin’s wedding.” Keira retorted.
“Oh, gimme a break. One of those dudes who attend weddings to pick up chicks? WOW!”
“No, he attended because he is the brother of the bride, Connor.”
“You are dating your cousin’s brother-in-law? I can almost hear the banjos playing. So close.”
“You are an idiot! How are my cousin’s in-laws MY family? What are you even doing here?”
“It’s a free country. I can walk through Newcrest. You don’t own the city.”
“No, but you are standing on our property, and we DO own that. So, you are trespassing. Unless you have a reason to be here. So? Do you?” Keira asked.
For a moment Connor’s face became unreadable, his voice quieter when he asked.
“Are you serious about … Josh?”
“Are you serious about … Lexie?” Keira shot back, mostly because he had caught her off guard and she didn’t know how to answer. She liked Josh, but that tiny gleam of hope Connor would come around was keeping her from allowing it to become more than platonic.
Connor was processing her question, for once he didn’t bite her head of for it, even though he also didn’t answer her, instead, still with that quiet, subdued tone he asked
“Did you really sleep with a bunch of men while you were gone?”
“What?” Keira’s shock wasn’t played. It was very real, as she stared at Connor, speechless.
“In your blog you only write about landscapes and city nightlife and local customs and shit. Not one mention of any dudes, nor any photos, except with groups of people. But isn’t that why you left? To get a bunch of D?” he asked, and it was clear the mere thought of that being true affected him, so rather than snap at him, Keira’s tone remained soft and sincere.
“No, Connor, that is NOT why I left. Not at all. Not even close. And how do you know about my blog?”
“‘Nomadic Keke’ came up in my feed on social media as ‘pages that might interest you’. Since Keke meant something to me, I got curious and clicked it. Imagine my surprise when I saw you, on some beach, in a tiny bikini juggling torches. Nomadic Keke, huh? So, is that your new gig? Blogger?”
“Not really, for now it is a creative outlet while I am waiting for any of my leads to pan out. And I wasn’t juggling, that’s a Sulanese fire dance, part of their ancient traditions. If you bothered to read the corresponding article, you would know. There were no men, Connor. Not a single romance. When I said that to you, I thought I was giving both of us freedom. Turns out neither of us really wanted that. Why are you loitering outside my home?”
“I am not loitering! I wanted to talk to you, you weren’t home and I didn’t feel like another round of your parents trying to run interference in matters that are none of their business. I was … waiting to talk to you about … about … something. Ok, fuck it, look, I know this is a long shot, and I don’t know why I am even trying to help you, you’re probably gonna blow me off now anyway, but I have a patient at the moment, who is the CEO for the San Myshuno Times. Today when I was making my rounds we got to talking and he mentioned his main art critic something-rather reporter dude is leaving by the end of the week and he is freaking out about not being able to fill that position in time. I don’t know how close that job is to whatever you are looking for, but sounded like a good fit for you, you love art, know a shit-ton about it and you write articles for that blog, so maybe you would be interested.”
“The San Myshuno Times?! The CEO is your patient!? You would put in a good word for me? Wow, yeah I am interested, but I already applied for that position two weeks ago and never heard back. Always the same reason, I go straight to the bottom of the stack, too young, too inexperienced … just wondering how I am supposed to get experience if nobody gives me a chance.”
“Okay, if you want it, I’ll remind him that I saved his life and mention that you would be a perfect fit for the job, and that you are … ahem … a family friend and that I would vouch for you.”
“Family friend? Okay. Well, whatever. If you would do that, I would be forever grateful. Seriously Connor. I’d kiss your feet. I am desperate. I won’t let you down.”
“Don’t get too excited, I don’t know if he’ll go for it. I know I shouldn’t be doing that at all as a doctor, but considering it was kinda my fault that you got fired from the last job, maybe I can make that up to you by finding you a new one. At least then we are even in that department. Just please Keira, don’t decide to drop everything and run again, if I already kinda bend the hospital rules and vouch for you about that job with such a high-profile patient it’s my professional reputation on the line.”
“Of course not! Connor, I made one mistake, admittedly a big one. I am done running. I have so much cleaning up to do still and ever since I came back, I have been making so many apologies to so many people, having to take the complaints and accusations, knowing they aren’t wrong, everyone has an opinion and I already know that I screwed up even without 50 thousand reminders daily. Luckily, most people have been very forgiving, but everyone is on edge. Just wish you would finally find it in your heart to forgive me … I’d do anything, Connor. Literally ANYthing.”
“I’ll let you know what he says.”
Connor turned and just walked off.
Keira let him go, well aware that Connor had reached his limit of talking civil with her for the day, if she were to push it now, it would just end in yet another argument, so with a deep sigh, but slightly more hopeful than before she went inside.
6 thoughts on “Chapter 446) Mr. (W)Right?”
The only reason Kiera gave Josh the time of day was likely because he looked so much like Connor and she needed to feel liked. But it worked on Connor. He is super jealous. When he asked her about him, she knew not to jump down his throat which is good because it allowed them to have a conversation without accusations running amuck. Then he offered to help her with a job saying it was to makeup for causing her to loose hers, but he cares, no doubt but is still hurting. She was so grateful.
One of the truest things Kiera said was ‘I thought I was giving both of us freedom. Turns out neither of us really wanted that.’ Especially true since neither one was actually unfaithful – at least until Connor gave up and started seeing Lexie. Maybe since he found out she wasn’t actually getting a lot D as he put it, and is now beginning to explore things with Josh, he’s rethinking his feelings about Lexie.
Anyway, baby steps…
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Their entire current conundrum is full of assumptions about each other and hurt feelings. A perfect storm … not to say clusterf*ck.
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What I meant by it worked on Connor, I meant to add even though she wasn’t intentionally trying to make him jealous.
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No, she wasn’t. She’s lonely and Josh looking a lot like Connor, at least initially, definitely helped pique her interest. He seems to be a nice guy, far as we can tell.
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Maybe we can set up Josh and Lexie when Coniera gets back together… Because I do so badly want them back together. I will die on that ship the way we all died on the Scarlaine ship way back when… Although I think I called it something else at the time but now I like this one lol.
I hope Connor looks deeply at why he’s annoyed that Keira is “seeing” Josh, because dude is cray jelly!
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You know what they say, it always gets worse before it gets better. If it gets better. Sometimes better isn’t what we wish/think it should be. Only time will tell.
All I know is that few real love stories ever went absolutely smooth and straight forwards. I actually cannot think of a single one.
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