I can still hear the whispers and laughs but I try not to pay attention to any of it. I stand throughout the ceremony, trying my hardest not to break down in front of everyone. It’s a real fucking struggle. I come close to doing just that a few times and have to will myself not to.
As soon as the ceremony finishes and Mom and Jonathan walk back down the aisle, everyone starts to make their way out behind them. The reception is being held at the mansion so they’ll all be heading there.
I wait for them all to be gone. I have a feeling that if I move even an inch, the tears I’ve been trying to keep at bay will pour out of me.
I’m trying to keep it together when I hear my name being called. I look up to see Aiden and Camryn rushing toward me.
Since they’re my only two friends, I invited them. When they’re within touching distance, they both grab me by the arms and steer me out the door that’s a few feet away from where the altar is. It leads to a garden at the back of the building. I don’t realize my knees are so weak. It feels as though I’m about to collapse.
As soon as we step outside, it’s right into a big and beautiful garden, though I couldn’t appreciate its beauty at that moment.
“Oh my God! Are you okay?” Aiden asks as he pulls me into a hug. The sobs finally break free, and I feel Camryn at my back.
“Shhh. Just try to calm down. You have us,” Camryn whispers as she tries to soothe me while rubbing her hands up and down my back. Aiden squeezes me tighter as more sobs leave me.
I feel the heat of someone’s stare on me and look up and over Aiden’s shoulders and my eyes clash with Knox’s through the glass. I let him see the pain I’m feeling for a moment before I look away from him.
I hate him. I hate him. I hate him!
He has an unreadable expression on his face. I want to think it’s one of remorse but by now, I know that it’s just wishful thinking. Knox Riverside would never feel any kind of emotion such as guilt.
“Can we just go? I need to go back to the house to take some pictures with Mom but can we go somewhere after? I don’t want to be there for long,” I tell them and they both nod.
We walk back through the door and through the church before heading to the parking lot where Aiden parked.
“Where are your guys?” I ask Camryn a few minutes after we left.
“They’re not my guys,” she tells me, rolling her eyes.
“Deny it all you want, but I’m definitely calling it and saying that they’re pretty much in love with you,” I tell her, smiling at her reaction.
“Ugh! No. And anyway, they’ll meet us wherever we end up after we leave the reception,” she tells me.
“Tell them to bring some goodies.”
“Done, sister! I think we need some goodies right now,” she tells me.
By the time we make it back to the house, the party has already started. “I’ll be back in a few minutes,” I tell both of them as I head to where the reception is being held.
I’m in awe of the decorations here too. The entire backyard is covered in string lights with more flower decorations. There’s music, and everyone is partying and having a good time.Well, everyone except me.
As soon as I make it to the backyard, I spot Kinsley laughing with the guys. There’s Knox, Asher, Axel and Ezra, and I feel a pang in my chest at the thought of how she just threw our friendship away so easily. She spots me looking in their direction and the smile on her face instantly vanishes. She looks away from me.
I look away as well and walk over to where Jonathan and Mom are taking pictures. She spots me and calls me to take some with them. They call Knox over and the four of us take additional pictures. I make sure to keep my distance from him while we pose for the pictures. He’s standing next to his dad and I’m standing next to Mom.
Once all of that is done, I excuse myself and make my way inside. I use the bathroom downstairs. After I step out of it, there in front of me is Ivy. I let out a sigh, not at all wanting to have anything to do with whatever is about to happen here.
“What do you want?” I snap at her to get the ball rolling.
She attacks me and we both go crashing onto the floor. Fucking hell, this girl is a psycho.
“You think that just because your mother is married to Knox’s dad and you’ll be living here that you’ll get to have him?” she screams at me. I knew trying to avoid her wouldn’t last long. This bitch seems almost as obsessed with me as Knox does. She claws at my face. I let out a scream and try to push her off me.
“You can fucking have him, you fucking psycho! No one said they wanted him, except well maybe you. But you’re not really mad at me, are you? You’re just mad at the fact that he doesn’t want your skanky ass!” I snap at her while scratching and clawing at her.
I’m so fucking exhausted with all the bullshit that follows me around.
“You have no idea what you’re talking about! He fucking belongs to me!” she snaps at me.