A Month In Sin
Ori had called me, freaking out about meeting the Horans and the Gallaghers. I talked a good game, told her there was absolutely nothing to worry about. If they didn’t just love her, they were horrible people who she didn’t need to worry about anyways. She insisted that she had to, that Niall wouldn’t agree to stay married to her if she didn’t, and of course, I took that opportunity to rub it in her face that we were right.
All it took for her to find love was to take a chance.
She asked me how I was so calm about meeting the Hemmings, and I told I had a good friend named Jack Daniels getting me through the plane ride. I didn’t actually mean it. If I showed up drunk, pretty sure his mom would take back any kind offer to meet me in an instant. I would be kicked out of Christmas, and Luke would probably be told he had to get rid of me.
It was easy to ignore his mom’s request that we divorce and go our separate ways when she hadn’t met me, but if she had met me, it would’ve been a lot harder for him to just ignore.
Besides, I wasn’t a raging alcoholic. I just took a shot to calm my nerves, to me off the plane and into the crazy busy airport around us.
Dad told me there would be a private jet waiting for us when we left, some threat or paranoia thing probably, but to get there, we flew first class. There was a security team waiting for us when we got off, just to help us get through the airport without incident. With the world these days, there was no way to know what might happen.
The flight had been long, with a four hour delay in Los Angeles. Had everything gone according to schedule, it would’ve only been a nineteen hour flight, but with the delay, it took us around twenty-four hours to get to Sydney.
I was exhausted. We had taken a couple flights on the tour, but they were short and nothing like that monstrous one. It was hard to sleep, but eventually, the exhaustion took over. I pretty much passed out in Luke’s arms.
He was used to this kind of thing, so he didn’t have a problem sleeping. He tried staying up with me, but he was really bad at it. Eventually, he dozed off, and I was left alone with my thoughts for a couple hours.
It was crazy to want this to work, but I did. Our lives were totally different, yet something about them worked together. He was in no position to settle down and start a family, but he was trying to make it work anyways.
By the time we were unloading at the airport in Sydney, I was ready to find a bed and sleep for the rest of the day. Luke said it was sometime mid-morning when we got there, but I could do with about twenty-four hours of sleep.
There were too many people I had to meet, however.
Luke carried our carry-ons, one on each shoulder, and he attempted to get all of our rolling suitcases as well. Together, we had three, so it didn’t work out for him. He figured out how to get two of them, though.
He had mentioned that we might run into some paparazzi, but stupidly, I let myself believe that we wouldn’t, that they would just leave us alone and let us be.
How silly and naïve that was, though.
The flashes from their cameras were blinding, but I kept my head down and turned towards Luke, who wasn’t even paying attention to them as his eyes scanned the airport. Eventually, the security team that was waiting for us came along and kind of herded the camera men away, but by the time they were gone, I couldn’t see.
Just what fans needed—more reason to call me hideous. For such a long flight, I hadn’t exactly dressed to look good. My hair was in a mess of a bun, and I wore a striped hoodie and pajama pants. Luke had seen me without makeup at this point, so I didn’t bother with that either.
Maybe I should have; my ugly, unmade face was probably gonna be plastered all over the gossip magazines soon.
“There they are.”
Luke’s words ripped me out of my own shame, and my head snapped up away from his chest, towards his face instead. It was a face I could look at all day, of course, and the smile that was hanging on his lips made my heart start racing in my chest.
It didn’t answer the questions that began racing in my mind, but it was nice to see this kind of smile, a real and genuine one that wasn’t forced in the slightest.
I decided to follow his gaze with my own, and at the sight of his mother and brothers, it felt as if I had been kicked in the gut.
They were all stunning, in a way that was somewhat familiar. I was used to living amongst a family of stunning people, being the outcast of them all. No one loved a girl with two different colored eyes, not when her triplet sister had the green color to look at.
It was a fact of life that Luke had defied. He thought Ori was pretty, but he compared me to the rarest of diamonds. It had been cheesy and an after-sex conversation, but it meant a lot more to me than I tried to let on.
Luke’s family was no exception to the stunning. Pictures didn’t do them justice; Liz had an aged beauty that, in a lot of ways, reminded me of my mom. She wore makeup, but it wasn’t caked on, and she had gorgeous blonde ringlets that fell past her shoulders.
His brothers both had blonde hair, one the same shade as Luke and the other the same as their mother. These people were definitely family, though. They all looked so much alike with their own differences that made them unique.
Here I stood, dressed in pajamas and no makeup. Wonderful.
My eyes grew wide. “You didn’t tell me they were gonna be here.”
His eyes fell down towards me, though his smile didn’t fade. “Of course they would be here to pick me up. My family’s not like yours. They can safely walk the streets.”
“A little warning would’ve been nice.” I folded my arms over my chest and took a deep breath. “Shit.”
“Shh,” he whispered. “My mum might hear you, and she knows that I curse. I’m just no allowed to do it around her.” His eyes began shining, his lips twisting into a smirk. “Oh come on now, Eri. If this is about how you look, I’m gonna hurt you. You look adorable.”
I rolled my eyes. “Adorably hideous. I’m in pajamas!”
Luke glanced down at himself and then back over to me. “I might as well be. Come on, sweetheart, I assure you. They’re not judging. They don’t care how you’re dressed.”
What a wonderful first impression, though.
The two of us continued heading in the direction of his family, and we barely made it within reaching distance before his mom made him drop everything so she could throw her arms around him.
No one was paying attention to me at first, not even his two brothers who stood there. Their smiles were wide and focused on Luke, as they should’ve been.
Luke patted his mom’s shoulders. “Mum, I need to breathe.”
“Right.” Liz quickly let go of him and shifted her gaze over to me, and her smile remained genuine. “It’s lovely to finally meet you in person, Eris.”
“You as well, Mrs. Hemmings.”
She shook her head. “Liz, please. If this beats all the odds and you two make it, you’re family. None of those formalities.”
I bit down on my bottom lip and nodded. “Yes, ma’am. I’m Eris. It’s nice to meet all of you.”
“You’re a lot prettier in person,” one of his brothers spoke up. He didn’t favor Luke much, but they had the same eyes, shape and all. “I’m Ben.”
“And I’m Jack,” the other brother said, and my goodness, it was as if he and Luke were twins. There were small differences, such as Jack’s hair was a bit blonder, and his cheekbones may have been a bit higher. They were definitely brothers, however. “I’ve been dying to meet my brother’s ball and chain. Tell me. Does he still get to go out late and party?”
“Of course not.” The words were automatic, the sass in me coming out before I thought to contain it, but it was over with now. There wasn’t anything I could do to take them back, so all I could do was go with it as I might’ve in any other situation. Allowing my lips to curl into a smirk, I folded my arms over my chest. “He’s not allowed to talk to fans either. I’m making him a married t-shirt that he is absolutely required to wear anytime he leaves my presence.”
His brothers were laughing before I even finished, but within the last sentence, they were absolutely rolling. Liz smiled, but I was thankful she got the joke. Of course I wasn’t gonna hold him back like that; sure, things changed when someone got married, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t have fun with his life anymore.
“Well, dear, I hope that you brought your Christmas sweater,” Liz spoke up, while Ben and Jack both continued laughing their asses off. “We don’t dress up for Christmas get togethers. We like to dress for comfort, and we wear ugly Christmas sweaters.”
“I forgot!” Luke exclaimed, and he grabbed onto the side of his head, eyes wide. “I knew I was forgetting something! You’d think I would’ve remembered when I was packing my own sweater, but no. I didn’t.”
“You’re a horrible husband,” Ben snorted, with only a large smile remaining after his fit of laughter. “Shame on you.”
“It’s no problem,” Liz said, and she turned towards Jack, who had stopped laughing and looked down at his phone. “She looks about Celeste’s size. Maybe she has something she can wear.”
“I’ll have her bring a selection when she comes over for dinner tonight,” Jack agreed. “Don’t worry, Eris. While my brother is horrible at including you into our family, we’ll get you taken care of.”
It was getting easier to see what Luke had been talking about when he assured me over and over that his family was really relaxed, that there was nothing to worry about. Of course I wanted his mother to love me, all of them really, but if I was uptight and anything less than myself, things would probably end up worse than if I just relaxed and enjoyed the time with them.
It could be my only Christmas with the Hemmings, and I was gonna make it the best Christmas I possibly could.
I didn’t want it to be the last Christmas I spent with them. I wanted it to be the first of many.
I was gonna update this earlier in this day, but I got home from work and accidentally fell asleep before getting dressed, and then went and saw Justice League (which is an amazing movie, by the way).
23 is still a work in progress, so it will be a little bit longer for me to update it. I'm going to work on it though, just some personal editing so it will fit Chapter 25 better. :)
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