Author: secretlife1201 PM
Set right after Emily finds out her mother is still alive. Daniel still loves her and is dealing with that while Emily discovers something shocking about herself that will change everything. Her vengeful plans might be postponed or become stronger...please read! Hopefully its better than this crappy summary!Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Emily T. & Daniel G. - Chapters: 11 - Words: 31,889 - Reviews: 347 - Favs: 123 - Follows: 260 - Updated: 04-28-13 - Published: 10-12-12 - id: 8603386
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 5: Reputation
"Your reputation is in the hands of others. That's what the reputation is. You can't control that. The only thing you can control is your character."
― Wayne W. Dyer
What are we without our reputation? It gives us a face, a role in life. Without a part, there is no point at all in participating. Because, no matter how hard you try, you won't make a difference. And, so, reputation and significance go hand in hand. Reputation gives you significance. Even if it is not the best, at least we have a place.
The distinct sound of the zipper fills her bed room, sliding up the smooth silk of her dress. Letting her hands fall so her sides, Emily gives herself a quick once over in mirror. Her bloated body clothes a dark blue, strapless dress with a long bow that cascades down onto her baby bump and stops along with the dress just before her knees. She wears her hair down in soft curls that fall halfway down her back, natural looking makeup, a simple silver bracelet and matching earrings, and a pair of four inch heels- assuming that this will be the last time she'll be able to manage them. She finishes the look with a small, gray beaded bag that holds her cellphone and a pack of gum.
Considering the situation, she doesn't look half bad. Plastering on a smile, she nods at herself once and quickly turns away from reflection. Before leaving, she grabs a shawl from her closet, just in case it is chilly. Once its fibers are wrapped safely around her shoulders, Emily makes her way down the stairs, careful not to trip. She waddles to the kitchen, retrieving a bag of pretzels from the cabinet.
She begins to nibble on them, even though she had just eaten lunch less than an hour ago. Screw it, she thinks to herself. The baby's hungry. Whipping her mouth of any crumbs, she looks at the clock above the oven. "Nolan! We're already twenty minutes late!" She cries, annoyed over the fact that he took longer to get ready than she did. "I'm leaving without you!"
Right on cue, Nolan sprints down the steps, dressed in a perfectly-pressed white suit, smelling strongly of men's cologne. "Geez, Ems. Haven't you ever heard of being fashionably late?"
Giving him a look, she puts her snack back into the pantry, grabbing her clutch from the counter. "Which is just a nicer way of saying that we rudely didn't care when the hell it started."
"No one will even be thinking about that once they see the bulge underneath your dress," Nolan says pointing to her stomach.
Emily breathes out a deep sigh as they walk out the front door, locking it behind them. "Don't remind me."
They continue walking down to the Grayson's boat dock in silence as she predicts how people at the party will react. Nobody has seen her in months, and there is no doubt everyone will be shocked. Bringing her thoughts to words, she hears Nolan exhale to speak.
"Everyone will be asking who the father is."
"I was just going to say it was you. Since you're now living with me."
Nolan freezes. Chocked by his own disbelief, his feet stay planted in place. "What?" He coughs out, his eyes ready to pop out of their sockets.
"Kidding. Like anyone would believe I'd ever be with you," She says, grinning.
A disgusted look fills his face. "Wow, thanks, Ems. Seriously, what are you going to do?"
"Don't worry," Emily responds, looping her arm through his as they step up to the deck. "Nobody will flat out ask; they're too polite and sophisticated. They'll just assume it was a one night stand since there was no big announcement."
"Are you ready to accept the role of the town whore?"
She immediately thinks of Lydia, and the way people looked at her after her affair with Conrad came out. Like she was suddenly below them. But, Emily couldn't care less what others cared about her. The only response to the pregnancy she cared about was the fathers, and he would never know it was his. She hoped he would not be angry with her, at the very least. Or, maybe that would be better. Then he'd keep his distance. She quickly shakes her head. She'd cross that bridge when she came to it.
"I have to. Or Daniel finds out. And he doesn't deserve this." Finally reaching the vast boat, they climb up the ramp and onto the water. Their conversation diminishes and is immediately replaced with charming smiles as they step though a set of double doors. The scene is changed to a decorated foyer and a podium in which an invitation checker stands behind. "Name?" The middle aged man asks, looking down at a clipboard.
"Come on," Emily says, putting on a smile for the man. "You know who I am."
"I'm sorry, Miss Thorne," he says, grimacing slightly. "Your name isn't on the list, but Nolan Ross's is."
Nolan raises his eyebrows. "I'm going to go find a drink. See you on the other side." He says, smirking as he moves away from her and through to the party.
Her jaw drops over the fact that he would leave her and she silently curses him. Stepping closer to the podium, she paints on her sweetest smile. "You were the checker at my own engagement party, Phil. You know I was part of the family, and that I happen to live next door."
"Look, Miss Thorne I'm sorry. I can't let you in…"
Just then, Charlotte walks in, sporting her new purse from the following day. She is dressed in a cute dress, no doubt stitched with designer name tag, and her hair down in long waves. "Emily!" She cries. "You came!"
"I told you I would."
"Why aren't you in with the party?" She asks, her eyes tilting to Phil's wide ones as he sees Emily's stomach for the first time.
"Oh, my names not on the list…I guess I'll just go home…"
"Don't be silly." Charlotte responds quickly, turning to a very surprised invitation checker. "Emily's with me, Phil. I invited her yesterday. Get back to work."
He immediately goes red, obviously embarrassed to be reprimanded. "So sorry Miss Grayson."
Rolling her eyes, she pulls Emily through the pair of double door that Nolan had earlier disappeared between. The second they close behind them, Emily is hailed with classical music and the faint smell of scotches. A tiny bit of relief washes over her, while some disappointment comes as well. This could have been a legitimate way out. She shakes her head and looks around the fellowship. There is an open bar on one side of the room, and couches to lounge on as well as the tables and chairs. The couches began to look more desirable by the second as an ache already did the same to her feet. Great. I've been here five minutes and my feet already feel hurt like hell. This was going to be a long day.
"Everything is pretty much set up the same way as last year. At two, the memorial for my mother will be held outside on the deck." Charlotte says, bringing Emily back from her thoughts. Suddenly, there is slight buzz from Charlotte's purse, signaling a received message. Letting go of Emily's arm, she unzips the bag and reads her screen. "Sorry, I have to leave you now." She whispers eventually after reading the memo, her eyes still trained to the phone. "My results just came in. I'm to meet my father upstairs. Wish me luck!" With that, she leaves Emily alone in one of the most important moments of both their live.
For better, or for worse; someone's life was about to change.
Emily holds her breath and steps forward, only to be bombarded by a waiter moments later. "May I get you a drink, miss?" The waiter asks, putting on a fake smile- as if anyone wanted work to be the only way to attend such a grand party.
"Oh…" She breathes, taken off guard for a moment. "Water please,"
She sees his eyes fall down past her face, waver somewhat at her enlarged chest, and stop at her belly. He had to know who she was; Emily Thorne always attended the famous Grayson parties. She could see the judgment already start to set in his unshaven face. And she was instantly self-conscious, in front of a middle class waiter. Her reputation was already beginning to shift.
He quickly walks away, departing Emily red in the face. She blamed the pregnancy for her sudden care of other people's approval. But, she would be stuck like this for the whole summer, and it was too late to leave now. She had to face the judgmental stares, and so, she moved her feet forward and to the heart of the party. Almost immediately, an older couple approaches her, giving each other looks as soon as they saw her abdomen.
"Oh, dear, we had no idea!" Exclaims the woman, stepping forward, her eyes drilling into Emily's belly. "Congratulations!"
Emily's lips curl up unnaturally and it almost hurts, either from lack of use or change in moral standards, she isn't sure. Truthfully, it could very well be one or the other, even both. Add in the facts she was almost six months pregnant, ten pounds heavier, and alone, Emily was surprised she could even handle showing her face in public. But, she somehow had managed to make it here, and she had to fool everyone on the boat that she was still a put together young women.
"Thank you," Emily replies, seeing a rise in the man's eyebrows towards his wife, whose name is something like Sarah, Sally…maybe Susan. Emily can't remember exactly, but it is in no way relevant. Anyway, she can tell that the woman wants to know more, after all the women of the Hamptons are like vultures when it comes to gossip. But Emily will not be giving anything up. So, instead they spend another ten minutes speaking awkwardly of things between politics, the weather, and even a few stories of the couples own children. Finally, they bid their good-byes and leave Emily to greet some other unfortunate soul that happens to walk through the door at the wrong moment.
Ignoring the stares she can feel penetrating her back, Emily takes a deep breath and walks to an abandoned table. The chair scrapes across the hard wood floor of the reception area, slightly squealing a sound no one but she can hear. The second her body hits the seat, she slips her feet out of the heels and rubs her soles. She was stupid to have thought she could manage these. Not while her feet had to now carry two. Emily crosses her legs, rests her hand on her knees, and looks out at the party with a new refined outlook, much happier that she doesn't have four-inch torture chambers strapped to her feet.
And the next hour continues with petty conversation, just the same as the older couple. People come with coated smiles and a false sense of congratulatory words. Emily does her best to seem polite, but she can see the judgment underneath all their painted faces. It takes no genius to figure out the reason so many people begin to crowd the room. Everyone wants to see if the rumors are true, that Emily Thorne is in fact knocked up, and how Daniel Grayson, the belated fiancé, will react. If he will come stand to be with her, glare at her, or ignore Emily are the three responses that could be displayed. If Daniel comes to be with her, then he is the father. If he is showing an inappropriate amount of rudeness, then he is not. And if he ignores her, well, then he either doesn't know or would like to pretend he doesn't. Everyone will know who the father is, or so they think, since the mother is not giving out any answers.
But, the strangest part of the whole event, in Emily's perspective anyway, is that Daniel has not even cared to attend. He seemed fine, even friendly, the day before. It is rather odd that he would show up over an hour late to his own party.
Emily takes a sip of water and contemplates his whereabouts. She can't quite place why she cares so much, but she does. Maybe she wants to get it over with already, or maybe it is because she is just as curious to see his response to her changed figure as well.
Putting down the glass of water, she sees a flash of white from the corner of her eye, and suddenly Nolan's voice is in her ear.
"You're all the rave," he whispers, taking a seat next to her at the all but vacant table, his own glass of beverage in hand. "Everyone is talking of the bloated version of Emily Thorne up in the lounge."
"Let them," Emily says, surprised at how cool and calm her voice appears. "They aren't my problem."
A grin fills his face, and he brings the scotch closer to his lips. "Wow, Ems. You're starting to sound like the old you again. Not the big, grouchy one who is worried over reputation."
Tilting her head, she gives Nolan a look. "Watch your mouth, Ross. She's still here, just in a better mood."
"Told you it was a good idea to come." He laughs and shakes his head as he lets the burning, gold liquid seep down his throat. "It's like ripping off a band aid. You have to do it quick and fast, or else it just prolongs the pain."
Emily begins to absentmindedly twirl the silk of her dress between her fingers as she looks out at all the guests. Most stand talking to each other, their eyes gliding to Emily every few seconds. As if I couldn't tell who you were talking about, she thought to herself sarcastically. After a few moments, she turns to Nolan. "Where do you think he is?"
"I dunno. Maybe he's up in the house crying into his pillow over the fact that you decided to flaunt yourself to everyone, only months after breaking his heart."
"Oh, shut up. He has Ashley. He's probably busy with her." She replies, chewing on her lip.
"Who do you think you're fooling, Ems?" He asks, taking her by the shoulders. "You're not happy with that, and we both know it. Do you really want Ashley to be your child's step-mommy?"
Before Emily can reply with an angry remark towards a thought that had never occurred to her, there is a thud of a door across the room. Both her and Nolan's eyes snap to the front of the room to see Daniel walk in, said 'step-mommy' draped over his arm in a tight red dress that manages to pull of all her curves without looking trashy. Inwardly, Emily's earlier confidence crumbles. The only curve she was showing off was the bulge underneath her dress.
People slowly make their way towards the Hamptons newest power couple, crowding her vision of them. Soon, all she can see is Daniel's face, and her stares at her.
She can't help but smile slightly and her heart begins to race, just like it used to. Suddenly, pressure hits her abdomen, causing her to quickly look down. What is happening?! She thinks frantically putting her hand to the spot on her stomach where the jolt was.
"Nolan!" She hisses. "Something's wrong!"
Nolan jerks his head back over to look at her. "What?"
Grabbing his hand, she rests it on her belly for him to feel. "Don't you feel it?"
"Relax," Nolan says, a grin coming to reach his features. "It's just a kick. All humans do it."
Her heart rate falls, and tears fill her eyes. Embarrassed at her outburst and over active emotions, Emily takes her clean napkin and dabs the corners of her eyes. Good thing she decided to wear water-proof mascara.
"Can we sit here?"
Both their heads snapping up, Nolan and Emily are met by the faces of none other than Daniel and Ashley, Daniels arm wrapped lazily around her small waist, her perfectly manicured hand on his shoulder.
The baby kicks again anxiously, and Emily knows it is because its father is close. She pats her stomach back and looks at Daniel. "Sure…"
Clearly uncomfortable, Ashley smiles down at her, the happiness not quite reaching her eyes. "Emily I had no idea you were back," She says in her British accent, sitting down across from her.
Emily's eyes flitter to Daniel who sits beside Ashley, surprised he hadn't said anything. Probably because it didn't matter. "I got back on Friday," She responds, smiling sadly. "I missed it here too much to stay away."
She sees Ashley scoot herself a fraction closer to Daniel, almost to say; that's not the only thing you're staying away from, before speaking again. "And how are you?"
"Tired…but good…Nolan has moved in with me, so that should turn out pretty interesting."
Both of their eyebrows rise up. "Wow, I didn't know you sold your house," Daniel says, directing his comment towards Nolan.
"Just needed a change," Nolan says coolly.
An awkward silence sets over the table and they all look from one another, waiting for someone to fill the air with words. Finally, Emily grabs her clutch from the table, having enough. "I'm sorry, but I have to go," Squeezing Nolan's arm, standing for the first time. An audible gasp escapes both of their table quests lips, seeing Emily's belly for the first time. Quickly, she pulls Nolan up and away from the table. Ditching her shoes, she looks at them one last time. "Oh, and I'm pregnant."
With that, she runs out of the room, Nolan in tow. Leaving behind Daniel completely shocked.
Sorry i havent updated in a while!
Ive been really busy but i made this chapter pretty long so i hope u arent 2 upset!
O & u will see Daniels reaction next chapter which might be up by next weekend! Maybe faster if i get lots of reviews of encouragement!