A/N: Wow, it's been so long I've almost forgotten how to do this... Anyway, I can't emphasise how sorry I am for leaving you all hanging for so long. It's been just over a month since I've updated all three of my stories, but I'm trying to get back into writing. I love writing stories like these for you all, but I just haven't been in the mood lately to write and I open my computer, but I just can't seem to type anything. This chapter has been long in the making and has been completed sentence by sentence. Literally.
Also, please don't leave reviews in 'CAPITAL LETTERS' with lots of 'EXCLAMATION MARKS!' telling me to update ASAP. If you think that's helping your case, it really isn't, it's a bit annoying, but when I see lovely reviews from my lovely followers, that's really nice. I don't want to be blunt, but that's just how it is.
(Also, if you're coming from my two other stories HTH and ANB, I'm working on the chapters, but sorry! I love both of those stories very much, I just haven't been getting much inspiration lately!)
They say that the Devil wears Prada and Colette Bing was no exception. As she stood in the doorway, leaning against the frame and clicking her silver scalloped Prada heels, which clashed horribly with her skimpy golden Chanel dress, in Astrid's opinion, on the marble flooring.
"So you all decided to have a party without me?" Colette asked, sauntering into the room with her new assistant hurrying behind her. She gestured for her assistant to leave her tower of gift boxes on the floor.
"Colette," Rachel said through gritted teeth, Nick standing protectively in front of her. "What are you doing here?"
"I was in town and heard of a big gathering at the Young's, so I decided to drop-by," she said airily, waving her hand theatrically as she explained. "What's wrong with that?" she asked, suddenly pouting, widening her eyes like a puppy. Nick scoffed at her sad attempt of a pity party and he looked desperately to Vikram, their head of security.
"Vikram, please get her out of here," he asked harshly, shooting Colette daggers.
"Get lost, Colette," Carlton piped out, stepping away from Scheherazade. Colette froze. She began to notice the rest of the room, the big family staring icily at her, their postures frightening and strong. Her face fell for a moment. She was tempted to yell at them, or complain to her father, who was also in the room, but she quickly closed her mouth. After her father had married Kitty Pong, he had cancelled her credit cards.
"Fine," she hissed, spinning around in her heels and stamping out the room. No one would be surprised if her Prada heels left a hole in the ground. "Enjoy your gifts!" Colette sashayed out of the door, her assistant scurrying behind her, almost tripping over the stack of gift boxes. At first glance, Rachel could already notice numerous design brands. Burberry, Chanel, Moschino was printed on the lavish boxes.
"Bin them," Nick snapped, breaking the heavy silence looming over the dinner guests. "And every single thing that Colette Bing touched." His eyes were narrowed angrily and he gripped Rachel's hand protectively. Although Rachel detested Colette's bratty attitude and was terrified when she had been poisoned, she found that Nick was acting a little too overprotective.
"Nick…" she sighed and he turned around to face her, his face immediately relaxing. "It's fine." Normally, his wife's calming smile would've been enough to convince him, but Colette was a different matter. Now with a baby on the way, he was fiercely protective of Rachel.
"What do you think you're doing?" a voice called from behind them. A very furious Jack Bing stood from behind his wife. "That's my daughter!" Kitty opened her mouth as if she were about to support her husband, but quickly remembered who he was defending. Colette Bing. The bane of their marriage. The couple got along quite well with the exception of Kitty's daughter-in-law.
"That doesn't change what she's done, old man," snapped Peik Lin and Jack opened his mouth in horror. "I think you should leave." At her tallest, Peik Lin stood barely above 5 feet, but in her 6 inch platform Loubitons and menacing expression, Jack Bing appeared to shrink in comparison.
"You know what?" Nick said as Jack clasped his wife's hand and placed down his flute of Chandon Brut sparkling champagne. "Party's over. Go home everyone." He received offended glances from the guests, while others left without a word. What was a lively party had quickly died down into an almost empty room.
"What a night…" Astrid said, balancing her plate of dinner on one hand as she sat on the outdoor lounge, a very sleeping Cassian resting his head on her lap.
"Tell me about it," Peik Lin chimed in sitting close to her husband. "Has your mother left yet, Nick?"
Nick sighed exaggeratedly, placing his head into his hands. "After I dropped the baby bomb on her, there's no way she's every leaving," he said.
"Eleanor's great and all, but I have a feeling she's practically moved in," Rachel added, a wistful smile across her face. "She's sleeping in the guest room right now. She wanted to stay up to talk to me, probably about baby stuff, but I made her go to bed." Astrid laughed.
"That sounds just about right," she said, placing her plate down onto the coffee table. "I wouldn't be surprised if she's awake right now, enrolling your unborn baby into some fancy private school." Nick's tired expression cracked into a smile.
"…or arranging a marriage for him or her," Alistair added with a grin that widened when his wife laughed at his quip. "Probably with the child of a millionaire, or billionaire."
As she joked around with her group of close friends, Rachel felt happy. Really happy. This was the life she wanted for her child. No arranged marriages or fancy private schools, but laughter with friends and family. She looked up to Astrid as an example. Life on a peaceful island with Michael and Cassian had done wonders for her. Not that she wasn't great before, but this new life had made her a new person. More relaxed and happy, Astrid was glowing inside-out, not just from her golden tan.
"We should get going," Colin said, standing up while still clasping his wife's hand. It was passing midnight and their son was currently sleeping in the other guest bedroom. With family and friends always travelling in and out of the country, Nick and Rachel's home had many guest rooms that were, sometimes, not even enough. "We really don't want to intrude." Nick laughed at his best friends statement. Countless times when they were young, Nick would always escape Tyersall Park and find himself staying with Colin.
"No such thing," Nick replied and offered for Colin to stay the night with his wife and son, however his best friend waved off the offer.
"It's fine, Nicky, Minty and I are quite busy tomorrow anyway," he said, stacking the empty dinner plates to clean. "See you later, alright?" Nick nodded, giving him a one-handed hug and kissing Araminta on the cheek before the two left. After the departure of Colin and Araminta, everyone else decided to leave. After all, it had been a long night and a full-night's sleep was difficult to come by, even though it was almost one in the morning.
Nick carefully opened the door to his mother's room, the sounds of Rachel rinsing the dishes coming quietly from downstairs. He had purposely left the door ajar so he could open the door without disturbing her. He put his head through the doorway, but instead of finding his mother sound asleep (or intensely searching for colleges for his unborn-child), she saw him peering groggily at him from the head of the luxurious king-sized bed.
"Sorry, mum," he said quietly, stepping into the room and taking a seat at the foot of the bed. "Did I wake you?" She waved away his question and gestured for him to sit closer to her. Even at her age, his mother was the embodiment of beauty. Her dark, brown eyes that were often mistaken as black and the air of confidence she radiated made him feel small, almost as if he was still a little boy. Although, wrinkles lined her face and she looked tired, and it wasn't just from lack of sleep. Nick had always been close to his mother, but introducing Rachel to her had dramatically changed their relationship, yet he wouldn't change a thing.
It was as if Eleanor was threatened by Rachel. She viewed Nick as still the little boy who lived in Tyersall Park, but age had changed him and he brought new people into the confines of his life. It scared her, not being the number one person in her son's life, but she wasn't getting any younger. Eleanor wanted to fix her relationship with her son. Her desire for a grandchild had put a strain upon their relationship among many other factors, but now that news of her expecting grandchild had arrived, she felt guilty somewhat.
The silence between Eleanor and her son as they both sat in the bed wasn't tense, it was what silence should be. Empty.
"I'm sorry for many things, my son," she said finally and Nick looked up at her in surprise. She never apologised, not to him, anyway. "I'm very glad that you and Rachel are expecting a child. I just hope that it wasn't because of the pressure I put upon you two." Nick shook his head, not just in reply to her statement but in disbelief.
"It's okay," he replied, his voice small and an empathetic smile on his face. It felt nice to talk to his mother.
"Nick, I-I'm not getting any younger," she stated. Nick felt tempted to snap back a sarcastic comment, but he held his tongue as he returned a measured reply.
"I want to be there for you, Nick. Through your journey in life." Eleanor winced inaudibly at sickly sentimentality in her statement, but she meant every word.
"You've definitely been there," Nick said, placing emphasis on 'definitely'. "You've been there a bit too much, I might add." His mother was always meddling in his business, sticking her nose in places where she shouldn't have.
"I know, and I'm sorry for that," she sighed, leaning back into the bed head. "A sorry won't fix it, but I'm going to step back. I want to be there for you, for what you want for your life." She opened her arms out to Nick. After a moment of hesitation, Nick leaned forwards and his mother enveloped him into a tight hug. Moments of affection like this were rare to come by with his mother.
"I love you, Nicky," she whispered into his ear.
"I love you too, mum."
A/N: Chapter three is finally out! I apologise for any spelling or grammatical errors, I didn't have time to proof-read!
Word Count: 1651