Chapter six was more of a fill in for me, now you have a better idea of her getting settled into the house. Not much to report for this chapter, as always I hope you enjoy!
Chapter seven: Family
"Phoebe, no!" I yelled as she attempted to pull me out the house "I have homework! And I need to edit one more yearbook page for this week!" I clung to the door
"Sebastian! Grab her" she ordered. Sebastian, her personal security guard gave me an apologetic look before scooping me up and taking me down to the car.
"No! Marc! What use are you if you just let this happen!" I cried trying to break out of Sebastian's, looking over I saw Marc opening the car with a shrug.
"Sebastian is my senior, I can't over rule him" if looks could kill he would have fallen over dead by now he grinned and rubbed my head when I got closer to the car "plus, won't you look so cute in a dress?" I bit his finger and he jumped back in shock "Did you really just bite me?"
I didn't answer because now I was finally in the car and Phoebe sat next to me, bouncing up and down in excitement. I scowled and crossed my arms as both men got into the front seat. "Don't overdo it you just got out of the hospital Miss Grey" Sebastian called back to her
"He's right" I mumbled unconsciously looking out for her, I find myself doing this more and more lately.
She sighed and sat back forfeiting to us and crossing her arms "you guys act like I had cancer, it was just food poisoning"
Sebastian looked back at her through the rearview mirror "food poisoning doesn't just happen Miss Grey, all the food that goes into the Grey house is very well taken care of, and seeing as you were the only one who got sick your father is taking it as a threat"
She suddenly looked at me like something had hit her "Natalia? Didn't we switch lunches the day before? You preferred the salad over the clam chowder and we traded"
I threw my hands up "whoa there Phoebe I wouldn't threaten your life with food poisoning"
She reached over and shoved me "that's not what I meant! I mean it was your lunch that got me sick, and no one would be targeting you because no one really knows you're here. The media, dad's affiliates, no one knows which means no one would threaten your life" she looked around the car and sighed realizing no one was catching onto what she apparently did "which mean that it really was an accident! So the extra security is stupid!"
Marc shook his head in the front and it caught my attention "anything to add on Mr. Reynolds?" I asked coyly. He looked back and me and smirked "just that we have ourselves a detective Miss Valentine"
My face scrunched up in distaste "don't call me that! Call me Natalia!"
"Anything you say Miss Natalia" he exaggerated the miss part and it struck a nerve with me; I blew him the bird and sat back in my seat. "So what do you have against dresses anyway?" he asked turning back to the front "isn't every girl excited about homecoming?"
Phoebe giggled "She needs two dresses, my grandparents are having a fundraiser tomorrow night so we might as well kill two birds with one stone" then she looked over at me "and Steven Hash of all people asked you to homecoming, you're going to be the star couple of the night" she looked away dreamily "I wonder if Daniel will be jealous?"
I felt my face redden "why would he? Steven and I are just childhood friends. That's it nothing more. And plus, it's not like Daniels showed any interest in me since that day. It's been a whole two weeks and no word" I faced the window feeling a little down about the rejection.
"Don't worry Natalia, if Daniel doesn't know what he's missing we will just show him" she winked "I'm sure we can find you a date for tomorrow"
"I don't want a date" I was sulking now; I was new to this whole interest in guys now. Daniel seemed like a great candidate for a first crush but maybe I was setting the bar too high? And then there was Teddy… Wait. What? I shook my head Teddy wasn't even an option why would I think otherwise?
"Natalia?" he asked with a hoarse sleepy voice
"Yeah…sorry" I didn't know what else to say and even sorry didn't seem to fit.
He shook his head and stretched. "We should get back" he mumbled standing up and making his way to the stairs, he turned back when he noticed I didn't follow him "you coming?"
I nodded and got up quickly following him down to the first floor of the boat house, staring at his back the questions began to race in my head. I couldn't help but ask the one that had bothered me the most "you aren't going to ask about what happened?" he kept walking and opened the door waiting for me to step out after him.
When he saw that I wanted an answer before following him out he sighed "is it my business?" slowly I shook my head "there is your answer, you have things that you obviously don't want people to know or you wouldn't have run away"
That day in the boat house he seemed like a totally different person, he wasn't teasing or rude. Almost like a big brother? Maybe? I really wouldn't know since I've never had one and it's not the same feeling I have with Steven.
"Maybe Steven can be your escort?" Phoebe's voice piped in.
I shook my head "I already told you Steven and I are just friends, I wouldn't want to do anything to lead him on past that" I loved the guy but not more than a friend I knew that for sure.
"Then how about me?" Marc said from the front seat, Sebastian's head jerked sideways for a minute before returning to the road. I caught the quick look of disapproval in his face though, Marc continued on "it will be like killing two birds with one stone, you don't have to look for an escort or show up dateless and I can do my job up close and personal rather than from across the yard"
I looked up to him, he did make a point and it would save me a headache, and I can't lie and say that Marc isn't a handsome man. Plus we get along, so I wouldn't be uncomfortable or stuffy trying to be calm cool and collected in front of a real date.
"Okay" I said making up my mind, no Phoebe jerked her head towards me in disapproval. She quickly pulled out her cell phone and began texting away
"Alright, then I have to approve your dress then" he said winking from the front seat. I blushed and looked away from him "As if" I retorted
Soon my phone vibrated.
(A.N okay so I am going to do texting back and forth now, so bold italics will be texts for now)
You know dad will have a fit right?
I rolled my eyes. Your dad scares a lot of people but now me…well not all the time anyway. Plus don't you think he would appreciate it? He is always super protective of everyone.
Now she looked up and rolled her eyes at me. He's not blind Natalia; I think everyone has noticed Marc has a thing for you. It's not good to fraternize with security.
Marc has a thing for me? I shook my head and started typing back. Your reading way too much into this, and aren't you the one who is always on my case about dating?
She wrote back pretty fast. Someone your own age!
Now I was getting a little peeved. Daniel is six years older than me Marc is only Five years and three months…
…How do you even know that? O.0
I giggled. He told me.
From the corner of my eye I could see her straighten up. So you two have been seeing each other behind my back? How romantic!
I should have seen this coming. No, we just spoke the day you got sick and have been since then. It's not like our conversations have gone anywhere beyond small talk.
Fine, but I have my eye on you!
I believed it; I decided to relax the rest of the way to Seattle.
Dress Shopping was not as easy as I had originally thought. Apparently the fundraiser was a black and white event. So I thought it would be a little easier.
I wanted to go with a simple strapless black sweetheart neckline dress but Phoebe and Marc were having none of that. They both forced me into a white toga looking dress. It was stunning really, it was one shouldered and at the top of the one shoulder was a gorgeous gold piece that made the simple white dress beautiful.
It wasn't my taste but they insisted so I really had no choice. I picked up a pair of gold pumps to match no necklace since the gold shoulder was enough decoration I opted for a plain gold cuff and tear drop chandelier earing's.
For homecoming I picked out a nude colored dress with gold accent to it, also a one shoulder dress. I kept the same jewelry and picked out a pair of nude colored pumps with two black bows decorating the top of them. I sent a picture to Steven who agreed almost automatically.
Phoebe was a whole other story. Whereas I was easy and fast she had us there almost into the evening.
She finally settled on a black strapless gown with a thick white stripe running diagonally across the bottom of the dress, white heels with silver scent to them. Diamond studded earrings a very decorative diamond necklace and a sapphire ring decorated with diamonds around it.
As for her homecoming dress she picked a short red dress with the top half black and It hung close to her body, she picked up a pair of black tie up pumps and decided she would be getting jewelry another day.
(copy and paste this link to see the dresses and jewelry display saving_new_shade_costumes/set?id=60847226)
Instead of going home Phoebe decided that we should have dinner in Seattle with Teddy. So after a quick phone call I found myself at some fancy restaurant completely drained and waiting for Teddy. Marc and Sebastian would be waiting for us outside.
"I think you are going to look stunning" Phoebe said putting down her menu "your dress is so simple it screams elegance and I can already imagine you with some subtle gold makeup and your curly piled high in an up do. It's going to be beautiful!" she squealed
"What's going to be beautiful?" I looked back to see Teddy standing behind me staring at Phoebe.
"Hello Teddy" I said quietly. He nodded towards me and walked over to Phoebe planting a small kiss on the top of her head "Like I said what's going to be beautiful?"
"Natalia" she said excitedly as she watched him take a seat between us. "We just bought both her dresses for the fundraiser and homecoming"
He nodded uncaringly as he looked over the menu "I see" he mumbled. I felt a little bit agitated that he didn't seem to take any interest in the topic. Was I not that big a deal in the world of Theodore Grey? "those things are so boring, Grandma needs to switch it up" he put his menu down and looked at me "don't worry you will have a date by the end of the night, she will most likely trick you into the auction portion of the night where men buy a dance with the women and if no one bids on you I promise I will"
Now I was pissed. He made it seem like I was atrocious, like I put off men everywhere. I picked up my menu finally and started to look it over "sorry to say but I don't think my date would appreciate if I auctioned off one of his dances Theodore"
I heard sputtering and looked up to see Phoebe holding a hand over her mouth but in laughter I looked to Teddy to see him wiping his face with a napkin "What date?" he asked accusingly.
I looked back to my menu "His name is Marc" I said simply.
"Reynolds?" he now sounded amused "That's not a date Natalia, that's babysitting"
I slammed my menu down and glared at him "Don't open your mouth if you haven't got anything good to say Teddy, it's not really cute!"
Phoebe now erupted in laughter and struck both her brother and me silent. We both watched as she clutched her stomach in pain from laughing so hard. She tried talking in between her giggles. "You two giggle are giggle like toddlers fighting over a toy!"
Her laughter seemed to break the mood and the rest of the dinner went on like normally, me and Teddy avoided talk about the fundraiser and tried to talk normally. We said our good byes and left for the night. Soon enough I was asleep in my bed.
"Vincent dear, let me go to the fundraiser with you" a woman sat on her bed as she watched her husband pack his back and tuxedo.
"Karin, you can't miss the meeting with China tomorrow, you now better that better than I do" he sighed as he stared at his wife "I will be back Sunday night. Usually you're more than ready to spend time apart, why so pushy this time?"
Karin stood up and wrapped her arms around Vincent's middle section "Can't a wife be a little spoiled?"
He pulled himself away from her and walked to the door to the closet "You don't even like the Grey's, you've said so every time you had a meeting with them" he pulled out some more clothes "it's two days and you're staying here in New York, no questions asked"
Karin glared at her husband's back. She bit her lip and kept quiet until he left the room to bathe. She pulled out her cell phone and dialed a number.
"Miss Sanchez" a voice answered automatically
"Vincent is going to Seattle to the damn fundraiser, make sure you keep that damn brat away from my husband" she hissed
"Understood" and then the line went dead.
Looking into the mirror I didn't recognize the woman staring back at me. She was beautiful, her green eyes were so much more pronounced with the gold eye shadow decorating them. Her usually messy and unmanageable curls were neatly and strategically place in a messy bun high up on her head making her come across more adult like. The dress she was wearing looked nothing like the one Phoebe picked out for me now that it was on. They stylist the Grey's had hired had just left finally after helping me with the final touches.
I felt like I was going to cry, I didn't look like myself, I looked like my mother. I walked over to my vanity and opened a small draw wear the only picture of her I had laid. Tonight I looked like Selena Valentine, not Natalia.
A feeling of pride filled me; my mother was a beautiful woman. I can't help but feel prideful looking like her.
I looked up to catch Ana walking into my room, fully dressed in a beautiful midnight black sequin dress. She stopped in her steps and gapped at me, I felt my face redden "it's too much isn't it?" I asked feeling embarrassed
"No, no, no dear" she finally smiled "you just look so different, you're a beautiful girl normally with no effort but now…you just look stunning" she smiled and walked over to me placing both hands on my shoulders. "All the guys there are going to fall on their faces staring at you"
Now I was really red, I wasn't used to such compliments. Luckily there was a knock at the door and I was relived to break the awkwardness of the situation. Phoebe stepped into the room, her auburn hair pulled into a low side bun that screamed sophistication.
Once her eyes fell on me I knew the awkwardness was going to continue. As if on cue she squealed and ran across the room enveloping me into a hug "oh my god Natalia! I told you that dress was perfect! You look like a Greek goddess!"
Ana's laugh filled the room and my face broke out into a smile of its own. I hugged her back and then pulled away "Me? Look at you? Who knew Phoebe Grey queen of the teens could look so sophisticated? You look so much older!"
She laughed "I guess we're a dangerous duo then"
"I agree" Ana said looking over us with that motherly smile I am becoming quite fond of. "you're going to be even more dangerous if you push your father's temper anymore, he has been waiting for a half hour and you know how he feels about being on time" she made her way out the room.
I know when she said 'your father' she was talking to Phoebe, but for a second I thought she was addressing the two of us. Looking over them both I felt a sense of family, and I had come to love them like a real mother and sister. That's not bad right?
Rounding the corner to the stairs I looked down to see Christian talking with Marc and another boy I was assuming to be Phoebe's date. She did say something about bringing a boy from her class. He must have heard us coming because he stopped and looked up at us make our way down the stairs.
The look that came over him was something I couldn't explain. He broke out into a huge smile but I couldn't place exactly what it portrayed, pride? Love? Adoration? I had to look away because it was almost overwhelming.
I looked to Marc and that wasn't a great idea either, his jaw was slightly slack and his eyes never left me. We neared the bottom of the stairs and his stare was so intense it distracted me, my foot slipped on the last step and I stumbled forward.
I expected to collide with the floor but instead fell into a pair of secure warm arms. I looked up into a pair of familiar crystal blue eyes and I was lost in a trance. "You okay?" he asked I nodded and steadied myself. I had to admit, seeing him all dressed up in his black tux with matching black bowtie made me a little weak in the knees. I realized he asked me a question "Yes, thank you Teddy"
"Teddy dear!" Ana called and the trance was broken she walked over to Teddy and held him in a motherly hug "I thought you weren't going to make it?" she asked I thought I caught his eyes make their way to me for a second before he responded to her question "I have my reason's for coming"
She smiled "whatever the reason is I am always happy to see you"
Christian cleared his throat and we all looked to him almost instinctively, when Christian Grey demanded attention, he got it. "I think this calls for a family photo"
"As do I" Ana agreed pulling out a camera "Marc dear? If you don't mind?"
Marc took the camera "I never mind Mrs. Grey" he said smoothly. Ana took Christian's hand and they both stood at the base of the stairs Teddy and Phoebe stood between them and Marc pointed the camera.
Ana suddenly gave me a look I didn't understand "Natalia dear…what are you doing?" she asked
I shrugged "I don't know what you mean" I answered honestly.
Christian reached out and snatched my hand placing me between Phoebe and Teddy "She means what are you doing over there when she called a family Photo" he said as if he were speaking to a child.
After understanding what he said a feeling of warmth filled me from head to toe. The feeling was so overwhelming that after I managed a smile for the picture tears made their way to my eyes.
Teddy was the first to notice and he reached into his pocket and pulled out a handkerchief, handing it to me and leading me to the front door he called back to his family "Natalia is riding with me"
I heard a few questions asked but he ignored them and led me to his car, opening the door for me. I stepped in and sat quietly letting the feeling subside slowly. Teddy was next to me now and we were on our way to Dr. Trevely's house.
"Thank you for not making a big deal about this" I said softly, from the corner of my eye I can see him shrug. We rode the rest of the way in a comfortable silence and soon enough we were at our destination. Instead of giving the car to valet Teddy parked it himself and we just sat in the car.
"Want to talk about it?" he asked after a few more minutes of silence.
"It's nothing bad" I said quickly
"I never said it was" he responded "you don't have to tell me if you don't want to" and he reached for the door handle.
"I was just overwhelmed by the feeling your family gives me"
His hand stopped and he turned to look at me as I looked at him "do you not like it? I can ask them to lay off a bit"
I shook my head "it's not that at all" I stopped and bit my lip, a habit I was now picking up from Phoebe he reached down and caught my chin in his hand taking me by surprise.
"Don't bite your lip and finish what you were saying, I can't help out if I don't understand the situation" the sudden contact of skin sent a jolt through my body and my face reddened.
"Marc told me Christian hired him under the contract of protecting his daughter, and now the family photo thing" I shook my head feeling the warm sensation fill my heart again "I've never had a family…it just feels so warm that I was over taken with emotion" I smiled and looked up at him "they were tears of pure joy"
Teddy's face was frozen and he was silent. Did I say something wrong? He must have caught on to what he was doing and looked to have regained composure. He opened his mouth to say something but my door was suddenly opened.
Marc was staring down at me with a smirk, he leaned down to look at Teddy "I'll be taking my date now" he announced and pulled me up and out of the car.
Yay! I absolutely love the small Teddy Natalia moment at the end! The next chapter is going to be full of fundraiser madness! Vincent and Natalia meet? Maybe. Will she participate at the auction? Who will get that dance? I can't wait to post that one! Let me know what you think! As always thank you for reading and keeping up with this story!