The next time I leave the country for six hours I will be sure to ask Lochlan's permission first, rather than not at all.
Last time I checked Bridget was an adult and also when I checked, Caleb was the one who kept ordering the drinks for me. Foolishly I accepted (most of) them. Lochlan is vaguely pissed off anyway, because inside his thick skull, I'm the farthest thing from an adult that there is and a precious commodity to be protected, not flown across the border to attend some horribly socially-stunted cocktail party and fed vodka until I boarded the plane again, shoes in hand and somewhat unsteadily buckled in by Benjamin to come back home.
On the upside, it was probably the only chance I'll have to enjoy the strapless pearl-grey dress and the silver shoes I love so much and never get to wear because they are far too glitzy for most functions. Ben wore a pewter tie and a dark grey suit with a black shirt and we looked amazing together. He avoided the bar all night, holding a bottled water and chatting in the corner with the same group for most of the evening. Watching me watch him. Watching me struggle.
I wasn't exactly smashed, I was simply too tired for a plane ride, we somehow missed dinner completely, and then the boredom of being surrounded by boorish executives and sycophantic, disgusting, bottom-feeder industry-types left me entertaining the bottom of any glass I could get my hands on, standing beside Caleb as he repeatedly tried and failed to engage me in conversation. I played with my phone, I admired my shoes. I was impossible. I was sexually harassed within moments, within earshot of Caleb, who ignored the faux pas completely, pissing me off. Perhaps I brought the party down. I do know the pseudo-pop music was annoying me before the bad behavior, setting a tone that smacked of post-college forced sophistication. We endured. It happens. Not every party can be a smashing success, not every event is going to be Vegas in a snowglobe, not every stranger will behave with decorum, not every song will be of my choosing.
Sadly. It should be. I have earned that much, haven't I?
Not every drink will be a candy-apple martini either. The first one was amazingly good, the next two were bearable, the fourth one sickly-sweet, the last one declined. However, we've already sent our regrets for the next function. Apparently we weren't as joy-killing as we felt we were and garnered another invite before take-off. I guess that's a good thing. It is a pretty spectacular dress, even if it is wrapped around a scowl.
I chose not to tell Ben about the lewd comments I received until we were home, partly because he spent a fair amount of time resisting the idea of attending at all, and secondly because Ben acts first and thinks later when someone oversteps his boundaries. He seems like he doesn't have any at all, but the limits of his good graces are very clearly defined and God help you if you overestimate them.
I chose wisely to tell him afterward, he said. Caleb wasn't going to tell him at all.