Friday night — 11:30 P.M.
Jill took one last look at her sleeping baby. Katy and Paddie were sound asleep in one of the second floor apartments. Scooter and Sarah lay on the floor near the bed. She heard the dogs jump on the bed when she pulled the door closed.
The kids had been with a family member the entire time they were awake. As soon as they started to lag, Jill and Colin settled them in this apartment. Jill knew Jacob was asleep upstairs, so she stayed as long as she could. The paparazzi had to leave at eleven due to Denver’s curfew laws. Valerie thought the guests would clear out around midnight. She asked Jill to help say ‘good-bye’ if Jacob wasn’t up to the task.
The party was a huge success. They laughed, danced, ate and drank. Valerie’s famous friends were so nice. Jill was amazed. Valerie introduced Tanesha to a nice man who worked as a grip on Valerie’s soap opera. He was tall, dark and ‘fine,’ according to Tanesha. Between fixing the stars’ makeup, Heather danced, laughed and, so far, hadn’t settled on one man. Jill had never seen Sandy as happy as she was tonight. She said a silent prayer that Sandy and Aden remained as happy as they were right now.
Closing the door to the apartment, Jill was sure she had never had a nicer night. She and Jacob floated through the evening in their own bubble of love. They danced and danced until he had to rest.
Jill smiled. She had enough time to wake Jacob, and share some fast love, before they needed to be downstairs. She nodded to the soldier who moved to stand in front of the apartment door.
Her heels made a happy tap dance across the hardwood floors of the hall. Clinging onto the banister for ‘don’t fall in my stilettos’ help, she made the quick trip through the Castle main kitchen where she picked up a bottle of champagne and some chocolate strawberries. Humming to herself, she started up the back stairwell to the apartment.
The moment her foot hit the landing, she saw him. She felt his fist against her cheekbone a split second later.
“Slut.” Trevor slapped the strawberries out of her hand. “You’ll fuck the rich boy but you’re too good for me?!”
She moved to hit him with the open champagne bottle. He stepped aside easily and yanked the bottle from her hands. At that moment, as if she was standing right next to her, Jill heard Alex Hargreaves’s voice.
“Remember, he’s strongest when you first meet. He’s spent hours getting pumped up for this action. Go against him then and you’ll only get hurt. Give in. Make him think he’s winning. Make your move at the transition. He’s weakest at any transition.”
Jill blinked. Trevor was drinking the champagne from the bottle. His eyes were glassy, as if he was high on something. She forced her lips into a smile.
“I didn’t know you were here,” she said. “Do you like my new dress?”
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
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