There’s Nobody Singing to Me Now – the (After) Life of the Party
The party didn’t really get going until everyone got a little closer to drunk and Samuel passed out the Ex. Lia and Van took theirs and slipped out to head back to the apartment so they could spend the evening alone. When they got back, they grabbed a bottle and locked themselves in Van’s room where Van cued up more of the porn Lia hadn’t seen and they watched for a bit until the Ex kicked in. They spent as much time talking as they did exploring each other; subjects ranging all across the spectrum and the resulting experience was profoundly intimate.
At the loft, the rest of the couples made good use of the furniture and the floor, eventually forgetting the videos on the screen as they began exploring the sensations of skin on skin. When morning came, David, Taryn, Samuel and Bree woke up with the sun as was their usual habit and slipped out of while everyone else slept in various states of undress around them. Back at Taryn’s ranch, they went about their usual chores and ate breakfast. They took a break from the ball park because they figured everyone was just going to be too damn lazy to bother.
Eventually, everyone at the loft filtered out and found their way home.
The barn building was progressing quickly at the Southern Cross and Samuel and Bree were getting more and more anxious for it to get done. Meanwhile, they’d given Brennan a job as bartender at the soon to be re-named G-Spot. Bree took Fridays and Sundays off; Friday so she could perform with the band and Sundays because she and Samuel decided that would be their lazy day every week.
Saturday afternoon found Seth standing in front of the new house, staring at his phone while he contemplated calling Lia and finding out what she wanted to talk about. Whatever she had to say, she was out of her fucking mind if she thought she was going to pull him aside for a couple of minutes in the middle of a party with god and everyone watching. He wasn’t going to let her put him in the position of looking like an asshole while she pretended she was so fucking victimized in front of everyone they knew again. Eventually, he sent her a text telling her where he was and to meet him if she still wanted to have that talk and then he went inside.
The impending divorce weighed heavily on him though he tried not to show it. When he told Siobhan he felt like he failed, he hadn’t meant he failed Lia. He’d just meant in general. He’d spent so long being so determined they could make it work that never once did the idea of a divorce ever cross his mind in any capacity. Up until a few days ago, anyway. From the moment he’d put the ring on her finger, she, along with Hera, had been his family. “Til death do us part” just didn’t have the same meaning anymore. And never once, no matter how bad things had gotten between them, did he believe or even consider that they wouldn’t actually follow through on that promise. Now it was just a matter of days before all that was gone and the past two years nothing more than an exercise in wasting time.
As Seth walked through the empty house, he thought about the plans they’d made that would never come to fruition. The family they’d never have, the milestones that would never happen; everything that was and would never be. One consolation he had, however, was that Lia wouldn’t be taking the house and making a new life he wouldn’t be part of with Hera. He didn’t know what would’ve happened if she hadn’t found out about Siobhan or if he hadn’t left during that argument. He wanted to believe he’d hurt her by signing the divorce papers. Or at least made a fucking impression. He deserved to get at least that much out of it for all the hassle he’d gone through. But Lia had bounced right through that and into another man’s bed. His best friend, no less. And he couldn’t help but wonder if that had been her goal all along. If she wouldn’t have left and run off to Van even if Seth had stayed. He didn’t understand how using her vibrator was cheating but using his best friend wasn’t. But when your self-righteous, anything’s justifiable and he was sure she had some kind of twisted moral explanation for why that was okay and he was sure those justifications helped her sleep at night.
Seth stepped out onto the back patio and looked out over the yard. She wouldn’t take his money but she sure as hell knew how to tie it up so he couldn’t get to it either. Hell, maybe she’d had that planned all along, too. Morally rigid didn’t equate to innocent and he refused to believe that this level of complication, this magnitude of “fuck you” was just a happy coincidence. He didn’t believe for a second she didn’t know she’d left him with virtually nothing but an empty house and a damn near empty bank account. At this point, all he could do was turn around and sell or rent out the house and be fucking grateful he didn’t have a credit card bill for a houseful of brand new furniture, too. At least he could recover most of what he was spending on the house and get out from under the homeowner’s insurance payment. He still had to close though and the closing costs were going to hurt. And the fucked up thing was he couldn’t even say, convincingly, he didn’t deserve most of it. But “most” is not “all”.