“Wow, look at you.”
Raina Davenport took her seat at the table with the other single attendees for Ryder Fierce’s wedding. She hadn’t wanted to come, but working so closely with Grant and Ryder for the past eight months, she couldn’t find a way out of it.
She looked at Chloe who’d made that comment. At least she wasn’t the lone one without a date here and that was the only reason she’d talked herself into feeling like it’d be okay to come solo. “Thank you.”
“You should wear more colors like that,” Megan said. She worked in accounting and was a year older than Raina. They didn’t have a lot in common but found they were always eating lunch at the same time and started to bond.
Raina’s wardrobe mainly stuck to browns and blacks at work, at least on the bottom. Tops were dull grays or whites. Somehow her mother talked her into this hunter green dress when they went shopping a few weeks ago. It’s not like she had many dresses in her closet when she’d much prefer to blend in and not draw attention to herself.
At least not now.
“It’s not too bold?” she asked.
There were a few laughs around the table. She knew some of the others’ names but not them personally. She kept to herself as much as she could. It was easier that way.
“Hardly,” Chloe said. She was an engineer at Fierce Engineering. She’d only been there a year and was around Raina’s age too. At least they sat her with most of her generation for this event. “The color is great, but the fit is better.”
Yikes. That wasn’t what she was going for. She thought it might be tight to her small frame, but her mother insisted it was made for her. Since she could move easily in it, she had to get over it. There wasn’t too much that was tight on her, but this had a belt that showed how tiny her waist was.
“Not too much?” she asked, frowning.
There was more laughter and Megan patted her hand. “Not at all. You look lovely. Loosen up. I can’t figure out how someone as stunning as you seems so unsure of yourself.”
She hadn’t always felt that way, but these women didn’t need to know that. Nor was it something she shared with many outside her family.
“I’m just quiet,” she said. Most accepted that. She talked when there was a conversation going on, but she didn’t always contribute much on a personal level.
“We’ll get you talking tonight,” Mandy said, waving her hand for the waitress to come back over. There was a bar in the back with waitresses moving around while the wedding party was getting pictures taken. “I’ll take a white wine.”
The waitress took the orders around her and then she said, “Diet soda.”
“That isn’t going to make you talk,” Megan said, winking at her. At least Megan wasn’t pressuring her like some of the others looked like they wanted to do when they groaned over her soda.
“No, but I’m driving.”
“One drink isn’t going to hurt,” Mandy said. “I hope you at least have the champagne for the toast.”
“Leave her alone,” Chloe said. “Not everyone likes alcohol nor do they want to drink, socially or not. If you don’t want your champagne, I’ll have it.”
“I will drink the champagne,” Raina said. Since she’d be watching it as it was poured from the bottles that would be brought around for each table. She knew the routine because she’d heard Grant talking about it in a meeting with Ryder.
This was her first Fierce wedding, but some at this table had been to Drake’s and Jade’s also, who worked at the firm too. The Fierces did everything in style.
She listened to the conversations around her. Mainly about Ryder and Marissa and how their relationship was so fast. Considering Ryder and Marissa had a nine-year-old son, she didn’t think it was fast.
No, Ryder didn’t know about his son until earlier this year and there were a lot in the office who liked to gossip and figure out the whole story. But she worked with Ryder more than the rest of them and, though she’d heard all about him and his playboy ways prior to her start at Fierce, Marissa had been in his life since Raina’s employment and he seemed devoted and in love with his wife and son.
“So who was the guy paired up with Jade? Does anyone know?”
No one answered and then they looked at her. They knew she’d know the answer so she said, “Cody McMillan. That is Marissa’s brother.”
“Damn,” Megan said. “He is a treat on the eyes. Wonder if he’s single or not.”
She shrugged when they looked at her again. “No clue. It’s the first I’ve seen him too,” she said. She only knew who he was because Diane came into the office one day when she was working with Ryder and started to talk about Cody moving here and needing to get fitted for his tux last minute.
And as much as she wanted to agree with Megan’s comment about Cody, she was keeping her lips sealed. All she wanted to do was get through this reception and go back home to her apartment above her parents’ garage.
Not the life she’d thought she’d have, but it was the one she had. She was slowly finding her way and making changes to meet her dreams, but again, no one at this table needed to know that either.