The Payne household was bustling with work to be done for not only the upcoming Bachelorette parties for both Lauren and Scarlet, but also because of their wedding. Blake was sent to get the invitation cards made, while Andrew and Jared had gone to the caterers on of their wives’ orders.
Katie had volunteered to go with Blake to get the invitation cards made, and the man didn’t protest since he had wanted to talk to Katie.
He hadn’t talked to the woman properly since the accidental thing he had said to her. Sure, he had followed her to the basement, but he had found her laying on her respective mattress.
Thinking that she was asleep, he left, but unknown to him, she was wide awake.
Angela had been brutal in her scolding as she whacked Blake with the TV remote, while the man kept apologizing for his idiocy.
Scarlet and Clark watched the 16-year-old and shivered with fear whenever she would glance their way.
Juliet was the only one that considered the girl badass since she had such a hold on Blake, and had managed to scare even Scarlet, which was a feat in itself.
Tyler hadn’t moved away from Grandma Payne, since the old woman wanted someone to play board games with her, so Andrew and Jared had left their youngest brother to do that.
One thing was for sure, Grandma Payne was a lethal player.
The twins had been watching Angela bake some cookies, while the said girl kept feeding Greg cookie dough. No one knew why Angela was being so kind to Gregory, except for the girl herself, who saw the boy as a younger brother, since she had always wanted a younger sibling.
If it weren’t for her mother, who was careless even raising her and her brother, she would’ve asked her for a sibling, but she knew that it would still be something impossible.
Scarlet was in the basement, texting Lauren about how much she missed her, even when Clark was with her. She kept pouting as she looked at her screen while Clark sighed heavily. He wanted them to do some work, but Scarlet had insisted that she didn’t want to work at the moment.
“Scarlet!” Both of them turned their heads towards the door before glancing at each other. Laura called Scarlet again, which was enough to make the woman get up from her mattress with a frown.
“Ugh, what now?” Scarlet groaned as she got out of the room before going up the stairs. The moment she had come out of the basement, she was met with the glaring eyes of her mother.
“Take your cousins to play.” The woman was now noticing the twins standing just behind her mother, as Laura glared at Scarlet with her hands placed on her waist. “What, but why? Can’t they go play alone, they’re older now.”
The twins smirked when Laura pinched Scarlet’s right ear. “Don’t question your mother. Take Ed and Ed to the park or anywhere they want to go.” Scarlet rubbed her ear after Laura had been merciful enough to let it go.
There was a frown plastered on Scarlet’s face as she watched her mother go into the kitchen, and then her eyes turned towards her two cousins. “You bitches.”
“Aunt Laura, Scar is cursing at us!”
“No, I’m not!”
“Scarlet, I better not hear you cursing!” Laura yelled from the kitchen which made Scarlet glare at her cousins. “You both better count yourselves as lucky.” She pointed a finger at both of them before going back to the basement, to get Clark.
If she had to babysit her cousins then Clark would accompany her.
“Yo, Clark, we’re going out.” She stated as she entered the first room in the basement. Clark sat up on his mattress with a frown as he looked at his boss. “Why?”
“Don’t ask.” Clark’s frown didn’t leave as he got up from the mattress, getting his phone and wallet as well.
The two came out of the basement after a while and looked at the twins, who were ready to leave. With them, Angela and Gregory were also there, and Juliet was also standing there with a bored look on her face, as if she was also forced to go along with the twins.
“Are you going to come with us too?” Scarlet asked Juliet as she picked up the keys to the minivan from the key bowl placed on the stand by the front door.
Nodding her head, Juliet gave Scarlet a sly smile, “Trust me, you will be grateful for this.”
Scrunching up her nose, Scarlet gave her cousin a confused look which was ignored by the red-headed woman. Blake and Juliet shared a look, which made Clark curious to what they had planned.
“Scarlet!” The whole bunch of adults and kids were almost out of the door when Vanessa called out to Scarlet, practically sprinting down the stairs with her daughter in her arms. “Please take Sam too.” She panted as she thrusted her daughter into Scarlet’s arms. The little girl didn’t mind anything as she wrapped her arms around her aunt’s neck.
“What, why?” Scarlet tried to pry her niece’s arms away from her neck but it was futile. “I am a pregnant woman that can’t handle this little shit, how do you expect me to handle her?” Vanessa complained as she glared down at her stomach.
“Ask Kevin to do it, come on. He’s her father.” Vanessa’s glare turned to Scarlet now, as she squinted her eyes as a response before speaking, “Kevin’s gone to get his parents from the airport.”
It was as if Scarlet’s life could not have gotten any worse. “W-Why his parents? What are they doing here?” She asked with a stutter, feeling the dread wash over her.
Vanessa smirked at her sister before turning around and walking up the stairs again. “Wow, Kevin’s parents. They were a sweet couple.” Juliet commented as she sarcastically informed Clark with a snicker, making Scarlet even more pissed as well as scared.
“Let’s just go.” She mumbled sourly as she wrapped a protective arm around her niece, who was still clinging to her, before walking out the front door and going over to the minivan.
All of the children she was taking with her, climbed into the van as well, some fought over who would get to sit in the front with Scarlet, but that was futile since Scarlet picked someone herself.
“Clark, in the front.” She got into the driver’s seat, with groans of protest from her twin cousins. Clark got into the passenger seat without any protest, while Juliet strapped Samantha into the baby seat she was still made to sit in.
“You’re the only person that hasn’t pissed me off yet.” Scarlet grumbled to Clark, who laughed at his boss’ words. “Well, I try.”
“Good, you’re also the only person I can get rid of if you piss me off.” Clark gulped as Scarlet gave him a sickeningly sweet smile.
“Are you shits ready!?” Scarlet yelled as she looked into the rearview mirror at her cousins and niece, and Angela, who didn’t look the least bit excited to be going anywhere.
“Language!” Juliet exclaimed while the rest screamed a loud and obnoxious, “Yes!”
Ignoring her cousin’s reprimand, Scarlet backed out of the driveway and onto the road, before they were off to go to a park. Hopefully one that didn’t make Scarlet any more pissed.
It was pandemonium when the cousins arrived at the nearest park to the Payne residence, with Clark and Angela.
The twins rushed out of the minivan with Angela and Gregory, as soon as Scarlet parked it safely. Juliet yelled after them to be careful as she got out of the van as well, after unbuckling her niece from the baby seat.
Samantha giggled as she wrapped her arms around her red-headed aunt.
Scarlet and Clark were the last ones out of the van, as they looked around the park. Clark and Scarlet did so for other various reasons unknown even to them.
“How about we go sit under that large tree?” Juliet proposed as she gave Scarlet a pout, which made Scarlet raise a questioning eyebrow at her cousin, before shrugging.
She had nothing better to do in the park, other than laze around, probably play games on her phone or text Lauren. Just the thought of Lauren made Scarlet home sick for New York.
They could’ve easily married there with no separation or anything. Everything would’ve been quick and painless.
“I’ll go buy some snacks from the store over there.” Clark informed Scarlet as he pointed to a convenience store just across from the park. The woman nodded before she moved to get her wallet out of her jean’s pocket but Clark stopped her before she could. “I have money.” He smiled before leaving them in the park’s parking lot and crossing the road.
“He’s a good guy.” Juliet commented, which made Scarlet nod her head at him. “Yeah, and I think he’s interested in Katie.” She mumbled before turning to go to the tree that Juliet had mentioned.
“What?! And you’re telling me this now!” Juliet fell in step with Scarlet, as she looked at her cousin with a hopeful look, wanting to know more of Clark’s crush on Katie.
“Why? This doesn’t concern you in any way.” Scarlet gave her cousin a frown, who only waved her hand dismissively. “It does. I love scandals.”
Scarlet scrunched up her nose in dislike, as she gave her cousin a shake of the head, “You’re an idiot.”
“Hey, hey, I just like being of any help to two people that would happen to like each other.”
“But, Katie doesn’t like Clark, or I hope she doesn’t.” Scarlet mumbled the last part to herself but it was futile since the other girl heard her loud and clear. “Ooh, do you not want Katie to like Clark?”
Scarlet ignored her cousin’s teasing tone of voice as she walked faster to the huge tree. She looked around the park to see where her cousins and Angela were, and once she found them, she sighed and sat down under the shade.
Juliet soon joined her with a smirk on her face. She placed Samantha down in front of her, and the three-year-old immediately began to play with the grass.
“Stop that.” Scarlet grumbled, which made Juliet’s smirk widen. “Stop what? I’m not doing anything.”
“You are!” Scarlet burst out as she looked at her cousin, who looked taken aback by her sudden outburst. “Whoa, calm your tits, man. I was just teasing you, sheesh.”
Scarlet’s anger subsided as she realized that she shouldn’t have burst out at Juliet, who wasn’t to blame for anything. “I’m sorry, I just don’t like talking about this.”
Juliet rolled her eyes as she glanced at her cousin, “Talking about what? About Katie finally moving on from you.”
The older woman looked at her cousin with a frown as she shook her head, wanting to ask what Juliet meant from that, but before she could, Juliet spoke up again, “You know how much of a jerk you look like right now. You want to marry Lauren, but you don’t want Katie to move on from you. You’re so selfish.”
“Selfish?” Scarlet Looked at her cousin with a frown.
“Yes, selfish. Let her move on for Pete’s sake. Do you even know that she hasn’t been in any relationship since you broke up with her? She hasn’t even tried dating someone else. That woman might as well just take up celibacy now.”
Scarlet didn’t know any of that as she stared at her cousin in surprise. Sure, they had formed a friendship after Lauren and Scarlet moved in together, but Katie had always made sure to never talk about her relationships with Scarlet.
“I – I didn’t know that.”
“Yeah, I figured.” Juliet frowned before she leaned against the tree trunk.
Scarlet didn’t say anything as she noticed Clark walking up to them with two paper bags in his arms. He smiled at Samantha playing in the grass, before his eyes trailed to Scarlet, and seeing the woman’s sour expression, he decided not to say anything.
After reaching them, Clark handed the two paper bags to Juliet, who took them willingly. “I got some juice boxes and some sandwiches so if they ever get hungry, you can give them that.”
Juliet nodded her head. Clark smiled before he sat beside Juliet, not wanting to feel the sourness of his boss, who was still silent. Almost immediately, Samantha began to giggle as Clark made funny faces at her.
Scarlet was broken out of her reverie as she gave her niece a smile. She did love children, and she loved Lauren above all. She also loved her family and her friends and somewhere along the way she considered Stewart as her friend too.
Katie was definitely just like Stewart to her, a friend that she could talk to, so why did she turn so bitter when she would imagine Katie with someone other than her.
A part of her told her that she hadn’t gotten the closure that she should’ve from the dyed-blonde woman, but the wiser part of her made her realize that she was just being this way because she wanted the woman to hurt, just as much as se did when Katie had been laying in her bed with Stewart.
The image still brought bottled up bitterness in her, as Scarlet tried to find a reason valid enough for her behavior.
“Oh.” Scarlet’s thoughts were interrupted as she looked at where Juliet was staring. The figure coming from a few feet away from them looked exactly like a familiar blonde’s, who had another blonde man beside her.
It only took the blonde only a few minutes more to reach Scarlet, as she practically sprinted and then jumped in the dark-haired woman’s arms.
“I missed you so much.” Lauren whispered as she took in a lung full of air as if she had been having trouble breathing before. Scarlet smiled as her arms wrapped tighter around her fiancé’s waist. “I missed you more.”
“No one missed Lauren as much as me though.” Juliet grumbled as she complained to Clark, who gave the woman a chuckle. Lauren and Scarlet managed to laugh at her as well.
Stewart only watched them from a few inches away, feeling himself smile at the couple. He considered his sister lucky to have someone like Scarlet, who was faithful as well as nice to her.
His eyes moved from the hugging couple to a certain red-head, that was staring at them. She looked just as pretty as she had been three years ago, with her semi-long hair, and her large innocent eyes even though everyone knew how evil she was. Stewart smiled at how he found himself falling deeper for the red-head.
She deserved someone better than him though, and he knew it too. He had been the one that had slept with Katie, he had caused Scarlet such a heart-ache, and he knew that despite all that he didn’t deserve to even think that he could get a chance with Juliet, but a part of him told him to try.
And Stewart placed everything else aside apart from that small piece of him that told him to try.