Grace wiped her face with the back of her hand and sniffed, that’s enough of that she demanded of herself and sat up and looked herself in the mirror above the small table across from her bed. She bent over the edge of the bed and rummaged through one of her bags looking for her makeup bag, when she finally found it she sat down at the table to try to salvage what was going on with her face. In the end she decided to just take all of her makeup of, just as she was done she heard a soft knock on her door. Grace walked over and opened the door to find Chris stand there with a present wrapped in the cutest wrapping paper with small paw prints all over it, she was surprised that there wasn’t some kind of bow on top though, Chris always put bows on his presents.
“Oh Chriiiiiiis” Grace whined taking the present and setting it down before pulling her main boy in to great big hug “I love you.” she whispered in to his shoulder. She released him and gestured him to come in and closed the door behind him. Grace picked up the present and started to unwrap it and open the box, inside was 3 different scarfs for George the corgi to add to his collection. Grace looked up at her best friend tears welling up in her eyes again, she was quick to wipe them away. She was just so glad she had him in her life so the tears were more happy this time around “Thank you” she said softly.
As a way to celebrate the upcoming union, Chris had bought presents for everybody. Though he didn't know everybody in the wedding party, particularly from the bride's side, he still tried to make an effort. What kind of party would it be if someone was left out? Getting Grace's gift was the easiest of them all. Christopher knew how much she adored her little corgi, so the cute scarfs he found on Etsy would definitely be appreciated. After all, who can hate a dapper dog in a cute scarf?
Seeing Grace tear up after opening the gift made him want to hug her again. And, well, he did. He gave her a comforting hug, holding on until the tears stopped. “How are you feeling?” He asked her.
Grace sniffed once more “Oh you know I’m holding up, I guess I’ve been sensing it for a while but I thought the jerk would at least wait until after the wedding!” she tried to make the situation lighter with a small laugh. She laid her head down on Chris’s lap and peered up at him “How about you? Are you ok with all of this?” she asked.
Christopher clicked his tongue disapprovingly. From what he could recall, Tristan was always a selfish guy; never considering Grace's feelings because of his extreme ego. Even though he didn't want to see Grace hurt, Christopher was glad that he was gone. “This break up is Tristan's loss, not yours.” Despite sounding like a typical bestie from a teen rom-com, Grace would know he was speaking honestly.
When Grace shifted the conversation towards himself, Christopher sighed. He began playing with her hair, giving her a half-hearted head massage whilst she laid on his lap in a sorry attempt to distract himself. “I'm... dealing.” He returned with a vague answer.
Grace sighed and closed her eyes as Chris played with her hair, he was right as much as she was about being dumped she couldn't help but feel a little bit relieved of not having to deal with all the crap that came with dating someone like Tristan. As she laid there with Chris's hands doing their magic, she could feel the stress and tension ebbing away. This is what she had been needing, Grace scolded herself for not telling Chris about her break up straight from the beginning.
She opened her eyes to look at him again as he answered her question with a deflecting answer. Grace made a concerned face“Are you though? In a healthy way? Not like me...” she laughed again. Usually Grace was the one who had her boys in check but lately she had been swamped at work and can't even remember when they all had been together at their regular bar. Darien has been busy obviously but how long has it been since she saw Leo? And now with the break up she has not been as stable as she usually likes to be.
“I’ve had some time to think about it and… I cannot be the one to stop them from pursuing their happiness if it’s with each other.” It was a tough pill to swallow, but if you were truly in love you’d want to see them happy. “I’m Darien’s friend before anything else, I can’t ruin this wedding for him.” His response sounded strangely rehearsed, but as long as Grace could understand his feelings, it didn’t matter.
Grace nodded and bit her lip, his response echoing in her mind. She knew she should feel the same but something has been bugging her ever since Darien and Daphne got engaged a year ago.
Rather than dwelling on it, Christopher got an idea. “When we were checking in, I found that this hotel has an arcade. How about we cheer up with some games? I could text and see if Leo is up for some ass whooping.” He offered. Christopher entertained the idea of inviting Darien briefly, before ultimately deciding against it. If anybody asks, he could simply say that he didn’t want to remind Grace about her breakup.
Grace sat up and her whole face lit up when she heard games “Oh yes! I will whoop both your asses if they have DDR!” she ran her hands through her hair to tame it in to place. “Yeah call him over and we can leave after I fix myself up!” She chirped already in a better mood grabbing some fresh clothes and her makeup bag as she made her way into the bathroom.
Leo had only just made himself comfortable in his room, which he honestly found quite to his liking, when phone once again began to buzz. He dreaded the thought of even more work-related matters on his supposed holiday. However, he was pleasantly surprised by the text from his colleague that was on holiday as well. He grinned at the invitation to the arcade with Grace. Not only had he not seen Grace in a while, but he’d never pass up the chance to kick their butts. He texted back approvingly, and got ready to leave.
When Leo arrived, he was able to meet Grace and Christopher at the lobby by the entrance to the arcade. Christopher was the first to wave his colleague and study buddy over. He raised his voice so he could be heard over the excitable Vegas crowd heading into the adjacent casino, beckoning Leo to join them.
Grace spun around when she heard Chris greet their friend “Leo!” she exclaimed almost running towards the man, he was a sight for sore eyes and she hadn’t realized how much she had missed him. She flung her arms around him when she reached her friend “I’ve missed you so much!” she had to hold back so to not start crying again. She pulled away from him and started to straighten his shirt, a habit she had with all of them. She then punched him lightly on the arm “Thanks for calling and checking in… douche!” she smiled widely at her old friend.
Leo bore a wide grin as he found his two friends. He returned Chris’s greetings before finding himself in Grace’s arms. “It’s been a while, Grace. It’s good to see you!” He said back. He was calm and reserved, but that didn’t take away from the genuinity of the statement. He responded to her punch in kind by relentlessly ruffling her hair. “Same goes for you, dumbass! A thousand calls a day, and not one from you.” He smiled back.
She tried to dodge his hand as he ruffled her now pristinely styled hair but to no good “Hey! I’m not supposed to be the one who calls… I’m the girl! You should all be showering me with love!” she turned to face Christopher “Isn’t that right? You call me every day.” she reached out and pulled him closer with her arm around Chris’s waist.
Christopher snickered, allowing Grace to pull him in. “It helps if you call Leo yourself. Sometimes he forgets that his phone is good for not only receiving, but sending calls too.” He jested, before pushing Leo and Grace in the direction of the arcade. “Now come on, let's make Leo regret not calling you.”
“Don’t hate me because I’m popular!” Leo said to Chris in a mock sassy tune. Then he headed into the arcade at Chris’s wish. It had been some time since he had visited an arcade, but he was certain his skills wouldn’t fail him. “Time to beat some high scores, oh and your asses while I’m at it.” He challenged them, his confidence as present as ever. “Ladies first, Grace, pick your poison.”
The arcade was loud and crowded, just as Grace liked it. She stepped in front of the two boys and scoped out their choices. If Seara resort has done something right it was this arcade, they had just about everything from old to brand spanking new and imported from Japan. Gracie browsed the machine until she came to a halt in front of one particular machine. “So how about some classic Tekken 7? Anyone think they can beat my girl Ling Xiaoyu?” She wiggled her eyebrows at favorite boys.
Christopher was never the gaming type. He was part of the minority, growing up without a gaming console (or a sibling to play with) so reading became his passion. So when Grace suggested a two player fighting game, Christopher was certain that he was going to lose so... “I volunteer Leonard as my champion.” He pushed Leo closer, as if to further his point with a wicked grin.
Leonard shrugged as he was pushed forward. “Guess someone is afraid. Anyway, let me show you how it’s done.” He wore his signature cocky grin as he took his place next to Grace on the machine and casually picked his boy Steve.
She scoffed as Leo stepped up “Typical… Honestly so toxic!” Grace said sarcastically and grinned at him. It was a tough 5 rounds but in the end Grace had to accept defeat with two rounds to tree, she slammed her fist down on the machine as the final K.O flashed on the screen. With a sour look on her face she looked up at them “Whatever! I need a drink!” she snapped and started in the direction of the bar.
With Grace gone for a moment, Christopher resisted the urge to follow after to make sure she was okay. But just barely. Instead, he turned to Leonard. “I need to talk to you, but you gotta promise me it'll stay between us.” It was likely that Grace hadn't had to chance to tell Leonard yet about her break up, and the last thing she would need is for him to bring up Tristan after spending some time cheering her up.
“Grace isn't doing so well. Tristan broke up with her just before the trip.” He informed Leo in a hushed tone. “I'm trying to cheer her up but I'll need your help with that as well.” It was clear Christopher didn't want to linger around the Tekken machine for long, lest he risk losing Grace in the boisterous crowd hovering near the bar.
”Is that so?” Leo said in response. ”Can’t say I’m too sad about that. I didn’t like the guy anyway!” He said, knowing Grace wasn’t around to hear it. ”That said, I do feel for Grace. So let’s do a good job cheering her up, shall we?” He nodded, then dragged Christopher along towards Grace.
Grace tapped the bartop with her nails trying to get the attention of the bartender. When he finally finished with the guys the was in front of her she smiled and nodded at him. “Hey, can I have 3 IPA’s?” when she had gotten the beers Grace showed of her former waitressing skills by carrying the boys beers in one hand and drinking from her own glass as she walked over to the men approaching.
Christopher and Leonard soon met with Grace by a recently emptied table. Christopher quickly cleared the table of old rubbish before joining the duo. He wasn’t certain whether telling Leo Grace’s personal problems was the right thing to do, but he only meant well. And he was sure that Leo would want to know so he could help.
From a glance it didn't appear that Grace was suffering all that much with get break-up. But Leo had to wonder how much she was simply keeping herself strong to not ruin the mood. That sounded like Grace. Another part of him wondered if this was the beginning of her drinking her troubles away. That sounded less like her, right? Was that right?
Regardless, he accepted the drink gratefully and promised himself he'd keep an eye on her. He couldn't let Chris shoulder all of the burden, and the best thing they could do was make this one kick-ass trip.