Episode 404: More Than A MemorySunshine glimmered on the Marques Estate. The grounds pristinely manicured, accented with beautiful yellow, white and pale pink flowers, staggering in their number and variety.
Waiters passed through the finely dressed guests carrying trays of champagne and works of miniature art to nibble on.
The garden party as always, reminded Avalon of something out of Fitzgerald or Waugh and yet bibliophile that she was, two hours into the party she’d had her fill of that world and took the first opportunity to stroll off on her own. She wasn’t alone in the urge to escape.
"Hey," Sebastian said his pleasure to see her written all over his face as they met on the grassy hillside. Though they’d tried to form a united front to face the party, several times his mother and father had dragged them off separately to meet other people, treating Ava like a daughter to cover for the absence of the other two.
"Did you get tired of being the only prodigal child?" She asked.
He nodded. "I guess you’ve had enough of Sarette staring at you?"
"I can’t tell whether she’s worried I’m going to blab that I’m her dirty little secret or if she’d be relieved to have it out in the open. I needed a break."
Smiling wistfully, he reached for her hand. "This is familiar, huh? The two of us disappearing from the party."
Ava motioned for them to take a seat. Settled, she said, "I think this is almost the exact spot I found you drinking your way into a stupor. That was the first night I saw you were more than a spoiled rich kid."
"That was when I realized you were more than the flavor of the month to me. I told you things about my family, my mom, that I never thought I’d feel okay about telling anyone."
She squeezed his hand tighter. "I’m glad you told me. I’m glad I got to know you better."
"I’m glad too, or the next year you never would’ve made out with me in the greenhouse," Sebastian teased, though the memory ignited a long, lingering look from both sides.