Dustin drove over to the Nicholsons‘ home at noon. The villa was in a secluded neighborhood, with flowers and hedges decorating the front yard.
Dahlia was right outside. Dustin tried to avoid her but was still spotted.
“Stop right there! I need to talk to you!”
“What is it?” Dustin asked. Their backs were to each other as they spoke.
“I haven’t told Granddad about our divorce because of his condition.”
“Do you think we can keep him from finding out?”
“I’ll find a chance to tell him after, just not today.”
“Alright. Anything else?”
“Nope.” Dahlia turned and went inside the house without another word.
They never once looked at each other, acting like complete strangers.
Dustin took a deep breath and went in as well, wine in hand. The living room was filled with people, including most of the Nicholsons.
Only John, Dahlia’s father, was absent, still outside on his trip.
Yet someone was sitting in his usual seat this time, an outsider too–Chris Nolan.
“How rude to have us elders wait on him like this,” Florence jeered, her expression
“Shh, Mom. He might get upset and hurt you!” James chirped loudly. He hadn’t let go of what had happened yesterday. The bruises were still visible on his face.
“Alright, now that everyone’s here, let’s have dinner.” Henry Nicholson announced, beaming at Dustin. “Come and sit beside me, kid.”
“Sure.” Dustin smiled in return and helped the old man to his seat.
James scowled, his eyes burning with jealousy. “Kiss–ass!”
He had never understood why his grandfather doted on Dustin. James was the old man’s grandson by blood!
“Come, let us all drink!” Henry toasted.
“Granddad, look at this.” James pulled up a decorated box of wine. “Chris brought this beautiful wine over, a fine Grand Cru from La Romanee Conti. We should all toast with
“La Romanee Conti? That’s a really expensive vintner, no?”
“Yes, it is. It was 100 thousand dollars a bottle!” Chris boasted.
“What? 100 thousand dollars a bottle?!” everyone exclaimed in shock. The sky–high
price had been way beyond their expectations.
The Harmons were pretty well–off, but even they hadn’t had a chance to try something this expensive.
“Why’d you spend all that money on this, Chris? It’s too much, no?” Florence
questioned, though pride laced her tone. After all, Chris was her first choice for a son–in
“100 something thousand isn’t much. I have another barrel of this at home, so please, you all enjoy,” Chris grinned like a cat that ate the canary. The pride was evident on his face, however.
“Mr. Nolan, you’re really generous.”
“Yeah, we’re really in for a treat tonight!”
The family began praising Chris for his wine, feeding his ego further.
“Hey, boy, look at how sincere James is. His wine costs 100 thousand dollars. But what about yours, hm? You bought them from the dollar store, didn’t you? Cheapskate!” Florence sneered and even kicked James in the calf.
“Why don’t we have a look?” James proposed with a conspiring smile. He swiftly opened Dustin’s box of wine.