How was she supposed to like his family when she hardly liked her own? The invitation to her boyfriend Jude's family Christmas party was staring up at her from the bedroom vanity. It was white with gold script lettering, much more proper and fancy than she would ever be. Delphine had never really been nervous in her life. She tried on dress after dress in front of her floor length mirror, deciding that many of them were either too revealing or not conservative enough. She had gained several pounds after a bad break up several years prior and had never been able to rid herself of them. She sighed, tugging on her long fiery tresses, and made stupid faces as she stared into the mirror; her fashion choices were hopeless.

She had only been dating Jude for a few months and she wasn't all that crazy about him, but the fact that he wanted her to meet his family during a holiday gave her hope of something to come. Perhaps he would be the one to pull her out of her rut. She wasn't entirely sure because for the last five years nothing seemed to work. Not even the hot angry sex she was able to have with random men she had met at bars could cure her. Usually that did the trick and she was fine for the next few months until the loneliness began to creep in again.

When she met Jude it was at Table 50 between Broadway and Bleeker Street. She had been looking for her next casual hook up when she caught him watching her from across the bar. She had been wearing a simple curve hugging black dress that forgave all the dimples and divots within her flesh. She had put on minimal make up to keep her face from looking disgusting the next morning, most likely with streaks of black mascara clouding her green eyes before smearing down her cheeks like spider legs. She finished her au-natural attempt with soft pink lip gloss that she had been hoping would be licked off her lips in the hours to come. She wanted to look somewhat nice when she awoke in a stranger's bed the next morning.

After forty-five minutes of pure eye stalking, Delphine had had about enough and was ready to leave when Jude finally emerged from across the room. As he approached, she realized he was a little too young for her. He had to have been at least twenty-one, and she was already pushing twenty-seven. Still, he didn't seem to notice and he ended up taking her home anyway. Delphine hadn't planned to call him back, but the next morning he bought her breakfast and asked her out.

Her mother had told her not to say no. "Adele honey, if you don't start dating you will become a cat lady."

She didn't understand this because she didn't like cats. And, she especially hated when her mother called her Adele. Only her old boyfriend Finn called her that and she didn't need any reminding of him.

She hadn't planned on being alone nor did she want to be alone. She craved companionship like alley cats craved smelly tuna in the trash cans. So, when Jude offered his time and energy, she took it.

Now, watching her frame move in a similar black dress she wasn't sure how things would go over. Would they like her? Did she even care?

Jude hadn't been all that great of a lay, hence her reasoning for not being sure to commit for a second date. However, she had learned over the years to not be so picky; there were always ways to teach him what she wanted. The conversations were what saved him. He was very in tune with who he was and rather intelligent for his age. When they would lay in bed together at night he would tell her all his dreams and what he wanted to do with his life. She would in turn do the same, but they never mentioned an inclusion of the other in their life plans. So, when he asked to bring her to a family dinner she wasn't entirely sure what to think.

"Del, you ready love?" Jude called from her living room, pulling her out of the fog that pretended to be her memories.

"Almost! Five more minutes!" she called back through her bedroom door. She took another look at herself in the mirror, smoothing her black silk dress, fluffing her hair, and adding some red lip stick to pop against her creamy skin before slipping into her red Louis that had cost her an entire month's paycheck when she first started at the PR firm. She waded through her jewelry box looking for the bracelet that she always wore when she needed some luck. In reality, it was a present from her last boyfriend, but it meant so much to her that she refused to hide it in the box. It was a lovely diamond tennis bracelet that shouldn't be hated out of shame and anger. She clipped it around her wrist and grabbed her clutch before emerging from her bedroom.

"Wow, babe, " Jude smiled, sliding his hand over her backside. "You look incredible, as always."

"Thanks," she smiled, kissing him softly on the lips and wiping away the red residue it left on them. He helped her into her winter pea coat, his honey eyes sparkling when she turned toward him again. Since she had her heels on she was roughly the same height as him, and it was odd to be looking directly into his eyes instead of up. He had gelled his blonde hair that morning and parted it to the side, which seemed foreign to his normal faux-hawk.

"All ready to go?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"It's going to be great. I promise they will love you," he said, ushering her out of the apartment.

The drive upstate was nothing Delphine hadn't done before. Despite this, the hours seemed to pass by in the slowest possible manner.

Jude grabbed her shaking knee as they began to get closer. "Hey, try to relax alright?" He straightened up in his seat, stretching his back in the sweater and button down that he had on over nice dress pants. His thumb moved slowly against her leg in a much more sexual way than she would have liked. She was about to meet his parents, not hop into his back seat.

When they drove down his street, Delphine could not pull her eyes from the gorgeous stone houses that lined the path before them. Each one was covered in the soft sprinkling of snow that had fallen a few days previously, and the Christmas lights that hung from the roofs glowed against the white backdrop.

He clearly came from money. Good to know since she wasn't even sure that he was employed.

They pulled up to a large old stone farmhouse with cute blue shutters, a Christmas wreath on the front door, and a sparkling tree in the window. She could imagine the perfect Christmases that Jude must have had here.

He parked his Mercedes in front of the three car garage, next to a Land Rover, and got out to open her door. The wind had started to pick up and gave her a chill down her spine as she emerged from the warm vehicle.

"Oh, looks like my brother Gage must be here already," Jude muttered to himself.

"I didn't know your brother was coming," she said, poking him in the side. "You never told me anything about him. How am I supposed to be prepared?"

He laughed at her nervousness and took her hand, folding it into the crook of his arm.

"There isn't much to tell really. He was the captain of the swim team in high school and everyone called him Finn, " He paused, waiting for her to laugh. When she didn't he continued, "Anyway, he went to college on scholarship and now he works with my dad at his firm."

Delphine's mind went blank. Did he just say Finn?

When they approached the door it swung open quickly and a man with chestnut hair and steel grey eyes emerged. "Who's ready to kiss under the—"

Delphine's eyes widened. Oh shit.

"Adele?" The man asked, his eyes watching her intently.

God, he looked like he had emerged from a Ralph Lauren catalog; tall and beautiful with dimples in his cheeks the same as they had been the last time she saw him.

"Finn," Delphine quavered softly. She was hypnotized by him, as she always had been, but his eyes bore into her with such ferocity that she was contemplating hiding behind Jude; or, better yet, running back to the car where she could lock the two of them out.

"Wait, you two know each other?" Jude put in, moving between his brother and Delphine his eyes darting back and forth between them. "Hold on, did you say Adele?" Jude stammered, stepping back from both of them. "This is swimming pool Adele….the one you told me about?"

She quickly turned her gaze on Jude and then reverted back to Finn, eyes wide with fury at the thought of him divulging every detail about the swimming pool incident.

Her face felt hot but she couldn't let the silence go on any longer. "Hi Finn."

Gage looked all too pleased with the situation before him. "Adele. Long time no see," he beamed, moving closer to her. "That scar still on your ass?"

Delphine breathed heavily. Her former lover was standing in front of her and the only thing she could think of was the word: Fuck.

Ashley Osbun is a senior English Major with a concentration in Creative Writing. She has a love that is bound within the pages of fiction and an equally remarkable love for Benedict Cumberbatch.