Stumped – when you can’t come up with a means to deal with a problem because you haven’t been given all of the relevant information
Ihear bleating as I walk to the park for Juniper and Maverick’s engagement party. One of Phoenix’s goats must have escaped again. I dig into my pocket to retrieve my phone to call him, but when I reach the park, I realize no goats have escaped.
“What in the world?” I mumble the question to myself as I scan the baseball field filled with goats and llamas.
“It’s a petting zoo,” Sage says as she walks over to me.
I normally don’t agree with Ashlyn when she calls Juniper an animal freak – the word freak is insulting after all – but in this instance, I can understand where Ashlyn is coming from. Only Juniper would have a petting zoo for her engagement party.
When I turn to address Sage, I realize she’s not alone. She’s joined by the rest of the gossip gals – Petal, Cayenne, Clove, and Feather. They’re wearing bright pink t-shirts with the words Gossip Gal Party Helper on them.
“Did Juniper ask you to help out today?”
“She doesn’t need to ask for our help. We’re always available,” Petal says.
“Speaking of which, we need to sort you out.”
“What?” I don’t know what Sage is referring to. Why would they need to ‘sort me out’?
“I’m disappointed. I thought we had this one settled already.” Feather sighs.
“I had the candles all wrapped up for her,” Petal adds. She owns the candle store, Sensual Scents, and makes most of the candles she sells herself.
“I don’t think we need to interfere. I think it will all work itself out nicely,” Clove says.
“Are you crazy?” Cayenne asks her. “Nothing works itself out without our help.”
Perhaps I should escape while they discuss whatever it is they’re discussing amongst themselves. They don’t seem to need my input.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Sage shackles my wrist and pulls me back to the group.
“To congratulate my sister on her engagement.”
It’s not a lie. If today’s event weren’t on behalf of my sister and her fiancé I wouldn’t be here. Even if I didn’t feel as if my heart were breaking into a million pieces, I’d prefer to avoid this party. I do not enjoy social situations. I much prefer to work. But, according to my mother, I am required to attend all social events for the family.
And I do not want to get on my mother’s bad side. Her punishments are frightening. The last time I upset her she made me take a dancing class. And not a ballroom dancing class, which I admit could be helpful in the future. No, it was a tango class!
“But we need to sort you out first,” Sage yells.
Ellery arrives and drags me away. “Sorry, Sage, family duty calls.”
“What family duty?” I ask her once we’re out of hearing range of the gossip gals.
“There is no family duty.”
She cocks her eyebrow. “Do you want to go back there and discuss your love life with the gossip gals?”
“My love life? They wanted to discuss my love life with me?”
I don’t know why I’m surprised. The gossip gals fancy themselves matchmakers. They believe they’re successful as well. Why is unclear to me. As far as I can tell, they didn’t assist my sisters with meeting their partners.
“It would have been a short discussion as I currently don’t have a love life.” My heart clenches and I reach up to rub my chest.
Ellery sighs. “I still don’t get why you broke up with Beckett.”