“You should have been begging him for some hair care products,” Celeste said with a shake of her head.
Sera shrugged. She was getting used to Celeste commenting on her appearance. She did it to everyone in her life. In a weird way it almost felt affectionate since if Celeste didn’t like a person, she simply did not speak to them. “I came from yoga.”
“Then you should be well warmed up and ready to defend yourself.” Celeste pulled out her phone. “Also, you’re not actually wearing any pants, so that should have made it easy to do that kicking thing.”
“I have on leggings.” She attempted to defend the most comfortable of pants.
“Leggings are not pants. They are the cellophane of the clothing world.” Celeste glanced over at Mr. Brewer. “She was talking about kicking your masculine parts, you know, Brian.”
“Mrs. Beaumont, you’re telling me you know this person?” Brewer asked, staring at Celeste like he’d never seen her before.
“I told you.” Sera moved to join Celeste because it appeared she wasn’t getting in trouble the way she thought she would. Celeste seemed almost disappointed she hadn’t caused a physical fight. “She’s my boyfriend’s aunt and she won’t let me go to the wedding in a perfectly nice jumpsuit that is both comfortable and flattering.”
“We have two different versions of flattering, Seraphina,” Celeste said, her fingers moving across her phone.
“Mrs. Beaumont, I had no idea you were coming today. Patrice was taken ill and couldn’t come in,” the saleslady was saying. “I’m going to help you, and please accept my apologies for the mistake. If your friend had properly identified herself, we wouldn’t have had the confusion.”
“I told you exactly who I was,” Sera replied. “And I told him who I was waiting for and he got all creepy and pervy, and I already had to deal with Kenny White trying to take pictures of me.” She stopped because she really did have to think about Harry. “Is this one of those things where I’m supposed to be a lady and pretend like he didn’t hit on me while his wife and daughter are in the other room? And pretend that saleslady didn’t take one look at me and decide I’m trash?”
Celeste seemed to think about it for a moment. “My mother-in-law would say yes. This design house is one of the best in New Orleans. She would tell you every woman in the world has a Brian Brewer who behaves like an animal, and you should learn how to keep your mouth shut and deal with it. She had to. I had to. Why shouldn’t you?”
“That doesn’t seem like a nice thing to say. I wouldn’t want my daughter to have to put up with it.” If she ever had a daughter. She would teach Luc never to treat a woman like something he was entitled to, like she didn’t exist unless some man wanted her.
“As it happens, my mother-in-law was a terrible person and I don’t want any woman to have to deal with it, period. Brian, if you ever so much as look at a young lady under my charge, I will ensure that no one in your family can show their face in society again. Don’t think I can’t do it, and you should simply expect that every young lady you meet is in my charge. I’m taking on charity work, you see.”
“Hey,” Sera started and then decided to go with it. Besides, she’d learned that when Celeste got on one of her lectures, anything could happen.
“As for taking a load of humiliation in order to keep in good standing with the House of Hanover, I believe we shall forgo that as well.” Celeste slid her phone back into her bag. “I just canceled my order for twenty dresses. I also let your boss know why. I believe until she changes her policy of allowing young ladies to be molested in her place of business, I will no longer be a client. I understand that she is dressed like she should be drinking it up on Bourbon Street, but that’s the way most young women dress these days, and at least she’s got a bra on. Seraphina, come. The car will pick us up and we’ll find a dress somewhere else.”
“Oh, I’ve got my car. I can drive us.” She was parked in the garage down the street.
“Or we can go in yours.” She knew when Celeste couldn’t be moved. And honestly, the idea of Celeste in her broken-down Chevy was pretty humorous.
“Excellent. Say good-bye, Seraphina. You won’t have to see these people again,” Celeste said. “Likely because they’ll be fired or trying to save their marriages.”
Sera gave them a jaunty wave and raced to keep up with Celeste. For a woman in five-inch heels, she could move.