Mark scraped up the last of the black caviar with the last toast point. Some of it fell on his shirt, but he didn’t notice. He turned to his brother beside him and grinned a caviar smile.
“I’m making a toast, Jeffery; I’m going to…make a toast.”
“Mark, you’re drunk. Sit back down before—“
But Mark was already climbing up onto his chair, champagne in hand. By the time he started tapping the glass, everyone was already watching him closely, half-smiling, setting down their forks and picking up their camera phones.
“I just want to say—“ He got his bearings, squinting across the crowd for the handful of people he actually knew. Not many, but it was his party—as long as they knew who he was, that was alright. He tapped his glass again until he found his train of thought. “Ah! Yes. It’s good to see you all here tonight, I have to say. And I—I just want to say a word of thanks for the man who made this all possible—“
“Stop it,” hissed Jeffery.
“What was that? No, not you, little brother! At least,” he tried to look darkly serious. “At least I don’t think so!” Mark mugged at the crowd, which laughed appreciatively.
“Anyway, I want to give thanks to the man who made this—all of this—party and everything possible—all of you coming together like this, in this beautiful place—I want to thank him for all of the things you see before you and more! A lot more!” Polite laughter. “Our father, ladies and gentlemen: Mr! Earnest! Kirkland! Nibb! It couldn’t have happened without him!” Mark drained his glass and swayed on his chair.
“Actually, come to think of it, people—I guess it COULD happen without him! May he rest in peace!”
By the time Mark hit the table, Jeffery was already tipping the valet and heading home.