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Chapter Thirteen: "My Heart Can't Tell You No"

"One look in your blue eyes and suddenly my heart can't tell you no"
-My Heart Can't Tell You No, Rod Stewart

Madison, Josie, Carmella and I went shopping after school. I went home and asked Mom and Dad for money. They felt so guilty about yelling in front of us, that they gave me $400.

We ended up at Anna's Originals -a small boutique that promised every dress they created was one of a kind.

Josie was determined to find the very best dress. She wanted to be as beautiful as possible for Riven.

"He's been so...distant lately," she'd mumbled on the way here. "I've got to make sure that when he sees me tomorrow night, his jaw drops and his eyes pop out of his head."

I'd said nothing, but the truth was, I secretly desired the same thing as Josie. I wanted Riven to think I was the most gorgeous girl he'd ever seen in his life.

We searched through the quaint boutique. Madison was with me and I dished to her about my breakup with Ryan.

"And he told you to leave to?" Madison whisper-yelled, her eyes going wide behind the rims of her glasses.

I nodded and she pressed her glasses further up the bridge of her nose.

"That's so strange," she breathed, her pretty face scrunching up in confusion.

"It was," I agreed, thinking back to that day, seeing the look on his face in my mind's eye. "But, I don't want to think about that. We're going to our first Masquerade Ball. That's exciting." I grinned at her.

"I suppose so," Madison said in a way that said she didn't really think so. "To be honest, if you weren't going I wouldn't be going either." She then grinned like a madman. "Now that you and Ryan have broken up, I'm shipping you and Riven."

I paused and snapped my head around to look at her.

"What?" I said a little more loudly than necessary. I quickly brought my voice down and whispered, "But he's been so interested in Josie. There's nothing between Riven and I to ship."

"Oh, yes there is," Madison said sharply, fixing me with a piercing look. "How dense can you be, Siberia? He's using Josie to make you jealous. I see the way he looks at you. And the other day when Raveena was talking about him being possessive of what he feels is his, I saw her look at you. You, Siberia, not Josie."

I let her words sink in. Some part of me was saying, "Yes, yes, believe her" but the rest of me was not so quick to believe.

"I don't know," I said, my mind not willing to believe that Riven harboured any romantic feelings for me. "Riven doesn't seem like the 'fall in love' type."

"You never know," Madison said knowingly. "Guys can surprise you. I'm still shipping you and Riven."

The day of the Masquerade Ball had arrived and the town was buzzing about it. In the town we lived in, nothing really changed. Everything was routine and boring.

And now the Marx's were in town and throwing a Masquerade Ball and everyone in town was going nuts.

Only a few people had actually got invitations. The guest list was about 350 people.

But the women who were invited were already making plans to snare one of the brothers.

"There are five of them," I'd overheard one woman whispering to her friend. "Two of them are seniors at the high school, one of them is a junior and the other two are in their early twenties."

"And they're gorgeous," her friend had shot back. "All of them with dark hair and such beautiful blue eyes. I even find myself envying the women and you know I don't like to envy."

And then I'd left because their conversation was actually pretty annoying.

My mom had been shocked when she heard I had been invited to the Masquerade Ball. She was tittering with excitement.

My father on the other hand made a face, his face contorting like he'd tasted bad milk.

A light mist was falling as I prepared for the Masquerade Ball. I did my makeup and curled my hair so that it fell in soft ringlets down my back.

I was excited to put my dress on. I'd known it was the one as soon as I'd seen it.

It was strapless and white with a tight bodice and the rest of the fabric fell to the floor gracefully, swirling beautifully.

I was pleased with my reflection. Staring back at me was a beautiful woman. I was shocked as I looked at her, wondering if she was really me.

I slipped on a pair of white high heels, grabbed my purse and headed out of my bedroom door.

I had put the address Raveena had written on the back of the invitation into my GPS.

The Marx's place was hard to miss. It was a mansion, it was actually borderline of being a castle.

As I pulled up behind a line of cars, I ogled the place. It was by all means, a dream house. It stood regally, looking exactly like what I had in mind as 'house goals.'

I pulled up to the house finally and a young man dressed in an expensive suit opened the door for me.

"May I take your car, miss?" he asked.

I grabbed my purse and quickly slipped my mask on before I stepped out.

He got behind the wheel and pulled off to park my car. Another man immediately had an umbrella above my head, preventing the light mist from touching me.

"May I walk you inside, miss?"

"Oh, erm...yeah of course," I said awkwardly, not used to being treated like the queen of England.

The man kept his promise, holding the umbrella above my head as he led me through the huge house and to the place where classy music was playing.
He put the umbrella down and walked toward the large white oak doors, pushing them open for me.

"Thank you," I said to him, stepping inside.

The party was in full swing as I stepped inside. There was a double staircase that led to the ball. People were in their finest, all of them surrounding the Marx family.

There were six men and three women. I easily picked out Raveena and Riven among them.

As I started down the stairs, heads started to turn. Suddenly the whole party had gone eerily quiet except for the music that still played.

I looked up in confusion and realized every eye in the room was trained on me.

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