Perfect Illusion

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Chapter 19: Let's Go Shopping. Or Whatever.

The morning light streams through the room, forcing me to peel my eyes open. I groan slightly as I shift away from the light, tangling more of the sheets with me. The effects of last night have start to dawn upon me, and now I wake up to a killer headache.

Goddammit. Why was I so stupid last night?

I promised- no, I swore to- myself on my eighteenth birthday, after Cara had taken away my alcohol virginity, that I was never ever going to drink again. I hated what comes next after the drinking- the hangover.

Stupid stupid stupid me, I mentally slap myself. Why didn’t I listen to my past self?

Sighing against the sheets, I turn to my side and try to squeeze in another power nap before I’m actually supposed to wake up. But the minute my eyes start to close, I hear a groan beside me.

My eyes shoot open.

Someone’s sleeping beside me. On my bed.

My head slowly turns and my eyes fall upon the intruder. Every muscle in my body locks up.

Daniel Kerrington is sleeping beside me. On my bed.

He sleeps soundly next to me, his mouth slightly open as he snores. Hands are splayed on either side of him, one of them almost touching my face. He still has his shirt on, but it rides up above his chest, giving me a beautiful view of his welldefined abs.

I shrug. Well. At least waking up next to him has its perks.

Suddenly, his body moves and now his face is mere inches from my face. I gasp slightly. He gets comfy on my bed, one of his hands fly over and land on my butt.

Of course.

Daniel snuggles closer towards me, now pressing his body next to mine. He buries his nose in my hair, and inhales deeply. I’m not sure if he’s aware of what he’s doing, and I don’t think I want to know. Because that will be weird.

“Uhhh...” I say uncomfortably.

I am so not in the mood for this.

Peeling my body away from him, I slowly roll off the bed and land on my two feet. I contemplate on slapping him in the face to wake him up but... that would be mean. But then again, since when was I ever not mean to Daniel?

So my hand makes contact with his face. His eyes bulge out and he immediately gets up from the bed.

“What the fuck, Alex?” He yells.

“You were sleeping. On my bed.” I cross my arms and eye him.

His eyebrows lift. “Are you freaking serious right now? You were sleeping on MY BED!”

“That’s a lie-” Then, I see it.

Instead of lavender walls, blue ones stare back at me. The bed isn’t a four poster bed, but a round one, and a huge one at that. I peer down underneath the bed and sure enough, there’s a guitar case covered with a fine sheet of dust.

My face turns hot red. “Oh.”

“Yeah ′oh’,” Daniel rubs the part of his cheek that I slapped, “and did you really have to slap me? Seriously? You couldn’t have just nudged me awake or something. Jeez.”

“It’s too early in the morning for this argument,” I wave him off, “God, how did we even... go to bed together?”

“Tequila, remember?” He falls back unto the bed.

Wait a minute... If alcohol did this to us, I wonder what other things it did. Or what the alcohol had made us do.

“Oh my god!” I shriek. “I didn’t… We didn’t…have...?”

Did Daniel and I had sex last night? Just thinking about makes me want to puke. I expect him to deny it, but his reaction confirms it.

“Shit.” Daniel curses. His shocked expression matches mine. “SHIT SHIT SHIT-” No no no this cannot be happening.

“NO.” I look away harshly, my fingers already taking through my hair, “no. NO. We still have our clothes on. You still have your pants, and well, I’m not exactly naked- wait my bra is unhooked- no! It’s... not... possible...” I stare at him, waiting for how he will respond.

Daniel just starts laughing. “Oh jeez, that’s hilarious.” He throws back his head and chuckles. “I can’t believe you think that we had sex. I won’t even want to touch you- drunk or sober, trust me on that.”

I grit my teeth. Then, I started to hit him on the shoulder. “You.” Hit. “Fucking.” Hit. “Asshole!” Hit.

“You deserved it!” He backs the hell away from me to avoid getting hit again. “You slapped me in the face!”

“Fine.” I cross my arms. “Guess we’re even then.” He sighs.

“So if you know… we didn’t...” I say, “then what did we do last night?” I can’t believe I don’t remember.

He pulls his shirt down, “You drank way more than you should have-”

“I’d like to think that’s your fault for making me drink so much.” I glower.

“Hey, I didn’t force you to drink. Well, not much anyway. After the fourth shot, you practically begged me to pour you more tequila.” Like I said, tequila and I don’t go so well.

“Okaaaaaay, great. So, I got shit drunk. That would explain the major headache. Ow.” My hands fly up to my head.

“Yeah, I have it too. Don’t worry.” He sighs.

“So, what happened after I got shit drunk last night?” I ask after I had managed to clean myself up.

Daniel shrugs. “Nothing much. You were pretty boring company. You started singing for a while, then you talked about Nate- that was really annoying. You have no idea how many times I heard you say ′oh em gee he’s so niiiiiiceeeee.′ and ′he’s going to be a doctor. That’s... Seeeeexy. Rawrrrr!’”

I’m blushing like mad right now. I really said all those things about him?

“After that the effects of the tequila started to kick in and soon after you were puking in the kitchen sink. Then, you passed out.” Daniel says.

Wow. That was really sucky.

“So, I dragged you to your room- I guess, I was too woozy, so I dragged you to my room instead. Then, I might have passed out after you did.” He says, “yeah. It was the shittiest night ever.”

“I didn’t realize I was bad company,” I mutter.

“Sweetheart, you’re always bad company.” He replies.

I show him the middle finger.

I finally manage to pull myself to the room and take a shower. This time the patter of water doesn’t calm me down, it makes my head pound. I’m out of the bathroom as fast as Cara when she spots a hot guy, and slip into some nice clothes. Wrapping a scarf around my neck, I head out to the kitchen to scour for food.

Daniel is already there by the stove, with a new set of clothes, making his signature pancakes. It’s a mystery to me how he’s making pancakes with a hangover.

I don’t ask him to make me some; he already knows. When he spots me, he flips the pancakes into the air and catches it with a plate.

“Show off.” I roll my eyes.

“Here,” He hands me the pancakes along with a glass with some kind of green liquid in it. He takes a sip of it too.

“What is this?” I question.

“It helps with the hangover, trust me.”

Reluctantly, I take a sip of the liquid. It has a somewhat bitter end taste, but other than that, it’s alright. Suddenly, my head feels lighter than before.

“Helps, right?” He grins. “I call it Kerrington’s Kure- with a ‘K’.” “Creative.” I mutter.

“So... today’s the day,” he notes as he takes a sip of his orange juice.

Ah, fuck. The engagement party. I almost forgot.

“What’s the plan?” I fork some pancakes into my mouth.

“I’ll deal with all the arrangements and stuff,” he says, “meanwhile, you should probably go get something nice to wear. Preferably something sexy.”

“I don’t have anything sexy!”

“I’m sure you have skimpy outfits somewhere in your closet…”

I lift an eyebrow. “Um, as you can see, I don’t really go around dressing...

provocatively.” I gesture to my outfit. “A nice shirt and jeans are the only things I wear.”

“You’re not serious.” Now he’s really staring at me as if he can’t figure me out. “You gotta have something...”

I lift my shoulders. I wasn’t that kind of girl. The only exception was that time on the Charlize Matson show.

“Fuck,” he swears, “this is bad. Okay, it’s fine, it’s... Nevermind. We have to go shopping then.”

My eyes narrow. “Shopping.”

“Yeah. We need to get you a fucking hot dress.” He finishes the last of his pancakes before reaching forward to yank me out of my seat, “and get you makeup and all that typical girl shit that you desperately need... You need to look presentable. Like you’re actually worthy of being my fiancé.”

“Okay I am not that ugly.” I yank my hand away.

Daniel gives me the you-really-wanna-do-this-right-now look.

“Fine,” I surrender. “Let’s go... shopping. Or whatever.”


Daniel pulls me into some fancy dress shop in a nearby shopping mall. My eyes scan over the spectrum of colours on the racks and shelves.

If Cara can see me now, she’d freak. She always had a problem bringing me along when she goes on her shopping adventures. I never followed any of the fashion trends and I was perfectly fine with my stash of clothes at home.

It feels weird being here. I want to teleport myself to a bookstore and replace all these different fabrics with books.

Yeah. I’m definitely not a typical girl. At all.

Daniel is talking to the saleswoman of the store, and from what I can hear, he’s telling her about our situation. I’m surprise he’s not distracted by her beauty. He never once glances at her boobs.

I guess that must be progress for him.

The girl seems to be interested in Daniel, though. She flips her hair constantly, and giggles way too loudly and way too much.

She’s so full of shit. Because Daniel is NOT that funny.

I walk towards them, and place my right hand on his shoulder, the hand with my engagement ring on it.

"Baby, what are you guys talking about?” I slur my words. Daniel eyes me with humour.

The salesgirl notices my ring, and quickly rights herself. She plasters a fake smile on her face. “He’s... just telling me what kind of dress he’s looking for you. I… um... If you’d like to see... I have a few choices you might like.” “Very well.” I smile back at her.

The salesgirl quickly hurries away to collect some dresses for me. Daniel turns to me, a toothy grin on his face.

“You were jealous that she was checking me out.” He teases.

“Uh no I wasn’t!” I defend. “I was just staking my claim. Remember, you’re engaged to me.”

He continues to grin at me.

“Admit it, sweetheart. You were jealous.”

“You’re full of yourself.” I start to walk away from him and join the girl. She hands me a few dresses and pushes me into the dressing room.

“These look about your size,” she mutters, “if anything, just… call me or something.”

“Okay.”

So, I try on the dresses. The first one is beautiful gold dress embedded with tiny crystals. When I show it to Daniel, he shakes his head.

“You look like a fucking champagne bottle. No way.”

“Why? Does it remind you of the same champagne I poured all over you three months ago?” I wriggle my eyebrows.

He doesn’t answer.

The next dress is a strapless gown, tight around my waist, but flows lightly as it reaches down to my ankles.

“No.” He shakes his head again.

He says the same thing for the next four dresses.

The next one is a simple, body hugging dress. The fabric is super tight, and it barely covers my ass.

“Yes.” He shouts.

“NO!” I shout back. “This covers nothing!”

“But you look hot in it!” He counters. I growl at him.

“Screw you, I’m not getting this dress.”

I hear Daniel say ”awwww come on!" before I go back to the dressing room to try on the last dress.

It takes me a while to get it on, but when I do, it’s absolutely beautiful. I stare at my reflection in the mirror for a good five minutes before heading out to show Daniel.

The dress makes me feel like a mermaid- it fits closely to the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out at the hem. The fabric is a shimmery black- very classy and makes me look elegant as well as stunning. When I step out, Daniel takes a good look at me.

He scans me from top to bottom, and my body feels hot when he does it.

After a while, he smiles.

It’s a smile of approval.

“Nice.” He compliments, “Really nice. I like it.” “Me too.” I say.

He gestures to the salesgirl who’s hidden in view, and yells, “We’ll take it!”

After exiting the store with the purchase, Daniel and I visit some more stores, scouring for a bag and heels to match with the dress. We even visit Sephora to nab myself some makeup and as I quote ‘all that typical girl shit’. Since I didn’t know much about makeup, and Daniel actually knows more about it than me but is too chicken to help me out, we end up going to a salesgirl and ask her to help us pick out stuff.

Just when we are about to leave the mall, my phone beeps. I fish out my phone from my bag and check who had messaged me.

Caffeinated at 3. Just you and me. Totally platonic. You in? -Nate A small smile crawls on my face.

“How long more do we have till the party?” I ask as we get into his lambo.

“About 4 hours.” Daniel checks his watch. “Why?” “Um, nothing.” I say as he starts to drive.

I decide to text Nate back.

I’m in.

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