Perfect Illusion

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Chapter 25: We Are Not in a Relationship

After Daniel makes Cara pancakes (he made her plenty since we already stocked up on groceries), she finally calms the fuck down. The three of us are now sitting around the table, Daniel and I watching silently as Cara finishes the last of her super late breakfast.

After she pushes the plate aside when she’s done, she folds her arms over her chest and bites her lips, as if she’s deciding what’s her next move.

Then, she faces Daniel and puts on her fakest smile yet. “Will you please leave us?”

Daniel clears his throat. “Well...”

I cast him a look. “You can go. I can handle this.”

He shrugs a whatever and then gets up to go to his room. Finally, when he’s out of earshot, Cara’s entire expression changes. She is now looking at me with the meanest face I’ve ever seen.

“I can’t believe you locked me in a room all night,” She hissed at me.

“I can’t believe you almost spilled the secret!” I spit back. “If I hadn’t stopped you, the whole sham would all be over! And it would be because of you.”

“I wasn’t going to spill your fucking secret, Alex.” She rolls her eyes. “What do you take me for? I’m a good best friend. Unlike you.”

“Excuse me?” I say, baffled. “You were drunk off your ass last night. You were this close to telling some random stranger that our engagement was fake. Of course I had to take action! I’m not sorry I locked you up in my room all night if it meant keeping the secret safe!” Cara scowls.

I scowl back.

The next five minutes are spent on a scowling contest between Cara and I.

I swear to god, this is the worst fight I’ve ever been in with Cara, and it isn’t actually much of a fight.

“Cara, just admit it. You screwed up.” I eventually sigh. “I’m not going to be pissed at you about this. I just want you to know that you should have been more careful, that’s all.”

“God damn you, Alex.” Cara curses at me, “I’m not as stubborn as you. I actually admit my mistakes. I know I shouldn’t have drank so much last night. But I’m more hurt than angry, and you don’t even know that. I mean, do you even trust me?”

“Of course I do!” I say immediately. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have told you the secret in the first place.”

Cara frowns, and something tells me it isn’t because of my response. “I don’t think you told me about the secret because you wanted to, Alex. I think you told me because you didn’t have a choice. I guess I didn’t give you a choice, didn’t I?” I clamp my mouth shut.

It’s true. She didn’t give me much of a choice when I came home that day in tears and she demanded to know what happened.

“And I get it,” she continues, “You weren’t supposed to tell anyone about the whole engagement thing being a sham and everything, and I’m definitely no exception. But the thing that hurts most is that you don’t trust me enough to keep the secret.” I don’t... trust her? How can she even say that?

I open my mouth to protest but she cuts me off again. “I’m your best friend, Alex. I would never ever tell your secret, whether I’m drunk or not. You of all people know that even when I’m fucking wasted, I have at least a 50 percent chance of rationality left in my brain.”

I snort.

“I may have let some words spill out of my mouth last night... but you know I wouldn’t intentionally do that.” She murmurs softly now.

“That’s why I had to keep you away from the crowd before you said other things you didn’t have any intention of saying…” I say.

“You swept me off to your room before I even had the chance to get my shit together and explain myself to you,” She sighs, “When I was in your room, I felt really hurt and betrayed.”

“Christ, Cara.” I reach over and entwined my fingers with hers. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for you to feel that way.”

“You are a shitty best friend.”

I close my eyes and laugh. “I guess I am.”

She glares at me. “Instead of locking me up in your room, alone, you could have stayed with me and waited till I sobered up.”

“You’re right.” My eyes saddened. “I could have held your hair up while you puked your guts out in the toilet.”

“And I could have cursed at you like an angry old woman, but I would apologise later and we would make up, cuz we’re best friends and we would never let anything break us apart.” Her eyes twinkles with hope and apology.

“Cara, I’m sorry. I really am.” I brush my thumb against the back of her hand, “I don’t want you to ever feel like I don’t trust you. I do. I trust you with my life. And I guess I might have overreacted a little bit last night.”

“Yeah you did,” She nods, “But I guess I’m sorry too. For you know... making you think that I might actually blurt out your secret.” “I fucked up.” I admit.

"We fucked up.” She smiles.

And the both of us laugh.

After we make up, I feel like I can finally breathe again. Cara’s a huge part of my life, and when she got angry at me, my heart felt really empty, fearing that she might never forgive me. At least we finally got what we felt off our chests. She’s finally back to her usual self, her happy, bubbly self.

“So, are we good?” I prod. “Because I’d hate it if we can’t get past this.”

“We’re good,” Cara nods her head swiftly. “I don’t think you’re that much of a shitty best friend anymore.”

My eyes twinkle with amusement. “You stupid little shit.” I roll my eyes, laughing.

“I’m your stupid little shit,” She blows a kiss towards me and I pretend to catch it, placing it in my heart.

“That’s.... So sweet guys,” Daniel materializes from his room, pretending to be awed by our make up. He clasps his hands together in the most, not-Daniel way. “Gosh, I’m so happy you guys are BFF’s again!”

“Fuck off, Kerrington.” I lift both of my hands up and show him the middle finger.

Cara bursts out laughing. “Is this how your relationship with him is like? God, that’s horrible.”

I turn towards her and sighs. “I know.”

Daniel makes his way down the steps, now in a fresh set of clothes. He’s wearing a navy-blue button down with black jeans. His hair is pulled to the side, which makes him look damn sexy.

Not like I’m actually going to admit that out loud.

“It’s worse, actually.” Daniel informs my best friend, “We even have a set of rules to dictate our entire engagement, in case you know, things get out of control.”

Cara raises her eyebrows at this. “Holy crap, really?”

I don’t know why, but my cheeks turn a slight pink.

“We have the rules taped on the fridge right there,” He gestures to the space in the kitchen. Almost immediately, Cara gets up from the chair and runs over the the refrigerator. She pulls out the piece of paper stuck onto the door and gasp. “This is legit?”

I nod shamefully.

She giggles and points at the third rule. “Don’t get involved with other people.”

“Yeah. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of the whole being engaged to each other thing if we’re involved with other people.”

She pouts. “No chance for Nate, then.”

Daniel lifts his head up at the mention of Nate’s name. “Huh?”

“Nothing!” She says to cover up what she had just said. She continues to inspect the list again.

Her eyes scan over the rules on the paper, and then she chuckles. ”Never talk about

Daniel’s balls? How the hell did that rule even come to pass?” “Well...”

Daniel smirks as he leans against the counter top.

“Let’s not talk about it, please.” I force a small laugh.

“What? Is his balls not good enough for you?” Cara casts me a pointed look.

My mouth hangs open. A low laugh rumbles from the back of Daniel’s throat.

“I... what?” I am at loss for words.

“She’s never seen them before.” Daniel points out.

“WHAT?” Cara shrieks, making my ears almost bleed. “Wait... You guys haven’t even had sex yet?”

“Cara!” I say, shocked.

She lifts the paper with our rules. “This is bullshit. Don’t get involved with each other? Isn’t that the whole point of the engagement in the first place? To get involved with each other?”

Daniel and I both say nothing.

“You guys have the weirdest relationship ever.” She rolls her eyes.

“We’re not in a relationship.” Daniel and I say in unison.

“And apparently you guys are also stupid blind about your feelings,” She sighs dramatically. “Well, I think it’s time for me to go home.” My eyes widen. “I can take you back to the apartment.” “But my car is downstairs.” She tells me.

“You drove to the party drunk?” Daniel chimes in. “Hell, even I don’t do that.” “Wait, you have a car?” I ask Cara.

“Yeah. I sort of bought one last week.” Her heels click against the hardwood floor as she crosses the room. “Got sick of you having to send me everywhere, you know?”

“I want to see it!” I get up from my seat and follow her. “Your car! Let me see it!”

“You can walk me down and see it, how does that sound?” She links hands with me.

I cast a look at Daniel. “I’ll be right back.”

He sends me one of his boyish smiles. “I’ll be here.”

As we take the elevator down to the carpark, Cara casts me a very pervy look. I cross my arms.

“What?” I ask.

“What am I going to do with the both of you...” She plays with her car keys, avoiding my gaze. But she says something that makes my skin tingle. “You and Daniel are totally into each other, and you guys don’t even know it.”

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