Perfect Illusion

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Chapter 46: Broken Every Rule

Having Daniel Kerrington as a boyfriend is hard.

Now that we’re really together, and not just fake engaged, things in the penthouse has changed. And by ‘things’, I mean our sleeping arrangements. The past few days we’ve been uh... really busy with each other, and the whole separate room thing is a major buzz kill. One moment we’re making out, and the next we’re at each other’s throats deciding which room we want to go to.

“We went to your room yesterday,” I groan. “And I’m starting to hate your room. It’s messy as fuck.”

“What’s the point of cleaning it up if we’re going to mess it up again?” He tells me, fingers raking through his hair in frustration. “Please, sweetheart. My room is obviously better. I have a bigger bed.”

I glare at him. “I’m pretty sure we have the same size bed.”

“No, mine is definitely bigger.”

“Actually, forget it. I don’t care about size!” I say, exasperated. “And before you can say the whole ‘that’s what she said’ bullshit, I’m warning you. My plastic fork is right in my bag-”

“Fuck your plastic fork!”

“Fuck you!”

“Christ, Alex,” Daniel says, rolling his eyes, “Why the hell are we even fighting about this?”

“I don’t know!” I tell him. “This is getting really annoying. I really don’t want to fight about petty little things like this.”

He sighs. “Me too.”

“So, how do we solve this?” My eyes search for any sign of answer.

“Well...” He puts on his thinking face. “Remember the spare bedroom upstairs, where we keep all our stupid shit that we don’t want? There is a couch bed inside.”

The minute he suggests that, the both of us run straight into that room, clear out all the stuff -or well, most of the stuff that was blocking the couch bed- and make really good use of it.

“Damn,” Daniel mutters, completely out of breath. “Why didn’t we think of this sooner?”

I roll over the bed and face him, my elbow propped up. “I don’t know, because you’re an idiot?”

"You’re an idiot.” He corrects me.

I laugh. “We’re both idiots.”

“Come here and kiss me, my little idiot,” Daniel beckons me, his finger crooked.

“Okay.” I smile, and seal his lips with mine.

The next problem is yep, you guessed it.

The rules. The stupid rules we made up two months ago.

Daniel and I are in front of the refrigerator, eyes narrowing at the piece of paper stuck to it.

“Well, fuck.” My boyfriend curses. “I’m pretty sure we’ve broken every rule there is in this piece of paper.” He says as he takes out the paper and reads through the rules.

I arch my neck, wanting to get a look at it. “Yep. I’m pretty sure we did. I think we destroyed that rule.” I point to the one that said that we could not get involved with each other.

“So, what are we going to do about it?” Daniel lifts the paper.

“We can just tear it?” I suggest.

“But all our hard work...”

“Really?” I say, annoyed. “Just tear the freaking thing up. If we still ever get mad at each other, we can always make new rules.”

“Good point.” He nods. And then he tears it to shreds.

So, I guess the whole rules thing wasn’t much of a problem anyway. Moving on to the next problem, which is a pretty huge one, well... especially for Daniel.

“Hey, sweetheart?” He murmurs. “Before we go back to your parents, can we visit the pharmacy?”

“Why?” I prod. “Are you pregnant?”

“What the fuck?”

I squint my eyes at him. “Do you think I’m pregnant?”

“No!” He says quickly. “No, I just thought that maybe... um, you could get the pill.”

I blink a few times, trying to register what he’s saying. He wants me to be on contraceptives?

“Why?” I scoot closer to him on the couch, confused as hell. “Why do you want me on the pill?”

His entire face turns red. Oh my god, I’ve barely ever seen Kerrington blush before. It’s so... adorable. But if he’s blushing now, that means he’s really embarrased about it.

“Oh.” It starts to dwell on me. ”Oh.” And then my entire face turns red.

“I mean, it isn’t because I don’t want to use... condoms,” Daniel tells me, flustered, “I-I mean, I don’t, and it would be awesome not to use them but uh... Crap, I really don’t want to have this conversation.”

“Yeah. Me too. Can we just not...?”

“But we have to.” He groans, angling his body to mine. “I just thought that if you went on the pill, then you would be protected.”

“I have to be protected from you? What, you have like, STDs or something?”

“That’s not funny, Alex.”

“I didn’t say it was.” I say with caution. “Do you, though?”

“No! Of course not! And even if I did, the pill won’t save you from STDs,” He fires, but then soon after, he drops his voice. “I’m getting off topic. It’s just that, in case something goes wrong... I want you protected. We don’t want little Alex and Daniel babies popping out of you anytime soon.

I throw my head back and give a good laugh. “Sure. Okay. I’ll get contraceptives. I’m glad you don’t want me to get knocked up.”

The next morning, the day of Thanksgiving, Daniel and I visit the pharmacy and got myself some pills. I don’t think I’ve ever been this embarrassed when the pharmacist asks me why I want to be on contraceptives.

“Um...” I look down, trying to avoid the woman’s gaze. “I have horrible periods. Yep. Absolutely nasty. Maybe the pills can take the pain away.”

The pharmacist eyes me warily, then proceed to eye Daniel. Daniel shifts uncomfortably, hands sliding in his pocket.

Finally, finally, we pay for the box and get the hell out of there. I’ve never seen Daniel sweat this much before. We get into his brand-new car and he turns up the air conditioner.

“Damn. That was the most uncomfortable thing I had to experience.” He sighs as he turns on the engine.

“Hey, you were the one who wanted to go there in the first place.” “Only because I care about you!” He says, frustrated.

“Thank you for that!” I say with equal frustration.

He chuckles at me and then he backs out of the parking lot.

I throw the box behind the back seat and sink down in my chair. “Step on it. I think we’re going to be late. And trust me, if we’re late, my dad would not be happy with you.”

“Well fuck. I don’t want to make a horrible impression on your dad,” He says and proceed to the highway.

______

The moment we get out of the car, I spot my dad coming out of the house, a huge smile plastered on his face. I take off running, throwing my arms around him, tears rolling down my face.

“Oh, dad...” I sniff against his shirt, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry-”

He strokes the back of my neck and sighs, “it’s okay, Alex. I’m sorry too. Everything’s going to be alright.”

“I just... I feel stupid the way I reacted.” I look up to meet his hazel eyes. “I missed you and mom so much.”

“We missed you too, baby.” Mom gets out of the house too and joins our embrace. Soon, the three of us hug in front of the porch for what seems like a very long time.

Someone behind me clears his throat and I realize it’s Daniel.

“Oh, um,” I wipe the tears off my face and go over to him. “Mom, dad. This is Daniel. I told you he was coming over yesterday.”

“Yes, we’ve met during the engagement party. Nice to see you again, Daniel.” My dad scans my boyfriend, his eyes narrowing. Mom seems to do the same but in a less subtle way.

I glance at Daniel who’s looking uncomfortable by the minute. I nudge his shoulder and he quickly goes into nice mode, putting on his charming smile. He extends his hand to my dad.

“Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Woods.” Dad takes his hand and smiles too. I’m relief that Daniel has passed the first boyfriend test. “Thank you for inviting me into your home.”

“No problem, Daniel.” Dad pats Daniel’s back. “The more, the merrier, I always say.”

“How are you?” My mom chimes in, shaking his hand as well.

“I’m fine, ma’am.”

“Please, call me Margaret.” She flashes him one of her award-winning smiles. “Oh don’t just stand there. Do come in.” Daniel looks at me. “I’ll go get the luggage.” “Okay.” I smile back.

He closes the space between us and places a quick kiss on the square of my lips, leaving me wanting so much more.

My parents stare at us, utterly shocked at what just happened.

My mom grabs me by the hand and yanks me to the side of the house, her gaze burning through mine. I gulp, knowing what’s going to happen next.

“Please tell me the both of you are still playing the charade.” She tells me, “please.” “Mom...” How the hell am I supposed to explain to her that my fake fiancé has become my boyfriend? “Daniel and I are um... together. Like really together.”

“He’s your boyfriend?” She almost shrieks, but then she lowers her voice. “And you didn’t think to mention it to me or your father?”

“It just sort of happened?” I tell her. “And as I recall, we weren’t on speaking terms before this happened.” I fire back, angry at her for being angry at me.

She sighs, placing her hand on her hips like she’s trying to keep all her emotions in check. “Don’t use that against us, Alex.”

“I’m not!”

Just as she’s about to say something, my dad interrupts from the door. “Margaret!

Alex!”

My mom calls back, “coming!” And then she turns to me, a murderous expression on her face.

“You and I are going to continue this conversation later, young lady.” She says before disappearing into the house, leaving me to think that the hell just happened.

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