Primed for Sin | 18+

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four : barbie pink is your colour

H E R A

♥ ♥ ♥

I WAS CLEANING today.

I always clean whenever I’m stressed. That is just something which I have always done since I’ve been a little girl and something which I continue to do now even in my twenty-five years of living.

I have staff members who do this for me on any other day but today, I wanted alone time; I wanted to be by myself because I just felt so . . . so suffocated in this place. With everyone around me, in this penthouse, I felt like the walls were closing in on me.

That I couldn’t breathe.

So when I woke up this morning in my bed, the first thing that I did was dismiss the staff for today and do things my way.

Like cleaning.

After that, I made myself some coffee and started doing my work.

I look down at my old clothes—ones which I will never wear in front of the public eye and then down at the mop bucket by my side. A sigh escapes from my lips before I dip the mop into the bucket, squeeze out the water and then start to mop on the floor of the kitchen. Since the white expensive marble tiles are precious to me and cost a butt lot of money, I try to be as careful as I can to make sure that I don’t scratch them in the process.

I then wipe the floor down before dropping the mop back into the water and repeating the movement once again.

Music was playing on the speakers in the penthouse so that I could get in a good mood since even though I wanted to be alone today, it didn’t mean that I wanted the silence to cover the entirety of my place.

Songs with a lot of hype, fast-paced music play around me and I could feel a small smile break out on my lips.

Even though on the inside. I was anything but that disgusting emotion which is called happiness.

It has been less than twenty-four hours since I got that threat from Nadine and I have tried to avoid anything to do with her, my past and with what my future steps are to solve this problem.

But if I know Nadine . . . I know that it ain’t going away anytime soon.

That explains that when I woke up this morning, I was hungover and I could feel the aftereffects of the alcohol still happening to me as I cleaned the floor. The drinks came from the party after the movie premiere yesterday night and it lasted until three—maybe four in the morning.

I know.

That was a rather short party if I think about it.

It might have lasted longer than that because that was the time when I came home last night. My driver dropped me off at the penthouse yesterday and I told him the same thing that I tell him when I go out to drink

Remember, Jordan, every time I drink or take a shot, record the very moment in which I have my first sip and my last.

Looks like he took the words deeply because on my bedside table was a sticky note. And on that note stated the exact time in which I took my first drink and the last time which I took my drink. Start being eleven fifteen and the end being three forty-five.

The after-party is still going on right at this moment in a house in the Hamptons.

And being hungover is always a good reason for having a morning coffee.

Then my mind goes back to Nadine.

Just the thought of Nadine Nix makes me want to walk over to one of my cabinets and pull out an expensive bottle of tequila and drink the day away.

A sigh escapes from my lips when I do the final stroke of mop for the kitchen and place the mop right back in its place. Then I lift the bucket of the ground and in the direction of the guest bedroom, start waddling in the way.

The guest bedroom’s white walls stare back at me with the wooden furniture adding a spot of colour back into those rather white and bland walls and space. I never come into this room. The only time that I had was whenever Brooks made the choice to stay over for the night and the two of us had a sleepover. We could have it in my room—the master bedroom—but the thing is that the guest bedroom in the penthouse has the biggest balcony in the area and that it has the best view of New York which I have ever seen.

Even Brooks agreed with my words.

I look into the room and then start waddling in like a damn penguin would on the snow and then make my way into the space. Since it is around eleven in the morning, the streets of New York are packed with taxis, expensive cars and busses. The faint sound of those vehicles honking just underneath me is very faint to me and I like that. Living in the city is nice—the fact that you are in the centre of the action happening in the city is a good thing but one con over the pros is that the streets can always be super packed and with that reason, the sound is much louder than it needs to be.

But since I’m so high in the sky and above ground, the sounds of traffic are quite light from up here.

I make my way in the direction of the bathroom when I reach the white tub and dump the dirty water in. I know—bad idea but the thing is that I was just going to clean this room. I always mop around the place and then I throw the dirty water into the tub and then clean this room.

Sighing, I watch as the murky water swirls its way down the drain, towards the sewers and then I will never see it again.

. . . I think.

Honestly, I didn’t pay attention in class when we started to discuss the construction of a city; about how they built one and then about the sewers, pipe system and the electrical.

I had more things to deal with than school back then.

Shivers across my back from the thought, the thoughts of the past which I tried my best to run away from and yet . . . it keeps on coming back. It’s a calling and it wants me to answer its call.

Nadine-fucking-Nix.

This is all her fault.

If she just kept her fucking nose out of my fucking business and into her own, then none of this would be happening.

I so wish that the fucking bitch is dead.

I turn and then walk out of the bathroom and in the direction of the kitchen—where lying on the island is a bunch of my cleaning equipment. Sprays, clothes, scrubs; you name it I got it.

Pulling the cleaning equipment into my hands, I walk in towards the guest bedroom before entering the bathroom. A sigh escapes from my lips when I can still hear the sound of the music playing in the background but above that is a faint sound.

Frowning, I walk out of the guest bedroom’s bathroom and just stand there, hoping that what I’m hearing is not the truth. That it’s something else.

But it is.

My phone’s ringtone is sounding through the penthouse and I sigh (once again). I have noticed that I have been sighing too much today. All that I’m doing today is just sighing, cleaning and thinking. Too much thinking in my opinion.

That’s it.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Making my way into the living room, I look out to see the New York skyline and the empire state building just across the horizon. But I had absolutely no time to look outside when the ringing stopped for a second. I held my breath, hoping that the person who called me just moments ago will not call again. But that was too much to ask when the phone started ringing once again.

Fuck me.

“Hello?” I question through to the person on the other side. I noticed that I spoke rather harshly to the person but honestly, I don’t give a flying fuck what they think. I just want to go back to what I was doing and if being mean is going to help me to do that . . . then fuck the consequences.

“That is no way to talk to me, Hera Langford!”

I sigh.

Fuck me . . . again.

My fingers—which were by my side are now on my nose, squeezing on the bridge of it while I feel the stress hit me, hard. “What do you want, Brooks? Don’t you have something much more interesting to do?”

“That is no way to talk to me, Hera. I just wanted to check on you,” I could just see her shaking her head on the other side of the phone.

“And?” I knew that couldn’t be the only reason what she called me today. She has another reason.

And of course, as the best friend, it is my duty to find out what she is hiding.

"And?" she repeats back to me. Brooks knows that I know and is trying to confuse me; change my train of thought. This crazy woman. “What other agenda would I have for calling my most bestest of best friend in the world than saying hi?”

“I know you, Brooks,” I say, walking in the direction of the bathroom while keeping the phone in the crook of my neck and then bringing my shoulder up just a bit so that I can hear her still. “You would either call me if something bad has happened, some family drama and/or, you want to go on a shopping spree. . . but since you are calling me around midday, then I think that it might be the last one.”

Silence.

Silence crosses on the other side of the phone and I had to take the phone off my ear to even check if Brooks was still on the call. But when I see her shining and smiling face that I set as her profile picture staring back at me, I know that she is still there.

“Fine!” she says finally. “I will answer your question if you come out here and open the door for me. I’ve been standing here for around ten minutes and was hoping that you would find it in the decency of your heart to open the door for me and let me in.”

I frown at her words.

What the fuck did she just say?

“Hello?”

Did she just say that she is outside my door?

“Hey!?”

And also that she has been there for the past ten minutes?

“If you don’t open the door, I swear, Hera! That I will kick your door down in my tall Louboutin boots. And I don’t care if they get a scratch on them,” then I hear her gulp, “actually, I would care if that would’ve happened.”

I shake my head before once again, exiting the room—which I just walked through—and head in the direction of the elevator in the living room. I push one button which causes the door to open up wide. And on the other side stands Brooklyn Whittaker.

Brooklyn’s blonde hair is now in a side braid, flowing down her chest and stops just mid-belly where it rests nicely. The white ivory colour of her Chanel dress is tight around her front, up until her waist until it flows like a river down the last bit of her skin before stopping right below her knees. She was, of course, wearing the infamous tall Louboutin boots which she is known to be wearing wherever she is going. It’s her signature shoe in the city and if she goes towards the Hamptons, she has expensive sandals with diamonds encrusted into the sides. Her face was plain; free with makeup except with just a little bit of mascara on her lashes, some blush coating her checks and a sheer lip gloss over her lips.

All in all, she looked like a goddess.

And compared to me, I looked like a peasant.

I take a quick look from her and towards my own rags of clothing and I grimace. Why would I wear this?

Well . . . I wore this because I thought that I would be spending my much needed alone time, in my own apartment, alone. Not with a guest showing up mid cleaning.

Not when that said guest is Brooklyn Whittaker.

“Finally!” Brooks exclaims, her eyes bright before looking around the apartment behind me. Then she looks at my figure before saying, “I thought that I would be doing that. I thought that I had to use my expensive shoes to kick down your door.”

“Well, looks like that you won’t.” Then I step aside, gesturing for her to come. She comes in, her hand which was ending the phone call between the two of us had before is now resting on her mouth and turns into a big ‘O’.

“Looks like I interrupted your . . . spring cleaning.” A frown comes onto her face before she turns towards me. “Maybe I should come later so that you can finish what you’re doing?”

“No, no,” I close the lift before throwing my phone onto the couch where it bounces up and then lands down, flat. I then turn to Brooks, arms crossed over my chest. “You’re already here so why should you leave now.” Turning, I lean my front onto the island in the kitchen.

She raised her eyebrows at me. More specifically, at my choice of clothing.

“What the fuck are you wearing?” she hisses.

“Clothes.”

It was short and to the point. I have more important stuff to do then talk to Brooks about my choice of clothes to wear. In my own damn house more importantly. Which also explains the reason why I turned from the kitchen and back towards the guest bathroom. Knowing that I need to finish cleaning is the utmost priority which I have for today and I’ll let no one tell me what to do.

Hearing grumbles coming from behind me and then followed by the slap of Louboutin shoes with the wooden floors tells me that Brooklyn is making her choice to follow me. Even if she has no idea where I’m going.

Entering the guest bedroom once more—I have just noticed that I’ve entered this room too many times that I can’t even count the number. What I know is that after this cleaning, I won’t come in here ever.

Well . . . maybe in a week or two after today.

“Cleaning?” I hear a voice speak up from behind me when I pull the rubber gloves over my hands. I turn to face her. “What has got you so stressed out?”

“Nothing,” I say, starting to spray the sides of the tub. I start at where the tap is and then move towards the end, hitting every corner of the white marble

Even though this is the guest bedroom, this room has the best tub ever. With its white marble and clear white tiles, the gold plated taps, it can even be better than the one in my room.

After the spraying, I grab a scrub and start scrubbing the edge of the tub. I had to get on my knees to even make sure that it scrubs harder and make sure that it’s done properly.

“I don’t believe that at all. The only time that you ever clean is if you’re stressed. That’s it.” Seeing her move towards the sink and hoping on the surface, Brooks then grabs a loose strand of gold and starts twirling it in her hand. I keep on scrubbing the tub’s surface, sometimes taking my piercing gaze of the job at hand to stare at her.

I then turn back, mumbling under my breath, “Then why did you call me when you wanted to tell me something?”

“I heard that!”

“Oh yeah,” she then hops off the counter, stalks towards me. I stand up, knowing that she wants to intimidate me to the highest that she can do. But seeing that I’m a tad bit higher than her, I don’t sense her intimidation. “Then tell me why the fuck you’re here when you could be anywhere else.”

She then looks down at her feet, her fingers intertwining with each other and her mouth opens. It moves to make words.

I blink.

Once.

Twice.

Thrice.

“What the fuck did you say?”

“I said that I need to go shopping for a dress!” she manages to spill out her words rather quickly. And then a second later, she takes a deep breath. Looks like it took a lot out of her to say those words.

Something which you need to know about the Whittaker Family is that they are extremely prideful. They never ask for help. They never want to be asked for help for anything. And when they are asked for help when you can tell they are struggling with whatever they do, they decline; more than helpful to do it themselves.

So Brooklyn Whittaker asking for my help is a big thing.

Luckily, I don’t show my surprise at her words.

Instead, I iron my features and nod at her words. I make one final stroke of the scrubber before throwing it in the plastic bucket in the side. Then I turn the tap on and let burning hot water into the tub. This is to make sure that after I drain the water once it’s placed will allow it to be clean and then I will just use the showerhead to get rid of the spray in the tub.

The water running and then hitting the marble behind me is the indication that things are going as they seem and then I slip the yellow gloves off my hands.

“You need to go shopping,” I place the gloves to the side and then make my way over to Brooks. “Why?”

“It turns out that Whittaker Industries is hosting a party this weekend and I just got told this today. Can you believe that I got told about it at the last minute? That’s a total of five days away to get a dress, shoes, jewellery and a date!”

I frown at her words. “Date? Don’t you already have a boyfriend?”

“Of course!” she speaks, “the thing is that Simon hasn’t asked me and I’m just waiting for him to ask me.” She then shakes her head, “And until he has asked me, that means that I can take anyone as I please to the event.

I turn the tap on for the water and allow it to run down my hands. The water feels amazing against my dry skin at the moment and I grab some hand wash and then start to wash my hands. “So you’re telling me . . .″ I turn the tap off and then grab the white fluffy towel to dry my hands. “You just want a shopping partner for your shopping spree?”

“Yes and not just me,” she turns from her place and grabs my hands—which are still wrapped around the white towel. “You’re coming to—”

I open my mouth at her words, going to disagree with her words when she sends me a pointed look.

I shut my mouth straight away at the look.

She smiles at me before letting go of my hands.

When she turns her back on me, I narrow my eyes on her back before continuing what I wanted to say before. “I’m not going!”

She turns her eyes onto my body. “What do you mean that you’re not going?”

“It’s exactly what I mean,” I speak my words; what’s on my mind and right now it’s this: there’s no way in hell that I’m coming to a Whittaker Family event.

Over my dead body.

“I’m not going and that’s final.” My words are final. And I made sure to finish it off with a glare before I walk towards the bathtub and turn the tap off when I could see steam billowing from the tub and it being half full. I then press a button on the side of the tub. It was too hot for me to push my hand into the water and pull the plug out. If I did that then I would burn my hands and my hands are so not gonna get burned. So I installed this button wherewith one push, opens up the drain and allows the water to exit it.

The sound of water falling down the drain is music to my ears. Then I turn to face Brooks, arms crossed over the expanse of my chest.

She steers her eyes from the Tub and then towards me. “But you have to!” she bellows out loud, rushing to my side. “I have already got you a ticket and it would do so much for me if you’re there.”

She places a pout onto her face while trying her best to make fake tears come from her eyes. But she’s a model; not an actor and that means that fake tears make her look constipated. And her pout is not even a pout at this moment.

“Stop that,” I snarl in her direction, “you look like a woman who needs to shit because she’s been constipated from the past week.”

In response, she instantly drops the look, her nose scrunching too. “Do I really look like that?”

Yes. “Of course not!”

She glares at me. “I know when you’re lying, Hera. I’m your BFF.”

“Fine. You do look like a constipated woman.”

“Yuck,” Brooklyn shakes her head before her eyes widen, her mouth dropping open and a surprised look on her face. “Shit! I always do that face to get Simon on my side and he never said that! He always says that I look like a cuddly panda.”

I snort at the words. “More like a ‘ready to shit’ cuddly panda.”

Brooks sighs. “How did we get to a constipated woman and shitting pandas?

“Don’t know,” I shrug my shoulders when hearing the sound of the water still going down the drain. “But I’m still not going to the party, I don’t care if you get on your knees and beg, I’m still not going.”

“Please,” she whispers her words, a vulnerability in her voice that I now notice, “something—something happened at dinner yesterday and I kinda got on Mum’s bad side. I did something which I should have never done and now it’s going to come and bite me in the ass. I just,” a sigh comes out, “I just need somebody on my side.”

Now that broke me.

Brooklyn is one of the strongest people whom I know and knowing that she is in a sticky situation with her mother I know that she needs my help. And I know that I need to help her. Even if I need to do something which I never want to do.

I sigh, my hands now running through the brown strands in my head.

“Give me fifteen minutes to clean up the tub, take a shower and then change my clothes,” I look at her. “Okay?”

My only response was a squeal of delight, a fierce hug before she leaves the guest bathroom with a slam of a door.

♥ ♥ ♥

RIGHT NOW, MY attention is on a silver curtain drawn to separate the boutique from the changing rooms. A glass of champagne in hand—which was given by a smiling salesperson to me while I sat outside the changing rooms.

I bring the flute to my lips, take a sip of the yellow liquid which goes down my throat with ice and bubbles.

The alcohol helps with the problem which I’m dealing with at the moment by giving me the one thing which I want at the moment: a break.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I should have come with Brooklyn when she first suggested it. This gives me a break from the real world, something for me to concentrate on which isn’t the Nadine problem that I’ve got going on now.

The champagne is just a mandatory bonus to it all.

“I think this is it!”

I roll my eyes. Sure, I think, not as you said it the other ten times before this one.

We have been in this boutique for the past two hours and before this, three hours roaming around the streets of Manhattan. We have gone to all the luxury brands here. Chloe, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Alexander Wang. You name it, we have been there.

And in each one, we haven’t found a single thing for Brooks to wear.

For me . . . I’m a much later subject to deal with.

I hear the shuffle of fabric before the silver curtain pulls apart to reveal Brooklyn Whittaker.

And she looked amazing in anything she wears.

She’s wearing a hot pink evening dress. The sleeves of the dress are off-shoulder, dropping till midway between her elbow and her shoulder. Then there’s the sweetheart neckline which tightens her chest and pushes her breasts up into the right shape that they can be. Even though it’s a tight dress, it goes out into a mermaid tail ending. The tail started just below the line of her hips before it just went down. The ending of the mermaid tail stops just below the ankle where there are multiple layers onto the fabric and drags to her feet with just a tiny bit of a train.

All in all, I do agree with her.

This is the one.

This is the one she is going to wear to Whittaker Industries’ party.

I look her straight in the eye, standing up from the comfy chair and the champagne glass tightens around my fingers to make sure that I don’t drop it onto the floor. “This is the one.”

“This is the one,” she repeats, does a little twirl and then stands in front of the floor to ceiling mirror just right beside me. She runs her hands down the fabric, the silk wrapping tightly around her body and she sighs. “This is the one for the party.” Then she turns to me, “Pass me the shoes which I bought from Jimmy Choo.”

I nod my head at her words before pulling the bag from my side. Inside the bag lies a pair of golden sparkling Jimmy Choo heels which she bought. She didn’t even have a dress for her shoes but she knew one thing: she wanted these shoes.

And so she bought it.

I quickly walk over to Brooks and hand her the shoes. Immediately when she touches the surface of shoes, a sparkle comes onto her face and she sits down on the couch. The fabric of the dress flows around her which surprises me since the fabric looked tight on her body. Now it just looks loose.

“What?” Brooks snaps at me and then beckons the salesperson over and she kneeled down in front of her. The woman takes one of the shoes from Brooks’ hand and then takes her foot. She places the shoes on the foot before strapping it up tightly to make sure that they don’t fall off midway while walking down the red carpet.

Being that it’s a Whiattker family event, it’s expected for a red carpet to be in front of the entrance. Even though I’ve never been to one of these things, I have heard great things though.

I look back at the lady who takes the other shoe and does the same.

“Nothing.”

“I don’t think that it’s ‘nothing’ as you said.”

I send her a smirk. “Deal with it, Whittaker.”

A ‘hmph’ escapes from her lips. She crosses her arm over her chest for a while and then stares out of the New York streets.

When we first took a step out of the apartment building which I live in, we were instantly bombarded by the press and the paps. Nothing major that we have to deal with. Just a few questions form the premiere. How was the premiere, Hera? Will we be seeing more of you in the future? Same questions were asked over and over again but we played it cool and got in the Whittaker family Mercedes which came around and took us around the streets of Manhattan.

I think the guy’s name—who was driving the car—was Mal or something around that.

Honestly, I didn’t care to ask.

Now when we entered each shop, some form of a camera would be standing outside, taking photos of every little thing which I or Brooklyn would be doing. They also ask questions to Brooks too. About her career and then about the party which is happening in five days and then, about her family.

She kept quiet at the last subject.

So after that, we requested that we be taken into a room far away from the streets but it has to have natural light in it.

We might be popular with the press but that does not mean that we want to be caught half-naked in front of them, trying on dresses.

Brooklyn turns from the streets. Now that it’s finally quiet, you can hear the sound of the cars bustling down the street, the honks overflowing and then the sound of slight chatter coming to and from each direction of the streets.

She looks down and as do I, to see that the salesperson stands up from her space, a hand coming forward, “You may walk around, Miss. If the dress feels loose or tight then tell me and I’ll have it done by tomorrow for your event.”

Brooklyn nods at her words before standing up. The blonde beauty takes a few steps in front of her, then does a quick one-eighty turn and then walks back towards me. She takes a seat down on the couch, moves her ass along the material of the couch before standing up.

“No,” she speaks before pointing at the dress. “It’s absolutely perfect. Not too tight and not too loose plus, the heels give me some extra height so I don’t fall and land face-first on the red carpet. I would wish for nothing more than to leave the dress as it is.”

When I look at the salesperson, she looks like Brooks just gave her the sun and the moon. All because of a complaint. I shake my words, a small chuckle escaping from my lips which was unheard by the salesperson and Brooks because they made no noise of my laugh.

“Now that we have a dress . . . we need some jewellery to match the clothes,” she nods her head at her own words before looking towards the salesperson. “Do you have any sort of jewellery? Maybe something golden? Pink diamonds to match the pink of the gown?”

“Yes, yes.″ The woman leaves for a moment and walks out of the back door, in the direction of the back room. Hopefully in the direction of the jewellery room.

“Now,” she turns to me, “we need to find a dress for you.”

She walks around me, that pink dress still on her body and is making it mesmerizing.

“You know,” I sputter out with a small laugh in my voice. I look behind me to see the couch still there and then look left and right. Nowhere to escape from Brooks’ gaze. “I don’t need a dress . . . I can find something in my closet to wear. You know that I have at least ten evening dresses in there?”

“I know that, but still,” she shakes her head, “you need a dress. A new dress. Not something which you have worn before. I won’t be caught dead near you if you’re caught wearing an old dress and something which is so out of date.”

I know that.

It would cause a fit if the press saw me wearing something from maybe five—six months before. But what is more likely to cause a fit is a woman with the blonde hair and the lime green eyes that are staring daggers at me at the moment. I would more likely go through the bloodsucking leeches who are called then paparazzi than go through Brooklyn Whittaker—the Devil’s spawn.

Because that’s just what she looks like at the moment.

“Why don’t we just get your jewellery first and then we can deal with my dress, okay?”

Brooklyn’s once angry face now turns into one of thought before she bites her lip, nodding. “Fine. We’ll do the jewellery and then we could go onto your stuff.”

The sound of the door opening from the side breaks the intense looking of the two of us and towards the door—where the salesperson is walking through with a cart which has more than twenty boxes which would be worth more than ten thousand dollars each. She strolls it our way and then towards the table in front of the couch.

“These are the jewellers which I think will go well with your dress.” She says, picking up a box before opening it so that the two of us can see what’s inside.

Brooks and I both gasp at the diamond necklace which stares back at us. It was . . . mesmerising. The chain of the necklace is a rope, a gold rope which goes down until a beautiful pink diamond rests in the centre. The fifty-carat pink diamond is in a teardrop shape and is surrounded by tiny clear white diamonds. It was beautiful and I looked up at the velvet box to see a pair of matching earrings. It has the same pink diamond in a teardrop shape and it has a little gold rope chain in between before a white diamond which lays at the end and then finishes.

“This is the one,” the blonde speaks from beside me, looking at the jewellery.

She then looks up to see the salesperson with a smile on her face. “I knew this one would be the one. It’s a Harry Winston necklace with the diamond being a fifty carat and the earrings having the same jewel but it’s a fifteen carat. The diamonds are each one carat and there are about twelve surrounding the fifty carats.”

She then looks up at Brooks, “It also has a matching bracelet too.”

“Let me see it.” Her answer is quick and to the point. The woman nods her head before checking around the cart. She lifts up some of the boxes, opens them up and then shakes her head when she picks up the wrong box. Then after three boxes, she finds it before showing it to us.

The bracelet itself has the same design as the necklace. The gold halo bracelet sits in the centre surrounded by dark blue velvet and the pink diamonds and white diamonds change and it ends with a box clasp.

Brooklyn’s lime green eyes shimmer while looking at the bracelet. “Do you mind if I can try these on?” The salesperson shakes her head and places the box on the wooden table in front of us and pulls the bracelet out. She unclasps it and then places it around her wrist.

Then let’s go.

“It fits,” Brooks squeals her hands running over the diamonds. “Can you do the necklace and the earrings?”

The saleswoman says nothing in return except she picks up the box with the pink diamond necklace and places it on the table, right beside the empty box of the bracelet. She opens it up, takes the necklace out and then walks around Brooklyn’s body. She then pushes the hair aside and sets the necklace there.

“It’s gonna be a little cold.”

“A little?” Brooks says with a shiver in her voice. “It’s most definitely cold.”

Now I couldn’t stop the laugh from escaping from my lips at that.

Brooklyn sends me a pointed glare.

Once the necklace is around her neck, the woman then picks up an earring from the box and enters into one of the openings in Brooks’ ears. Before we left the house, Brooklyn took off all her earrings, rings and other bits of gold which she has on her body and stuffed them into her purse.

“It’s a bit on the heavy side,” said Brooklyn once the ring has gone in her ear.

“It’s a fifteen-carat pink diamond,” I responded to her words, eyebrows raised. “What were you expecting then?”

“Not that?”

The woman who is picking up the next earring makes no response to our words but instead does the same thing which she did with the other.

Now that all the jewellery is on her body, Brooklyn walks towards the mirror, looking at her body.

“This is it,” she speaks to herself. “This is what I’m wearing to the event.”

Then she walks back towards us, starting to take the earing of her ear and then handing it to the salesperson. “Now that I’m done . . . would you mind dressing my friend over there?″ She points a finger at me.

The woman looks at me and then walks towards me. She then makes the choice to take a three-sixty around me before stopping right in front of me. She looks at my hair, then my hazel green eyes and then at my body. The breasts which are in front of me and then towards my wide hips.

I have always been a bit of curvaceous woman. Ever since I was little and in high school. Big boobs, hips and thighs were always a thing for me.

And looks like that it might never stop.

“I think . . .″ she trails off for a second, looking at my body and then back up, a smile on her face. “Something blue. Dark blue.”

And the next second she’s gone.

I turn to face Brooklyn who is making her way into the dressing room without saying a single word. I try my best to call out to her but she just shuts the curtains. I look down at the table to see the pink diamond necklace, the matching bracelet and the remaining earrings are sitting on the wooden table just by itself.

The sound of the door opening once again sounds from the room and when I look in the direction, all I see is a rack of different shades of dark blue dresses coming out. My mouth opens wide at each of the dresses and it continues to after every dress that I see.

And the material of each of the dresses is astounding to me.

I have hundreds of different types of dresses in my own closet back in my apartment but nothing compares to the feeling of seeing more clothing. Clothing which is new and brand new.

Brooklyn was right.

I would never wear those dresses ever again after going on a shopping spree with Brooklyn Whittaker.

“Now let’s see,” the woman mumbles under her breath, looking through the contents of the dresses. She sifts through them, trying to find a nice dress. I see her pull out a silk strapless dress which reaches mid knees and she scrunches her nose at the dress before quickly pushing it back into the rack. She then picks up a layered dark blue ballgown which has a sweetheart neckline and she looks like that she was gonna throw up just looking at it.

“God no is Hera Langford ever going to wear that in public.”

I turn to face Brooks when she comes outside of the changing room, her eyes narrowing onto the dress. She too looks like that she’s gonna throw up just staring at the layered fabric.

“I was just going to say that, Miss. Whittaker,” the woman beside her speaks up and then she looks at the blonde woman. “I’ll pick up the dress from the dressing room after I have chosen one for Miss. Langford and then you woman can check out.”

Brooklyn nods her head, tightening her hold on the Jimmy Choos in her hand and then dropping them back in the bag which she found them in.

And then she makes a move to the rack to find something for me.

All the while the two of the women find clothes, I just stand there, watching them look at the dresses.

“No.”

“Never in a million years.”

“Hera would never be caught dead in this dress!”

Hearing the complaint coming from Brooklyn and then the small subtle shaking of her head from the salesperson is my only entertainment.

“Why are all these clothes so good?” Brooks says, staring at a dress with velvet in her hands. Then she pushes it back in the rack of blue shades, “But they will never look good on—Wait!"

Her green orbs glimmer in the light when she pulls out a dark blue evening dress. She then pushes the rack to the side to show to the woman who has been helping us for the past hour. Brooks shows the dress to her and she nods her head as well.

“That is perfect and I have some jewellery for that too!” She squeals before grabbing a tight hold on the rack and starting to push it out of the room and back into the storage room of the boutique.

“You go into the changing room and try this on,” she pushes the blue tulle into my hands and then starts to push me into the room. “I’ll find some jewels and shoes for the dress too.”

I didn’t even get a good look at the dress before the silver curtain shuts behind me and I’m left in the changing room, alone.

The eight-foot long fabric curtains are shut behind me and in front of me is a single plush white couch in the centre of the room. And then the square room is covered with mirrors around the edges. Then, I tighten my hold on the dress and look up to see a crystal chandelier shining brightly above me.

I place the dress on the couch, spreading it out so that I can see it perfectly.

I have to agree with Brooks . . . the dress is absolute perfection.

The dress itself is a tulle material over a layer of dark blue silk. That’s the truth. That’s the bottom of the dress. My eyes go along the bottom to the top. The neckline of the dress is a v-neck, a deep v-neck which ends just below my breasts. The front of the dress is bedazzled with deep blue sapphires in the material until the ending at the v-neck and then after that, it goes down in teardrops, until the waist.

Since it’s a v-neck dress, that means that I can’t wear a bra with it. I have to go braless for the event. I have to wear pasties over my nipples to make sure that it won’t be seen by other people. Even though I don’t like pasties, it’s a price that I’m willing to pay to wear this dress.

I pull the shirt off my body and place it right beside the dress. I then lean down, untying the strap of my sandal and then the other than dropping them to the side. Standing back up, I was then going to unbutton my jeans when something distracted me. My gaze flickers to the faint silver lines that run the length of my stomach skin. Running a finger down the lines, I shake my head before starting to unzip my pants.

Memories flood through my mind. My teenage years are coming to the forefront and as soon as they come, I push them away.

I don’t need this. I have passed that and I need to focus on my future. Nothing is going to stop me from making a name for myself.

Not even myself.

I nod my head at those words, pushing the fabric of my jeans down my legs and then pushing them aside. I then unclasp the hook of my bra and drop it right beside the dress. I face the dress and take it off the hunger before unzipping the back. Even though it has a deep neckline, it still has a rather large back and just stops a few centimetres from my neck.

Looking at the dress, I knew that I have to push my arms through the opening of the sleeves and then push it against my front. Then finally, zip it up, show Brooks and the salesperson and decide whether this dress is the one.

Which it’ll most likely be.

The dress’s fabric presses against my front and rubs itself against my nipples and I groan when feeling the uncomfortable feeling when something irritates the sensitive bud which it is. But I just live with it, biting my lip to not show any sound of pain. I quickly zip it up and then look myself in the mirror.

I look good in the dress.

Well . . . I look good in any sort of dress but I know that this is the one which I’m going to wear to Whittaker Industries’ party.

I do a little twirl in front of the mirror to feel the tight silk wrap around my body but I know that it won’t break apart. It’s just like Brooks’ pick mermaid tail dress. Even though it looks tight, it’s actually loose.

I take one final nod to myself and then walk out of the changing room.

And as soon as I saw the open jaws of Brooklyn and the woman by her side, I know that this is the dress.

“Now,” Brooks says, finally regaining her speech and facing the salesperson. “You said that you have jewellery?”

She nods.

“Perfect.” A smile. “Then shoes too. Silver shoes. We have some work to do to make sure that Hera Langford is an absolute diamond for the opening of the hotel.”

I couldn’t have run out of the shop quickly enough at her words.

♥ ♥ ♥

i absolutely loved writing this chapter
i love writing about the friendship between hera and brooks.
i also want to say that the next update might take some time to come out since school’s starting for me soon and i need to focus on that.
sorry!

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