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For some reason, it felt like everyone's eyes were staring directly at me when Emily, Brendan, and I walked into “Taylor Jewels” a huge upscale Masquerade shop, or maybe I'm being paranoid.
“Hi, my name is Jennifer. How may I help you?” A beautiful, young woman wearing black slacks, a red blouse, and silver wire frame glasses asked us.
“Do you have any sexy masquerade gowns here?” Emily replied.
“Are there any particular colors and styles you're interested in?” Jennifer inquired.
“We would prefer a petite, short, red, or black dress,” Brendan says with a massive grin on his face while staring at me.
“I think that you guys just might be in luck. We just got in a new collection of short dresses this morning,” Jennifer says before walking towards the back of the store.
“I guess I'm not needed here since you two already have everything figured out.” I joked while pushing past Brendan and walking over to a gorgeous hunter-green evening gown.
“Well, we couldn't very well leave it up to you to come to the ball dressed in something short and sexy now could we?” Emily asked.
"If we had, you'd probably show up at the ball looking exactly how you do right now,” Brendan uttered with disdain in his voice.
“Brendan, she'd most likely show up there wearing an outdated curtain or something that closely resembled it,” Emily replied before letting out a low chuckle.
I saw Jennifer making her way back over to us carrying three dresses draped over her left arm just as I was about to respond to their uncalled-for remarks. If you ask me, I'd say that these dresses barely left anything to the imagination. “Follow me,” She says to me, then leads us over to a dressing room area at the back of the store.
The first dress was a stunning red, flowy dress. I liked this dress even though it was cut a little short. Emily and Brendan showed their dislike of the dress as soon as I walked out of the dressing room.
“And this one is definitely a no-no.” They say at the time after barely sparing the blue, sequin, knee-length dress with a low V-cut between my breasts a second glance.
Not only didn't they like the dress, but several other customers also shared their thoughts on the dress. “This dress looks like it's fit for an older woman, not for a beautiful, young woman such as yourself.” A tall, middle-aged, dark skin woman with gold-rimmed glasses perched on the tip of her nose walked up to me and said.
“I'll have to agree with her.” A caucasian woman that looked to be around my age with fiery red, shoulder-length hair blurts out.
“See Avery, Brendan, and I know what we're talking about,” Emily says to me then sticks her tongue out at me like she was a child instead of a grown-ass woman.
“Whatever,” I replied then moved on to the next dress
The silk, navy-blue dress, with a split up to my right thigh fit me like a second skin.”What do you think about this one, Brendan?” Emily asked.
“It does have more appeal than the other two dresses, but I'd like to see how Avery looks in the last dress.” He replied. I walked back into the dressing, grumbling and tired of changing clothes.
“This is the last dress I'm trying on,” I tell them through the cracked dressing room door. The last one was a sexy, black knee-length dress with a gold, see-through lace around the waist. It had a split that went up to both my thighs, a low-cut V between my breasts and all of my back was out. This meant I had to go braless if I chose to get this dress, which was highly unlikely. I saw several gorgeous men and dozens of women standing outside the dressing room with Emily and Brendan when I walked out of it. I felt like I was being put on display for the whole store to see.
“That's the dress.” Brendan, Emily, and a couple of the people yelled out in unison.
“I must agree this dress does fit you perfectly, and we have the mask to go with it,” Jennifer said with awe in her voice. “I'll be right back with the mask.” She adds before walking off towards the back of the store again. A few minutes later, she returned holding a black, half-face mask with gold trim around the eyes and gold feathers sticking out from the right side of it.
“Alright, ladies, it's time to go,” Brendan says after he pays for my outfit. An outfit that I refused to pay for with my hard-earned money because it didn't cover up enough of my body for me.
“It's time to hit the hair salon, bestie.” Emily blurted after we were inside my car. We pulled into “Stylez For Dayz” which was owned by Emily's first cousin Noel Riker. The inside of the shop was decorated in a nice, warm decor with vintage photos hanging on the wall. An average size nail and pedicure cubicle was at the front. In the center was a make-up station and at the back of the shop was the hair salon. I guess you could say this was a full-service salon where you could get everything you wanted to be done if you were pressed for time or just wanted to be pampered.
“Noel, I need your gifted girls to work your magic on my best friend and me.”
I sat in a plush, purple chair for what felt like hours, letting Noel style my hair in beautiful curls that hung down my back.
“Wow, Avery!” Brendan exclaims in awe. “If I hadn't sat here and watched Noel work her magic on you, I would have thought that someone had kidnapped my best friend.” He then adds. His words and the way Emily was staring at me with shock evident in her eyes felt like an insult to me.
Ten minutes later…
“I'll pick you, two lovely ladies, up in an hour and a half,” Brendon tells Emily and me after we drop him back off at the office to get his car.
“Avery, I need to stop by my house for a few minutes to grab my make-up bag and the perfect pair of shoes for you to wear with this beautiful dress,” Emily tells me.
“What's wrong with the shoes I have on?” I asked, looking down at my favorite pair of sensible shoes.
“I know you didn't think you were going to wear those ugly ass flats to the ball,” Emily replied.
“Well, that was always an option for me,” I said in a serious voice as I pulled into her driveway.
“Not with me being around,” she sneered, then hopped out of the car and raced up the steps to her parent's house.
I waited in the car while Emily went into the house to retrieve her things. My phone begins to ring, I look at the caller ID when my cell phone begins to ring. I decided to let it go to voicemail after not recognizing the number.
“We only have one hour to get ready before Brendan shows up at your house honking his horn and blowing steam out of his ears,” Emily says while flipping her long black hair over her shoulder.
I parked my car in the garage, then grabbed my bags off the back seats and walked into the house. My cheeks started to get hot just from looking at the scandalous dress I laid out on the bed. “Boy, if my parents ever saw this outfit, they would ban me from going outside ever again.” I thought out loud as I headed to the bathroom to take a shower.
A vision of Reese pops into my mind as I'm rinsing the soapy residue off my body. I instantly froze, when the vivid images of his dimples on both sides of his cheeks came into view behind my closed eyelids. I quickly splash some water on my face to rid myself of the lustful thoughts I was beginning to have of him. I hopped out of the shower when I noticed that wasn't working for me. I rubbed my favorite vanilla and creme-scented lotion all over my body after drying off.
“Here, put these on,” Emily instructs me after shoving a black pair of fishnet stockings into my arms.
“Emily, what am I going to do with these?” I asked with a frown on my face.
“Wear them, duh!" She says while rolling her eyes at me. “Avery, we have thirty minutes to finish getting dressed before Brendon shows up outside, honking his horn and blowing our phone up.” She calls out at the entrance of my bedroom door.
Fifteen minutes later, she walked back into my room wearing a long flowing gown that looked more like something that I should be wearing. “Are we doing opposites tonight?” I asked, looking at her dress then back at mine. “Here I am wearing the hooker dress, and you're going to the ball wearing an elegant dress,” I grumbled.
“Nah, I just think that this looks better on me, and besides we're trying to get you laid tonight.” She replied with a smirk on her face. She then pushes me over towards my vanity mirror and begins to do my makeup. Next, she put on a light shade of makeup on me and a coat of red lipstick on my lips. I looked in the mirror at my reflection, and I thought to myself, who is this beautiful lady staring back at me?
I turned to face Emily and noticed that she had this look of pure amazement on her face yet again. The front doorbell rings just as we were heading downstairs. I knew that it was Brendan because he's never late for anything.
He stood on the other side of the door, looking sexy as ever. “If he weren't my best friend, I would be into him at this very moment,” I thought to myself.
"Brendan, we didn't know you could look this good!” Emily and I both say simultaneously.
“I'm glad that you two like what you see.” He replies, then turns around slowly in front of us. “On the real, though, you two ladies look spectacular. I wish I could see you like this every day. That way, all the guys at work would be jealous of me walking around with such lovely ladies next to me. My phone began to ring once I was seated in the back seat of Brendan's Mercedes-Benz. I pressed the decline button when I didn't recognize the number.