You fussed with the elegant earrings, admiring the way the dangling sapphires caught the light. This was different from your usual stage attire, where you usually went for big loops, big hair, wild make-up, and bold moves. Tonight… you wanted to present another image. The dress was midnight blue velvet, just as elegant as the earrings, ending mid-thigh to show off your legs. It was just tight enough to emphasize your curves, to give a hint of what was underneath.
Stylish and elegant was the way you usually presented yourself at red carpet events. For your previous album releases, you had gone big and bold, hiring a concert hall and rocking the stage. This time it was different. You had opted for small and intimate instead, inviting your family, twenty lucky members of your fan club, some friends, carefully selected journalists. And Heero…
He had assured you he would show up, even though he was insanely busy with the upcoming fashion weeks. New York was up first and then he’d fly off to London, Paris, and Milan. He was a sought after model, not only having established himself as CK’s face, but also as a reliable runway model. Brands were practically scrambling over themselves to land him. It made you a little proud. And a little jealous. He would be surrounded by the most beautiful women of the Earth, while you would go your own way, launching a world tour that would last well into the year. You wouldn’t see much of him for most of the year, so you’d make the best out of tonight. And you’d still see him in New York for that runway show you had not managed to wheedle out of.
It would give you some space to figure out what all of this affair was. After Christmas the confusion had been all the greater. Your family had been warm and kind to Heero, and he had been welcomed into the circle in a way that had warmed your heart. And he had not disappointed you, allowing your sister to practice her flirting on him, had thoroughly charmed your mother, had made your father cackle with his sly with and dry humor. He had fit in like a piece to a missing puzzle.
But after the holiday, he had distanced himself from you again.
You bit your lip as you gazed into the mirror, a frown forming between your brows.
“Don’t do that,” your sister commented from her place on the bed.
You turned around to look at her, and took in the sight of her sprawled form on the luxurious covers of the hotel suite bed. Your parents preferred to stay out of the press and live modest lives, so when your sister had the change to have a taste of luxury, she indulged.
And you had indulged as well, buying her the dress that made her look classy and mature.
“Do what?” you questioned finally.
“Frown. Makes you look like an angry bulldog.”
You snorted and turned back to the mirror, smoothing the fabric of the dress with your hands. Kayla got up from the bed and joined you. You admired the image of the two of you in the mirror. She giggled when you turned to fluff her hair a little, reminding you she was still so girlish in her nature. That innocence was something you loved about her. It was fresh and unstudied.
“Do you think he is going to be there?” she asked with a hopeful glint in her eyes.
“Who?” You moved around her, selecting delicate golden earrings for her to wear.
“Heero, of course,” she said.
“He said he would be.”
“Good.” She gave you a grin as you handed her the earrings. “So you can finally go and tell him you’re in love with him.”
“I’m not.” You denied vehemently and felt immediately guilty. The words tasted like a lie.
Kayla’s expression sobered and she reached for your hand. “Maybe you’re not ready to admit it to yourself but I could see it written all over your face during Christmas.”
You sighed and went to grab your shoes. You sat down on the food of the bed and slipped into the sapphire blue pumps. “It’s complicated.”
“It doesn’t have to be,” Kayla said matter of factly. At your sharp look she held up her hands in defense. “I saw the way he looks at you.”
“I think he is in love with you too.” She sat down next to you and wrapped her arm around your shoulders. “Why would it be complicated?”
You shrugged. “I…”
“You’re afraid of getting hurt again.” The sympathy nearly made your eyes fill.
You had never told your family all the details surrounding your break up with Zechs. The humiliation had cut deep and you hadn’t wanted them to worry about you, so you had kept everything to yourself. You had been lucky that Zechs had been discreet enough to keep a low profile for a while, so the media hadn’t picked up much on the story. But the whole ordeal had left a mark on your heart. And truth to be told, you were terrified of placing it in another man’s hands.
Kayla pressed a kiss against your cheek. “It will be okay.”
You gave her a small smile. “When did you get so wise?”
She grinned. “Don’t go calling me old.”
You snorted and got up, gathering your purse. “I wouldn’t dare. Let’s go and see if Mom and Dad are ready.”
The release party was just as you had wanted it to be. Tasteful and intimate, and your choice to play acoustic versions of the songs proved to be a good one. Afterwards, you took pictures with the fans, answered question from the journalists, dutifully posed for pictures, and were all too aware of Heero’s absence.
It stung like a bitch, but you endured the evening with a smile on your face. When he finally came in, you were quick to corner him in the backstage area, away from the press and the curiosity of the fans.
“You are late!” you hissed.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized. “The photoshoot took way longer than the scheduled time and I couldn’t get out earlier.”
You sighed, knowing he really couldn’t help it but still feeling disappointed. “It’s alright.”
“How did it go?” he asked, while tucking a lock of hair behind your ear.
You gave him a fleeting half smile. “Fine. I think the press was impressed and the fans seemed to love it.”
“Good.” He gave you a small smile in return and then presented you with a sleek gift box. “I got you something.”
“Oh… You didn’t have to.”
“I wanted to,” he assured you, and pushed the box into your hands.
You carefully opened it and nearly goggled at the delicate string of glitters that beamed at you. You touched one of the diamonds and swallowed thickly. More than ever you wanted to know what went on in his mind, but when you looked up at him, his eyes were carefully guarded. Your mind rang with questions. Why did he distance himself from you, only to buy you such a beautiful gift? A thoughtful one he had obviously paid close attention to and must have cost a small fortune by the looks of it.
“It’s beautiful,” you said wistfully. “But I can’t accept such a gift, Heero.”
“Why not?” he asked.
“It’s too much,” you said.
“I make more than enough money to afford it,” he said, his tone turning clipped.
“I know that, but…” You swallowed thickly.
All your thoughts jumbled together, and your mind was a chaos. Zechs had bought you countless expensive gifts in the past to try and impress you. You had been young, new to stardom, and dazzled by his beautiful smile and the lavish life style he lived. And later, when the daze had ended and you had started to see the cracks, when he had started hurting you, he had bought them as a means to apologize.
It had killed your pleasure to accept pretty trinkets as a gift.
“I-I can’t accept this.” You pushed the box back into his hands and stormed to the back door of the back stage area.
The door slammed shut behind you and you took a deep gulp of the evening air to calm the sudden nerves and the terror that creeped up on you. You couldn’t go through this a second time.
You whirled around when the door opened and Heero stepped out. He was still clutching the box, his face a mask of cool indifference.
“This ends now.”
His eyes narrowed. “What are you talking about?”
“This…” you gestured wildly. “This whole thing between us. It has to end now.”
He took a step towards you and you quickly backed up.
“I shouldn’t have let things come this far. I’m done playing.”
The dangerous glint in those dark blue eyes made fear leap in your throat. But he didn’t approach you, keeping that cold distance between the two of you.
“Fine,” he bit out finally. “Suit yourself.”
He turned around and walked away, his shoulders square and tense. Your heart broke at the sight of him leaving and you sank down to the ground with tears pooling in your eyes.
“Oh God.” You desperately suppressed a sob, unwilling to cry. “What have I done?”
Later, you pulled yourself together, plastered a smile on your face and repaired your make-up in the dressing room. You had done it to protect yourself. You repeated it so often you started to believe it.
But you nearly shattered on your way back to the hotel, when you dug into your bag and found he had left the gift box in it.
Don't kill me please! XD
Please let me know what you think! The lack of reviews lately is a bit demotivating. I'd love to hear from you!