I hope I don’t offend any of my gay friends with the introduction of this gay couple!
* * *
Emily, and Jane in particular, seemed to enjoy the fashion parade enormously, but after the requisite oohing and aahing over the gorgeous models, and even more gorgeous clothes, Miira quickly lost interest. Even meeting the great man himself could not shake the great lethargy that had been creeping up on her all afternoon. In just a few short hours, all the friendships she had relied on were gone, or so dramatically changed that she now felt like a complete outsider again.
At one level Miira knew she could not rely on the Innerscape staff forever, and would have to make new friends from amongst the residents, yet even so a part of her clung to the happiness she had known during the last few days. It had felt good to be accepted, and liked. Now she was back to being just another patient, and that hurt.
After the show Miira was invited to try on some of the fabulous designs – a great honour apparently – but she declined, saying they were all so beautiful it would break her heart to have to give them back afterwards. Unfortunately her diplomacy backfired when Jason insisted that she keep whichever gown she liked the best.
Horrified by her unintended blunder, Miira had no option but to accept gracefully. Emily and Jane wanted her to try on every gown in the collection, but she refused. Most of the gowns played peek-a-boo with the female anatomy in a way that was too blatant for her tastes. She had no problem with revealing gowns, on someone else, but she had no intention of wearing anything that left nothing to the imagination!
Finally, tucked away at the very back of the huge room that housed the collection, she found a relatively demure number that clung to her figure like a second skin but still managed to cover most of the important bits. And she did love the colour. It was a warm green that subtly changed with every breath. Unfortunately the gown plunged down to the small of her back, making it obvious that underwear was out of the question. Nonetheless, it was the only gown she could imagine herself ever wearing in public. And once she wriggled into it she knew she had made the right choice. It looked as if it had been made just for her.
When she stepped out of the changing room, the gown flared out from her knees with every step, swirling around the matching green sandals like waves breaking against the shore.
“Aaah…” Jason in delight. “You chose the Mermaid!
…he names each design?…
“But you can’t leave your hair like that!” Jason continued. “You’ll have to plait it, maybe with some green ribbons…”
Suiting action to words he quickly gathered up Miira’s long dark hair and pulled it to one side. She shivered as the cool air suddenly hit her exposed back.
“Someone bring me those sea-green ribbons. And some pearls…”
Miira felt like a mannequin as the designer and his assistants bustled around her, trying this and that, before they finally settled on a delicate net of tiny pearls that made her hair look like the night sky strewn with stars.
“She needs some makeup,” Keith said. He had watched the proceedings with interest but had not volunteered anything until now. Dark and smoldering to Jason’s golden good looks, Keith Marsden was the most beautiful man Miira had ever seen.
…no wonder he was a holo star…
“No, please,” Miira began. “I don’t usually wear makeup and-…”
“Hush, dear,” Jason said. “When it comes to makeup Keith is the expert. If he says you need makeup, you need makeup.”
“Sshhh… You don’t want to shame me tonight do you?”
The realisation that she was expected to wear this dress at the ball to celebrate the new collection shocked Miira into silence. She could not wear such a blatantly seductive dress to the ball! Kenneth would take one look at her and think she was….
“Close your eyes,” Keith said as he began applying makeup with a deft hand.
Miira did as she was told because refusing would cause a scene, but behind her closed lids she resolved to wash the makeup off the instant she returned to the Ritz. She would wear the damn dress because she had put her foot in it and had no choice, but she would not go to the ball looking like a painted sex kitten!