Chapter One

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"Don't peek!"

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"Don't peek!"

But I do because that's exactly what you do when someone tells you not to. I spot a flash of soft crimson, a swish of chiffon and then... the deep, fleshy pink of a palm across my vision.

"What did I say?"

"Oh, come on! Please... I can't wait any longer!" I squeal, bouncing on my toes, failing to keep still as Mia tugs on the fabric of the dress.

"Nope," she grunts, moving away from me. I hear the rustling of material and the creaking of floorboards as she moves about my bedroom. Something sharp stabs me in the hip.

"Ouch!"

"Sorry," she mumbles before yawning.

"You're exhausted. Are you sure you should be doing this?"

"Uh-huh," she yawns again. "I was exhausted last week. This week my brain is so fried I'm struggling to remember my own name. OK, turn around."

I tut, my stomach dipping.

"Mia..."

"I know, I know. But I promised my three best friends the finest and most unforgettable prom outfits and what kind of designer in-training would I be if I didn't deliver?"

"I'm guessing Coco Chanel didn't have to make dresses in between her GCSE exams?"

"Maybe not, but I'll be damned if algebra and Shakespeare get in the way of you looking fabulous."

I giggle and shake my head. With her hands on my shoulders, I spin until she stops me. Mia moves to my side, her hands smoothing down the fabric. She exhales dramatically.

"OK...now!"

I hesitate for the tiniest of moments before my eyes shoot open and I stare hard at my reflection. I screech and Mia bursts into giggles, bouncing up and down on the spot like an excitable T-Rex. The tightness in my stomach loosens and I let out the deep breath I'd been holding. The tension melts away from my bones.

Soft, crimson chiffon glides to the floor, skimming my shape as it floats down my body. The rich colour, the same as my favourite lipstick, pulls out the cream in my skin, finds warmth in my charcoal waves. Maybe I'll never see a beautiful girl when I look in the mirror, but I do know I look the best I ever have.

"Mia... thank you. This dress... this is amazing. You're amazing!"

She beams at me in the mirror, leaning her head against my shoulder.

"Well, you deserve the best. You're gorgeous. My dress merely enhances what's already there." She dramatically flicks her blonde curls and grins. I giggle and move closer to the mirror, twisting my body so I can see the different angles, catching the way the light moves along the fabric.

I wonder what Jensen would think if he saw me in this? An image of us dancing under glittering lights, his arms around my waist, his turquoise eyes staring into mine fills my head, leaving me hazy.

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