Chapter 10: The Highlight of my Week

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Dimitri pulled Lissa aside when we got to the shopping mall. I didn't pay close attention – I trusted Dimitri; she was safe with him. I took the opportunity to badger Christian a bit. Soon enough, Lissa bounced back over to rescue Christian, and we all headed inside. We decided to split up – girls to go shopping for dresses for the concert, guys to the arcade.

"But, Liss," I grumbled, as she dragged me away from Dimitri, "I don't need a dress – what I'm wearing is fine."

She smacked my arm.

"Ow! Liss! What was that for?"

"Rose. You mean to tell me that you don't want a new dress to meet the Slayerz in??? Don't you want to make a good impression? They're friends of Dimitri's."

"Oh. When you put it that way..."

She grinned. "Exactly. Now, come on."

And she dragged me off, Alberta and Celeste following, matching amused smiles on their faces.

"Liss." I groaned. "This is, like, the five-thousandth dress you've had me try on."

"And none of them were right," she said implacably. "Here's a few more – I have a good feeling about that red one."

I sighed, but obediently put it on. It slithered over my skin like water, and it felt like it hugged in all the right places. I craned my neck to see over my shoulder, but I couldn't get a good look at myself.

"Rose! Have you got it on yet?"

"Yeah, yeah. Here – what do you think?" I stepped out of the tiny dressing room, and the three of them turned to look at me. Their jaws dropped – literally dropped. Lissa recovered first.

"Wow!" she breathed. "Rose, forget those other dresses. This is it."

I turned, a bit self-conscious, what with all the staring, to look in the mirror. My jaw didn't drop, but only because I clenched my teeth. It was the most gorgeous dress I had ever seen. As I thought, it hugged all the right places. The slightly scooped neck, dropped off-the-shoulder straps, and flared skirt were perfection. The red silk set off my skin and hair, and I looked sultry even without any makeup.

"Wow." I echoed. I reached for the price tag, but Lissa grabbed my hand.

"Rose, I don't care how much this dress costs. I am buying it for you."

"But, Liss – "

"I insist. If it makes you feel better, I won't buy you anything else for the rest of the year. You won't need any other dresses anyway – you could wear this same dress to every party for the next five years and outshine everyone else in the room."

"But – " I grabbed for the price tag again, but she was too quick for me.

"Rose. I. Am. Buying. You. This. Dress. Now, go take it off and help me find mine."

I grinned. "Yes, Miss Bossypants."

She rolled her eyes and shoved me into the stall. "Go! Unless you don't want to have time for dinner before the concert..."

I went.

We took my dress to the counter, and then went searching for one for Lissa. It didn't take quite as long to find hers – I spied it; a flash of color from the corner of my eye that just screamed Lissa. Sure enough, the moment I pulled it from the rack, we both knew it was hers. She tried it on, just to be sure. And, yes, it suited her as well as mine suited me. They were as different as night and day – hers was a deep blue velvet, floor length, with a gathered train in back, and speckled with rhinestones. She looked like she'd gathered the night sky around her; pale hair and skin glowing with a fire that rivaled the light reflected in the rhinestones.

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