Chapter 21

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Epilogue (Last chapter)


Lauren shuffled along the red carpet behind Camila and Harry, graceful and quiet and wincing with every step. Her toes had gone numb in the limo, somewhere between Camila's house and the theater, but her strappy heels were still in violent disagreement with the backs of her feet. She wondered how inappropriate it would be to just kick them off.

All eyes, all cameras and flashes and lights, were on Camila. Lauren was there to float along at her side and jump into pictures when requested, to return Camila's giddy smiles and carry her purse. Getting rid of her shoes wouldn't be that scandalous.

She wore a deep blue, knee length designer dress – mildly frightening for her – and her hair was styled into waves that messily framed her flushed face. Camila's jaw had dropped when she'd first seen it, when her stylist had dragged a reluctant Lauren from the guest bedroom before leaving.

"You're beautiful," she'd whispered, wide eyes taking in the whole look.

Ally frowned at her. "I'm sorry, are you – are you Lauren Jauregui?"

Lauren had grinned down at her shoes-from-hell and proudly informed, "And I managed to get all the sand off."

Camila smiled wordlessly, lips pressed together. She was stunning in her own dress, an Anything Goes inspired navy blue and white striped thing that clung tightly and ended just below her knee. She stood on her tiptoes and held Lauren's face and kissed her deeply, and then pulled back laughing at her makeup artist's groan.

On the red carpet, Camila looked back at Lauren with a wide grin. She whispered something to Harry and then hurried over, ignoring his protests.

"Time to go home?" Lauren wondered, checking a watch that she didn't have.

Camila scoffed and wrapped an arm around her waist, waving graciously at everybody on the other side of the metal barrier. Lauren's smile was genuine, and her gaze and attention would be focused on Camila in the majority of pictures that were taken.

"Don't take off your shoes until we're back in the car," Camila instructed knowingly, pulling Lauren to where Harry was.

Lauren scoffed. "Are you kidding? I love these. They're never coming off."

Literally, never, because they were becoming one with her feet.

Camila snorted a laugh and then collected herself and brightly greeted the reporter Harry had placed them in front of. She held Lauren's hand and smiled while he introduced himself. Lauren was solid and steady, her index finger tapping against Camila's hand the only indication of her nerves.

"You both look gorgeous tonight, and it's so exciting," the reporter gushed, "are you having a good time?"

"Absolutely!" Camila exclaimed immediately. "We're so – you know, no matter how many premieres I attend they're always so overwhelming, and we're just thrilled that everybody finally gets to see the movie!"

Lauren squeezed Camila's hand, "Tell them about your episode earlier."

"Oh yes!" Camila gestured excitedly. "Okay, listen, I'm a calm person – "

Lauren pulled a face at the camera and Camila ignored her.

"But I stepped out of the car when we first arrived and I bumped into somebody, and he apologized profusely and complimented my dress, and then he got, like, five steps away before I realized it was Tom Hanks! I have never been so – I was – I couldn't –"

"You were in a state," Lauren contributed, laughing.

Camila nodded quickly, "I keeled over. Lauren carried me up the carpet."

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