This made her giggle, laughing at the fact that I used my crush's nickname for me on her. "Venia," she said, "he obviously still likes you. I mean, look at the dress he bought you for a secret Santa. Of all things, Venia, he bought you a dress for secret Santa. Maybe you should just talk to him. You know, D.T.R.?"

There it was again, that damned D.T.R. my friends kept going on about. I knew next to nothing about him besides the fact that he was secretive and far beyond sexy. I knew about his stepfather as well, but that was where all my knowledge of his personal life ended for me. He had four best friends. He and his friends secretly hated one of them and want to kick her out. They wanted me to be that friend, but they felt that I wasn't popular enough yet. He liked to joke around and flirt with me, but also with every other girl. Besides those things - observations that I had to come up with for myself - the boy was a mystery to me.

But Veronica always had wise words - she predicted last years Super Bowl winners for a math assignment down to the tee - so I felt that I should at least pay them mind. Maybe, somewhere and somehow, Dylan did have feelings for me. Possibility needed to be understood before there was any impossibility. Chances were unlikely and based solely on luck, no solid theory on them but 'wait for the next one to come,' but maybe my chance had come in the form of Dylan Parker's friendship and maybe it would open the door to something more than that.

When we finally parked the car, Becca and I got out, bidding Veronica goodbye. We took the steps up to the door, opening it to reveal a lobby filled with dazzling and well-dressed men and women, turning in their tickets and entering a door beside the desk to the ballroom.

I looked over Becca with a smile, her red dress bringing out her darker skin beautifully, showing off possibly every curve she had. I, on the other hand, felt that I looked gaunt in my sleeveless yellow dress. My plunging neckline exposed a large patch of my skin, the Christmastime air chilling me to the bone as it came through when more guests filed in.

"Next in line," a man said. Looking ahead at the line before us, I realized that he was talking to Becca and I.

I went into the pocket of my coat which I held in my hand, fishing the tickets from them out so I could give them to the man with the guest list. "Hi, this is Venia Addams and Becca Gomez."

He frowned, looking over the list with a furrowed brow, making me nervous. Did Dylan's order never make it to the list? Was this all part of some twisted prank? Did Issa somehow sabotage us long before we even had the chance to sabtage her. Apparently, Becca felt the same was as I did because she gave me a look that told me we should leave.

But then the man looked up from the book in confusion. "We have a V. Addams. Would that be you, miss?"

I nodded at him gratefully, relieved at the fact that all of my wicked nightmares from before what he said never came true. Dylan or one of his friends obviously did that to be humorous, meaning that we were in the clear.

"And yes, we do have a Becca Gomez," he said with an apologetic smile. "You ladies may proceed."

I let out a breath that I didn't even realize I was holding. We were safe, nothing was going to happen to us.

The ballroom was magnificent, the ceilings and walls decked with snowflake ornaments, glitter raining down softly like snowfall. The halls were dressed to the nines in Christmas themed decorations, real evergreen trees draped in tinsel, silver bells ringing faintly. There was a band that played jazz music onstage in the far side of the spacious room, the soothing sound relaxing my shoulders. If falling in love was as easy and it was made out to be, I could've and would've fallen in love with this place, every passing second embedding itself into me like a memory so that I could think back to this moment as the day we first met and I fell the hardest.

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