Twenty - Ivory Towers

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Unedited chapter!! But I couldn't wait! I'll edit it tonight but for now, buckle up kids!

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Jaimee wanted to lie down and go to sleep. He wanted nothing more than to just disappear until the rest of the day was over. Instead, he was being plucked and pulled at like a chicken. Livvy stood in front of him, tugging at his bow tie with one impatient hand. Her red hair was caught up in curlers, bundled tight against her scalp. One eye was artfully painted, the other startlingly bare. She hadn't quite finished getting ready before coming to 'rescue' Jaimee from his outfit. He hadn't needed the help but he thought it best to keep that information to himself. She had been increasingly on edge over the past few days and he didn't want to set her off again. The last argument they'd had took up a lot more of his time than it should have as it was. 

"Why does it look like that?" she demanded once again, her brow drawing her face into a fierce expression.

She had insisted on doing his bow tie for him because he was wasting her time, never mind that he was ready and she wasn't. He had allowed her to take over anyway, watching as she crossed the ends over the wrong way. Now it was wonky and she couldn't figure out why. He wasn't sure whether it was worth explaining that she had done it wrong because she was left handed and rushing. She had been short tempered since waking up, flying around all day, trying to find the finishing touches to their outfits. She was convinced that they had to look pristine, ignoring Jaimee's insistence that he was just a PA. She did not want to hear that she was just a PA's fiancée.

"Liv, maybe you should let me do it-" he began, stepping out of her reach. She reacted by grabbing the bow in her palm and narrowing her single, kohl-lined eye at him. Her expression would have been enough to hold him in place, without the sudden pressure on his throat.

"Are you trying to say it looks wrong because of me?"

"No!" he rasped, choking slightly.

"Don't provoke me Jaimee, I have a thousand things to do." She released him and turned around so he could see the strip of pale spine through her undone dress. "Zip me up. Come on!"

He zipped her up, making sure to get a little bit of skin in the process as revenge for nearly strangling him. She slapped at him, glaring something fierce before disappearing to finish her makeup. Glad to finally have some breathing space, he undid the wonky bow tie and sat down on the living room sofa, inhaling deeply. He really didn't want to do this. Not just the Gala...he really didn't want to continue leading her on, being cruel. Things were different between them now; there was a palpable atmosphere surrounding their every move. He was certain that it was his guilt but what he didn't know was if Livvy had figured that out.

She had been a nightmare ever since finding out about the Gala, gushing about inspiration for their wedding, about the photo opportunities, about the chance to socialise with the 'big boys'. She hadn't let the topic drop for a second, not even to acknowledge that Jaimee wasn't at all enthusiastic. She had taken over completely, choosing their outfits and making sure that he matched the rose pink of her dress, dictating what shoes he could wear and forcing him to get a haircut. He felt like a child but he couldn't bear to burst her bubble, especially because he was wracked with so much guilt. She deserved so much better than him, than his sneaking and his lying.

Always, at the forefront of his mind, was the needling sensation of nausea. In less than two hours, he would be stuck in the same room as his fiancée and his boyfriend. It sounded like a bad joke, and all he could do was wish that it was so. He wished it was a joke, instead of actually being the life he was living. He didn't want to play faithful partner to Livvy for the night, parading her around like a show horse for vultures like Tessa to ogle and smirk at. Just the idea of the two even speaking to each other made him shudder. He didn't trust Tessa as far as he could throw her - her natural goal was always to sabotage if she could.

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