Happily Ever After?

By: Cher Etan

“I’m not,” Meaghan protested on principle.

“Well then, get those clothes off and let’s get you dressed,” he said walking away from her and back to Judy. Meaghan reluctantly followed with a sigh. She slowly undressed, the process made worse by the sounds of rapture emanating from Judy’s mouth. She seemed extremely impressed with Meaghan’s physique. It wasn’t helping things at all. Finally Meaghan got all her clothes off, with Danny politely looking away and Bain discussing bra styles and corsets and other things Meaghan didn’t want to know about with Judy. Eventually they got her into underwear that met both their standards of which body parts needed to be emphasized and which didn’t. Finally it was time to pick a dress. All three dresses met Meaghan’s admittedly laissez faire standards for appropriate premiere wear and they all seemed comfortable but Judy and Bain debated for what seemed like hours before they decided that yes, the gray dress with yellow appliqué would do.

The next item on the agenda was hair, make up and jewelry. Judy was on the phone with one of her suppliers because apparently none of the pieces she had with her would do. Meaghan flopped on the chair in an untidy sprawl and Danny rubbed soothingly at her brow.

“You know I have to be at work by six right?” she called to Bain.

“Oh. Yeah, I forgot. Danny darling please pack Meaghan a hamper for dinner. She hardly ate anything today,” Bain said and Danny stood up at once to obey. Meaghan opened her mouth but then closed it again. It was none of her business and besides she was hungry.

“You guys are such darlings,” she said instead.

“We know how to take care of our friends, don’t we Danny?” Bain said. Meaghan couldn’t tell if he was being snarky or not but Danny just grinned and nodded then disappeared into the kitchen area. Judy came back and triumphantly announced that she’d found a tiara. She and Bain were jumping about in joy as Meaghan wondered how the hell she was supposed to pull off a tiara. Still, she didn’t want to offend Bain…any further…so she would work that tiara for all she was worth. Just as she was resigning herself to a faux princess existence and maybe not enjoying the premiere because she was too busy making sure that her jewelry wasn’t pilfered, her phone rang. Dean.

“Hey you!” she exclaimed in happy relief as she picked up. Someone sane to speak to at last.

“Hey. What’s up? You sound stressed,” Dean said.

“No. Nothing. I mean, I’m with Bain and his personal dresser…they’re dressing me,” Meaghan said faux brightly.

“Aww you poor baby. Is it bad. Say mango if it is,” Dean said with faux sympathy. She could hear the amusement in his voice.

“Mango,” she said miserably.

Dean laughed, “I told you I was more fun than him. I’d never make you try on endless dresses…well, unless you wanted to, in which case I’d be totally into it.”

Meaghan sighed deeply, apparently the Dean/Bain feud continued.

“Anyway, I was calling to find out when I can see you. This drought is too much for my poor hormones. I’m getting depressed.”

“That’s such a sad story. Hold on while I find some tissues,” Meaghan said pretending to dab at her eyes even though Dean couldn’t see her. “I’ll probably see you on Thursday. Night shift is over and I have a whole day. I’ll come sleep at your place.”

“Or…you could just bring all your stuff and move in already,” Dean said.

“Yeah, or I could do that,” Meaghan agreed as she rolled her eyes. “I’ll get right on that packing – after my shift today promise.”

“I’ll be sending sexy thoughts from my bed tonight,” Dean said.

“Yeah, sure. I’m sure that is what will be happening. Tell Smith I said hi.”

“Ha! That’s all you know. Smith has been in Argentina for three days now. There are no best friends to mislead me into a night of debauchery in your absence.”

“Okay, cool. Sexy thoughts from your bed it is,” Meaghan glanced over at Bain and Judy who were both looking at her proverbially tapping their feet. “I gotta go. Tiaras to try on and what not.”

“Tiaras? What are you Cinderella?” Dean asked in disbelief. Meaghan closed her eyes thanking her lucky stars for bringing her the right man who knew she was not some tiara wearing wannabe socialite. She opened her eyes to glare at Bain. He used to know that too. This must be punishment for the Danny thing. Meaghan could think of no other reason why Bain was doing this to her.

“Yeah, I know. Anyway gotta go. Bye,” she said to Dean and hung up. She turned with a wide smile to face her stylists and they swooped down on her rearranging her hair to fit a tiara, soon there was a knock on the door and the package delivered.

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