Happily Ever After?

By: Cher Etan

“Dean, please. Give it back,” she pleaded.


“Dean, it's fine,” she tried again, wiping her tears and trying to be less upset because obviously her tears were making him crazy…crazier.

“It's not fine. And Bain has no right to speak to you like that. Stupid faggot.” Dean said.

“Who are you calling stupid you overgrown pig!” Bain screamed down the line. Meaghan made a grab for the phone but Dean held it out of reach.

“Overgrown pig? You pretentious ass!” Dean countered and Meaghan covered her eyes.

She could see photographers on the other side of the glass, trying to look in, maybe get some pictures. She signaled frantically for the security guard and he came toward her.

“Is there somewhere…private…we can go?” she asked him tentatively.

The guy, whose name she didn’t know, went off to ask the manager who came up to them to inform her that yes there was a private apartment at the top of the building normally used by the building caretaker who was currently away visiting his grandmother. He led the group up to it where Dean was all too happy to continue his argument with Bain, who had conferenced Judy into the call.

She spent half an hour simply repeating, “You lost the tiara?”

Meaghan tried to apologize profusely but Judy wasn’t hearing it.

“I’m coming for my things right away, where are you?” she said in a hard voice.

“Judy come on, calm down,” Bain tried to soothe.

“No! I can’t afford to lose anything else. I’m getting in the car. Give me directions,” she snapped. Meaghan looked helplessly at Dean. The undergarments she’d bought. All the rest was Judy’s. Was she supposed to walk out of here naked?

“I’ll bring you something to change into,” Bain said as both he and Judy hung up. Dean sighed deeply running his hands through his hair.

“What a mess,” he said.

“Yes. I’m so sorry Dean,” she said in a small voice.

He turned around to look at her in surprise. “What? What are you sorry for?”

“Well it's my fault, embarrassing you and Bain like this,” she said miserably. Dean laughed nastily.

“That queen wouldn’t recognize embarrassment if it came and kicked him in the nuts. Plus how did you embarrass me exactly?”

“God everybody noticed us leaving the theater and the staff are very likely calling TMZ as we speak…”

Dean came over to hug her. “Don’t worry about it okay?” he soothed rubbing reassuringly at her back.

“How can I not worry?” she asked with a laugh.

“You can not worry because you did nothing wrong, okay?”

There was a knock at the door and Dean’s security guard informed them that a Judy Parsons was waiting to see them. She nudged roughly past the guard and into the room, demanding that Meaghan divest herself of her clothing at once. She also thrust a receipt at her, for the Tiara.

“That item cost four thousand dollars. I’d prefer that in cash if you don’t mind. You people are known for bouncing checks.”

“You people?” Meaghan repeated, face heating with anger.

“Look, you need to tell me when you plan to pay because I am not going to tolerate any excuses. I should have known you would try to steal-“

Meaghan’s hand had already reached out and bitch slapped the woman before her brain had gotten into gear. There was a loaded silence in the room as the slap echoed. Meaghan’s hand went to cover her mouth. She hadn’t meant to do that. It had just been a long hard slog getting where she was, fighting stereotypes and still…here she was. Judy was holding onto her flaming cheek, eyes wide with shock.

“You…slapped me,” she said with disbelief.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that,” Meaghan tried to reach for Judy, maybe see the extent of the damage but she shied away, back against the door.

“Don’t touch me,” she said with real fear in her voice. Meaghan raised her hands in surrender then lowered them slowly.

“I just want to see how bad it is. I’m a doctor.”

Judy gave a skeptical snort, “Yes, well, I’ll take my clothes and my money now and be going.”

Just then Bain came through the door, barely knocking. “I have your change of clothes he-“ he began before turning around and smelling the tension in the room, “What’s wrong?” he asked.

Meaghan shrugged, “Nothing, just a misunderstanding.”

Dean snorted with derision, “Misunderstanding? Your personal shopper just called my fiancée a thief.”

“Fiancée?” Meaghan and Bain said with equal simultaneous surprise.

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