Yes, I bought new underwear. Petra talked me into it. She said I needed it to go with the dress. It’s red and pretty, tasteful and not slutty—not that anyone but me will be seeing it.
Ripping the tags from the bra and knickers, I quickly put them on. Then, I slip into the dress, pulling the zipper up as far as I can.
I come out of the bathroom. “Petra, can you zip me up the rest of the way?”
I move my hair over my shoulder, out of the way, while Petra zips me up, and I put on the earrings I bought.
“Thanks.” I grab my perfume and spritz myself with it.
“Shoes.” She hands them over.
I slip my feet into them, taking a moment to steady my balance. We went for three-inch heels—I talked her down from four—but I still feel like a giant.
“Do I look too tall?”
“You look stunning.” Taking me by the shoulders, she turns me to the mirror.
Wow. Is that me? I look good—no, not good. I look hot. I look like my mother when she was my age.
I smile at Petra in the mirror. “Thanks for your help. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.” My eyes catch on the necklace that Carrick bought me.
No matter how much I love it, I can’t turn up at a fancy party wearing a Lightning McQueen necklace. I don’t want to embarrass Carrick. Unclipping it, I carefully place it in my vanity bag for safekeeping.
There’s a knock at the door. I glance back at it, butterflies swooping full-force into my stomach.
“You want me to get it, or you?” Petra asks.
“Any decision on that?”
I take a deep breath. “I’ll get it.” I walk the short distance across our room to the door, my hands trembling a little. I’m surprised at how nervous I am. I feel like it’s a first date.
Not a date, Andi. Just two friends going out together.
Hand curled around the handle, I pull it open.
Carrick. Holy shit. He looks…amazing. Gorgeous. He’s wearing a tux. Jesus, my ovaries have just started doing cartwheels, and I’m pretty sure that I’ve just ruined my new undies.
“Fuck…” he breathes. “You look…” He slowly shakes his head. “Actually, there aren’t any words to describe how you look right now.”
“So, is that a good fuck or a bad fuck?” I fidget nervously, smoothing a hand down my dress.
“Every fuck is a good fuck, Andressa—at least with me it is.”
His eyes do that lazy perusal of me that has me hot in all the right places. When they meet back with mine, they are…blazing hot.
“It’s a really, really good fuck. Put it this way, every man in the room—actually, every man in the world is gonna wish they were me tonight.”
“Really?” I blush.
He steps closer, his fingers skimming my jaw. “Really. You look stunning, Andressa. Absolutely stunning.”
My blush deepens at his compliment. And my jaw is still tingling from where he just touched me.
“You ready to go? I have a car waiting downstairs.”
“Uh, yeah, I just need my clutch.”
As I turn, I find Petra behind me, clutch in hand.
“Thanks.” I smile, taking it from her.
“Hi, Carrick.” There’s a grin in her voice.
I give her a look before turning back to him.
“Petra,” he says.
“I’ll see you later,” I say to her, stepping out into the hallway.
“Have fun, kids. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t.”
I lift a hand, waving to her, and Carrick and I start to walk down the hall.
“And if you can’t keep it in, then keep it covered!” she calls.
I nearly die with embarrassment. I swing a murderous look at her, but all I get back is laughter.
We reach the elevator and wait in silence for it to arrive.
When the door opens, Carrick lets me go in first. Stepping in, he presses the button for the ground floor and stands beside me.
“You’re not wearing your necklace,” he comments.
My eyes swing to him as my hand touches the empty space. “I took it off. I thought I should at least pretend to be a grown-up tonight. And…I didn’t want to embarrass you by wearing it.”
He looks at me like I’ve just lost my mind. There’s something deep and dark in his eyes. “I bought you the damn thing. And the last thing you could ever do is embarrass me.”
I nervously swallow down. “I can put it back on if you want. It’s just up in my room.”
“No, it’s fine.” He stares ahead. “Just don’t ever take it off for that reason. I always want you to be who you are. Don’t ever try to be someone you’re not. I happen to really fucking like who you are.”
We arrive at the ground floor, and I’m glad. After that comment, I was pretty sure a vacuum came in and sucked all the air out of the elevator, leaving me gasping for breath.
Carrick guides me through the lobby with a hand on my back. We step out into the warm evening air, and a car is waiting for us. The driver opens the car door as we approach. I climb in first, and Carrick gets in beside me.
It’s not until we’re in traffic that I remember I still have his credit card.
“Oh, here’s your card back.” Getting it from my clutch, I hand it to him. “And thank you for the dress,” I add.