“The perfect guy?”

So, has Nadine met the perfect guy? I’ll let you decide….

An Undead Christmas Carol. J R Manawa.

“The perfect guy?”

Nadine had lied about meeting a friend. The small, internal voice of fear had kicked in, combined with a desperate need to end the awkward conversation. Once she had rounded the corner and was walking briskly toward the bus stop on Regent Street, she smiled to herself. There was always a friend waiting when she got into awkward situations with men. Sonia had offered her that droplet of wisdom not long after she moved to London.

But it didn’t change the fact that she’d been sucked in and she knew it. The situation was too unreal. Distressingly attractive, apparently super rich, and practically begging her to save him from the embarrassment of a formal family gathering – a ball in Paris – Caleb Adams had successfully peaked her interest. “As I’m sure he would any other girl on the planet,” she muttered aloud to herself.

When she got home, her housemate was all ears to what had happened, she even turned the new tv off to listen, and it did not take for Sonia long to draw a complete summary of the situation in a rather loud and disgusted voice, “I cannot believe you have pulled, like the perfect guy, by vomiting all over him! That is so unfair!”

“The perfect guy?” Nadine looked slightly surprised.

“C’mon Nads, he didn’t even need to have a house in Mayfair or a Bentley really, did he? I saw him in that club just like every other female did.”

“I, I didn’t even really notice last night,” Nadine admitted.

“You were too drunk.” Sonia told her quickly.

“Sorry,” she replied, sheepishly.

“It doesn’t matter, just proves I had a good birthday party.”

Nadine nodded, not sure she felt the same way. The good parties were usually the ones she could remember.

“And he kissed you?” Sonia asked again, with some amount of disbelief.

Nadine touched her lip, “Yeah.”

“And so you threatened to slap him?”

“Yeah.”

“No wonder you don’t have a boyfriend.”

Nadine chose to ignore the last comment. She knew Sonia didn’t intend for it to be hurtful. She’d simply spoken the first thing that came into her mind. Besides, ‘boyfriend’ was far from the top of Nadine’s ‘To do’ list in life. Boys were high maintenance and unnecessary, especially when she was dating them.

“Do you think I should go?” she asked.

“Think?” Sonia shook her head, “Are you actually considering not going?”

“I don’t even know him.” Nadine argued weakly.

“Then go for the free trip to Paris, you’ve never been, have you?”

Nadine shook her head, and grabbed a handful of popcorn from Sonia’s bowl.

“Well, go. See Paris. Whatever excuse works for you. If you don’t, I’ll offer him my paid escort services,” Sonia laughed, and so did Nadine. They both knew she was only half kidding.

“I’m going to need a ball gown,” Nadine sighed. She hadn’t worn a ball gown since she graduated High School, and even then it had been something she wasn’t keen on remembering.

Over the next two days their circle of friends turned out five different possible ball gowns, which Sonia very smartly narrowed down to two. It was on Wednesday evening, while she and Sonia were standing over the black dress and the green dress, laid out carefully on her bed that Nadine finally thought she should probably call Caleb and inform him that she had decided to go with him.

The concierge refused to put her through. Mr Adams was not available.

“Look, just tell him it’s Nadine Morrison, and tell him I say ‘yes’.”

“I will pass the message on.” was the stiff reply.

Nadine shrugged and hung up. Sonia had meanwhile moved on to choosing accessories.

“Does this ball have a theme?” She asked, as she laid out a black beaded choker on the green dress.

“Whatever the theme, I am concerned that green is rather cliché for a red head.”

Downstairs, the doorbell rung.

“That will be Ludmila,” Sonia went for the door.

“You didn’t!” Nadine said with horror.

“I did,” Sonia grinned, “You can thank me later.”

Ludmila was Sonia’s brother’s girlfriend. She was a fashion designer with a boutique in Knightsbridge.

She came in the door with a black dress bag over one shoulder, and a Louis Vuitton duffle bag slung over her free arm, “So where is this Cinderella then?” she grinned.

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