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Beautiful With You Part Thirteen
Chapter Thirteen

Maya and Jade went with Audrey to find a costume for the party Tom would be taking her to. Usually, the three of them would hang out together on Halloween night but since Maya and Jade had made plans for that night, Audrey was just going to stay home and not do much. Costume shopping was a very last minute thing.

“So who are you going to this party with?” Jade asked. Maya and Jade were sitting outside Audrey’s dressing room while she tried on different things. Maya had her feet rested on Jade’s lap while Jade scratched the last bit of nail polish off her nails.

“Oh just a friend,” Audrey wasn’t necessarily comfortable telling her friends quite yet. And last time she openly discussed Tom, someone overheard and it turned into a big ugly thing that ended up getting him into some trouble. Not enough to get him fired or anything but she wasn’t going to seal his fate this time by talking about him, “My friend from my math class.”

“I’m glad you have plans for that night,” Maya said.

“Yeah, I felt bad that we made other plans,” Jade added.

“You shouldn’t,” Audrey said, coming out of the dressing room in a 1920’s flapper costume. It was dark red and sparkled bright when the light hit it. She wasn’t sure about it since all she had was the costume and not the shoes and make up she would need to buy to go with it, “What do you think?”

“Holy s**t,” Jade said, “That looks amazing on you.”

“You think so?” Audrey looked at herself in the mirror. She wasn’t exactly trying to impress Tom, since he would love anything she put on. But she did want to look her best. They all agreed that this was the one Audrey had to get and they would accept no other alternatives. So she bought that one.

“But you have to wear the wig,” Maya said. She pointed to the bag Audrey’s costume was wrapped in and she saw a brown wig in the bag with it, “I demand it.”

The days passed by quickly and pretty soon it was Halloween. Jade was making her treats to bring to the Halloween party. It took her awhile to make her ghost shaped cake pops since she wasn’t used to making shapes and writing was her only real artistic talent. But she eventually made it work. After that, she was in no mood to do anything like that again, so she just bought Halloween themed cookie cutters and just made sugar cookies in the shape of pumpkins, skulls, and black cats. By the time she finished with that, she had barely enough time to get her hair and makeup done before she got the text from Norman saying he was waiting down the street. She grabbed the food she’d made and ran down the street. She got into the car with him and put the treats on her lap. She leaned over and greeted him with a kiss, “You actually listened to me when I pointed out the Robin Hood to you.”

“Actually, what you pointed out was the bow and arrows,” he said, pointing at the bow in the backseat, “Which I don’t understand your obsession with archery but I went with it anyway.”

“Don’t make fun of me!” Jade snapped, slapping him playfully on the arm. Norman rubbed his arm and then wrapped it around her shoulder, grabbing the silky blue hood that covered her head, “And what are you dressed up as?”

Jade smacked his hand away and held up a little silver ball, “I’m a mystical sorceress!”

“Well I love it on you,” he said, kissing her one more time before starting the car and heading for their party. For the past few days since Jade had put her number into his phone, he texted her all the time, telling her nothing of importance but it made her feel better anyway. And at night when she’d go to her car to go home he’d call her so she could hear his voice while she walked through the parking lot. She’d felt a lot better about being alone since he started doing that for her. She was truly thankful for him.

When they arrived, Norman held out his hand for Jade to grab. She looked at his hand for a few seconds with the realization that he’d never really held her hand before. This of course wasn’t a bad thing. It was just something she didn’t notice until now. She grabbed his hand and he led her into the house. This house was no mansion but it was definitely nicer than the house she lived in. The house was covered in so many different decorations that you couldn’t look at every single one in one night. There was one thing Jade couldn’t avoid, however and that was a giant spider that was supposed to jump out as soon as you walked through the door and Jade almost flipped out when she had to practically jump over that thing. And then she had to walk it off and pretend it never happened even though Norman struggled to keep it together because if he knew if he started laughing he’d get something thrown at him. After that little incident, Norman led her over to find the guy who was throwing this party. He was standing with a small group of other people, drinking a glass of champagne. When Norman caught his eye, he moved away from the group he was talking to.

“Norman! So glad you could come this year,” he turned to Jade and jabbed Norman’s chest, “He hasn’t come to any of these gatherings. He’s always too busy.”

“Anyways,” Norman cleared his throat and wrapped his arm around Jade’s shoulder, “This is my friend, Perry.”

Perry grabbed Jade’s hand and shook really hard, making the rest of her shake a little too, “Nice to meet you! And you are?”

“I’m Jade,” she said, pulling her hand away, “I brought some treats.”

Perry grabbed the plates and removed the tin foil to look at the cake pops and sugar cookies, “These look amazing Jade! I think she might be a keeper!”

Norman gave Perry a tight smile as he handed Jade the plates, “You can just put those in the kitchen.”

Jade walked away with her plates and put them on the counter next to all the other food everyone else had made. She poked her head out of the kitchen to see what they were doing without her. There were people talking amongst themselves but she managed to hear everything they said.

“So this is the girl you’ve been seeing?” Perry said, “She’s cute. But she seems kind of young. How old is she?”

“Oh, she’s um…” Norman scratched the back of his head and sighed, “She’s eighteen.”

Perry was taking a sip of his drink when Norman revealed her age and he inhaled deeply, which made him swallow down the wrong tube and he started to cough. When the coughing fit ended he said, “Jesus Norman I have a son who just turned eighteen what are you doing?” then it started to click and he jabbed him again, “Don’t you tell me she’s a student of yours!”

Norman grabbed him and leaned in when people started glancing their way, “Keep your voice down Perry!”

“You could get into deep trouble for that!” Perry exclaimed, “Why would you do something like that?”

“You say it like she’s a sixteen year old high school student,” Norman grumbled, “She’s an adult. She’s not like most people her age. She’s a beautiful woman Perry and I like her. If I have to keep us a secret for awhile, I can live with that. But now that I have her, I don’t wanna be without her.”

Perry paused for a moment and then shrugged, walking away with his glass of champagne, “As long as you know what you’re doing.”

Jade came out of the kitchen and hugged Norman from behind just as Perry left. Norman turned so he could face her, “You heard everything? I should’ve lied I know. I wasn’t thinking at all.”

“Don’t,” Jade interrupted him with a kiss and she led him outside to the backyard, “I think that was the sweetest thing you’ve ever said.”

He pushed her against the wooden fence and pulled down her hood and cupped her face in his hands but he didn’t move at first. He stared deeply into her eyes. Jade could tell his thoughts were going a mile a minute. He finally pressed their lips together and moved his hands to her waist, refusing to let her go anytime soon. But she didn’t want him to. She didn’t care that they were outside in front of everyone. For once they didn’t have to hide each other and it was a nice feeling. A quick flash then broke them apart and Norman pushed himself off of her, “What the hell was that?”

Jade grabbed him by the collar and pulled him back to her, “It was probably someone taking some pictures. See? There’s someone over there with a camera. No big deal.”

Norman wasn’t at all convinced but he let it go to make her happy. He wrapped his arm around her waist and they headed back into the house, “Let’s go get something to eat inside.”

“I changed my mind,” Richard said. Maya had gotten out of the car and was trying to open Richard’s door but he’d locked it and he sat stubbornly with his arms crossed. The mask he was supposed to put on sat in the backseat and he refused to put it on, “I am not going to put on that mask and go inside. No way in hell.”

Maya began tapping on the window, “You get out of this car and put the damn mask on! For me?”

Richard sat in the seat and looked at her out of the corner of his eye and groaned loudly, “Fine! But I’m not gonna be happy about it.”

“I know you’re not Richard,” Maya rolled her eyes as Richard unlocked the doors and she opened the driver’s side door, “But you’re doing this for me.”

Richard grabbed the mask and pulled it over his face so only his lips could be seen. He got out of his car but wouldn’t walk away from it. Maya reached up and touched his now shaven face.

“I thought you liked my beard,” he said, putting his hands over hers.

“I do!” she said, “But I have to say I love it when you shave too.”

Richard leaned in and kissed her, “I’m only doing this because you just look so good in that pirate costume even though that isn’t the one I had picked.”

“The one you picked had the shortest goddamn skirt,” Maya said, “Besides. It’s really cold outside. Wearing a skirt would’ve been a silly decision.”

Maya grabbed his hand and led him into Frank’s house. Just like every year there was a combination of Halloween decorations and birthday decorations and the music was so loud that you couldn’t even hear yourself think. It was something that Maya always hated about these parties. She was all for music but did it always have to be so loud? Frank came from the hallway in a fireman costume. He saw Maya and Richard standing at the front door and he ran over to greet her, “Maya I’m so glad you could come. And who’s this?”

“I hope you don’t mind I kind of brought a friend,” Maya grabbed Richard’s arm and paused for a second to think of a name to give Frank, “This is my friend Damien.”

Frank wasn’t sure how he should react to Maya’s friend but he forced himself to shake Richard’s hand and smile politely, “It’s cool to meet you Damien.”

He walked away as quickly as he could and Maya took Richard into the kitchen to grab something to eat, “I got a little scared for a second Richard. But he totally bought it!”

“You wanted danger and you got it,” he said with a laugh. Maya stared at him in his whole costume and started giggling, “I’m sorry. It’s just I can’t take you seriously when you have the mask on. It’s just really funny.”

Richard frowned a little but seeing Maya’s smile made him start laughing, though he tried his hardest to resist and they ended up snickering together. She ran her hand over the plastic mask over his head, “You really do look ridiculous. It would look a lot better without the mask actually.”

Maya felt a finger tap her on the shoulder and she turned around to see Frank, “Oh, Frank! What’s up?”

“I don’t mean to interrupt you and your friend but I was hoping to talk to you,” Maya nodded and she followed him, the two of them maneuvering around the crowds of people blocking their path. They finally got outside and sat down on the deck, “So do you remember me asking you about us…ya know, getting back together?”

“Oh, right I remember,” Maya felt incredibly uncomfortable talking about having a relationship with Frank when Richard was inside the house a few feet away. But she knew it would be impossible to avoid this conversation. She had thought about it for a few days. She loved spending time with Richard but she’d invested four years of her life with Frank. In the back of her mind, she knew she still really did love Frank and she wasn’t sure how she felt about Richard. She wanted to say she loved him, but she thought that it might be too early to say things like that.

“So? What do you say?” he said with hopeful eyes, “I tried not to call or text you or anything. I wanted to give you space. But…now I just wanna know if you want to give us another try?”

After a couple days of intense thought, she’d eventually made her decision. She’d given Frank four years of her life only to come in second to his friends. She wanted to give her new relationship a chance. She had a good feeling about Richard and she hoped in her heart that Richard felt the same, “Frank I did give it some thought. But, I think we should just stay friends.”

Frank’s face fell but he tried his best to keep his smile even though it was an emotionless smile and it was just so Maya didn’t feel guilty, “It’s totally fine Maya. I always want to have you in my life even if it’s just as a friend. No hard feelings Maya.”

Maya stood up from her chair and headed back inside to find Richard. Frank called her name and she turned in the doorway, “Damien is a lucky guy. I hope he knows that.”

For a second, she forgot who Damien was and she was caught off guard. She quickly bounced back though and laughed, “How’d you know we were together?”

Frank started laughing like the answer was so obvious, “I can tell by the way he looks at you. That guy’s crazy about you.”

“I’m not sure about this,” Audrey mumbled to herself. She stood in front of her full length mirror with everything ready to go. Her costume and shoes were on, her make up was done and she had just put on the wig. She felt ridiculous with the wig and almost considered taking it off. But it did complete the costume so she kept it even though it was a little uncomfortable. Instead of Tom coming and picking her up, she was going to meet him at the party. She was still very cautious and very paranoid, especially with all the things people were saying about her already, she didn’t need anything to make the situation worse than it already was with people on campus talking about her.

Tom was nowhere to be found when she arrived. She went inside to look for him. After she was inside for awhile, she recognized this place as the gallery Tom had taken her to awhile back. It was amazing how the place had transformed from a quiet little gallery to a big, loud Halloween party. Some were dancing and drinking and others were admiring the art that hung on the walls. They’d put up different paintings and sculptures this time around but none of them had anything to do with Halloween.

“Audrey!” Tom called out, waving his arm over his head. He couldn’t see her too well yet because the place was dimly lit. When she stepped into the light, it looked like she’d taken his breath away. He smiled and opened his arms to her, “I’m glad you’re here Audrey. I love this costume you chose.”

Audrey admired his admiral uniform costume. Every man looked good in uniform, “You don’t look too bad yourself Tom.”

Tom pointed to some of the paintings that hung on the walls, “Do any of these look familiar to you?”


“They’re yours,” he said, “Most of them anyway. The ones on this wall are yours. I had them hung so everyone could see.”

“Why would you do that?” she asked, trying not to sound too harsh even though she was furious that he’d hung her work on the walls without asking her first.

“I want these people to get kind of a sneak preview,” he said, “They’re already complimenting your work. When they see the project we were working on, they’ll be thrilled.”

“I still have no idea what this project is for,” Audrey grumbled, rolling her eyes.

“What I never told you was this isn’t just a project,” he said, “It’s like a contest. A yearly one. The winner gets to study abroad, so you’d be going to London and finishing your school there.”

“Then where do you come in?”

“Students I’ve had usually aren’t experienced enough to do it on their own so they have me to help them,” he said, “But you stand alone perfectly. I knew from that very moment you never needed me. If you kept my name on it, they wouldn’t be impressed by it.”

“You want me to win this contest so I can go away to London and leave you?” Audrey shook her head and took a step back, “No. I’m not gonna do it Tom.”

“You’re gonna do it Audrey,” he said. Audrey was about to respond but he covered her hands with his mouth, “I want you to promise me that you’ll do this. I refuse to hold you back and keep you from going to London. It may not seem like much but it could potentially open doors for you that I can’t. So please. Promise me.”

Audrey nodded in defeat and she took his hands away from her mouth, “Ok Tom. For you, I’ll do it. But I’m not going to hope I win or anything. I don’t want to leave you behind, not even for a really amazing opportunity like studying in London.”

“Fair enough,” he said and he pulled her into a hug, “I just want to see you accomplish wonderful things. I love you Audrey and I want good things to happen for you.”

Audrey didn’t notice it at first but when she did, she paused and held onto his face, “What did you just say?”


“When you said you wanted good things to happen for me. What did you say before that?”

It looked like Tom didn’t realize what he’d said either. He blinked a few times, thinking it over and he smiled a little, “I-I think I just said I love you?”

Audrey wiped the tears that were welling up in her eyes before it could ruin her makeup and she hugged him tightly. She hadn’t said it back yet and it was making Tom squirm. By the look in his eyes, she could tell he was over thinking the whole thing. She kissed him and pressed her forehead against his, “Of course I love you too Tom. Don’t be silly.”

I know, Audrey's part was kinda corny but you have to understand her parts are hard to write. I am constantly pulling this out of my a**. Be nice to me xd anyways, they're still my OTP wink And let's all take a minute to picture Richard as Batman.....hahahahahahahaha

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