December 2, 2023

πŸ’œ TALES
OF
The
HEART πŸ’œ

🌺 Chapter 25🌺

Once I step out of the hotel lobby, a black SUV is already waiting for me. The driver opens the car door for me, and I sigh, settling into the backseat. This is the only car I can use to go to the fashion show and to go back to the hotel — Dad has made sure of that.

It has been ages since I went to a fashion show — I used to attend this kind of event with Mom, who introduced me to a lot of her friends. I’ve made some friends too — some socialites around my age — but I’ve never been close to them. I don’t really like partying, while it’s some kind of a lifestyle to them.

Leaning back against the seat, I stare out of the window, admiring the beautiful view of Paris nightlife. I hope that I’ve dressed appropriately for this event, because there would be photographers at the entrance. I’m wearing a checked mini dress with black ankle boots — I didn’t have much time to prepare a style.

The ride to the location of the fashion show takes about half an hour, and once we reach the place, my heart pounds at the sight of the crowd at the entrance.
Aside from celebrities, I see fans screaming, trying to get a good look at their idols, and paparazzi shouting.

Oh, God. Here we go.

I never like attention, but I can’t escape it, since everybody loves my parents.

My heart freezes as I catch a glimpse of something I’ve never thought I would encounter tonight. Stepping out of another car is Rory, wearing a black mini dress and strappy heels, followed by Mikaela in a metallic fringed dress.My mind seems to stop.

Why are they here?

Rory is obviously here in Paris, because she’s my classmate — she’s here because of the field trip. But why on earth is Mikaela here too?

Then I remember that Mikaela’s mother is a famous supermodel, who may be walking on the runway tonight.
Connect the dots, Luna.

“Is everything okay?” the driver’s voice snaps me out of my daze, concern evident in his tone.

Quickly, I shake my head. I’ve been lost in my thoughts longer than necessary.

“Yeah, everything’s fine.”

Taking a deep breath, I open the door. Once I step onto the pavement, screams and shouts fill my ears to the point that they can make me deaf, coming from the people who have gathered behind the fence.

“Luna !” some girls call me with so much enthusiasm, and I can only give them a soft smile, waving at them.

“Oh, God. I’ve never thought that she would come to Paris.” I can hear another girl squeal.

“Luna, you’re so pretty!” some other yells.

“So beautiful, just like your mother.”

“Luna !” The photographers shout.

” Would you look over here ?”

All the attention from these people overwhelms me, making my head spin. I don’t have any idea how Mom can do this every single time.

I pose for the photographers, throwing them a small smile, my heart beating fast inside my chest. After I give them some time to take some shots, I continue my way to the entrance of the building, catching sight of Rory and Mikaela standing near the fence, their eyes on me.

And the look in those eyes is full of hatred. Anger. Jealousy.

I disappear into the building as fast as I can. I don’t need another drama tonight. Or worse, another accident.

The show is amazing, just as I expected from Harper. Her collections are splendid, the theme accentuating freedom and elegance. I’m enjoying every bit of it, and sitting in the front row definitely makes the experience more exciting.

Thank God Rory and Mikaela are sitting at the other end of the row, quite far away from where I am.

My phone vibrates inside my clutch bag, and when I take it out, I see a message from Nevaeh.

πŸ“±Nevaeh: Hi, Luna. Thank you for the wonderful getaway. I really had a great time even though I wish we could hang out longer. I’m heading back to Texas now. I hope we can see each other again soon! ❀ XOXO -Nevaeh

A soft smile touches my lips as I type my reply, warmth sipping through my heart.

πŸ“±Me: I’m sorry that I couldn’t go with you to the airport because something else just came up πŸ™ I’m so happy that you had a great time, and I also hope that we can see each other again. Have a safe flight β™₯️

After all that has happened to me in Royal Heights, having a good and genuine friend is something that I treasure the most.

I watch as all the models show up again on the stage for the closing, and that’s when Harper enters the stage, bowing to the audience. I clap my hands so hard that it hurts, a big smile on my face as I watch her expressing her gratitude to all the people in the room.

It has been years since I last saw her, and her warm smile brings back so many good memories. She still looks the same, with black curly hair and chubby cheeks.

I miss her just as much as Mom does.

After the show is over, I walk toward the back of the stage, and Harper’s face brightens the moment she sees me. Her eyes widen, a gasp escaping from her lips as she rushes to me.

She suffocates me in a tight hug that makes both of us sway, and I laugh, hugging her back.

When we pull away, I notice tears of joy brimming her eyes.

“My dear, Luna. I missed you so much. Thank you for coming here.” She squeezes my shoulders gently, eyeing me with adoration before cupping my cheeks.

“Look at you. You’ve grown up so much, my beautiful princess.”

I hold her hands, smiling. “The show was amazing, Harper. Mom would have been so happy if she’d been here.”

Harper sighs, and a soft laugh leaves her lips. “I know that she must be busy as always, but God, I miss her so much. How is she doing? Not skipping her meals anymore, is she?” She squints.

I laugh again, shaking my head. “Not a chance.”

Harper pulls me into another hug, and both of us sigh dreamily as we pull away.

“I would love to spend time with you the whole night, but there’s this magazine director who is so persistent to schedule a meeting with me.” There’s slight irritation and guilt in her voice.

I chuckle. “That’s okay.”

She frowns. “It’s already late, and I have to make sure that you’ll go back safely. My driver can–”

“No, you don’t need to,” I quickly object, not wanting to trouble her. “I’ve got a driver.”

Harper’s assistant interrupts us, asking about urgent press release materials. Harper tells her that she will get back to her in a minute.

“Once again, thank you for coming here, Luna.” With that said, she K!SSes both of my cheeks.

I sigh with a smile, watching as she totters toward her assistant. My phone buzzes again, and when I check it, my heart skips a beat.

πŸ“±Max: How’s it going? Is everything good?
πŸ“±Max: Do you need me to pick you up?

πŸ“±Me: No, it’s okay. I’m on my way to the hotel.

I walk toward the exit, but before I can call the driver, Max’s reply pops up.

πŸ“±Max: OK.
πŸ“±Max: Do you fancy some midnight snacks? πŸ™‚

I stare at my phone, not knowing what to do.

I still don’t know how to face Max after learning that I should get rid of my feelings for him. I know that I should do that as soon as possible, but I don’t know how to.

Nevaeh doesn’t deserve this — she’s such a nice person, and I don’t want to be someone who stabs her behind her back.

“Luna?” a voice calls, surprising me.I turn my head, only to find two familiar girls with blonde hair staring at me.

The Robinson twins. They’re daughters of a famous movie director, and I know them because Mom once worked with their Dad to write a soundtrack for his movie.

“Are you going back already?” asks Michelle, the older one — I think so, because I remember that she used to be taller than her younger sister. I still can’t differentiate them, because they’re so identical.

“The night’s still young.” Annabelle, the other one, raises her eyebrows, crossing her arms on her chest. “Hey, are you coming to Lenora’s party?”

I remember that Aiden told me not to go to any party after the show, and I’m planning to follow what he said.

However, the sooner I get back to the hotel, the sooner I have to face Max, and my mind goes blank again.

I can just escape him and lock myself inside my hotel room, but that won’t make me think of him any less.

Jesus, Luna. You’re doomed. You just don’t want to think about him, do you?

“Party?” I echo, realizing that I just blurted that out.

“Yeah.” Annabelle smirks. “Don’t you know that it’s Lenora’s birthday?”

I’m still trying to grasp the information.

“Lenora?” There’s only one Lenora that I know. “You mean…”

“Lenora Sanchez, of course.” Michelle chuckles, amusement in her eyes. “Who else?”

“Wait, she will go crazy if she knows you’re coming.” Annabelle’s tone is filled with excitement. She takes out her phone from her clutch, dialing someone’s number. Lenora’s, I suppose.

Lenora Sanchez is a breakthrough artist who just won an award in the last AMA.
She hopped into the music industry after becoming the champion of the Voice reality show, in which Mom was one of the judges. Mom was her mentor — she helped Lenora in becoming who she is now.

Lenora is a huge fan of Mom.

“Can you guess who’s in Paris now and coming to your party, Lenora? Luna Klein.” Annabelle speaks on the phone with a big smile on her face.

Oh, my. She has already told Lenora even though I haven’t even given her my answer.

I can practically hear Lenora going gaga on the other side of the line — she’s screaming, like she can’t believe that I, the daughter of her hero, will come to celebrate her birthday.

Annabelle suppresses her laughter before looking at me. “Oh my God, she’s crying.”
I’m at a loss for words.

My heart sinks from knowing how disappointed Lenora would be if I declined.

I can’t even pay attention to the rest of Annabelle’s conversation with Lenora, since there are so many things going on inside my mind.

I promised Aiden that I wouldn’t go to any party tonight.

My driver is waiting for me.
Max asked me out for a midnight snack.
I need to escape Max.

I don’t even want to think about Max .
My mouth hangs open as I watch Annabelle hang up with a satisfied smile on her face.

Michelle loops her arm around mine, pulling me, while Annabelle’s arm wraps around the other one. The twins giggle, dragging me toward the other exit route.

“Come on, Luna. You should make the most of your time in Paris.”

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TBC…

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