Par Jo Lee
There were very few times in Jennifer’s short lifespan she’d felt genuine, heart-gushing awe. Tonight was one of these moments. Laurent had invited her along as his date to the event of the summer. They’d had so much fun picking out the perfect dress for her and it’d cost a fortune. She was wearing a long, flowy Dior gown she’d first seen on one of her favorite actresses during the Cannes Film Festival. The material was softer than cashmere and looked as if it’d been made from the softest arabian silk, attributing to the flowiness of the dress that clinched with a huge red bow at the waist. The black shade suited Jen’s tan perfectly, highlighting her slim physique as it swam in riddles around her body. She had never worn a gown before this and felt so sophisticated, so mature, so… rich. Lau had really splurged on her to ensure she looked fantastic. Her hair and makeup were equally as flawless as her dress and she was reassured her shimmering body glitter wouldn’t budge or smear in the cool temperature of the vast location. Now if only she could find her inner cool to manage a night like this, she’d be eternally grateful.
At the entrance of the 5-star exclusive hotel were lined a smorgasbord of exotic, expensive and mostly new cars. The only ones that weren’t glimmering within an inch of their polished hoods were the antique cars that cost equally as much. The sort of cars that equalled the price of a huge house in American surburbia. An array of valet attendants were busily shuffling around trying to cater to impolite, rich guests who were quickly arriving one after the other. A silent rule was to never point out or put celebrities on the spot. This was proving to be especially hard with almost all of Jen’s favorite artists under one roof. She’d recognized at least a dozen people she’d admired, socializing just a few feet away from her. Big names, underground artists, managers, producers, directors, many French radio personalities and a lot of American celebrities . Ayara sure did have an extensive directory, looking at the swelling energy in the room from all of the attendees. This was proving to be an eventful soiree and the night hadn’t even begun. A soul and blues’ singer with long, flowy locks was crooning away, moving her hips as sensually as her smooth music seduced the increasing noise of the crowd, using her talent to reel in the attention yet managing to keep her status as appeasing background noise. Jen stood in place trying not to put too much mileage in her brand-new not worn-in 5-inch Louboutins, admired the beautiful singer from a distance. She didn’t know her but after tonight, she’d be googling her music as soon as she got home.
The host herself looked divine in a short, white Marchesa dress that flattered her long, tanned legs. Ayara moved around graciously, joking around with her guests and making small talk. It took all of Jennifer’s restraint to not squeal when she saw the biggest rap artist of the decade being served chilled champagne at the bar right behind her. Luckily, she was accompanied by a dapper, young man who cleaned up rather well.
“You look very handsome.” Jennifer couldn’t resist the thoughtful compliment. Laurent cut a modelesque figure in a black and white three-piece suit. He was dressed to the nines which was impressing considering his usual casual attire. She wanted to run her hands all over him in front of all these people, despite the fact that most of them intimidated the hell out of her.
“I have to! Look at you!” Lau raised his eyebrows to emphasize how blown away he was by Jen’s beauty. He traced the back of her long gown which accentuated her perky breasts and left much to the imagination. He imagined lifting her dress and seeing whether she was wearing a matching set of underwear. The thought alone was enough to make him unbutton the top button of his shirt. She looked better than all the celebrities there with their overly made-up cosmetic faces enhanced with plastic surgery. He was proud to call her his girlfriend. They smiled at each other before being interrupted by the event’s hired photographer. The skilled professional asked them to shift around right in front of the huge fountain in the middle of the lobby to get their shot. They were glowing in their picture, surrounded by shimmering lights and remarkable decor. After getting their picture taken, they were approached by Larry who showed up solo to Laurent’s slight surprise.
“T’es venu seul?” (You came alone?) Laurent probed curiously. Larry had been very secretive and quiet recently so Laurent had assumed he was working things out with Lola. Lola and Larry had been sleeping together since mid- Marchand although Lola was obviously crazy about Larry, he never made an effort to even try to consider her as more than a fling. However Lau knew that if Larry ever decided to settle down, it would be with her. She seemed to understand him and his moods fairly well, even his passion for dance. Lau hoped Larry would eventually settle down because their fame was booming, they were finally getting everything they wanted and he knew how blessed he was personally to be sharing it with Jen and only wished the same for his brother. Larry was so keen on remaining solitary that Lau was even willing to find him somebody if he had to. After all, he knew what his twin liked.
“Ouai.”(Yeah) Larry replied non-chalantly.
“C’est dommage” (That sucks) Lau continued. Jen thought his comment was very inconsiderate but she was not about to intervene in their brotherly exchange. She felt terribly sad for Larry but at the same time, he’d put himself in this position. He could’ve very well being here with Lola. Just at the thought of her name, Jen saw her from the corner of her eye entering the enormous room. She was being courted by an elderly gentleman and she’d barely been in the room for five minutes. I guess that’s what it’s like to be a supermodel, Jen thought a little envious. Lola looked phenomenal with her long hair cascading down her back in dramatic waves. She was wearing a tight white number and belonged more on a lavish yatch than at this party. Her makeup was flawless with a navy eyeliner lining her eyes in a cat-eye fashion matching red, vibrant lips. She looked like a vampish man-eater. Lau only noticed her when she started making her way towards them.
“Merde, Lola est la!” (Shit, Lola is here)
While Lau was distracted by Lola’s approaching stance, Larry took the opportunity to glance at Jen. Their eyes met momentarily before Jen retired hers back to Laurent with a smile. Laurent was being motioned over by Ayara herself. He excused himself and walked over to the gracious host who invited him on the stage. Larry’s gaze burned into the side of Jennifer’s face. She could feel his eyes on her but refused to give him the pleasure of acknowledging it. For once, he’d feel what it was like to be ignored. Lola walked right past them, blatantly staring at Larry as she did so. She flung her hair as she sashayed her hips with her professional walk. Lola was looking every inch the model and Larry barely flinched at her sight. He looked very briefly at her before turning his dark gaze back to Jen. Lola was flirting very loudly within close proximity to where Jen and Larry were standing. She was fuming at the fact Larry was paying more attention to Lau’s girlfriend than her and she was well aware of how fabulous she looked. Larry had his back turned to her and looking at Jen, although they didn’t seem to be talking much, he seemed very attentive towards her.
“Lola is staring you down. Larry…I know it’s not of my business but why don’t you talk to her. I think that’s all she wants.” Jen said uncomfortably. She was not in any position to be dishing out relationship advice, even if technically Larry and Lola were not in a relationship, according to her understanding from what Lau explained to her after they’d bumped into Lola a week and a half ago.
“I will…later.” Larry answered curtly.
“Why did you tell her you slept with someone else?” Jen asked curiously. Now that she was with Lau, Larry was nicer to her than he’d ever been before. She felt like she had a good chance of actually getting her questions answered, for once.
“I did.” He looked right at her with a look she knew too well. She’d been scared of it the night they….Jen shook the thought out of her head.
“Have you cheated on her a lot?” Jen continued. She felt like a kid in a toy store, knowing she was able to get away with intrusive questions.
“How can I cheat on her if I was never with her? I didn’t want to lie so I just told her I slept with you wh—” All the veins in Jen’s body froze when she heard Larry say that out loud.
“You told her what?” She was more scared than angry.
“Not with you. I didn’t tell her it was you. I –” Jen was instantly relieved at hearing him say that. Her stomach tied in knots when she thought for a second that a crazy bitch like Lola was out there, aware of whom Larry had “cheated on her” with.
“Have you slept with other girls since Lola? I mean before me.. I guess between the time you met her and the time we..um.. you know.” Jen asked sheepishly.
“Why?” Larry retorted suspiciously.
“I just want to know, that’s all. I’m curious. It’s my biggest flaw.”
“Yes. Lau and I –“
“You and Lau what?” Jen asked a little more aggressively then she aimed for.
Larry thought about his answer very briefly. He could use this opportunity to tell her that him and his twin were notorious bachelors the majority of the time and when they toured to different countries almost on a weekly basis, they met a lot of willing girls. He decided against it, knowing that his brother was better at being monogamous than he was and he seemed to care a lot about Jennifer.
“We meet a lot of girls but Lau isn’t like that.”
“And you are?” Jen asked incredulously. The more she discovered about Larry, the more she was drawn to Laurent’s simplicity. Firstly with his betrayal by sleeping with her, then leaving her after the fact, then finding out about Lola and now this discovery. I picked the right damn twin.
Just then, Ayara seized the mic and called Larry to the stage. Laurent was already standing on her right looking out to the audience. Before Larry left to rejoin his brother on the stage, he whispered to Jennifer,
“Tu es tres, tres belle.” (You are very, very beautiful)
With that compliment, he was on his way to the big stage where the world’s biggest star awaited him, along with his brother. Jennifer felt the comment under her skin, boiling her blood and couldn’t understand the influence he had on her. It was almost intoxicating and sad yet she basked in the sincerity of his compliment. Ayara began her speech by thanking her numerous, powerful guests for their attendance before leading way to introduce her upcoming tour. She prolonged that part by thanking two big inspirations on the more upbeat choreography that would be displayed at her show. At the mention, she added that the twins had been more than she’d imagined they’d be. She was practically gushing publicly about them and Jennifer smiled at the fact that even a star like Ayara wasn’t immune to the charisma they exuded. To close her speech, she drew the twins into a big hug before hugging them individually and Jen couldn’t help but notice that Ayara’s body lingered in Laurent’s arms when it was their turn to hug. Jen willed herself to ease her obvious dumbfounded expression off her face and find the energy to clap along with the rest of the crowd.