Black Ties and White Lies: Chapter 48


“Are you sure this looks bridal?” I spin in front of the mirror, catching the eyes of my best friends in the mirror. My hands run down the silk dress, marveling at the way it hugs my curves perfectly, but still leaves a little to the imagination.

“You look hot as fuck,” Emma chirps from behind me. She picks up a pair of my red bottoms, raising her eyebrows as she inspects the heel.

“I think you look stunning,” Winnie agrees.

“Is it chic enough? Formal enough? I didn’t know when Beck suggested an engagement party that it would be this…elaborate.”

Emma hums. “Keep telling yourself that, Mar. You’re marrying into old money; every occasion is an excuse to throw a party.”

I grab a pearl studded headband from the armoire in the far closet. I haven’t slept in my bed since the night Beck and I returned from the business trip, but I’ve been insistent on keeping my closet up here instead of moving all my things in with Beck. It’s nice to have a space that feels like my own, to have a little bit of space away from Beck at times. It feels like we spend every waking second together. We live together, work together, do everything together. I wouldn’t have it any other way, I love that Beck is always showering me with his attention, even when it’s in the smallest of ways. It’s just that I think I love it a little too much. The feelings I have for him get stronger every single day, and even though he’s steadfast in showing me that he cares for me, I can’t help but have doubts.

Everything about us was built on being fake. While things have become real for me, I can’t help but wonder where his head is at. Does he still expect for us to end after a year? Does he want to see where this leads? I can’t get my head on straight when it comes to him. I’ve been too swept in relishing in his constant attention and affection that I haven’t had time to really figure out if we’re on the same page. It’s messing with my head.

Like right now. If I let myself, this could feel like a real engagement party for Beck and me. I could let myself imagine discussing wedding plans with people and telling them about the actual wedding I envision having one day.

All of it is feeling too real. Beck and I have been swept up in planning an extravagant engagement party in a week that we haven’t even stopped to talk about what happened at dinner with his parents last week. We’ve been in a fog of working, planning and joining our bodies any spare moment we can find. I’ve never felt so desired in my life. It’s like we can’t keep our hands off one another. I can’t complain about it, but I also feel like once this party is done with, we need to have a serious talk about the feelings that are happening.

I need to know he’s as in it as I am.

A hand smacks my butt. “Stop staring at yourself.” Emma smiles from behind me, wrapping her arms around my middle and resting her chin on my shoulder. Winnie comes to the other side, all three of us locked in an embrace as we stare at our reflections in the mirror.

“I always thought Winnie would be the first to get married.” Emma looks over at Winnie and winks.

“Why? Because you thought my father would marry me off to one of the trust fund babies I grew up with?”

Emma shrugs. “Well yes. Too bad your heart—well at least your clit—is preoccupied at the moment.”

My jaw drops. “Excuse me, what?” I stare at Winnie through the mirror.

Winnie shoots a dirty look at Emma. “Emma doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” she hisses. “Anyway, tonight isn’t about me. It’s about you.” She squeezes me harder. “We get to celebrate you getting married!”

I make a mental note to ask her more about what Emma was talking about later. It hurts a little to know that Emma knows something that I don’t. I’m used to the three of us sharing everything with one another. I’ve never been left out when it comes to them. And while I’ve kept secrets from them when it comes to Beck, I don’t like knowing they share a secret that I’m not privy to.

Winnie pulls away, looking at me from head to toe. “Back to your original question, I think this looks incredibly bridal and chic. Beck is going to lose his mind when he sees you.”

“Beck always loses his mind when he sees her,” Emma pipes up.

I look down at the halter neck silk dress. I’d tried on upwards of twenty dresses, none of them feeling right when I’d finally landed on this one. It didn’t even need any alterations; it fit me so perfectly. Beck had surprised me earlier by hiring a team of hair and makeup professionals to help us get glammed up. I’d been upset that my family couldn’t make the trip up for the engagement party. My dad got sick last minute, and while he’s doing okay, he was advised not to travel.

We had almost a mini spa day this morning in the loft while Beck took care of last minute arrangements for the party. It made me feel better, even though I swore up and down to do a video call with my mom later to show her the party. She’s mad she has to miss out, she’s more fun than I am. Never one to miss a party.

A knock sounds on my bedroom door. Emma races to it. “I’ll get it!”

I walk to the edge of my closet, opening up my jewelry organizer. My eyes travel over the different luxurious pieces of jewelry Beck had bought me. I settle on a pair of teardrop diamond earrings that have a halo of sapphires. When Beck had told me to pick out whatever I wanted for the occasion, I knew immediately when I saw these that I wanted them. The deep blue of the gemstone reminded me of his eye color.

“Something blue,” he’d noted, staring at me with an unreadable look. I’d blushed, imagining not only wearing the earrings at our fake engagement party, but one day to an actual wedding to him.

“Okay, but seriously,” Emma comments, walking back into the closet. “Where do I find a man like Beck? Surely he has some billionaire friends who will spoil me with gifts and orgasms.”

I focus on the nicely wrapped box in her hands. It’s wrapped in matte black paper with a white bow neatly tied around it. Emma begins to pull on one strand of the bow before I yank it from her arms. “Hands off,” I scold, holding it to my chest. “This is my gift.”

She playfully sticks her tongue out at me, turning to go into my room. “Well, let’s sit down and open it so I can be incredibly jealous of you.”

Winnie shows off her perfectly straight and white teeth in a wide smile. “You don’t have to open it in front of us if you don’t want to. Although I do want to see…”

“Speak for yourself!” Emma yells from the room. “I’m dying to know what he got her. Hurry up, ladies.”

I laugh, nodding my head to the room. “We can’t keep her waiting or she’ll come back in here.”

Winnie and I take a seat on the bed with Emma, all of us staring at the neatly wrapped box in my lap. Part of me wants to open it alone, to cherish the moment, knowing the gift has to be from Beck. I know there’s no way Emma would let me get away with that, and another part of me wants to giggle like a girl in high school with an intense crush with my friends about receiving a present from the boy I like. Beck is no boy, but the feelings coursing through my veins right now have me feeling like a lovesick school girl.

I pull a black envelope from underneath the ribbon. Beck’s familiar handwriting is scrawled across the front, spelling out my name. I run my hand over the letters, loving how the loops and lines eloquently form together to spell my name.

Flipping the envelope over, I pull at the monogrammed sticker he used to seal the envelope. There’s a white custom card inside. I pull it out, holding it up to my face and looking at my friends from over top of it as I hide my smile.

“Read it,” Winnie encourages, leaning forward in excitement.

I hold it closer to my body. “The note is for me and only me. So back off,” I tease, scooting back on the bed. Knowing Beck, something dirty could be written on the expensive custom card. I want to read it before either of them have the chance to.

Pulling the card out, I neatly set the envelope down next to me. I want to keep it nice and safe, to keep everything nice and pristine from this gift so I can stare at it all later. I open the letter, blushing as my eyes roam over the words he’d neatly scrawled.

Prepare to wear nothing but these for me.

Love, your fiancé

The blush creeps from my cheeks all the way down to my chest. I meet the eyes of my friends, unable to form words as I recount the simple sentence he’d written. How do only eight words have me wishing our party was already over and he was making good on his promise?

“Is it romantic?” Winnie asks whimsically.

My lips rub together coyly. “You could say that.”

In one fluid movement, Emma leans forward and snatches the note from my hands. She quickly reads over the note, throwing it back into my lap with a loud groan. “I get hey you up texts and you get shit like this? Not fair,” she whines.

Winnie grabs the note from my lap, doing it a lot gentler than our friend just did. Her cheeks get pink immediately as she hands it back, her eyes wide.

“That wasn’t for either of you to read,” I murmur, pulling the present into my lap.

“I’m glad I did. Next time a man sends me a dick pic as foreplay, I know what I’m missing out on.”

I ignore the conversation between the two of them as I pull at the ribbon atop the present. It’s wrapped so perfectly that I feel bad tearing into the paper. It doesn’t stop me from pushing forward, to see what he’s placed inside.

To find what I’ll be wearing for him tonight.

Pulling the paper off, I find a Jimmy Choo cloth bag that envelops what must be a shoe box.

“I think I might hate you,” Emma pipes up as I open the drawstring bag. I pull the shoebox out, running my hand over the lid.

“Jealous much?” Winnie teases.

“Obviously I’m jealous! I want one. Where do I find one?”

I resist the urge to tell her it wasn’t luck or fate that brought Beck and I together. It was him needing his board to think he’s settled down and me doing anything to get back to the city that’s forever felt like home. Plus, the chance of landing my dream job when this is all said and done.

My fingers carefully pry the lid off the shoe box. All of us gasp in unison as we stare at the pair of shoes nestled inside. I don’t know if you can even call them shoes, they look more like art.

“That’s it. I’m jealous, too,” Winnie states.

“Back off. You can buy your own.” Emma shoves Winnie’s shoulder playfully.

“Not the same,” Winnie responds under her breath.

I stay silent, staring at the beautiful pair of heels inside delicate white tissue paper. I pull one of them out, making sure to treat it with care. It’s a beautiful shade of white, matching the fabric that encases my body perfectly. A thin piece of material is meant to buckle around my ankle. The most stunning part is the intricate tulle bows on the shoes. The one in my hand has a large tulle bow at the back of the shoe. The shoe still in the box has one on the tip of the shoe.

“You’ll look hot as hell when you’re butt ass naked in those,” Emma announces out of nowhere.

Her random comment makes me laugh out loud. I’m so happy they both flew here to help me celebrate. While I’ve loved being stuck in a bubble with Beck, I’m thankful to have more girl time with them. It’s the one thing that’s lacking here, spending time with my best friends. I really only ever spend time with Beck and the occasional outings with Ezra.

“Is it wrong if I don’t wear these? What if I break the heel or something?” I worry.

Winnie and Emma share a laugh. I narrow my eyes at them as they both look at me unapologetically. “You have a point.” Winnie giggles. “You aren’t the most graceful in the world, Margie.”

“I’ve been wearing heels every day since I started working for Beck, thank you very much.”

Emma’s eyebrows raise to her hairline. “Is that why the thought of you in nothing but heels makes him so horny?”


I roll my eyes. “I’m not answering that question.”

Emma smacks the side of my thigh before she attempts to shove me off the back of the bed.

“Emma!” I yell.

“Get the shoes on. Right now.”

I slide off the bed, attempting to not put any new wrinkles in the dress with the movements. Emma hands me one of the shoes, the dainty buckle already undone for me. One of my hands grabs the back of the chaise lounge as I slide my foot into the shoe. I bring the strip around my ankle, fastening it. I repeat with the next one, marveling out how they fit me perfectly.

“God, you look hot as hell,” Emma notes.

“I agree.” All three of us look toward my open bedroom door, finding Beck leaning in the opening with a smirk on his face.

Emma rolls on the bed, tucking her chin in between her hands. “Hey, Beck, tell me. Do you have any friends?”

His eyes don’t leave me. It’s like the first time he stared at me all over again, my skin feeling every movement of his gaze. “I have a few. Why?”

“Are they single?”

“They are.”

“I need one of you. Margo can’t have all the fun.”

“Something tells me you don’t miss out on fun,” Beck responds, taking a step into the room. He doesn’t look at either Emma or Winnie as he comes to stop in front of me. He looks me up and down with appreciation.

“I can’t fucking wait for everyone in this city to know you’re mine.”


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