OneRepublic-All the Right Moves
I know we've got it good
But they got it made
I took a deep breath and walked through the big gate-like door. The ballroom was enormous, with huge crystal chandeliers hanging from the painted ceiling, glass stained windows and a spotless marble floor. The room was almost full of people, all dressed up according to the event. It was a masquerade ball, after all. As the orchestra was playing, men wearing tuxedoes were twirling their pompous dressed dates in the center of the room.
I took a single look around and scoffed. Every guest there was nothing but a rich stuck-up who lived on his own little cloud of richness and arrogance. Still, for one evening I had to blend in and find the one person I was looking for.
I had started off right by suiting up. Luckily for me, I had given up my green mohawk a few months earlier, so I didn't look very different from the members of the upper-class. Not to mention the fact that the whole masquerade gave me an additional advantage.
I straightened my mask and walked into the crowd. Those who weren't dancing were standing near the buffet tables either discussing or eating cubes of cheese. Delightful… I scanned the room until a skinny blonde appeared in front of me, smiling and holding a platter with drinks on it.
"Brandy? Gin?" She fluttered her eyelashes behind her pink mask.
"No, thank you." I said icily.
I wasn't in the mood for their fancy drinks, their fake smiles or even their fake fancy party. It was not my world. It was all an illusion of wealth that appealed only to those who replaced their souls with money. I wouldn't even be in the same room with all those hypocrites if it weren't for her. For some girls, sometimes, it's worth making every sacrifice.
Suddenly, when a large crowd moved to the side, I could clearly see the dance floor. And there she was…Her smooth dark hair cascaded on her shoulders as she was being twirled. She was wearing a long flowing red dress that exposed part of her leg and showed off her black high-heeled sandals. I had to stop for a second and readjust my breathing because she looked that amazing. There she was. Heather. My Heather.
The upper half of her face was hidden behind a silver mask and the only hint of facial expression was given by her red lips, which were frozen in a polite and formal smile. That was the clear evidence that she was not having much of a good time.
Her dance partner was obviously the rich Latin charmer that caused our breakup in the first place. Alejandro Burromuerto. Also spelled 'asshole'. He was twirling Heather around, whispering all kinds of romantic bullshit to her. She just smiled and occasionally chuckled, which filled me with some sort of jealous rage.
"Can I get you anything, Sir?" The blonde waitress returned, in another attempt to flirt.
"How about a glass of 'Leave me the hell alone'?" I snapped.
She gave me a half surprised, half insulted look and walked away. I glanced back at the dance floor and saw that Alejandro had engaged into a conversation with an old man who was surely a business man. He whispered something to Heather, she nodded and then he left with the old man. Bingo.
I made my way towards Heather, who remained on the dance floor looking around unimpressed. I stopped in front of her and caught her eye. There was no sign of recognition in her grey eyes, so I offered my hand. She rolled her eyes and waved her hand as if to dismiss me. Instead of walking away, I got closer to her and whispered into her ear.
"Not even for old times' sake?"
She gasped and took a closer look at me. I couldn't stop myself from being amused by her shock.
"Duncan?!" She asked. "What on Earth are you doing here?!"
"First things first…" I said offering my hand once again.
"But you don't waltz!" She quietly hissed, afraid somebody would hear her.
"I'm incognito, so even if people see me waltz, they won't know it's me."
She seemed to loosen up after my comment. Sneaking a peek in the direction where Alejandro had left, she quietly took her position and we started dancing. As I felt Heather in my arms again, I couldn't help thinking how right it all felt. After all the sleepless nights spent thinking how our relationship got ruined, and all the days spent throwing darts at newspaper articles about Alejandro, I finally felt at peace. Everything was all right.
"How did you know I was here?" Heather asked, interrupting my thoughts.
"I think the whole town knows. You and your new boyfriend made headlines the other day." I replied.
"Oh, God!" She groaned annoyed. "I told him not to tell everything to the damn press…"
"Yeah, also, that picture of you two is not that flattering for you…" I added nonchalantly.
"Oh, really?" She cocked an eyebrow. "And what pictures do flatter me?"
"The ones in which you're with me." I answered, earning a slap over my shoulder. "I missed your slaps over my shoulder."
"Well, it's the best I can do, since everyone is staring at us." She said, briefly glancing at our spectators.
"You're not happy." I suddenly spoke, distracting her from the crowd. She shifted her head and gazed into my eyes. Not even her mask could hide the sorrow in those grey eyes.
"No, I'm not." She admitted simply.
"Then why are you here? Why did you abandon the times when you were really happy? Why did you abandon me?"
Heather lowered her head and inhaled deeply.
"Because I thought this lifestyle would suit me." She shrugged weakly.
"Well it doesn't." I told her. "I remember a Heather who used to wear Jean shorts and plaid shirts, and start fights with my shaving foam. She seemed happier than the one standing in front of me wearing a fancy dress and faking a smile."
"At least I'll have some nice memories to hang on to." Heather added, forcing herself to bitterly smile.
"Memories?" I snapped. "Why limit to old memories? Come back to me and we'll make new memories."
"W-what?!" I asked in shock. "Why not?"
"Because I'm already part of a bigger plan that doesn't include what I want." She replied. "I didn't leave you because I wanted to. I did because I discovered that I was part of an arrangement."
I blinked utterly shocked. Of all the possible reasons for our breakup that I had come up with, this was the most unbelievable…and medieval-sounding one.
"You mean like an arranged relationship?"
She nodded and took another suspicious look around, before resuming her explanation.
"You know that my parents never approved of our relationship. Mostly because they expected me to marry out of interest. I admit, before I met you, marrying a rich guy seemed like the best life alternative I had." Heather added, and the corners of her mouth twitched slightly. "I changed my views, but my parents didn't. So they fixed me up."
"With Ricky Martin over there?" I scoffed.
"He's not that bad. Smart, a real charmer and a delight to look at. I would have probably fallen in love with him." Heather admitted. "But you can't fall in love when you already love somebody."
I grinned, almost overwhelmed by the pride and joy I felt. She admitted she loved me! It was subtle but the confession was there!
"It's nice to know the feeling's mutual." I smirked, pulling her closer to me.
"I guess it always was." She chuckled. "I miss you."
"I miss you, too, Heath. I can't bear waking up without seeing you. I want you to always be by my side, damn it!" I exclaimed, a bit louder than intended.
Heather shushed me, looking around panicked. Luckily, people didn't seem too concentrated on us anymore.
"Keep it down!" She hissed. "Do you want to make a scene?"
"If that's what it takes to get you out of here, I'm willing to risk it."
She narrowed her eyes and dug her fingernails into my shoulder. This was something she always did when she was irritated by what I said. It was her way of telling me either to shut up or to take back what I said. I rarely did, but I always found her gesture kind of adorable.
"You've changed your look." She changed the subject.
"Oh, so you've noticed…" I said with false modesty.
"It was among the first things I've noticed, but it wouldn't have been polite to start a conversation pointing that out." Heather paused and smirked. "I like it."
"And I like your dress. Does it rip easily?"
She laughed and involuntarily bit her lip. In Heather-code, that meant she had briefly considered my innuendo. Honestly, it didn't surprise me. After all, that was how we accidentally destroyed most of our clothes. But, it was always worth it.
"How about we ditch this lame-fest? Come on, you know you want to…" I playfully teased her.
But before Heather could open her pretty little mouth to reply, the person I disliked most from the room showed up and ruined everything. As he always did…
"I apologize for my long absence, mi angel." Alejandro interfered, applying his Latino charm. I felt like a needed a bag to vomit in.
"No worries, I wasn't alone." Heather calmly replied, detaching herself from me and turning towards Alejandro.
"Thank you for keeping my date company, my friend." He said flashing a smile and extending his hand.
I forced a smile and shook his hand, even though I would have preferred punching him in the face. Heather was watching us closely, as if she could predict my intention. The gesture lasted only a few seconds, then I turned towards Heather.
She looked at me with a neutral expression, but I could see it in her eyes that she didn't want our meeting to end so quickly. Still, we couldn't exactly expose our relationship in front of Alejandro. Well, technically I could have, but it would have done Heather harm, so I stayed quiet.
"Thank you for the dance." She politely said, smiling genuinely.
"It was my pleasure." I replied, smiling back at her.
When she turned around and grabbed Alejandro's arm, I took it as a signal to leave. But just as I was about to get lost in the crowd, I took a single look back and saw Heather dancing with Alejandro, but gazing in my direction. That was all I needed. I smiled and headed towards the exit, feeling both relieved and happy.
Alejandro may have friends in high places, but I have a higher place in her heart…
Writing about this love triangle wasn't easy, considering that AxH is a long-time favorite and DxH is a guilty pleasure. That's the main reason why the ending is a slightly open one. Still, I hope you've liked it.
This one-shot is dedicated to tayr98, who offered to illustrate some of my DxH one-shots. I never had my work graphically represented, so for me, this was a delightful offer. So, Taylor, as promised, this one was written for you and I really hope you've enjoyed it.
As always, feedback is welcome! Until next time, take care and enjoy your summer!