"Surprise!" Bambi screeched startling two immaculately dressed business men who were sipping whisky and in the middle of a business deal. She tripped up the stairs towards Eden in her metal spiked shoes and the rest of the group followed, their freshly done hairstyles bobbing behind her. It seemed everyone else had also decided to have an up-do and Eden tried to hide her anger with a delicate sip of Laurent Perrier. That calmed her down and she stood up and plastered on a fake 'I'm so thrilled to see you' smile and kissed the girls in turn gesturing for them to sit down.
"So. I know the tradition is for us to arrive separately, but I have booked us a suite to get ready in and organised for Derek to take us in a limo. I thought it might be fun to all have champagne in it together, don't you?"
They all nodded in agreement and Bambi squeaked with excitement.
"I just can't wait to show you the dress Daddy has sent me. Usually we discuss what we're going to wear, but it's been so secretive this year!" she exclaimed, her eyes darting towards Eden who had insisted it be this way. The stunning waitress placed flutes in front of all the girls and poured champagne in each of them. Sky was about to pick hers up, but Sabrina placed a hand on hers to stop her and gestured towards Eden who was about to make her annual pre-ball speech. She stood up, her black skinny jeans elongating her long legs and her Chanel boucle jacket and teased hair made her look glamorous, but at least ten years older. She cleared her throat.
"I just wanted to say thank you to all my girls for being such wonderful friends. I look forward to these events with you every year and they wouldn't be the same without you by my side. To us." Eden raised her glass and took a sip and the rest of the girls cheered and did the same. The waitress came over again to refill the now empty glasses, but Eden stopped her.
"Thank you Celine, but I think that's it for now as we need to get ready. Charge it to my room will you?" and standing up she gestured for the others to do the same. The two business men stared at them as they all trotted past and everyone ignored them except for Bambi who was the last to leave. She gave them a wink and giggled.
Upstairs in the suite it was a hive of activity with clothes flung everywhere, jewellery spilling out of boxes and last minute dashes to the well lit bathroom mirror to touch up make up. Eden was by herself in the bedroom, calmly removing her dress from the protective bag it had been hung up in and smoothing the fabric. Her sky high crystal encrusted Louboutin shoes had been removed from the box and stood proudly below where the dress had been hanging. Her new La Perla underwear felt like cool air against her skin and she admired herself in the full length mirror imagining what Noah, I mean Teddy, would think when he saw her in her outfit. She was bound to out-stun all the other girls. She briefly wondered what that Lottie would be wearing. Something cheap from the high-street no doubt. And probably second hand. However, for a moment she felt a flutter of something. Fear? Jealousy? She knew deep down that Lottie would scrub up well despite all the weight she had lost, thanks to Eden herself. She pushed Lottie out of her mind and slipped the dress over her body, zipped it up at the side, slid her feet into the Louboutins and practically floated over to the mirror. The long Vivienne Westwood crepe gown was from the special Red Carpet Capsule Collection. It was covered in the palest silver matt sequins and was exquisitely sculpted with an internal corset and ruched finish. Eden twisted, turned and preened in front of the mirror adoring the way it completely flattered her figure and gave her curves she didn't have and her non existent breasts a much needed boost. Vivienne was an expert at giving women that Jessica Rabbit image. After a slick of lip gloss and sliding it into her matching clutch she felt ready to open the door and let the rest of the Blique see her in all her glory. She felt a rush of sexual excitement as she reached for the gold plated door handle. However, the other girls were not ready and the room was an absolute tip with Madonna playing loudly on the ipod. Eden's calm demeanor immediately vanished and she suddenly longed for the quiet haven of her room, almost turning around and retreating back into it, but Sky shouted out her name and the others quickly appeared. Madonna, who was in the middle of singing about being like a virgin, was suddenly turned off. Eden ran her eyes along her friends standing in a line in front of her, taking in their outfits:
Bethany was wearing a long bright blue asymmetric, one-shoulder gown from Roksanda Ilincic. Sabrina a short, flirty dark purple Matthew Williamson cocktail dress in chiffon and lace. Bethany wore a gold sequined knee length 20s style flapper dress and Sky a short, twisted cut-out black and cream Herve Leger bandage dress. Once her gaze fell on Bambi, however, Eden's sexual excitement vanished and was replaced with pure rage. Bambi was wearing an almost identical dress to her own; same length, same colour (except for the sequins) and almost the same corsetry and ruching except hers had thin ribbons for straps and she wore a ribboned belt featuring her father's renowned logo in adorned in crystals. There was silence as everyone looked from Eden to Bambi and back to Eden. Then Sabrina quickly gushed, "Oh Ede, you look absolutely stunning. I just adore your shoes, your bag and your dress. Beautiful." and they all gathered around her spewing out various compliments simultaneously. Bambi stood in the same spot, her bright pink lips turned down in a sad pout. The phone rang and she went over to pick it up.
"The limo is downstairs," she said and the others shrieked, abandoned Eden and gathered their evening bags and their contents together in a panic. Eden walked over to Bambi, took her elbow and guided her into her bedroom.
"Take that dress off," she spat.
"Eden, I can't, Daddy sent it to me!"
"I don't care if Daddy did, get it off!" she hissed.
"I haven't got anything else to wear though?" Bambi was almost in tears.
"You take that dress off now otherwise I'll tell Phil Bailey you're the one who gave him crabs." Eden walked into her bathroom and came out with a bottle of red nail varnish. Bambi watched in horror, helpless, as she opened it slowly, took out the brush and flicked it towards Bambi's dress, tiny drops of red polish splattering over the bust.
"Bethany, can you come in here for a minute?" Eden called in a sing-song voice.
Bethany appeared a few seconds later, flushed.
"Can you see if there are any spare outfits for Bambi to wear. She seems to have had an accident with the polish she just asked to borrow from me." Bethany's eyes widened as she took in Bambi's distraught expression and noticed the polish on her beautiful dress.
"Oh yes, of course," she said and rushed back into the other room. Within minutes Bambi had changed into one of the cast offs (thank God Sabrina couldn't make up her mind and had brought a selection of dresses), a gunmetal Halston Heritage mini-dress which was gorgeous, but was elasticated at the waist and did nothing for Bambi's hips and large breasts. She hadn't said a word since the polish incident and stood by the door shaking and trying to fight back the tears. Sky placed a warm hand on her arm and gently squeezed it. They all knew what had happened, but couldn't say anything or defend her.
"Come on, let's go. Derek is waiting," Eden said and she pushed past the others so she was the first to vacate the suite. The train of her silver dress swishing out of the door like a mermaid's tail.