Kiara cursed her way out of the ballroom, running towards what she thought would be the kitchen and, luckily, her way out of there. What were the fucking odds! The only person who had the decency to watch her act till the very end, that devilishly handsome piece of work that ran to hold her before she ‘fell’.
Fate was way too cruel with her. Not that she would have stayed there and engaged in a heartfelt conversation about her act and whatever else with that delightful sin of a man. But still, must he be the one to recognize her little theft?
How stupid was she to think she could wear it to the performance without consequence! Now she found herself in the kitchen pondering over whether it was safe to retrieve her bag from the changing room or she should simply go home without any of her stuff.
If he knew about the ring, then he knew where it was prior to its abstraction and the room was the first place we would search. No. She couldn’t risk another encounter with the man, she’d rather go home in full costume.
She just wished she had hidden her cell somewhere inside the outfit, but she knew it was a no go for that particular performance. Too many risky transitions, she would definitely break the thing before the end.
Time was not in her favor, and she decided to count her losses after her physical integrity was guaranteed. Thinking on her feet, she chose to tell a little white lie to one of the girls in the kitchen. She was not an actress, but she could perform a role for a couple of minutes to get out of there. She chose the sweetest looking servant to ask for help.
“Hi, do you work here? I’m so sorry to bother, I don’t know what to do!”
“What happened? Oh my, you are the circus girl! I only saw a little bit, but it was amazing! I love that song and…” Kiara would have loved to stay and cherish a fan, but the clock was ticking.
“I’m really sorry, I’d love to hear your opinion, but I have a big problem!”
“Oh, sure, can I help you?”
“You see, my mother called right before the show and said my sister is feeling unwell. I promised to go home immediately after the performance, but now I can’t get to the room where I left my stuff.”
“Why not? Do you want me to get them?” She was so eager to help, Kiara’s heart clenched at the lies she was forced to tell. She almost felt sorry for lying to such a lovely girl.
“No! I think there is someone there, a couple. I heard things and didn’t have the guts to get in. I don’t need my things right now; I can take them back tomorrow or whatever. I just need someone to call me an uber so I can get to my sister”
“Oh my, people have no decency at these parties! Don’t worry, I can help you! I’ll call the uber. Here, let me write down my cell so you can call me tomorrow and get your stuff.” The girl handed her a piece of paper with her number, and Kiara appreciated the fact she would at least be able to pay her back for the ride.
“You are too sweet, thank you!”
“Of course! Now hurry to your sister, I’ll get your bag as soon as the room is clear. Call me tomorrow”
“Thank you, I won’t forget your kindness”
And with that, she left through the same backdoor that had welcomed her a few hours before.
The ride home was terribly uncomfortable. The driver kept ogling at her through the rear-view mirror, and she couldn’t help but notice how exposed her costume actually was. It was perfect for a performance, but barely covered her body when looked up close.
Kiara was seriously holding back from speaking her mind to the driver, playing scenarios in her head on how she would curse his soul out if she was in a safer situation. She had taken too many Ubers in the small hours of the night to know it was best to keep her mouth shut. She asked him to leave her at a twenty-four-hour diner close to her building, hoping to grab a small snack before hitting the sack.
“Hi Josie, do you have anything left for me tonight?”
“Kiara, honey, what happened? No changing room again? You need to stop accepting these trashy gigs, you are too good for them!”
“Not this time, Josie. It was a really nice place, good money too. I just had to leave in a hurry, that’s all” She hadn’t realized how tired she was, but her voice sounded like shit.
“Here honey, have this tuna sandwich. You need to eat something light, a heavy stomach is a restless sleep”
She laughed heartily, appreciating the caring nature of the older woman. She was about to take the first bite of the much-needed sandwich when her hand was pushed forward, causing her to drop half her sandwich outside the plate.
“Good heavens! What is that, young lady?” Oh crap, she forgot about the ring.
“Oh, right. It’s a fake, it’s part of the look”
“It doesn’t look like a fake to me”
“Yeah?” She dismissed the subject, getting back to her sandwich. There was no way she could explain how the damn thing came to be in her possession and the thought of it made her almost lose her appetite.
“I’ll close the tab tomorrow, I’m out of cash today”
“Sure thing, honey”
Reaching home, Kiara went straight to the shower. She was feeling worse than she did after most performances, and it was certainly a result of her sprint away from Mr. Ring-owner.
While the hot water undid some hard knots on her back, she allowed her head to travel back to the time she noticed him. It was right before her final helicopter drop, after she rolled the last layer of fabric around her body. She always took the few seconds before the fall to scan the crowd, see who bore with her through the entire show.
And there he was, just a tiny spot from the almost twenty feet height, but sure enough, looking at her in awe. During the drop, she hoped he would be one of the few that had that instinct to catch her. Those were always her favorites, she loved to look right into their eyes as she halted the fall.
Up close he was even more of a vision. She was a sucker for beards, and despite the fancy suit being a turn-down, she could easily see herself sucking face with the handsome bastard.
But then he had to notice her new tiny little ring. It probably meant he was close to the host, or even the owner of the whole mansion. Probably not, though. Granted she had only seen the man for a couple of seconds, but he didn’t strike her as one to own such an old-fashioned house.
Either way, he knew about the ring. And damn sure he would go after her for it. That’s just how rich people go by things, even if the price of it was peanuts in comparison to his bank account. Was it? She looked at the shinning object she chose to wear during her shower. Was that ok to soak it? She had no idea how to deal with such a precious object.
She turned off the shower, preparing to bed with her head still full. The little locked box inside her nightstand cabinet was getting a bit too packed for her taste. She opened it up to check out the items it contained so far, all her dear prizes, awarded to her by her own self, were neatly organized inside.
She took out her favorites, reminiscing the gig she got them from. A little porcelain fairy, with glass wings. It was so beautiful, but she found it thrown in the corner of the bathroom they assigned to her for that particular show. Then there was the small version of a Venetian mask. She adored that one because the host was particularly rude to her when she told them the ceiling was not safe to perform.
One last look at the ring made her refrain from adding it to the box. The other items were beautifully organized in their compartments, and she couldn’t see the ring fitting into any of the few open spaces. She decided to keep it on her finger until she figured out what to do. His face came to her mind while she prepared for bed.
She would get a burner phone and give a call to her agent in the morning, asking him to keep a particularly low profile for that gig. They never gave out personal information on the artists anyway, too many creeps and freaks coming after the girls. It was one of the reasons she signed with them in the first place.