Three days later, Saturday: 19th (Fashion show day!). Taipei Glamorous Fashion Show hall.
Jay is applying make up on Rainie’s face in the busy make-up room of the brand Rainie is going to model. Rainie smiled looking at her image in the mirror as always.
“Rainie,” Claire walked to Rainie.
Rainie’s eyes shot to the image of Claire in the mirror and her smile fades off there and then. Jay notices the smile gone just like that when Claire’s voice is heard.
“Yes?” Rainie asked.
“Well, I just want to tell you that your flight to Dubai tonight is at 10pm, so, after the show is done, you have to pack real quick to make it to the airport by 8pm,” Claire said.
“Okay,” Rainie said.
“So how are you feeling?” Claire smiled looking at her.
“Alright,” Rainie said, looking at her own image in the mirror.
“It will be a hectic one for you, Rainie. I have lined up your schedule for the next 9 months,” Claire said.
Rainie glared at Claire, “9 months? What?”
“Yeah, there were so many fashion shows… I just couldn’t ignore them for you,” Claire said.
“Claire, have you ever considered that I may not be capable to handle that much?” Rainie asked.
“How is that possible? You’ve done a good job previously,” Claire smiled. “You handle all of it well,”
“Where’s my break?! I need sleep, Claire!”
“You always sleep on the flight like you keep saying you are fine with…” Claire said.
“Claire, do you…” Rainie said.
Their conversation is interrupted when someone called for Claire.
“YES!” Claire immediately went off.
“Claire!” Rainie yelled looking at Claire walking away.
“I’ll talk to you tonight!” Claire called out to her and walked off.
Rainie glared at the image of Claire in the mirror until it is gone. She let out a deep breath.
“Take it easy, Rainie,” Jay said, professionally applying the blusher on her cheek.
“I’m very frustrated, Jay,” Rainie said.
Rainie looked at Jay, “I often do not believe with Barbie, Pace and Winnie commenting on my hectic schedule. Even Vanness says the same. I monitored it this time… and really… my schedule is crazy!”
Jay stopped applying, “I also noticed that all the while, Rainie,”
Rainie took a deep breath. “I developed interest in dancing. I so wish to dance as a way to relax myself and Vanness is a great instructor and partner for me to dance with. I only seek that little time to rest and do what I like… yet I don’t have it,” she said, “I even have to sleep on the plane like she claimed! You heard that too, right?”
“Rainie, you let her take charge too much,” Jay said, continued applying the blusher.
She closed her eyes and takes another deep breath, “I began to hate my life,”
“Don’t,” Jay said, and stopped applying the blusher again. “Rainie, you just have to take charge again, and she just has to know you are a human, not a robot to do all that she has planned for you,”
“Despite I had a month break recently, I have never been this tired to do all the runways like I have in the past 7 years. Yes, I became famous 2 years back and I have more workload since then due to my popularity but I think it is ridiculous right now to have all work and no rest for the next 9 months!” Rainie said, “Is that the price of fame?”
“No,” Jay said. “You only lose your privacy if you are popular. You do not lose the right to take a break or doing what you want to do,”
“Sigh…” Rainie sighed.
Jay continued applying the blusher and Rainie kept quiet.
Vanness is well dressed and groomed with his first attire of PWRB. He is clad in a pair of black formal trousers and a white long sleeve shirt. He is set to model the first attire for the formal wear category which will be the first category to run when the fashion show starts. Vanness turned and looked at the mirror, while a professional hairstylist is fixing his hair, making it spiky in the center.
Vanness turned and looked at Pace clad in a gorgeous deep V, halter neck black dress with cleavage shown. Somehow his heart pounded a little bit faster at the sight of her not because of what she wore but he just feel it’s her. He smiled at her. “You look beautiful,”
“Thanks,” she smiled. “And you look set,”
“Are you sure? I looked weird,” Vanness turned looking at the mirror again.
Pace looked into the mirror of his image. “You look fine to me,”
“I’m not sure but…” Vanness tilted his head, “I really look odd,”
“Is it because you rarely wear like this?”
“I am attending Ken’s wedding tomorrow and my best man tux does not make me feel somehow weird like this…” Vanness said.
“Ken’s wedding is tomorrow?” Pace asked.
Vanness turned looking at her, “I hope you won’t tell this to anyone or somehow raise this up even in front of Ken should you see him later,”
“Why? I can’t congratulate him?”
“No, better still not to,” Vanness said. “He hopes to keep this low-profile, and I just tell you about this. He’ll break my neck if someone else knew,” he had to lie. He couldn’t bring himself to tell Pace that Ken hates his own wedding that is why Ken didn’t want to be reminded about that. And how is Vanness supposed to tell Pace about such wedding of convenience in this modern age?
“Oh,” Pace said. “Alright then,”
“Thanks,” Vanness smiled. He then looked at his own image in the mirror. “I still look weird,”
“Okay… tell me what makes you think you’re weird. If you can’t be comfortable with this attire I don’t know how you can model this with confident,” Pace said.
“Huh? I need to be comfortable with the attire in order to model this?” Vanness asked.
Pace laughed, “Unless you can be like me; professional. You don’t have to be comfortable with the attire but you can model with confidence,”
“How sure are you that I can’t do that?”
“Apparently you keep complaining you look weird,” Pace laughed.
Vanness laughed. “That’s two different things, right?”
“It’s okay. You are the model. So, what makes you feel you are weird?” Pace asked, looking at his image in the mirror.
“Hmm…” Vanness looked at the mirror. “I think it’s this part,” he placed his hands over, representing the chest area. “It looks… somehow weird,”
“Let me see,” Pace turned him over, facing her. She scratched her cheek, before she finally loosens three top buttons of his shirt and she patted the shirt to straighten it and look presentable.
‘What the heck is my heart pounding like this…?’ Vanness thought and looked at Pace working her hands on his shirt.
“Okay, done,” Pace smiled and she looked at Vanness.
Pace’s smile slowly fades when she saw Vanness stared straight her into her eyes. It feels different. Even that look on Vanness is different. She immediately looked away.
Vanness immediately turned looking at the mirror after he realizes he had been staring at Pace, and if not Pace turned away he would have been still locked eyes with her.
Vanness stunned at the image of his in the mirror. “Gosh… I look…”
“Look?” Pace asked.
Vanness is now clad in the same formal shirt, but since Pace has unbuttoned the top 3 buttons of the shirt, it only revealed a bit of his muscular chest. It did not ruin the formality of the shirt and seemingly Pac e had made the best out of it on Vanness’ fit body.
Pace laughed. “You were lucky you have great body to show off a little bit but not too much because you were supposed to sell the shirt, not your body,”
Vanness laughed, “Hey, I look good… really good! Thanks Pace!”
“You’re welcome, Vanness,” Pace said. “Did that boost your confidence?
Vanness laughed again, “Confidence? I always have that. It’s just that I do feel comfortable with the attire now and it did not make me feel weird anymore,”
“Yeah… whatever,” Pace said.
Winnie smiled looking at the mirror, at her red blushed cheek with smoky effects eye shadows applied on her eyes and how elegant she is in her chili red tube dress that flair to the floor by a reputable brand.
“You look wonderful, Winnie,” George said.
“Thanks,” Winnie smiled.
“Are you ready?” George smiled. He always asked her before her commercial or runway walk.
“Yes, I am ready,” Winnie smiled.
“I’ll get you water, okay?” George asked.
“Sure, thanks G,”
George smiled as he walked away and gets her a cup of water.
Winnie’s phone rang. Winnie looked down at her phone and she took it up. She smiled looking at the caller. She pressed the ‘answer’ button.
Winnie: Hello Barbie.
Winnie: Yes, Barbie…
Barbie: Hello? I cannot hear you…
Winnie: Hold on, hold on…
Winnie stands up. “G, I have a call, I can’t get the reception here. So, I’ll be back,”
“Sure,” George smiled.
Winnie smiled as she walked out, “If Claire is just as nice as G I think Rainie wouldn’t have been ignoring Claire for the last few days during the rehearsals,” she then placed the phone to her ear.
Winnie: Hello? Can you hear me now?
Barbie: Yeah. I can hear you already.
Winnie: Yes, what’s up?
With the phone on her ear she walked out.
Jerry stood in the HOST ONLY room. He looked into the mirror and on his image that he had already clad in the tuxedo for the fashion show. He smiled, thinking right now that he is already the host and no longer needs to be overshadowed by Edward, and he took his piece of paper with tremendous lines for him to prepare for this fashion hosting. He took a deep breath, before he walked out from the room and stood at the hallway for a moment.
Jerry turned and looked at Winnie.
“Hi, Winnie,” he smiled.
“Looks good,” Winnie said, looking at his clothes.
“You look better,” he said, looking at her dress.
“Thanks,” Winnie smiled. “Anyway, why are you here? Aren’t you supposed to be in the host room?”
“I’m a bit nervous. This is my first time being a main host, and more so this is a big event,” Jerry said. “So I stood here to help relieve my nervousness a bit,”
Winnie laughed, “It’s fine. Just do like how you used to do. You’ll be fine,”
Jerry laughed, “Thanks. Then what are you doing here? I thought you are supposed to be in your room too?”
“Oh, Barbie called me just now. So I went out to pick the call since the reception is bad in the room,” Winnie smiled.
“Barbie called? Oh,” Jerry smiled.
Winnie looked at him, “Yeah, why?”
“Nah, nothing,” Jerry said.
“Is this your first time hosting a fashion show?” Winnie asked.
“Not really. I have been hosting a few fashion shows before, but not as the main host,” Jerry said.
“Oh,” Winnie said. “Alright, then. You can do it,”
“Thanks,” Jerry said. “So… err… Barbie is here?”
“Yeah. She just reached, she will be sitting at the VIP place,” Winnie said. “You’re looking for her?”
“No… just asking…” Jerry smiled.
“Oh,” Winnie replied. ‘He looks weird,’ she thought. “Anyway, I’ve got to go back to my room,”
“Oh, sure,” Jerry said.
Winnie nodded at him before she walked away and frowned to herself, wondering what and why is Jerry reacting weirdly.
Both clad in an exquisite tuxedo, Ken and Vic are heading towards the hall. As soon as Ken reached the automatic door, he suddenly stood there. Vic walked ahead, only to turn and looked at Ken.
“Why are you stopping there?” Vic asked.
Ken looked around, “Eh, where is the automatic door?”
Vic pointed at the glass door that has been obviously opened. “It’s opened. And look up, they turned off the automatic-ness of the door and now it’s opened wide permanently,”
Ken looked up. “Oh, yeah…”
The green light will be on if it is working, and now there’s no light means they had turn it off.
“Why?” Vic asked.
“I… err…” Ken scratched his head as he walked in and Vic walked with him. “I kind of bumped my head onto the door the other day when I was in a rush,”
“Huh?” Vic asked.
“Yeah… I didn’t see it,” Ken said, tucking his hand into his pants’ pocket.
“Oh,” Vic said.
“And the worse thing is, someone saw me banging my head onto the door,” Ken said.
Vic laughed, “Some things are inevitable,”
“Apparently a pretty lady,” Ken said. “I’m so embarrassed,”
Vic laughed harder, “Poor KEN!”
“Laughed again and I’ll tripped you in front of pretty girls,” Ken said.
“You don’t have to be mean just because I feel sorry for you,” Vic smirked.
“Feeling sorry is not by laughing,” Ken said.
“You’d rather your friends laughing at you or some kind of strangers laugh at you?” Vic asked.
“I’d rather trip my friend rather than some strangers,” Ken smirked.
“WAH! Mean friend!” Vic said.
“Mr. Ken Zhu!”
Ken smiled with Vic as they stepped on the red carpet.
“Good day, Mr. Ken Zhu!” Charles immediately stepped forward and grabbed Ken’s hand for a handshake.
“Good day, Mr. Charles Lee,” Ken smiled. “This is my friend, if you remember, Vic Zhou. He is the one I mentioned to you the other day, will accompany me for this fashion show,”
“Good day too, Mr. Vic Zhou,” Charles smiled. “Yes, I remember him. He is also an actor,”
“Good day to you too, Mr. Charles Lee,” Vic smiled. He leaned over to Ken, “Apparently I might be gaining popularity due to your status, Ken,”
Ken smiled, “Might you said, no guarantees,”
“Mr. Zhu, your seat is over there…” Charles pointed.
“Sure, I will make my way there,” Ken smiled.
“My people will direct you,” Charles said, and turned looking at a staff. “Bring Mr. Zhu to table 1, he is our main sponsor,”
“Sure, Mr. Lee,” the staff said, “Here, Mr. Zhu,” he leads the way.
Ken and Vic followed the staff. And their table is located in the middle of hall, right in front of the fashion runway and it is a strategic spot. Indeed, main sponsor’s place. Ken and Vic sat down.
“Wow, great spot,” Vic smiled.
“Yeah… main sponsor,” Ken said.
“But tables? I thought we are going to sit at rows of chairs… you know, like how other fashion shows are…” Vic said.
“This is an exclusive fashion show, we are served snacks and drinks during the show, and we’ll have lunch here, while we can connect with other investors, attendees or people during the lunch. So you can eat for the next few hours straight non-stop. They will refill the snacks for you, for free,” Ken laughed.
Vic glared at him, “I’ll trip you when you stand up and walk,”
Ken laughed. “The rows of seats as you claimed earlier are available at the back and the side, only for those not so VIPs… and media,”
“So you mean Barbie will be in the media area?”
“Well, that, I am not sure,” Ken said. “They have arranged, I believe,”
“Hmm… she has an all-access pass,” Vic said. “If I am not mistaken,”
“You sounded interested with her,” Ken said.
Vic smirked. “If I talk more about Pace and Winnie will you think I am interested with them too?”
Ken laughed, “Good question,”
Both Vic and Ken silent for a moment.
Vic turned and looked at Ken. “Tomorrow, Ken… tomorrow,” Vic said.
Ken bites his lower lip, “I hate to be reminded but… yeah, I know,” he took a deep breath. “I can’t believe I am going to attach to Pearl tomorrow,”
“So… what’s running in your mind?” Vic asked.
“Mess. I don’t wanna be tied up with someone like her forever,” Ken said. He let out a sigh. “I wish there’s someone who can crash my wedding and bring her away like we always see in a drama,”
“Will you do that for me?” Ken asked.
“HAR?!” Vic said. “Don’t even think about it! No buddies will run into his buddy’s wedding and drag the bride away!” he said. “I don’t wanna be labeled the one who ruined Ken’s wedding!”
“What if you come tomorrow and drag me away?” Ken asked.
Vic rolled his eyes, “And I also don’t wanna be labeled the one who ruined Pearl’s wedding!”
“Ken… I am not into Pearl so I will not drag her away. And I am not gay, therefore I will not drag you away either,” Vic said.
“Do you mind to be gay for me tomorrow?” Ken asked.
Vic glared at him. “Hell, NO. That is gonna stick with me forever and I wish to marry a lady in future so I don’t want to ruin my image. I am bloody straight and not even a gene of gay is in my blood! I guess you should pay someone who doesn’t mind to be the bad person to drag you away from your own wedding,”
“Do you have any contact? Will you pass it to me?” Ken asked. “Will they work on short notice?”
“KEN!” Vic yelled and he rolled his eyes again.
Barbie looked up after hearing the yell, and upon looking around she found Vic and Ken sitting at a table in front of the runway. Both of them were talking to each other. Barbie is sitting at one of the tables that are also located in front of the runway due to her all access pass that Winnie gets for her, which is about 4 tables away from Ken’s. Barbie smiled, as a sign of respect or even as friends, she has to walk over to them and greeted them.
“Wait here,” Barbie said at Alan who is sitting next to her.
Alan turned from looking at his camera to look at Barbie standing up. “Where to?”
“Meeting some friends,” Barbie said as she left the table and walked to Ken’s.
Barbie stood in front of them.
Vic and Ken immediately stopped talking, and turned looking at Barbie.
“Barbie!” Vic said joyfully.
“Hello Vic, hello Ken,” Barbie smiled.
“Hey!” Ken said, looking at Barbie.
“Just drop by to say hello,” Barbie said.
“No problem, have a seat…” Ken said, referring to the empty chair in front of him.
“Nah… the show’s going to start soon and I will need to go back to my seat soon,” she said.
“Where are you sitting?” Vic asked.
“Just a couple of tables away,” Barbie smiled.
“If you want to I can arrange with them and make you sit here,” Ken smiled. “You have better view here. After all we are friends,”
“It’s fine. I’m not alone. My colleague is here too,” Barbie said pointed over to her table.
“Oh?” Vic and Ken turned to where she pointed but are not sure where she points. “Oh…” they stupidly said as if they saw what and where she exactly pointed. Ken and Vic looked at each other.
Ken smiled as he turned over and saw Jerry on the stage. He saw Jerry looking at him and Vic, and with Barbie’s back facing Jerry, Jerry lifted his fist up at Ken and pointed at Barbie. Ken smirked. He turned to Vic.
“Your friend just asked us not to bother her,” Ken winked.
“My friend?” Vic turned and looked on the stage.
Barbie also turned and looked at Jerry. Jerry, immediately turned his fist; by spreading the palm open, and wave at Barbie. Barbie smiled and nodded at him.
“You mean he is not your friend?” Vic laughed.
Ken laughed, “I don’t want a friend that threw fist or waved like idiot on the stage,”
Barbie turned and looked at Vic and Ken. “Jerry looks nice in that tuxedo, right?”
Ken and Vic surprised. “Well, yeah,” they both answered together.
“But he look funny just now,” Barbie let out a small laugh.
Ken and Vic laughed.
“He is indeed funny,” Vic said.
“Ladies and gentlemen… welcome to Taipei Glamorous Fashion Show…” Jerry starts.
“Okay, back to my seat,” Barbie smiled, “See you,”
“Sure,” Vic and Ken smiled, and Barbie walked back to her seat.
With then the fashion show starts. All models came out one by one to model the attires for different categories.
“Look, it’s Vanness,” Ken smiled, looking at Vanness walking out confidently from the back.
Vanness had both his hands tucked in his pants, and as Pace handled earlier, the top 3 buttons of his shirt are unbuttoned.
“Shit… that dude is hot!” Vic said.
Ken looked at Vic, “You are gay, aren’t you?! You lied to me about not a single gene of gay in you!”
“Shit you, Ken. Look at Vanness! That is a part of him that we have never seen before! He can really model and that body is so perfect for this!” Vic said. “He can really model! That’s the thing!”
Ken looked at Vanness walking on the runway and passed by him. Vanness is working and at the same time he saw Ken so he smiled lightly at them.
“I think I just saw Vanness flirt with me,” Ken laughed.
“But gosh, Vanness is really the man!” Ken said. “He should have ventured into modeling industry in the beginning!”
Vic leaned back on his seat, “I guess he might have modeling contract coming his way,”
“Maybe,” Ken said, looking at Vanness walking off from the runway.
“Hey, that’ Rainie,”
“Who?” Ken turned.
“Rainie,” Vic pointed at a model, who had already passed by in front of them, and all Ken see was her back.
“She looks great, isn’t she?” Vic asked.
“I didn’t see her at all… I don’t know,” Ken said. “I only saw her back,”
“You didn’t see her? She looks great in that dress and you should see her make up and hairdo… perfect,” Vic said. “The make-up does wonders,”
“I’ve never met Rainie, remember? I was rushing off the other day,” Ken said. “So I don’t know how she looks like,”
“Oh, yeah…” Vic looked at Rainie walking back to the backstage.
“Show her to me again when she comes out the next round,” Ken said.
“Okay…” Vic responded.
Fate could have decided it, for each time Rainie comes out, Vic is too mesmerized with her look he forgot to show Ken, or by the time Vic remembered to show to Ken, Rainie would have turned away and let Ken sees her back, or Ken is busy with his phone calls or dunking his head eating the snacks and when he look up he only saw her back, or Ken is approached by a number of people from other organizations to talk with him so he keeps missing Rainie’s appearance time and again.