When she finished, she grinned with satisfaction at handy work before turning me around to face the full length mirror.

She swept her arm to the side, inviting me to stand.  “Alakazam!” she exclaimed.

I rose slowly, disbelieving the reflection before me.  It sort of resembled me, but different, prettier.

“Oh my gosh.  You really are a magician,” I said, praising her artistic abilities.  I rarely have the occasion or desire to dress up, and I generally skip on the make-up due to lack of know-how.  I was worried that I’d look like a circus clown when she was done, but she kept the look pretty natural.  I shocked my self when I admitted, “I like it.”

“Well, I had great material to work with,” she said.

I blushed at her compliment.  For a moment, however brief, I almost believed I belonged among the Hamlin’s.

I caught myself smiling at my transformation.  Behind me, Constance had peeked in the door, clapping her hands excitedly to see Evie’s final product.

“Let me see,” she sang.  “Oh…You look beautiful,”  Constance slowly spun me around to absorb the whole picture.  I dropped my head and bit my lip in an attempt to contain the flush in my face.  I’ve never done well with compliments.

“Your father would be so taken by how grown you look,” continuing her gush.  The discomfort finally sent my hands into fidget overdrive.  I began touching everything from the dress I was wearing, to my face, even the loose strands of hair.  Evie finally grabbed my wrists, playfully holding them at my sides, “Stop,” she laughed.  “I want the look to last longer than two minutes.”

I waited in my room while Evie and Constance finished getting ready.  I needed to devise a plan; something that would force the truth out of Alex.  At that point everything I had come up with was either life threatening or illegal.  I couldn’t afford to be wrong about him.

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