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Painted Faces Behind Masks

Chapter 3 of Lies Behind All Those Smiles

"Great! Nice going, Dai, now you've really done it!" Miyia said, slapping the back of his head. 

He growled and turned to face our friends. "If she hadn't kissed him!" The tension was heightened and everyone was on edge. We were in unfamiliar territory and now we were at each other's throats. This was enough to push people. Daisuke knew he messed up, but his pride kept him from admitting it. He knew I could still hear them talking and he didn't want me to know.

"If you hadn't jumped to conclusions!" Sonic yelled. "Yuni didn't kiss him. He kissed her." 

"And you know it, don't you?!" Yasu spoke, clenching his fists. "You just wanted to blame her so you could feel better about yourself! So YOU could make yourself forget her!" 

Jin walked toward Daisuke and grabbed him by his shirt, "Well, asshole?! Do you feel good about yourself now? Yuni's in there crying and it's because of you! She wanted to get back with you, but you blew it and any other chances!" 

Aya went to them and touched Jin's hand. "It's not worth it." She then turned to face Daisuke. "You can win her back, but it's going to be the hardest journey if you want to earn her trust. Are you prepared for that?" 

Daisuke huffed fixing his damp and wrinkled up shirt. He wasn't in the mood for fun and games. Why would I try to win her, he thought, I've already messed that up. Weaknesses were not Daisuke's forte. He was never known to show much remorse for the things he has done.

"As if I want her back!" he said as he began to walk into the men's changing room. "But... if I did... how would I go about doing it?" 

Miyia sighed and leaned against the wall closest to. "The only ones who can help you are Lorah and Sora." 

"And if Yuni gets into contact with them about this before they get here, they won't help you even if you beg for it.", Aya spoke.

I could only hear faint yelling as I hid inside one of the dressing rooms. I locked myself in so I could cry alone and in peace. And I did. I cried so much I thought I would never be able to cry again. He struck my heart in more ways than anyone had ever done. This pain stained me. I could still hear his voice as he spoke in such a taunting manner. -some sweet words- ~That's not true~... a couple of looks... and that kiss...- ~Stop it~ -I guess it doesn't take much....- ~Enough~ -Had I known...- ~No~-it would have been easier to bed- 

"STOP! WHY DO YOU QUESTION ME ABOVE ALL OTHERS?! AFTER EVERYTHING WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH! YOU ARE NOT BETTER THAN ME! TO THINK I COULD EVER BE SO EASY!" I screamed, cupping my head as I fell to the ground in tears holding myself in a ball.

"Y-Yuni... Are you okay?" Miyia knocked on the door. "C'mon. Unlock the door, hun. Let's talk about it, huh?" 

Aya touched her shoulder. "Let's wait a bit. She may calm down. Her heart must be in deep pain." 

Miyia nodded, turned and almost walking into our ever so silent friend Kimi. "Kimi, will you speak already? You're as bad as your brother, Eren." 

Kimi pouted and spoke softly, "It is how we are."

They all pouted and looked around at all the dresses. Their beauty went beyond all of the girl's imaginations. Aya and Miyia both briefly fought over a pale pink spaghetti strapped ballgown. It only lasted for a few moments and mostly consisted of annoyed looks until Miyia gave in. Aya triumphantly walked into the dressing room and put the dress on. Miyia sighed and picked a similar dress, but it was a deep yellow with more embroidery.

"I do, however, feel for Yuni," Kimi stated eyeing a lavender colored halter dress. "Her suffering, her pain, her loss, her doubt, her darkness. She is feeling all of that on top of already feeling lonely. Even with 332 brothers and sisters and their extremely varying ages, she must have always felt alone for at least as long as I have known her."

"True enough," Aya said, zipping Kimi and Miyia ball gowns. "She lost her father when she was born and her mother on her fourth birthday. So, I guess it would make sense that she felt alone. I can't imagine having never felt the love of my mother or father. Her brothers, sisters, some of her aunts and uncles, even her grandparents tried to raise her as their own. But it will never replace what she has lost." 

They looked at to where I was hiding as I unlocked the door and stepped out into the room. I was dressed in a white and gold ball gown with a light teal trim and beautiful golden embroidery. My red around my irises was slowly fading. Miyia was the first to make a motion toward me.

"I do not wish for you all to take pity on me. I just wish to be normal. To be accepted and kept together. Do not change your view of me even when you know the truth," I said, slowly moving toward them.

They all nodded and came to hug me. I could feel myself being pulled back to reality and, more importantly, back to myself. These moments were what made me feel better. It brought me joy and comfort.

 "Now," I said, hugging them. "We have a party to go to." 

Aya looked at the mirror. "Well, it is time for hair and make-up, girls. Let's get to it!"

***

In the men's dressing room, Daisuke, Jin, Yasu, Sonic, Eren, Shinichi, and Lancaster were getting ready in silence. Complete silence. Only their breathing and small spurts of cologne could be heard. They all had pained looks on their faces. Daisuke changed next to Eren. Eren, just like Kimi, was very quiet, but knew Daisuke and myself the longest. It had been twenty-five minutes before any of them had spoken and it was the ever silent Eren who broke the silence. 

"So, what are you going to do now, Daisuke?" he said buttoning his suit. 

Daisuke refused to face them and kept himself turned away from them. He was truly ashamed of his behavior. "I don't know exactly... I just want Yuni to trust me again."

"Pssh, Like that'll ever happen any time soon," Shinichi said shaking his head. "You hurt Yuni. Like, serious hurt. Deeper than anyone ever could."

 Daisuke turned to face them, "Look, I know I did, but-"

"No." Yasu cut him off, "Yuni trusted you above all others, even above her own family, and this is how you repay her? With accusations and harmful words."

 He stayed silent and listened to them. What could he possibly say to make anything better? Nothing. There was nothing that could be done to make this situation better than what it was. He knew I wouldn't forgive him so lightly, if at all. Daisuke would have to do something drastic to earn not only my trust in him as a friend, but my love for him as well.

"Well, I'll just have to try," he said buttoning up his suit and looking in the mirror. 

 The guys finished their hair, put some shoes on, and went out of the dressing room where they were greeted by Hidori. It appeared to them that Hidori had changed as well. The pale gray suit changed into a deep navy blue. Hidori looked at each of the men and smiled. It seemed as though he was pleased at the suits they chose.

"Hello, gentlemen, the women should be finishing any moment," he said ushering for them to sit down on the seats provided. 

All of the girls stepped out looking gorgeous, except for me. I was still hiding in the dressing room. 

"Yuni, come on out. Please. You look great, hun," Aya said lightly tapping on the door.

She knew I was afraid to come out. They all did. Not only because of Daisuke, but because I didn't know what else Gennosuke would do next. I spent a few minutes thinking of ways to escape the situation and how long it would take me to get home. As the thoughts filled my head, I had no choice but to shake them away. I couldn't leave my friends in this odd place. With a heavy heart and faint smile on my face, I finally decided to come out. As I did, all eyes fell on me, including Gennosuke's. 

"My, don't you ladies look lovely," he said smirking as he turned towards the men. "As do you gentlemen. Everyone will be so pleased to see you all." 

"Thank you, Lord Gennosuke," we said and bowed in unison. 

Daisuke looked at me and smiled, but I paid no mind. Well, I tried not to pay attention to it. It was becoming harder and harder to fight my feelings and the pain at the same time. As I was lost in thought I didn't notice Gennosuke take my hand and lead us all down the Mario themed hallway to the party. 

"I can't take it anymore. I want to knock that smug look off his face," Daisuke whispered to Jin. 

"No, if you cause a scene or you start a fight, she won't want you back," Jin said frowning. "You'll draw her closer and closer to Lord Gennosuke. I do agree that his smugness is becoming a nuisance."

"Huh, I guess you have a point," Daisuke said looking at even as we got closer to the ballroom.

Everyone had their own conversations as we made our way into the ballroom. Well, everyone except me. I was lost in my thoughts. I could hear the band getting louder and louder, but I did not focus on it. It wasn't a large concern. I have heard bands playing all my life. Some loud, some quiet, some played beautiful concertos, and others couldn't carry a tune if it was in the world's lightest bucket. This band played gently, but with a strong emphasis on the flutes and violins. 

The music drowned out my thoughts and I began to focus on the melody. Normally, I did not like the combination of flutes and violins. Both could hit high tones and if they did at the same time it would hurt my ears, but this band. This band had a way about it. When the flutes went high, the violins went low and vice versa. It was a lovely change. More so since it made my sadness disappear, even if only for a moment.

Gennosuke walked us all to the front of the room and cleared his throat. "I have an announcement, everyone!"

Everyone stopped what they were doing in order to listen to him. Even I couldn't help but listen. His voice was deep, soft and yet strongly commanding. He gently lead me away from my friends and towards the center. This was not where I wanted to be. Even with a mask on I felt extremely uncomfortable around this many people.

"Now, now, everyone. This announcement is extremely important," he said as the band moved into silence and everyone fixated on us. "With her family's permission, the lovely Princess Yuni and I are now engaged!" 

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