A Not-So Cinderella Story

When I felt like I was being swept off my feet in a Cinderella story, someone had to be there to drop me, right?
Let's backtrack a little.
Cher Topman. A simple name for a complex girl like me. I'm an orphan at a little orphanage in London, but don't be fooled. Just because it's in London doesn't mean that it's extravagant.
When a rich American single woman makes the fatal decision to adopt me and take me back to America, my life is turned upside down by some people I never thought I'd meet.


12. Cupcakes and Crashing Parties.

"Haylee, why did you call us over here again?" Taylor asks.

"First, I called Chris to come here and work on my Cher's dress. Chris, you are excused to work," she says firmly and Chris walks up to my closet to work on my next red carpet dress.

"Alright, next, I need some help. I called you guys here to bake," she says.

"Bake?" Justin repeats.

"Bake. There's this charity event going on called Cupcakes for Children and it's basically making the less fortunate kids happier by giving them cupcakes and donations. I have to make 1000 cupcakes for this event and since this isn't Cupcake wars, I called you guys to help me," she smiles. Taylor, Cher Lloyd, Justin, Harry, Niall, Liam, Zayn, Louis, Cece, and me are staring back at her with wide eyes.

"1000?" Harry says.

"That's a lot of cake," Niall adds.

"Come on guys. We're all incredibly lucky to be where we are in life right now. Cece, you were number one on the voting list this week. Taylor and One Direction just released number one albums. Cher, your career in america is booming, and Justin, you're dating my daughter, so I think it's only fair we give back. So wash your hands and throw on some aprons, we're making some cupcakes," she says and turns on some music. We all do as told and start making the cupcakes, dancing around the kitchen and laughing and joking around while getting it done. 

"Hopefully this time the cupcakes will actually get into the oven, unlike the last time you attempted baking,"  Haylee tells Justin.

"Hey, how did you know about that one?" he laughs.

"We all know," everyone says in unison and Justin throws his hands up. I laugh.

"There's a big difference between cake and cupcakes. I bet the cupcakes will actually turn out," Liam says and we continue to bake.

After an excruciating four hours, everything is done. The cupcakes are done and frosted and the kitchen is cleaned. We all collapse in the living room.

"I won't be eating another cupcake in a long time," Taylor moans.

"We just made 1000 cupcakes," I sigh.

"You guys have no idea the willpower it took for me to not eat those cupcakes," Niall laughs, totally cheerful with no trace of exhaustion.

"How are you not exhausted?" I ask him.

"I just keep thinking about the kids. They're going to be so happy. Haylee was totally right, it's a definite eye opener," he replies and Haylee throws a double fist in the air.

"I told you," she laughs.

"We should tweet this moment," Harry says and takes a picture of the cupcakes and of us collapsed on the couch.

"You're so weird," Louis laughs and punches him in the arm.

"Well, all I know is that it's only 8. There's still plenty of the night left," Justin says.

"What should we do?" Cece asks.

"I heard Victoria Justice is throwing a party," Liam says.

"I don't like that girl," Niall says.

"Who cares? It's a party," Justin says.

'With karaoke," Liam adds.

"We're going,"  we all say.

"Ready to go crash a party?" Taylor says.

"Wait, we need some rocking dresses first,"  I say.

"I've got that covered," Chris says walking in.

"Did you hear everything we just said?" Cece asks.

"Of course. I heard the word party and came down. You guys go find something super classy to wear and tie up your ties real tight, these girls are out for blood tonight," he laughs as they leave to go find something to wear. Chris ushers us into my closet.

"When I moved part of my work station into your closet, I brought some things with me," he says mysteriously and pulls out 2 suitcases from beside one of the mannequins. He opens them on the other side of us and lifts 4 mini party dresses out...... with matching shoes for each. We all giggle and squeal at the sight and pull them on. Chris helps us with our hair and makeup and pulls out some extra accessories and we're ready. 

The image he wanted to play with all of them is bad girl.

Mine is a dark purple hi- low dress with a black sparkly leather jacket and my makeup has a killer cat eye.

Cher's is dark blue with spikes on the shoulders and an asymmetrical collar. 

Taylor's is deep red and she has a cropped mini leather jacket and some deadly aviators and red lipstick.

Cece's is a neon green dress with some awesome cutouts. The bodice is black leather and there's a cutout on the stomach, then the neon fabric towering down.

"And that, my ladies, is how to get ready for a party in 30 minutes." Chris laughs. We all laugh and walk downstairs to find the guys, who look like Ralph Lauren models. Very classy. I walk up to Justin and he smiles.

"Wow," he mutters.

"I like the bowtie. Very classy," I smile.

"Let's go crash a party," Louis screams and we all cram into the elevator and run into the limo Haylee arranged. 

"Turn up the music!" Harry yells to the driver and the upbeat music I haven't heard blasts through the darkened windows. We all dance around as best as we can sitting down and laugh until we get there. We run out of the parked car and run into the mansion where the party is being held. Once we get inside the massive house, we all stand around in awe.

It's amazing. And huge. And a major party central. The only lights are the colored spotlights and the disco balls reflecting around the room. The stage is huge and is occupied by the one and only.. Victoria Justice. Should I know who that is? I look over to Justin and his eyes are the lighter shade of brown... the one he gets when he's feeling mischievous. 

"Let's go dance," he yells and we all run to the dance floor and start dancing. This is probably the most fun I've had since.... ever. We're all dancing around and laughing, having to yell for each other's attention.

"Alright everyone! The stage is open!" Victoria says into the microphone, and the boys look at each other and they start to shove Justin onto the stage. He resists as best as he can until he's up and on the stage at the microphone. He stands in front of it, waiting to sing, and the very little light this place has goes out. Then the silver disco ball starts to shine on Justin... and his break dancers. What?

"As long as you love me," he starts to sing and all the girls in the room start screaming and I'm just confused. 

Then a full fledge performance starts. There's choreography and everything is planned. Later, Big Sean comes and and does his rap, but the whole song long, Justin was staring into my eyes and giving a playful smile.

When the song ends, he strides down the stage stairs with a grin.

"You planned this whole thing!" I smile and hit him in the arm.

"What can I say? But don't you think for a second it's over," he smiles as we watch Harry, Niall, Louis, Zayn, and Liam take the stage. The familiar beats to "Kiss You" begin to play.

"Oh I just wanna take you any way that you like," they start and then it dawns on me. If Justin planned this... that means this song is for me. He's going to try and kiss me again. 

I try and forget about it as I dance with Cece, Cher, Taylor, and most of all Justin. 

"This is crazy!" I yell on top of the crowds, and Justin leans in to whisper something into my ears.

"It's all for you babe," he whispers, his breath ticking my neck again as the boys sing the last notes, "And let me kiss you,"

I avoid his eyes as the boys walk up to us laughing and tossing around, "That was sick!" and "What the Craic!".

"That was awesome guys!" I say before the girls grab my arm.

"What are you doing?" I panic as they drag me onto the stage.

"Don't worry, you know these songs, we made sure of it," they say and hand me a sparkly microphone as I hyperventilate. I see Justin and the boys laughing their heads off and cheering us on.

Cece then whispers the songs they mashed up into one song and which parts I'm singing. Great, I'm starting.

"I said oh my, what a marvelous tune, it was the best night, never would forget how we moved, the whole place was dressed to the nines and we were dancing, dancing, like we're made of starlight," I sing the familiar words to "Starlight", squinting my eyes closed, preparing for the worst. Then the people start to cheer.

"We ain't ever gonna grow up, we just wanna get down, tell the DJ turn it up real loud, no we'll never grow up, and if we had our way, we could do this every day," Cher sings the words to her song "Grow up"

"Yeah, we're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time, it's miserable and magical, yeah tonight's the night that we forget about the deadline, it's time," Taylor sings to her song "22"

"Wherever you go, just always remember, that you've got a home for now and forever, and if you get low, just call me whenever, this is my oath to you!" Cece sings to Cher's song "Oath".

By the time it's my next solo, I'm totally relaxed and actually having fun! I sing the rest of our mashed up remix as the crowd records us and cheers us on. I run downstage to Justin and hug him.

"That was awesome," he says.

"I've never done anything like that before.. it was just... wow," I say and he laughs. And that's when it happens again. If I was any normal girl, I could totally tell he would lean in and kiss me, but since I'm not, I can just see the desire in his eyes.

I've never kissed a guy before.

And the news comes out.

And I know millions of girls would gladly take my place and kiss him right now, but I just can't yet. I can't exactly explain it. 


"I had fun tonight," I tell Justin as we're walking into my penthouse.

"Me too. You really were a star tonight," he smiles genuinely. 

"So were you. Thanks so much for planning all of that. I'll definetly never forget that," I laugh.

"You know, if you wanted to, you could do that all the time. You should record an album, you already have a recording studio and Haylee has her record label," he reasons.

"I don't know if that's me. I think I'm more of an undercover singer songwriter, but I'll definetly consider it," I smile. He leans in and kisses me on the cheek, very lightly, knowing that's all I'll let him do for now.

"Goodnight Cher," he almost whispers with a smile.

"Goodnight Justin," I smile back as he steps into the elevator and leaves. 

"You call THAT a kiss?" Haylee says from around the corner.

"Haylee!" I laugh/yell and she laughs and walks up to me.

"Do you love him yet?" she asks.

"I.. I don't know," I admit, blushing crimson.

"Yes you do. I can tell," she smile mischievously. 

"I've only known him for, what? 3 weeks? Maybe a month?" I remind her.

"Love doesn't have a timer, or an expiration date. Remember that," she says and I pause for a second.

"I will. I think I'm going to crash. I'll tell you about the party tomorrow," I say.

"Goodnight Cher," she says and I return it and head off into my room.

I can still feel the sparks where Justin kissed me on the cheek.

It feels good.

Haylee's words keep ringing back and forth in my mind.

Love doesn't have a timer or an expiration date.


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