Trust Is Like A Mirror

23-year-old Stefani Calderone lives with her Dad in New York City, her favorite place in the world. Living on a routine of partying, getting drunk and splashing a little too much of Daddy's plentiful cash, she is left to do her own thing out in the cut-throat world of music and fashion.

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1. Just Dance

"What in Heaven's name is going on?" Joe Calderone bellowed, as he stood in the hallway, his eyes as big as saucers as he took in the site of his wrecked home. "Stefani!"

"Dad!" Stefani's eyes matched her father's as she panicked. "I thought you weren't coming home till Monday!" Other guests were waking up now, startled by Joe's frantic yelling followed by his daughter's sheepish replies.

"What have I told you about parties, Stefani? You are twenty-three years old, not sixteen! I want you to get everybody out of this house, immediately, understand?" Despite being extremely hungover and being lashed out at, Stefani had to stop herself from giggling at her father's red face.

"Yes, Papa...It won't happen again, I swear!" she pleaded, desperately hoping he wouldn't cut her $70 allowance. "I'll clean it all up, I'll fix everything we broke-"

"You what?" Joe's puffy face continued to get redder and redder, as he turned to face his daughter. "What did you break Stefani?" However Stefani, cursing her filthy blabbermouth, had already scurried into the heart of the destruction - the living room - to herd all the party-goers out through the back door.

After the rest of the guests had finally departed, she assessed the damage of each room. Luckily, her dad had had to leave to buy some food, seeing as what they'd had left had been obliterated during the party; if he'd have been there then... Let's just say Stefani wouldn't be sticking around much longer. There were empty bottles scattered around the house, wallpaper was ripped, the inflatable pool had been popped, along with all of its fellow floats. There was puke in the sink, broken chairs, the disco ball that had hung from the ceiling of the Games room had been ripped down, and to top it all off, she found graffiti written in lipstick with the words 'Just Dance' on all of the mirrors and windows in her home. She sighed. Well, if there was one way to make cleaning remotely fun, it was to have her best friend Bibi with her, helping her.

With new found satisfaction, she reached for her phone in her back pocket to text Bee. Her satisfaction deflated when she realized that actually her phone wasn't in her pocket anymore. Stalking into the kitchen, she reached for the landline to call her cell. It was dead. Growling with frustration, she grabbed the phone again, grateful that it could text.

To: BB Harman

From: The Calderone Family

Message: Omg BB help!! Dad came home early & got mad at me 4 the party - it was like a total over reaction! Im now on clean up duty so was wondering if u could help?  I lost my phone btw so I wont be able to text you unless its on the landline xoxoxo

Ugh. What was she going to do without her cell phone? She wouldn't be able to do anything; including text her boyfriend, Alejandro. She kicked an empty bottle of whiskey, which then smashed against the wall, adding to her mess. I guess it's time I started tidying, Stefani thought, reluctantly. Papa'll be home in less than an hour. 

•♈•

After clearing away the remnants of the throw-down in five of the seven bedrooms, there was a confident knock at the front door. Bounding down the stairs, fumbling with the mop that had somehow gotten tangled in her fingers, Stefani threw open the door face set in a wide grin.

"Buzzy Bee!" she squealed, hustling her out of the boiling summer sun. "I'm so glad you came!" Bibi, her chocolate curls framing her mocha face bouncing, followed her into the kitchen, where the girls grabbed some cleaning supplies.

"Oh my God, Stef! I've missed you so much it's, like, so totally unreal!" she giggled, wrapping Stefani in a crushing hug. "Don't you ever make me visit my parents again, without you! It was so boring without you.

Stef joined in Bee's laughing, as they sauntered into the living room ready to tidy the wreck. The sight still made her wince with embarrassment. She glanced over at Bibi whose eyes were even bigger than usual, taking in the devastation.

"How the Hell are we supposed to clear all this up?" she asked, her voice high with disbelief. "It's gonna take hours! How long do we have?"

Stefani winced as she regarded her Rolex watch, the longest hand ticking away the precious seconds. She hesitated before answering. "About forty-five minutes..." Skipping swiftly into the room, ignoring Bee's look of disbelief.

"Okay, so you take the right side, and I'll take the left?" she asked, hopeful that her friend wouldn't notice just how much more work there was to do on her side.

"Nice try - aren't you forgetting that this was your little fiasco? Not my mess," Bibi grumbled, knowing Stefani a little too well.

"Fine," If looks could kill... The room was absolutely trashed. The beige walls were splattered with alcohol and one of the four side-lights was smashed. Pillows had been scattered, some torn, and there was a small but noticeable crack in the glass coffee table, in the center of the room. One of the long, Milan silk curtains had been yanked off its railing and both accent tables, one each end of the the plush, gold couches, were missing two legs which had been tossed to the other end of the room. There were candy wrappers, broken glasses and sticky stains on the marble floor, which would take a long time to get out, even if either of the girls knew what they were doing. "I wish there was a maid here."

"Where are they?" asked Bee, as she swept up some of the broken glass from the floor. "Did your dad give them all the week off, or something?" Stefani knelt down near her friend and began to scrub at the tougher, more stubborn stains.

"Yeah, I think," she mumbled, forehead creased with concentration, dark hair swishing as she scrubbed. "To celebrate another new fortune, or something." She moved on to the curtains, grabbing the step-ladder from the cupboard, attempting to reach the obstinate curtain rail, in order to fasten the slippery silk.

"Oh cool! Did your dad's restaurant's go global yet?" she asked, her dark eyes bright with something like excitement. Stef had to roll her eyes at her.

"Yeah - well, mostly. Papa's restaurants have gone to the England, apparently; only the big cities, though." Having finished with the curtain, she was now gluing the accent tables back to their formal selves, with the glue gun - which slipped her hand a few times, burning her. She swore. "You know; London, Manchester, Liverpool, all them.

"Hey that's great! Congratulate him for me, will you?"

"Will do. Hey, you any good at sewing?" Stef asked, throwing a pillow at Amanda, who yelped in surprise but managed to catch it. She put on her best posh British accent. "Be a darling and patch up that tattered old thing, will you?"

Bibi laughed, but did so - and Stefani was almost jealous at how Bee could stitch up its entire side, without   a visible line...almost. Not that Stef would ever need to worry about sewing; the Calderone's had enough money to power an entire small state...try Delaware, for instance. The Joanne Trattoria restaurant, which had started out in New York City, their home, had kept growing and growing - in less than five years, it was bound to become worldwide.

•♈•

Having finished the living room, kitchen and bathrooms, Stefani and Bibi only had one room left to clear - the Games Room - with only ten minutes left. Lucky for them, there wasn't as much damage underground, than above: all the arcade games were intact, including the hockey table and pool table, which was a relief considering they were her dad's favorite and were frequently used. Since there was only the smattering of plastic cups and glasses, along with the broken disco ball, the girls could've been done in minutes! Suddenly, Bee burst out laughing.

"What's so funny?" Stef asked, completely confused.

"Is this how you came up with your bra?" she inquired  looking me up and down. It was only then that I realized what I was wearing. A sequin bra, like that of a disco ball, with an extremely low cut white shirt, topped off with a pair of very short black dungarees and Converse sneakers. "I'm kidding - it looks great, honest."

"Um... Thanks, I think. Look, I'll fix the disco ball, can you take all these cups upstairs, please?" And with that, Mandy vanished back up the steps, a tall pile of teetering plastic cups in her arms.

Stefani looked up to the high ceiling, wondering just how she was supposed to hoist herself up there without...well...dying. But then the light bulb flashed on, in her head. She would simply climb to the top of the Glory Casino Slots, and reach over to the hook to screw on the decoration. Easy.

But, of course, it wasn't. She'd managed to clamber up to the dusty peak of the pointed Vegas slot machine and was reaching over to the nail, when her concentration faltered as she heard the front door open and her best friend distantly saying "Oh hi Papa Joe!". Stefani wobbled forwards, pitching dangerously close to the edge of  Glory's steep fall before finally losing the battle with gravity as she tumbled down to the wooden floor. She let out a blood-curdling scream and thrust her hands towards the hook, in one last attempt to attach the glittery ball even though she knew it would fail, and she'd fall to her death or at least a broken leg...

However it didn't. It actually worked. And she didn't either. She was alive! She lied there, testing her limbs, numb with used adrenaline until she heard footsteps come running, descending towards her, and she sprang to her feet, casually leaning against the Glory Slots.

"What happened? Stefani are you alright?" asked Papa. His face looked panicked, until he realized that his daughter was just fine. "Good Heavens, girl, you almost gave me a heart attack!"

"Hey Dad... Welcome home...?" she tried, failing an attempt to hide how much her hip was hurting her. A pulled muscle. Great. Color rose high in her cheeks. "I was just...uh...using the Glory Slots. They're fun." Yeah right. He could see right through her, though that wasn't hard considering how she'd always nagged him about how the Slots were annoyingly unfair and she'd never play them, even for a million bucks. Which of course, she already had.

"Hey, you got the ball up!" Bee exclaimed, admiring the way it spun, casting little jewels of light on the walls. "Good job, girl - hey, what's that on the floor? Did you find something?" She started moving towards it.

"What? I didn't find..." she trailed off as she turned around. There was a sparkly wooden box on the floor, spilling with hundreds of Benjamin Franklin's. "Holy hooker! What the... How did that... How come we.... What? Dad?"

Her father's face looked just as surprised as the girls' as he stared the strange box. "Where did you get that?" he asked, scooping its contents up, in his arms. "Stefani, where did you find it?"

"I-I don't know... I was trying to put the disco ball back on its nail, so I climbed on the Glory Slots and fell. Maybe it was on top...? My foot could've hit it, when I fell, if it was." she confessed, still in awe of the money.

"Bella! Grazie! Grazie! Sono stato alla ricerca per questo! Grazie!" he enveloped his daughter in an overwhelming bear hug, before remembering that she wasn't as fluent in Italian as he was, and neither was her friend. "I mean thank you! I have been looking for this for years!"

"Uh... You're welcome, I guess," Stefani replied, still completely shocked and puzzled. "Why did you need it - what are you going to do with it?"

"With this money, I can finally afford to branch the Joanne Trattoria restaurant in all countries of the world!" he cried, stuffing the money into its home box. "We will be rich! Well, more rich than we already are." He winked.

"That's awesome, Mr. C!" Bibi beamed, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. "Does that mean Stef's off the hook for her little" - she paused, looking for the right word - "shindig?"

"But of course! I have to call my agent... And my mother!" with that, Joe Calderone rushed up to the main room, punching numbers into his cell phone.

"Well, well, well, look at that," said Bee. "Looks like we're gonna have to celebrate! The Oak Club tomorrow at nine?"

"Sure, I'll invite Alejandro - I haven't seen him in, like, a week or something," Stef answered, grinning, fantasizing about being on the floor with her dreamy boyfriend.

"Sounds like a plan," Bee winked, grabbing her keys and leaving Stef in alone in the Calderone family Games Room.

She danced up the steps and shimmied to her room, knowing that tomorrow would be fantastic. Besides...

When you're beautiful, dirty and rich, what could possibly go wrong?

[Author's Note]

Hi guys, thank you so much for reading my story! If you have any suggestions for the story please feel free to drop a comment - I will read all of them! (; Also, if you find the story somewhat unrealistic, please tell me how I could improve it; I'm only 13, I obviously don't know what it's really like when you're drunk or have a huge house party or whatever!

I will be posting more chapters later, but until then please tell your friends if you like 'Trust Is Like A Mirror'!

P.S.: If any of you readers are Little Monsters (or Lady Gaga fans) I do have a group ( http://www.movellas.com/group/detail/201301041550373144 ) which you are free to join! Don't worry if you're not a huge Gaga fan, anyone can join! (:

All my love,

Jess <3 xxx

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