03 | too much of beauty should be considered illegal.

SHAYLA'S P.O.V

The dinner was nothing short of awkward, for me at least.

After sneaking up to my room and bursting into the dining room ten minutes late, Baba kept glaring at me any chance he could get ; Diana - my stepmother tried to overfeed me, saying how I should eat more ; Zeke - my step-uncle who has no job left no stone unturned to tell the Taylor family about our wealth and also about how much of s spoiled brat I was.

All throughout the dinner, Mr. & Mrs. Taylor kept shooting me reassuring  glances after every insult & insensitive remarks or jokes Zeke made at my expense.

Camille kept playing with the food on her plate, too uninterested in the banter going on at the dinner table and Bryan tried to soothe me every now & then by brushing his hand against mine, under the table.

And Cameron. God. 

I had never seen someone as gorgeous as him, if I was being honest. He was not exactly my type, but there was no denying his good looks.

The dinner seemed to drag on forever and forever and I suffered silently, mentally wishing Farhan was present there.

And at last when the torture ended and the maids rushed to take the empty dishes, I finally heaved a sigh of relief. What a feeling it was.

In a hurry to get away to my room or to the balcony, I ended up tripping on our brand new & exotic Persian rug - a gift from Caira.

The day couldn't possibly go any better, wow.

I closed my eyes and felt myself fall on the floor, the rug absorbing most of the shock as Zeke clicked his tongue and made a remark about how nonchalant I was, which was followed by the sound of his feet shuffling away. Fucker.

Almost instantly, a hand helped me up and I shot the person a genuine, wide grin. Oh dear Bryan, God bless your-

"Oh, hey Cameron." I smiled at him as I slipped my hand out of his, trying to be as discreet as possible.

"Shayla." He greeted me with a solemn nod as he took a few steps back. I looked back to see that all of them had proceeded to the living room already.

"Thank you for not leaving me to lie here with my face first on the floor, that was really sweet of you."

"Oh, nah it was nothing," He let out a quiet chuckle,"I hope you're alright and that it didn't hurt you."

"Oh no, it didn't." I shot him a small, wry smile as I motioned for him to follow me to the living room.

He matched my steps to walk by my side as he passed comments about how beautiful the house was and I thanked him for kindness. He then went on to tell me a bit about his music, and I caught myself trying to listen intently.

But the thing was that I was kind of distracted by his beauty, now that I was getting a perfect close-up view.

There was something softly ethereal about him, maybe it was the cluster of very light freckles that adorned his nose. Maybe it was because of the undeniably beautiful curls that guarded his face like cascades of a waterfall. Or maybe those heart-stopping dimples.

Or maybe it was because of his eyes, they were the colour of a newly bloomed bluebell from the valley, enchanting and intricate. Like the flower, his gaze was never direct but a shy, earthbound focus.

When I caught myself imagining how it would be like to sketch him, I immediately stopped myself.

I could not possibly think of sketching him, or even painting in general. Bhagwan, the fuck was wrong with me?

I focused ahead to see that we were headed towards the backyard now, living room long gone on the journey.

"Where are you two going?" A girl's voice mewled from behind as I whirled around to find Camille.

"We just got a little lost in the conversation, I guess." Cameron answered as his sister looked at the two of us carefully.

"Hm. I see." She hummed as she turned around and yelled Bryan's name.

Bryan came sprinting from around the corridor. "You found them?"

"Yeah, mate. Both of them were lost in conversation."

"Your phone has been blowing up. Easton & Caira are the ones to blame." Bryan chimed in, my phone in his hand.

I snatched my phone as I excused myself.

"Wassup, Tookes?"

"Shay, he called me."

"Who?"

"Stan! He called me asking for your number and he called Easton for the same thing as well! He is coming back to town in two days. And he said something about your baby too, I don't know, I didn't understand it but he said something about the baby. I tried calling him but he won't pick up."

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CAMERON'S P.O.V 

When I saw beauty, I appreciated it.

And Shayla was like the epitome of beauty. When Camille told me that Shayla looked like a Goddess, she certainly wasn't exaggerating.

Shayla's face was adorned with the loveliest curls, washed in the dark of the night. Ink black curls that captured the light and reflected it in all of those fierce onyx hues, just like her razor-edged smile. 

And those eyes, never had I ever seen eyes like hers -  pools of ink ; devouring light in their intensity. Her eyes held the ability of billowing clouds of volcanic ash and burying obsidian and jet in their depth. 

And her lazy, wry smile. That wry smile that mirrored her devil-may-care attitude left me absolutely astonished.

"What is this smell?" Camille sniffed into the air as she pointed a finger at me. "Is this a crush, I smell?" 

I gaped at her.

Bryan smirked as Mille & Bryan high-fived.

"No! I mean I would definitely not deny her beauty, but we just met."

"Yes, I know. And that's why she said that, I think crushes happen at the first meet or something." Bryan mumbled.

"You two should stop shipping people just out of the blue." 

Both of them snickered as I shook my head. 

"Hey Cam, you don't mind if I call you Cam, do you?" Bryan started as I waved my hand in dismissal. 

"How 'bout you hang out with us tomorrow? It gon' be very fun, I tell you. Shayla is an extremely good conversationalist, her mood was just a bit down today."

"Yeah, that Zeke dude seemed like a douche, no offense. But his remarks regarding Shayla were pretty insensitive."

I glared at my sister as she just shrugged.

"I am so sorry for Camille's behaviour, she didn't mean to say that but honestly Zeke-" But Bryan cut me off by patting Camille fondly on the back.

"You caught it right, chica. Zeke is my uncle but he is the biggest douchebag I know. After Stan, of course."

"Who is Stan?" I interjected as Bryan opened his mouth to answer but immediately shut it. 

"No one you two should worry about. Now, do you two want some extra desserts? Then follow me." Bryan exclaimed enthusiastically as Camille followed him & so did I.

Soon, Shayla joined us and I decided to discreetly ignore her. Her presence made me want to try to impress her and frankly, I didn't have the energy left. 

But what bothered me was Shayla's off vibe that threw me into a pit of questions regarding what ruined her mood so much, in such a short time.

I don't know what made me act out of my nature and crack jokes and narrate my most embarrassing stories to someone I just met. But I knew it had something to do with the way she gave me an almost shy smile and how some of the tension that was mirrored in the way her eyebrows sat tense on her forehead, vanished a little.

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