Chapter 35:  A Girl's Best Friend

The following Monday, Olivia went with Alex and Madeline to pick out some jewelry for Alex’s party.  “Wow, I’ve never been to Cartier before,” Olivia said, looking around in awe once they entered the store.


“There’s a first time for everything,” Alex said, smiling and squeezing her hand.


“This place has absolutely marvelous jewelry,” Madeline informed Olivia.  “I’m thinking of purchasing a new watch for her father.”


“I’m afraid that if I stare too hard something might break,” Olivia replied with a nervous laugh.


Madeline chuckled.  “Don’t worry, dear.  You’ll be fine.”


Alex pulled Olivia straight in the direction of the newest selection of diamond necklaces.  “Ooh, that one is pretty!” she said, pointing to a rose-cut solitaire diamond necklace in the glass case.


“Would you like to try it on?” the jeweler asked, walking over to them.


“Sure,” Alex said with a smile.  The jeweler carefully placed the necklace around her neck; the diamond rested a couple inches below the base of her throat.  “How much is it?” she asked, turning to admire how she looked in a nearby mirror and running her fingers over the diamond.


“$28,000,” he answered.


“Damn, Alex.  What’s the limit on your party?” Olivia whispered.


Alex grinned.  “There isn’t one.”


Olivia smiled.  “Why am I not surprised?”


Next, Alex picked out a platinum necklace with a pear-shaped center diamond.  “Wow…this one is even more gorgeous than the last!”


“A fine choice indeed,” the jeweler informed her, placing it around her neck.  “This one is $41,000.”


Olivia felt as if she were going to faint.  Never in her life had she been around such exquisite, expensive jewelry.  She could not fathom how anyone could possibly spend so much on something so small.


“Do you like it, Liv?” Alex asked.


Olivia carefully picked up the diamond, which was only slightly warm from being next to Alex’s creamy skin.  “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”


Alex put her hands on her hips and pretended to be offended.  “Most beautiful?”


Olivia grinned.  “Ok, next to you, of course.”


Alex smiled.  “That’s better.”  She tilted her cheek toward Olivia so she could kiss it.  Olivia happily obliged.


“You’re so adorable,” Olivia complimented her. 


“Why, thank you, sweetie.”  Alex looked at a few more selections before deciding to stick with the jewelry she picked out.  “I think I’ll wear the rose-cut diamond at my dinner party and the pear one at the second stage of my party.”


“You’re not gonna get anything for the costume stage?” Olivia asked.


Alex thought about it for a few seconds before responding, “Nah.  That’s when I’ll be doing the belly dance.  I don’t want anything getting in my way.”


“Those are beautiful selections, dear,” Madeline remarked.  “I have some earrings and bracelets that would match perfectly.”


“Will you let me borrow a bracelet with the little Cartier panther?” Alex asked hopefully.


Madeline nodded and patted her on the back.  “Of course, sweetie.”


“If you admire the Panthère de Cartier, we have a fabulous new diamond and onyx collection that accentuates the beauty of one of our famous trademarks,” the jeweler pitched in.  He led them over to the collection and picked up a necklace.  The diamond and onyx panther, which was perched within its onyx circle, was suspended from a black silk chord that was graced with diamonds and platinum along the way.  Alex’s whole face lit up as the jeweler fastened the clasp at her neck.


“What do you think, Liv?” Alex asked, looking at her expectantly and holding her breath.


Olivia was completely mesmerized by the necklace, which seemed to highlight Alex’s features more than the others did.  It looked as if it had been made especially for her.  “It’s…it’s perfect, sweetie.”  She looked into her sparkling blue eyes and smiled.


Alex nodded her thanks and turned to her mother.  “Mom, look!  It would go perfectly with the dress I’m wearing to the dinner party!  It’ll match the bracelet, too!” she said, practically drooling.


“Darling, you can’t wear the rose and this one, too,” Madeline replied matter-of-factly.  “The goal is to be classy, not tacky.”


Alex slightly pouted.  “Well…maybe I could wear the rose one for prom?  I really do want the panther, Mom.”


“How much is it?” Madeline asked, turning to the jeweler.


“It is priced at $58,000,” he responded.


Olivia put her hand to her chest and looked to the side while Madeline gave Alex a stern look.  “Alexandra, I am not buying all these.  Pick the rose-cut solitaire or the panther—not both.”


“Mom, Daddy said there wasn’t a limit!” Alex whined.


Olivia would have laughed if the sheer disappointment on Alex’s face hadn’t been so genuine.  Madeline rolled her eyes and responded, “I know, but this is impractical.  If you don’t plan on wearing a necklace at the costume party, then you only need two.”


“Ok…well, what if I wear the rose one after I do my dance?” Alex suggested hopefully.


“Alex, that makes no sense,” Madeline responded.  “Either wear it during the dance or not at all.”


“What about prom?”


“You haven’t even picked out a dress yet,” Madeline replied, crossing her arms.


“Well…I could wear it during the belly dancing, I suppose,” Alex responded with a sigh.  She turned to the jeweler and asked, “Can you shorten the links so it will fit snug?”


“Yes, that can be arranged.  It would be ready by the beginning of next week,” the jeweler said.


“Ok,” Alex responded, smiling victoriously while the jeweler removed the panther necklace and replaced it with the rose-cut solitaire one to make the appropriate measurements.


Olivia shook her head and chuckled.  “Slick, Cabot,” she whispered in her ear.


“I know,” Alex whispered back, grinning.


Madeline smiled.  “Fine, Alex.  You may have it, then.”


“Oh, thank you, Mom!” Alex exclaimed, throwing her arms around her neck.


“You’re welcome, dear,” Madeline replied.  She sighed.  “But you’re on a limited budget for prom.”


Alex laughed.  “Ok, deal.”


A few minutes later, Madeline paid for the diamonds Alex wanted and then ushered the girls toward the front of the store.  “You girls go on and peruse some other stores.  There are a few pieces here that I want to look at further.”


“Ok, Mom,” Alex replied.  She grabbed Olivia’s hand and walked out.


Olivia slightly pouted.  “You know…I felt kinda lonely in there.”


Alex gave her a puzzled look.  “Why, baby?”


“Because from the way you drooled over that jewelry, you made it seem as if the saying was really true about a diamond being a girl’s best friend.”


“Oh Liv, you’re my best friend,” Alex assured her.  She placed a soft kiss on her lips.  “Nothing can compare.”


Olivia grinned.  “You really mean that?”


“I do,” Alex replied, kissing her again.  “What do you say we go get a smoothie?  There’s a really awesome place up the street.”


“I say that’s a fine idea,” Olivia replied.


“So how did you enjoy your first Cartier experience?” Alex asked.


Olivia shrugged.  “Oh…well…it was different.  I felt a little uncomfortable because I’ve never been in a store like it.”


Alex squeezed her hand softly and replied, “Oh, sweetie.  I’m sorry you felt uncomfortable.  That wasn’t my intention.  I just don’t want to leave you out of anything in my life.”


Olivia smiled.  “I know, baby.  It was just a little strange, is all.  But I liked it.  Not that I could ever afford anything, but still.”


Alex kissed her on the cheek.  “Well, you were the most valuable thing in the store.”


Olivia beamed.  “You sure know how to flatter a girl.”


“It’s because every word I say is true,” Alex replied, smiling sweetly.  As soon as they reached the corner, she pulled Olivia to her and deeply kissed her.


A few minutes later, Olivia pulled back, her chest heaving.  “Wow.  What the hell was that for?”


“Just for being you,” Alex responded.  “Would you like an encore?”


Olivia grabbed her hand again and replied, “Hmm.  That’s a tantalizing offer, but I think I need something in my stomach first.”


Alex laughed.  “And you say I’m the one who’s always hungry!”


Olivia smiled.  “You are.  But I’m a close runner up.”


“I’m still trying to convince Mom to let me get a private suite for after the party.”


Olivia grinned.  “What’s she saying so far?”


Alex cocked her head to the side and gave Olivia a look.  “She said she’ll have to think about it because she has a few concerns.  Take a wild guess at what she’s worried about.”


“Oh, come on!  It’s your 16th birthday!  You want it to end with a bang!” she teased.


“That I do,” Alex agreed.  “But I don’t think she does.”  They both laughed.


“She’s just worried about her little girl growing up and experiencing certain…things,” Olivia said, running a finger up and down Alex’s stomach.


Alex chuckled.  “A little too late for that.”


“Well, think about it,” Olivia said.  “Would you want our 16-year-old daughter having sex?  It’s one of those things that a lot of parents do before they’re parents that they’d never want their kid doing.”


“Good point,” Alex said.  “I don’t even wanna think about our kids having sex.  Come on, let’s just go in and get a smoothie.”


“After you, dearie,” Olivia replied, smiling and holding open the door.