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Her own Cinderella Story

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"You're goin'." Finnley MacManus stated simply as the small redheaded woman tossed a gorgeous looking envelope in front of her roommate. Beth Greene, who had been in the middle of a book she was reading, looked up from her place on the couch to give Finnley a look of confusion. "Daddy allowed me to plan and organize this. So you have to go."

"What is it?" Beth asked, putting a marker on the page she was on to look at what was in the black and orange designed envelope. The blonde picked it up slowly, her name scrawled beautifully on it. Flipping to open the unsealed flap Beth pulled out the beautifully printed invitation, a folded piece of paper fell onto her lap.


*M.C.Designs cordially invites you to
their fourth annual Halloween Ball*
Oct 31st 9:30PM at the Senoia's Dining Hall

A night of Masquerade and true Anonamenity
*Pick a name from the list provided
and be someone else for the night
*Mask are required to cover most, if not all your face
RSVP with Finnley in Accounting

"A masquerade ball? And I'm your secretary, how did I not know you were plannin' this?" Beth looked over toward her friend who had taken a seat next to the blonde. Finnley busied herself packing a bowl of weed in a clean pink and yellow glass pipe. "Full Anonamenity? That's definitely not going to work."

"Daddy also had Ingrid to help me get it all organized, she said the same thing, but what's the worst that can happen? Oh god, you recognize a few people." Finnley rolled her eyes as she lit the green herb broken up in the pipe, watching Beth pick up the folded paper. "Worked in college in the sorority."

"You weren' in a sorority in college, and this ain't college. I mean look at you, you look like future owner of your dad's company doin' that." Beth laughed as she read over the names on the paper chosen for her. "Mallory, Emily, Milla, and Haley? Where did you get these names?"

"A baby name app." Finnley shrugged as she passed the pipe to the young blonde. "You really think I could think of four random names for about three hundred employees without help? Ingrid was no help in that dept."

"Do I have to go?" Beth whined, as she pushed the pipe to her lips, lighting the partially charred herb. "I mean you didn' even ask me to help plan."

"I know, I'm sorry, Daddy had me do all the planning through Ingrid as I said. Trust me, I wish I had you to help me plan it instead, but as my best friend, yes you have to." Finnley rolled her eyes once more, a very usual thing with the two friends."It could do you some good too really; you could socialize instead of hiding away and only managing to talk to me if given the choice. Pretty amazin' how you managed to be friends with me and still be shy."

"You are outgoin' enough for both of us." Beth laughed as she leaned her head against the back couch cushion. "Why must I go?"

"Cause I need you there for support." The two women passed the slowing color changing pipe. After a few minutes of silence, Beth gave the redhead a bright smile; which Finnley quickly returned the smile. "I knew I could count on you."

****

"What the hell is this shit?" Daryl asked as he flipped over that black and orange envelope, his name scrawled on the front. Leaning forward onto his desk, his sharp blue eyes glancing up toward Martinez, the other supervisor of his department.

"It's the company Halloween party."Caesar Martinez shrugged as he took a drink of his coffee, watching his coworker open the envelope. "According to Lesley, boss has his daughter and his old ass secretary plan it the whole damn thing. Frat party meets old folks home."

"What in the livin' fuck a masquerade ball?" Daryl snorted, as he read the envelope. He then looked at the list of names that were provided. "This shit won' work."

"Right? A lot of people are talking 'bout it though. Probably gonna be like some sad attempt at a college party." Martinez laughed, setting his coffee onto the desk and replacing it with a baseball that was next to his keyboard. "They're diggin' the idea. Total chance to fuck some of those pretty little secretaries."

"This is just askin' for a disaster to happen. There is so many reasons why this won' work." Daryl had no intentions on going to this terrible idea of a party.

"Well I'm goin'." Martinez replied leaning back in his own chair, tossing the baseball into the air and catching it with no problem. Daryl gave the man a look as if he was joking. "Last woman I was with was Cora, and its been too damn long. One of these drunk desperate pretty little thing from advertisement or a secretary or some shit."

"Like it's gonna be that easy." Daryl muttered, as he started to read over the names that was given to him to choose.

"This company is so big that it's not like you'll see them again, unless you like actively search, or is a stupid fuck and give them your first name. Gotta admit that redhead may be a loud mouth bitch, but she sure knows ways for everyone to get laid."

Daryl sat looking back at the invitation reading it over once more; he had to wear a mask to this thing to hide his face and go under a different name. Like that would suddenly just change everything about him so people wouldn't recognize him; part of him though thought that this idea was so stupid it would work. He hadn't been with the company long, so if he chose to go it would be his first work related party. He was more use to backwoods loud bonfire parties, or crowded house parties with his brother. He found himself on the fence suddenly if it was worth going to or not.

"Hell even if you don' get laid it’s an open bar, a huge ass buffet, and they'll pay for your ride home. They always do that at these things." Martinez stood as he sat the ball back on his desk where he always kept it. "I'm gonna go check to make sure these guys ain't fuckin' around and getting these orders out."

Daryl nodded as the other man walked out of the office, leaving him to read over the invitation and list of names over for the hundredth time. The idea was starting to appeal to him more and more; pushing his thumb between his teeth, Daryl carefully considered each name provided by him. Still entertaining the thought.

***

"Hello, may I help you?" The blonde asked with a bright smile as Daryl approached her desk. She was very pretty and her smile was friend and very welcoming.

"Yea, uh, here to talk to Finnley." Daryl muttered as he looked down at his feet, not wanting to catch himself staring at the pretty blue eyed blonde.

"Are you here to RSVP to the Halloween Party?" She asked as she pulled out a clip board with a thick stack of papers from one of her desk drawers. When she looked up, the younger woman couldn't help at giggle at the look on Daryl's face. "Finnley's out with her father at the moment, so she asked me to help with keeping up with who is coming or not."

"Yea, of course. You're a secretary... that's what you do." Daryl muttered mostly to himself as he chuckled. "Yea, I'll be goin'"

"That's wonderful! May I get your name?" She grabbed a pen to mark his name off; her smile still very welcoming.

"Daryl Dixon." He grunted, his thumb finding its way between his teeth to chew on. Looking through the list, the blonde found his name to mark off.

"Just one or do you have someone comin' with you?" She spoke quickly as if just remembering to ask.

"Jus' me."

"Alright I got you then. I look forward to maybe possibly running into you that night." She sounded genuinely excited for him to go; he quite liked the excitement in her voice, though he was sure she did that toward everyone. She seemed too sweet to not be.

"Thanks, you too." Daryl nodded, hurrying away awkwardly; trying to not make much else of a friendly smile.

***

"So... How do I look?" Beth asked nervously as she emerged from her bedroom to face the masked redhead on the couch. Finnley was in the process of strapping up her heels when she looked up and gasped. "Is it too much?"

Beth stood awkwardly in a short beautiful black lace dress, her blonde hair up in a curly messy bun with curls falling over her face which was covered with a silver mask that covered almost all her face but her red lips and smokey blue eyes. Her tights were black material that didn't give away the color of her pale legs that lead to a pair of black knee high heeled boots that laced in the back. It was very much out of her simple sun dresses, or her jeans and a t-shirt look, very much out of her own element.

"Hell no it's not! Oh my god you look beautiful." Finnley stood and hurried over to Beth. Finnley herself was wearing a black and red corseted tutu dress, with a feathered mask. Her thick red hair was straightened and down instead of always frizzy and up in a messy bun. "What name are you going by?"

"I honestly haven't thought about which name. What about you?" Beth smiled softly toward her best friend, who was straightening her music note locket for the blonde.

"Madison." Finnley said simply and Beth's eyes widened as she tried her best to give the other woman a look. "What?"

"You sure went far with yours, Finnley Madison." Beth muttered, and Finnley rolled her heavily make upped green eyes.

"Oh quiet, bitch." Finnley laughed as she pulled the other woman toward the couch. Beth hadn't noticed the bottle of whiskey and shot glasses placed out neatly next to their pipe. Handing Beth the pipe, Finnley poured the two women a shot each. Beth lit the green herb as she inhaled the delicious smoke through their smoking piece, holding it in as Finnley took the pipe and replaced it with a shot glass. "To being the two hottest women at this party."

Blowing out the smoke, Beth lifted the shot glass as the redhead did the same thing. Clanking the two small glasses filled with the amber liquid, the girls downed the burning liquid slamming their glasses onto the coffee table. Both the girls started to laugh and cough, allowing the starting effects to hit them.

"That is some good whiskey." Beth licked her red lips to catch the left over taste of the hard alcohol. Finnley laughed as she lit the pipe herself. "We should cool it on the weed or we're gonna smell like it."

"Who the fuck will know it’s us?" Finnley shrugged, pouring herself another shot. She looked over toward Beth and sighed. "You know how to use perfume. I don' need to show ya how."

"I want one too." Beth giggled as she bounced on the cushion of the couch, earning a laugh from her friend who poured her another shot as well. Finnley's phone started to go off as the girls took their shot. Setting her shot glass down, the redhead grabbed her phone and answered it.

"Alright, we'll be right out." Finnley did her best to not sound already buzzed before she hung up. She looked straight into the blonde's bright blue eyes, her mask shielding the expression that the redhead was wearing, before she obnoxiously blurted out, "Cab's are here!"

"Oh god, quiet." Beth started to laugh as she hurried to her room to grab her purse, and her perfume bottle. As Beth was coming out, she caught Finnley slipping the bottle of whiskey into her over large purse. "We are not takin' that thing."

 

It wasn't hard for Daryl to find Martinez outside the large dining hall, smoking his menthols. Daryl had decided to look up different mask ideas and with some spare scraps he had in a junk pile in his backyard he was able to mold a Venetian type gladiator mask that covered most his face. Getting black eye paint he decided to cover the skin around his eyes black like his mask, only leaving his mouth and goatee visible. His growing hair fell over his face shielding his eyes. His chose his best black dress shirt that he only wore for job interviews that he left slightly unbuttoned to show off a black wife beater; accompanied by a pair of torn up jeans.

"At first I was thinkin' 'fuck, this redneck knows how to dress', then I see your ass in jeans." Martinez laughed; his own mask just a simple Zorro type mask, accompanied by a black suit. Daryl was used to seeing the other man in outfits much like his own but Martinez favored tearing sleeves off t-shirts while Daryl his plaid button downs. Daryl lit a cigarette of his own, trying to get rid of the terrible smell of Martinez's menthol. "So what the fuck are you callin' yourself tonight?"

"Mac." Daryl shrugged as he inhaled the harsh smoke of his Marlboro red, he looked around as more people started to arrive and entering the building. "What about you?"

"Armando." Martinez laughed, flicking ash off his menthol, as he pulled a flask from his pocket. He opened it to take a swig before handing it off to Daryl. "The name suits you since you look like a damn redneck in those jeans."

"Shut up, douchebag." Daryl growled shooting the other man a dirty look the best he can with most his face covered before turning to watch taxis starting to pull up and people with different kinds of masks emerging from them all. He had to admit he was impressed by the turnout and how far out people went to mask themselves where he couldn't recognize any.

"I'm headin' inside, you comin' Mac" Martinez stomped out his smoke, before looking at Daryl with a wicked grin "and cheese."

"Fuck you." Daryl flipped off his friend as he left him to finish his smoke. Leaning against the building, Daryl continued to smoke as he watched people arrive; admiring the way quite a few of the women dressed up. Everyone was creative in their own way of dressing up; sparing a few who choose Jason masks or gorilla masks.

"Holy shit we're late!" Daryl couldn't help but laugh as a redhead stumbled out of one of the last taxis pulling up. She was clearly already a few drinks in, accompanied by a giggling blonde who slipped out of the taxi in a more graceful manner.

It was like the world stood still for the older man then when he caught sight of the masked blonde, helping up her friend. He took in the small curves in her body, and the way she was dressed in a classy but sexy way. Her mask molded to her face beautifully but still shielded her face from him, leaving him to only admire the bright smile gracing her lips and the loose blonde curls falling over her face. She was breathtaking as she and the masked redhead giggled as they hurried into the building, not even noticing Daryl.

Stomping out his smoke, Daryl made his way inside only to have his mouth to fall open at the sight of the hall. There were black and orange sheer fabrics draping from the high ceilings, with medieval candle holders lining the walls. There was a large table filled with different kinds of food, with tables placed throughout the hall; leaving a large space in the middle of the room for the dance floor. The bar was to the right of the entrance, which was already crowded with guests ordering their drinks. Looking around Daryl, took in how well decorated the whole place was, making his way toward the bar himself.

As the night went on, Beth and Finnley had managed to lose each other in the crowd, Finnley going around chatting up with random people while Beth just strolled through the party watching everyone; sipping on her whiskey drink. She was able to feel the eyes of several men and women as she walked through, even hearing some of them asking who she could be. This was new to the blonde as she smiled to everyone who she would catch the gaze of. Several men had approached her, offering to go and get her a refill of her drink or to flirt with her; something Beth wasn't use to.

She managed to slip away from these men, even a woman or two, once she had a chance. She knew their intentions behind speaking to her, some not even bothering masking their interest in her. It made Beth a little uncomfortable at one point, where she managed to retreat to a side of the room where no one really went. This gave Beth the chance to watch the party, before noticing there was a man besides her doing his best to keep from staring at the blonde. Looking him over, Beth bit at her stained bottom lip as she noticed his hair covered most his masked face leaving just slivers of his eyes to peak through.

His mask was nice covering almost all his face but his mouth, something much similar to her silver one. His black shirt wasn't all the way buttoned leaving him to show off some faded raised scared and a black tank underneath. When her eyes drifted to his pants, she couldn't contain her giggle when she saw he was in a torn jeans and a pair of dirty boots. She actually liked his outfit, finding it quite dashing and very southern of him.

"Jeans. Wish I thought of that." Beth giggled as she spoke first to this man, who was taken by surprise when he realized she was talking to him. He let out a small laugh, clearly blushing underneath his mask.

"Couldn' find a pair of pants that was clean enough." the man replied, a beer in his hand. Beth only smiled as she leaned her shoulder against the wall, feeling the mixture of the several whiskeys she had drank and the safety behind the mask giving her confidence to engage this man more. "Didn' expect this many people."

"Neither did I. I didn' think people would have gotten so into the idea." Beth replied before sticking her hand out, growing use to introducing herself as the name she picked from the list. "I'm 'Haley' for the night. And you?"

"Mac." He grunted his voice rough as he stared down at his beer almost shy. "Nice to meet you 'Haley'."

"You as well 'Mac'." Beth smiled toward 'Mac', her small hands holding her half drank beverage close to her body. He was clearly older than she was by the strands of white stringing through his beard, but something about that appealed him more to her. Maybe it was the small smirk that graced his lips as he looked at the blonde. "So, I take it someone convinced you to come."

"How'd ya guess?" The man laughed as Beth's smile only got wider, her lips pressing against the rim of her glass.

"Cause I was too." She replied, the loud music that had been playing all night starting to fade out to her as she moved closer to 'Mac' to hear him better. "I love your mask."

"Thanks..I made it myself." Daryl couldn't believe the blonde he watched help her friend into the building was now with him in a secluded corner, chatting with him. 'Haley's' smile was near contagious, and felt very familiar to Daryl, but he couldn't put his finger from where in the company.

"Wow, you did an amazing job." The blonde marveled, as she suddenly stuck her hand out to brush his hair from his face. Like instinct Daryl flinched away from her, causing her pretty blue eyes to widen. "Oh I am so sorry; I jus' wanted to get a better look at the craftsmanship."

"Sorry, ain't use to people touchin' me is all." Daryl responded, moving back toward her, his face slightly pink from embarrassment from his reaction. It made him very grateful for the mask, it was as if the thing gave him confidence while shielding his awkwardness as well; all with the mixture of beers he had. "You can brush my hair out of the way if ya want, 'Haley'."

'Haley' blushed as she timidly this time stuck her hand out to push away the strands of hair. As she did this, not only was she able to see the detailed designed edges as well as his piercing blue eyes that were hiding behind his hair. They're eyes met for a moment, and the blonde was quick to look away as she back away withdrawing her hand.

"I love the detail you put into it, it looks like it professionally done. How did you manage to do it?" The blonde asked, and Daryl's smirk turned into a smile. Even with not being used to having someone interested in him, there was something genuine about this woman; she was truly interested in him then only to make small talk.

"I, uh, build things on my free time." Daryl couldn't stop himself from asking her the next question, surprising both of them. "You wanna dance?"

"Yea, sure." 'Haley' smiled brightly as he led her to the dance floor; a part of him kicking himself. He had no idea how to dance, what possessed him to even think of asking.

Standing awkwardly on the dance floor, the two stood there staring at each other for a moment; both unsure how to proceed. Beth took a deep breath as she slipped her arms around his neck, feeling 'Mac's' hands on her waist. The two didn't really move, only swaying since it became very apparent the man didn't know how to dance, but it didn't bother Beth. She was feeling adventurous as Haley, nothing like shy, sweet Beth.

"So, what other things can you make?" Beth asked after a few minutes of silence.
The older man's eyes never left hers from the moment they started to do their awkward movement that they hoped was dancing.

"Anything really. I make mostly arrows for my crossbow to save money on bolts." 'Mac' shrugged, allowing Beth to feel his strong muscles under his shirt. When the song started to become more upbeat, the two exited the dance floor, finding their way to the bar together; chatting along the way.

For the rest of the night the two were glued together, laughing and sitting close to each other; either at a far enough table away from everyone, or in one of the more secluded corners. Beth was well intoxicated after several trips to the bar with 'Mac', feeling herself being more bold as time went on. He must have felt the same, since there soon became light touches here and there on their arms or their hands brushing against each other, creating electricity between the two.

Beth knew that this wasn't the man's intentions when she started to talk to him, to get her drunk and more loose feeling. He didn't want to be there as much as she didn’t; now she hoped he was as happy as she was that she went. Neither noticed that the party was even starting to dwindle down as the large clock showed it was growing closer to two in the morning. They were too wrapped in talking to one another.

"I gotta know your real name." Daryl spoke suddenly, finally taking notice that there was only nearly a dozen people left from a large crowd. He knew the party was drawing to a close, but he found he didn't want it to; he wanted to stay there and talk to this beautiful woman, who he didn't need to know how she looked to start to like her. 'Haley' only smiled sadly, shaking her head.

"I can' tell you. Part of the rule remember?" Before either knew it, Daryl had kissed her, their masks clanking together slightly. The kiss was simple and quick, but it was enough to light their worlds on fire. 'Haley' didn't move after Daryl pulled away shocked with himself.

"Fuck the rules." He whispered his lips close to hers. 'Haley' opened her mouth to give him her name, when the redhead she had arrived with appeared suddenly.

"HHHHaaalllleeeyyy." The redhead sang, knowing clearly that she was interrupting something. It was obvious to Daryl the drunk woman knew what she was doing as she pushed herself between the two. "Cab's here. We gotta go."

"Okay, I'll be right behind you." the blonde replied giving Daryl a sad smile, the red head looked over Daryl disapprovingly before starting to move slowly away from the two. 'Haley' then moved her hands to her necklace and unclasped it. Slipping it into Daryl's hand, she smiled. "Here. Maybe this will help you find me."

Daryl stood there shocked as the blonde pressed her lips against his once more, before hurrying to follow her friend out of the building; leaving the older man to marvel down at the locket with a music note imprinted on it. Opening it, there was nothing for a picture, but an inscription that said 'Music of the heart'. Looking up toward the door, where the beautiful blonde had exited, Daryl smirked holding onto the locket tightly. He was going to find out who she was; he was going to find her.