Liora stood in front of the mirror. There was only an hour before the dinner and the dress she had chosen to wear didn’t look to fit. How could it be too tight when she had worn this same dress on her last visit?

The seam looked like it was about to pop, and the hem was four inches off the floor. She couldn’t have grown that much in just four months.

Her heart stopped at the sound of knocking, as she turned in time to see the young man enter the room. He wore a nicely fitted shirt and pants. His cape the appropriate length off the floor. If anyone was growing like a weed it was Devral, yet his clothing fit perfectly.

“Liora,” The young man paused, “Uh…”

By his reaction she could tell he didn’t know what to do. In most situations a gentleman would compliment a lady, but never had he been prepared for this. Liora didn’t want a compliment anyway. She would have known it was just her friend trying to be nice.

“Shut up.” She blurted.

The sound of a popping seam made her grab for her side. The material pulled tight on her shoulders, while the top button at the back of the dress stayed undone.She didn’t want to hear anything Devral had to say. She felt bad enough already and he normally made things worse.

“I didn’t say anything.”

“I don’t care. Shut up.”

His hands went up to surrender, at hearing the sharp bitterness in her voice. Tears watered in the corner of her eyes, as she forced back tear. Devral would use this against her. If she let him see her cry, he would never let her live it done.

Devral noticed her gripping the material of the dress. It must have been embarrassing for her, to have him there. Liora was always dressed so nicely. Her clothes were always the latest fashions. Most of the other girls’ spoke of her choice in clothing, and she always caught the boys’ attention.

If he wanted to he could easily make her feel worse. He could tell others about this situation and news of her fashion malfunction would spread like wildfire. Before, when he was younger, he may have considered doing that. Not now… not after realizing how words could hurt someone as much as any weapon.

Now, as he looked at the girl he felt sorry for her. Liora was a strong person but there was a lot of pressure on her, just like there was on him.

Being stuck in the undersized garment was probably a huge blow to her self-esteem.

Somehow he had to make her feel better? There had to be something he could say to make light of the situation.

“Well, that’s not the tightest situation you’ve been in.” He noticed the girl glare at him in the reflection of the mirror. Had she expected him to say something else?

After a moment, the glare faded. The corner of her mouth twitched, before he heard her snort.

“Very true.” More seams popped, as she chuckled.