The Debut

Counterfeit Hearts
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The aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingled with the gentle chatter of patrons as Karina and Winter sat in their favorite corner of the cozy café. Sunlight streamed through the large windows, casting a warm glow on their faces as they sipped their drinks and discussed the intricacies of their fake dating scheme.

"Okay, so let's go over this one more time," Winter said, setting down her cappuccino. "We've been dating for two months, we met through mutual friends, and our first date was a romantic picnic in the park. Got it?"

Karina nodded, her brow furrowed in concentration. "Two months, mutual friends, picnic. Got it. But wait, what if they ask for more details about the picnic? What did we eat? What did we talk about?"

Winter waved a dismissive hand. "We had sandwiches and fruit, and we talked about our hopes and dreams or something equally sappy. It doesn't matter, just make something up. The key is to be confident and consistent."

Karina sighed, rubbing her temples. "Easy for you to say. You're a lawyer, you're used to thinking on your feet. I'm just a doctor, I'm used to following protocols and checklists."

Winter smirked, leaning back in her chair. "Well, lucky for you, you have me as your fake girlfriend coach. Stick with me, Yu, and you'll be spinning tall tales like a pro in no time."

Suddenly, their phones buzzed in unison, breaking the comfortable lull in conversation. Karina reached for her device, her brow furrowing as she read the message. "It's an invitation to Ryujin's birthday party next weekend," she said, glancing up at Winter.

A slow, mischievous grin spread across Winter's face, her eyes sparkling with the promise of a new plan. "Karina," she said, leaning forward conspiratorially, "this is the perfect opportunity for us to debut our relationship. Think about it - all our friends will be there, it's a big social event... we couldn't ask for a better stage to sell our couple act."

Karina bit her lip, a flicker of doubt crossing her features. "I don't know, Winter. What if I can't pull it off? What if I slip up and everyone sees right through us?"

Winter reached across the table, her hand finding Karina's and giving it a reassuring squeeze. "Hey, don't worry so much. It's just one night, and I'll be right there with you. We just need to hold hands a few times, maybe share a couple of jokes... it'll be a piece of cake."

Karina took a deep breath, letting Winter's confidence wash over her. "Okay, you're right. I can do this. But," she added, a new concern blooming in her mind, "I have no idea what to wear. I want to look the part, you know?"

Winter's grin turned sly as she hopped to her feet, tugging Karina up with her. "Leave that to me. We're going shopping, and I'm treating you to the perfect girlfriend debut outfit."

Karina's eyes widened. "Shopping? Now? But I have a shift at the hospital in two hours!"

Winter rolled her eyes, already dragging Karina towards the door. "Please, like I'd let a little thing like work get in the way of our grand debut. Besides, I'm sure your patients can survive without you for one afternoon. This is an important couple business, Yu."

Karina sputtered, trying to keep up with Winter's brisk pace. "Important couple business? We're not even a real couple!"

Winter threw a grin over her shoulder, her eyes twinkling with mirth. "Details, details. Now come on, we have some serious shopping to do. I'm thinking something in deep blue or maybe a rich burgundy, to complement your dark eyes and hair."

The bell above the café door jingled as they stepped out into the bright afternoon sun, Winter's hand still clasped firmly in Karina's. A short walk later, they found themselves in front of a high-end boutique, the kind Karina normally wouldn't dare to enter. Winter, however, seemed right at home as she pushed open the door, the soft tinkling of chimes announcing their arrival.

Inside, Winter flitted between the racks, pulling out dresses and holding them up to Karina with a critical eye. Karina tried on outfit after outfit, each one more daring than the last, until Winter finally stepped back, a look of satisfaction on her face. "That's the one," she said, her voice soft with approval.

Karina turned to face the mirror, her breath catching in as she took in her reflection. The midnight blue dress clung to her curves like a second skin, the delicate lace detailing adding a touch of elegance to the otherwise daring cut.

"Winter," she breathed, "it's beautiful. But are you sure it's not too much?"

Winter came up behind her, meeting her eyes in the mirror with a smoldering intensity that made Karina's heart skip a beat. "Karina, you look incredible. Trust me, every head will turn when we make our entrance."

Karina bit her lip, still unsure. "I don't know, Winter. This dress is gorgeous, but it's a bit pricier than what I usually go for. I may be a doctor, but I'm still paying off med school loans, you know?"

Winter waved a dismissive hand. "Please, what's the point of being a high-powered lawyer if I can't treat my fake girlfriend to a little luxury every now and then? Besides, consider it an investment in our relationship. We need to look the part if we're going to sell this thing."

Karina sighed, but she couldn't help the small smile that tugged at her lips. "Alright, fine. But just this once, okay? I may be a doctor, but I'm still a fan of a good bargain."

Winter grinned, already heading for the register. "Duly noted, Dr. Thrifty. But trust me, when you see how amazing you look in this dress, you'll realize it's worth every penny."

Karina shook her head, amused by Winter's enthusiasm. "If you say so. But I'm drawing the line at designer shoes. These feet are used to sensible clogs, not stilettos."

Winter let out an exaggerated sigh. "Fine, fine. We'll find you a nice, sensible pair of heels. But mark my words, Yu, one of these days I'm going to get you into a pair of Louboutins, even if it kills me."

Karina laughed, following Winter to the register. "Good luck with that, counselor. You may be persuasive in the courtroom, but when it comes to shoes, I'm unswayable."

Winter just smirked, a glint of challenge in her eye. "We'll see about that. I can be very convincing when I want to be."

With that, she handed over her credit card, ignoring Karina's protests. Karina had to admit, it was nice to be spoiled a little, even if it was all just part of the act.

And if she found herself looking forward to their next shopping excursion, well... that was just because she enjoyed a good bargain hunt. It definitely had nothing to do with the company.
 

Definitely not.
 

With the dress carefully packaged and tucked under Winter's arm, they made their way back out into the bustling streets, the anticipation of the upcoming party hanging between them.
 


 

The night of the party arrived in a blur of nervous energy and last-minute preparations. Karina paced her apartment, the butterflies in her stomach growing more restless with each passing minute. When the doorbell finally rang, she took a deep breath, smoothing down the front of her dress before opening the door to reveal Winter, looking effortlessly stunning in a tailored black jumpsuit.

Winter's eyes raked over Karina's form, a slow, appreciative smile spreading across her face. "Well, well, well," she purred, "don't you clean up nice, Yu."

Karina ducked her head, feeling a blush creep up her neck at the blatant admiration in Winter's gaze. "You don't look so bad yourself," she managed, proud of how steady her voice sounded.

As Winter stepped into the apartment, she suddenly turned to face Karina with a serious expression. "Listen, before we go, I think we should discuss the possibility of, you know, kissing."

Karina's heart stuttered in her chest. "Kissing?"

Winter nodded, her gaze intense. "Yeah. I mean, if we really want to sell this couple act, a kiss or two might be necessary. Nothing too over the top, just enough to make it believable."

Karina swallowed hard, trying to ignore the sudden dryness in . "Right. Yeah, that makes sense. We should probably keep it simple though, right? No need to go overboard."

Winter's lips twitched into a smirk. "Don't worry, Yu. I'll keep the tongue to a minimum."

Karina's face flamed, and she smacked Winter's arm. "Winter! I'm being serious here."

Winter chuckled, holding up her hands in surrender. "Alright, alright. Simple and sweet it is. We'll play it by ear, see what the moment calls for."

Karina nodded, taking a deep breath to calm her racing heart. "Okay. Yeah. We can do this."

Winter grinned, offering Karina her arm with a flourish. "Damn right we can. Now, let's go make some jaws drop, girlfriend."

 

The drive to the party was filled with last-minute drills, Winter quizzing Karina on the details of their fake relationship.

"Okay, rapid fire round," Winter said, glancing over at Karina from the passenger seat. "Where was our first kiss?"

Karina smiled, recalling the detail from Winter's dossier. "In the pouring rain. You said it was the most romantic thing you'd ever done."

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Comments

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ilymina
#1
Chapter 1: 1: I definitely hope this isn't angst cause I can't handle that any longer
pinkishsky #2
Chapter 7: Loving this :')
rinagerie
#3
Chapter 7: skskskkss neeed mooooore
baboYS
#4
Chapter 7: Hahahahaahaha... can't wait for the next chapter
kariselleheart 21 streak #5
Chapter 7: i love this story. im big on angst so i wonder how itll be once karina or winter breaks 😭 my guess is karina but ahhhhh!!! looking forward to the next update

for pobs i think i like makestar, soundwave or ktown4u. this tweet has a thread of the pobs!
https://x.com/aespaintl/status/1783060973328494857?s=46
jushshhh 19 streak #6
Chapter 7: Dr.Yu what are you doing on the floor~ lol 😹
fanficethusiast #7
Chapter 6: this is so good 😭
dork_seulgi_k
909 streak #8
Chapter 6: hskshsjhdjdh
triggeredace
#9
Chapter 6: 🥰🥰🥰
rinagerie
#10
Chapter 4: wow this fic's actually soooo goooood. can't wait for more chapters