The next day after work, Jay and I set off to Macy’s to find outfits for Janine’s wedding. I was already feeling a bit nervous about shopping, but I was determined to make it a positive experience. As we entered the store, the sight of the antique elevator made my heart race.

“Are you okay?” Jay asked, noticing my hesitation.

“I… I’m just a bit scared of old elevators,” I admitted, my voice trembling slightly.

Jay gave me a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry, I’m right here with you. We’ll be fine.”

With his support, I managed to step into the creaky elevator. It rattled and groaned as it ascended, but Jay kept talking to me, distracting me from my anxiety. By the time we reached the top floor, I felt a wave of relief.

“See? We made it,” Jay said, giving me a playful nudge. “Now let’s find you something amazing to wear.”

I took a deep breath, feeling more at ease as we stepped off the elevator. The floor was filled with racks upon racks of dresses, each more beautiful than the last. Jay and I began to sift through the selections, pulling out different options and holding them up for inspection.

“How about this one?” Jay asked, holding up a sleek, midnight blue gown.

“It’s beautiful,” I said, admiring the rich color. “But maybe something a little lighter for a wedding?”

Jay nodded, putting the dress back on the rack. We continued to search, occasionally getting distracted by particularly flashy or unusual dresses. Jay pulled out a bright red sequined number and held it up with a smirk.

“This one might be a bit much,” he joked.

I laughed, shaking my head. “Definitely not my style, but thanks for the effort.”

We eventually found a section with a variety of elegant dresses, perfect for a wedding. I picked out a few that caught my eye—a soft pink chiffon dress, a flowing lavender gown, and a classic black dress with lace detailing.

“Let’s start with these,” I said, gathering the dresses and heading to the fitting rooms.

Jay waited outside as I tried on the first dress, the pink chiffon. I twirled in front of the mirror, admiring the way the fabric flowed around me, but it didn’t feel quite right. I stepped out to show Jay.

“What do you think?” I asked, giving a small spin.

“It’s nice,” Jay said, tilting his head thoughtfully. “But I think we can find something that suits you even better.”

I nodded, heading back to try the next dress. The lavender gown was beautiful, but as I looked in the mirror, I realized it wasn’t flattering on me. With a sigh, I went to try the last dress—the classic black one with lace detailing.

The dress was so tight that I could barely move, and with each tug, the fabric seemed to constrict even more. I started to panic, my breath coming in quick, shallow bursts. My hands were shaking, and I didn’t know how to stop the overwhelming sensation of claustrophobia that was gripping me.

Sensing that something was wrong and it was taking me too long to get out, Jay came next to the door. “Hey, are you okay in there?” he asked, his voice filled with concern.

I tried to respond, but my words were muffled by the layers of fabric stuck over my head. My hands were in the air, unable to reach the zipper, and I realized with horror that my underwear was exposed.

“Jay, I…” I started, but the fabric swallowed my words.

Jay didn’t wait for me to finish. He opened the door and stepped inside, quickly assessing the situation. His eyes widened briefly at the sight of me trapped and exposed, but he quickly composed himself.

“Hey, it’s okay. I’m here,” he said soothingly, moving closer. “Just try to take deep breaths.”

I nodded, struggling to calm my frantic breathing. Jay gently took hold of the fabric, carefully untangling it from my head and arms. “I’ve got you. Just keep breathing,” he repeated, his voice steady and reassuring.

His hands were warm and steady as he worked to free me from the dress. Despite the embarrassing situation, his calm demeanor started to ease my panic. He kept talking to me, his voice a steady anchor in the storm of my anxiety.

Finally, Jay managed to pull the dress over my head, freeing me from its tight grasp. I stood there in my underwear, my face burning with embarrassment. Jay handed me my clothes and turned around to give me privacy while I quickly got dressed.

“Thank you, Jay,” I said, my voice soft and filled with gratitude. “I don’t know what I would have done without you.”

“Anytime,” he replied, turning back with a reassuring smile. “Let’s find a dress that fits this time, okay?”

After the dress incident, I needed to take a break before I could muster up the courage to try on another one. My heart was still racing, and I needed a moment to collect myself. Jay, sensing my need for a distraction, suggested we head to the men’s section to look for the suit.

“Let’s take a break and find something for me,” Jay said gently, guiding me towards the escalator. “We can come back to the dresses later.”

I nodded, grateful for the reprieve. As we descended to the men’s section, I focused on taking deep, calming breaths. The hustle and bustle of the store helped to ground me, and I started to feel a bit more composed.

In the men’s department, Jay quickly found the suit he was looking for. He held it up against himself, checking the fit in the mirror. “What do you think?” he asked, turning to me.

“It’s perfect,” I said, genuinely impressed. The cut was sleek and stylish, and I could already imagine how well it would complement his body.

When Jay emerged from the fitting room, my jaw dropped. The suit fit him perfectly, accentuating his broad shoulders and lean frame. The dark fabric contrasted sharply with his green eyes, making them sparkle even more intensely. His posture exuded confidence, and every inch of him screamed sophistication. He looked like a god, a vision straight out of a dream, and I couldn’t help but zoom out into my thoughts and fantasies.

For a moment, I forgot where I was, lost in the sight of him. My mind wandered, imagining us at the wedding, dancing close together under the soft glow of the reception lights. His hands rested lightly on my waist, guiding me effortlessly across the dance floor. The way his breath might feel warm against my ear as he leaned in to whisper something just for me. I could almost feel the fabric of his suit under my fingertips, and the heat from his body radiating through the layers of clothing.

As he adjusted his collar, my eyes traced the line of his jaw and the strong column of his neck, down to the broad expanse of his chest. My heart raced, a mix of nervous anticipation and undeniable attraction coursing through me. The way he looked at me, with that easy, confident smile, made my knees feel weak.

“How do I look?” Jay asked, snapping me back to reality. His voice was warm and slightly teasing as if he knew exactly the effect he was having on me.

“You look incredible,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady despite the blush creeping up my neck. “That suit is perfect.”

Jay grinned, clearly pleased with my reaction.

“Thanks. I like it too. But I think a black button-down shirt and a thin tie would complete the look. They’re on the floor below. I’ll be right back,” Jay said, giving me a reassuring smile before heading towards the elevator.

As Jay made his way downstairs to find the shirt and tie, I stayed behind, shuffling through the racks of dresses. The store was bustling with activity, shoppers moving from one section to another, the air filled with the soft hum of conversations and background music.

I flipped through a series of dresses, admiring the various styles and fabrics. A deep emerald green dress caught my eye, its satin material shimmering under the store’s lights. I pulled it out for a closer look, feeling the smooth texture between my fingers. The dress was beautiful, but I wasn’t sure if the color would suit me.

Continuing my search, I found a soft blush-colored gown with delicate floral embroidery. The design was intricate and elegant, and I wondered if it would be the right choice for Janine’s wedding.

As I moved further down the aisle, a vibrant cobalt blue dress with a flowing skirt and off-the-shoulder neckline grabbed my attention. It was striking and bold, a little outside of my usual comfort zone, but I felt a spark of excitement at the thought of trying something different.

By the time Jay returned with his black button-down shirt I was still not decided which dress would fit me.

“Now, let’s find a tie,” Jay said, leading the way to the accessories section. We browsed through the racks of ties, considering different colors and patterns. Jay picked out a few options, holding them up for me to see.

“Which one do you like best?” he asked, showing me a slim black tie, a silver one, and a subtly patterned dark blue tie.

I considered the options, then pointed to the black tie. “I think this one looks the best. It’s classic and will go perfectly with your suit.”

Jay nodded, smiling. “Good choice. I’ll go with this one.”

As we made our way to the fitting rooms so Jay could try on the complete outfit, I felt my anxiety begin to melt away. The process of helping Jay choose his clothes had provided a welcome distraction, and his calm, supportive presence had a soothing effect on me.

Jay stepped into the fitting room to change, and I waited outside, reflecting on the day’s events. Despite the earlier panic, I was grateful for how everything had turned out. Jay had been there for me, helping me through one of my most embarrassing moments without judgment.

When Jay emerged from the fitting room, he looked even more stunning than before. The black button-down shirt and slim tie completed the look, making him appear effortlessly sophisticated.

“Wow,” I said, unable to hide my admiration. “You look amazing.”

Jay grinned, clearly pleased with my reaction. “Thanks. I’m glad you helped me pick these out.”

After purchasing his outfit, we made our way back to the women’s section. I felt more confident this time, ready to find a dress that fit. With Jay’s encouragement, I tried on a few more dresses until I found the perfect one—a beautiful phthalo green, flowing gown that made me feel like a princess.

“That dress is perfect on you,” Jay said, his eyes lighting up with approval. “You’re going to look incredible at the wedding.”

I smiled, feeling a sense of accomplishment. “Thanks, Jay. I couldn’t have done this without you.”

“Anytime,” he replied, giving me a reassuring smile. “Now, let’s get out of here. How about we check out those perfumes you wanted to see?”

As we headed towards the elevator to go back downstairs, Jay suddenly stopped. “Wait a minute,” he said, looking at the shirt in his hand. “The alarm tag is still attached. I need to go back to get it removed.”

He handed me my bags and said, “You go ahead and take the elevator. I’ll meet you downstairs by the perfume section next to the entrance.”

I nodded, not fully processing what he said, and stepped into the elevator alone. The doors closed, and as the elevator began its descent, the reality of being alone in the old, creaky elevator began to sink in. The events in the fitting room and the general anxiety that shopping had brought on were building up inside me.

Suddenly, the elevator jerked and came to an abrupt stop. The lights flickered, and the elevator refused to move. Panic surged through me, my breath quickening as the walls seemed to close in. My hands shook, and I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I pressed the button frantically, but nothing happened.

Tears started streaming down my face as I felt utterly helpless. I tried to take deep breaths, but the fear was overwhelming. The few minutes felt like an eternity, and I couldn’t stop crying, not sure what to do.

Finally, with a jolt, the elevator began to move again. It slowly made its way to the first floor, and when the doors opened, I saw Jay standing there, looking puzzled and concerned.

The moment I saw him, the floodgates opened. I rushed out of the elevator and jumped into his arms, bursting into tears. Jay held me tightly, his hand gently rubbing my back as he tried to comfort me.

“It’s okay, you’re safe now,” he whispered soothingly. “I’ve got you.”

I clung to him, sobbing into his shoulder as the panic slowly began to subside. Jay continued to hold me, his presence a steady anchor in the midst of my turmoil. Gradually, my breathing steadied, and I felt a sense of relief wash over me.

“I’m so sorry,” I mumbled between sobs. “The elevator stopped, and I didn’t know what to do.”

“Shh, it’s okay,” Jay said softly. “You don’t have to apologize. Anyone would be scared in that situation.”

I pulled back slightly, looking up at him through tear-filled eyes. “Thank you, Jay. For everything.”

I realized I had had enough shopping for one day. The events in the fitting room, the elevator scare, and the general anxiety had left me feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. All I wanted was to leave the store as soon as possible.

“Actually, Jay,” I said, taking a deep breath, “I think I’ve had enough shopping for today. If I had known it would be this hard, I would have just worn my pink bunny costume and called it a day. But thanks to you, I have a dress to wear.”

Jay chuckled softly, understanding my fatigue. “I get it. It’s been a long day. Let’s get out of here.”

We made our way towards the exit, the weight of the day’s events starting to lift as we moved closer to leaving the store. As we stepped outside, the cool evening air felt refreshing against my skin.

“Thanks again, Jay,” I said, turning to him with a grateful smile. “I appreciate everything you did today.”

“You’re welcome,” he replied, his eyes warm and sincere. “I’m glad I could help. Now, go home, relax, and take it easy. You deserve it.”

We parted ways, and I made my way back home, feeling a mixture of relief and gratitude. As soon as I walked through my front door, I kicked off my shoes, dropped my bags, and collapsed onto the couch. The thought of curling up, turning on the TV, and falling asleep without worrying about any outfits was incredibly appealing.

I wrapped myself in a cozy blanket, turned on a mindless TV show, and let out a deep sigh. Despite the challenges of the day, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I had a dress to wear to Janine’s wedding, and I had an amazing friend in Jay who had been there for me every step of the way.

As I drifted off to sleep, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the day’s unexpected adventures and the bond that had grown between Jay and me.

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