Sunday, July 28, 2013

THE HOTNESS: A Modern Teen Pride and Prejudice (chapter twenty-four: Another Sister)

Chapter twenty-four
Another Sister
(*please note – some of the rest of this story was ‘researched’ by Honey and I prior to writing about the events that took place. ie: we weren’t always in the room. Just in case you’re wondering how we know this entire story – well you’ll find out at the end!)
    While Mackenzie planned her next social move, Paige Bennet sat with her sister.      “I’m so embarrassed, Paige,” Shiloh said. “I think it was the car drive. I had no idea Mackenzie could drive so fast along windy roads. I should have told her I get motion sickness.”
    “I think that was the whole point. Are you sure lunch is a good idea? Mackenzie is worse than Darcy,” Paige said icily.
    “At least Darcy is making an effort. The minute he heard you were coming over he and Ryan planned to hang out here as well. I think he wanted an excuse to meet up with you again.”
    “That’s funny, Shiloh. I think Ryan wanted an excuse to meet up with you.”
    Shiloh smiled.
    “Mackenzie told me his sister Blair is coming to the pre-prom pool party.”
    At this point Shiloh shut her eyes.
   “I feel so woozy now, Paige. I just need to rest… before… we go…” Shiloh yawned. 
    Paige was left to her own devices once her sister was asleep, so she wandered through the hall and into an expansive living room that had a balcony overlooking the pool area. Paige noticed Darcy running on the manicured lawn with Ryan’s dog, Ruff, named so because of the snuffling noises he made through his snout when he was breathing. He was a rescue dog. Mackenzie had tired of him once he’d refused to come when called, sit when told, and catch when expected. Darcy seemed to have no such problems with the large animal licking his face. Paige noticed Darcy throw Ruff a ball once again, then Darcy pulled off his shirt to reveal ripped abs as he and Ryan jumped into the pool.
    By now, Paige was on the second floor walking downstairs. Through the hall window she noticed a younger girl with hair the color of lemons standing on her balcony next door. She wore a fashionable shift dress in the latest style. Darcy smiled and waved when he saw her and Paige realized the young girl, who looked about Rebel’s height and age, must be his sister, Blair. So she was the girl he’d been communicating with these last few days. Blair waved back from her patio.
   Paige shrugged, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” she thought to herself.  Shiloh assured her she’d be fine after a rest. Paige wandered downstairs and walked into the lush pool area with her robe on and her debate notes in her hand.
   “How is Shiloh?” Ryan asked, returning to the patio, car keys in hand after he’d dropped me home (we drove with the car roof down and talked all about my new television show. I had to admit, if Darcy’s friend was this nice, perhaps we’d misinterpreted Darcy as well.)
   “Oh, she’s fine,” Paige replied with a smile. Ryan was always so polite.
   The group were playing piggy in the middle and Ryan was in the middle. Mackenzie sent a shot flying over the water and the soccer ball skimmed off the surface and hit Ryan squarely on the nose.
    “Thanks Mackenzie,” Ryan said, as if he was annoyed. Moments later he was smiling again.
   Darcy’s sister came out of the guest house in her pink polka dot one piece.
  “Hi,” she said, “I’m Blair, Darcy is my brother.” Blair spoke in a refined Australian accent and beamed at her brother with pride.
   “Hi,” Paige smiled, “I’m Paige Bennett.”
  “Oh, I know, I’ve heard all about you!”
  “Really?” Paige asked, looking at Darcy with surprise. “Not all bad, I hope.” She could only imagine what Darcy had said to his sister about, “the pushy girl in his debate class.”
   “No. My brother said at his former school - an all boy’s school - you would have outshone any competition. He said you were the rightful winner.”
   “Oh… thanks,” Paige said, looking at Darcy. She wasn’t sure if that was a compliment.     
   Meanwhile, Darcy dived into the pool and swam a few laps in a most competitive way. Paige couldn’t help but hide her smile when Ruff jumped in and started following him. Then Mackenzie pulled herself out of the water, making sure her behind was in full view of Darcy and announced loudly, “Oh Darcy, get that animal out of here. He could have fleas or… anything. When they brought him from the shelter he was covered in mange. C’mon Paige, since your sister seems out to it, I guess it’s up to you and me to check all the arrangements…”
    Mackenzie suddenly acted like Paige’s BFF as she looped her arm through hers, which was not what Paige had expected.
    After they’d decided on drinks, lunch was served – a surprise barbeque cooked by Darcy and Ryan’s housekeepers who sat with them to eat. Paige was still in a state of shock that Darcy and Ryan were joining them for lunch.  Darcy was ‘over’ playing soccer on a wet field. Paige hadn’t expected him to be here or she’d never have come. But both boys seemed so… so human on home turf.
   Lunch was served by the housekeeper. It was pretty amazing: roasted chicken and fresh French bread and potato salad. Apart from her mom’s cooking, it was the best food Paige had ever tasted and she was surprised when she asked for the bread, that Darcy quickly passed it to her, then lingered when he touched her hand.
     What a freak, Paige thought. One minute he hates me. Next, he’s acting almost as if… as if, he likes me.