Chapter 7: ...Some Party, Eh?
This time, Erika had a different tone in her voice; almost as if she had grown a spine. Maybe hanging out with Kelly did that to her. “No.”
Meredith stared at the paused movie. “Does Erika usually take this long in the shower? I mean, I know she was covered in half-eaten pizza, but come on!”
Julia shrugged her shoulders. “Yeah, but she should’ve finished by about now.” Something in her gut just didn’t feel right, and it wasn’t the food or the drink. “I’m gonna to tell her to speed the hell up. Who’s with me?”
Kat stifled a giggle. “You need a posse to tell someone to get out of the shower?” Julia grinned back.
“You wouldn’t believe what it takes to get my sister out.” All three remaining gals decided to humor Julia, partly because they wanted to watch the rest of the film.
All four of them walked up the stairs, knocking on the bathroom door. “Hey Erika,” Kat said, “Dry off and get your butt out of the shower! We’d like to finish the flick!”
There was a ruckus, but none of it came from the bathroom. A great deal of muffled argument seemed to be emanating from Kelly’s bedroom. “Odd,” Meredith commented, “She’s supposed to be asleep.”
Kat looked at Mary for a second, before deciding to be the first to investigate. She cautiously walked up to the room and stood aghast at the sight before her. Erika was on her rear and against the wall, her bra ripped off her person. She was being held against the wall by a visibly angered Fiona, while Jade was holding Kelly down to her bed. Kat just motioned for everyone else to approach the threshold.
Julia immediately went through the door, Mary following soon after, the two of them working quickly to stop the fracas. In a flash, Jade and Fiona found themselves thrown to the floor courtesy of the party guests.
“Jade,” Fiona commented, “this wasn’t part of the plan.”
The mastermind behind their operation, miffed at the fact their plan had been outright shot down, grimaced. “Yeah Fiona, I know.” She briefly took a glance at the people surrounding her. Kat, Julia, and Meredith’s faces were all etched with unadulterated anger; while Mary’s eyes were loaded with cold fury. Her stepsister looked like a deer in the headlights, her face frozen in stone. “Time for Plan B.”
Both siblings shoved their way out of the room, running from the bedroom and the house itself. Erika slowly began to breathe again as Kat asked if she was alright. “I’m fine,” she remarked, “I’m fine. Although I’m going to have to buy a new bra next chance I get.” Erika got back on her feet, trying to cover her exposed breasts with her arms as she stood over Kelly. “Is she-”
Meredith nodded her head. “She’s fine. Kelly’s actually fallen back asleep. They didn’t manage to do anything.”
Erika stared at the floor in shame. “I’m sorry about my sisters. What they tried to do”-
Mary cut her old friend off. “Stop right there. They’re your stepsisters, Erika. You’re not their keeper.”
There was a collective pause about the room. “Alright,” Julia commented, “time to continue the movie!” All of the girls sans Kelly began to shuffle out of the room, but Erika found that something was tugging on her torso.
“Mmm...” Kelly had snaked her arms around her. “Teddy...” There was a tiny little smile on her face as well.
The following morning was not a pleasant one for Miss Kingsley. It felt like her brain was bouncing off the sides of her head. She also felt a little off-balance for some odd reason. Regardless, she felt a little better after she hopped out of the shower. Once she got dressed and out of the bathroom, though...
“Well, look who’s still alive.” Meredith’s sarcasm was making Kelly’s head ring.
“Not so loud,” she moaned. “What the hell happened last night?”
“You want the long story or the short one?” Meredith asked as the two friends walked down the stairs.
“The one that doesn’t make my head feel like it’s been hit with a sledgehammer.” Kelly was careful enough to keep a hand on the railing.
Meredith took a deep breath as she recounted the previous night’s events. “In a nutshell, the Gruesome Twosome broke into the house, spiked your favorite drink, and tried to take advantage of you. Repeatedly.”
That helped sober up the Kingsley girl. “Wait, what?!?”
“Yeah,” her friend grimly noted. “If it weren’t for Erika, you probably wouldn’t be a virgin anymore. And the Andress girls would probably spread rumors of your, em, ‘misdeeds’ to the entire school.”
“Remind me what good that’ll do?”
“Well,” Meredith thought out loud, “it would probably ruin your reputation as a wholesome girl, you’d be called a slut, and make you extremely unpopular.”
Kelly blinked. “I keep forgetting that those two bitches have an IQ.”
“Fiona doesn’t,” Meredith replied. “Jade’s the brains behind that operation, remember?”
But Kelly didn’t hear that, instead letting her brain process that little detail about Erika to finally seep in. “Erika stood up for me?” A simple nod from Meredith put her in a brief daydream about Erika in a sexy dress, holding a sword, and holding her ever so closely-
-wait, where the hell did that come from?
“Yea, she also helped you shower and put you in bed.” The same daydream repeated, and her cheeks became flushed. She knew what flushed cheeks meant, but it didn’t have anything do with Erika, right? ...Right? “You okay?”
“No, I’m fine.” The two walked into the dining room where all four of the newcomers were busy eating breakfast and chatting. They all greeted the duo as they got their food. “The ‘rents have the day off, so they’re sleeping in.”
Breakfast was pleasant, though everyone in the room knew that today was opening night. Julia left first, deciding to walk home. Mary and Kat were next, Kat winking not so subtly at Erika while Mary pushed her out the door.
“Well um, this was great. We should do this again sometime. Minus the whole stepsisters thing, I mean, I- um-” Erika couldn’t really put it into words, but Kelly could get the gist of it.
“It’s cool. I mean, thanks so much for helping put this all together, I mean.” Kelly wasn’t usually tongue-tied, but being around Erika made her more conscious of what she was saying for some reason. She was about to walk away, but tripped over her own feet and bumped into Erika, her arms going around the girl unintentionally.
Erika couldn’t believe her eyes. Both of their faces were beet red from realizing the position they were now in- Kelly was unknowingly hugging Erika’s midsection, but her head was resting on top of Erika’s breasts. Quickly, Kelly let go of the hug and they both stood up, breathing heavily. Not knowing what else to do, Kelly hugged Erika again and said, “Thank you so much.” Erika returned the hug and savored the moment- this was as close to Kelly as she was going to get in her lifetime.
Their moment was interrupted by a knocking at the door. Erika and Kelly broke off the hug as Meredith instinctively went for the intercom button. “Who is it,” she asked.
“Pizza delivery guy, someone ordered three Grease Lover specials?”
Meredith looked at the intercom with some confusion, but Erika went for the door. “It’s alright,” she said. “I’ll handle this.”
The door opened to the sight of a tall and lanky black man standing with his hands in his pockets, his somewhat short hair messed up as if he had just rolled out of bed and yet he pulled it off as if it were cool. He chuckled as he took his hands out and said, “Hey!”
Erika gave a mock-frown. “Georgie Daniels! Where have you been?!?” But then she smiled, unable to keep up the façade anymore, and bear hugged him. “So good to see you again!”
Kelly stopped paying attention at that point. She didn’t feel a powerful pounding in her head from the hangover anymore; she now felt a hot pounding in her head for an entirely different reason.
“Alright, well I gotta go take Erika back to the battleaxe’s place. I’ll be watching the show with Morty and Gramps tomorrow. Break a leg!” And with that, Georgie walked out of the house to the car. Kelly now had a name for that feeling that had consumed for all of three point six seconds- jealousy.
Erika smiled as she turned to thank Kelly for her hospitality. “See you tonight,” she said as she left the house.
As the door closed behind Erika, Kelly let out a breath that she’d been holding in. “Am I the only one who was getting a mixed message there? I could’ve sworn that Erika was gay.”
Meredith looked calm, but a bit curious. “I didn’t know about Daniels. But you need to relax, Kelly. I’m almost positive that they aren’t an item.” She then left the room to get her things.
Kelly just stared at the door.
Kelly still couldn’t answer that question while she was in the dressing room for the show. She was dressed, Erika was dressed, they were both putting on make-up, and the night’s show was almost ready to roll.
The events of that morning were still echoing in her head, especially the look on Erika’s face when that man came to the door. Why couldn’t she just say that it was just ‘part of the plan’? Why couldn’t Erika be just like Meredith and be great friends? Why wasn’t any of this making sense?
“Are you alright?” Kelly jumped in her seat a little bit at the sound of Erika’s voice. Her friend appeared very concerned. “You’re shaking. Nervous much?”
‘Only because I can’t think straight while I’m around you.’ “A little,” Kelly admitted, “if only because of the show.” Erika appeared to believe that half-truth, and tried to assuage her ‘fear’.
“It’s all in your head,” she assured the popular girl, “there is nothing that can or will stop you from kicking ass out there.” Kelly could see a smile on her friend’s face, and it made her feel calm, happy, and nervous all at the same time.
The door to the room opened slightly, allowing both girls to see Mary’s head squeak through the door. “Places, ladies.” She went back behind the door not a moment later.
Erika smiled at Kelly again. “Break a leg.”
“...Why would I want to break my leg?”
The show was a riotous blast; the audience was roaring with laughter from start to finish. The crowd was standing up about halfway through the curtain call, and there was much cheering when Erika and Kelly took their bows.
Once they were finally back in the dressing room, Erika looked at her friend and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard them cheer that loudly before.”
Kelly was bear-hugged by an ecstatic Erika. “I can’t believe that we did it! You were great!” The hug seemed to last a bit long for both of them, especially Kelly, who couldn’t help but notice that Erika’s hair distinctly smelled like coconut.
The show of affection had to end at some point, and the two girls let go when the door opened to let the director in. “Congratulations, gals!” If Erika was ecstatic, then Mrs. Thatcher was ready to start bouncing off the walls. “It was a smashing success! I knew that you two were perfect to play the leading roles!” Both ladies blushed at the compliment, taking it in a completely different and unrelated direction. “Anyway, I’d best be off- my husband is waiting for me.”
As she left, Kelly and Erika began to redress, both of them sneaking peeks at the other when they thought their friend wasn’t looking. Erika couldn’t help herself- she’d seen everything during that little episode in the shower. But Kelly was just beginning to see her friend in a more affectionate light- and it was making her oogle her. It was a little disturbing to her because she’d never felt the urge to look at anyone like that, and partly because it was Erika she was staring at.
Kelly nervously smiled at Erika and told her that she’d see her tomorrow. Erika nodded as she struggled to put on her socks- damn things just would NOT go on. After two minutes of wrangling with those stupid things onto her feet, she slowly opened the door-
“I’m telling you Mary, it would be the greatest birthday present she’s ever gotten.” Kat seemed very eager for some reason.
“And I’m telling you, Kat- as much as I’d like to do that for her, the fact is that there is no way that Erika would want a threesome for her eighteenth birthday.” Erika’s jaw dropped as she heard the conversation. “She likes Kelly, remember?” Mary seemed intent on enjoying her orange soda.
“So then we could wrap Kelly up in wrapping paper and give her away!”
Mary shook her head. “Because she’ll actually agree to that.”
“Well, all else fails,” Kat grinned mischievously, “We could ask Kelly for a foursome.”
Mary spat out half a mouthful of orange-flavored soft drink. “That’s... unlikely.”
“Oh, come on! Like you’ve never looked at Kelly like that! We’ve both seen how Kelly is around her! And I know that Erika’s pretty hot- don’t deny it.” Erika felt faint when she saw Mary blush.
“That’s beside the point and you know it. We need a serious idea for what to get her...” It was at that point that Erika went back inside the dressing room to calm down. A threesome?!? There was a huge debate going on in her head- one side arguing that she really shouldn’t and go for Kelly, one side arguing that this would be a great way to become a woman, and this really perverted voice telling her to go for the foursome.
‘My god, since when was my mind so far in the gutter?’
That conversation still haunted her by the time she lied down on her bed. Not the lesbian part- she’d known that she liked women for quite some time. The fact that she might get... THAT for her birthday both scared and intrigued her. She was a virgin, yes, but she knew a few ‘things’ about sex. Whispers here and there in the school had led her to understand a few things about how that ‘thing’ was done.
And then there was what they’d said about Kelly. ‘How she was around me?’ Erika wracked her brains a bit. Kelly had certainly been very kind to her, helping her out time and time again... ‘What on earth were Kat and Mary talking about?’
As she went to sleep, she found herself in another dream. She was on the stage, and the only light on stage were two spotlights, and one of them-
“Kat? Mary?” Her two friends were making out on the floor on the stage in one of the lit spots. “What on earth are you doing?”
Kat grinned, her hand up Mary’s shirt. “Oh, come on. Like you’ve never wanted to try it.” Mary’s face was flushed at her lover’s blunt comment.
“Be fair, Kat- she helped us get together.”
“I know- but this is a dream, and we’re part of her subconscious. I can be as blunt as I damn well please. Plus, I don’t hear Erika telling me to stop.” she said as she began feeling up Mary again.
“B-but do we really have to makeout in here? Now?!?”
Kat shrugged. “Well, this IS a dream. There’s only one reason that we’re here like this- Erika wants to at least watch us.” Erika blushed and turned away from the two.
“I-I do not!” But it was definitely hard to argue with this ‘dream’ Kat.
“Oh COME ON,” Kat snickered, stopping the makeout session. “We’re figments of your imagination at the moment! The only reason we’d even be here like this is if you had at least THOUGHT about it!” And with that, Kat returned to pleasing the love of her life.
As Erika tried to ignore the two women behind her, she could see a third walking into the spotlight she was in. Erika oogled the new figure. “K-Kelly?”
Her friend was wearing nothing but a red bikini, and it took a great amount of willpower to pull her line of sight to Kelly’s face. “What the hell is going on here, Kel- WHY ARE YOU TAKING OFF YOUR CLOTHES?!?”
Kelly’s hands were mere inches from pulling the knot keeping her bikini on. “Come on, it’s not like you haven’t seen me naked before. You really want this, and your imagination needs a kick start.”
The commotion behind Mary stopped, and a disheveled Mary and Kat came into the same spotlight. “Sad but true,” Mary stated.
Erika blinked hard. “This dream makes no sense.”
“Since when,” Kat pointed out, “have your dreams made ANY sense? That one you keep having about the dragons is way too symbolic. Armor singing a song from ‘Oklahoma’? My God...”
“Kat, stop it...” Mary huffed. “What we’re trying to say here Erika, is that you need a kick in the seat. You need to get out there and get to romancing!”
“Yeah! Get out there!” The lights in the theatre came on, and all four gals looked out into the seats.
“Guys, why is there a visibly miffed panda and an Australian guy in the audience?” Erika asked.
“I have no idea.” Kat shrugged.
“Enough!” Mary was getting really angry. “We came here for a reason, right?” The lights in the theatre went off again, and the spot all four girls were in was lit once more by a spotlight.
Erika began breathing heavily as Kelly drew her into her arms. “Mary’s got a point. Now kiss me.”
Kelly sighed. “Fine, I’ll start.” And with that, Kelly’s lips met Erika’s.
Erika knew this was a dream, but it still felt surprisingly good. “And that was just the warm-up,” Kelly purred. Kat grinned and a smile went across Mary’s face as they stepped a little closer...
“How many times have I told you to call me ‘Mom’?”
Erika sighed. “‘Mom’, it’s time for me to go.”
“Just one moment, young lady.” Allison approached her quite literally red-headed stepchild. “One thing before you go. Why on earth were you screaming at four in the morning?”
Erika had to beat back a blush with an oversized stick and resorted to an old standby. “I dreamt that I was being eaten alive by a gigantic mouth.” It was a dream she’d had when she was a kid- one that Allison had heard before.
“Fine. But I want you to do your laundry tomorrow,” Allison sternly told her. “I had no idea you had so many dirty clothes.”
Erika gulped. “Yea. Dirty clothes. Gotta go.” She flew out the door, that blush finally hitting her face as she walked to Buck’s waiting car. Buck was outside the car, tersely talking on a cell phone.
“Jenny, I swear, you’re catchin’ me at a bad ti- Yes, Dixon and Kroenke called me earlier- I’ll tell them the same thing I told you, call back next week. Yes, I’m happy I got the ‘not guilty’ verdict for my client. Yes, you can talk ta me about it later. But stop talking about ‘that’ for now- gag order’s still in effect.” He clicked the phone shut and turned to Erika. “Please don’t ask,” he said, opening the car door for her.
The second show somehow ended up even better than the first- maybe because it was the last performance and the cast was putting their all into it. Regardless, there was much celebration backstage once the show ended.
But not everyone was celebrating. Kelly was regretful that it was over because she no longer had an excuse to hang around Erika- she’d have to find ways to do so, and fast. Her imminent problem with Homecoming suitors was about to get a lot worse...
And Erika was uneager to let go of the one thing she thought she had in common with the only ‘popular’ girl who had shown her any sign of friendship. And a girl who she’d come to realize made her happy and nervous in ways she’d never expected.
It was Kelly who broke the ice. “So... your friend from earlier... Georgie... he was in the audience tonight?”
Erika nodded as she put her socks on- she always seemed to have issues with the darned things.
“How is he?”
The line of questioning came out of the blue for Erika. “He’s alright. He likes the school he’s going to.”
Kelly nodded, afraid that she might say too much if she responded any other way. “Do you enjoy... being around him?”
Erika smiled and said, “He’s got this great sense of humor, and he’s very sweet. I mean, I wouldn’t date him, but who ever he’s going for is a lucky gal.”
Something got caught in Kelly’s throat. “Wait- you’re NOT dating him?”
“No...” Erika looked at her friend in confusion. “He’s not my type. Why, did you think I was?” A nod confirmed her guess. “No, no, and no. Georgie’s a great guy, but no. He’s like one of the brothers I never had.”
Kelly felt her heart leap. She was almost... relieved that Erika was single. The two left backstage, only to run into two aging men who seemed very eager to talk to Erika.
“Erika Andress? Matt Dixon and Cameron Kroenke from the New York Times, we’d like to ask you a few questions- what the hell are you doing, Jenny?”
A short-haired brunette barged through the two men. “Ignore those guys, Miss Erika. Jenny Bracco, Washington Post. Could you spare a moment of your-”
Jenny’s question was immediately cut off by a thundering roar. “BRACCO! KROENKE! DIXON!” Buck Daniels and his two grandsons were walking at a fierce pace towards the three reporters. “What the HELL did I tell you about coming now? It’s too soon; we’ve got another week on the deal! A WEEK!”
Kroenke looked ashamed and looked at the ground, but Dixon and Bracco did not back down. “First Amendment, Buck,” Dixon recited, “states that-”
“I know the damned First Amendment,” Buck spat out. “Now let’s the three of you and myself go into the next room and I’ll explain to you the concept of a gag order.” His face was seemingly made of stone as the three reporters relented at last and followed him, Georgie following.
“Morty,” Erika asked, “what’s going on?”
Mortimer Daniels looked at his childhood friend and sighed. “I’m afraid I can’t tell you. Grandpa risked enough by explaining it to me and George. Now if you’ll excuse me, Grandpa needs my help.” With that, he marched off after his family.
“Something about this doesn’t quite add up,” Kelly stated. “You’re definitely one of the best I’ve seen- but why on earth would reporters from two of the most respected newspapers in the country come here for you?”
Erika shrugged. “I dunno. But I’m all but certain that Uncle Buck’s definitely in the know.”