Chapter 7 - Purple and Green
It was the beginning of the school day once again, and there stood the three teenage spy girls, minus one best friend and plus one replacement friend, chatting away before the opening bell of the day's classes.
"Britney, can you tell us why you're dressed like that again?" Clover asked her. Britney was currently decked out in gray tennis shoes with velcro straps instead of laces, an ankle-length, maroon skirt, a cheap t-shirt featuring the image of a cat, a pair of wide framed, thickly lensed glasses, and a neon-blue scrunchy which held together a pony-tail.
"Well from what I can tell, both David and Dean were very popular here. Maybe that's why they became targets. So I decided the best way to keep a low profile while I investigate would be to pose as a poor nerd."
"Wow, very smart idea, Britney," Sam said.
"You're so brave, Britney. I could never dress like a nerd at school. Where did you even get those clothes?"
Both Sam and Clover shivered at the idea. "They should like totally give you a medal of honor," Clover said soberly.
As the three continued chatting, another three girls appeared at the opposite end of the hallway.
"And I was all like, Mandy wore the same thing... like a year ago," Dominique snorted.
"That's so wack! Don't you agree Mandy?" Catlin asked.
"Yeah, whatever," Mandy said, having been barely listening to the conversation. And that was the moment she saw her.
Despite her absolutely unfashionable and tacky choice of dress, there was something about that girl. Something that caused an odd sensation in her stomach and the rhythm of her heart beats to pick up a faster pace. When Britney noticed she was being watched, she turned to look at her, and Mandy saw those beautiful purple eyes. They had a mesmerizing effect on her, and she was drawn into them like a fish to a shinny lure.
"Hey, Mandy, where are you going?" Dominique asked her as she wandered off in the direction of those eyes.
She stopped in front of the three spies. "What do you want, Mandy?" Clover snapped.
"You're new here, who are you?" Mandy asked directly to Britney, virtually ignoring Clover and Sam's presence.
"Hi, my name's Britney," she said before she looked down at the ground shyly. "You're Mandy right? Everyone says you're the most popular girl in school."
Mandy smiled widely at her. "Yes, that's right. I'm Mandy." Britney gave a small smile in return, thinking her clever ego stroking had worked like a charm. "And you're right, I am the most popular girl in school, much more popular than Sammykins and Cloooww-ver over here." Sam and Clover both grunted in disdain. "Why are you hanging out with these losers anyways?"
"Clover and Sam were nice enough to let me stay in their pent-house suite while I go to school."
"Are they the ones who told you dress like that too?" Britney looked down at her clothes, ashamed, while Clover snarled viciously at the mere thought. "No, this is how I always dress."
"What a shame. Meet me at the mall after school. I'll be at Latte Lovers." Mandy then moved her eyes over to Clover and Sam and gave them a really nasty look. "Just make sure to dump the losers and come alone."
"What are we going to do?" Britney asked.
"We're gonna go shopping."
"Cha-right, like Britney would ever want to go shopping with you Mandy," Clover spat off.
"I'd love to!" Britney answered gleefully. Clover's jaw dropped, and Sam's eyes widened.
"Good," Mandy said, very satisfied.
"Britney, you don't want to hang out with her. Mandy wouldn't know fashion if it bit her in her..."
Sam, with trembling fingers, grabbed her arm. "Clover, I think she's investigating." She meant to whisper that into Clover's ear, but an anger that had risen from deep inside her had caused the words to come out louder than she had intended.
"Investigating you say?" Mandy asked. "Oh, I like the sound of that." Sam looked even more shocked, Clover more confused. "Ok, it's a date. See you after school, Britney."
"See you, Mandy. It was nice meeting you," she said, smiling at the raven haired girl. However, instead of separating, both girls stood there, their eyes locked into each other for what seemed like an awkward amount of time. Finally, Mandy smirked and walked off.
"What was that all about?" Clover asked.
"Yeah, what was that about, Britney?" Sam asked, sounding a bit sassier than usual.
"I think maybe I have an idea, but I'm not sure yet. Anyways, I guess this will be a good opportunity for me to get to know her better and investigate her as a suspect. Since I'm investigating Mandy, Clover, how about you investigate Tara, since you know her the best already, and Sam, you can investigate Arnold. Would that be ok with you two?"
"I guess," Sam said, not sounding particularly enthusiastic.
"Ok, Britney, just be careful," Clover said. "If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you can never trust that girl. Not even for a minute."
"I'll keep that in mind."
Seven hours later, Britney arrived at Latte Lovers in the mall and found Mandy sitting in a seat near the front.
"Ahhhh, Brit, you made it," Mandy squeaked.
"Hi, Mandy. Thank you for inviting me shopping," she said, trying to look shy and uncomfortable to keep her cover.
"Don't mention it." Mandy then finished sipping her latte and got up from the table. "I need to ask you one thing first though," she said as she put her hand on her shoulder and looked into her eyes."Do you want to be my friend?"
"Sure," Britney said, smiling innocently.
"Really? Do you mean it?" she asked in a strange tone as she started massaging her shoulder a bit.
"Oh yes, more than anything! I'd love to be your friend!"
"Oh, I knew you would." Mandy then looked her over. She was wearing the same tacky clothes she had at school. "We're going to have to make some changes though. If you're going be my friend, you can't look like this."
"You think so?"
"Yes. First thing is your poor hair. This pony-tail looks absolutely terrible." Mandy grabbed her scrunchy, pulled it down the length of her hair, and then tossed it to the side where it bounced off the back of an old lady's head as she was passing by. She then marveled at how much of a difference that made. "Yes, much better. Definitely wear it down like I do."
"Ok, if you say so."
To Britney's embarrassment, she then picked up a length of her hair from the back, put it up to her face, and smelled it.
"At least you use good shampoo, smells real nice."
"You dyed it this color, right?"
"Yeah, blue is my favorite color."
"Hmm, I usually don't like blue, but this looks good on you. You can keep that."
"Glad I get to... So what's next, Mandy?"
"Next we're going to get you some real outfits to replace those hideous, disgusting rags of yours."
The two girls then made their way from Latte Lovers to Chic Boutique Deux, an extremely trendy apparel store that Britney had only heard about previously. Once inside, she looked around, awed at all the stylish clothes, shoes, and hand-bags on display. They all really did look like they came straight off the streets of Paris.
Immediately, Mandy shot over to a certain rack where a skimpy violet dress was hanging. "Oh, you're definitely getting this one! I think it would look perfect on you!" she chirped before she handed Britney the dress.
"Oh, I love it," she then eyed the price tag and saw four digits, "but it's too expensive. I could never afford it."
"Expensive? It's half off."
"Well, I'm kinda poor, Mandy. It may be a good deal to you, but to me that's a fortune."
"Wooow, a poor girl in Beverly Hills? That's like sooo adorable."
"Uh, thanks, I think," she said as she went to put the dress back up on the rack. Mandy then took the dress back off the rack and put in Britney's hands.
"But, Mandy, I can't afford this."
"I don't care, my extremely acute fashion sense says you need it. It's never wrong."
"Well, maybe you're right. I think I would look good in it, but I wouldn't be able to pay for it if I saved up for five years."
"That's why I have this." She then whipped out of her purse a small piece of plastic with the words, Master Platinum, on it.
"Oh no, I couldn't. I would feel too guilty having you pay for it."
"Have you ever heard of Luxe Cigarettes?"
"Yes. There used to be a Luxe Cigarettes billboard outside my apartment in New York."
"They're named after my dad, because he owns the company. Believe me, I can afford it."
Britney stood there for a moment, looking like she was weighing the matter seriously. "Well, if you insist. It is a very lovely dress," she said, looking at it with big eyes. "Thank you so much, Mandy."
"You're welcome," Mandy said. It wasn't a phrase she was very used to saying, and oddly it made her feel good inside.
Britney then took a closer look at the tag on the dress. "Oh, but it’s a few sizes too big," she said, looking very disappointed. "It was a nice thought, though."
Mandy then turned to the front desk of the store, "Hey, monkey! Can I get some help over here? You think I've spent enough money in this dump to get some service this life-time!"
A thirty-something, female store clerk speed-walked up to the two girls, one who looked very angry and the other very embarrassed. "I apologize Ms. Luxe. May I help you?"
"My name's Mandy, stupid."
The woman bit her lip and twitched her eye-brow, "I'm sorry, Mandy, may I help you?"
"Do you have any more of this dress?"
"No, this is the only one we have left. I doubt we will be getting any more in either. This is a very limited designer original."
"Fine," she said, sounding very annoyed, "then I want it tailored to her size."
"The tailor is off today. I could have it done for you tomorrow. That is, of course, if we don't sell it by then," the clerk said with a defiant smile on her face.
"I want it today."
"But she's off. She..."
"I don't care! Call her in, tell her it's for me, and tell her she better get here fast!"
"I'll try, but I don't know if I will be able to get ahold of her."
"You better get ahold of her. My mom owns lots of stock from the people who run this store. Do you know what happened to last person who worked here that didn't like me?"
"Uhhhh... never mind. I'll have a tailor here right away!" she said before she scurried off to the back.
"And come back, we're going to be getting a lot of other stuff too!" she barked. Her expression than changed from one of bitchy rage to the calmer more congenial look she had earlier. "See, I told you you were going to get that dress."
"I guess you were right." Britney then stared curiously at her. This was one girl who knew how to get what ever she wanted. But could what she want also include getting rid of someone? She wasn't quite sure yet.
Time passed quickly as Mandy had Britney try on innumerous outfits with matching shoes and accessories, and had the tailor, who had showed up in record timing, take her measurements for even more clothes to be fitted for her or to be special made. Britney had to admit she was having a lot of fun. All this attention she was receiving almost made her feel like a fairy-tale princess preparing for her kingdom's ball.
Finally, Britney tried on one particularly short, blue dress made from the world's finest silk, and both girls stared at the mirror, mesmerized, because of how much it accentuated Britney's inner and outer beauty.
"Wow, I never thought I could look this good," she said with complete honesty.
"I outdid myself this time. I knew with my fashion sense you could be beautiful, but I didn't know you'd be this gorgeous."
Britney giggled. "You're right, Mandy. You're a genius."
"You got that right. There's only one thing still wrong though." Mandy put her arms over Britney's shoulders from behind and then reached backwards to pull her glasses off her head. "These will have to go."
Britney squinted in an attempt to feign bad eye-sight. "But I can't see without my glasses."
Mandy placed the glasses back on her head. "That's why you're going to get contacts, silly. Wait here." Mandy ran up to the front desk and Britney watched as she barked out several more orders to the clerk and then had her credit-card swiped. She then returned back to her.
"The clothes are going to be shipped to your place, let's go."
"Ok, I guess I'll go get changed."
Britney started to walk towards the changing room, but Mandy stopped her by grabbing her arm. She then looked her over from top to bottom. "No, just leave that on. I definitely want you wearing that tonight."
Britney then went to go retrieve her old clothes which were sitting in the changing room. When she exited with them, Mandy yanked them out of her hands. "Here, I'll take those." They then exited the store back into the mall, and Mandy immediately walked up to the nearest garbage can and stuffed the clothes inside. "There, that takes care of that. Just make sure to do the same thing to everything else you have in your closet."
Mandy then gripped Britney's hand, and they started walking down the mall together. Britney looked down at their two hands clasped together, a bit surprised at what was occurring. "So you like holding my hand?" Mandy asked.
"Ummmm, it's all right," Britney answered a bit nervously.
Mandy reciprocated her nervousness with a Cheshire grin. "It's ok, friends can hold hands. Friends can do stuff like that for each other, especially when your my friend."
"Whatever you say, Mandy." Britney looked around and was a bit embarrassed to see a number of the other people in the mall were staring at them. Mandy, however, suddenly stopped holding hands with her when she spotted, "Brick," a particularly buff member of the football team who was shopping with his girlfriend. Mandy waved flirtatiously at him, and he waved back.
Finally, they reached their destination, a store named See Me Now, which specialized in prescription contacts and sunglasses, but not regular eye glasses due to the later being currently unfashionable. Mandy gave Britney her credit card, telling her to fake her signature, so she could go wander around the mall while she got her contacts, instead of being stuck in a boring waiting room. Britney had a moral objection with forging her signature but went along with it anyways.
Some time later, Britney exited the store to meet Mandy who was sipping yet another latte. "Wow, they did a real good job," Mandy said. "I can't even see the contacts."
"Haha, yeah. They told me they use a new kind of ultra-clear lens," Britney fibbed. Already having perfect vision, she had simply read National Geographic and Entertainment Hourly in the waiting room.
"Oh, let me get a closer look," she squeaked as she set her latte on the ground. Mandy then got really close to her, so close that Britney backed up against a wall trying to get away. She then pressed both palms against the wall to each side of her, as if to trap her, as she pressed up against her. Mandy then put one hand on her cheek and pulled down her bottom eye-lid with her finger. She then moved her face so close to Britney's that their noses and fore-heads pressed together. "Nope, all I can see are those lovely purple eyes of yours," she whispered as she blew her warm breath on Britney's lips. "They're so beautiful, you know that?"
Britney's pale cheeks quickly became as red as roses, and her heart started pounding out of control. "Ya-ya-you think so?" she stuttered.
Suddenly, Mandy, seeing someone coming from out of the corner of her eye, got off Britney just in time to not be seen. "Like duh, they're the same color as mine. So of course they would be beautiful like mine are."
"Yeah, I noticed that too. I mean... that we have the same color eyes," she said, her heart still racing.
"Purple eyes like ours are pretty rare, don't you think?"
"It only happens once in one-hundred thousand in the general population."
"Wow, not only pretty but smart too," she said, touching her soft cheek again.
Britney blushed even more. "Thanks."
"So does that mean the chances of us meeting each other were like one-hundred thousand times one-hundred thousand? What is that like a billion?"
"Actually, it's ten billion, but I don't know if the odds would actually be that high. You have to consider things like population density, geography, statistics on the genetic make up of the local population, and other stuff."
Mandy let out a high-pitched squeal, which was her way of giggling. "You're sooo cute when you get all scientific like that."
"So you like them smart, huh?"
"Hmmmm... Maybe," she said, grinning devilishly.
Britney reciprocated the smile, but then her expression became more serious. "Mandy, can I ask you something?"
"Yeah, go ahead."
"Well, I feel bad about saying this, but some people told me that you could be really nasty to people who aren't popular. Why are you being so nice to me? I mean, I'm just a poor nerd on her first day of school."
For some reason Mandy didn't get mad at her words and thought over the question seriously. For years it had become her habit to use her political influence at school to crush the popularity of any new girl entering the social totem pole like a grape. However, with Britney, it had been completely different. She didn't seem to care if she became popular nor was she worried that she might threaten her position in the pecking order at school. It didn't seem to make sense to her at all. Why would she be any less of a threat than those other girls? How did she know she wouldn't stab her in the back like everyone else? She just felt immediately that there was something different about this girl, something that set her apart from all the others, something that she wanted desperately.
"I don't know, Britney. When I saw you at school, I just felt that I wanted to be...," she spent a few moments trying to think of the right word, "...nice to you. Is that weird?"
"Well, maybe a little. Thank you so much though. I don't think anyone has ever been so nice to me before."
Mandy squealed again, "You're welcome," her tone of voice then changed, "and if you really want me to get nasty with you, I can do that too," she said arching her eye-brow quite high.
A large sweat drop appeared on Britney's forehead before she laughed nervously. "Ummm... That's ok. I'm feeling a bit hungry. You want to go get something to eat?"
"Of course, I do," she said, eyeing Britney like a hungry lion eyes a bloody steak.
And so Mandy took her to an extremely high-class French restaurant. The food was spectacular, and the atmosphere cozy and romantic. She even found Mandy's conversation about fashion, movie-stars, and music interesting. They obviously held some shared interests. Although, at times, Britney was unhappy to see Mandy's self-centered and condescending nature come through, especially with how rude she was to the waiter who couldn't seem to get the food to their table fast enough nor keep their drinks full enough. That behavior made Britney a bit uneasy, but other wise she was having a wonderful time and felt surprisingly comfortable having a nice meal with this girl.
Well, that was until she felt an unusual, but pleasant, ticklish sensation of something moving up and down her leg. Britney moved the table cloth and looked under it to see Mandy had slipped off one of her shoes and was rubbing her toes up and down Britney's bare leg. She then looked back to see Mandy ogling her with absolutely devilish desire. At that point, Britney repositioned her legs, pushed her chair back from the table, leaned over her food, and finished it as fast as possible. They left shortly afterwards.
Some time later, Mandy stopped her convertible, custom-painted, purple Ferrari Spider in front of the spies' pent-house. "You sure you don't want to come over to my house?"
"No, sorry, Mandy. I just have too much homework tonight," she said before she got out of the car.
Mandy looked disappointed at the repeated answer. "Ok, but we're still on for this week end right?"
"Yeah, sure thing, Mandy. I'm looking forward to it."
"Me too... Ok, see ya soon, Britneykins!" She then blew her a kiss and sped off to the next house down the street, where Britney watched her disappear into her humongous garage.
Internally, Britney scolded herself. Her house would definitely be one of the best places to search for clues, but she had still rejected the offer out of some kind of nervousness of what Mandy would try once they got there. If she had been more focused on her mission, she would have accepted. However, she felt she had really been thrown off tonight with this girl, Mandy. What she got with her was definitely not what she was expecting.
She didn't know what to think about her. In fact, she didn't even know what she felt about her either. No girl had given her so much nor been so overtly flirtatious with her before. It had all been so strange and fast to her that her emotions were still spinning like a top. She then dug deep for some kind of determination and decided that, what ever her feelings turned out to be, she had to see this mission through to the end. It was her duty as a W.O.O.H.P. agent and that had to come first before anything else.
Finally, she opened the door to the pent-house and entered. She met Clover and Sam who were both watching a movie on their huge tv and sharing a bowl of pop-corn.
"Whoah, someone's looking hot," Clover remarked.
Sam eyed her change of dress suspiciously. "So how did it go with Mandy?" she asked dryly.
"What?" Britney asked as a big sweat drop appeared on her forehead.
"Yeah, she was a total bitch to you, right?" Clover asked.
"No, she wasn't at all. Well... not to me at least. I don't know how to describe her, Mandy is a very... interesting girl."
The door bell suddenly rang, and Britney went to open it. On the other side was a delivery-man in a brown uniform. "Delivery from Chic Boutique Deux. Please sign here." Britney scribbled her signature on the clipboard with the pen he provided. "Where to miss?"
"Up stars, third door on the right." A long parade of clothes hung on wheeled, metal racks then rolled out of a delivery truck outside and through the spies' door. One by one, the racks were then carried up the stairs by a small army of delivery-men and then rolled into Britney's room, where the clothes were deposited in her closet.
"Oh my GOD!" Clover shrieked at all the clothes rolling by. "These are your clothes Britney? They're sooo chic!" she said with teary eyes.
"Yes. Mandy kinda bought me a new wardrobe," she said, putting her hand on her neck.
"Whaaaaat?" Sam asked incredulously.
"Ewwww, Mandy, but still... Can I borrow this top? And that dress? And those jeans? Oh and those shorts are cute too!" She kept babbling on and on like that for some time like a fat, greedy child in a candy store.
"So what else did she do, buy you a car?" Sam asked.
"No, but she did take me to Quatre."
"You mean Quatre, the 5 star French restaurant?"
"Yes, that's the one."
"How was it?"
"The Poussin with Black Truffle Sauce was excellent. Definitely 5 star."
Sam ground her teeth. "I always wanted to try the Poussin there." It had been Sam's dream to meet a boy with enough class to take her out to that restaurant on a date, but it had yet to occur.
Finally, the delivery of the clothes was finished, and Clover turned her attention back to Britney. "So do you know if she did it?"
"I'm not sure yet. Maybe, though, if I can gain her trust and get closer to her, I can find out if there's something she's hiding."
The words "closer" echoed in Sam's mind, and then she remembered Mandy telling her, "We’ll get so close to each other, it’ll be like we’re even more than friends." Hearing about Britney, of all people, being allowed to get close to Mandy like that caused an emotion to pump up out of her previously pure heart. It then poured out her green eyes at Britney in a glare of putrid, green jealousy.
To Be Continued