Thursday, February 11, 2010

Challenge 17: Moving in

It was strange to think, as we pulled up outside the Howard mansion, that I was actually going to live here. I clambered out of mom’s Ferrari and waded through the heat, hoping the place would have air conditioning. A butler hurried down the stairs to greet us, but I insisted on hauling my own luggage out of the trunk. My little sister Kitty needed more help with her bags anyway.

“Danielle?” There he was, standing in the doorway of his very own palace. Prince Charming himself – James Howard. His voice tasted like chocolate and strawberries. I squinted up at him, an awkward half-grin on my lips.

“What are you doing here?” a second voice said.

My smile fell. Dylan had just joined his older brother and I could almost smell his scorn. Barbara, my mom, tackled the stairs with a bag in each hand. By the top, Dylan looked like a frozen crème puff, sweating in the knowledge he was about to be eaten.

“Not a chance,” he said desperately. “They are definitely not moving in!”

My mom lifted her massive sunglasses and gave the bastard her best ‘I’m going to be your new mother,’ smile. Arthur emerged then and gave mom a massive hug. They actually kissed in front of all of us… Ew!

Mom and Arthur had suddenly sprung their engagement on us all about a week ago and now here we were, saving money in this recession by moving out of our four bedroom house right next to school and shifting into a bloody 10 bedroom mansion in the middle of nowhere. Great.

When I finally made it inside, I was taken aback by how clean and shiny everything was. This place even smelled white. As a dedicated Goth, I officially considered myself to be in hell.

James’ fingers whispered over my hand, making my heart wobble excitedly. Oh, this was so wrong. James took my bag and I didn’t even think of stopping him.

“Come on,” he said, winking. “I’ll show you your room.”

Gods above, I almost melted on the spot. I followed him, doll-like, up the wide colonial staircase and away down a corridor.

“I made sure you got the darkest room in the tallest tower,” he said with a delectable, syrupy laugh. “If you ever open your curtains, you’ve got a great view of the estate.”

He put my bag down on the bed, the duvet cushioning the impact. I didn’t even hear the clink of my crystals crashing into each other, but then I had packed them inside five oversized socks each. I crossed over to the window and peered outside, breathless with the awareness of him, still there, sitting on the edge of my bed.

“So ah…” I said, not brave enough to look around. “Where is your room?”

“On the other side of the house,” he said, a slight tang of regret in his voice. “My dad’s not a complete idiot.”

I did glance at him then. His smile was a sunbeam, breaking through all my shadowy walls.

“I’m here now,” was all he needed to say. In the next moment, he was standing and I was wrapped up in his arms, losing myself in the aria of his kisses. How could I have been so lucky? He should never have even noticed me, hiding in the shadows everywhere I went. How could I be so unlucky? Sure, now we were living together, which was great, except that in three months, when mom and Arthur married, what we were doing was going to be so very illegal.

Wordcount: 607

This is a continuation of New York Girls (my challenge 7), and is part of a story Nightfire and I are developing which has been code named 'The Brady Bunch'

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