Posted on Fri Feb 21st, 2014 @ 11:03pm by Unawakened Jana Rotherbridge
Date: March 21st, 2010
Time: 9:00 pm
Location: Lake Texoma, one hour outside Dallas, Texas
Jana opened her car door to the dulcet tones of Nickelback’s “How I Really Am” coming out of the speakers set up for the blacklight party. The lake was lovely, if lacking the saltwater smell of a real ocean. It seemed to go on forever like the ocean, though, but she knew that there was an opposite bank… somewhere. The lake hugged the border between Texas and Oklahoma, so it was likely she was looking at the other state right now. About as exotic as she was going to get. She sighed and got out of the car.
The house was three stories with balconies on every floor looking out over the lake.It was the closest they were liable to come to a genuine ‘log cabin’ out there. The cars parked all around were big and expensive. Obviously vehicles that belonged to the offspring of Texas elite. The surrounding woods were quiet in comparison to the cacophony inside the vacation home.
The quarterback whose family owned the stately lakefront home, Thomas Carter, had stood firmly beside Gabe through the football scandal of the last year, and was well liked by their family for that fact and many other reasons. He’d been nice enough to invite all of them to his glow paint party, and they hadn’t been able to say ‘yes’ fast enough. It was the first time that Jana herself had actually looked forward to going somewhere in a good long while.
She was just sorry that Cole’s first party was going to be in Texas. There was nothing like a bonfire on a California beach after sunset.
They’d been to other parties, but this was the first that they’d all gone to. Though Jana had to admit, she hadn’t really considered the gatherings Cole had been to be ‘parties’. Not if they involved everyone plunked down at a laptop and not talking or surrounding a map with little figures on it, battling elves or whatever. This, this was going to be a real party.
Gabe put his hand on Cole’s shoulder. “The Mountain Dew working for you, bro?”
Cole nodded. “Feeling more awake,” he said as they approached the house. Cole himself was in a gray Arkham Asylum t-shirt and orange board shorts, clearly ready for the indoor pool Thomas told them about. Gabe wore a black t-shirt that had green neon letters that spelled out, “He’s gay” with a finger pointing down, and board shorts with neon blue waves. The only thing that saved Jana’s eyes was the fact that he wore a gray hoodie over the shirt.
Normally, Jana would have vetoed the shirt for Cole, but he hadn’t shown up at the door until they had to go, and by then it was too late to ask him to change.
She picked at the shirt with a sigh of resignation. “Cole…”
Cole pouted, looking defensive. “What?”
Jana, being the only girl, had the task of finding an outfit that Aunt Mariah wouldn’t have objected to. She had to find clever ways to hide her mini skirts and dresses after a few of them mysteriously went missing in the weeks after moving in with the Darlings. This often involved her doing her own laundry. She left the house in a sundress and strappy sandals.
Once they were far enough away, she stripped.
Gabe’s teasing aside, she had stripped down to a neon yellow stretchy skirt and loose white top, attached by straps around the neck and just under her breasts, leaving most of her back exposed. having kicked off her heels, she slid on a pair of portable flats. Under the skirt and top she wore a lavender two piece, which managed to cover just enough, and not nearly enough at the same time.
Peeking at her back, Gabe rolled his eyes. “Sis, are you sure you want to show so much skin? Tommy’s going to need a mop.”
Jana gave his shirt a meaningful look, then raised an eyebrow. Gabe looked down at his shirt, at the finger pointing at his crotch and cleared his throat sheepishly, “never mind.”
Cole made a face. “I’m gonna find a corner where no one’s going to tell me how hot my sister is,” he said. He rubbed sleep from his eyes, sounding a bit cranky still.
Jana messed up his hair, and they went inside, greeted by Tommy Carter at the door.
Tommy slapped Gabe’s shoulder in friendship. “Hey, Gabe, good to see you! Glad you all could make it. Listen, strip down and hop into the pool before it get’s packed! The glow party starts later. Don’t worry, we’ve got paint for everybody.”
Gabe nodded. “Thanks man,” he said. The two friends did a complicated handshake, then Gabe led his siblings down to the pool through the masses of painted and sweaty bodies in various states of undress. They made their way over to the deck, finding spots with respective groups, which left Jana by herself. She felt a bit of loneliness, but she pushed it aside. She didn’t need friends. At least the pool was heated.
Commandeering a lounge chair, already laid out with a towel for whoever chose to sit in it, Jana started to strip, again.
She hadn’t noticed anyone watching, but hearing some of the talking quiet as she slid out of her skirt, she looked up. Every guy within ten feet of her was staring at what she’d revealed.
Jana looked down at herself. Was she fat? She managed to fill out a bit, which meant that she wasn’t horrible to look at. And it wasn’t the first time it’d happened, either. Just the first time by a pool in Texas.
She turned and found herself faced with three girls who were camped nearby, looking at her approvingly. The apparent leader, a brunette, was in neon red and outdid Jana by two cup sizes. The blonde was in a shade of light blue that worked for her in a way that Jana herself would never pull off, and the one with light brown hair was sporting neon green in a way that made Jana’s skirt jealous.
“You just made every guy in the area lose their sh*t in 30 seconds. I’m impressed.”
Jana smirked. “It’s not hard,” she said.
“Doesn’t usually happen with the debs.” The girl motioned around the group. “I’m Delilah, the blonde is Cherie, and Ms. Green is Brandy.” The other girls waved. “Given how the Barbies are glaring, I’d say you’re Jana.”
Jana snorted. She looked up and the girls who’d been glaring looked away. She turned back. “I didn’t know I was that infamous.”
Delilah chuckled. “Push a cheerleader into the pool the day she gets a perm and everyone knows who you are,” she said.
Jana rolled her eyes. “That happened in September,” she said.
“Right before Homecoming,” Brandy put in, pushing back her hair. “Boy, she was p*ss*d.”
Cherie shrugged. “She opened her mouth. Bridget always gets in trouble when she does that.”
“Not always,” Delilah pointed out. The three of them snickered.
Jana felt her face go red when she said that, which only amused them more. Muttering something about swimming, she walked away from three girls and dove into the pool, resurfacing a moment later and pushing back her long red hair.
The chlorinated water made her wish for California beaches and salt water. Pools always felt like counterfeit oceans, though she almost never got burned at one. Guess she couldn’t have it both ways.
After she moved around for a little while, she looked up… and saw Simon. The tall wrestler was off to one side, wearing a black t-shirt with a neon crown on the front and multiple glow bracelets, one being put on him by an adoring girl. But it was apparent that the only girl he had eyes for was Jana. She felt hunted.
Suddenly, Jana felt a flare of anger. What was wrong with her? She had this big, bad rep and one guy (one guy!) was making her feel like she needed to hide. Why did he want her, anyway? There were plenty of girls who wanted him, as evidenced by the bracelets. Why go after the one girl who told him no?
She and her brothers had been late due to homework, so soon, people started to file out of the pool area. Jana got out of the pool, resolving to put the one at the Darling estate to good use soon. Muttering, she went back to her towel. The other girls were gone and Jana felt a pang. She felt like there had been a tentative connection there. Pushing it away, she dried off and got dressed again. She ready to go confront a certain Brit.
Only, when she looked around, he was no longer there. She suppressed a scream. and stamped her foot. But, she took a deep breath and followed the group inside. She didn’t have too many other options.
Jana followed the girls and dried her hair with a towel, which was nice. It was so long, and she knew that even in a rave atmosphere, it still wouldn’t dry fast enough.
Someone grabbed her arm as she came into the house proper. Suddenly, she found herself in a first floor powder room with the girls from earlier. Delilah smiled at her. “Just hold still,” she said. then the girls went to work.
She felt the cold of the glow-in-the-dark gel as the girls applied it. She could see some tribal hearts and stars, as well as a Taj Mahal on her back after they put her hair up. Delilah surprised her by even going under the front of her top. When she objected, Delilah grinned wickedly.
“Honey, you are never wearing these clothes again. Besides, you might get lucky tonight, and this’ll just be a nice surprise for whoever it happens to be.”
It wasn’t Jana’s first time getting painted, but it was the first time someone had said something that bold to her before a party. It made them chuckle to see her blush.
“Just remember,” said Brandy as they opened the door again, “everything’s bigger in Texas.” Then they set her free.
Jana wasn’t sure how to feel about that. She definitely had no intention of getting lucky. She bumped into a chair and her hair came out in front of her. Blinking, she took it into her hand. At some point in the painting, one of the girls had attached long, fibrous strands that looked as if they were ghostly feathers, to a section of hair they’d pulled back. The strands were a glowing lavender. When she looked back, she watched as they pulled in another victim. Wishing the poor guy luck (she was sure he’d wind up with his thin torso shirtless), she hurried off.
As she went from room to room, she saw many things. Many of the pictures were nautical themed, with many boats and pictures of the family water skiing on the lake. There were couples making out against walls and on convenient settees, people dancing and painted up like it was Gay Pride Week with all the purple scrawled across their skin, and she thought she saw Cole in the game room playing foosball and having a great time. He’d been jumping and hooting and hollering. Clearly, she and Gabe wouldn’t have to worry about him being bored tonight.
Walking through the halls, she felt someone come up from behind, brushing up against her suggestively. She looked… and it was Simon. He smiled at her knowingly, then kept walking, his shirt clinging to him with the humidity of so many bodies around them..
Jana blinked, then scowled, clenching her hands into fists as she followed him. As soon as she turned a corner, she lost sight of him. Again, she repressed the urge to scream in frustration. She explored more of the house brushing against more colorful, sweaty bodies, lights going off and strobing and confusing her, and finally found herself in the open living/dining room. All the furniture had been moved, and now it was party central, complete with DJ wearing a backwards cap.
In the crowd she caught sight of Gabe, and did a double-take. He was squatting down slowly, with a sexy roll of his hips while Brandy lifted his shirt up and off. She tossed it away with a smile and ground against his thigh. She had her hands all over him, touching every part of Gabe she could reach, going from admiring to erotic, and he seemed to enjoy the attention as he danced. But his gaze seemed to stray to his left, at what Jana could not tell. Blushing at seeing such a display she moved on back to her search for Simon, quickly putting Gabe out of her mind. Eventually she gave up the search and sighed, deciding to just join in on the dancing.
She danced through ‘Single Ladies’ by Beyonce, dancing with her fellow ‘single ladies’ as she felt the meaning of the words. “I need no permission, did I mention…”
She needed no one’s permission to have fun.
‘Trouble’ by Pink brought a new level to it, with her executing a few flawless shimmies. “But I knew all along/you can take me/ for a ride…”
Simon had better hide.
When she started in on ‘Strut’ by Kestrel, she rocked it out, her hair going from one side to the other like a a lavender-accented auburn curtain. It felt good to just let loose and enjoy herself after dealing with all the fake drama the other debs put her through, not to mention the stress from her parents’ death. “And that’s why they’re solo (solo, solo)/don’t wanna be solo (solo, solo)/don’t wanna be solo…”
It wasn’t until ‘Strut’ was over that Jana caught sight of Simon kissing his current partner’s hand and looking up, seeing her. He smiled, winked, then nodded to the girl, leaving the party room. She started following him again. She managed to stay on him through the maze of rooms, weaving through the tight press of bodies and getting paint smeared on her clothing even as she went upstairs. Delilah had been right. Finally, she followed him into the room at the end of the hall. It took her a moment to realize she was in a bedroom. Right after that came to mind, she heard the lock tumble in the knob.
Jana swung around, and there stood Simon, shirtless and covered in glow paint, mostly British themed designs and Union Jacks (a few ambitious girls had written their phone numbers), wearing only black jeans, which were decorated similarly. Obviously, some other girls had thought that he wasn’t nearly noticeable enough with the dozens of glow bracelets on his wrists and arms, not to mention his ankles. And they’d probably had their hands all over him. And, by the look of all the imprints, their lips.
She wasn’t jealous. She wasn’t.
“At last,” he said, moving forward with a tone of satisfaction. “I thought I wouldn’t have a chance like this all night.”