Stranded: Details

Posted on Thu May 7th, 2015 @ 12:29am by Unawakened Jana Rotherbridge

Date: March 22, 2010
Time: 10:00 pm
Location: Lake house on Lake Texoma, an hour outside Dallas, Texas

Jana giggled as she and Simon walked the wraparound porch of the lake house, enjoying the after-rain weather and good company. Though she supposed it was a balcony, being on the third floor. The game of Truth or Dare had broken up soon after they’d been invaded by Cole and his friends, and Trevor had disappeared with Brandy, among other odd pairings that night. The only one not paired up were Gabe and Delilah, for obvious reasons, and that meant her brothers were awaiting her return after she took this walk with Simon. The gentleman in question was being charming and entertaining.

“So,” she asked, grinning wickedly, “exactly how did your brother get his lady love out of you guys’ room without your father knowing?”

Simon chuckled. “I never asked. Some things are better left a mystery for the sake of the story you get to tell.”

That got a laugh out of Jana. “Oh, you never know. The details could make the story that much better.” They stopped at the railing, on the side of the house that looked out over the lake. It had stopped raining earlier that evening, and the proper authorities were working to make the roads traversable by morning. It was a toss-up as to whether the party as a whole was disappointed or relieved.

Jana herself was going to be glad to get access to fresh clothes. While she’d gotten her sundress from the car (that being warmer than her party outfit), that was going to be hopelessly wrinkled from sleeping in it by morning. Which was part of the point, she admitted to herself. Much easier to convince Aunt Mariah she’d worn the dress to the party if it looked like she’d slept in it.

Simon leaned against the railing, Jana settling next to him. “Possibly,” he said. He looked at Jana. His own smile turned wicked. “I”m not sure I approve of the amount of skin you’re showing right now,” he told her, caressing her bare arm.

Jana gave him a mock reproving look. “Only because I’m not showing enough leg,” she teased, sticking out her tongue.

Simon chuckled, leaning down to claim a kiss. Jana kissed him back, enjoying their time together. They’d had their own makeout session earlier, and she couldn’t get enough.

Reluctantly, Simon pulled back from her, touching her face. “May I ask you something?” he posited, pulling her into his arms, her back to the railing.

“Sure,” Jana replied, playing with the collar of his t-shirt. It seemed like she couldn’t keep her hands off of him.

“Was I your first kiss?” he asked. She looked up at him, startled.

She gave a small laugh. “Are we still playing Truth or Dare?” she asked. “Because-” She moved in to kiss him, but he put his finger to her lips.

“I wanted to know,” he said, looking uncharacteristically serious, pushing back her hair. “So I asked.”

Jana sighed. “Yeah,” she said. “You were. Does that bother you?” she asked, giving him a strange look. “You know I’m a virgin…”

Simon sighed. “I don’t know. I had a different image of who you were before you told me that.” Still, he held her close. “Why has there been no one else?”

Jana shrugged. “I… just haven’t been interested. Texas men are so… traditional.”

Simon chuckled. “Perish the thought,” he teased, placing a light kiss at her hairline.

Jana gave him a small shove, not displacing him at all and drawing a chuckle from the man in question. “You know what I mean. With my reputation… I guess I scare them off.”

“What about California?” he asked. She tensed, and Simon gave her a tight squeeze, kissing her temple. After a moment, he asked, “Did something… happen?”

Jana shook her head. “No. If it had, I wouldn’t be a virgin.” Simon nodded. “No, just.. I wasn’t the way I am, now. I was really shy, back then.”

Simon gave a surprised laugh. “Surely you jest,” he said, grinning down at her.

Jana giggled a little. “I was! At least, around guys I was. Part of it was being so tall. Do you know what it’s like, being a 12-year-old girl and towering over most of the boys in the seventh grade?” Except for Brian Dunford, and he’d remained her competition for tallest person in the class until she moved to Texas. So far as she was aware, he still held the title. “I felt like a freak of nature until several boys shot up overnight in the ninth grade.”

Simon smiled, understanding, caressing her arm once more. “It sounds as if you were intimidating, even then.”

“Not on purpose,” she protested, pouting a little.

Simon chuckled. “No, that came later.” That comment drew a laugh from Jana. “But after the boys had their growth spurts, there wasn’t…?”

Jana shook her head. “No. I wish there was a better story for you. I just… It was always the smaller girls. The ones who could fit under the guy’s arm more easily.” Jana sighed. “And I guess I still had a bit of a complex from junior high. I don’t think they even really noticed me.”

“A pox on them for that, then,” Simon told her. “Though I suppose I have the benefit of knowing you now.” He appeared lost in thought for a moment, then looked down at her. “Would it ruin the story terribly if I asked what really happened with a certain Miss Collier and gallons of chlorinated water?”

Jana laughed. “Do you really want to know?” she asked, her hands resting on his arms.

Simon smirked. “Are you telling me that it was unintentional?” he asked, letting her lean back against the railing, still in the circle of his arms.

Jana smiled up at him. “There are a couple things you should know about the incident,” she told him. “It was near homecoming, Bridget had just had her hair done, and I was stuck waiting for Gabe, with Bridget annoying me more by the minute.”

Simon chuckled. “Just how incidental was this incident?” he asked, his interest obviously piqued.

Jana sighed. “All I was trying to do was get her to leave this other girl alone. It was the third time she’d picked on Penelope that day, and I guess I just didn’t know my own strength.”

Grinning, Simon said, “Let me guess: the pool was supposed to be empty?”

“Or at least covered.” At that, her boyfriend laughed. “In my defense,” she said, “it was nighttime, and the complex we were at wasn’t that well-lit.”

Simon shook his head. “I take it that Bridget was not expecting it.”

Jana snorted. “For a cheerleader, she had literally no sense of balance.” Simon laughed again. “Even if she did, she didn’t get it back fast enough.” She smirked. “You should have heard her scream. You would have thought someone was trying to kill her.”

Simon’s shoulders shook with silent laughter. Finally, with a couple deep breaths, he could speak again. “Oh, dear. I should like to have seen it.”

“I’ll bet you heard it,” Jana joked. It had been a mixer, and the who’s who of the senior class had been there, fully half of which at least got to see Bridget get pulled out of the pool. While the supervising faculty member had taken Jana at her word that she hadn’t pushed the head cheerleader into the pool on purpose, Bridget had not, and from there, her reputation grew. The infamous incident would never be forgotten. Or forgiven.

Simon smirked. “I never did get close enough to the pool to see anything, but I heard many conflicting reports.”

Jana nodded, amused. “The stuff of folk legend,” she said. She looked up at him. “Did the details disappoint?” she asked.

“Not at all,” Simon told her. Smiling, he leaned down to kiss her again.

At that precise moment, they heard pounding feet and heavy breathing. They looked in the direction of the sounds, but saw nothing. Then a boy, probably about 17, ran into view from the side of the house they’d come from and jumped the railing, falling several feet below into the lake, wearing only his boxers. Right behind him was a girl wearing only her bra and panties. “Timmy!” she cried. She stopped at the railing, looking down as if to try and see him in the dark.

Simon, blinking once, turned, pulling Jana upright. “It would appear to be time that I returned you to your brothers.” He turned to escort her along the balcony once more.

Jana smirked. “Don’t you want to find out what that’s about?” she asked.

“Sometimes, dear Jana,” said Simon, “you must presume the story isn’t one you wish to hear.”