When Lila Met Stacey – Chapter 2

31 Aug

As I write each installment of this BSC/ SVH crossover, I will post it on the home page, and allow you also to access it from the “When Lila Met Stacey” tab. Mainly because

1] I really want you to read it, especially the last few paragraphs of this chapter [starring Margo!]

and

2] Ripping off Karen Brewer and Elizabeth Wakefield simultaneously is FUN!

Enjoy –

If you haven’t read chapter one yet, go here

CHAPTER 2

NEW YORK

“I’ll have a vodka, lime and soda thanks. And can you make sure it’s a real lime, not cordial? – I have type I diabetes.”

Jessica Wakefield caught Lila Fowler’s gaze across the table and rolled her eyes. She’d been trying to snag the attention of the cute waiter for the past two hours, and now their new friend, Stacey McGill, was babbling on about her diabetes again. The trio was at New York’s hip new bar, Xenon, planning Lila’s upcoming 26th birthday bash and hunting for some eligible men. For the city that never sleeps, mused Jessica, there’s certainly a shortage of guys worth staying awake for.

“And you ladies?” The waiter turned his attention to Lila, who was picking at an imaginary thread on her YSL blazer. “The usual,” she sniffed indignantly, arching a perfectly tweezed brow.

A smile played on the waiter’s lips. “I don’t know what you’re used to, honey, but this is New York City. Your order?”

“Two cosmos,” Jessica cut in, flashing the waiter her most dazzling smile. He barely glanced at her. Her eyes narrowed as she slumped back on the bar stool. How she’d gone from one of LA’s most sought after socialites to a desperate wannabee-New-Yorker was beyond her. Back in Sweet Valley, Jessica Wakefield was hot property. Guys would be practically falling over each other to get a glimpse inside her mauve-walled bedroom on Calico drive, or to take her for a spin at the Beach Disco. She’d never have dreamed of going stag to the Plaza Cinema, and was rarely short on offers for Saturday night rendezvous at La Maison Jaques, or some of Sweet Valley’s other classy establishments.

But things had taken a turn for the worse when Jessica had hooked up with Jason Gorman, the brother of one of her high-school boyfriends, Christian. They’d met at a service marking the tenth anniversary of Christians’ tragic death in a school-yard fight, and Jessica had been swept away by his kindness and his warm blue eyes, so much like those that had melted her heart a decade ago. But their bond was based on a memory – two weeks into their affair she’d realized that it was the free-loving surfer Christian she wanted, not the shadow that was his brother. She was in love with a ghost. Jessica fought back a tear as the painful memory crashed over her. She’d managed to bounce back from the death of seven boyfriends in her short life, but now the anguish was beginning to take its toll.

Her identical twin, Elizabeth, had left for Stoneybrook, Conneticut just days before, and Jessica knew she needed a fresh start, away from suffocating Sweet Valley and the torment of its memories. So the next morning, a rainy Wednesday, Jessica had packed her twenty-six years into a D&G suitcase and taken the next flight to NYC. There she’d found herself hauled up in the back of a taxi crawling down Fourth Avenue. And that was where she’d met Stacey McGill, a stylish local with a high-paying accounting job at a prestigious firm.

It was Stacey who’d taken her in until she’d secured a poky apartment in downtown Manhattan. Stacey who’d stifled a giggle when she’d ordered a fill-it-mig-num at the Hard Rock Café, who’d shown her everything from the lights of Broadway to the Central Park carousel. And it was Stacey who’d been there that day she’d taken the plunge, applied for an ABN and set up her own business in the vacant upstairs of a seedy Italian café: “Wakefield Designs.”

Making the break from Sweet Valley had been tough, though it had nothing on convincing Lila to leave the sheltered opulence of Fowler Crest and join her fledgling company. But somehow, the wealthy heiress had found it in her heart to whip over to NYC in a heartbeat, and fund Jessica’s latest bright idea.

With Stacey managing the finances, and a kid called Marilyn Arnold answering the phones, Wakefield Designs was enjoying moderate success.

“Jessica!” A warm, familiar voice jolted her from her reverie.

She turned toward the voice and her eyes lit up.

“Steven!” she gasped.

Before her stood her older brother – still as handsomely chiseled as ever, though the dark circles under his eyes and slight recession of his hairline suggested that his recent divorce from childhood sweetheart Billie Winkler was taking its toll.

He reached over and playfully ruffled his younger sister’s sun-streaked hair. “What’s up kiddo?”

It was nice to see Steven out having fun for a change – since he’d taken over the New York branch of his father’s law firm, Steven had done nothing but work. Jessica marveled at how anyone, let alone her gorgeous brother, could spend 60 plus hours a week in a stuffy office, doing whatever it was that lawyers did. It was little wonder that Billie had up and left the Big Apple to return to Sweet Valley. Jessica had been as surprised as everyone, though, that a couple as perfect as Steven and Billie would end up like this –  Billie wanting kids, and Steven relentlessly pursuing his career. And now Jessica would never be an Aunt!

Stacey wriggled over to let Steven have a seat. “Cocktail?” she asked pleasantly, raising her voice to be heard above the blaring techno music.

Steven cleared his throat and glanced awkwardly at his sister. “Actually, I’m uh, meeting someone over by the bar in five.”

“A date?’ That got Lila’s attention. She and Steven had enjoyed a brief fling during her junior year at SVH, after a pyromaniac called John Pfeifer had burned down a wing of Fowler Crest.

“I guess you could call it that,” mumbled Steven.

Jessica grinned. Maybe this was just what her brother needed to get out of the dumps. Playing the field had always worked well for Jessica, who couldn’t see the sense in restricting herself to one guy when there were billions out there – but Steven had always considered himself something of a monogamist. However, just as the thought crossed her scheming mind, a tall, busty brunette with a shock of red lipstick wandered over and pecked Steven on the cheek. She looked pretty enough, thought Jessica, but her cleavage left little to the imagination, and her black patent slingbacks were totally passé.

“Are these your friends, Steve?” cooed the girl, perching on his lap. She looked at Jessica and screwed up her face in a fake smile. She couldn’t be a day over twenty. “I’m Charlotte.”

“Charlotte?” repeated Stacey, surprised. “Oh my gosh -Charlotte Johannsen?” She leaned forward in her seat.

The brunette stared blankly back at her. “Do I know you?” Her voice was pleasant but vacant.

“I’m Stacey – Stacey McGill – I babysat for you in Stoneybrook when you were a kid! I barely recognized you!”

Charlotte smiled back at her. “Of course. Lovely to see you Stacey.” She turned her attention back to Steven. “Betsy and Cokie are waiting for us by the main bar – shall we join them?”
Stacey reclined back on the hard stool, feeling dejected. That was it? All those middle-school parties and dances she’d given up to hang out with a bunch of eight-year-olds and this was how her favorite sitting charge remembered her? Stacey thought back to the hours she’d spent with the shy, intelligent kid from Stoneybrook elementary – reading Little Women and trawling through the kid-kit while her mother was too busy screwing consultants at Stoneybrook hospital to pay her any attention. She fought back a tear as she watched Charlotte link arms with Jessica’s brother and glide into Xenon’s loud main bar. She’d be barely nineteen years old, even now – did Dr J know, or care, that her only daughter was slutting around NYC underage? And with a guy of nearly 30, at that!

Stacey turned to her new friends and made a face. Suddenly, she didn’t feel like that extra cocktail. All that glucose was messing up her insulin levels, anyhow. Jessica was glowering in her brother’s direction and shaking her head. Stacey knew what she was thinking – a miserable Steven definitely beat a Steven who was tapping that jailbait.

“I thought your love life had hid the skids, Jess,” smirked Lila, “but your cradle-snatching brother has taken the cake.”

Jessica snatched her leather purse off the table and downed the last of her cosmopolitan. She was about to make a snappy remark to her friend when suddenly, an overwhelming sense of dread overcame her. She shuddered involuntarily as a chill settled in her chest like a steely knife. She knew this feeling – it was the one she’d had that fatal night of the junior prom, when a drunken Elizabeth had gotten in the car with her boyfriend, Sam Woodruff. It was the feeling that had overcome her when Liz had been trapped in a hovel by a crazed orderly from Fowler Memorial Hospital, and when a cruel look-a-like had come to Sweet Valley and tried to usurp her place in the Wakefield family. Jessica gasped and reached for her keys. Her twin was in trouble.

“You ok, Jess?” Stacey squeezed her hand. “I’m sure your brother’s just on the rebound. Give it a week.” An only child herself, Stacey would never know the psychic bond identical twins shared, even when they were on opposite sides of the country. Jessica pulled out her Blackberry and punched in the number she knew so well. “Pick up, Lizzie,” she pleaded.

“You’ve reached Elizabeth Wakefield’s mobile,” said the unflappable voice on the other end. “I can’t take your call right now but please leave me a voicemail.”

“Lizzie it’s me, pick up!” Jessica cried. She hit redial and heard a rustle on the other end. “Lizzie?”

She was met by a harsh, mocking laugh that sent conniptions down her spine. “Lizzie isn’t in,” cackled the voice. “You’ve reached Margo.”

***

Twenty-six year old Elizabeth Wakefield hummed the latest Colleen Dunstan song as she dropped her opinion piece on the editor’s desk. She was in high spirits that night, looking forward to heading out on a double date with her new friends, Mary-Anne and Logan.

“Thank-you, Elizabeth,” said Tina, the editor. She smiled warmly. “I’m looking forward to reading this – keep up the great work.”

Elizabeth’s heart soared. Although things had been difficult for her since her move to Stoneybrook, all her hard work was finally paying off.

“Oh and Elizabeth – ” called Tina, “It’s almost eight. Why don’t you knock off for the night? I don’t want to see you burning yourself out.”

Elizabeth wandered back to her desk and stifled a yawn. She had to pick herself up before she headed off to Burger Bite with Todd and their friends.

She rustled up the contents of her desk. Handbag. Check. Journal. Check. Secret Diary. Check. Now where the hell was her phone?

Outside, Todd’s black BMW pulled into a parking space. She could hear the Beach Boys blaring from the car stereo. He beeped impatiently. “I’m coming!” she yelled out the open window.

“That’s what she said!” a voice called from the other room. It was Shannon Kilbourne, the office’s fill-in, and a regular crack-up.
Elizabeth grabbed her sensible black cardigan off the filing cabinet. “Bye all!” She called to the nearly-deserted office as she hurried down the fire escape stairs. Todd was getting seriously impatient lately. She slid into the passenger seat and gave her boyfriend a quick peck on the cheek, and he smiled wearily at her. Elizabeth melted as she glanced at Todd’s handsome side profile, and the lean forearms that gripped the steering wheel. He smelled differently tonight – a combination of his regular cologne and something Elizabeth couldn’t quite put her finger on. She yawned and tried to relax as they headed towards Stoneybrook Mall, thinking of all the conversations she would have with Mary-Anne. The night was young.

***.

Karen Brewer smiled nervously as Seth dropped her off at the Pikes’ split-level home.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to come in, sweetie?” said her stepfather.

“N..No,” she stammered. “I’ll be fine.” She wriggled on her hot pink backpack and slid out of the car. She was beginning to doubt whether hanging out with the popular kids was such a good idea. Since trading in Hannie and Nancy for Margo Pike and her band of followers, Karen had begun to miss spending Friday nights in playing My Little Pony and Let’s All Come In. Still, this was probably the only available route remaining for her to get the attention of Ricky Torres.

“Karen’s here!” she heard a voice groan. It sounded like Pamela Harding.

“Bring her in,” someone else slurred, probably Margo. There were muffled snickers as the front door was whisked open. Karen straightened her denim overalls and smiled.

“Hey guys!” She chirped. “Mind if I put down my bag? I have Oreos in there.” She plunked it down on the oriental rug, suddenly very aware of the Bratz doll on the front of it.

She glanced around the living room, which was lined with empty beer cans and cigarette butts. Eight girls from her ninth-grade class were sprawled on the carpet, and an R-rated DVD was playing on the Pike’s widescreen. Margo scowled at her and took a swig from a suspicious looking bottle. Vintage 1983, it read. Karen gasped. Alcohol.

“So now that Karen’s here,” began Margo, “I vote that we start a game of truth or dare.”

“Hell Yeah!” echoed Myriah Perkins, taking a sip of her bourbon and coke.

Margo glared at her. “Settle, ‘Riah.” She turned her attention toward the other girls, now forming a circle around the living room. “And yes, I finished my dare from last week.”

“You got it?” Pamela asked, surprised.  “You actually stole the phone from that judgmental blonde virgin from your office?” Murmurs of approval sounded around the room.

“Yep,” said Margo, proudly. “Idiot left her door open. That’s the last time she asks me to photocopy her monthly schedule.”

Karen looked positively pale. Getting into the Pike’s stash was bad enough but stealing someone else’s property? That was a crime!

“What’s a’matter, Brewer?” sneered Margo. “Afraid of a dare?” She winked at Amanda Delaney behind Karen’s back.

Karen sighed. She liked Elizabeth Wakefield. A lot in fact. With good looks, a job at the News and a dreamy boyfriend, Elizabeth was someone Karen totally wanted to emulate. Karen tugged at the golden lavaliere around her neck. But tonight was not the night to admit that – tonight was about the new Karen Brewer.

“Okay,” she said finally. “I’ll go first.” What was the worst they could do? Send her over to the Spier’s place on Burnt Hill Road with all the underground ghosts? Karen wasn’t afraid of ghosts. In fact, some of them were her friends.

Amanda and Margo exchanged knowing smiles. “You have to scull this glass of Jack Daniels. Now.”

Karen looked horrified. She looked at the foul brown liquid in horror and tried not to breathe as Margo shoved the full glass under her nose. What would Kristy do? Karen took the glass, shaking, and held it to her lips. She downed it in one go, and a wave of nausea crashed over her. She swallowed, hard, and suppressed a hiccup. The girls started to chant, and she felt a friendly shove on the back. “Brewer! Brewer! Brewer!” Karen relaxed for the first time that night. She had one foot through the door!

The stolen Iphone let out a dull ring, but the girls ignored it.

“Alright Karen,” it was Margo. She was spinning around in front of her. In fact, so was the entire room. “Give someone a dare.”

“Myriah,” said Karen. “I want you to go over the road and knock on Morbidda Destiny’s door.”

“Morbidda fucking who?” Amanda cracked up.
Myriah broke into a giggle. “Clothed?” she asked in a hushed voice.

The phone rang again, and this time Margo picked it up. “Lizzie isn’t in,” she rasped. “You’ve reached Margo.” She hung up, and the girls rolled around the floor, laughing. Even Karen started to giggle. This Margo chick was pretty cool – her creepy voice would give even Morbidda a run for her money. Karen took a sip from a half-empty can of beer and settled in on the floor. If only Ricky Torres could see her now.

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8 Responses to “When Lila Met Stacey – Chapter 2”

  1. Christina Toth August 31, 2010 at 7:59 am #

    This is so taking me back! BSC and SVH….this is Awesome

  2. cia August 31, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    Fantastic and hilarious!

  3. steph August 31, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    This is absolutely awesome! I can’t wait to read more!

  4. Sarah August 31, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    This just keeps getting more and more awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Zoe September 1, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    I love the dynamics between the characters of SV & BSC. You have really kept the integrity of the original characters but used their obvious flaws to integrate them into the storyline – love it!

  6. Zoe September 1, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    Karen Brewer – my oh my! Funny to read your interpretation of how the youngsters turned out! And Stacey’s favourite charge from BSC – Charlotte Johannsen, love it!

  7. winstonegbert September 1, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    I’m supposed to be studying right now…but just can’t stop this murderous plot! [I know exactly how Margo feels]
    Is there any character you specifically want resurrected?

  8. Genevieve September 12, 2010 at 2:47 am #

    Please keep these coming… I’m LOVING watching you bring in new characters and mock both series in the best way.

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