When Lila Met Stacey Chapter 13 “Slam Book Fever”, or “Fight Fire With Fire” [where Bruce seals the deal…]

21 Oct

Well here it is my friends: The long-anticipated cover of Sweet Valley Confidential. I appreciate the circle art, but Jess/Liz still looks kinda porn-starish in my opinion. Like Annie Whitman dyed peroxide-blonde leaving The Shady Lady or Kelly’s at 4am. 10 points for the lavaliere, though. Let me know what you reckon. Personally, I’m still haggling for Margo/Nora to step up, which reminds me that you’ve still got a couple of days to get your entry in for a Team Margo shirt

But enough of the official book. Lets get on with the Margo magic and the BSC:


Jessica Wakefield bit into a forkful of mashed potato and threw her date, Australian Ben Hobart, a seductive smile.

Ben leaned over and flirtatiously wiped a crumb off her dimpled cheek, flashing her his lopsided grin. Jessica lounged back in their booth blissfully. Ben was everything she’d dreamed of – cute, funny and talented, with an adorable accent. They were such a perfect fit, she reflected, she being the muse to his photography prowess. And  he was the first redhead she’d dated since junior year! She stretched out her tanned arms contentedly and glanced across the table. Claudia’s husband, Pete, was shoving French fries into her mouth like they were going out of fashion. And Lila was practically foaming at the mouth as Microsoft magnate Alan Gray tousled her shiny dark hair. Stacey was at a Diabetes America conference in Chicago, which was probably a good thing given that she was the only single one in their circle. It was hard to keep dates around, thought Jessica, when you freaked them out on the first date by double-checking the glycemic index of everything you ordered. Apparently cooked carrots were a no-no, as Aaron Dallas had found out at their Box Tree Café soiree back in Sweet Valley.

Alan completed a foot-high sugar-cube statue and proceeded to blow it down – all over Lila’s placemat. Jessica snorted. But instead of The Look she was expecting from her uppity friend, Lila dissolved into giggles. Even Lila was mellowing, Jessica thought with a wry smile, although the WAG status that came with dating a millionaire computer mogul could have something to do with it. She caught Lila’s eye and winked. Could this day get any better?

* * *

“Lizzie,” whined Sam Thomas as he stuck his head out the driver’s side of the Junk Bucket. “Can’t you at least come out for lunch?”

“You know I’d love to,” she countered, “But I’ve got to get to the court-room by noon to cover the Collin’s case. You wouldn’t want your own stepsister’s voice not be heard now, would you?”

“No chance of that,” muttered Sam. Leave it to loud-mouthed Karen to come between him and the Californian blonde. He hadn’t had this much of a hard-on since Stacey MacGill back in the ninth grade.

Elizabeth slid out of the passenger side and slammed the door. “Bye Sam!” she called brightly. She had a case to crack!

Five minutes later, Elizabeth was seated in the Stoneybrook Courthouse. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Karen Brewer waving ecstatically at her, her gold lavaliere dangling around the collar of a too-large black power suit. Elizabeth suppressed a laugh. Karen had been skulking outside her bedroom door for the entire week she’d been staying at the Big House, and Elizabeth was fairly certain that the high-schooler’s increasingly regular visits had less to do with Seth being a bastard and more to do with a sister-like admiration.

The judge strode in, and Elizabeth joined the rest of the courthouse in standing. Mr Collins, the defendant, was checking out one of the young female jurors, she noticed. She scribbled down a description in her slam-book.

“Disgraced school teacher Roger Collins was a shadow of his former self on day one of his court hearing in Stoneybrook. He was pale and gaunt, and could barely raise his crinkly eyes to meet the judge’s. It appears his Robert Redford good looks and strawberry blonde hair are as much a memory as his once revered reputation.”

Elizabeth put down her pen as Richard Spier stepped up on the podium to cross-examine Karen Brewer, who’s just finished telling the entire court that she swore to tell the whole truth, or else she’d turn herself in to Morbidda Destiny. This was going to be a long afternoon.

* * *

Bruce tapped impatiently on Margo Pike’s dresser, his engraved cufflinks clinking against the laquered surface.

“Are you done yet?” he chastised her. She was still in the ensuite of her Calico drive townhouse, taking an unacceptable amount of time for a woman to get ready. He absently rifled through the contents of her desk. Blonde hair dye? Green contacts? Daisy perfume? A floral cardi?

Bruce sighed. After their date at Palomar House tonight, he was hoping to seal the deal. But his girlfriend was acting way more Liz Wakefield and way less Annie Whitman than he’d been hoping for. In fact, if he didn’t get more than just a bikini untie or a boob grope, he was going straight to the country club to bag one of the floozies his uncle was always pushing on him. Ordinarily Bruce Patman did not wait around this long for a chick – but Margo’s mysterious games and obsession with his past had drawn him in like a moth to a flame.

“I’m coming!” she yelled back, and Bruce grinned.

“That’s what she said,” he called.

Despite his initial distress at the woman speaking out of turn, Bruce had grown to love how Margo didn’t back down –  it was like a constant battle of the wills. The mature versus the youthful. The old money versus the nouveux riche. This was why he’d stuck around. He was becoming tired of the same old Californian harlots anyway – and Hank had made it pretty clear that if his only son didn’t have a wife by his thirtieth birthday, the Patman fortune would be directed elsewhere. Maybe Bruce could settle after all – and maybe it could be with Margo.

The bathroom door swung open, and Bruce gasped. Before him stood a sized-six, blue-eyed, blonde goddess, a flower-print maxi adorning her tanned body and matching barrettes in her flowing mane.

“Elizabeth?” he squinted. “How did you—”

“Hush,” the girl sauntered over to him and placed a finger to his lips. Bruce shook his head, confused. The husky voice was clearly Margo’s.

“I’m almost Elizabeth,” she whispered, a glint in her aqua-blue eyes. She toyed with the gold lavaliere around her neck seductively. “But tonight I’m all yours.”

Yeehaa! Thought Bruce. He’d thought his chances of having both Wakefield twins at once were all over, having groped them both on several occasions, but separately. First there was Jessica in Ken Matthew’s swimming pool, then a comatose Liz in his bedroom, then back to Jess in their Club X days, and then Liz in the kitchen after they’d discovered their parent’s secret affair. Bruce smiled at the memory, recalling the way that Pleb Wilkins had taken off like a girl when he’d caught his woman sucking face with the Patman. Yep, he’d had ‘em one at a time, but now there was a Wakefield doppelganger in Sweet Valley, anything was possible!

He held out his forearm with mock chivalry and Margo linked her slender one in his.

Bruce was no fool, Margo reasoned – and even he’d fallen for her new appearance. Now as soon as Elizabeth’s voice was mastered she was going over the road to work her charm on a certain Spanish-tiled split-level house. But first she had to consummate this thing – give Bruce a crack at the hottest soon-to-be-Wakefield yet.

“Let’s not bother with Palomar House,” she purred, fiddling with the top button of Bruce’s polo shirt. “I’m happy right where we are.”

* * *

“He made me drink water from the hose,” Karen was saying, “And then he grabbed me and tried to kiss me.”

A hush fell over the courtroom.

God I hate Karen Brewer

“I asked Ben Brewer – that’s my great-great grandfather’s ghost – to come and rescue me but he couldn’t. Mr Collins was too drunk and too strong.”

Elizabeth hurriedly scribbled down the last of the victim’s notes. She knew Collins had been a flirt, but now she was sure he’d totally crossed the line. He’d be locked up indefinitely, she just knew it.

“Court is adjourned,” said the judge, adjusting her blonde wig. “We will resume at 9am tomorrow.”

Gradually the voices picked up, and Elizabeth watched as Karen stumbled off the podium, running to give her stepsister Kristy a hug. Collins was slumped over his chair, despondent. Serves him right, thought Elizabeth, with no more than a twinge of pity.

“Elizabeth!” she turned. Her boss, Tina, was making her way towards the row of journalists.

“Tina!” Elizabeth smiled brightly. “We’re making great headway.”

“I know,” Tina smiled back. “I’m so proud of you for getting on track with this, Elizabeth. So much so, that I’m going to ask you to head to Sweet Valley to do some more research.” She waved her hands in front of her like she was having a vision splendid. “How’s this for a headline: The seedy past of Roger Collins: From Sweet Valley to Sodom. I’ll give you a fortnight.”

Elizabeth grinned. Two weeks in Sweet Valley? This would be a dream come true! Maybe her former colleagues at the Tribune would even let her have her old office back. Elizabeth tucked her black-and-white speckled slam book under her arm and shook Tina’s hand. “You’re on!”

* * *

Jessica, Lila and Claudia strolled back to their workshop, still on cloud nine after their romantic triple-lunch-date. Ben was so handsome! Thought Jessica dreamily. And she loved the way he said “Jessicah” with that ocker accent.

“What’s that strange smell?” Lila sniffed. “It’s like burnt feathers,”

“Burnt ring dings,” Claudia corrected her. “It reminds me of the time I left my GHD on the pillow and burnt my candy.”

A loud siren wailed nearby, and Jessica watched as a fire engine whizzed past them. Jessica’s heart jumped into her throat. She had a bad feeling about this. She quickened her pace, and the girls fell into step beside her.

A thick smog swirled around them, and Lila began to choke.

Jessica reached over and impulsively squeezed her friend’s hand. She knew Lila had a phobia of burning to death, ever since a pyromaniac had set fire to a wing of Fowler Crest in high school. Jessica hoped Lila would be over that before they went bushwalking in the Blue Mountains, Ben’s hometown. Then again, maybe her friend’s fear of bushwalking would prevail.

The trio rounded the corner, and Jessica gasped. The inferno was closer than she’d thought! A troop of ten or more fireman were struggling to control a blaze writhing over their very building like hundreds of hungry snakes. Where Magenta Galaxy had stood just hours before, a mass of smouldering debris remained, with pockets of flame leaping up among the piles of ash.

A crowd of New Yorkers was gathering around the rubble, shocked looks on their faces. Jessica could make out the faces of the Romano’s, whose Italian ristorante had once enjoyed moderate success from the top floor of the building.

“Outta my way!” Jessica shoved through the crowd, anger and disbelief searing through her sized-six body. Her craft, her handiwork, products of hours of labour had become just a heap of smoking rubble. Every stitch she’d sewn with her very hands, every idea she’d brought to life had combusted, burnt to a singe on the Manhattan sidewalk.

The tears streamed down Jessica’s face as she fought through the rubble, searching for a scrap of lycra, a pice of lame`, something to tell her that she’d achieved something, that she mattered. She glanced beside her. Claudia was pushing a gummi bear into Lila’s hands, but unlike hypoglycemic Stacey, Lila had fainted from the horror that Jessica now felt, like a stake in her chest. Jessica raised her head and shook the tears from her blue-green eyes. And then she saw her, from the corner of her eye, a triumphant grin on her heavily made-up face as she flicked her shiny dark hair over her shoulder and disappeared into the crowd.

“Cokie Mason,” seethed Jessica. “You will pay!”

Which famous Sweet Valley villain pulled a Lazarus and started the fire?

Will Margo pull off a twin switch and fool Nalice?

And what is going on in Mary Anne’s womb?

Find out in Chapter 14, “Mary Anne and Too Many Babies” or “The Morning After”

From Sweet Valley to Stoneybrook, things are heating up…


6 Responses to “When Lila Met Stacey Chapter 13 “Slam Book Fever”, or “Fight Fire With Fire” [where Bruce seals the deal…]”

  1. earlynerdspecial October 21, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    There is something about the curls on the back cover that whisper “porn star,” and now that it’s been pointed out, I can’t seem to think about anything else.

    The lavaliere looks different! I don’t think I like it!

  2. cokie mason October 21, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    Yay! boob grope! Nice chapter – you should just kill Karen Brewer. It would be E.Z.!
    On the cover – I actually like it! The traditional circle art is cute!

  3. winstonegbert October 21, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    Admittedly, I had no freaking idea what a lavaliere was until embarrassingly recently. Some kind of charm necklace? A chain?

    • shan l October 27, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

      I have a lavaliere necklace. Yes, I asked for it as a Christmas present one year because of SVH.

  4. Daniella October 21, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    I hate everything about the cover…the twins don’t even look like real people. If I didn’t know what it is, I would never pick it up!

    But I Love this chapter!

  5. Jenn October 22, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    The Robert Redford picture is awesome. And Bruce telling “that’s what she said” jokes is SO him.

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