When Lila Met Stacey Chapter 14 SUPER EDITION “Mary Anne and Too Many Babies” or “The Morning After”

28 Oct

Claudia Kishi-Lee slumped across the wooden table, absently doodling in the margins of her sketch book. It was Day One of Mission: Rebuilding Magenta Galaxy, but her heart was still full of sorrow. She wished Mimi were here now, to make her a cup of green tea and tell her everything was going to be alright. But Mimi was gone, and everything was a schomozzle. shamozell. A Big Mess.

Claudia glanced down at her outfit. She’d dressed in dark colours for the somber occasion: Grey-and-white striped leggings underneath a black turtleneck, with flat patent leather boots and grey marle scarf slung across her shoulders. The tears weeping from her almond-shaped eyes were cleverly disguised by a pair of Jackie O sunglasses, and her favourite comfy knit beret sat atop her glossy black plait.

The BSC ghosties must've had a field day concocting outfits like this

She grabbed a Hershey bar off the centre of the table and looked across at her friends. Jessica, normally the bubby leader of their company, looked haggard and pale, the dark circles under her eyes a testimony to the fact that she’d barely slept since Monday’s inferno. And Lila was thumbing through the latest Vogue, but even Claudia could tell she wasn’t reading it.

Claudia picked up the felt-tipped pen with a sigh. It was time to rally the troops.

Wear to Start, she wrote on top of a fresh page.

“W. H. E. R. E,” Lila spelled, without looking up.

“Where do we start?” Jessica mumbled, absently picking at an Oreo. “We have nothing.”

“We have something,” Lila said pointedly.

“What’s that?” Claudia looked dumbfounded.

“We have money. We’ve got Alan, Ben, my parents…”

“What’s the use of money,” argued Jessica, “When we don’t know how to use it?”

Claudia set down the pen. Jessica was right – after all, Lila’s finances were still controlled by her father, and Jessica couldn’t organize a budget if her life depended on it. And as for Claudia – her arithmetic skills were almost as bad as her spelling.

Just then, Claudia’s kitchen door swung open, and in burst Stacey, looking flustered yet striking in a pale yellow trench coat.

“I came as soon as I heard!” She cried. “And I brought someone with me.”

A tall, attractive man with a crop of dark hair and slate-blue eyes entered the kitchen.

“This is Nicholas Morrow.”

* * *

“Mary-Anne Spier?”

Mary-Anne tottered out of her seat in the waiting room of Dr Johannsen’s clinic, tossing her chocolate wrapper into the trashcan. She was certainly eating for more than one these days! Mary-Anne couldn’t believe that today she’d be seeing the first ultrasound images of her baby. She just hoped it was Logan’s and not a product of the one-night stand she’d had with AJ Morgan. If she gave birth to a ranga, she’d know.

“I’m Dr Egbert. Follow me,” commanded a lanky man in a white coat, smiling kindly at her.

Mary-Anne looked disappointed. She’d been hoping to see a female, preferably someone experienced like Dr Johanssen. But the woman was run off her feet practicing all kinds of medicine, much like her father’s contribution to the legal system. She entered the sterile room and let the man take her blood pressure.

“So you’re twelve weeks,” he began conversationally.

“Yup,” she replied nonchalantly. She lay down as the doctor put the cold jelly stuff over her ever-expanding tummy and moved the probe into place.

“Well that’s interesting,” he said with a lopsided grin.

“What?” she demanded. These hormones were making her so moody!

“I hope you’ve made some extra room in your house,” he giggled. “’Cause you’re having twins!”

“Twins?” Mary-Anne sat up, aghast. Twins…that was like Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold…Adam, Byron and Jordan Pike, the Shillabers, the Porters, the Stevensons, the goddam Wakefields!

“Noooooo!” cried Mary-Anne, letting her head fall in her hands. This world was full of clones – and she was about to add another couple to the gene pool!

* * *

Margo ran up the steps of 93 Calico Drive and into the Spanish-tiled kitchen.

“Mom? Dad? Steven? I’m home!” She called in her best chirpy Elizabeth voice.

“Darling!” Alice Wakefield’s arms were around her in an instant.

“Elizabeth!” Ned wrapped his arms around his wife.

“Family hug!!” Yelled Steven, running into the kitchen to engulf the trio.

Margo allowed herself to revel just a moment in the familial warmth. She looked up at Alice and smiled softly.

“It’s good to be back, Mom.”

“Good to have you here, sweetie,” said Alice in a sing-song voice, as she turned back to the roast she was preparing.

Dumbass, thought Margo, suppressing a guffaw. She was now one hundred per cent convinced that Nalice were the worst parents in history. For starters, the birthmark on her left shoulder was just a henna tattoo. And her contacts were at least two shades off the twins’ blue-green eyes. This was going to be easier than she’d thought.

“Pancakes?” Offered Ned gallantly, and Margo graciously took a stack. His cologne smelled incredible, she mused. If Alice ever hooked up with Hanky Patman again, she’d be more than happy to have a crack at Ned.

“Nooo!” cried the voice of reason in her mind. “He’s about to become your father. Even if Steven is totally inappropriate with siblings, this relationship is sacred.”

Margo smiled and dug into the blueberry pancakes. Her current diet was torture, but she was more than happy to break it for an afternoon with her new family.

She grinned at Steven and he winked back. My new family, she thought, starting very, very soon.

* * *

Lila Fowler wrapped her pea-green coat around her and strode to keep up with Jessica as they made their way along the bleak Manhattan sidewalk. Since their meeting this morning, she was determined that nothing would to stop them getting to the bottom of the fire that had ruined Magenta Galaxy. With the help of Stacey, they’d drawn up a sensible four-week plan to get their business on track, and Nick Morrow had called in some family favours from his designer mother, Skye.

Lila puffed out a breath of frosty air.

“Can you believe Nicholas Morrow’s a diabetic?” Jessica was babbling. “It could explain why he rejected me in junior year. His family had such bizarre medical problems! He’s still such a stud though, and he really seems keen on Stacey. Fancy hooking up at a diabetic conference.”

“Shut up Jess,” admonished Lila. After twenty-six years, it still astounded her that in times of crisis Jessica continued to ogle men.

“I’m sorry,” Jessica whispered. “I know how hard this is for you. But we’ll get Cokie this time, we will.”

They rounded the corner outside Style Masons.

“You ready?” Jessica squeezed her best friend’s hand. She was glad they’d left the other two back at Claudia’s. Stacey especially seemed to back down during conflict. But Jessica and Lila were primed.

Lila took a deep breath and pushed open the door of Style Masons.

“Look out, Cokie,” she muttered under her breath.

But it wasn’t Cokie who greeted them that afternoon – no, the fashionista had gone lunching with a group of models and left her shop in the care of someone else. Someone Lila had thought she’d never see again.

But there he was, his feet propped up on the glass-topped counter, a cigar dangling out of his mouth as he casually toyed with the lighter in his hands.

“Hello Lila,” he said calmly, his dark eyes flashing. “I wondered when you’d come.”

Lila felt herself falling. She gripped Jessica’s skinny arm for support.

“John Pfeifer?” she choked, aghast

* * *

Bruce Patman flung his tweed jacket on the 20-seater dining room table and took a sip of whisky straight from the decanter. Margo had been gone all day and he was getting seriously frisky. The old Bruce would have swung by the Country Club on the way home and picked up some half-drunk Lovett whore, but lately, things had changed. He absently rifled through the mail that Mrs Pervis had brought in, debating whether to call Margo, or just wait for his father’s stripper to stop by at noon.

“Hey Buddy,” Bruce glanced up. Frank Santelli, his father’s laywer, was slyly traipsing through the dining room, awkwardly trying to conceal an A4 file behind his back.

“So…what are you doing?” Mr Santelli asked uncertainly, trying to turn the attention back to his client’s son.

“Your mum,” Bruce snapped. He had no time for Frank’s games. “What’s behind your back, anyway?” He craned his chiseled neck to get a better view.

Frank remained silent.

“Well?” Bruce challenged. He marched over to the grey-haired lawyer and snatched the document out of his hands.

“My Last Will and Testament, By Henry Wilson Patman the Third,” he read with a frown.

“Holy shit..” Bruce glanced up, a look of defiance spreading across his face. “Hank’s writing me out of the will? Impossible!” He slammed a fist down on the table, and the cutlery rattled ominously. “You bastard!” he raged, shaking a finger in the laywer’s face. “This is not on! I’m Bruce Patman!”

Frank smiled calmly. “And your father is Henry Wilson Patman. And what Hank wants, he gets – just ask Alice.”

Bruce lowered his voice. “It cant be too late,” he whispered menacingly. “Tell me what I need to do, and I’ll do it.”

Frank pointed to a clause, in fine typed print right at the end. He flashed Bruce a triumphant grin. “You need to marry a Wakefield.”

A dark furrow creased Bruce’s handsome brow. “Frank —“ he sighed imploringly.

“I’ve gotta run,” Mr Santelli cut him off. “There’s a rally at Secca Lake this arvo. You’ve got a year, Bruce. Just make it happen.”

And just like that, he was gone.

Bruce slumped back into the mahogany grandfather’s chair and grabbed his Blackberry. Without another thought, he punched in Margo’s number. She would know exactly what to do.

* * *

Elizabeth Wakefield ran up the steps of her parent’s place on Calico Drive, exhausted after her long plane ride and an afternoon spent interviewing Roger Collins’ ex, French teacher Nora Dalton.

“Liz?” her mother greeted her, a furrow crossing her elegant brow. “Weren’t you wearing a floral dress before?”

Elizabeth glanced down at her beige chinos. “Not unless an evil twin is in Sweet Valley trying to steal my life again,” she teased.

Ned entered the room with a smile. “Don’t worry, my dear,” he reasoned, placing a strong hand on Alice’s shoulder. “It must have been Jessica pulling a twin switch.”

“Of course,” replied Alice. She’d thought Jessica was busy in New York after her company had burnt down, but Jessica tended to pull strange tricks in times of trouble.

Elizabeth tried to smile, but something made her feel uneasy. She cast a glance outside at the perfectly trimmed hedges and an involuntary shudder ran down her spine. She could’ve sworn she’d seen a tanned, heart-shaped face, staring back at her with steely blue eyes.

What damage will pyromaniac Pfeifer do on his return from the dead?

Will Margo’s evil plot prevail?

And where will Bruce Patman turn when the shit hits the fan?

Find out in Chapter 15, “The Love Bet,” or, “Stacey’s Big Crush”

But now I’ll leave you with some Halloween cheer. Whether you’re going to the Halloween Hop with Trevor Sandborne, trick-or-treating with the Pikes, or just steering clear of Ben Brewer and Morbidda Destiny – who better to celebrate Halloween cheer with than the BSC? [they had, what, 13 goddam Halloweens in eigth grade]

Here's hoping the wind changes...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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One Response to “When Lila Met Stacey Chapter 14 SUPER EDITION “Mary Anne and Too Many Babies” or “The Morning After””

  1. cokie mason October 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Yes! I voted for Nicholas Morrow AND John Pfeifer! Will he go for the date rape or will he blow up a Jets game?

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