When Lila Met Stacey Chapter 16: The Wakefield Legacy, the Untold Story

11 Nov

Margo Pike strolled onto the eastern deck of Sweet Valley Country Club on Sunday afternoon, relishing the warm Californian sun on her bare legs. It had been a bold move going out in public as Elizabeth today, but so far it had been worth it. It was her seventeenth birthday, after all, and Bruce was spoiling her rotten! She took a sip of her cosmopolitan and wondered for a second whether anyone in the Pike family had noticed her absence yet. It was getting on for a month, after all. Nah, she thought bitterly, a sardonic sneer momentarily crossing her attractive face. Margo turned her attention back to the court, where Bruce was servng his cousin an absolute walloping. She hoped that word of Bruce’s date with “Elizabeth” would reach Hank’s ears before too long. But he was apparently in Chicago on a business trip for a couple of weeks.

“Jessica! Jess!”

A whiny voice called her attention, and she turned to see a willowy blonde skipping toward her.

Amy Sutton, Margo groaned inwardly. She’d already pegged the girl as a slut from her yearbook shots and her facebook profile.

“Hi Amy – but I’m not Jess: I’m Liz,” she corrected the older girl.

Amy looked taken aback. “What, you avoiding your old friends now?” she demanded. “I saw Liz at the chemist this morning! I know its you, Jess. Besides, Liz’s skirts aren’t normally that short,” she added snidely.

Shit, Margo panicked. She knew. She racked her brain.

“It must have been Jess at the chemist,” she replied flatly. “Because I’m Elizabeth. And unless this is sixth grade, we’re not the best of friends.” She glared at Amy, who was now viewing her with a suspicious gaze.

“I work at project youth,” Amy went on. “And I can read people.” She stepped right up in Margo’s face, her grey eyes piercing Margo’s blue-green contact lenses.

“If that regrowth tells me correctly,” Amy continued icily, “You’re not a Wakefield at all – you’re a changeling.”

Margo composed herself. She knew what had to be done.

“Why don’t you come over to Calico Drive for a bit, Amy,” she whispered. “You can psychoanalyse me all you want. Bring Freud for all I care.”

She grabbed the girl’s skinny wrist and guided her into Bruce’s porsche. He’d understand, just this once, she reasoned. Although she had almost been carsick over the leather interior yesterday, which Bruce had warned her was a dealbreaker.

Amy’s eyes were shining with anticipation.

Idiot, thought Margo. This shouldn’t take long at all.

* * *

Twenty-six-year-old Lila Fowler glanced up from the magazine she was pretending to read and sipped her latte. She couldn’t believe she was actually in Starbucks. Still, it seemed safer to meet Pfeifer on neutral territory. Just as the thought crossed her mind her oppressor appeared at the mood-lit entrance, flanked by his wife, Cokie Mason. He paused and kissed the brunette roughly on the forehead, then turned his attention squarely toward the booth where Lila sat, his imposing frame and wild eyes dredging up those horrid memories from a decade ago.

First there had been the attempted rape – that frightening night at Miller’s Point when he’d smacked her head against the door of his car. Then there was the stalking, and then the pyromania. Lila shivered, recalling the fire at Fowler Crest, and Pfeifer’s crazed attempts to kill her in an inferno at a Sweet Valley High football game. John Pfeifer was declared dead that night, but like so many others in Sweet Valley, he’d escaped mortality.

The memory of the thick, ashen fog was so real it almost choked her, and the vision of the serpentine flames licking at the West Wing of Fowler Crest was as vivid as if it were yesterday.

Lila steadied her countenance as John threw his body into the seat across from her. She had to stay strong.

“So what made you beg me to come on this…date with you?” he leered, his slate grey eyes glowering.

“It’s not a date,” she said through gritted teeth.

Pfeifer absently trawled a finger through the candle in the centerpiece. He shot a look at Lila. “You know what they say about little girls who play with fire, don’t you?”

“My lawyers are working on this.” She replied frostily. “And they will prosecute you.”

“You can’t prove it, Lila,” he snarled, his eyes dancing crazily. He pushed his contorted face close to Lila’s. “Fires happen.”

Lila opened up her grey and white speckled slam book. “But I can prove this.” She took out a photograph – it was from a few months earlier, of John in a Phuket nightclub pushing a girl up against the wall. She couldn’t be a day over fourteen.

John’s mouth gaped open. “Where did you get that?”

Lila flashed him a triumphant grin. “I have my sources,” she snapped haughtily.

John held the photograph to the candle flame.

“Do what you want, Pfeifer,” she threatened. “It’s on my flash drive. And if you don’t give me exactly what I want, it will be all over facebook in an hour, and your marriage to that stupid little whore will be over.”

John dropped the picture onto the cover of the slam book and met Lila’s gaze. “And what would that be?”

Lila set down a document before him and delivered the ultimatium.

“You give us one of Style Mason’s warehouses to take over,” she said simply, “And you leave us all alone from then on in.”

John sat back in his chair, stroking his angular jaw in consideration.

Finally he spoke. “You can have the one on Fourth Street,” he deliberated. “At a price.”

“Name it,” said Lila, drawing a check book out of the pocket of her Burberry trench.

John covered her small manicured hand with his rough one. “I don’t want you money, Lila,” he whispered. “I want you. Properly, this time.”

“I owe you nothing!” Lila was getting agitated. “And this is my blackmail, dammit!”

Pfeifer’s eyes flashed. “You can threaten all you want, Lila, but lets face it – I have the command of the most powerful force on earth. What match is your little photo when I can fight it with fire? He stood up and grabbed his sports coat off the back of the chair. “You have until Saturday to consider my proposal,” he warned menacingly. “Or else I burn down your house, and your little friends too.”

Sheer terror pervaded Lila as she watched him leave, bidding a charming goodbye to the barrista. She was frozen to the core. He’d gotten the upper hand alright – and now her life was in danger.

Backfire, she thought ironically.

 

To this day, Lila still wonders why children stop her in the street and say, “Wake Up, Jeff!”

* * *

Mary-Anne wolfed down the last of her Clam Chowder and belched loudly. Logan blushed, and looked apologetically at the other patrons at the Burger Garden.

A break at Sea City on the Jersey Shore was just what the doctor ordered, Mary Anne decided, as she reclined in their booth. She was feeling much more serene here, and Logan had commented that she even had that pregnancy glow. She glanced down at her ever-expanding abdomen. If by glow he means jelly-belly, he’s on the money, she thought with a wry smile.

They’d had breakfast with Dawn this morning, although her step-sister was still recovering from the ill-effects of whatever she’d put in her hookah the night before.

Dawn had insisted they stay for brownies, but they’d had to make an excuse when she’d tried to coerce them into a rally with her at Shadow Lake.

Mary-Anne grinned. She remembered coming here with the Pike kids many moons ago, before Abby Stevenson had murdered Claire. They didn’t seem so bad now, those Pike children, and even Margo had impressed her with her work at the Stoneybrook News. But that was before Mary-Anne had gone on maternity leave: She could barely fit the twins behind her desk these days! She was already five months along, and another four months seemed like a holiday now that her morning sickness had stopped. Shadow Lake…Hawaii….Camp Mowhawk….there was so much to do before the doppelgangers made their entrance! She gobbled down Logan’s remaining gelato. If only Claudia Kishi could see her now.

* * *

At 11:40pm, Bruce tiptoed upstairs in Margo’s Calico Drive flat.

“Babe,” he whispered. “Good news – I just got off the phone to Dad. Told him I’d taken Liz Wakefield out to the Country Club.” He pushed open the bedroom door.

“Margo?”

Margo opened her eyes. “How long was I out for?” She sat up. “Oh, hey Bruce.”

He reached over and tenderly tucked a lock of her blonde hair behind her ear. “Were you asleep?”

“I’m beat,” she muttered. “We’re really gonna have to start making use of the hitman who lives next to your dealer. I knifed Amy Sutton earlier.” She dropped back on the pillow.

Bruce glanced down wistfully. He’d always had a soft spot for Amy Sutton – whenever Annie Whitman wasn’t giving it up, he could always rely on the pretty blonde for a quickie in the bushes. Still, these things had to be done. And hearing the joy in his father’s voice made it all the more worthwhile.

“Sleep tight, angel.” He kissed Margo on the forehead. “You’ve got a big day ahead.”

Margo drifted into the blissful haze of her subconscious. The dreams troubled her less these days – everything was being restored to its rightful order

“Everything will be put right,” she rasped as she fell into a deep sleep.

* * *

Alice Wakefield snatched the penthouse room key from the Hilton bellhop and scurried into the elevator. So far so good, she thought nervously, pulling her spotted head scarf around her heart-shaped face. She hitched up her nylon stockings, held only in place by a flimsy garter belt. Alice Wakefield was dressed to kill, and she knew it.

The elevator grinded to a halt and she strode purposefully into the hall, seductively swiping the plastic card through its lock. The door whisked open, and the full lavishness of the penthouse suite was upon her.

Time to design this interior, she whispered.

Looking more like the twin's sister than their mother sure has its advantages...

Will Lila give John what he really wants?
Who will Margo murder next?
And will Alice Wakefield return from her rendezvous before it’s too late?
Find out in Chapter 17, “Annie Whitman Strikes Back”
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One Response to “When Lila Met Stacey Chapter 16: The Wakefield Legacy, the Untold Story”

  1. Daniella November 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Love the ending…and really love the part between Lila and John. This is one of the best chapters yet!

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