Chapter 7: Halloween Party
I was dressed in my Halloween finery, prepared to greet the kiddies with sugary goodness, when my first trick-or-treater rang the doorbell. Except it wasn't a cute little kid dressed as Capt. Jack Sparrow - it was Veronica, wearing pink.
"Trick or treat!" she said with a mischievous smile. Then she snatched the bowl of candy from me and stuck it on the front stoop and pulled me out the door! "Mr. Bartlett, I'm taking Ginny out!" she called into the house for my dad to hear.
"Veronica! I have trick-or-treaters to hype up on candy confections!" I protested as she closed the door behind me and dragged me down the driveway.
"No, you have a Halloween party to go to. Your dad is home, he can sugarize the masses." Veronica said pushing me into a waiting car. The car drove us out of town to the Castle in the park which was lit up and surrounded by costumed teenagers. Veronica pushed her way through the masses, dragging me along. Once we were inside the throne room, we spotted Timothy and her costume made sense to me - they were Danny and Sandy from Grease. She grinned at me and disappeared into the crowd, leaving me to find my own dance partner.
I skirted the edge of the room, looking over the crowd. These weren't all students from Carson High - some of them were from Franklin High I suspected. I saw Haiden, Ranna and Andre as I surveyed and smiled in their direction. Ranna and Timothy had spent a lot of time together last year and Haiden was in my math class. Andre I knew by reputation only.
I saw Todd dancing with Crystal - I wondered if they'd come together or met up here. Todd's and my eyes met and Todd looked away quickly. I sighed and continued to survey the room. Erik was dancing with a girl I didn't know. They seemed to be having a good time together and I tried not to feel stung by it but it did sting - more than it should.
"Friends." I muttered to myself. "Friends friends friends." I was so focused on reminding myself of this sad fact that I ran right into a boy dressed as a mobster. "Hmph! Sorry!" I said giving him a quick smile. He smiled back before extracting himself from our entanglement and walking on.
By the time we were untangled, I saw Erik's dance partner at the food table and casually approached her. "Hi." I said, feeling awkward as soon as I said it. I wasn't even sure why I'd spoken - what was I going to say to her?!
"Hi!" she said cheerfully taking a little more food for her plate. She must have seen my looking over Erik's way because, following my gaze, she continued. "Isn't he dreamy?" she sighed and part of me wanted to strangle her right there and tell her he was mine! Except he wasn't so I couldn't. "It's too bad he's still hung up on some ex." she added wistfully. "But he's a great dancer!" she said with a giggle. She was still giggling as she walked away, back toward Erik who saw me watching and smiled my direction.
I gave him a weak wave and finished my circuit of the room at the side door. I made a quick escape and wound through the castle to one of the darkened libraries. I'd been in the castle before so I mostly remembered the way. I could hear the party continued into the large ballroom as well as I passed by the doors. In the library, I sank into a chair to enjoy the quiet. I'd known about this party before Veronica kidnapped me of course - but I hadn't intended to come.
It wasn't long before my silent retreat was interrupted as the door creaked open, followed by a giggling sound and the sound of stumbling feet. I looked over to the door to see Todd and behind him was Crystal - the source of the giggles no doubt. When Todd saw me, his face sobered instantly.
I got to my feet quickly and scooted by them. It was clear they were looking for someplace private to continue their party and I didn't feel like being a witness. I didn't say anything to Todd or Crystal, only gave them an awkward smile.
"Ginny you don't have to..." Todd said as I slid out the door. I turned back to him, he was holding the door open and looking at me.
"No, it's okay - I want to get back to the party anyway." I said backing toward the stairs. "You two have....fun." I said and turned to leave.
Back in the throne room, I made eye contact with Veronica as she danced with Timothy. I wondered again if they'd planned their costumes - were they here together? Like a couple?
Veronica broke away from Timothy with a flirty smile and I eyed them curiously. Timothy smiled at me and then made his way over to the food as Veronica came over to me. "Are you two dating!?" I asked, forgetting my own issues.
Veronica shrugged. "Yes...no...I don't know!" she said.
"Did you two plan your costumes together?" I asked.
"No, not exactly. I mean he mentioned that he was considering doing Danny...." Veronica said.
"So you decided to be Sandy?" I asked with a smile. "Pink looks good on you." I added with a laugh.
"Oh shut up!" Veronica said but she was grinning. "He's cute...and sweet....and funny....."
"Yes I know Veronica - I have met him before." I said sarcastically.
Veronica laughed one more time and then turned to me. "Did you meet Todd's flavor of the month?" she asked. "I saw him leave shortly after you and wondered if you two ran into each other..."
"In passing. And don't call them that." I said biting back a laugh. Todd did seem to be going through girls quickly since getting back to school. "Look, Danny is waiting for his Sandy." I said nudging her. She smiled as she twirled her way back to Timothy. I looked around for a minute and then head for the empty thrones. I wasn't hungry and wasn't in the mood to dance alone. I didn't want to impose on Erik and his partner or V and Timothy.
The mobster I'd stumbled into earlier approached me. He looked down on me and smiled. "You're very dedicated to your costume, your majesty."
I looked around and then touched the rhinestone crown on my head and smiled. "I'm very into my character." I said.
"I can see that. I wouldn't want you to break your character, but would your majesty favor this fair gentleman with a dance?" he asked with a slight bow and offering out his hand.
"Well, I fear refusing would insult the gentleman in question. And as I am not engaged at present, I accept." I said placing my hand in his.
"It would be a fair insult m'lady so I am pleased you accepted." he kissed the top of my hand with a smile and then gently pulled me to my feet and lead me out to dance.
"My name is James m'lady - might I ask yours?" he asked as we danced.
"You may call me Queen Genevieve." I laughed as I spoke. "Or after a dance or two - perhaps Ginny." I added with a wink.
"As you wish Queen Genevieve."