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Marissa Jauntsen last won the day on January 13

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  1. Marissa was texting her brother as Cade spoke to his mother. Finally, she rolled her eyes and turned to Ms. Allister. “Seriously? Ms. Allister, it’s an emergency. The reasons are largely inconsequential, it’s for your safety and Haruka’s. We’re not sticking around either if it’s any consolation, now please, go.” “Christ,” Marissa fumed as the two drove away. “She’s that sort of woman who keeps asking ‘why’ in the middle of a crisis then gets eaten by the giant dinosaur with a look of surprise on her face while it happens.” “She’s just worried,” Cade offered as he tried to look calm amidst the tremors of emotions swirling like a maelstrom within him. They two made their way across the park as swiftly as they could, Marissa keeping a surprisingly spry pace considering her four-inch wedged footwear, until they reached her and Devin’s parents. They were in the middle of a conversation with a few families that they didn’t know, or care to know, and were almost thankful when Marissa approached and without explanation grabbed their arms and lead them away like children who’d just been caught doing something bad. “Marissa!” Misti attempted to correct her daughter’s actions but found Marissa’s grip to be akin to iron and she seemed to be effortlessly dragging them along as they tried to keep pace. Out of view of the rest of the park, she released them. The trees concealed and obscured them as a row overgrowth completed the natural curtain that she hoped would allow her to speak with her parents openly. “Ow,” Carl rubbed his arm. “Christ, Punk’in. The hell is going on?” Misti glared as Cade simply followed silently, his face still a pool of emotions that shifted from anger to worry then to concern to rage. She looked to Marissa then nervously to Carl. “Sweetheart, what is going on?” She managed a chuckle of concern as she awaited an answer. “Mom,” she looked to her mother then to her father. “Dad. You need to leave. Now. There’s been a murder and there is a chance that the killer might come after you to get to me and Devin.” Carl laughed. “Sweetie, you and your brother have pulled a few in the past, but going as far as a mur-“ “Dad!” Marissa raised her voice to cut him off. “For fucks sake! Listen for once!” Misti raised her eyebrows and crossed her arms defensively. Her posture took on the disapproving mother kind as she interjected. “Marissa Beatrice, I will not have you using that tone. Cade, dear, you can go. This is a family matter now, thank you.” “Nah.” Cade shrugged slightly. “Good where I am. She’s as much my family as my blood. We’re Fellowship.” “The fuck is Fellowship?” Carl fumed, now thoroughly pissed that his daughter was swearing at him. “Some cult? You run out and join a cult or something?” Marissa sighed and rolled her eyes. She held up her phone, the FaceTime on it showing Devin looking at his phone’s camera with a raised, yet confused eyebrow. “Are you hearing this Deej? I told you. Dense as fucking uranium. Do the thing.” “Stop with the langu-“ as Devin appeared, instantly on the scene in a flash of purple light, Misti’s words seemed caught in her throat. “S’up, bruddah.” He fist-bumped Cade who only offered him a silent nod and a fist. “So, now that we have your attention.” Marissa took a deep breath to center herself and pressed on, offering her brother a ‘thank you’ smile as she stepped forward. “Mom, Dad? Devin and I have super powers. The killer is not a who, it’s a what. Now, I know this is a lot to take in, but we’re the only ones who can stop it.” “Wh-what is it?” Carl managed to get out after giving his son a creepy once over, as if looking for the smoke and mirrors that made his son instantly appear. “It’s a god,” she replied. “A being of darkness, ancient and evil. We don’t expect you to believe to believe us-“ “Reassuring, because we don’t.” her mother said flatly. “How did you do that Devin, and these super abilities, what are yours?” Her eyes fell to Marissa. “I think, therefore I go.” Devin smirked. “We don’t have time to explain string theory to you two. Marissa is not lying. Not-Cody is on a warpath and we’re the only ones who can stop him. He’s not vulnerable to conventional weaponry.” “Okay, I’ll bite.” Carl said lazily. “What is he vulnerable to?” “Us.” Cade said stoically. “We’re hardly conventional.” Devin added. “And let me guess, you have powers to?” Mist threw a disbelieving gesture his way. “What are they?” “I look intimidating while using simple sentences to assert my dominance.” Cade offered as he crossed his arms. His tone told her she was barking up the wrong tree with him. “Mine’s putting up with your shit for the last sixteen years,” Marissa interrupted. “Look we don’t have time for this, you need to go home, lock the doors, stay safe and protect each other. Please.” “But… why? What is it and what does it want-“ “Mom! We’re going to fight this thing. We’re the only ones.” Devin’s voice rose above his mother’s. Marissa closed her eyes and looked away as the sound of her brother angry reminded her of harder times when he was the one always being bullied. Bullied because he was protecting his sister. “It’s done. No compromises, no talking us out of it. We’re telling you this because we love you. We love both. We might not come back.” “And we don’t want you living the rest of your days wondering where your children disappeared to one day.” Marissa’s voice was soft and caring as she looked at her parents. “You may not be perfect as parents go, but we both knew you deserved better than that. We didn’t plan on you finding out this way, but… well, Deej is right. This thing killed Charlie. We must do this, and we might not come back. We just wanted you to know that we love you. Both of you.” Devin shrugged; his lips not quite smirking. “She nailed it. I mean, this story is long and complicated, and to tell it to you, we need to survive tonight. I teleport. Marissa is like super hawt and mesmerizing. That’s our power. You wanna know more? We need to take down the Not-Cody first. For Charlie.” “I cannot believe what I’m hearing,” Misti chuckled in disbelief and she tossed up her hands and paced away from the children. “A-are you two high?” The twins both exhaled and simultaneously rubbed the bridge of their nose in frustration in a moment Cade had only seen a few times where the twins moved, thought, and acted the same. “That is without a doubt the single most loaded pile of bullshit I’ve heard in a long damn time,” Carl laughed. “Thank you.” Misti gestured to him in thanks for supporting her point of view. The twins’ faces sunk as neither of their parents seemed to believe a word of any of this. “So, you better come home,” he continued as he stepped forward and held both his children, each in one arm, and hugged them tight. “And tell me all of it.” “You believe us?” Devin asked, holding his father, the man he never got along with, like an actual son was supposed to. “No,” their father stated honestly. “I believe you just did something amazing; I’m processing that. But I also know that Cody kid is still missing, you said Charlie was murdered by him and I think you idiot kids are about to go and exercise of some backwoods justice.” The twins backed away and looked at their father then to each other. “You’re not going to stop us.” “We may not have been the best parents,” Carl motioned to himself and Misti. “Suppose we owe you an apology for that, but we raised you to look out for each other, and taught you that when the world pushes… you spit in its face and push right back. I know you’ll do the right thing.” “How do you know that?” Devin asked. A hint of defiance in his tone as he studied his con man of a father. “Because we wouldn’t.” He offered his son a slight grin that seemed almost fatherly. “Be safe and look out for each other.” “Dad, I-,“ Marissa wiped tears from her cheeks while searching for the right words. “Carl, you cannot seriously be buying into this. That Alister boy is obviously feeding them some cockamamie stories and luring them into some weird hazing.” Misti raged, glaring at Cade who only looked back at her with such a calm and composed expression that it could have brought a tear to Jase’s dried, unused tear ducts. The children turned to leave and walked away while Misti was in mid-rant. “Carl!” Their father turned and held his wife, possibly for the first time in months. “Mist. Mist. Shhh.” “I’m a horrible mom,” he could hear the tears welling up inside her as her children walked away. “They… they hate us…” “No, no, they don’t. They were talking and as usual we weren’t listening.” He met his lovely wife’s gaze and smiled that charming, hereditary smile. “Something strange is going on, we both know it, we both knew it. Our children. Ours, are at the middle of something big and they’re going to do great things. We’ve both made mistakes, Mist. Me especially… but look at them. Strong, independent, smart, and doing what is right. Don’t you see? By being us, we’ve taught them how not to be us, and… well, shit… I’m proud of them for that.” “We are a fucking mess, aren’t we?” Misti chuckled through tears. He traced a strand of hair from her face and tucked it behind her ears as he dabbed away her running makeup. “I knew what I was getting into. No regrets.” And there in the midst of all the chaos Misti and Carl met again for the first time…
  2. "Then I will put you in touch with my brother," Marissa's lips curved into a sly grin as Cade kissed her knuckles. She flushed slightly at his charm but still careful to not to show to many of her cards all at once. He was certainly charming and sweet and treated her right, but he was a means to an end. She had to keep telling herself that. "Cadums, I can't give you advice, then it would look like I dressed you and, sweetie, we can't have that. If it got around that your 'girlfriend' was dressing you up for dates, it would damage your rep. Now, if my brother does it, well, then it just looks like bros hanging out and getting ready for their dates for Homecoming." "Think he'll help out?" Her date asked. "Sure," her shoulders popped up in a swift shrug. "He's helping out Jason, I'm sure he'll help you out too. I mean, it's either that or you ask one of the Cassidy sisters, I hear Laurie likes dressing up little boys, but I swear if you show up a French maid's outfit sporting heels higher than mine, it's over on the spot." "Your brother it is." Cade laughed. "It is really cool of you two to sort of spearhead the Homecoming thing for everyone in the Fellowship. Offering up your dresses and makeup advice and all that. I'm sure the girls really appreciate it." "I guess," she shrugged again, blowing off his comment with a lack of belief in her tone. Once again she led him along the trails between all the people and their families. "I really think they all just assume I'm trying to make little Marissa's out of all of them. I get that it's a little harder to trust me, considering what my brother and me did to them for the last three years, but I mean, come on, I can't do better if people don't let me reach out and actually do better. Trust has to go both ways. I'll admit, you Fellowship losers aren't that bad. A bit nerdy and tad on the psychotic side, but the conversations are okay, the food is good, the adventures are whacky and so far the sex had been mind blowing." She noticed the way the large teen holding her hand turned a few darker shades of red as she mentioned their intimate relations out loud. "Give them some time," he replied calmly, hoping to shift the conversation away talking about their sex life in public. "We're all really worked up about the going on of tonight. After we face this hurdle I think a lot of us will be more open minded about our thoughts on the future." "Pfft," she scoffed. "For those of us that come back. I've seen the movies. Super-hot rich white girls always die first. I'm skipping my shower tonight just so I don't get caught unaware, wrapped in a bath towel." "Hey," he stopped suddenly and turned to face her. "Don't talk like that." His thumb traced gently down her cheek as his eyes met hers, locking her attention in his stoically intense gaze. "I will be there for you. If I have to stand against everything the Dark has at its disposal, I will be there between them, and you. We're all coming home, even if I have to tear down another dimension to make it happen." He leaned in and kissed her lips gently, so gently in fact that she felt her eyes close and pang of want as he pulled away from her. Wow. Was about all her brain could muster as a thought to the words her valiant knight spoke while the rest of her body tried to keep up with the fact that were once again walking and he was saying something else... she just had no idea what. She'd not imagined Cade as so intense, so laser focused on being the Spartan who didn't care how many the enemy were, only where he could find them. It was exciting and sent a chill down her spine as she also realized... it was kind of hot.
  3. "Baby, you're with me," she looked up at him while squeezing his arm tightly and pulling him closer to her. "Might at as well get used to it. I have to admit though," she crinkled her nose up at the few 'fans' that were either gawking, faking a smile in their direction, or snapping a pic to post up. "Since I've bothered to get to know you losers, it has started to dawn on me just how much damage my brother and I have managed to do to this town in a few short years." "The people in our class are so petty," he captured the hint of disgust in her voice but decided it best to let her vent. "I get it, I'm petty. But I come from privilege and money, I'm allowed to be. It's one of the bennies of having more than the poor people. I mean, when you don't have anything, you're really not in a position to be petty, take what you can get you bunch of dust slitherers. It's getting worse, though. Chet and his new regime, I think, are going to try and wrench the throne from Deej and me, the problem with that lies in the fact the Devin and I had a system. We thought meticulously about how and why we would manipulate people, every cruelty had a purpose and was part of our grand experiment." "Which was?" Cade chuckled and shaking his head at what he was hearing. She was casual about how evil she was and the cruelty she dished out that sometimes it was hard to believe she and the girl who smiled and giggled along with were truly the same person. "To take over the social hierarchy of the school, which we did. The problem came in where we started to hang out with you guys... and you all plummeted our popularity." She shrugged casually, spilling the facts, as she saw them, without any sort of filter. She stopped Cade and faced him. She looked up into his blue eyes and held his hands in hers. "I know you guys think my me and my brother are horrible, and in a way, we are, but what you guys don't get is that my brother and I were holding the leashes of evil far worse than us. They don't understand tact, planning, and subtlety. My brother and I were bullies, sure, but we never physically hurt anyone." "Marissa, you almost drove Stacey Williams to suicide, last year." Cade reminded her. "You literally embarrassed her to the point where she was home for three weeks and on suicide watch." Shyly his date looked away from him, smiling pridefully of her accomplishment while failing to meet his gaze. When she finally looked back at him she'd filtered the memory away. "Not entirely my fault. Courtney helped." She chuckled. "But even then, all part of the plan. She was a prime example of the 'one bad day' theory. We're all just one bad day away from snapping and going off the deep end." Cade's judgemental glare cast a wide shadow over her. "Anyway, Cadums, we're not talking about Stacey, stay focused. My point is, without my brother and me to keep the real bullies in check, it's going to be anarchy. What's trying to fill are shoes is a gaggle of violent hoodlums. Cade, if we survive this crap tonight, we're returning to a Hellmouth of a high school." She swayed her hands in his and looked up, offering him a seductive smirk that he knew by now was a precursor to her trying to manipulate him. "Although, speaking of tonight... I don't see any reason we should die without having a little time alone first. Want to, maybe, come over later before we all meet up and, you know..." she cooed with a wicked grin as she offered him a suggestive wink.
  4. "Cade, half the girls in our class would kill to date you," she looked at her man with a skeptically raised eyebrow. "You know that, right? And half of that half is all into animals and hunting and fishing and living and smelling like beasts." She patted him on broad chest with her free hand, grinning sweetly. "You know, your people." "And yeah, I'm sure Jason explained his reasoning, and that's your business, but remember Cadums: he's a super genius. For a guy who claims he can't lie, he's done it to me twice now, both times while looking me in the eyes. He's smart enough to manipulate the truth and you along with it." Her hand that was clasping Cade's lifted up and she gently kissed the back of his hand. "Just keep your wits about you, okay? Something's off about him."
  5. Courtney smirked evilly as she checked her phone. She was just skimming people's posts about the Carousel and the current days events. People had already begun making it a photo montage from everyone's collective selfies and rando-pics. The one she was eyeing evilly was the one of Jason Bannon cupping Autumn Keane's ass that was swiftly getting a variety of comments that ranged from the quizzical to the down right comedic. Devin's new arm candy was raising a few issues among the 'fan girls' he had the school that wondered who the new girl was and why none of them knew her. The rumor mill was a abuzz with the addition of Jacob and Tawny making it onto the Shelly scene as one of the least likely couples in the history of... well, everything. Most of their comments were mean spirited jibes about Jacob trying to get under her bible belt. Of course, Marissa and Cade made the list as well with a few snap shots of them walking about arm in arm and both lighting up the area with their 'power couple' smiles. "Hey, bitch." "S'up, ho." Courtney smirked as her eyes panned to the source of the rather unorthodox greeting. She scooted her butt down a bit on the picnic table she was sitting on to make room for Marissa who promptly perched herself beside the redhead. "You and Cade... looking good, and rumor has it you're joining the cheer squad? Girl, we can practice routines together." "I started that rumor," Marissa smirked mischievously. Truth be told, she had the Shelly rumor mill in a chokehold and most information was vetted through her before it moved on to the high school water cooler. "But there's truth in it. Going to join tomorrow." "Um, what about try outs?" The lovely ginger pointed out, still scrolling through pics on her phone. "Pfft," Shelly's Queen snorted. "I taught you everything you know about gymnastics and no one the cheer squad can even do a half-assed head stand. The splits does not a cheerleader make. I'm make it in, trust me." Courtney nodded. "God knows we could use someone beside me who could do something more than the splits." She laughed. She held her phone up to share the screen with Marissa. On it was a pic of Cade and Marissa, her arms draped around him and looking up, smiling, into the dazzling blues of his. "Aw, you two are so cute." She chided her partner in crime. Marissa grunted, rolling her eyes. "He's a means to an end, Courtney. Don't make it out to be more than it is." "I have a hundo that says he falls in love with you." She chuckled. "I'll take that bet. He's not going to fall in love with me, we've talked, set the terms, he knows the deal. Besides, I'm not wearing a yukata." "What?" Courtney looked to her, confused. "Nothing," Marissa sighed, scrolling lazily on her phone down the same list of pics her 'friend' was scrolling through. She crinkled her nose at the Devin and Ellie one, flipping over to the texts to read, finally, who this new girl was. So... that was going to be a conversation for later. "So... what do you know about Jacob? Crocker." "Nothing, really, except that he used to pull Autumn's hair and make her scream his name." her matte red lips bent into a dismissive frown. "I don't really know him to be honest. We've not talked since... Jesus... third grade maybe?" She giggled as a memory resurfaced. "See, I was taking care of our class hamster for the summer and I had no idea what to feed it, but we ran into him and and his dad at the Kroger so I asked him about hamsters and-" "Yeah," Marissa cut her off. "Don't care." Marissa had little knowledge of who Courtney was before the Queen of Shelly had entered her life. The younger, still privileged little girl that was Courtney Adams used to almost be sweet and endearing before she became a spiteful, mean, nymphomaniac telepathic. They grow up so fast. "So, what could you find out?" "Why would I want to find out anything? The guy hates me and I've no love for him." She shrugged. "No, Courtney." Marissa set her phone down and pivoted to angle herself to look at the redhead directly. "I don't mean talk to him. So... I ask again... what could you find out?" "Ohh," now she was interested. The evil little redhead pivoted as well as her phone went to sleep in her lap. "That. Well, I'm not sure. What exactly do you want to know, Em?" Marissa's lips spiraled as her malicious grin could get no wider. "Everything." ---==={}===--- "Hey there handsome," Cade's brunette date mock cat called him from the tree she was leaning against as the stout young man approached her. "What's a girl have to do to take you home?" "Feed me," Cade smiled. "And tell me I'm pretty." "That all?" She pushed away from the tree and approached him, wrapping her arms around him as the tips of her feet elevated her high enough to kiss him. The gentle glide of her tongue across his upper lip sent a erotic shiver down his spine. "You are so easy. You offer all the girls the same deal?" "Nah." her faux-bae replied while his hands set to rest as the base of her back, the tips his fingers tracing gently across the top of her ass. Her jeans were so thin and tight she may as well had been naked to his touch. "Most girls I just give it up for free, but I know you have money and I'm always hungry." Surprisingly Marissa laughed at that, stepping away from him and slugging him in the chest with all the force of a girl who'd never thrown a punch before. "Ugh, I feel so used," she replied, mocking a combination of swooning and being aghast by his bravado. "Fine," she took his hand. "We'll do pretzels, but I expect you to put out." They both laughed and moved once more through the crowds, stopping to meet others from school and even posing for a few pics and group selfies with people they knew. Finally they walked alone and Marissa was daintily pulling apart a large pretzel with her manicured talons. "So," she asked. "What've you been up to since we parted? Oh! I ran into Courtney. She thinks we looks totes adorbs together. Whole school is talking about us."
  6. She watched Jason walk off and rolled her eyes at him. "He's such a fucking alien, I swear." She huffed and pushed herself off from her car to walk back into the festivities. She maneuvered through the crowds of people, even pushed a few away from her as they all tumbled all over themselves in the small herds that for some reason couldn't help but crowd the viable walkways between everyone's picnic areas. She felt a few 'random' brushes against her ass as she waded close to people, but she could never pinpoint who it was that did it. A part of her knew she would like to see them dropped on the spot for daring to touch her while another, rather small portion of her ego remained ever flattered that she was getting attention, even if it was probably some mongoloid mouth-breather. The loud crowds, the frisbee matches and football tossing were in full swing as she passed by and offered up smiles and waves to people she knew from school. Most she knew were fake as hell, just offering up just enough to keep the Queen off their backs, while others, like the Heath Twins and several members of the cheer squad practically idolized her still. Not all of the cheer squad, there were a couple who needed to have their social strata realigned a few times to remind them exactly what level they were actually on. Still, while she didn't have 'friends' per se, she had plenty of 'fans' still hoping for an opportunity to walk beside her and share the special sort of lime-lite she offered. Popularity to a high schooler was almost the perfect drug and Marissa dealt it out in fatal doses. She walked away from the Heath twins, who annoyed her to no end but at least they were legit in their dealings with people. The twin sisters were honest, if a bit naïve, when they had the opportunity to chat her up. It was a shame they liked Jason... as a pair. In her eyes, especially as a twin herself, she found it creepy when siblings both crushed on the same person. Thankfully, she had a brother and his sexuality seemed pretty etched in stone on the side of not getting enough women in his life. The two of them contesting a physical distraction didn't seem very likely at this point. Although she was tempted to go after Tawny a few times when her brother was being a particular special brand of jerk, if only to mess with him. She didn't the soft wall she slammed into while she was looking at her phone to send Cade a text. She backed a few steps, almost losing her footing in her designer wedges, and glared daggers at the tower of stupidity that wasn't watching where she was going. "Christ, Jacob! Can't get your head out of your dad's ass long enough to pay attention? People are trying to walk here." For the second time today Jacob Crocker was involved in a conversation with a woman he'd rather not speak to, ever. In fact, the few words they shared so far made up more that all they'd shared in the three years he'd known the elitist, hateful spite machine that was Marissa Jauntsen. He sighed rolled his eyes. "Marissa, your little jabs at my ego don't work. I hope you know that." "Oh," she pouted. "Is that why we never got along? Because you're just so much better than everyone else?" "No," Jacob chuckled. "You." "Me?" She laughed and scoffed at the same time. "You think you're better me?" "No," Jacob said simply. He was an expert at avoiding Marissa's bait and simply maneuvered his temperament around her words. He gestured to her, moving his hand from her head to her feet. "You're better than this. Seriously. Don't you ever get tired?" As simple of a question as it was Marissa stood there, lost or words. He diva side screamed and prepared a rebuttal while a more calmer portion of her brain admitted in silence, 'yes. yes, I do'. She opened her mouth to speak and tell him a thing or two when Shelly's perkiest blonde approached in full blast smelling like fruit scented Victoria's Secret lotion that Marissa knew her brother bought for her. "Jacob!" The megawatt white smile of the blonde lit of the area with sunshine and friendship magic, enough to make Marissa want to vomit little skull and crossbones. "Thanks for waiting, sorry. My dad get's really over protective, I hope his glaring didn't freak you out." "No, no, it's fine." Jacob smiled, replying to his date for homecoming. "Hey EmJay!" Tawny offered Marissa a wide smile only to allow it to melt away like smoldering wax when Marissa's eyes narrowed on the denim vest the spritely blonde had liberated from Marissa's closet and was currently being worn over a pink tee-shirt that displayed some sort of sparkling unicorn on it. Joy faded from view as Tawny swallowed and searched for some way to avoid the tongue lashing she was about to receive in front of her Homecoming date. "I uh," she stumbled for a place to begin. "Borrowed your vest, hope you don't mind." "You two know each other?" Jacob seemed positively confused. "Like, borrow each others clothes, know each other?" "Yeah," Marissa said softly, still reeling from that simple, yet ever so complicated question Jacob had asked her a moment ago. Suddenly she just didn't have the strength to argue, or care, for that matter. "Yeah we do. Don't worry about it, Tawny. It looks great on you. Just return it, okay?" With that she just walked off silently like a typical teen with her head somewhere else. "Wow," Tawny softly spoke in mild disbelief. "She is never that nice. What did you say to her?" "It won't last," Jacob shrugged. "So does it matter?" The two wandered back off into the crowds discussing plans for their Homecoming night and how Marissa was going to help Tawny with her dress. She walked on and thought hard. She wasn't really sure what possessed her to do it, but she looked back. You never look back. But she did... and Jacob looked back too. They noticed each other one last time as Marissa faded into the backdrop of picnic games and the scent of stale beer in the air. "There you are!" Cried a voice as a hand gripped her arm. The young girl turned about to notice her father and mother and a part of her sighed internally in relief. "We've been texting, where the hell did you two run off to? Where's your brother?" "Flirting with some girl named Ellie, I guess? Sorry, daddy, I didn't look at my phone, I was chatting with... friends." Her eyes wandered to look past her father and in the direction Jacob and Tawny walked off in moments ago. "Oh," Carl replied like such a simple explanation made everything suddenly make sense. "Well, good for him. Ellie's a nice name. It's wholesome. Hey, where're the Finglemans?" The teen goddess shifted her weight to one hip and faux chewed a faux talon she called a nail. "Well," she pondered. "Judging by how their daughter dresses? Peak of lower class, 34k a year, tops." Her mother, Misti, smirked approvingly. "Well observed, dear, if a bit generous." Carl nodded with a frown while his head bobbed in mock calculation of their annual income. "Eh, they do alright, which doesn't explain why she dresses like a nineties, thrift store pseudo goth. Probably to conceal the muffin top she's got going." The Jauntsen's fell into silence. They quietly pondered the accuracy and validity of that theory for far more than decent family should ever have. "Well," Carl broke the joy of mingling in the unfortunate financial status of others with a clap of his hands. "That said, I meant their table. Where're they sitting?" "Oh!" Marissa said in mock surprise. "Yeah, over there, by the trees," she pointed, raising to her tippy toes to arc over the heads of the others around them. "You'll see Will Beckett and I think the Heath twins are somewhere in that direction. Can't miss them. Mom knows them, she can point them out." "Unfortunately." Misti sighed at the internal regret of not getting away from the high school kids on such a nice day off. "Thank you sweetie. And tell your brother we're looking for him." "I will mom." She smiled wide and sped off on her way like nothing was wrong... everything was wrong.
  7. "Nowhere in particular," she shrugged absently while the two stood up and disposed of their plates. "It's not like there is really much to do here, it's Shelly. Just walk with me and talk for a bit, I told Jason I'd have a talk with him in about twenty minutes, so walk with me until then and we'll meet up afterwards. Where's Ru-Ru, I figured she'd be on your heels?" "She met up with a few of her friends from school," he offered her his arm and she quickly locked her with his and leaned against him affectionately. She played loved and lovingly so well he had to wonder if, for all her knowledge of etiquette and decorum if she really understood how a heart worked and what affect her faux affections had on him. "So, she's off doing that. She wanted to tag along, but I asked that she give us some time together." She looked up at him with a 'why' sort of expression upon her brow. The look hardened his heart a bit as he was reminded that all of this was an act to her. "For, um, you know... appearances. We don't have a lot of opportunities to have everyone see us together like this. You know, help sell it." His reassuring grin was a forced mask that hid disappointment in knowing she'd not understand his feelings one bit. "Actually, that's good thinking. Especially with Chet and the other cliques thinking they're going to launch a popularity coup," her eyes narrows and her nails dug into Cade's forearm. "Also, I'm joining the cheerleading team tomorrow. So, yeah, there's that." "Ow," he gently curled his fingers under hers and loosened her grip. "I'm not planning and coups, so if you could leave my blood in my body, that'd be great, thanks." "Sorry," she winced in apology. "It just has me worked up. You okay?" He nodded, smiling at her and gently placing his hand over hers, more to keep her finger flat on his arm than to be affectionate. "I'm fine. Those work," he mused about the sharpness of her claw-like nails.. "You got your money's worth. So, what made you decide on joining the cheer team?" "Well, it's a two-fold plan. See, my mother won't stop bothering me about how she was on the cheer leading team and she was dating the football star and she already had scholarships lined up and she,-" "I-I get it," Cade weaseled in an interruption as swiftly as he could, raising a hand to stop the further flow of torrential vitriol and contempt Marissa shared for her mother. "-well, it's infuriating!" She huffed. "I'm hoping if I follow a few footsteps she'll shut up and get off my case for a bit. I'm not her. I'm not going to marry someone I hate, give up a career I worked so hard on and become a hate filled, holier-than-thou harpy like she is." Cade wondered if she actually heard the words she spoke sometimes, because that or, "So, Jase is doing math tutoring... might wanna look into that? Maybe?" "What?" She looked up her bae, puzzled by his offer. "Why?" "No reason," he shrugged. "Anyway," she blew him off and continued. "Second, I need a bit more to pad my scholarships. Apparently my summer internship with the mayor isn't enough to convince top colleges that I can rule the worl-..." she paused and narrowed her eyes with a smirk and a shrug. She corrected herself in a humorous tone. "Okay, run a business. I practically ran this town for three months, Cadums. It's not fair. My proposals for community outreach were bomb as hell. Like that little locally owned soap company!" "Didn't you want them to hand out their soap to people outside the Wal-Mart?" He recalled. "Yeah, where all the dirty people congregate," she replied with a confident pride in her voice. "And it was edible! Totally all-natural." "Marissa, my dad had to shut them down, the soap wasn't edible, it was toxic, it caused rashes and breakouts. It was making people sick, a few cases were almost fatal." Her escort reminded her, knowing his dad had broke the company up about six weeks ago after reports flooded into the Sheriff's Department. "They're swamped in lawsuits right now." "Oh, I know! We knew before the cease and desist, but the dirty people would have possibly used it, and, well, sometimes God works too slow. The hospital would have a steady flow of revenue and we'd be down a lot of filthy people in Shelly. Win-win." The way she spoke with such confident conviction chilled his blood. "Knowing that, you now what she did?" "Can't imagine," he sighed. "She tossed the proposal!" She fumed, tossing up her free hand in righteous indignation. "The nerve of that woman. Who does she thing she is?" "Hmm. The Mayor. That's my guess." He nodded, confident in his answer. "So, anyway: the sequel, this will look good and doing the dances and organizing the school events will certainly help too." The two walked on for a few more minutes, even running into Haruka for a few moments where the news of a movie night elicited cheers and high pitched squees of delight. Having a hot brother already put her in good a place a lot of her fellow classmates, and now, her knowing and 'hanging out' with his super popular, girlfriend was elevating the girl to a swift status of enviable among the junior classmen of the rather meager, Shelly School District. Still as they parted ways the girls gossiped about how her bother was super cute, admitted to being just a bit jealous that he wasn't single anymore. On the other hand they were totally prepared to sign their souls away to whomever was listening for just one ounce of Marissa's confidence, beauty, poise, and popularity, oblivious to what price she had paid for it. The two parted and decided on a meeting spot after her talk. He asked if she'd like for him to stay but she felt safe enough around all the people at the carousel, Jason might be crazy but he was intelligent enough to not get caught by murdering someone in broad daylight with several hundred witnesses. After a splash of hand sanitizer from her car to complete the washing away of all those sauces and a quick reapplication of her lipstick she patiently waited for Jason by leaning against her car and scrolling through a variety of social media distractions.
  8. "We need some hobbies," her lips curled into a smirk. "Because around here, all we seem do is catch food, then eat it. I'm going to get fat." She raised her hands in testimony, shaking her head. "I'm already one o' eight and all my jeans are tight on me. It's getting out of hand." Cade cocked his head and looked at her with a confused expression. "Yeah, but... didn't you buy them that way?" "Not the point!" She protested. Her phone vibrated and her eyes glanced at where it lie on the picnic table. "...but yes. Still, one o' five is my target weight and all this eating is not going to help. Oh, I know... why don't we do baked fish, which is healthier than fried, and instead of stuffing our face all night, we curl up on the couch and watch a movie or something. We can do a movie night with Ru-Ru, since all the other things we'd do together would probably be too loud to explain away to her, or your parents." The mischief in her grin didn't escape him. "Here," she dumped her last three ribs on his plate. "Save me from myself." "Hey!" He laughed. "Trying to make me fat now, huh?" "Yup. So you can't run away from me." She chuckled. "Muahaha." She seemed, despite all that was happening and had already happened to be genuinely in very spirits, fun was almost a word never used to describe her, but right now she seemed... normal. Less mean and more Queen. The torn packet of the wetnaps hit her bone strewn plate and she wiped her hands thoroughly before taking up her phone, using a second, clean one, to wipe down her lifeline to social media. Over the course of several food line trips she'd dabbed all manner of sauces and greasy finger prints on the screen. Her thumbs were like blurs as she tapped out her response. <<<To Gingerdead Man>>> From Marissa: Eating with Cade ATM. My car / 20 minutes. She set her phone face down on the table and smiled at her faux-bae. "I think Ru-Ru would like a night to chill with us. Besides, we still have to watch Tangled, you owe me a stunning rendition of all the Flynn songs. I expect payment, in full, Mister."
  9. She rested her head against her bae's chest as a way of acknowledging his greeting. "If by that you mean to say that I'm the only person attractive enough to distract this ravenous pack of half-starved mongrels from the carcasses they're picking through, momentarily causing them to forget the gnawing hunger which will characterize the remainder of their impoverished, fruitless existences... then," she wrapped her arms around his waist and squeezed, smiling devilishly as she did so. "You say the sweetest things. Also, yes. Yes. I. Am." "Sure," Cade chuckled under his breath. "Let's go with that." They made small talk as they ordered their plates and Marissa dropped offered the bumpkin girl a ten as they collected their bottled waters and wet-naps at the end of the line. They chose table further away from the main through fare of food enthusiasts which was occupied by a small collection of student from their school. After few well placed words and veiled threats the Queen of Mean had dispersed them, receiving a series of ill-tempered looks and disgusted sighs of frustration sent her way. Once situated she began to shear the meat from the bone in downward swiped with her plastic knife. Handling the food didn't seem to be her thing as she daintily pinched and picked at it, although she had no qualms about licking her finger tips clean. Afterwards she picked at some of the meat with her sharpened nails, pinching it and prepping it for consumption. "What?" She noticed Cade appraising her ritual silently. "Nothing," he shook his head, shrugging. "You just seem... irritated. Is it about ear-" "No," she cut him off. "Earlier is done with. I said my part and we're moving on." She wiped her hands with paper towel, something he noticed she did after every bite. She seemed to refuse to allow herself to remain dirty for longer than a few seconds. "But, yeah, I am a bit irritated. Not at you. Chet decided to pay me a visit in all his cro magnon charm." "While I have confidence in your ability to handle yourself, do you want to have a few words with him? Tell him to back off?" He gnawed on the bone taking most of the meat off in a single bite. Shelly was not the most exciting place in the world, to be sure, but Cade had to give it up to all the devoted barbeque aficionados who made this time of year totally worth it. "You know, it was sort of made to be eaten off the bone. It comes with it's own stick... see?" He displayed his rib, pinched tightly in both his hands, offering up a test bite as a tutorial for proper carnivore etiquette. "Ew, no. You look like a slob," she half chuckled. Her smile lit up the moment as the warpath trotting Queen of Mean rarely seemed to take much solace in humor these last few days. Cade smiled that corn-fed, down home smile of his and dropped a bare rib bone on a side plate. "Maybe, but I'm about eight more ribs away from being a fat and happy slob. I can live that." She laughed and shook her head, pinching up more of the barbecued meat with her talons. "You do you, sexy. Have you ever tried fine manipulation with acrylics? Especially with slippery food like sauce-covered ribs? It'd be sometime tomorrow before I got a bite and not to mention how much these cost me, I'm not about to risk messing up my manicure just for some 'what is best in life' moment with my food, and thank God for liquid lipstick and Sephora delivering out this far into nowhere or I'd be reapplying every five minutes. Besides, it's more classy this way..." she smiled petitely and twisted the cap off her water. "And thank you for the offer, it's sweet, but I can handle Chet. If it gets out of hand, I'll call you." "Fair enough, and Mari," Cade chuckeld. "We both know that's like plate twelve for you. Let's be real, 'classy' Scott Pilgrim'd out the window around plate three." Her water bottle cap bounced off his chest as he attempted to dodge, eat and laugh all at once. "Jerk," she said with a grin on her lips as she her own laughter matched his. "I can't help it, okay? I think it's these talents, or something but I am starving like all the time, but I'm not putting on weight. I feel like my metabolism is on jackrabbit mode or something. I hope I don't transform into a rabbit or something." She 'pfft''d at the thought as it humored her. "Hare." Cade said with a mouthful of rib meat. "Jackrabbits are hares, not rabbits. Hares have longer ears, like a jackass, hence 'jack' rabbit, and longer legs." She looked at him, her faced scrunched up with doubt. "Really? I always thought they were the same thing. I mean, they look the same." "Nope," he chewed contently. "Totally harmless too. I could show you sometime, if you like. No surprises, promise." "Huh," she squeaked, actually having learned something new without it being thrust upon her in a tornado of whirling teeth, claws and random diseases. She narrowed her eyes at him, skeptical, considering his ambush in the past. Rabbits were sort of cute, and relatively harmless (or so she thought). "Maybe. They are soft and cute. We'll see."
  10. Marissa's phone chimed as she was licking the barbecue sauce off her fingers. Sure, she hated the small town boredom of Shelly, but she could appreciate that these people knew how to cook! She'd managed a few recipes, which seemed overly long and process driven, but she'd already streamlined them into more efficient means of creation. She couldn't wait to try them out and maybe share them with the rest of the Fellowship. “Wow, Marissa,” Chet's voice traveled longer than his shadow, but she raised her eyes up as her sunlight was suddenly stripped by his looming presence. “Stress eating?” “That,” she smirked and spun to face him, her hair whipping about in typical starlet fashion. “Would imply I have something to worry about.” She dropped her paper plate in near by waste bin and looking up at the tall jock whose nose was still pink and scabbed up from her brother's assault on him a few weeks ago. “Do I have to worry, Chet?” “Eh,” he slyly shrugged with one shoulder, delivering all the suave, social maneuvering one could expect from, say, a drooling cow slowly trying to speak through its cud chewing. “Just that you and your brother are off your game lately,” she loved the way he made everything a sports reference. “He's randomly attacking people, namely mwah. People you have a problem with are coming up missing and... well, you've been on a warpath lately with the rest of the clicks. People are loosing faith in you, is all I'm saying.” “First, it's 'moi', there's an accent there, it's French. Second, it's 'cliques', with an 'ee' in it. Again, French, so there's a smidgen of an accent.” She pressed her finger and thumb together to measure a smidgen for him. “Now, if you're done referring to people as verbs instead of nouns, let's get to the good part: if you want it, you've got it.” She shrugged calmly. “I have way bigger things to deal with in my life right now that playing Degrassi with a bunch of backwater high school window-lickers.” “You've gone completely nuts,” he chuckled. “Cheer squad will love to know how you think about them.” “I'm joining tomorrow, Chet. I'll tell them myself.” She shifted her weight to her left hip and refrained from snapping her fingers in his field of vision. So far he had yet to actually make any eye contact with her as his gaze kept shifting from her bust to exposed midriff. “Just so you know, Chet, The Game isn't about being popular, it's about staying that way. In terms you'll understand: once you sit your Joffery little ass on that throne, you have my whoring, conniving, and really intelligent brother to deal with on a social battlefield. When he's done with you, I will step in like a crazy bitch with dragons and Chet... I don't want the throne, I just want to watch the kingdom burn.” Now she snapped her fingers at him to capture his attention and with a blink his eyes were now fixed on hers for the first time. He could see the crazed fire dancing behind them like a animal defending its territory. “So, take it if you want it. Be the Prince of Shelly High,” she splayed out her arms wide to encompass everything around her. “But I will always be the Queen of Mean and I didn't earn the title by letting people talk to me like I was second to anyone or anything. Take your veiled threats and obfuscated intentions and challenges and save them for someone who is actually afraid of you.” Chet just glared at her, then swallowed a bit harder than he intended. “Y-you've lost your damn mind, girl. Jesus.” She slipped her phone from her pocket and read Cade's text only to realize she still didn't have any sunlight. She looked to Chet and waved him away. “We're done. Go.” He marched off with some curse under his breath, she'd caught the 'crazy bitch' part but simply rolled her eyes and placed her attention back to her phone. [Uh, duh! Come feed me and tell me I'm pretty. I'll meet you at the 'best ribs' competition area, it's only five bucks a plate. Bring your appetite.]
  11. "Yes, because it's everyone else's fault," she fumed and returned to her phone. "And, as always, a hasty retreat is the best way to handle things head on." She turned to Hank, since in her eyes he seemed to be the only one with any measure of courage at the moment. "For the record, Mr. Graskel, it's not rumor, its fact. It's not amusement, it's concern. Autumn happens to be my best friend and she's dating a guy who folds people up and has no capacity for fear of the consequences or remorse for his actions. It's not 'behind his back', as everything I've said here I've already told Jason, but as always, it's easier to just turn around and walk away from the issues, than face them." She stood up, sighing and tucking her phone in her tight back pocket. "Well, Lilly, sorry to cut this short, but as always the truth speakers are the monsters and the monsters are protected by the blind. C'est la vie. Mr. Graskel, thank you for the plate, it was delicious and extend my gratitude to Mr. Bannon as well, when he's done avoiding the truth. I see where Jason gets it from." "I guess if us kids won't listen, and the parents are just going to rush off in a huff, and the law obviously doesn't care, the press might be interested. Violent crime like that in small Shelly? Locals in the guy's neighborhood have been scared silly with concern that whomever is responsible is still out there." "Darlin, I don't think that's a good idea." Hank tried his absolute best to adult. "Me either, so maybe you should get on that. There's an old African proverb, Mr. Graskel: A child that is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth. Quite frankly I'm a little sick and tired of people walking away from me. I'll be here all day, Jase has my number, let me know when he or his father feels like talking." She didn't say anything more, simply dumped her late in the 55 gallon drum that served as a waste bin and walked on like it was just another Monday. She slid her phone from her pocket and went right back to texting, or, whatever she did on that thing.
  12. "What's not to like about Jason?" Marissa toned in calmly and in that honest voice she used to express a point. "He threatens to slit the throats of his class mates with farming implements, pull hearts from the chests of people, and, oh, yeah, let's not forget breaking almost every bone in someone's body and putting them in a coma after he creepily stood outside their window... yeah, I don't see this going bad at all." She rolled her eyes and shivered in mock concern. "What parent would have any doubts, whatsoever, when it came to their child being safe. Alone. With him. Psshh, it'll be fine." "Relax, Mr. Bannon." Marissa added, looking up from her phone. "Jason told Autumn the truth and she was just ducky with all of his violent tendencies and urge to murder-death-kill everything he felt threatened by. I'm sure her parents will totally feel the same way. Apparently the old Arnold Schwarzenegger line 'yes, but they were all bad' is still the end all, be all, get out of trouble excuse for being a violent psychopath. Although, they'll need to get a place that has a massive porch or basement, something tells me they're going to need the hid- storage space."
  13. "Think of it like a shot," Marissa offered the plucky blonde. "It has to have that sting before it can start to help you. Help he get on the road to healing." Shelly's Queen seemed abnormally helpful and polite than her usual self, almost like an actual friend, but she didn't use the 'f' word. There was a brief pause as the pie was being collected, a silence that said that she was done offering up kindness with no opportunity for self promotion or personal gain. In a vain attempt to hide herself from the plebeians surrounding her, she checked her phone. It allowed her to distance herself from everyone while still being a part of everything. After scanning a few messages her eyes rose from the screen, offering Cassandra a perfect view of her coffee-colored eyes. "...and your welcome." She aid softly, and quickly went back to her phone. If there was any reaction from Cassie, or anyone else, she didn't look around to notice, she just went back to her messages and social media, silently grumbling about Courtney's choice of apparel today. "Christ, she'd dressed like a Riverdale cast-off," she huffed. "I swear, that girl is a mess."
  14. "It's not complicated," Marissa said calmly. Her voice was surprisingly devoid of the attitude that had been lingering about her all afternoon. "You simply tell her. She will choose to believe you or not. Fact is, as long as you were honest with her, you're in the clear. If a child tries to tell their parents something and the parent blatantly chooses to treat them like they're lying and the last thing you two do is argue before we face Not-Cody and, well, the worst should happen... then let her live with that. She deserves it." "Damn girl," Hank shifted his head to one side in a half-shake before sipping his beer. "You're all heart, ain'tcha?" "I am a delicate, yet savage, wellspring of compassion. What I'm not, the steward of everyone around me. If I tell you, Mr. Graskel, that there is a rockslide coming up from behind you and you choose to laugh and ignore me, then that same rockslide shreks your afternoon, I'm totes not loosing sleep over it." "Some children love their parents though," Gar offered. "I understand your relationship with yours is a bit rocky, and I'm not trying to be rude, but not everyone deals with the same measure of ire and irritation you and your brother have dealt with." "No offense taken," she said politely. "And you're right, my brother and I have a ton of pent up parental frustration, but we do not love our parents any less than anyone else. I feel my argument stands, though. Tonight, my brother and myself will likely tell our parents. We will tell them what we can do, what we intend to do, and why we need to do it, then simply leave. At that point they have to get their Ripley's on and believe us, or not. Fact is, the results will be the same: we still have a job to do, and if you adults have taught us 'young'uns' anything it's that we need to take personal accountability in our daily lives and when there is a job to do, you see it through and get it done. Parents or no parents, secrets or no secrets. We're not dealing with mowing the lawn or taking the trash out, we're fighting for three thousand lives, with our parents among that number. If we didn't care and we didn't love, then we wouldn't bother." She turned to Cassie. "How's this? If you're not sure how she will react, then take Devin or Jason or Sean with you. I know it's a personal matter, but they have the most flashy displays of power out of all of us. Deej's teleportation can't be denied. Or with Jason or Sean literally manipulating the elements in front of her? How can she deny that? At the very least it will remove her doubt so she'll hopefully be reasonable. At that point, you and her can have a civilized discussion about all of this." The attractive brunette, who seemed surprisingly friendly all of a sudden, shrugged and clawed at another pinch of meat from her ribs. "I'm not saying it will work, but," she sighed. "Your mom does deserve to at least know that her daughter is amazing and doing amazing things for the betterment of others. On the opposite side of that coin, Cassie, you shouldn't carry around her choice to not accept things like it's your burden. We have enough to shoulder, yeah?"
  15. She ate like it was her last meal, yet daintily scrapped the meat from the bones with her utensil until it was a large pile of barbecue sauce slathered deliciousness. She ate her vegetables with a fork but insisted on clawing up the meat in her manicured acrylic talons. Always looking to make a statement, the teenage girl insisted on her sharp nails being polished so everyone could see she had claws. Kids were silly like that. Halfway through her second pile of meat she looked to her left where a hopeful Bacon was looking up at her expectantly. That was two piles she was working on, surely she had some to spare for ol' Bacon, right? "Get away." She snarled at him, mumbling as she returned to her plate. "Drooling mutt." "Sooo, not a dog lover, huh?" Cass smirked. "They smell, they drool, and they cover everything," she paused and pinched a few strands fur off Cass's t-shirt. "In their fur. Are you kidding? No thank you. I take too much pride in my appearance to show up anywhere covered in dog fur and smelling like pet shop. Thank you, but no." When Hank asked his question Marissa smirked a bit, then shook her head. Finishing her bite before replying. "No, they don't. If our mom knew she'd already be on the phone trying to get us a television or movie deal. I mean, seriously, a group of kids from Shelly Montana who inherit weird alien super powers and have to save the world from a dark god from another dimension? No one would watch that, it the dumbest show premise ever. Although... me and Deej were discussing telling them tonight before we have to... you know. We figure if we don't come home, even if they weren't the greatest mom and dad kids could have asked for, they till deserve to know why. The thought of them never knowing and one or both of us not coming home... we couldn't do that them. Doesn't feel right, I guess."
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