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Marissa Jauntsen last won the day on March 28

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  1. "Wow, that is down right devious, I did not know you had it in you to be so ruthless. That sounds like my brand of evil, I am a little turned on right now." She was smiling ear to ear as she watched her boyfriend. "You are so red right now." He looked away from her trying to hide his smile. If Cade Allister were ever embarrassed on a level of ten, it was now. "I am not." "You are! Sunburn does not happen that fast, Nature Boy." She teased, reaching over she rubbed his back, laughing only slightly. "You are so adorable! Hey, truth of the matter is, you are not going to sound like an idiot. I still have not gone all the way, but we learn by doing. Do not be shy about stuff. When it happens, it will happen and until then, just try and experience all you can and use it to learn what you like and what you do not like. When you are interested, of course. You said you sort of have no real interest in those sorts of things and that is totally fine. Everyone is ready in their own time. I'm not judging you, even if you look so cute with your red cheeks," she reached out and tried to pinch his cheek but he shirked away and buried his head far from her hand as she laughed. "Stop!" he whined like a child at her playground bullying. "You're horrible, you know that?" He laughed, trying not to think of how red he actually was. "I know," she said all perky and pleased with her torment. "It is kinda my thing." Her cork bobbed and she gave it a yank, not expecting it to actually work like the several other times she did it and they kept getting away. Her date the practice and she was just grasping at straws and honestly having more fun just being out in the water with her date than the actual fishing. Just as she predicted, nothing. Until it was something. Like a hellish squeal her reel began unravel its line as whatever was on the end of her hook took off like a bolt of lightning. Panic set in once again across fer petite frame as she held the rod, but had no clue what to do. Whatever it was, it was big and very angry. "Cade! Cade, it is spinning really fast! Make it stop!" In desperation she kept trying to hand the rod to him while making a whining noise a kid might make when they were sure they had broken something.
  2. "Oh, they do, do they?" Marissa raised a brow and was suddenly more interested in the conversation than fishing. "And what do you tell them, hmm? Better be the truth: that it is the best damn sex you will ever have in your life and that I have ruined you for other women. Forever." Cade looked at her incredulously. "But we haven't-" "Pfft," she raspberried. "It's high school, Cade. Everyone is lying about how much sex they are having. Except my brother of course, who is actually pretty spot on because he makes sure everyone knows about it. Courtney? I know her number, it is waaay less than she says. Chet? Super low. I'm still a virgin and even I lie about my number. The guys I have fooled around with is a lot higher than I tell people. I can even tell you that Laurie is not the sweet little princess she makes herself out to be, and that would ruin Sean." "Laurie has a number?" He seemed rather shocked at that idea. "No, more like a half number? She's like me, we've not technically gone all the way, but we have a lot of practice running to third base." A slight flush filled her cheeks and she looked to the water, realizing that perhaps she ha said too much. "Sorry, I guess you probably do not want to hear my resume of 'other guys'. "It's okay," he chuckled. "It's not like you're living in a convent." "Look, I know how important image is, especially in this part of our lives and doubly so for guys." She reeled in her bait and didn't catch anything this time around. She cast it back in, but it was a lay cast, being more wrapped up in talking that paying attention to her line. "I know you have a lot of pressure on you from those guys. If you tell them we had sex, I will back you on it. You stepped up and agreed to this whole dating thing, and let us be honest with each other, I did not exactly ask you, I told you how it was going to be and... you were there for me is what I am trying to say. Least I can do is be there for you and help you set these guys straight. Better tell them what I said before: that you are ruined for other women it is so good. I'll even put in a good word for you with the other girls at school. We talk, you know. It could really boost your playboy status. I would be willing to do that for you."
  3. He made a good point. As they cast their lines back in the water, and Marissa seemed to get it a little closer to her intended mark this time, her mind wandered into the space of just how messed up their lives were. Breaking into prisons, shape changing into various monsters. Strange alternate dimensions of gloom and death. It was only a matter time before one of the mended up killed, or worse, being killed because the Dark had ravaged their mind. Every member of the Fellowship was on borrowed time. "Chance Carter." She said suddenly. The name had passed from her lips before she had the chance to filter it and push it back the darker, and forgotten storage spaces of her mind where she, like most everyone, kept a pantry full of jarred regrets and broken hearts. "Deej and I had just turned eleven. The school yer was winding down and if you know nothing about Malibu schools, it's a cesspool of child stars, at least, the ones not being home schooled. You are either rich and don't need an education, or you are rich and your parents are making sure you succeed in life. Devin and I were were the latter. This was back when he didn't use contractions," she offered her company a smile and continued with the story. "So, I had the biggest crush on Chance Carter." "Wait, blonde kid? About our age?" Cade looked to her and glanced back at the water. "He's on the Disney Channel. Haruka, I think has a thing for him." "That is the guy," she nodded and sucked her teeth in seething spite. "Tell her she is wasting her time. He is a dick." She tugged her line a bit, mostly just emulating Cade, but she was starting understand the subtleties of luring the fish to the hook. "So I told him one day, how I felt. See, Deej and I, our family had money, but were far from celebrity status. Chance was and the two cliques did not really get along too well, especially with our mom trying to constantly get us parts in commercials and on television... we looked like try-hards." "So, you were," he paused for effect. "Nerds." "Anyway," she pressed on, ignoring her insolent boyfriends assumptions. "I told him and he lit me up. Embarrassed me in front of everyone and turned the whole school against me. I was bullied constantly, every class was torture. This was when Deej really started to slide towards the guy you know today. He was getting beaten up almost everyday because we would come to my rescue and start fights with anyone who was hurting me. He was my knight." "Hell of a brother." Cade solemnly offered. "I can respect that." "He is really the best," she smiled. "So it got worse, even to the point where he and I were both at an audition for, you guessed it, the Disney Channel. We had to do a song and dance number, Deej aced his, I knew I was going to do fine too until Chance and a couple of the kids and parents from the school were there and he started talking to them and they all started pointing and laughing. I choked. All the abuse from school just replayed and froze and stood there." Her eyes were glossed with the sheen of unpleasant memories. "Two years, almost. For two years I was the laughing stock of our school and constantly bullied and picked on. We hated it, and we swore no one would treat us like that wen we got to Shelly." She inhaled, trying to force the memory back into its jar for storage. "So, yeah. I swore off boyfriends, guys in general, dating, friends, attachments. All I wanted was power, respect, and the money that a good education could grant me so I could find Chance later in life and crush his skull under a six thousand dollar pair of stiletto heels." Cade nodded sagely. "Life goals." "Screw you," she laughed. "It was a great plan. Now I am sitting here in a boat, fishing of all things, if one could believe it. With a boyfriend. With barely any makeup on, certainly no heels, and he still somehow finds me attractive." She glanced and him and offered a flirtatious grin. "I guess I did not have things as figured out as I thought I did."
  4. "Four," she said firmly. "As one of those five was my brother, and the safety of my family is paramount in the accord of this business arrangement. He will remain occluded from the prying eyes of whomever is holding your leash." "In exchange, however," her dark eyes met his and she offered him an apologetic smile. "I was planning on stopping by The Project later this week, while I am there I will do my utmost to collect as much as I can on the other, less special, freaks and find out what their glitches are. I was hoping to get access to Dr. Cook's notes, since it seems like the Nerd Herd might be asked to take over their training. That, and my brother is dying for Annette Gile's phone number. I promised him I would take a shot at it for him." She stood up and straightened her skirt and settled the chain that was her purse strap over her shoulder. "Now, you can argue the part about my brother for your masters, but I'm just going to stick my guns and you can make your phone call. If my world is not crashing down around me by then, I will see you Sunday, Mr. Enterich. We both know you have my number, so please, feel free to call or text since it is a burner phone and won't do me any good if I go the authorities. Honestly now, Mr. Enterich, we can't have a proper relationship without trust, can we? Just lay your enemies before me and walk away, walk away, walk away." She concluded with an audible air kiss in his direction accented with a farewell smile. "Lieutikon?" He asked, moderately familiar with the phrasing, just not their arrangement. "Breaking Benjamin." She replied over the cubicle walls as she made her alluring walk to the exit. "Good stuff. Look them up." ---===[]===--- Several minutes later she'd abandoned school and her black Mercedes' tired were crunching on the gravel that led up to the 'The Bridge'. The same bridge Sara wanted blow up several weeks prior when everyone's lives started tumbling down hill. She'd argued against it, but now? No she just wanted to see everything burn. She wanted to blow something up. Set the place on fire, something to just let the growing guilt and shame and fear that was welling up inside of her loose upon the world so she didn't have to carry it with her anymore. She wasn't sure anymore if this was her father's fault or hers and she wasn't sure if it mattered. "Fuck!" She slammed her hand on the steering wheel and the word was repeated an innumerable amount of times until had served the sole purpose of conjuring forth the tears she so desperately needed to cry. Lazily her hand still tried to strike the wheel as she buried her head against it and just sobbed until she lost track of the time. Within ten minutes she was pacing in front of the car, tapping a sharpened nail against her teeth talking to herself about how none if it was her fault and after a few quick sell outs of her frie- the Nerd Herd she'd have enough money to slip away one night and never see them again. Really, it was only a matter of time before one of them stabbed her in the back, right? That's what people did. She was simply preemptively getting them before they got her. Fair is fair, right? With arms crossed tightly like she was cold despite the beautiful summer day she continued to pace, trying to justify her actions under the thick pangs of a new feeling she didn't recall ever having until today. Guilt? Remorse? She paused as the tears still streamed down her face and having long ago ruined her makeup. Se looked a mess as she complained. "Shit." She fumed, snorting in her running nose in a most ladylike manner. "I am feeling. Fuuuck!" She tantrumed with stomping feet as she screamed at the clouds. "Okay, no," she worked on composing herself and went back to pacing. "Stop. Get a grip. If they know it's all over, and you and your family are dead or worse, poor. Marissa Beatrix Jauntsen, hide your crazy and get your shit together. Think. None of them are mind readers so none of them can see that you're lying to them. This isn't your fault. They came to you, right? If you don't do this, they'll hurt your family. These guys were all born poor and retarded, so they don't mind being poor and retarded. You can't be poor. How would you survive without brand names or... or... unprocessed foods from obscenely high priced organic markets? They're your friends, they love you!" She chuckled at the sheer silliness of that statement. "Of course they love you, look at you! You are amazing, and beautiful and rich. You give them something to aspire to. You bring rays of ambitious sunlight into their otherwise dreary, pathetic, meaningless lives. Everything is going to be just fine!" She said with a forced smile as she opened her arms to the world and the invisible audience she'd been justifying herself to. The gravel and sun and clouds offered nothing in reply that comforted her in the slightest. She immediately began massaging the bridge of her nose. "I am a dead woman. Who am I kidding? They are going strap me to a table and devour my still living body like a zombie buffet, using my tears as sweetener. They will probably throw me to Jason when they are finished so he can finally sleep with my corpse." She shook her head in disgust. "We would not even bother reapplying my makeup either, I would look like a nightmare." She shuttered at the thought of her corpse being violated without properly being made up. The thought seemed more nauseating than having her corpse violated. "Okay," she paced again, rubbing the bridge of her nose like she, and her twin brother, did when they were overly stressed or irritated. "If you go to them they are going to freak-the-fuck out and it will be a shit show. If you sell them out, then you have ruined," she twirled her unoccupied hand to assist her searching for the right words. "Whatever this is you have with the Nerd Herd. They could be hurt, their families could be hurt. If you do not sell them out, then it is all on me and my family. Shit, this is complicated." A thought suddenly sprang to her mind. She couldn't do this alone. She was devious, evil, manipulative and willing to cross lines the others wouldn't for the sake of their precious moral compasses, well, save for Jason, but she needed someone who could do more than be a robot. No. Times like this called for a special sort of cruelty. A rare blend of malice, deviousness and lack of compunction that would compliment her own two parts spice in this sweet mixture of malice. She smiled wide and dashed back into her car. The tires spun and kicked rocks behind her as she sped off back towards school. ---===[]===--- Within the hour Marissa was once again talking, walking, and looking like a million dollars as the after lunch classes were letting out and the halls were filed a torrent of poor people. She knew who she was looking for and she swung the door open to the study hall room she smiled wide in glee as her eyes locked onto her target. "Courtney!" She declared exuberantly as she eyed the crimson lipped nymphomaniac setting her bag down by an empty seat and collecting her books and phone from it. Marissa approached her. "I am so happy to see you I could kiss you." "Okay!" Courtney smiled with a shrug and gleefully closed her eyes while lightly puckering her lips as Marissa walked right past her. When the moment, and Marissa, passed she opened her eyes slightly and looked to the left, then right, and let out a depressed sigh. "Tease." she said with a near Harley Quinn masque to her demeanor. "We are fucked." Marissa began. "So fucked." "Well, not all of us," Courtney mused as she fired off her volley of insults with catty precision. "You have all that going for you and you still can't get a guy to sleep with you." "Okay," Marissa's lips pursed into a forced smile. She nodded, absorbing the insult. "First: fuck you, bitch. Second: this goes past us and our problems. This is... secret identity stuff, and it involves you. We do not have time to tear each other's throats out. Courtney, listen..." Marissa told her everything, the meeting, Mr. Enterich, the US Marshals, everything except what her father had done to earn the ire of this secret organization, which she really didn't know to begin with, only that whatever it was it had ruined their family. "Wow," Courtney paced about taking it all in. "Have you been crying?" "Yes!" Marissa fumed as it seemed like the redhead hadn't heard a word she'd said. "Yes, I have been crying because this shit is deep, Court. I can not go to the Project because then the other guys will hurt my family. I can not save my family though without selling out you and the Nerd Herd and I will not let my friends get hurt!" She clamped her hand over her mouth. She'd crossed the line and broken her own personal code. It slipped, but the word was said and could not be unsaid. Courtney, for once, had nothing to say. She knew the code. No attachments. Everyone was a tool to be used and discarded. Succeed no matter the cost. Marissa had inspired her from petty bully who'd pick on Sean to a glamorous socialite who had popularity and the entire school kissing her feet. "We're... friends?" Courtney managed to ask quietly. "I thought..." "Times change, I guess?" The Queen of Shelly fought back yet more tear glistening over her eyes. "I am... I am tired Courtney. I just want to be me and not what the world expects me to be. I want to sit around and eat pizza with Autumn, insult Jason, write stories for Sean to read and inspire his games, argue conspiracy theories with Cassandra. I want to go fishing with my boyfriend. I even miss our mean girl shopping trips to the mall. I'm a nerd, Courtney, and my nerds need me. Now, how can we make this whole messed up secret agent thing work to our advantage without letting everyone know and possibly killing my family? No one poisons apples and terrorizes kingdoms like we do. Evil is in our blood. We can't let these guys beat us." Courtney extended her arms and motioned for Marissa to come to her. "Hug first. Solutions forthcoming. Then we rain destruction."
  5. "Wait a minute," she raised her sea green taloned hand to stave off taking the reigns just yet. "So, there is no worms or anything? I do not have to impale a gross, slimy worm or an insect of some sort onto the end of that thing to catch one of those things? I thought like, there were worms and other disgusting things I had to handle to bait the rod or whatever." "Bait the hook," he corrected with a grin. It was refreshing to Marissa so out of her element and so completely not in control of the situation like she normally was. she almost seemed human. "And no. We're not using live bait today, I didn't think you'd want to go anywhere near a coffee can of slimy earthworms, given your perfect manicure and all." "Ooohhh," she smiled with wide-eyed radiance. "That was so sweet of you, you noticed my manicure." She kept her grin in place as she reached out her hand, opening and closing it like a needy child wanting to play to. "Yes. Gimme, I want to try." He handed her the pole and made sure she had a decent grip before waling back through the instruction. "Did you just say 'gimme'?" He asked as held her wrist and gently guided her arm back for a practice casting of the reel. "Not very hard, it'll go on it's own. Don't expect perfection your first time, it's a practiced skill." "So?" she cooed. "What is wrong 'gimme'?" "You don't even use contractions when speak, I just wasn't expecting 'gimme' is all." He leaned away from her and motioned to the pond. "You're up." The teen fashionista was never one to shirk from a challenge. If she could conquer a thirty percent off sale at Ulta, she could easily become a fish whisperer. She murmured to herself the directions, repeated her instructors words and cast the line. For her first time it was pretty good. Way off her intended mark, but it was a practiced skill. "I did not even know you know what a contraction was," she picked up where they'd left off. "There it is, the dumb jock joke." He nodded as she offered him a sly smile and a quick flash of her tongue to show she was completely unapologetic. "Of course I know what one is, and it also make's you sound funny c'mpared to us c'nrty folk." He mocked her with a highly exaggerated accent. "You're brother uses nothing but contractions, and some of the worst english I think I've ever heard." "He is not supposed to," she said, glancing out on the water, wondering why her cork wasn't doing anything. "We are not supposed to use them, but he does it to be defiant and piss our parents off. We are supposed to talk proper-like," her own voice slipped into a near perfect southern accent. "As it denotes us as having a certain measure of class and dignification generally afforded to those like us possessed of a higher education and ambitious drive for success." Cade looked at her with a 'WTF' glare and half grin on his face. She smiled and used her natural voice. "I Loki speak: my brother and I are burdened with glorious purpose." Her cork bobbed and in an instant she went from chatterbox to completely overwhelmed with what to do and the whole moment disolved into the freeway scene from Legally Blonde: nothing but absolute panic and hysteria. It was her first fish, well it would be if she ever managed to reel it in! There was so much talking that neither could keep up with the conversation as she reeled and argued she was doing what Cade was saying she should, despite not doing what he was saying at all. She reeled and moved the rod about, whimpering ans squealing like a five ear old the entire time as the experience of the whole moment overwhelmed her. Cade couldn't be more thrilled. He'd not seen a girl this excited over something since Haruka on Christmas day when she was younger. Whatever composure Marissa kept herself constantly cloaked in she had cast it off in the spirit of the moment to conquer nature and all it had to offer. She managed to reel in close enough as it splashed water and struggled. "I got it, I got it... getigetigetit..." she said rapidly as Cade finished up for her and raised it into the boat. She squee'd like a child and clapped rapidly at her accomplishment. "Oh, my god. I caught a fish!" With bipolar acuity her face went completely deadpan and the Marissa he was used to returned in an eye-blink. "I am not touching it though." "Decent size too, not bad at all. Congratulations, Marissa Jauntsen, you have officially conquered nature. All of it. Nothing can stand against you." He praised her while placing the fish in the ice chest. "As it should be." She playfully swung her nose into the air like the Queen of Nature that she was and they both shared a laugh. Cade prepped their lines for the next casting and quietly went about his work. After a few moments Marissa broke the silence, her tone soft and comforting. "Hey, Cade? Look, I know it does not mean a lot coming from me, but, I am sorry about you and Cora," she took special care to actually use her name. "I know you really liked her and I know it hurts, a lot, to lose someone you care about."
  6. "I am relaxed, yeah," she smiled and nodded. "It is weird, for once I do not feel like I have a billion things to do or worry about. I have not just taken a day to hang and do nothing since, like..." her faced scrunched up in an adorable ball of thought. "May? June maybe? When Courtney, Chet and the rest of us went to the lake to celebrate summer vacation. Ugh, Court had the most atrocious bathing suit on that day, I could not tell if it was a one piece or a cocktail dress. It was so bad." They shared a light laugh before Cade looked to her and asked her, "Do you miss those guys? Chet and them? You've sort of been adopted by the Nerd Herd lately-" "Adopted?" she laughed as she spoke, squeezing his thigh in playful anger. "I have not been adopted! I have adopted you nerds, thankyouverymuch. You are lucky I let you guys hang out with me. I make you look good." "If you say so," he smiled, shaking his head slowly as he kept his eyes on the road. "I do." She chucked. "I say so. Thank you, by the way." "For what?" He asked, sparing a moment to give her an inquisitive glance. "For, in your own round about way, saying I was pretty and looked good, today. While you are right, I already know, but, Nature Boy, every woman wants to hear once in awhile that they are attractive, even the pretty ones. Especially from the person they are interested in, it was very sweet of you. Although 'eye humping' was a new one." She laughed. "So, when you said you liked how I looked now, more than normal, what did you mean?" "Oh, no." Cade shook his head. "That's a loaded question. I may not have a lot of hours logged in the dating seat, but I know when I'm being set up. I also know you well enough, Marissa to know that I'm not gonna survive that path if I choose to walk down it." "Stop being a bitch," she laughed. "It is not a loaded question. I am legit asking you what you meant. Like, okay, is your type more, let us say, Tawny? Blonde, perky, all kinds of bubbly with the down on the farm, girl-next-door vibe going for her? Meanwhile, I'm all Malibu chic with the latest fashion trends and makeup and more city girl than country gal?" "Alright, truth?" He glanced again and looked back towards the road. "I'm more of the country gal type, and by that I mean," he looked at Marissa for a moment as she opened her mouth for swift rebuttable only to meet Cade's raised finger to indicate he hadn't finished yet. He spoke over her before she had the chance to argue. "Aaaand by that I mean, a girl doesn't need all kinds of makeup and the latest fashion trends to catch my interest. All she needs to be is who she is." "So," Marissa narrowed her eyes. "You have a thing Tawny, is what I'm hearing?" "Oh my god." Cade lowered and shook head. "I'm just gonna ram us into a tree, make this quick on myself." Marissa laughed again. In fact it was the most he'd heard her laugh in the three years since she's arrived in Shelly. She took his hand and pulled it towards her, gently kissing the back of it. She didn't claim it, since his Jeep was a manual transmission, but her hand found its place back on his leg afterward. "I am only messing with you. Relax. I am kidding." "I honestly didn't know you could kid." Her boyfriend shook his head, trying not to smile. "There is a lot you do not know about me," she caught a glance of herself in the Jeep's side mirror and her mirth faded slightly. How could she tell him, tell any of them that she was betraying all of them to a network of enemies all to save herself and her family? The Nerd Herd had, in recent weeks been more of a family to her than her own parents ever attempted being, and now she was selling them out to survive. Why did she feel so guilty about it? This should be an easy thing to do, because at the end of the day you can only rely on yourself, right? She quickly recovered her smile, putting her game face back on. "I will have you know I am very complex. I am fun, when I want to be." Cade turned off the road and onto the path that lead to the pond, "Well, let's hope you want to be." ---===[]===--- She hated to admit it to herself, but Cade was right: the pond was beautiful. It was more like a small lake, and she wasn't quite sure what qualified a pond to be a lake, or a lake to be demoted to a pond, but for all intents and purposes, it was a majestic. When he ran around the Jeep to get her door she reminded him that it was the a pond, not the red carpet lthought she appreciated his enthusiasm. They still were enjoying eighty two degree weather in Shelly, which was nice, and thankfully the dreary rains of Autumn hadn't set in yet. They had nothing but sun and a whole Saturday to enjoy it. "Hey!" she actually bounced with delight as she looked at her phone. "I have a signal!" "Surprise." Cade smiled. He knew there was a signal out here. Shelly might have been a small town, but oddly enough there was always a decent signal in most places to go with the oddly high tech hospital and the obscenely well funded schools. "You're not gonna be on that all day, are you?" "No," she said with a snooty tone while she stuck her tongue out at him as he unloaded the Jeep. "But this means I get my Spotify playlists, so we have music." "Music'll scare the fish." Mari walked over to him and picked up the tackle box to help him out, even going to so far as to slap his hand when he offered to get it. She wanted to help, and damn it she was going to help. "True, but not when the sun goes down and we're not fishing anymore." She noticed the way he swallowed hard as that seed buried itself in the soil of things that could happen. He pointed out the docks and gave her a quick safety brief to which she rolled her eyes. "You can swim, right?" He asked as they walked. "Swim?" She scoffed with a snort. "Dude, I can surf. Can not surf if you can not swim. Well, not well, anyways" "You surf?" He asked, mildly astonished. "I can't picture it. I've always wanted to try it. Looks hard." "It sort of is, at first. I could teach you, if we had waves. Devin can't do it," she smiled at the memories if her and her brother out on the waves of Malibu's beaches. "He sucks at surfing, rub that in next time you see him. He has impeccable balance, a natural gymnast, and he just 'get' surfing. Can't stay on a board to save his life." "Where is he, anyway? I figured I see him at your house." "Oh, he and Laurie are in New Zealand today. They left late last night, you know, because time zones, I have not heard from him. Apparently he found out Lona was moving, and he has been a bit distraught about it lately. Chances are he's already drowning his sorrows twixt Cassidy's thighs by now, given the radio silence." "Classy," Cade smiled as he arranged all their equipment and set a few life jackets on the dock. "I don't figure Sean's too thrilled about that. He's as protective of Laurie as Devin is of you." Marissa gave Cade a curled lip and dubious look. "Right. Devin. What does he care what Sean thinks?" "Exactly." She chuckled a bit. "So, what about you and whats-her-name? New York girl? Still talking, still sexting?" She winked salaciously to taunt him and when he gave her another 'loaded question' look she waved her hands as if brushing away his doubts. "Look, I do not mind if you are. Seriously. She is in New York, no matter what you two say to each other, I still have you all to myself. She doing okay?"
  7. "Oh, so it is negotiations, then? Excellent." Marissa sat down crossing her legs as she rest her purse in her lap. Everything about her posture inferred that she, no matter how much this man had done for her family, was in charge of the situation. "No, your request is quite clear, however, my father is the screw up so you're whole 'take down my family' tactic will only go so far. My brother and I play 'innocent minors' like you wouldn't believe so really it is only our parents who would be ruined, and what teenager actually likes their parents these days? He did what he did himself and as a result ruined our family, Carl Jauntsen is despised in our home. You bring the wolves to our door and we'll throw him to them ourselves. Now, you seem well informed Mister Enterich so I'll not get into known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns with you, you get the idea, but your information network is spotty, at best. I do not have a boyfriend, I have a plaything. My family life is a smouldering ruin filled with nothing but misery and competitiveness. We are sorry, pathetic lot lashing out and ruining each other in the hopes that some of that pain we inflict others will spark some sensation of feeling within our own cold, dead hearts. You're certainly smug, and I respect that, in fact I'm moderately aroused that I'm finally meeting someone in this community of hypocrites and religious fanatics who understands the big picture of being positively vile in order to be the architect for a far greater good. I swear, if you were forty years younger, hell, even thirty. Now, based on the low quality burnt coffee smell in the air, you strike me a man who understands vile. So..." She spoke with her hands which were currently perfectly manicured into glossy red talons giving her that chic Iggy look to complete her mood of being frustrated and fed up with the world lately. "Far as I am concerned whatever my father did, and what ever debt you cleared for him is between you and my father. Fact: I hate this place. I feel like that sunglasses guy in that computer movie... this place reeks and I want out of it. My father's reputation and credibility are shot and it will take him years to regain that, by asking me to spy, you are asking me to not repair his reputation, but to damage my own. That, well," she shook her head and offered him a rueful smirk. She had to, no matter what, keep these guys away from her family and focused on her and what she could provide for them. That wasn't going to be easy, and she had no idea the debt her father owed but for now, she had to be the only thing these guys were looking at, and lucky for them she was easy on the eyes. "That, I just can not allow. Not for free. So let us get a few things out of the way, you have threatened me and my family, so that has already made you a marked man. Please understand it is nothing personal, you seem like such a well education man and I do so love an intellectual, but business is business, and your ticket was punched the moment you went for the throat. We both know it won't be today and obviously not tomorrow, but Mr. Enterich, one day I will be the last thing you see before your world fades to black. So, in case it is not said between now and then, I happen to admire your high standards of ruthless efficiency, and impeccable fashion sense. I have not seen a ten thousand dollar suit in a long time, and you are working it like a boss." "I have no loyalty to anyone but my family, this 'project' and the Aeon people are all just a new batch of freaks and geeks to me. If you wanted my help, all you had to do was ask for it with a promise of compensation. You might think that large sum you paid off to my father's debt covers everything, and it does, between you and my father. I'm guilty of nothing but being gorgeous and being surrounded by idiots and lunatics. I have no debt to square with you." Her eyes were as sharp as the claws on her finger tips. She was scared as hell to be dealing with this guy, but what choice did she have? Thankfully old habits died hard and all the evil in her heart returned to the surface with perfectly calculated cruelty and she swiftly displayed how easily she could turn malice into an art form. "So, tell your interested party that they're not dealing with my father, they're dealing with me, and I owe them squat. You want information and I can get it, so if you are setting up a business arrangement with me, then get your checkbook handy." "Now," she laced her fingers together and rest them on her purse. "Let's work on something a little more specific than 'everything', where would you like me to start? We'll build a foundation from that. Oh, and do have Marshall call me sometime."
  8. "Hey!" She said with a beaming smile that lit up his... well, teenage everything. "Come on in, I'm almost ready." She waved him in and like Autumn several days ago, Cade was seeing a whole new side to Marissa already. She seemed less tense than usual and more relaxed like she wasn't 'on the clock' or something. The Jauntsen home was massive, which he already knew, but this was his first real time actually being in it... it was like a mansion compared to most of the other homes in Shelly. "Moooom! Cade's here!" She shouted through the house like the typical teenager does. Cade processed that, considering she was hardly a typical teenager. She took his hand and led him up the stairs to her room where he was introduced to the last thing he'd expected from Marissa Jauntsen's bedroom. It was like a Disney Princesses room in all pinks and whites and the sheer volume of adorable stuffed animals were enough to give him a cavity. She caught him staring and glared at him. "What?" "Nothing, I just, wasn't expecting pink," he shrugged, not really sure what to say. "You don't seem like a 'pink' girl." "Really?" She mused, giving him a questioning look. "Because that's the collection my underwear was from the other night and you sure didn't seem to mind 'pink' then." "Also, wasn't expecting it then, either." He smiled at her. "Give me a few minutes, I'm just finishing up. Wander, look about." She sat at her vanity and continued getting ready. It was going to be a light makeup day if they were to be out in the sun all day, and they didn't have much more nice days of summer left, so figured she may as well enjoy her time in the clean Montana wilderness. She was was in a short, denim tiered skirt and a black and white horizontal striped tee and he could see the sea foam green ties of her bikini showing out around her neck in a neat bow. Surprisingly she wasn't in heels but regular white sneakers. She continued to clean her pores as her boyfriend wandered about. "Wow," he said with a laugh as he lifted her laptop up from the bed. "Fantasy Post? Sean loves this site. He reads all the fictions and gets a lot of his story ideas from here. You read any of the-" he paused just as Marissa spun about to ask him to put it back down on the bed before he noticed something she didn't want him to see. When he grew silent she winced, smacking herself in the forehead for leaving it out where he could see it. In the upper right hand corner he noticed her username. "Wait, you're Lady Meru? Sean reads all her stuff!" "You can not say a word about this to anyone Cade, I'm serious." She bounced up from her chair and walked over to him, grabbing her laptop and setting it on the bed. "You're a rules authority for 5th Edition D&D, you've answered Sean's rules questions while we were at the gaming table," he pressed on with absolute disbelief as Marissa covered her face in embarrassment. "Your Trials of Golthir series of fictions are top read on the site, Sean is gitty with anticipation for the next installment! Oh. My. God. You're..." "The next words out of your mouth better be 'the best thing to ever happen to me' or so help me, l will murder you where you stand." She met his eyes and glared at him with a righteous fury. The six and a half foot teenager folded his lips in an attempt to suppress the smile but managed to mumble, "The best thing to ever happen to me." If only out of sheer spite and his inner fourth grader getting such a kick out of what he'd just discovered. "Breathe a word of what you saw," she glared at him. "And I will whammy you into being my bitch for a month." She spun about, complete with dramatic hair whip and sat down to finish her priming. "To be continued." He raised a finger and smiled at her through the mirror. "No, to be left alone and never spoken of again," she hissed. "No, no, we'll be talking about this again. I'll take that month just to spite you." He tucked his hands in his pockets and casually strode about her room with a 'I have a secret' grin on his face. ---===[]===--- Twenty minutes later they were in his Jeep and on their way to the lake/pond, whatever... and even in minimal makeup (but always makeup) Marissa looked like a supermodel in the land of the homeless. Despite the leaked secret in her room and their spat about letting it drop, he seemed to in a rare state of happiness as the wind danced in her hair and she soaked up the sun in the Jeep, it was almost like driving to the beaches back in Malibu. Still not satisfied with the idea of fishing, she took solace in that maybe she could catch some sun before summer faded away into the Fall. She leaned her head back and relaxed, resting her hand on her boyfriend's thigh as he drove. It was almost surreal to be living like an actual teenager, if only for a day. No Dark, no drama, just her and her boyfriend enjoying a Saturday together.
  9. Marissa turned the card in her fingers as she glared at it. People were filtering into the class room and she didn't even take the time to notice her usual gaggle of males fawning over her, The Unattainable. To say she didn't appreciate the attention would have been a lie, no matter how low on the list of attractiveness, intellectualism, and general appeal a guy may have had, she always appreciated the attention they were willing to give her. She thrived on it, she needed it to validate the on going competition she seemed to have with her mother. "-okay?" She heard from what seemed like miles outside her perception. She blinked her eyes back into focus and looked around to see Cade sitting beside her. He smiled at the realization that she may have just been awakened from her day dream. "You back with us now?" "Huh?" She slid the card face down in a pocket on the side of her small purse that served more as a makeup case that just happened to hold her license and credit card. "Oh, yeah, sorry. I," she offered a dazzling smile. "Didn't get a lot of sleep last night. I'm a bit out of it." She lied in typical Jauntsen fashion. "What's up?" "Not much," he shrugged. "Just saw you looking a bit out of it and wondered if you were okay. Everything alright? Need to talk?" "I'm fine," she managed in the practiced tone she'd learned from Autumn in the last several days. She was genuinely flushed at the notion of Cade being concerned about her and taking the time to ask, but she wasn't ready to admit that to him, yet. She deflected with a subject change. "So, when are you taking me out? Because I'm not just going to sit at home and text you all the time, I'd like to spend some time with you. We are dating, after all." "Uh, well," Cade flushed a bit himself. "First, I uh, didn't take any screen caps of those snaps, just like I promised I wouldn't." "Better not have. It's just underwear, but if you destroy my reputation I will have to kill you," she offered a narrowed evil eye. "So," she spun a finger to signal him to speed up his stammering over how gorgeous she was in what passed for underwear these days. She already knew all that. "Date... c'mon..." "So, I thought, since I'm doing you a favor, you would indulge me in one. After all, you needed a boyfriend and I did agree to help you out-" he started. There it was. The truth she was waiting for. She knew it was only a matter of time before Cade, like any other guy, would drop the 'I scratched your back, no you let me tap that' clause in their relationship. Her lips pursed slightly as she held in the sudden shift in her mood from melancholic to murderous. They were keeping their voices down already, but she leaned in to speak with him now. "I am not having sex with you. When or if, I sleep with you or any guy in this pit, it will be at a time and place of my choosing and it will be because I want to, not because I owe some one a favor." Cade seemed completely unphased by her sudden seething attack on his character. He pressed his lips together and nodded in agreement with her before continuing. "Okay. Good to know. So, back to what I was saying: since you sort of owe me one for helping you out, I figured the least you could do was indulge me in a date that you might not be as 'traditional' as you're used to. I want to take you fishing." She pulled away from him to collect her thoughts. While not completely unexpected from the nature boys obvious hobbies, her mind spun in circles trying to figure out what teenage guy would rather take her fishing instead of trying to get her out of the underwear he'd seen her in on SnapChat. She swiftly composed a scathing retort. "Fishing?" Was unfortunately all that made it passed her glossed lips as she looked at him like he couldn't possibly be serious. "Yeah, come on, you and me, out in a boat-" "-getting burnt in the sun." "-out on the water-" "-that reeks of stagnant vegetation-" "-just the sounds of nature-" "-no cell signal-" "It'll be great, trust me." "You're actually serious," she raised an eyebrow at him and gave him a less than approving look of appraisal. "Fine." Autumn was right, that word was like 'fuck', you could express all sorts of emotions with it. "I'll go spend a day out in the middle of nowhere on a rickety boat in the middle of a lake watching do your utmost to catch, and then subsequently smell like, an unwashed volleyball team. Which will, by proxy, lead you to never having me actually want to sleep with you because you'll smell like fish ass." "See?" Cade smiled. "Everyone's happy. I need to get to my seat. I'll text you." He touched her shoulder as he stood and made his way to his desk. "Kay," she said softly, touching his hand as it slid from her shoulder. It was the simple gestures like that that sold the dating routine they were going for, and while she initially just needed a guy to say 'we're dating' over the last few days he'd been particularly sweet and about as safe of a choice for boyfriends as she could have asked for. The picture was a tease, which was text book, but he was so humble about receiving it, that she'd decided to send a few more. It was exciting. She hadn't had a guy fawning over her with this level of attachment, ever. She stopped being interested in dating when she was thirteen, and she certainly wasn't sending snaps back then. It was kind of fun having a boyfriend to fawn all over her. She found herself staring at him as class started and offered him an almost school girl smile as she looked away to pay attention to the lesson. ---===[Later... At Lunch...]===--- Well, it wasn't a sleazy hotel, so there was that. Although, at this point, between the snaps, the new boyfriend, and raging teenage hormones, she may not have minded the a sleazy hotel. She knew the address well enough, right off the town square down the block where the H&R Block office always set up shop at tax season was a small storefront that hadn't had a business in it in quite some time. She was the only sixteen year-old girl in Shelly with a black Mercedes sports car... hell she was the only person in Shelly with a Mercedes sports car, so she knew if anyone saw her, there would be questions. Tinted windows didn't matter much when everyone knew who owned the car. She drove to the back of the building, hoping it would be 'clandestine' and 'spy movie' enough to keep her from being seen. She stepped out and straightened her skirt and checked he top which she'd already been spoken to three times at school this morning because of the amount of midriff it was showing. She hardly saw it as her problem that other people weren't blessed with perfect abs. She was in her 'hiking heels' today, since they went well with her skirt, but more to just prove to the others at hiking heels were a thing, at five inches, they really weren't appropriate for school but he masses needed to know they were out there and available for outdoor enthusiasts with impeccable fashion sense. She'd gotten away with less appropriate attire before and would do so again, so after a quick makeup check in the mirror to make sure her eyes were dazzling and her lips were the right sheen of glossy maroon, she stepped in for her meeting. The windows in the front were covered in old news papers, recently replaced to obscure prying eyes from the roadside. There were a few desks set up on either side of the small work area up front and she could see them as she passed but the bathroom, a makeshift coffee/break room and what seemed like a storage closet for appropriate office supplies like paper, pens, printing toner, those sorts of things. The mixture of lights and the news papers on the windows capturing the sunlight gave the whole interior a life sucking yellowish atmosphere that seemed very much like a horror movie beginning waiting to happen. The two Marshals made their appearance by poking their heads into the hallway from where they were sitting at their desks. They stood to greet her as she continued down the hall, her heels were muted on the thin carpet but since it hadn't been replaced since probably nineteen eighty-something, it sounded like she was quietly knocking to get their attention with every step. Marshal Dale, the female who'd been in her home and freely saying awful things about her family and their money gave her a quick once over and raised a judgemental eyebrow at her appearance. "Christ, girl, you're sixteen?" "Yes, Marshal Dale, I am," Marissa replied as sweetly as she could manage. She gave the MArshal the same judgemental once over. "Why? What age were you, when you gave up on looking this good?" "Marissa," Marshal (snicker) Marshall greeted her and ushered her into the workspace, trying to separate her from Marshal Dale as swiftly as possible. "Than you for coming-" "You never called," she pouted, giving him mock doe eyes. "I have to admit, I'm hurt." Perhaps it was a bad idea. Okay, it was a horrible idea, but Marissa would never take rejection without plotting retaliation, after all, why would anyone want to say no to her to begin with? Between the two of them there was a slight pulse. A shock of invisible chemistry that bolted through Marshal Marshall's system and left him wondering why the hell did he not call her? Marshal Marshall just got whammied and now everything about her intoxicated him. "Uhhh, um, yeah, I'm sorry about that, but uh, hey, let's get you introduced to our supervisor so we can get this all out of the way and you can get back to school, shall we?" He needed to a cold shower, maybe a few hours of PornHub. Either way, Marissa sowed a seed of chaos, and she'd watch it grow with petty amusement and cruel glee. "Miss Jauntsen," came a voice from the another desk. She's seen his head over the filing cabinets as the antics were happening behind him and assumed he was the guy she was here to see. "I understand, and apologize for taking you from your classes this afternoon. I know this is less than typical." "Less than typical?" She huffed with a half chuckle. "Sir, instead of trying to get more pictures of me in my underwear or inviting me over for a make out session that would no doubt lead to amazing sex, because seriously, he's amazeballs gorgeous, the guy I'm seeing would rather take me fishing. I'm the only virgin left in Shelly High, I'm pretty sure. So I'd say 'less than typical' is pretty much my daily in the land of 'fuck my life'. So, why am I here?" "Fishing?" Marshal Marshall asked, as if to make sure he'd heard her right. Marissa nodded sarcastically and offered a "Yeah." In a wide eyed 'as if' tone. Marshal Dale shook her head in disappointment. "That's fucked up."
  10. Marissa purchased: Integrity +1 (w/Poker Face) 8XP Persuasion +1 (w/Captivating Personality, Easy To Love) 11xp Hardy +1 3XP That takes her total from 24XP to 1. She is currently at 1/66XP. Notations have been made to her sheet and sig. Aspirations are updated. Technically she did confide in Autumn, and Technically she and Autumn did become friends... that +2 XP if you approve it. If approved it will take her XP from 1/66 to 3/68. That three will be spent later as she's done enough 'training' in between session 5 to session 6.
  11. Marissa Some sort of power play is happening. Marissa is dating Cade Alister, and talking with Courtney again. Something's not right. Prepare. Marissa was helping Charlie Cole with his play for school, then he started dating Sophie Fingleman... now Marissa is dating Cade? Marissa hasn't dated anyone in three years... I bet it's a jealousy power play... but why Charlie Cole? OMG... do you think they had some secret thing going? Marissa, being nice to Autumn Keane? She's never nice unless she wants something. Watch out, she's planning. She's always planning. A guy I know in Great Falls, he said that h knows a guy that guy said Marissa buys like, a crazy amount of drugs off him. The Twins (Collectively) The Jauntsens are part of some weirdo cult or secret society. They started drinking the nerd Kool-Aid and now are part of the cult. Killing Cody Sikes was their part of their initiation. The Jauntsen twins 'share' their partners. It's why neither of them dated, until recently. Wonder what changed? The Jauntsen family as a whole is all kinds of messed up. Dysfunctional AF. I've heard some things... like, some seriously messed up things.
  12. It was a joyous sight as the families of those trapped within the confines of the hospital were set free to be with their families once more. Misti and Carl Jauntsen had been waiting patiently outside and the kids came filtering out Misti pushed herself from where she was leaning on the hood of her BMW and scanned for her children. Carl continued to lean, not committing himself to caring until he was sure his kids had been released. Marissa walked slowly to greet her parents, faking a smile for the public as her mother worriedly wrapped her arms around her daughter and embraced her lovingly. Carl joined them a moment later, offer one of those soft dad smiles as he hugged her and kissed her head. “We're fine, it was no big deal, really.” Marissa laughed and played it off, wriggling free of her parents. To the public of Shelly, they looked like one big, happy family. “Where's your brother?” Carl asked, looking over the head of his daughter to the entrance. The Queen of Shelly gave her parents a snide look and let her lip curl into a soft smirk. “Where do you think? As far away from you two as possible.” She pulled her hair back, brushing it over her shoulder with a gentle stroke of the back of her fingers. “Now let's go. I'm hungry.” The Devin's parents expressed their disappointment and resentment for their sons disappearance with a simple glance at one another. “Where did he go?” Mist asked. “It's Devin, Mom,” Mari shrugged and coyly avoided any serious conflict. “He goes where he wants.”
  13. "Welcome aboard." Devin welcomed her with no air of ulterior motives or locked and loaded snark ready to be fired. Courtney narrowed her amber eyes, studying him for signs of a sudden, but inevitable, betrayal. "You can not be serious, Deejay." Marissa protested, turning her brother to face her while motioning towards the ginger in question. "You just witnessed how quickly he sold Cook down the river," he smiled at Courtney, lacing her contention with mean girl diplomacy. "No offense, we all get he totally deserves it, but she is loyal only to herself. Given the first opportunity she will stab us all in the back and leave us for dead." "Says Shelly's number one, self-centered bitch." Courtney hissed across the table that was, thankfully, separating the two alpha females. "Symptoms of extreme antisocial behavior and poor impulse control, including sexual mania, passive-aggression, panic attacks, mood swings, megalomania and narcissism." Devin repeated before the cat fight began. As he rolled off the list of Dr. Cook's assessment of the young redhead she recoiled only slightly as the adage of the truth hurting gave her mind and body pause. It was always hurtful to hear the truth out loud. "Have you met us, lately, Em? Any of us? Look around this room. Sean can't go one day without begin reminded he's different. Jason is one bad day away from murdering and cooking hikers in his basement. Cass has so many issues in dealing with her own problems that she has to go write articles about everyone elses'. Then there's us, sis. Our family is so fucked up, our parents have messed us up so bad that we have to around to other people and ruin their joy and happiness just so we can feel something other than this emptiness that is churning in our gut." "And now we have super powers? We're the freaks." He said. He motioned to Courtney. "She's no worse off than any of us. Just one more powered teen being used and lied to and stuck in a world where no matter how she tries to find herself her family or friends just fuck her up more. We're all we have guys. We're a ll quirky and we all have something about us that annoys, or scares or frankly just creeps the rest of us out... but we're still a Fellowship. So, if Red needs a side that's gonna have her neurotic, nympho back then we need to stand with her. It just seems like there's a whole lot of lies, conspiracies and planning been going on and the only we can trust right now are the people under eighteen who don't have agenda." He offered Courtne one of those smiles that moistened panties. "Regardless, Red. I got yer back." Marissa sighed, waving her hand as if swatting away her thoughts with a roll of her eyes. "Fine. Whatever. When you wake up with an STD, Lona hates you, and everyone else won't talk to you because this was your idea, remember that I went on record by stating: 'she's a triflin' ass ho'." She looked to Courtney and smiled. "Welcome to the Nerd Herd. Thankfully, I'm not with them. Enjoy being one of the losers, Courtney. It's about time you accepted your place."
  14. "No killing." Devin's glare and tone were laced with authority. "Regardless of what they have waiting." Marissa added, folding her arms and staring daggers into Jason.
  15. "Do you now?" Marissa's lips twisted in a vile smile. She crossed her arms and glared as her posture shifted to something akin to a snake preparing to strike. "Good. The he's all yours." "You guys can delude yourselves into thinking anything you like, but Jason has shown constant abusive and violent tendencies since we've started hanging out with him. Maybe he's messed up, maybe he just enjoys putting hay hooks to people's throats or smashing them around their own homes while masquerading it under altruistic intentions, I don't know." She shrugged, shaking head. "Frankly, I'm done caring. I'm not required to stay around, nor can I be forced to be around him. I choose to be as far from him as possible because I don't want to be in the room when he finally does decide to start ripping out people's hearts and freezing their genitals. I choose not be associated to a person who thinks, acts, and talks that way." "Picking on people is one thing," she said. "It wasn't until hanging out with Autumn that I realized how horrid of a person I am, but I've never wished anyone the level of pain and misery that Jason finds casually amusing. He's sick and needs help. You do what you want, live your best, but I'm done with him. I've talked to him I've tried to understand him and he always goes right back to this... what you just saw and heard. That's his baseline, and frankly it's demented. So, he's all yours New Girl. Have at it."
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