“So what are we doing for Halloween?” Hope asked excitedly a few days later once everyone gathered for dinner.
“College students do stuff for Halloween?” James asked sheepishly.
“What!? Really?” Hope asked, “An excuse to drink, party and dress slutty…that is the definition of college!”
“We should throw a party!” Sam said.
“No,” James said.
“Whatda mean no? You don’t get final say,” Sam told him.
“A small card game with a few of our classmates is one thing, but if we throw a ‘party’ that’s us providing booze to the underage students and if someone calls in a noise complaint…well maybe others in the HCP could get away with minor infractions or complaints, but do you really think we can?” James asked him.
“Spoil sport,” Sam said light-heartedly.
“He’s right,” Tony said, “plus, why would you want to be the one to throw it? That’s too much work and responsibility. I say we find someone else’s house to destroy.”
“I agree with Tony,” Allison said, “Except for the destroying someone’s house, we should respect other’s property.”
“Figure of speech,” Tony deadpanned.
“I heard the juniors throw a party for the underclassmen,” Jen said. “They use one of the subtlety warehouses and the police stay away.”
“That could work,” Hope said, “but let’s find a few more options, just in case the class one is lame.” They all tentatively agreed to that plan, some more fervently than others.
“So Sam? Who you challenging next?” Michael asked coyly. “Seems you’ve become the talk the HCP, even upperclassmen are taking notice.”
“Oh, well I was going to wait to talk to them privately first, but I guess we can do it now,” Sam said. “So, I’m in 11th now, and I can only challenge within three places in the top ten, and well, Rosa Duffy is 8th. With her power, I think I’d only be punching her water form until I run out of energy…so I was going to go to the one right below her, which is…Jennifer,” he said looking at her. “What’s your thoughts on that?”
“I guess I say, ‘do what you got to do.’ I’m hardly one to judge, as I challenged Tony for his spot once,” she said looking at him.
“Okay cool. Just don’t burn the hair, it doesn’t gain super durability like I do.”
“Really?” Jen said with a mischievous smile.
“Serious! Don’t burn the hair!” Sam said staring her down.
“We’ll see,” Jen said and laughed manically.
James asked to talk with Jen in private and they went up to his room, “you know anything about the Jones’ plans for Halloween?”
“No. You?” Jennifer asked.
“No, I’d like to spend some of the night with Sandy, I think we should work together to convince her/them to share the evening with us, and hopefully keep Candy from having all the fun.”
“Oh that’s a good point. I bet this is Candy’s Christmas, so to speak. You really think she hasn’t already put her name in big red letters all over that day?”
“Probably, but there has to room for compromise here. Especially if both Andy and Sandy tag team her.” So far time had been very fairly divided, although all dates were scheduled, so there was no room for spontaneity, but this would be the first major holiday, and really the first time three of them would try to share the same social time. How would they even do costumes they could all agree on?
“Alright. We need to jump on this though. You have lunch with her tomorrow, right?”
“Yeah,” James said.
“Okay, I’ll join you…if that’s not a problem and we’ll try to work out the details.”
James found Sandy in one of the dining halls at their usual table and went over gave her a quick kiss and sat next to her, then Jennifer came over and sat. “Oh, hi Jen, I didn’t know you’d be joining us,” Sandy said looking accusing at James. They preferred to keep those aspects of their lives separate.
“We wanted to talk about Halloween,” James said.
“Oh…OH!” Sandy said, her eyes getting wide. It was sort of her default look for anything Candy did. “You know that’s her night, right? It’s like tailor-made for her personality.”
“We don’t need to take the whole thing, even divided between the two of us, but we’d both like a little time with our girlfriends.”
“Yeah,” Jennifer said. “Is Andy even into something like that?” she asked tentatively.
“Hard to say. I haven’t had a real Halloween since Candy emerged, so neither has Andy, but I know she wants a chance to go out with her eyes uncovered for a change. I can’t make any guarantees right now, but I promise I’ll discuss it with them all. I’ll try to get Andy on board first, then we’ll go after Candy, maybe we can get some interest from Mandy too, she used to love trick or treating.”
“Thanks,” James and Jen both said, then James and Sandy both stared at Jennifer until she got the hint.
“Oh, well have fun you two. Have Andy call once she makes up her mind one way or the other,” Jen said and then retreated.
Tony once again got some to-go meals from the cafeteria and was heading to El’s dorm room. If the weather was good enough they’d eat outside, but it was getting too cold for that. He knocked on her door and she opened it for him, waving in her sign language and kissing him.
“Hi,” he said happily after the kiss. And then they got to eating. “So…would you like to do something for Halloween?” He couldn’t take her to the class party, but if she was willing he’d find something else.
She got that sad look in her eye as she started typing in her phone, “you know there is nothing I would be willing to do that night.” This was the opening he needed to discuss the relationship. He loved everything about Halloween; the party, the pranks, the beer, the costumes, and it was everything that she…well not hated, but was afraid of. It was a huge source of contention for Tony.
“Listen, we need to talk,” Tony said and El’s eyes got wide, she knew exactly where this was going, which was better than Tony, because he didn’t know what he wanted to say. “I love Halloween…and I would have liked to spend it with you. I’ve been giving it some thought…” he paused.
“I know it’s not perfect.”
“I love spending time with you, but I also like doing all the things you don’t. I can’t be in a relationship like this.” Ella started to cry.
“I could try to go out on Halloween,” her phone said and her eyes begged.
“I can’t ask you to do that! I know why you are the way you are, and if you changed…you wouldn’t be you. And this isn’t just about not partying. There are some things in my life that…I have to deal with,” he was alluding to the HCP, but didn’t want to give too much away. “I either have to end this now, or in a few months and I’d rather do it before you try to force yourself to change for me.”
She was crying pretty good now, and Tony himself was tearing up, she tried to type something but she was shaking too much and it didn’t come out right. Tony grabbed her hands as she tried to type again and looked in her eyes. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I will miss you.”
“Me too,” she actually said, with her voice. Tony panicked for a second, until he remembered it took more than a few words to get to terrible depression, two words would just drive home the sadness he’d already be feeling. He kissed her forehead, then got up and walked out the door and straight to the nearest HCP lift. He walked straight towards Dr. Gibson’s office, not taking the secret back way and knocked hard on his door and was told to come in. “You happy? You bastard!”
“Yes, fricking El! I ended it!” Tony raged, jumping down onto the couch without invitation. “I know we talked about it, and I had hours of internal debate with it and it was even necessary. But she was so Hot!” he joked, masking his pain.
“You’ll find someone else,” he said.
“Not like El, and if I want anything more than a string of conquests like Sam, it has to be a girl in the program, right?”
“That’s a fair assessment. But, at least now you can see how important becoming a Hero is to you. If you’re willing to give her up, for just the chance. It’s something you can cling to as you try to move on.”
“You’re a bastard,” Tony said.
Jennifer got a call from Andy that night, “hey, Kitty,” she said using her pet name.
“Hey, Hot Stuff!” Andy replied, (fire joke). “So we got Mandy on board and ganged up on Candy and all agreed to go out on Halloween, we’ve still got a lot of details to work out between ourselves and we’ll have to find some costumes ideas that go from conservative Mandy all the way to slutty Candy, but we should all go shopping this weekend.”
“Us four, and like you, Allison, and Hope. Girl’s day or something, not really my thing, but I can always retreat into my head, literally, so it’s kind of up to you.”
“Yeah…I guess I could do that. Hope’s been bothering me for weeks to go shopping. Can kill two birds with one stone on this one.”
“That’s the spirit,” Andy joked. They talked for a bit more before Andy said, “Okay, you work it out with your housemates and I’ll get it together with my sisters.”
So Jennifer went to tell Hope the plan, and she actually squealed at the prospect of shopping with the elusive Jennifer.
The challenges had really started to level off and there was only five of them today. Everyone in the house had turned up to watch Sam and Jennifer’s match and Andy was also with them in support of her girlfriend, but standing as far from James as she could get; there was still animosity there. They all watched from the window above as the two friends stared each other down. They weren’t the only ones interested in the match, true to Michael’s word several upper classmen were also watching, but only in the grays of sophomores and juniors, seniors really didn’t care about freshman rank.
“You ready Jen?” Sam asked while flexing his neck and arms.
“Yeah, are you? You know you might not look too bad bald, maybe it will help you absorb sunlight faster,” she said and laughed at Sam expression.
“Seriously, if my hair even gets a little burnt, I’m putting you through the wall,” he said smiling.
“Big talk. Let’s see you back it up.”
The buzzer sounded and Jennifer immediately launched herself straight up, she figured Sam would use super speed to go for the early lead and to limit her mobility. And she was right as she looked down and saw Sam right underneath her. It was really difficult to do while flying, but she unleashed a wide area blast right to where he was standing, but as the flame cleared she saw he was almost on the other side of cell. Making a blast that was fast enough would be difficult and definitely couldn’t be done from the air.
Jennifer upped the heat coming off her body to the point where even her fire proof uniform was smoking and flew towards Sam. He was ready to catch her, but he was not prepared for the heat from her skin. She cut off the blast from her feet and increased the heat from her hands and grabbed his neck. He didn’t burn as fast as a normal person, his durability was pretty high, but Jennifer could go higher and soon his neck began to blister, he screamed and forcefully threw her off him and into the wall.
Jennifer slumped to the ground, a few things were broken and her breath was ragged. She saw Sam heal his neck and start to walk towards her, her vision blurred for a second, so she raised both hands and unleashed a torrent from them, but as the flames cleared Sam was nowhere to be seen. Then she felt a hand grab her broken shoulder and she screamed. She tried to raise her hand to blast him, but he caught her wrist and pointed it away from him while squeezing to break the bone, which popped, causing another scream. She couldn’t do anything to him, he was too fast and too strong and she dropped her head and passed out.
Jennifer woke an hour later and felt Andy’s hand holding hers. She opened her eyes and saw Allison, Hope and Andy standing around her bed. “hey,” she said, her voice a little hoarse.
“How you feeling?” Andy asked. “He hits like a truck, doesn’t he?” Jennifer laughed at that.
“You still up to shop today?” Hope asked excitedly, Jennifer wasn’t getting out of that just because she’d had 12 broken bones and some internal bleeding.
“Yeah, sure. Just let me grab a long shower first,” she said sitting up.
“I’ll help you,” Andy said reaching for her and she meant more than just helping her stand and walk. They found an empty stall and spent about an hour washing up…well they spent about ten minutes washing up and about 50 minutes on miscellaneous. Then they met the other girls near the lifts, Hope had a devilish smile on her face and Allison looked flushed and embarrassed.
“You ready?” Hope asked.
“Yeah, we’ll take my car,” Andy said and they got into the lift that’d bring them to her dorm. They piled into her car and headed north away from the city. Hope had wanted to do some shopping at high end boutiques in the city, but the other three just couldn’t afford anything from there, so they were heading to a mall in the suburbs. As Andy was driving, suddenly she was Candy.
“Whoa,” Allison said, “should you be doing that while you’re driving?”
“Its fine,” Candy said, “Our memories perfectly synch up, it’s no more dangerous than blinking. Hey Jen! How’d the match go?”
“Oh sorry. Hope, you decide on a costume?”
“Nothing concreate yet. I’ll see what they have.”
“Oh please,” Allison said, “you know your costume is going to start with ‘sexy’ and end with some random profession. Sexy nurse, sexy teacher, sexy construction worker, sexy pirate…”
“Oh sexy pirate, I like that one!” Hope said. Allison just rolled her eyes, not that she was going to be putting too much effort into this, but still, it’s the principal of the thing.
“So what are we doing for this ‘guy’s day’ thing, Sam?” James asked after they got back to the house after Sam’s match.
“Something, very American and masculine, football and tailgating.”
“Sizemore has a football team?” Tony asked.
“Yeah, it’s not a very impressive division, but it’s not really about the game, it’s more about the tailgating. I’ve got a bunch of beer, hot dogs, chips, some beer, hamburgers, steaks and beer.” Sam said.
“Why’d you say beer three times?” James asked concerned.
“Well, it’s at least three times as important as anything else, and I happen to have three times more of it than I do food.”
“Nice,” Michael said. “Who else is coming?”
“It was more a general invitation than something formal, especially since tickets are still available even a few minutes before the game starts, but so far Rob, Hector and Drew all said they’d be there.”
They loaded up the cooler, food, cheap charcoal grill and a box of miscellaneous stuff into Michael’s truck and headed over to the stadium. Calling it a ‘stadium’ might have been a bit generous, Sam was pretty sure his high school football field had more seating than this, but the parking lot was sufficiently large enough to hold the party. It was filled with trucks and RVs and cars and people enjoying a moderately nice October day in the Mid-West. They pulled up to the spots they had reserved, because unlike the game, whose attendance was sub-par, the parking lot always filled up. They pulled up and saw an SUV in one of the spots and recognized several of their classmates and there was a few people they’d never seen before.
They parked and Rob and Hector came over to help them unload. They looked pretty similar in appearance, in that they were both, short, thin, 18 year old Hispanic males, although Hector was darker, had sharper features and darker eyes. While Robert’s most distinctive feature was his variant human, incredibly dark blue hair. “Hey,” Hector said, “see that girl over there,” he asked pointing to a dark haired, dark skinned girl in a blue sweater. “That’s my girlfriend…since high school. So she knows about me and the program…but don’t worry, she’s signed the same non-disclosure agreements that our families did. I just wanted to let you know, you can just tell her you’re one of the people from our dorm, like those guys over there. She won’t suspect otherwise that you’re in the program if you don’t want her to know.”
“Okay, thanks for the heads-up,” Michael said, although he didn’t like the situation. Drew and Bradley showed up a little after that along with Ross Wood, who nobody in the house had had much contact with yet. He was a taller guy, tanned skin, dark hair, and bright blue eyes that could be either natural or power related. He was a shifter who could change into a wisp-like ball of light, capable of flight, teleportation and had a dangerously powerful beam attack, but he was also slow and very susceptible to electric attacks, so now any time anyone fought him they got approval to take a stun gun with them, otherwise he couldn’t really be attacked in that form.
They drank and partied and played some beer pong. Then they were approached by a couple of meat-head frat guys who wanted to challenge them to a game. Sam chose to be one of the competitors, since for one thing he was the best ‘partier’ and he was the only one there who could use their powers out in the open; Drew, Michael, Ross and Tony were all shifters, Hector was teleportation, James’ was a shadow arm and Robert was super speed. Drew ended up taking the other spot, since he said he could get a little skill bleeding through from Pinnacle. They probably could have won without any ‘cheating,’ but the guys were assholes and needed to be taken down a peg.
Sam increased his strength and speed just a fraction, since he gained better muscle control with any increase and also added a little to his vision, sharpened it a little and effortlessly sank the first ball and Drew also sank his, since there was still so many cups, but still it was a nice opening move. The frat guys hit one and missed one, so Sam downed it in one gulp; he could have used his power to clean up any ill effects, but why even drink if you’re going to do that. Sam again hit his second shot with no effort and Drew got his too. The guys missed their first shot and as the second ball was in the air a pigeon came out of nowhere and hit the ball out of its path. Sam looked around and couldn’t see Tony anywhere and doubled up on his laughter. In addition to Sam and Drew just being better and the fact that the frat guys were frazzled by the bird thing, the rest of the game went quickly and efficiently and they delivered the death blow without mercy and the meatheads slunk off with their tails between their legs.
The football game was about to start and they snuck some alcohol in; although ‘snuck’ would imply there was more security than just a couple of volunteer ticket takers. There was a drinking game that revolved around the football game. Since the division was so bad and Sizemore in particular was not impressive, the rules for drinking were a hodge-podge of different things that boiled down to, ‘anytime anything bad happened,’ fumbles, sacks, interceptions, or penalties. There ended up being more of those than drinks they’d smuggled in.
As they got out of the car at the mall Candy grabbed a ball cap and stuffed her hair inside and then added sunglasses; at the look she got from Hope she said, “watch,” and looking closely you could see the few strains of hair sticking out change color, but it was subtle, and the four would be able to switch back and forth without notice.
“Clever,” Allison said.
“Thank you,” Sandy(?) said.
The mall had a fairly large temporary Halloween store in it and Jennifer would have really liked to rush straight there and get away from the mall as quickly as possible, but Hope and Candy were having none of that. They went from shop to shop trying to dress Jennifer like she was a doll. Luckily she didn’t have the money for everything they told her to try on. While not in the same boat as Allison who was surviving on just her scholarship and the little DVA extra, Jennifer’s parents were okay financially and they put whatever they could spare in an account for her each month, but this trip would have bankrupted her if she had even taken only half of the stuff. Although if Jennifer knew a little more about Hope’s psychology, she’d know they were just bombarding her with stuff so she’d be more open to getting the more reasonable items. So Jennifer went over to Candy grabbed her hand and whispered “Andy?” Then see saw the hair change. “Help me,” she only half joked.
Andy squeezed her hand back and then gave her a passionate kiss, “you’re doing great; Candy is one thing, but you have like her clone in Hope, I don’t know how you’re doing it.”
“Just stay with me a while. Tell me which of these outfits you like the best,” and led her to the growing pile Hope was building.
They escaped that store with only two bags worth of clothes for Jennifer, although Hope had six for herself and Candy had two, even Allison had found a cute sweater that was on sale, and Jennifer was pretty sure one of Hope’s bags contained some stuff she’d sneak into Allison’s closet, since she wouldn’t take charity. Jennifer was actually a little worried about some of her purchases, like the tight jeans; not that she was oppose to wearing tight clothes, she had a nice body and didn’t mind tastefully showing it. What she was worried about was how tight they were, she was already gaining muscle definition in her legs from the hours upon hours of running in gym and she thought if she got anymore, she wouldn’t be able to slip into them. They were heading along the mall when suddenly Jennifer was herded toward one of those sexy underwear stores.
There really wasn’t anything in there Jennifer wanted to wear, let alone buy. The underwear always seemed to ride up to uncomfortable levels and the fragrances they sold were not to Jen’s liking, and Andy, with her enhanced animal sense of smell really disliked them, which is why Jen used unscented shampoo and soap now. “Why are we going in here?” she asked, there was always a chance Hope wanted something.
“You don’t have anything you can wear with your new jeans, it will show panty lines. You need something more appropriate,” Hope said.
“This stuff is so uncomfortable,” Jennifer pleaded.
“You’ve just been buying the wrong stuff,” Hope said. “If you get the right size, the right cut to fit the right shape of your body, then it will feel like you’re not wearing anything and it can be more comfortable than that bulk stuff you get from whatever-mart.”
“Plus, I’m sure Andy would like it,” Candy said, then she was Andy.
“I like you the way you are,” Andy said, “but, that’s not to say…” then she sneezed from the over powering fragrances and then again and then she was Candy again.
“She thinks you should get something that makes you feel sexy,” Candy said.
“Are you sure? That doesn’t sound like her.”
“Well, she wouldn’t come right out and say it, but I saw her thoughts when she considered you in something like that,” she said pointing at a mannequin.
She looked pensive for a few seconds while looking at the same mannequin, “fine, I’ll look around, but I am not wearing a string up my butt!” The others all laughed.
They did in fact find something that Jen approved of, that was sexy enough and could be worn with her new jeans, but once they added in a matching bra and a second set in a different color it cost almost as much as everything from the last store. As they were leaving Candy whispered in her ear, “hey, I picked something out that Andy can wear for you.” The visual stopped Jen in her tracks; Candy’s sense of ‘less-is-more’ sexy mixed with the way Andy could move her body, that was an extremely appealing concept.
Next was the shoe store and Jen got a pair of boots that were the same as the ones she’d borrowed from Hope, but these ones fit. And she was talked into getting some other things there, but she’d only even consider something if was on sale, because she did not get the appeal of multiple pairs of similar looking shoes, plus it was going to start snowing soon and she would not be wearing anything from this store out in that weather.
Then they finally made it to the Halloween store, Jennifer was excited to get this trip over with, but she was working under the false assumption that this was the last stop on the Hope train. “So how are you going to get a costume of each of you?” Jen asked Candy.
“It’s actually easier than you might think. It just about layers; Mandy will pick something that’s probably a little baggy so we can just wear other things underneath it. And I’ll end up with something really tight or really small…maybe I’ll go as a lingerie model and wear what I just picked up.” This stopped Jen short, it was meant as a joke, but if Candy gave it too much thought that’s what she’d go with; best to throw her off.
“So, what would Mandy approve of?” Jen asked.
“Hard to say,” Candy said. “In a lot of ways she’s still stuck with the personality of the age she was created at, child-like. Like when she says she wants a boyfriend, she avoids all concepts of sex or intimacy and instead thinks along the lines of ‘playing house.’”
“Is that why you’re so sexually charged?” Jennifer asked, “Because you were created during puberty?”
“Possibly,” she said and looked like she was thinking about that.
They found the female adult section and started browsing, there was a disproportionately high amount of costumes that did have the word sexy in them, and as women they should have been indignant about the concept, but they didn’t really feel it was worth getting excited about, especially since half of them would probably be wearing something like that.
“How about this one, Allison?” Hope asked for the tenth time holding up a ridiculous idea of a costume.
“No,” Allison said without looking at it.
“Oh, come on! You have the biggest chest of anyone in the class, and they’re so perky. You could wear any of these and have the boys lusting after you.”
“That’s the problem Hope,” Allison said with a sad look in her eye. “I’m an empath. I can feel when those ‘boys’ lust after me. I’ve felt it my whole life from men and the occasional woman, thank god I’m not telepathic; I can only imagine the words that accompany those feelings. I grew up in foster care Hope, strange men were always around, sometimes, some of the house were so full I had to share a room with older boys…”
“Oh, sweetie, I didn’t know,” Hope said, putting her arm around and shoulder and saying quieter, “None of them touched you, did they?”
“No, they were too afraid of what I could do and I could amplify that if I thought they might step over the line. But, they watched or leered…I just wouldn’t be comfortable wearing something like that.”
“Okay…I’m sorry, I was mostly joking. But, I am going to find something that makes you look both classy and shows a bit of your sex appeal. I’ll make them feel the right things about you.”
“Thanks Hope,” Allison said, although she didn’t think Hope could do it. She’d probably end up going as the most non-sexual thing she could think of; a monster or even a man. “Maybe you should find something for yourself first.”
“Oh, I got mine,” and she showed Allison the sexy pirate costume. It wasn’t her real costume; she’d specially ordered a couples’ costume for her and Jackson. He had been so patient with their arrangement and an HCP party was the perfect place to give him a night he’d remember, but she wanted to surprise her friends with the reveal.
“Nice,” Allison said sarcastically.
Andy and Jen were in the next row over, but nothing was clicking for Jen, “what are you going as?” she asked Andy.
“That’s it? It’s not very original.”
“It’s so I don’t have to hide the eyes. Maybe I’ll wear it with a tight leather bodysuit, with a neckline that goes all…the way…down…to here,” she said seductively, tracing her finger down her chest and between her breasts that she was puffing out in a suggestive manner. Jennifer’s lust was building again, she would have thought the shower would have kept her satisfied, but all the suggestive language and innuendo during this trip was pushing her over the edge.
“Hey! Keep it PG over there!” Allison yelled from the next lane over.
“Sorry!” they said in unison and bust up laughing.
“So, what are you thinking?” Andy asked her.
“I really don’t know. I really am sort of leaning towards one of these slutty ones,” she whispered. “I’ve really never even considered something like this. Especially in my town, where everyone knew me, and with my conservative father it would have been out of the question, but now its college and I should try to…at least for one night, get so far away from my comfort zone. And yet the only reason I would want to dress like that would be to impress someone, but, I have you, so…I don’t know. Maybe…you should pick something out for me that you’d like to see me in.”
Andy raised her eyebrow, “are you serious?”
“And you’ll wear whatever I pick out?”
Would she? What if it was really bad? But, she was considering these off the shelf costumes that had about the same amount of material as the underwear she just bought, so how much worse could Andy make it? “Yes,” she said with certainty. “If you want to pick something…I’ll wear it.”
“Deal!” Andy said with a frightening amount of glee. Then she turned into Candy who ran to Hope and starting whispering in conspiratorial tones and pointing at Jen. Great!
“Hey! Andy gets to pick! Don’t mess with her mind.”
“Oh she already has the idea firmly cemented,” Candy said with a wicked smile, as though she could picture exactly what Andy had envisioned, which she technically could. “We’re just trying to figure out the logistics, and taking some mental measurements, although we are going to need some actual measurements soon.”
Bradley offered to drive the guys home, since his power did not allow him to get drunk, so therefore he didn’t drink. It was a good thing too, since at the exit to the parking lot the police had a tech genius alcohol detector. Tech genius creations couldn’t be mass produced, they were just too complex. But, the man who’d made this had lost his daughter to a drunk driver and had now personally made 25,000 units that he sold, at cost, to the nation’s police departments. It was like a radar gun and could scan a car full of people, traveling at up to 100 mph in an instant, and the court had ruled it a legal reason for making a stop, so drunk driving had declined by 387% in the last three years. The officer scanned the car, double checked the driver real quick and waved them through.
They got back to the house and found the girls in the living room going through their purchases, “hey girls,” Sam said. “You get your costumes?”
“Some of it,” they all said at roughly the same time.
“Well, good,” Sam said, still buzzed from the game and not really following.
“Hi, Allison,” Bradley said with a big smile.
“Hey Brad,” she responded back and also let slip a smile. Then the guys headed out back to finish off the rest of beer on the patio furniture in the back yard.
“So…what’s Allison’s story?” Bradley asked when they were alone.
“In what context?” James asked, not sure how much he was allowed to say about Allison’s past; the foster care/orphan thing being a big source of contention.
“Does she have a boyfriend, or did she ever say anything about me?”
“No to both questions,” Tony said.
“So if I…approached her, none of you would have an issue?”
“Why would we?” Michael asked.
“I don’t know, maybe one of you really likes her, or there is some ‘friends with benefits’ thing going, or maybe you think of her as a sister you need to protect.”
“No,” Michael said, “nothing like that. She’s strong enough to take care of herself. Plus, I think we’ve all agreed to avoid dating within the house, too much drama if that happens. You want to try to get her attention, none of us will stop you.”
“Okay, any advice though. You’ve got to have some insight.”
James answered, “She is an empath. She’ll know if your intentions are pure or not. So if you just want to get into her pants, let her know, don’t try to exploit her emotions, because that won’t work, but if you like her and want to try for something more, then be earnest and try to avoid dirty thoughts. She’s a human lie detector, so always be honest!”
“Oh…a girl you can’t lie to,” Brad pondered.