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The Mask


Sophie has just met Sian at a college masquerade party. They are both wearing masks but one continues to wear one long after the ball has finished. Can they find a way to make it together?

Romance / Humor
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Seriously masquerade balls sucked. What is the point to them anyway? It’s just a bunch of people pretending to be someone else for the night; well that was Sophie Webster’s opinion.

"Jolly ho!" Amber laughed coming over to her subdued roommate.

"You're killing me with the English accent Amber." She replied, sarcasm dripping off every word.

"Really, are you sure? Sue said it was awful but if you thought it was funny." Sophie rolled her eyes.

"It’s called sarcasm, are you ever going to get it?"

"Fine Ms Sarcasm I give into your superior English sense of humour. How about a smile Soph? Give your face a joy ride." Sophie gave her best fake smiles; it was something she found herself doing a lot. What was it an old friend of her Mums used to say 'it's not a smile, it's a lid on a scream' how accurate a phrase if ever there was one.

"Sophie babes, why are you not circulating? No one knows who you are here tonight, so no need to worry about embarrassing me." Ah Rosie her older far more glamorous more popular sister had blessed Sophie with her presence.

"Well Rosie unlike like you I came to UCLA to get an education not just a lot of notches on my bed post." Rosie glared at her little sister.

"College is about having fun Sophie, I realise that is foreign to you, but you could at least try." Sophie folded hers arms like a five year old, just to prove she wasn't going to have fun.

"So this is the mini Webster." Sophie looked over at one of Rosie's followers or minions as they were better known.

"Yes but she is nothing like me! Sophie this is Sian she is a sophomore but rising quickly through the sorority which you still haven’t pledged to!" Sophie smiled over at the blonde wearing the cat mask.

"Sadly I am indeed Rosie's sister, although I am still convinced I was adopted, no let me change that to, I know I was." Sian threw her head back in a deep laugh.

"Sarcasm I love it, why is your accent still so much thicker than Rosie's?" Sophie has wondered this herself from time to time, and Sian was not the first person to ask. Their Dad Kevin had developed some amazing new bit of machinery in his little garage in Weatherfield, Manchester. One of the car giants found out about it somehow and before they had time to think about it they were living in Ventura, California, USA. That was 5 years ago Sophie was 13 the perfect awkward age to move and Rosie was 17 and had embraced being a California girl, including doing her best to dump her mancunian accent. We won’t go into the first time Rosie visited the beach with her supposed olive skin than just tans looking at the sun, it doesn’t and didn’t. Sophie had decided to stick with the pale and interesting English rose look after listening to Rosie hiss in pain for a week afterwards.

“OMG Hilary you look bitchin tonight, love the mask.” Rosie chatted away to some other random as Sophie slunk further and further into the corner.

“So you were explaining about the difference in your accents?” Sian had followed Sophie to the corner.

“Oh right sorry, well my darling sister embraced California life and I didn’t. Also means you can get away with a lot more. Such as when you give the wrong answer in class you can just blame your accent, fake being upset that the teacher obviously hadn’t understood you. Or a parking ticket, forget about it, I just mention the Queen and bat my eyelashes a bit.” Sian gave another deep laugh.

“Soph you remember that guy Derek that I liked, well I think that is him over there, well the hair looks the same, wish me luck and don’t wait up.” Sophie’s roommate Amber appeared and disappeared waving as she ran off to the guy with the same hair as some Derek guy, someone that Sophie never remembered Amber mentioning.

“Great everyone is getting laid but me.” Sophie muttered to no one in particular.

“If you’re looking to get laid tonight I am sure I can hook you up with someone.” Sian offered trying to hide her shock, from conversations that she and Rosie had about Sophie she had got the impression that Sophie would be quicker to join a nunnery than look for someone to have a one night stand with.

“No thank you, bloody hell! No no no thank you. I was just moaning as in now I am going to have to sleep with my ear plugs in again.” For the first time that night Sophie was thankful it was a masquerade party, so she had a stupid mask on, to hide the colour of her tomato face.

“Ah okay I did wonder. Rosie said you don’t date much.” Sian remarked trying to settle the obviously flustered younger Webster.

“No I don’t. I don’t have much experience of dating, and as you can imagine growing up in a house with Rosie, she had a new bloke every week. One time I did go on a date I could see my Dad, Mum and Rosie’s face pressed against the window waving at us.” Sophie joined in with Sian’s laugh it was contagious.

“I’m on the fence about dating lots of different people. I mean you have to date around a bit to see what you like, but then you shouldn’t force yourself to date if you don’t want to you know.” Sophie nodded in agreement wishing some of Sian’s thoughts would rub off on her sister.

“Here you are hiding in the corner, I should have known! Did you see the state of Hilary? How she ever got into Delta Gamma I will never know. So Soph see any guys you like the look of, or want to tap?” Sophie spat her drink out making Sian giggle and Rosie pull a face of disgust.

“Tap? What the hell does that even mean?” Sophie managed to mumble out whipping her mouth to make sure she wasn’t dribbling, Rosie rolled her eyes in boredom.

“Soph we have been living here for 5 years now get with the programme! Translation for you; shag, is there anyone here you would like to shag.” Sophie knew full well what Rosie meant, but naively hopped her sister wouldn’t be so blunt in her explanation.

“Aw Rosie leave her alone she is only a freshman after all.” Sian stepped in sensing Sophie’s discomfort, and wanting to continue her conversation with the shy Sophie, without her overbearing sister if possible.

“Thank you Sian. Rosie can’t you please just leave me alone, I will date when I am ready. I am begging you, just leave this alone.”

“Fine have it your way, I am off to mingle, toddles.” With a wave of her hand Rosie was gone, the other party goers moved out of her way, just like the parting of the red sea. Rosie clicked her fingers and her minions jumped to attention and followed as she teetered away from them in her high heels. Except Sian who stayed with Sophie.

“I am going to head outside; I need some fresh air it’s boiling in here with these stupid masks on.” Sian gestured for Sophie to lead the way and followed her outside.

“How come you didn’t have to follow Rosie and the others?” Sophie asked once they had settled in a quieter spot outside.

“Once you cut through Rosie’s bullshit, she is a really genuine person. I can’t be bothered with all the sorority shit and president stuff she does. So we have an agreement that I only attend things I have to.” Sophie whistled impressed.

“How did you get away with that? Rosie threatened me, that if I didn’t come tonight, and didn’t pledge to Delta Gamma. That she would tell my Dad about the one time I skipped school to catch a glimpse of Taylor Swift, when she was performing near us. Not that I of course like Taylor Swift now, it was a long time ago. And I am just going to change the subject back to how you get away with not having to following Rosie around?” Good save Sophie mentally high fived herself and thought she would have to remember to hide her Taylor Swift CD’s.

“I’ll let you into a little secret; my older sister shared a room with Rosie freshman year. Let’s just say I have some shit on her she wouldn’t want getting out.” Sophie could only imagine as it was impossible to embarrass Rosie she had tried, and then something clicked with her.

“You are Carol Powers little sister?” Sophie spluttered out without thinking. Sophie had met Carol a few times and remembered her bouncing off the walls, speaking a hundred miles an hour, just completely off her tits if she was honest. When Carol overdosed, sadly it hadn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone. While mentally connecting the dots in her head, Sophie had failed to see the sadness creep into Sian’s eyes, who hadn’t spoken but just nodded to confirm she was the infamous party girl Carol Powers younger sister. “I am so sorry Sian, Rosie tried her best to help, to get her off the drugs it broke her heart when......god you are her sister what am I even saying. I am sorry Sian.” Sian had recomposed herself; her mask was firmly back in place figuratively and literately.

“It was 2 years ago now I still miss her, I will always miss her. I haven’t forgiven her for leaving me alone with Mum and Dad, they are crazy.” Sian joked trying to lighten the mood, and slipping comfortably back into composed Sian world.

“Not a patch on mine Sian. My Dad spends most of his time in overalls in his garage tinkering with his latest car gadget and my Mum is a busy social climber. I think my favourite part of us moving here are my Mum’s “struggles”, her new snooty friends they can’t understand a word she says. Seems forty odd years living in Manchester has left her and my Dad with thick accents. She has even tried elocution lessons but the teacher said she was beyond help, I laughed my ass off at that one.” Sophie didn’t even pause to allow Sian to reply as she kept babbling. “Oh and she Google’s everything, she has an iPhone and half way through a conversation she will just put her hand up, that means she is Googling and you are not to talk to her. As crazy as they are I really miss them especially my Dad he is class.” Sophie felt embarrassed now gushing about her parents at her first college party.

“That’s great I wish I got on with my parents, I am dreading having to go home for Thanksgiving. I have never really got along with them. But now without Carol to act as a buffer between us ... it’s just hell to be honest.” Sophie couldn’t relate so instead of speaking she just put her hand on Sian’s arm to let her know she wasn’t alone.

“There you are hot stuff.” Sophie’s head pulled back like she was a turtle as a brut of a man grabbed Sian from behind kissing her neck, and well basically mauling her.

“Will for god’s sake! I was chatting to Sophie here, Sophie Webster as in Rosie’s little sister.” The brut detangled himself from Sian and extended his hand.

“I am William West star quarterback of the UCLA Bruins.” Sophie thought her hand was going break in his shake as William broke into the kind of smile you’d imagine a slug to have, you know if slugs could smile.

“Hi William, it is lovely to meet you.” William was already bored by Sophie and was focused back on Sian, pulling her mask off to kiss her; Sophie felt awkward and looked down at her feet. Seems this giant slug liked to leave a trail of slim wherever he went.

“Will! We are in public; and I don’t think Sophie needs to see us making out in front of her.” Sian was embarrassed it was obvious in the way she tried to squirm out of Will’s arms.

“If she is anything like her sister she will be enjoying the show.” William spoke low enough so only Sian could hear him. “I just wanted to kiss you hello, I will leave you and the baby Webster to carry on your girly chat. Beer Pong has begun, and has my name all over it.” Just as quick as he arrived, William the hybrid slug-brut was gone, only after savaging Sian with more slim.

“Sophie I am sorry about that, we have only been dating a couple of weeks, and we aren’t even exclusive. When we are out at Delta Gamma and Sigma Phi mixers, he just likes to make sure everyone knows I am with him.” Sian babbled out an explanation of whatever that was with William.

“He reminds me of a dog, like he has peed over you. You know like a dog pees to mark its territory.” Sophie smiled at Sian letting her know she fine.

“I think you have hit the nail on the head there Soph. However if he is a dog, I guess that makes me his bitch?” Sian tried making a joke and realised Sophie had taken her mask off, she was beautiful and not unlike her sister but with certain innocence, as for those eyes, deep blue and they just drew Sian in.

“Bollocks. Sorry Sian I didn’t mean for one second you were a dog or a bitch or anything like that.” Sophie replied maintaining eye contact with Sian, she could feel herself blushing and knew she should look away but couldn’t. It was the perfect movie moment, you know when the crowded room just fades into the background, and it is just you and your true love. Webster wake up, Sophie shook her head to break Sian’s spell, now noticing Sian’s true beauty. Without her mask she was gorgeous and she guessed what a typical Californian blonde looked like, with the most amazing blue eyes and the smile it could kill you.

“Hmm hmm” Sian cleared her throat, pulling her eyes away from Sophie and in desperate need of another drink. “Just realised this is the first time we have seen each other without our masks.” Sian grinned over to Sophie.

“I know weird; I would have walked straight past you on the quad tomorrow.” Sophie’s eyes demanded Sian’s attention again, and they held eye contact that bit too long, Sophie broke the spell and looked away first, Sian tried to hide her disappointment.

“It’s been great talking to you Sian, but I better at least make an effort, and find my sister before she hunts me down again.” Sophie smiled pulling her mask back on again, and felt a little more confident behind it once more.

“Nice talking to you Soph, I am sure I will see you at the Delta Gamma house, or around the campus at some point.” Sophie nodded as they took one last long look at each other before heading off into the night.

The following morning.............

“I see you managed to hook up with Derek last night?” Sophie raised an eyebrow at her roommate that was crawling into their dorm room at 7am doing the walk of shame.

“Yes and my god is he good...” Sophie raised her hand to stop her over sharing roommate going into too much detail; TMI was invented for people like Amber.

“Amber all I need to know is that you had a nice time, anything more is TMI. We have discussed your over sharing before, thank you.” Amber laughed she loved her prudish English roommate she was so easy to upset with anything to do with men and sex.

“So how was the rest of the party?” Sophie shrugged her shoulders and pulled a face.

“You know me, did some shots, shook my wild thang on the dance floor, Rosie was well impressed.” Amber had now pulled a face, one of I don’t think so.

“So basically you came back here about midnight and sat reading a book?” Sophie nodded, dam she was predictable.

“Soph it was our first big mixer and you should have loved it, and hello your sister is president of the flipping sorority that we are pledging to. It’s like written in the constitution that you should enjoy yourself.” Amber stuck the radio on and danced along.

“I thought we agreed no music until midday. If you can call this music of course, all I can hear is the boom boom boom of the base.” Sophie complained.

“I’m sorry Sheldon, was that part of our roommate agreement? Soph, stop being such an old fuddy duddy and come dance with me.” Amber danced over to Sophie pulling her out of bed. “If it is good enough for Christina on Greys Anatomy to dance things out it is good enough for us, now come on!” Realising there was no escape Sophie got up and started shuffling round their room.

“Amber you do know Christina isn’t a real person don’t you?” Sophie caught her roommate’s evil eye and continued her attempt at dancing. “See I am waving my hands around like I just don’t care.”

“Good morning Sian. Seems like you had a good night eh?” Rosie wriggled her eyebrows at the blonde as she gingerly made her way down the stairs in the Delta Gamma house.

“Huh?” Sian was still half asleep, was regretting the vodka jelly shots from last night, was not a morning person, she hadn’t had any coffee and did she mention not a morning person.

“If I am not mistaken, and I know I am not mistaken. I do believe I saw William West scamper out of your bedroom this morning.” Rosie smacked Sian on the ass to show her approval, this was a high five in Rosie’s world.

“Rosie it is too early in the morning for me to be discussing my sex life with you.” Sian sunk her head into her hands as she waited for the coffee to brew, rubbing at her temples in an attempt to relieve the oncoming headache, and now scrunching her face in the direction of the slow brewing coffee. “If you were first up this morning why didn’t you put the coffee on?” Sian complained, now desperate for some caffeine.

“I am English. We make tea, do you want a brew?” Rosie still loved her tea first thing in the morning white one sugar, just like how her Dad and Sophie took it, her Mum Sally felt it made them common taking sugar in her tea.

“Sophie is different to how I expected, and how you described her.” Rosie spun round, no one usually even remembered meeting Sophie let alone mentioning she was different to what they expected.

“What do you mean? I told you she had found god, doesn’t drink, doesn’t dance, doesn’t date, and doesn’t have fun? How was that different to the person you met?” Sian blinked trying to get her eyes to focus, unsure if she needed her eyes tested or she was that hung-over, finally the coffee was ready.

“I don’t know Rosie, she is a lot funnier that you give her credit, and she only had good things to say about you. It’d be a boring world if we were all the same. I for one don’t think I could handle two Rosie Webster’s on campus.” Rosie sipped at her tea, pondering what her blonde friend had said.

“I love my sister trust me I do, but she is just so serious all the time. I think I got all the fun genes and she got all the boring ones. Until last year she counted me Dad as her best friend.” Sian glared over to Rosie wondering why she tried to reason with Rosie once her mind had been made up.

“What is wrong with that I think it is cute. She is like a cute English Rose, and you certainly didn’t give her beauty any justice, she is beautiful.” Rosie’s had a confused look on her face, Sian had discovered it usually meant she was thinking, and in her experience this was never a good thing.

“Ms Powers if I didn’t know you as such a man whore, I might have thought you had a crush on my little sister. And I am all for women’s lib and all that, but she is a forbidden fruit, even more so from you. But as you think Sophie is so much fun I am going to assign her to you during hazing!”

“Women’s lib, what has that got to do with anything Rosie? It is 2012 not the 1970’s. Also I thought you agreed you weren’t going to assign anyone to me?” Rosie again had a confused look, this time looking to the ceiling as if it would give her the answer she needed.

“You know when a woman dates other women, isn’t that women’s lib?” Sian was about to correct her friend but didn’t get the chance. “Equally I can’t not give you any chores or pledges it would be suspicious. I let you off with murder as it is! All you have to do is pull your puppy dog face at me just like your sister did, and I give in.” Sian softened; Rosie really had looked after since Carol’s death.

“I think you meant gay Rosie. And fine you did say Sophie is more or less guaranteed to get in anyway so I guess I can hang with her.” Rosie kissed Sian on the cheek.

“Sian it is great you are so happy, being gay and all. You know I think we should have a gay bar night, you know like the song. “I wanna take you to a gay bar” It would be a very happy night for us all. Just make sure Sophie attends all the social functions.”

“Rosie, I never said I was gay and also you do know what that word means, right?” This wasn’t the first time Sian found herself baffled by Rosie.

“Yes Sian. Of course I do. To be gay means one is happy. I do speak the Queen’s English you know, toddles!” And with that the mystery that was Rosie Webster had left the kitchen.

Sophie was running late for class, it freaked her out she was never late for anything, stupid 8am class. Amber had made her lose track of time with her dancing.

“Sophie, Sophie Webster, wait up.” Sophie spun around wondering who was calling her name, Amber was her only friend here, and she was sure she was still in bed. “You move fast when you want to.” Sian puffed catching up with Sophie.

“Oh hi Sian, sorry I am running late for class. I blame Amber and her theory about dancing her worries away. What can I do for you?” Sian looked at Sophie, obviously trying to be polite but shifting from foot to foot, ready to sprint as soon as she could.

“I will be quick Rosie has assigned you to me during hazing week, so drop by the house after class.” Sian ran off before Sophie could respond. “Assigned what am I an animal?”

“Tardiness will not be tolerated in my class.” Professor Winston shouted at Sophie and a few other late comers. “I am here on time and I expect you to do the same!”

“What a grouch.” She muttered under her breath.

“Ha ha I know he is famous for being grumpy.” Sophie subtlety tried to see who was talking to her, without gaining more attention from Professor Winston.

“Hi I’m John McCallum.” The strange voice offered over as Sophie finally clapped eyes on him.

“I’m Sophie Webster.” Sophie smiled at this stranger called John McCallum, so enticed in fact she didn’t notice Professor Webster had walked up the stairs and was now stood next to her.

“I do apologise Ms.....?” Sophie snapped her head round to her professor taking a gulp.

“Err.....Webster.” Professor Winston twisted his face. “I am sure I don’t have to tell you, Ms Err Webster this is not a speed dating event, ding here goes the bell move round. Interrupt my class again and you will be removed. Do you understand?” Sophie going several shades of red simply nodded.

“Sophie, I am sorry about that, I didn’t see him coming up the stairs.” John offered up an apology after class.

“It’s my own fault I should have been on time.” Sophie was cross with herself for getting on the Professors bad side so early in the term.

“How about if I buy you coffee, let me make it up to you a little bit?” John smiled revealing his gorgeous dimpled smile.

“I don’t know John, I really do need to get started on this paper and I have to pop into the Delta Gamma house this afternoon as well.” Sophie could feel her stress levels rising already about visiting the sorority house.

“I have to go to Sigma Phi this afternoon as well. So how about we discuss the outline of our papers over coffee and then I can walk you to the Delta Gamma house?” Again with the dimples, Sophie realised this is what her friends meant when a man was being charming.

“Fine, but I really do need to discuss our paper.” John bowed and pointed in the direction of the coffee house.

“Hey is Sian here?” Sophie asked one of the girls that answered the door, who seemed more interested in the man that had escorted her here.

“Sophie I am in the kitchen come on through.” Sian shouted from her spot at the table.

“Soph babes you are late.” Rosie chastised Sophie as she came into the kitchen, still in a little dream world about John.

“Sorry Sian I thought I only had to come by after my classes, I didn’t realise there was a set time.” Sian waved her hand at the younger Webster who looked upset about being late twice in one day.

“There was no set time Soph. Rosie as ever is just being a pain. It is something she is very good at” Rosie stuck her tongue out at Sian, and then put her attention on her sister.

“So what held you up? Were you chilling with your homies?” Sian snorted as did Sophie.

“Rosie we have discussed this, not all Americans use the word homies, and I thought we agreed you were never to use that word again.” Rosie stuck her tongue out at Sian again.

“Oh good come back Rosie. No I went for a coffee with a guy from my English Lit class, John McCallum.” Sophie was just about to take a sip from her coffee when Rosie slapped her hand on the table.

“Shut the fuck door!” Rosie laughed and did what Sophie thought was meant to be a dance but just looked like she needed to pee.

“What? Is it that surprising I would go for a coffee with someone?” Sophie feigned being upset.

“No it’s just that John McCallum is THE hottest freshman this year, all the other top colleges were after him to play basketball but he came here. Soph I underestimated you snagging that honey, bravo!” Sian felt sorry for the shy freshman, who was now examining her nail polish looking awkward at the change in conversation.

“Rosie she has hardly snagged him, it was only coffee after all.”

“Sian we both know what coffee leads to, little Soph is yet to dip her toe into.......”

“The dating pool.” Sian leapt in worried with what sexual innuendo Rosie was going to come out with, after all the girl was sex mad.

“Dating pool? No I was going to say sex pool. Dating pool? Who says that Sian?” Sophie covered her face in horror.

“Whilst this is great fun being humiliated about my lack of sex life. Can we please go over whatever it is that I have to be here for?” Rosie was looking up at the ceiling she did this when she was scheming and Sian couldn’t help but worry Sophie was about to become her latest victim.

Clearing her throat Sian started “Well as you are assigned to me during hazing next week, I thought it was a good idea to go over your timetable for when you are free.” Sophie was still eyeing her sister but pulled her timetable out for Sian to check over.

“Rosie Webster you are amazing! Sophie to start you off right at college we need to make sure you are only dating the crème a la crème of men, and John McCallum is a great way to start. I will throw a party here on Friday night, and you can bring him as your date to kick off hazing week.” Rosie jumped up and down in excitement. “Hilary, come meet me in the boardroom.” Rosie screamed up the stairs leaving Sophie and Sian alone in the kitchen.

“Is it wrong to hate my own sister sometimes? And just what I don’t need, another flaming party. Do you really have a boardroom here?” Sophie finished rambling.

“Yes we do, Rosie sits at the top like Dr Evil in Austin Powers ordering about all her minions.” Sian winked.

“How did you know about the minions tag?” Sophie hoped Sian didn’t think she was calling her one; she would never call her a minion.

“You must have told me last night. Anyway by the looks of it Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays are best for you and me.” Sian looked up to see Sophie wasn’t really listening; she was chewing on the end of her pen with a worried look on her face.

Sian slowly reached across and took Sophie’s hand in her own, gently rubbing her thumb over the top. “Hey don’t worry about Friday, just because Rosie jumps into bed with anything that moves it doesn’t mean you have to okay. I promise I will look after you.” Sophie locked her eyes onto Sian’s just like she had done the night before; they sat in their trance, neither of them dared look away. Sophie felt the calmest she had all day, all Sian was doing was caressing her hand.

“All set girlies! Friday Haze is on! Sophie I will have to do a makeover on you obviously.” Sian pulled her hand back and leapt up as soon as she heard Rosie’s voice, tearing her eyes away from Sophie’s; suddenly the ground was very interesting.

“Great. That sounds great. Just great, Sophie I will see you tomorrow?” Sian didn’t notice both Webster sisters looking at her weirdly as she ran for the stairs to her room.

“Great.” Rosie shouted after her friend, and then turned smiling at Sophie.

“Rosie please, I really don’t want anything to do with this.” Sophie groaned.

“Ms Powers, Officer Webster reporting for duty.” Sophie saluted as she walked into the living room and seeing Sian.

“Less of that Webster cheek, or I will turn nasty and you won’t like Lieutenant Nasty Powers.” Sian bounced back getting up from the sofa.

“Oh really, and what punishment would Lieutenant Nasty Powers hand out exactly?” Sophie winked, causing Sian to blush a little and wonder if Sophie knew what she was saying.

“Officer Webster, let’s just say when I am nice, I am very nice. But when I am bad I am very bad.” Sian chewed her lip staring straight at Sophie giving her best seductive look, yep still got it Powers she thought as Sophie turned a deep shade of red.

“Err right, so Rosie she has been torturing me since yesterday, wanting to know what I am going to wear.” Sophie decided a change in subject was needed.

“Sophie you are stunning, and will look gorgeous in anything you wear, you have a classic beauty about you.” Sophie was sure Sian was flirting with her, she was inexperienced but not stupid, the worst part of it? She was enjoying it.

“Anyway let’s go upstairs I have to talk you through the rules and all that boring shit, its quieter up there so we will get it done quicker.” Sophie followed Sian upstairs unable to keep her eyes off Sian’s bum in her skinny jeans, had they been spray painted on? She shook her head trying to clear all thoughts about Sian’s bum; instead it caused her to trip up the stairs knocking Sian over with her.

“Oh my god, I am so sorry, I always have been clumsy.” Sophie leapt up off Sian, helping her up.

“No harm done, chill Sophie you’re acting like you’re on a first date or something.” Sian threw back her head for another one of her amazing laughs Sophie just giggled along like an idiot.

“See that didn’t take so long did it.” Sian smiled some thirty minutes later, throwing the Delta Gamma rule book over to Sophie.

“I meant to say when we came in; your room is so cool. How did you manage to get in here?” Sophie complimented her friends room, one wall was painted dark red wall, instead of the usual college posters there were framed band posters and numerous drawings.

“Rosie sorted me out. Only juniors and seniors are supposed to here really, she told me you didn’t want to live here?” Sophie shook her head.

“No. I just wanted a bit of space out of my sister’s shadow; get some time to learn more about myself away from my family. A bit stupid coming to the same college I guess.”

“I’d have to agree, going to the same college as Rosie is probably not the best idea if you want space.” Sian agreed.

“I know what Rosie thinks of me. She thinks my faith is stupid and a fun stealer. I am honestly not boring, I am just shy, and get really nervous at social things. Its fine for girls like you and Rosie you just walk in and the whole room takes notice.” Sophie picked at a hole in her jeans.

“Soph, I think it’s great you have your own interests, and that your faith is important to you. It doesn’t always pay to follow the crowd. Following the crowd has only ever got me in trouble and my sister dead.” Sian didn’t know what it was about Sophie, but she just felt really comfortable with her, like the Sian party girl mask could slip a little.

“I guess, Rosie seems to think I should have just been a carbon copy of her. When I didn’t follow in her footsteps and I found god. She started mocking me, calling my vow stupid and calls me a God Botherer, saying I will be a virgin until I am 30.” Sophie blushed she’d given up discussing her vow with anyone in her family, none of them got it.

“What is this vow exactly?” Sian asked gently, all Rosie had said was that Sophie had found god at 15 became boring and was going to become a nun.

“It just means I won’t have sex until I get married.” Sophie lifted her chin proudly as she spoke.

“What? How the hell are you going to keep to that?” Sian blurted, shocked and instantly regretting it by the hurt look on Sophie’s face. “Sorry Soph it just kind of slipped out. I was just shocked. I mean look at you, you must have guys hitting on you all the time.”

“Not really as Rosie I am sure has told you I don’t really go out much. It means a lot to me to save myself for marriage. I really believe in the sanctimony of marriage and being married till death do you part.” Sophie was trying to hide her hurt at Sian’s reaction.

“Fuck if I was saving myself until I was in love, I’m pretty sure I would die a virgin. I am incapable of being in love. Have you not even come close? Not been tempted at all, just to wonder what it feels like? Have you done anything?” Sian couldn’t stop the questions flying out.

“No. I have never met anyone that I have even come close to falling in love with. I will know when I meet the right person. We will just click. And of course I have done some things; I have kissed someone you know.” It might not have been until senior prom and it was under duress but Sian didn’t need to know that.

“Sorry I will stop with the twenty questions now. I guess I am just surprised at how black and white you see some things. Not that there is anything wrong with that of course. It is very commendable for you to stick to your morals, it is quite rare, and I am impressed. As for the clicking, I totally get that, we have just clicked and I get that.” Sian pulled Sophie towards her for a hug, a hug that went on a little too long to be considered just friendly.

“Rosie! Please can you just leave me alone? I swear it was just a coffee. I really don’t see why I have to attend this stupid party and wear what can only be described as an excuse of a dress!” Sophie was stuck in hell, the hell that is her sister’s bedroom going over what she was going to wear to the Daze Party the next night.

“Soph, my darling sweetie, do you think I would take any notice of what you say about men. You are my poor naive, and lacking in social skills baby sister. As a Webster there is a certain standard that people expect of you, socialising with only the best, dating the best and looking your best.” Sophie rolled her eyes wondering if Rosie ever listened to anything she said and ignoring her always present insults.

“Whatever Rosie, how do you even know John will want to take me?” Even though she hated this whole dating thing, even she had to admit John was handsome; she felt her phone vibrating in her pocket and checked it.

Thanks for the invite I would love to be your date, let me know what dorm you’re in and I will collect you at 8pm. John x

“ROSIE! Why do I have a text from John when I don’t even remember texting him?”

Rosie laughed. “Have you still not learnt to never leave your phone lying around in front of me? I text him for you, and you are welcome.” Sophie was perplexed she could feel her face going red as it always did when she was angry or embarrassed; she hated how her emotions were so readable. “Oh chill out Soph, anyway back to this dress I think you will look hot in, just go and try it on.” Rosie threw the dress at Sophie.

Sian could hear Sophie shouting at Rosie from her room and decided to investigate how Rosie was torturing her little sister now. “Oh my god, I am sorry I should have knocked.” Sian apologised having walked in on Sophie stood just in her underwear, and couldn’t help noticing the amazing figure Sophie had, she looked like she could have been on the front of Sports Illustrated. Sophie covered her face with her hand feeling utterly humiliated in her word of the day underwear hoping Sian won’t have noticed, making a grab for the dress.

“Don’t be silly Sian we are all girls, we all have breasts, come on in. I am trying to help Soph find something to wear for tomorrow night.” Rosie could someone shouting her name from downstairs. “Sian help Soph out with the zip please, I will be right back once I have checked on downstairs.”

Sian could feel her throat go dry and swallowed hard as she walked towards Sophie, noticing her cute Thursday knickers she was wearing. “Turn around and I will zip you up.” Sophie turned around as she was told, Sian leaned in she could smell the coconut shampoo Sophie used on her hair, her heart was racing as she shakily pulled the zip up, covering up that milky smooth skin. “Okay, let’s take a look at you.” Sophie spun around to show Sian the dress.

“Wow.” Sian’s eyes bulged. “Wow. I mean you look. You look amazing. Wow. You look gorgeous Soph.” It was a simple black dress high at top but very short showing off her legs, and clinging in all the right places, Sian was ogling her friend’s younger sister now, but she couldn’t help herself, and didn’t appear to care.

“Do you really think so?” Sophie asked not sure and pulling uncomfortably at the dress, and very aware of the hungry eyes Sian was giving her.

“Yeah just imagine high heels.” Sian was looking in Rosie’s wardrobe for some heels and walked towards Sophie. “Wear some statement earrings and a necklace, or the other way round.” Sian had moved Sophie’s hair off her shoulder and was delicately fingering her neck causing goose bumps on the younger girl. “You will look seductive but classy, my favourite look on a woman.” Sian whispered in her ear.

Sophie swallowed hard after the blonde’s last comment. “Err, I am still not sure, I don’t think I can pull this dress off. I think I look silly.” Sophie confessed, letting her insecurities plague her once more.

“Soph, I wouldn’t lie to you. You will be the most beautiful girl here tomorrow night.” Sian moved behind Sophie adjusting the dress slightly to sit better on her hips, she circled her arms around her waist, looking into the mirror to catch Sophie starring at her again.

“Thank you.” Sophie whispered still gazing at the mirror under her Sian spell, Sian rested her chin on Sophie’s shoulder and smiled loving how natural this all felt.

“Soph, OMG you look like a mini me!” Rosie clapped her hands together walking into the room causing Sian to jump away from Sophie like she had been burnt.

“Ladies we have a lot to sort before tonight so get all the pledges in to help, you all know what you have to do.” Rosie finished off the meeting and headed into the kitchen for some tea. “Will you be bringing William as your date tonight?”

Sian was reading a magazine finishing off her morning coffee. “Not sure I think I am done with him.”

“You get through men quicker than me at the moment, have you met someone else already?” It took a lot to impress Rosie, and the rate Sian rattled through bed mates she couldn’t help but be impressed.

“Yes well no. I don’t know I am confused if I am honest.”

Sensing some gossip Rosie sat herself down next to Sian. “Oh do tell.” Rosie tried to hide her excitement at the hint of some scandal.

“Well there is someone that I can’t get off my mind, but I don’t think they feel the same. That’s a lie, sometimes I think they could feel the same and other times, well I know they don’t. And it is someone I shouldn’t even be thinking about, let alone be dating them.”

Rosie raised her eyebrow. “It is interesting that you said dating and not just wanting to shag them. For what it is worth I think you should just ask them. I don’t think I have ever even heard you mention the word dating. If it doesn’t work out there are plenty of other blokes that would kill to date you Sian so I wouldn’t worry.”

Sian rubbed at her forehead wishing it was just a man problem. “I am just so confused, when I am with them, it is like the world stops turning and it is just us. I get lost in their eyes, and I just want to see them all the time. Even a text from them and I get excited.” Rosie had never heard Sian talk like this before and also couldn’t help notice that the word them was used a lot rather than him or he.

“Well they must be someone very special to have you all tied up in knots like this. I still think you should make a move. Unless, are they already involved with someone?”

“Not yet no, but they could be soon. At the moment we are just friends.” Sian had slumped forward resting her head on her arms on the kitchen table, this situation with Sophie felt so impossible.

“If it is something just starting up, make the move before it becomes more serious. It might not work out for them and you could be stuck in the dreaded friend’s zone, or you will be bridesmaid at their wedding. Make a decision and act on it, simples.” Rosie was satisfied she had dispensed enough advice for now, god it was hard being so wise at such a young age.

Sian hadn’t moved from her slouched position, and was day dreaming different Sophie related scenarios in her head, failing to notice the real one walking into the kitchen. “Lieutenant Powers, Officer Webster reporting for manual labour.” Sophie did a salute in their direction stamping her foot down and startling Sian.

Hearing Sophie’s voice Sian jumped up whacking her knees on the table, then stumbled backwards knocking her chair over causing an almighty crash as it hit the ground. “Jesus Soph, a bit of warning next time would be nice, don’t just barge in scaring people.”

“Sorry Sian, I didn’t realise that you napped in the kitchen.” Sophie sung back.

“Don’t mind Sian she is just grouchy at the moment. Go and see Hilary she has all the assignments, when you are done come and see me, so I can get you ready for tonight.” Sian only really snapped when she hadn’t had any coffee, so this was out of character for her. “So this person you like, do I know them.” Rosie asked her spidey senses going off, thinking of trying a different tactic.

“Huh?” Sian was back in her Sophie induced dreamland; she shook her head trying to remove them from her head.

“The person you like. Do I know her?” Sian looked up panicked, had Rosie been reading her mind.

“What no, no why would you think that. I like boys, guys, men even” Sian jumped up pushing her sleeves up. “Are you drunk or just suffering from too much caffeine, what are you on about?”

Seems this new tactic had hit a nerve, and that Rosie was on the correct trail of thought. “Sian it is 2012 do you really think anyone will care if it is a girl you like. And don’t act all innocent with me; I know you have entertained lady friends in the past. You aren’t as discreet as you think you are.”

Sian closed her eyes and let out a big sigh, there had been no shouting, no violence. “I am sorry Rosie. I just didn’t know how you’d react, knowing I like women as well. Let’s just say I haven’t had the easiest time when my sordid secret leaked out before.”

Rosie pulled her friend back into the chair next to her and held her hand. “It isn’t a sordid secret; it is just a small part of who you are. I don’t care who you date. Or if you decide you are gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual or try sexual. That last one sounds fun actually.” Sian smiled for the first time all day.

“My point is you are still my Sian. You will still be a miserable git in the morning before your coffee. You will still listen to that awful band the Cure thinking you are cool. And you will still be my friend, no matter who you share your bed with.”

Sian pulled Rosie into a tight hug. “Thank you.” This was the fourth time in her 19 years she was having this conversation, two other times it had ended with violence.

“I take it Carol knew? Hang on its not me you fancy is it? I mean I know I am gorgeous and who wouldn’t want me? But I am sorry babes I don’t bend that way.” Sian laughed in spite of herself.

“No Rosie it isn’t you. And yes Carol knew she walked in on me and the prom queen from my high school. That was of course before she dumped me saying I was just a bad experiment, and that what we did wasn’t really sex, it was just practice for her boyfriend.” Now it didn’t seem so bad, but to a seventeen year old Sian it had felt like the end of the world.

“What a bitch! Is that what made you go back to men? Or do you just go for the person you like?” Rosie knew some peoples sexuality was fluid, others didn’t know and for some it was set in stone.

“I guess, but I don’t know really. Men are easier; I know I can never get hurt by a bloke as I don’t think I could ever really fall in love with one. Women to me are different and the right one could probably break me. The only people I have ever had feelings for have all been women.” Sian couldn’t believe she was sat talking about her sexuality with Rosie. All Sian had previously known was rejection and disgust. Since Carol died she has had no one to talk to about it.

It was all making more sense now, the reason Sian never got upset when any of the blokes she was seeing ended it. Or seeing them with someone else never fazed her, in the back of her mind Rosie was pretty sure Sian was gay, she just needed to sort it out in her own head. “I am here if you need to talk to anyone. I won’t judge, I mean really who am I to judge anyone, I love you and I will support you with whatever decision you come to. “

This earned Rosie a full on smile from Sian, who already looked brighter than twenty minutes ago. “Thank you Rosie, you have no idea how much this means to me.” She really didn’t Sian thought quietly, but now wasn’t the time to go down that road.

“I pretty sure I do. I am just glad it’s not me that you like. That could have been awkward for us. Or could you imagine if you fancied little Miss God Botherer herself Sophie! I think I would die laughing.”

Sian prayed her poker face was good enough to get past Rosie. “Good one Rosie, I better get a move on or I will be late for class.”

Sian took her time coming back from class she thought the walk might help get her head straight, straight what a great choice of words. It was times like this Sian missed Carol she could always talk to her about anything. Whilst Rosie had been great about the whole gay thing, she wasn’t sure Rosie would be so supportive if she knew it was Sophie that Sian had set her eyes on. Also could she really take all the gossip and stares from the other girls in the house? Sian inwardly groaned noticing one of her kind of exes Jim walking towards her, great today just gets better and better.

“Hey hot stuff; fancy a repeat of last month?” Jim winked grabbing Sian in a hug without waiting for a reply.

“Hi Jim, no I am seeing someone else now.” Sian was looking over his shoulder for someone anyone to rescue her, god it must have been very poor cinema lighting when she hooked up with this moron.

“Your loss baby, are you going to be at the party tonight?” Sian nodded through a thin smile. “Maybe you might be more interested later? You always have been a horny drunk.” Excellent Sian swore she could feel the bile rising up her throat.

“Hey Sian, found you at last.” Sophie glared at the man currently pawing over Sian.

“Sophie!” Sian tried to hide the glee in her voice.

“Hey baby, and who are you?” Jim winked at Sophie his afternoon just got a lot better.

“I am Sophie Webster, and you are?” Sophie wondered who this twat was.

“I am very pleased to meet you and a Webster none the less. I am Jim Carney you may have heard of me.”

Sophie kept a straight face “No.” Sian snorted with laughter next to her.

“Sophie, Sophie, Sophie babe. Just ask your sister or this one here. I am sure they will be happy to let you know who I am. I will look forward to seeing you honey’s later.” Jim gave his best smile and ran his hand down Sian’s arm.

“What are you a bumble bee? Until you join the human race do me favour and don’t look for me, or Sian.” Sophie replied as she grabbed Sian to walk away.

“Sophie!” Sian was still laughing as she was being dragged away, hand in hand with Sophie.

“Sorry he looked like he was annoying you, and then he started to annoy me.” Sophie explained. “See I told you the English accent lets you away with murder he probably thought I was flirting with him.”

Throwing caution to the wind, Sian went for it. “I get it now. So when you are being rude to me, you are actually flirting with me?”

“Damn it. You have worked out my game already. Yes you are correct I am like a five year old. When I like someone I really should just pull their hair to let them know I like them.” Sophie softly moved her hand up Sian’s arm to her hair and gave it a light tug.

Instead of doing the right thing and moving away Sian instead moved closer and kissed Sophie on the cheek. “Thank you for rescuing me Officer Webster.” With a final wink in the brunette’s direction she walked away, now convinced Sophie felt the same.

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