The incessant buzzing of the alarm pulled her from such a nice dream. She groaned pulling the blanket over her head. Her sister jumped up out of bed smiling. Liz pulled the covers off of Riley.
“Good morning Princess Rose,” she said with a giggle.
“Oh, not you too, Sis!” Riley grumbled, “It’s too early to be that cheerful!”
“Sweetie, be a dear and call me Liz while you’re here. I don’t want you associated with me if you screw up,” she said.
“Alright, Liz, good morning,” Riley got up and opened her closet. A seafoam green dress was hanging in the front with a note on it.
“Really? Not another one,” Riley complained, her shoulders slumping. She never wore a dress except when forced to on special occasions. Why was she wearing them again while she worked? Oh yeah, she works for a few nutzo guys. I mean who dusts in a designer dress? Apparently, she does.
“Awww, how come you get all the pretty dresses?” her sister asked pouting. She picked it up and held it up to herself. Riley read the note.
Dearest Princess Rose,
Please wear this dress today! I am sure you will look lovely and the green will bring out your eyes! Think of me when you wear it!
“Seriously? What is with these guys? Don’t they have lives?” Riley asked.
“Girl, take the attention while you can. They’ll be back in school soon enough,” her sister replied waving a hand like it’s no big deal.
“I really can’t walk in these, though!” Riley complained, pulling out another pair of high heels that had been placed at the bottom of the closet.
“You should learn, then,” her sister replied with a shrug, handing her the dress.
Riley stomped down the hallway with the dress and shoes in tow and took a shower. She nearly screamed when she saw how tight fitting it was, she had to suck in her breath just to zip it up. She slipped on the heels and frowned, trying not to fall over as she stumbled her way to the kitchen.
“Oh, my, that is lovely. Who picked out that one?” Mrs. White asked.
“Evan this time,” Riley replied, “I can barely walk in it! I’m also pretty sure it was made for people who don’t need to breathe.”
“Well, they requested you to take the coffee to them,” Mrs. White said handing her a tray, “They’re in the entertainment room. It’s the first door down the hallway on the left, dear.”
Riley sighed and squared her shoulders. She wiggled her way down the hall, trying not to drop the tray. Luckily Mrs. White had just put the cups on the tray and didn’t fill them. She could hear the cups rattling as she walked constantly pulling the bottom part of the dress down. She opened one of the double doors and stepped inside. The entertainment room had four white couches with blue and white pillows on them forming a square around a glass coffee table, another table sat in a corner in front of shelves filled with various games and decks of cards as well as books. In another corner there was a pool table. Then there was a large television, with video game systems under it against the wall. The guys all sat around in gym shorts with their shirts off. She could feel all their eyes on her as she attempted to walk a little more gracefully into the room.
“That one’s a beauty, Evan! But it leaves nothing to the imagination like Rex’s,” Chris said smiling.
“Guys I see you’re enjoying this but these outfits are a little hard to work in,” Riley said.
“Oh, Princess Rose! My dear lady, let me help you,” Syd said getting up and guiding her to a couch, “Allow me!”
He poured the coffee into a cup and handed it to Chris, and continued until everyone had a cup of coffee. He handed one to Riley.
“Princess, we talked it over and would love for you to stay, so if we are pestering you, I apologize,” Rex said.
“Okay, then stop calling me Princess Rose, my name is Riley,” she said taking a sip of the coffee after putting two sugars and some cream in it. Syd sat next to her with his own cup.
“Oh, we didn’t say we’d change, we just apologize, Princess Rose,” Syd said giving her a wink. Riley sighed and drank some more of the coffee. Chris got up and sat on her side.
“We’re going to have a party next week. Would you like to come?” Chris asked leaning in toward her, their shoulders touching, “You can use my stylist.”
“No! We haven’t agreed on who will dress her for the party, yet. That’s not part of the deal,” Rex said.
“I haven’t gotten to dress her yet,” Damon said.
“You aren’t allowed to; we all know what you dressed Aubrey in last time. We don’t want to scare her off... yet,” Chris said.
“I’m still here, you guys,” Riley grumbled.
“Oh, yes, that reminds me. What color are you wearing today?” Chris asked.
“Uhmm… green,” Riley replied looking at her dress and waving her hand as if it was obvious.
“Not that sweetheart,” he said looking down and then wiggling his eyebrows. Riley blushed.
“That’s none of your business,” Riley said feeling flustered.
“They’re blue today,” Damon said from the couch across from her, tilting his head slightly so his black hair fell across his cheek, “Flowery, too. You surprise me. I’m amazed that you would wear such girly underwear.”
Riley jumped and crossed her legs, turning slightly to the side.
“Okay, you guys really need to stop that. That makes me uncomfortable,” Riley replied pulling the dress down again.
“Oh, don’t worry, we’ll teach you how to be a real lady,” Syd said playing with a lock of her hair.
“Who says I want to be a real lady?” she asked moving away from his fingers.
“We’ll give you five hundred dollars if you play along,” Evan said, “Plus you can keep the wardrobe.”
“And what does the color of my underwear have anything to do with being a lady?” she asked getting up. She adjusted the bottom of the tight dress again.
“We bet what color they are and the one who’s right gets to pick out the next outfit,” Rex said moving next to her, “Strawberry shampoo, huh? You amaze me about how you act tough, but do feminine things like use sweetly scented shampoo, and wear lacey and flowery undergarments.”
“I guess I’m out. I was hoping for black,” Damon said smiling.
“And that is why you will probably never dress her,” Evan said laughing, “You guess what you hope she wears.”
“Oh, if that were true, I would say commando,” Damon said wiggling his eyebrows and smirking. Riley felt her cheeks blush as a shiver ran down her spine. Why was this jerk making her feel hot and bothered? She should feel more like she wants to slap him, but he does have that hot bad boy persona going for him.
“Damon, you are making her uncomfortable again,” Chris said, “Bad Damon! Sorry he’s the bad boy of the group.”
“And you’re what? The leader?” Riley asked taking a sip of the coffee.
“Sure... and I’m the brains,” Rex said scooting closer to her. Riley jumped and brushed her hair behind her ear.
“I’ll be the cute one,” Evan said.
“So says you,” Syd replied, “I suppose if you’re the cute one, then I’m the nice one.”
“No, you’re a red-head. You’re the fiery one,” Chris said laughing, “Look at the entertainment you bring us just being here, Princess Rose.”
“You won’t be the only female at the party, though,” Damon said, “That should make her a little more comfortable.”
“Yes, but I don’t think she should be allowed to dance with any of the other guys coming. You are required to dance with each of us, though,” Chris said, “If you want the money.”
“No, thanks,” Riley said turning to leave.
“Will you do it for five thousand?” Rex asked.
“Seriously? Five thousand?” Riley asked stopping and turning to face them, “And all I have to do is show up and dance with you guys?”
“Yep, that’s chump change,” Syd said with a shrug.
“For you guys,” Riley stated, “That would pay for a month or two of college…This dress is a little tight, though. I’m having a hard time walking in it.”
“But it shows your curves nicely,” Syd said with a wicked grin.
“Stop making her uncomfortable, Syd. I’m sorry I’ll try to keep them in line,” Chris said smiling and leaning back in the chair.
“Uhm... thanks, I guess,” Riley replied. She picked up the tray.
“If you’re done, I’ll just take this back to the kitchen,” Riley said. She walked towards the door and stumbled, grabbing the side table and balanced herself.
“Oh, no. You need to learn to walk in high heels first, apparently,” Syd said with a laugh, “I’ll take that back, you wait here. I’ll bring breakfast back.”
Riley frowned, there went her excuse to get away from these oddballs. She watched Syd leave with the tray and wished she could go with it.
“Don’t frown, it’s unbecoming of a lady,” Chris said.
“Let’s get you walking in those shoes, eh?” Evan said getting up and holding his hands out to her. Reluctantly she put her hands in his and he led her forward.
“Why do you guys want to teach me how to be a lady anyway?” Riley asked following Evan around the room, trying to get her balance on these sticks of death called heels.
“We don’t have anything better to do,” Evan said with a shrug, “Might as well. We’ll have to teach you how to dance, too. It’s a masquerade ball, you know waltzing and stuff.”
Evan put his arm around her and lifted her up spinning around. Riley laughed.
“You have a beautiful laugh, Princess Rose,” Evan said bowing to her with a smile.
Riley tried to curtsy back to him, but it almost lifted her dress too high. She blushed pushing it back down. He took her hand and held it as they walked around the room. She almost fell but he pulled her to his side and steadied her.
“Thanks,” Riley said.
“No problem, your highness,” Evan said his face very close to hers.
“My turn,” Damon purred as he took her hands in his and pulled her away from Evan.
“No fair,” Evan said sitting next to Chris on the couch and folding his arms.
“No sulking,” Chris said looking at his phone, “You had a turn with the Princess.”
Chris watched Riley get her balance as she walked with Damon. He was amazed at how well she was catching on. Syd walked back in with a cart full of breakfast foods; fruit, bagels and eggs. Chris walked over and made a plate.
“I’ll take the princess now,” Chris said taking her hand and guiding her to a seat at a small table. He put the plate in front of her and fed her a piece of strawberry on a fork. This is seriously awkward, Riley thought as she took the bite in her mouth and tried not to let the juice escape and spill on the dress. Chris smiled at her and she nervously smiled back.
“I do think I like you in green,” he said, “But perhaps a darker green to bring out your eyes a little more. I get to dress you tomorrow. I thought you would like blue like my eyes.”
Riley raised her eyebrows looking at him like he was nuts.
“Hey, there are more of us with blue eyes,” Damon replied getting a plate of food.
“Yes, but the Princess likes me more,” Chris said smiling.
“Once again, I’m still here,” Riley said taking the fork from Chris and feeding herself another bite from the plate.
“Yes, that you are, Princess Rose,” Chris said touching one of her curls, “I really must get my stylist in for these tresses. He would be in heaven.”
Riley glared at him. What is it with these guys and her hair? You would think they had never seen natural curls before.
“I’m starting to think you might like me, Chris,” Riley replied, “You better watch out or I might fall madly in love with you.”
Riley looked at him and batted her lashes. Then she gently touched his nose and leaned toward him. Chris smiled and looked into her eyes like he was about to kiss her. Before he could reach her, she jumped up and walked away.
“Sorry, I do need to practice walking in these things,” Riley said smiling to herself. Score one for Riley! These crazy guys aren’t going to win!