"So...what should I wear to the luncheon, Ruby?"
"Mmm..." Ruby purred as she stretched out on the bed, a sly smile creeping onto her face. "I think you should be naked all the time...naked and willing to satisfy my every whim."
"Uh-huh," Ruby replied, pulling the covers tightly around her. "Hmmm....maybe with black stockings...and high heels...that's a nice image."
Copper blushed, smiling in spite of herself. "All the time? What about when I went...umm...outside and stuff?"
Her girlfriend shook her head. "Nope, no clothes ever again...just full-time naked Co-and all for me."
Copper walked over to the bed, bending down so her hair brushed the tip of Ruby's nose. "You think you could handle it?"
Ruby nodded, arching an eyebrow. "I know I could...wanna try me?" Reaching up, she pulled Copper onto the bed and rolled on top of her, then kissed her soundly.
Copper giggled when Ruby stopped for air, then trailed her foot down Ruby's leg. "I think...I might have some stockings around here...somewhere..."
Cola looked at the menus that were spread out in front of him, wincing slightly as he glanced up at the determined face of Midnight Ruby.
"Midnight, I appreciate your effort...but the fashion show is already being catered by Shimsion."
Midnight arched an eyebrow. "Surely you wish to project a more polished image than they can produce. As you can see, our entrees are substantially more exciting and we have a fully uniformed staff."
Cola sighed. "Shimsion is owned by my best friend's sister and her girlfriend. I have to go with them." Plus, the food is much better, he thought to himself, thinking of the quiche he had choked down at the gallery party the previous week.
"Well, hopefully, we can do business in the future," Midnight gritted through a fake smile as she gathered her menus up. Turning on her heel, she made her exit from the studio.
"Dude, I just ran into Midnight Ruby on the stairs and she looked pissed...what's up with that?" Spice's curls bounced as she walked across the loft, carrying a bag full of fabric samples.
"Oh...I went with Shimsion over Midnight Snack."
"Oh." Setting the bag down, Spice flopped into a sitting position on the floor. "Damn, Cola, this is like the first time I've seen you in a three weeks...Gothic must be keeping you busy." Cola mumbled something, looking at the floor. "Anyway...when were you going to tell me about your twin?!"
"My twin?" Cola visibly paled. "Rum is here?"
"Is that his name? Yeah, he is most definitely here. He hit on me in a goth club last week. Bought me a drink and everything. So...I repeat, when were you going to tell me about him?"
Cola got up from his chair, coming to sit beside Spice on the floor. "Well, I would have told you about him, but he's...umm, kind of the black sheep of the family. He's a horrible womanizer, and well, he doesn't do much of anything...I mean, he's a stylist, but he wastes all his money...it drives my poor mother nuts."
"Who are we talking about?" Gothic walked out of the dark room, then smiled easily at Spice as he leaned down to give Cola a kiss.
"Cola's twin brother. The one I didn't know he had even though I've been his best friend for two years."
"No, it's okay." She stood up, stretching. "Look, I gotta book, I have to study for a test. I'll see you whenever I guess. Let me know if you need any more help with the show."
"Damn. She's mad at me," Cola said after they had heard Spice's steps receding down the stairs.
"She'll get over it." Gothic opened the bag she had left. "At least she brought these over."
"Yeah..oh, Misty called while you were developing...she left some negatives over at your place when she moved out, she wants you to give them back to her at her new place."
"Big fun. OK, I'll get them to her sooner or later. You wanna come look at how these shots turned out?"
The two men were headed for the dark room when a loud cry of "Brother of mine!" came from the far side of the loft.
"We're late..." Ruby half-ran up the stairs to the ballroom where the luncheon was being held.
Copper followed leisurely behind her. "It's okay, Ruby. I let Reddish start the first round of cooking today. I just gave her the umm...menu -- it'll be fine." She smoothed her hair into place.
"Did you remember the uniforms this time?" Ruby asked as she reached the door.
"I -- I think so..." Copper cringed as Ruby swung around to face her.
"Co --" Ruby started, but then paused. "I forgot my lipstick." She grinned at Copper. "Don't move." Leaning in, she kissed Copper soundly. "There. All better." She pulled the door open and started walking inside. "Your lipstick's smudged. Better fix it." She winked at Copper, then turned and walked inside.
Cherry put the last of her books into her locker and slammed it shut, then turned around, only to find herself face to face with her two closest friends, Mango and Poppy.
"So?" Poppy said expectantly.
Mango rolled her eyes, tilting her orange-haired head to the side. "So...you were sitting with Rose Shimmer at lunch today..."
"Instead of us, I might add," Poppy cut in as she twirled a strand of long red hair between her fingers.
"I repeat, so what?"
The two girls exchanged looks. "Sooo..." Poppy said slowly, "a week ago, you tell us you got the biggest homophobe in school drunk and had her hanging all over you, and now you've been eating lunch with her for the last..."
"...three days," Mango finished. "So yeah, we might be remotely interested in those events."
"Glad to know you guys care...it's nothing really. We're just, you know, hanging out..." Cherry shrugged, starting to walk down the long hallway of the high school toward the double doors.
Mango mouthed the word denial at Poppy. Poppy nodded, then the two girls ran to catch up with Cherry, who was already several doors down from her locker.
"Look, guys..." Cherry sighed. "Nothing's going on, OK? I like her, but that doesn't mean anything..."
Poppy grinned. "You know she's straight."
"At least she isn't celibate."
"Ooh, low blow, Cherry. Just because Poppy's infatuated with her Virgin Boss doesn't mean that you chatting up Miss Straight 2000 isn't a big thing."
"Sorry..." Cherry looked down at the hard school floor and exhaled, blowing strands of hair off her face.
"Cherry!" The three girls turned to see Rose walking down the hallway behind them, wearing a pale blue linen dress with flowers embroidered along the bottom. When she had caught up to the trio, she smiled at Cherry broadly, then reached into her bag, pulling out a book. "You left this behind at lunch."
"Oh, oops. Thanks," Cherry took the book from the other girl, and both Mango and Cherry noted that her cheeks were decidedly pinker. They nodded to each other meaningfully. "Rose, this is Mango and Poppy. They're occasionally friends of mine."
"Hey," Rose said shortly, then turned her attention back to Cherry. "Umm, so...good book?"
"Couldn't be that good if I left it behind..." She looked at Poppy and Mango, giving then the 'go away' look, which they blatantly ignored. "I was kinda wondering if you wanted to go to a movie this weekend? I think Girl, Interrupted is playing at the cheap theater."
Rose wrinkled her nose. "Doesn't Winona like, get a little too close with that scary looking chick in it? I don't think I want to see that. But isn't High Fidelity on at the Stadium? John Cusack...mmmm."
"I think so. So you wanna go to that? Maybe on Saturday or something?"
"Great!" Rose looked at her watch. "My ride should be here pretty soon, so I have to go. Call me and we'll figure out when to go." She waved to the three girls, then pushed open the double doors, letting the sunlight into the dreary hallway for a minute before they swung closed again.
There was a pause. Then...
"Score!" Poppy yelled jubilantly. "Go Cherry. Very smooth."
Mango scowled. "What was that shit about not wanting to see Angelina and Winona cozying it up? I went to see that damn movie three times for that one scene."
Cherry glared at her. "I told you she was straight."
"Straight girls don't hang around fishing for invitations to movies like she did. Latent city! She's gonna be munching rug before you can count to three." She paused. "Okay, way too crass. But you know what I mean."
"I hate you guys."
Copper wiped her hands off on a towel and turned to Reddish. "I'm going to mingle. You're doing a really great job, Reddish."
The other woman smiled at Copper. "You've got some icing on your nose."
"Oops." Copper reached up and wiped off the icing, then popped her finger into her mouth. "Mmmm...yummy. Okay, I really have to get out there or Ruby will kill me."
"Go on, I can take care of things."
Copper pushed open the door between the kitchen and the ballroom and started across the crowded room towards where Ruby was talking to Bronze and Espresso.
"You two have done such an excellent job with this," Bronze enthused.
"Much better than Midnight Snack. The department is very pleased," Espresso said, pushing up her glasses with one hand while holding a flute of champagne with the other.
"The quiche wasn't too dry?" Ruby joked as Copper joined them.
"There wasn't any quiche, Ruby..." Copper said as she furrowed her brow in confusion.
"Hi, Copper. I was just telling Ruby how wonderful the food is. I might even get the firm to use Shimsion." Bronze smiled.
"That would be wonderful, wouldn't it, Co? I'm glad you like it so much. You should check out the fashion show next week, we're catering that as well."
"Oh, the young designers' show? That's always so exciting. We could make that, couldn't we, Espresso?" Bronze looked at the dark haired woman as Ruby mouthed "Dating" at Copper, who rolled her eyes.
"Well...we were supposed to visit my parents...I guess I could go with Robert later though." Espresso looked thoughtful. "I think we can do it."
"I hear Champagne Blonde got Cashmere to come down for it...to introduce it," Copper said.
"Oh really? The famous cousin herself, eh? Oh wait -- there's someone I want you two to meet." Bronze broke away from the group and returned a little while later, a tall redhead following her. "This is Dr. Ember. She's in the Art department."
"Art history, to be exact." The tall professor shook hands with Ruby and Copper.
Ember smiled at Copper. "Nice to meet you. I must say, that's a very fetching apron you're wearing."
"Oh!" Copper blushed and took off the apron quickly, draping it over her arm. "I was in the kitchen...I must have forgotten..."
"Don't worry. You made it work."
Copper's blush deepened. "I...thank you. You know, I...uh...I minored in art history in college."
"Really?" Ember grinned. "I might have been your TA then."
"Oh, I don't think so. I think my sister might be in one of your classes, though. Spice Shimmer?"
Ember shrugged. "Maybe. Now that I think about it, I couldn't have been your TA -- there's no way I could have forgotten someone like you."
Ruby cleared her throat. "Hi. I'm Ruby. Copper's girlfriend."
Gothic swung open the door to Misty's new apartment, one hand clutching the manila folder that her negatives were in.
"Misty?" he called quietly.
Two long-fingered hands closed over his eyes. A tall, slim body pressed up against his back and warm breath grazed his ear. "Did you bring the pictures, baby?"
Gothic dropped the folder and turned, encircling her waist with strong arms. Backing Misty up, he lifted her onto the kitchen counter and settled her legs around his hips.
"Miss me?" she purred.
"Desperately..." he growled, and leaned in to kiss her.