Pre-Ball Pickup

Jenna's House and the Car


cc01.jpg lp01.jpg
Chance Harper Jenna Donovan

The evening of Annual Midsummer's Kiss Ass and Peacock Strut Ball is upon them. At the last minute, Chance suffered from second thoughts regarding Jenna's invite. Not because the sorcerer doesn't wish to go with her, but because he knows that this is more than the charity ball it appears on the surface. There will be a number of supernaturals there, and the host is the most powerful vampire in the city. Of course, the majority of the guests are the wealthy humans from high society, but he feels almost guilty for taking the figurative lamb into the lion's den.
Nothing has happened to any other human any other year, Chance has to remind himself several times. Jenna's not exactly mainstream either. She's an empath, which makes her special and deserving to be there.
The sorcerer has chosen a simple tux, nothing too fancy, but with a red vest and red handkerchief in the pocket to match Jenna's dress. He's gotten her a bouquet of white roses, becuase they will stand out against her dress and has a box secreted in the storage panel of the car. He hasn't decided whether or not he will present her with the box, but it is there. Just in case.
He's calm as he approaches the door and rings the bell. It's two friends going to keep one another company, and after the tension of the past few days, maybe a night out is just what they both (correction, all) need.

There is a ritual when one attends a society event. It begins with actually sleeping in the morning of so that she's well rested, and able to stay up later than she normally does. Then there is the trip to the day spa to get her nails done. The salon to get her hair done. Then comes the dress.
Jenna has been looking forward to tonight since Chance invited her. She's changed her mind on the dress several times, and finally found one when she went shopping with Siobhan that is absolutely perfect. At least to her.
A red sheath dress, with a strapless sweetheart bodice in red. Sparkling silver and red accents the butterfly shaped cutout on her left side.
Her updo is pinned into place with a silver hair pin topped with a small ruby butterfly.
Her parents and brother have already left, so she answers the door when Chance rings it.
"Hi, Chance. Let me just grab my purse, unless you'd like to come in for a minute?"

The door opens and Chance is stunned into silence for a moment. Jenna is pretty; that's a given and he knows it. He simply isn't expecting the vision of loveliness that opens the door for him. With her hair up like that, she looks older and more mature, and … amazing.
Blinking, he shakes his head and realizes that he's been staring. He gives her a smile, and a nod, "Do you always leave your dates standing in the hall?" He's teasing and playful, trying to regain his equilibrium. The sorcerer pretends to try and peek around her, "Is this some top secret spy head quarters in there?"

Jenna doesn't mind the staring, she really doesn't. The fact that she's stunned Chance silent and still for nearly a full minute means that the dress was worth the money and the stress over. Blushing, she shakes her head.
"Of course not, silly. Please won't you come in? I know I don't really need a purse, but I'd like somewhere to keep my lipstick so I can freshen up later." Then there's the little overnight bag by the door. "Everyone else is already at the party, or I'd introduce you to my parents."
She takes a few steps down the hall as she goes to the side table and slips her little purse around her wrist. Her lipstick is already ensconced inside of it.

"I don't think you'll need to freshen up," Chance tells her, his drawl just a little heavier. He closes the door behind him, out of sheer politeness and etiquette and glances around her home. He's not spying, merely taking in the decor and little details, though those will tell him more about her parents sense of style than Jenna's. "You're a beautiful flower, but I hardly think that you'll wilt."
Watching her grab her purse, he asks, "Is Harper taking Siobhan?" He's just wondering if the adorably cute (and alternately sickening) couple will be there.
"You know, you can introduce me to your parents at the party?" Chance suggests cheekily.

"Well, just in case." Jenna would offer him a quick tour, but she doesn't want to be late. Though she doesn't complain when he looks around. Slipping her identification into the purse as well, she turns and smiles at him in surprise.
"Why, Chance Harper, I never would've thought you'd be so poetic."
"Yep. They're already on their way. Or at least Harper left to pick her up a few minutes ago." Which likely means they're on their way because Siobhan's house is just around the corner.
"You did already meet them at the Shakespeare gala. Well, daddy at least. I think mother got called away before dinner."

"I have my moments," Chance winks at the empath. "Meeting them at the Shakespeare Gala was different. I hadn't seen their daughter in a towel then." No, he has not gotten enough mileage out of that reminder yet. He feels that the more he teases, the more comfortable she'll get and the sooner it will become just a laughing joke.
The sorcerer extends his arm to her, "By the way, you are gorgeous tonight, Jenna. You left me speechless."
"I am going to have the prettiest, emotionally unstable girl at the ball tonight."

"That you do."
Jenna stares at him for a moment, and then giggles. "Well as long as you don't tell daddy that you saw me in a towel, it's all good. I'll reintroduce you once we get there and we find them."
Taking the extended arm, she blushes again, deeply. "I did notice that. I'm glad you approve." Smiling despite the red tinge to her cheeks, she leans over and presses a friendly kiss to his cheek.
"Thank you."

"You're very welcome. I mean every word, Jenna. You really do look gorgeous tonight."
He leads her to the door, opening it and holding it, like a proper gentleman, waiting for her to exit first. Also, it will give him an opportunity to admire … the dress from behind.

"I know you do, Chance." Because she is an empath, and it's easy for her to feel it when he's being genuine. That's the one feeling she's been able to pick up quite easy from him.
Jenna does exit first, knowing that the maid will lock up when she leaves for the night. Glancing over her shoulder at him, she smiles.
"You look quite dashing in a tux, you know. It suits you."
There's a beat, and then she remembers her bag.
"I don't suppose you'd be kind enough to grab my overnight bag by the door?"

"Overnight bag?" It's asked with a distinct note of curiosity. Chance doesn't for one moment think that it's an offer or a proposition, hence the confusion.
Despite that, he bends to pick it up on the way out of the house, sliding the strap up on his shoulder. "Is this a slumber party ball and no one told me?"

Jenna giggles at his assumption. "No, but I think that's an absolutely brilliant idea. Do you mind if I steal it for my end of summer party in August?" She'll use it too. Have a 'formal' gathering for friends, and then invite them all up to a hotel suite for a slumber party. It sounds like it could be a great deal of fun.
"I don't like traveling through the city once I'm tired, so I got a hotel room in Staten Island."
"It's got two beds if you want to crash there for the night too."

"Do I get a commission or partial credit?" Chance asks. He pulls the door gently closed behind them, makes certain the overnight bag is in place, and tucks Jenna's hand into his arm. He's trying very hard to not stare at her, which is easier when they're walking side by side.
His feet slow a bit at her next words and Chance glances over at her. "Thinking ahead, that's a good plan. No stress about making it home."
It's not a yes or an acceptance. It's also not a no.

"You can co-head the party prep with me, how's that? Unless you want a commission of lots of food and drinks." Jenna rarely pays a party planner, she likes to set these things up herself.
His slowing causes her to slow as well.
"That was the plan. No stress about making it home. That's all it is, Chance. A room with two beds, and plenty of pay-per-view movies, and not waking up until I feel like crawling out of bed."

"Food and drinks make an excellent commission."
"Why do I get the feeling that you're trying to comfort and reassure me?" Chance asks her with a faint smile turning up his lips. "I was commenting on your thinking ahead, is all. I didn't think it was the first step in your master plan of seduction."
"I didn't exactly come prepared for an overnight. The walk of shame in a tux is a little cliche, right?"

"Maybe because I am?"
Jenna giggles and then turns to smile at him. "I just didn't want you to think it was some plan. It was just a thought. I can grab something of Harper's for you to wear tomorrow if you give me just another minute?"
Really, she's worried that Chance might think she booked a room to get back at Quintin, but she's over that. At least as much as she can be in a little less than a week.

Chance leans down and lowers his voice to a conspiratorial stage whisper. "It's a very poorly executed seduction if that's what it was meant to be." Beat. "Or the most diabolical one ever." He nudges her with his elbow.
"You sure your brother won't mind?"
That thought is in the back of Chance's mind, but he's not overly concerned about it. It's not like renting a room is a vengeance plan by itself. If she wants to get back at Quintin, it's going to take more than renting a room, and Chance does have a mind and will of his own. He's not going to jump her or take advantage of the situation.

"That's me. A hundred percent diabolical." Jenna actually rolls her eyes at that and laughs. "Please. If I really wanted to seduce you, don't you think I'd take the opportunity to do so when everyone is out of the house, and we're supposed to be going to the party?"
That makes much more sense to her than putting on a fancy dress and dragging him to a hotel to crash after a long night of schmoozing and dancing.
"Harper's got more clothes than he even knows about. He's not going to miss a pair of jeans and a tshirt. I'll be right back with them, and we can put them in my bag if you don't mind?"

"Except that I'm sure your parents would wonder why you're showing up so late, and I wouldn't be able to re-style your hair," Chance winks. "Though if we were careful, you wouldn't have to redo your hair…" Yes, he's definitely teasing her. "But the hotel room is so much more rom-com. Plus there's pay per view and room service."
"I'll wait while you gather me a change of clothes. Looks like you've gotten yourself a roommate for the night."

"Isn't it though?" Jenna giggles at that thought. It's not as though it'd be a cute-meet, just two friends sharing a room for a night. Nothing is going to happen.
Except that she maybe has a plan. Really, all she wants is a reaction, and the one she got when he arrived is enough.
"I'll be back before you can say 'kitchen disaster'." Probably a few seconds after that, because she does need to wander through the condo in heels. Even so, between herself and the maid, she's got clothing for Chance in just over a minute and is meeting him at the door once more.
"For you." Jeans and a t-shirt as promised.

"Thank you ma'am," Chance says. He takes the clothing and adds them to her bag.
He gives her a crooked grin, "You know, I'm not so sure what you're up to now. Inviting me to spend the night, dressing me …"

"Being a good friend," Jenna replies. Wrapping her arm around his once he's done with the overnight bag, she smiles at him again. "You'd only have something to worry about if I were undressing you."
"Did you want me to be doing something else?"

"Not yet," Chance replies without missing a beat.
He leads her to the car, and hands the bag to the driver to be placed in the trunk. He holds out a hand to assist Jenna into the car and slides in behind her. The roses are waiting on the opposite seat and Chance lifts them up and presents them to her.
"These are for you. I know you can't carry them around all night, but I thought you should have beautiful flowers on a night like this."
"Thank you for agreeing to go with me, Jenna."

Once she's in and seated properly, she smiles shyly at the presentation of the flowers. "Chance! They're absolutely beautiful! Do you think they'll be fine in the car while we're at the Ball?" Lifting the bouquet up to her nose she inhales the scent of roses, and her smile brightens just a little. "You remembered."
One smaller un-opened flower is plucked from the bunch. Jenna expertly pinches it in just the right place, pulling it off. With that in one hand and the roses cradled in her arm, she pulls a safety pin from her mini-purse and stabs it through the remaining part of stem.
Smiling at him, she leans forward and pins it to his lapel.
"For you."
"Thank you for asking me."

"Not as beautiful as you," Chance gives her a shy grin, and wets his lips. He clears his throat and rubs the back of his neck. Then he touches fingers gently to her hair, stroking one framing tendril but careful not to muss her style. "They do compliment you, pretty lady."
His smile broadens when she pins the rose on his lapel. "You're welcome."
Finger tips lightly graze her cheek and then lifting her chin gently, Chance places a careful, but lingering kiss to her cheek. His lips linger there for longer than would be chaste or friendly before he draws back. "Where did you book a room for the night? I can have the driver drop the bag and the roses off at the hotel. Perhaps request at the front desk that they are given a vase and water?" He'll tip well for it too once they arrive.

There's something different about Chance tonight, and Jenna's certain that it's not just that she's dressed differently or looks older. He almost looks nervous when he rubs the back of his neck, and that causes a shy smile of her own.
The lingering kiss causes her blue eyes to widen, and a light blush to appear on her cheeks. That is new, and entirely unexpected.
"The Hilton," she whispers. "It's the nicest hotel in the area, really. The other places were B&B's and I didn't think I wanted something so homey and cosy." Beat. "That's a wonderful idea, Chance! I can wear one home tomorrow."

Leaning forward, Chance taps on the glass and waits for it to roll down. "After you've dropped us off, please take the bag and the roses to the Staten Island Hilton, and leave them in the name of Jenna Donovan. I'll call ahead and make certain that they're expecting you."
When the driver confirms that he understands, Chance raises the glass and takes out his iPhone to do precisely that. Once that's completed, he turns back to Jenna. "One of those roses is going to look perfect in your hair."

"The rest are going into a vase on the vanity at home tomorrow." Jenna is absolute ecstatic about the flowers. Not only are they roses, but they're white and definitely are a good symbol for her. Innocence. Purity. Not to mention that they're gorgeous, and receiving flowers from a guy is something completely rare for her. Other than the crystal ones that Quin sent her, they're the first a date has given her on a night that wasn't prom.
"I'll wake up and look at them every day until my audition."

Chance is surprised that Jenna likes the roses so much. He can't imagine what makes them so special, and he's never had a girl be that ecstatic about receiving flowers. Her enthusiasm brings a smile to his face, and he reaches out to run his fingers over her arm. "I'm glad you like them."
"What audition?"

"Mama Mia. I'm auditioning for the chorus and ensemble cast on Tuesday. It's got the potential of becoming an understudy position if I do well enough." Jenna starts to worry her teeth over her lower lip, and recalls the bright red lipstick she's wearing. Stopping, she fiddles with the strap of the purse around her wrist. "It requires a pop song, and a dance for the audition, but hopefully I at least get a call back."

"Then I guess that good luck wishes are in order?" Chance asks with a smile. "Do they pick the song for the audition or do you?"

"I do. It can be any pop song. I was considering doing something by Abba, but… I figure everyone else will be thinking the same thing. I still haven't quite found the right song yet." Which is a pain, since she's only got a few days left to find it and rehearse it.
Jenna smiles though, and shakes her head. "I'll figure something out. I've just got to go through my sheet music."

"If I can do anything to help, just let me know," Chance says. "Nothing too mainstream and popular at the moment though, either, I would think. Other people might have that same idea, too."

"Exactly. They'll all be Gaga-ing, or singing Call Me Maybe by Carly Ray Jepsen." Jenna knows how other people audition. It's generally a lot of the same thing. Over. And Over. And over. She's heard it when sitting auditions with her father.
"I was thinking of that song I posted on Twitter a little while ago. It's kind of fitting for me, and I'm good with it."

"It's supposed to showcase your talent right? If that's the song you feel a connection with, then you should do it." Chance does not sing, and he still maintains that he doesn't dance all that well either.
"Whatever you do, I'm sure you'll be awesome."

"It is. I think it's a good song. It's not too pop-y, but enough so that it should pass the audition." Jenna reaches over and takes Chance's hand in hers.
"Thank you. That vote of confidence is always nice, even if you haven't heard me sing." Giggling, she adds, "If I get into the ensemble, I'm so getting you tickets. Front and center."

"I'm willing to be that you're not a terrible singer," Chance grins giving her hand a squeeze. "Someone would have told you by now."
"Besides, there are lots of interesting amateur performances on YouTube." Chance winks. He'll let her wonder which one of her performances he stumbled across.

"Oh no. You YouTube'd me?"
Jenna blushes, then glances down at her lap. There's a little laugh, and then a shy, sideways glance and a smile. "Please tell me that your ears weren't bleeding afterward? Daddy insisted I put up a few videos for exposure, and Dalton tends to post performances as well."
"We should go to karaoke some time."

"Yes, I You Tube'd you," Chance grins impishly. Her and Siobhan. Curiosity got the better of him. "Show choir I presume?"
Chance shakes his head and holds up his hands. "No. I don't sing. It would take a few beers to get me on stage to do karaoke."

"A lot of it was, yes. There's a few from one of my dramatic arts classes too, where we had to make music videos." Jenna looks almost embarrassed, but somewhat pleased that he looked her up.
"I'll make you a deal. You take me to karaoke, I promise not to make you sing, and you can choose any song you want me to sing."

"Am I allowed to request Buenos Aires?" Chance asks as nonchalantly and as innocently as he can.

"Oh god." Jenna laughs, nodding. "Sure, if you really want to hear me sing it in person."
Gently licking her lips, she hums a little bit of the song and then breaks out into the chorus, "Stand back, Buenos Aires, because you oughta know whatcha gonna get in me! Just a little touch of star quality!"

Chance grins and claps his hands. "You sound great." He leans in and kisses her cheek softly.
"I have something for you." Twisting, Chance opens the storage compartment and pulls out the long box. "I wanted to see your dress before I brought it out, and I think it will be a perfect fit."
Chance holds the box in his hands, but doesn't offer it up to Jenna yet. "Don't panic. I didn't buy this. It's a loaner for the night. It'll compliment you and your dress." Smiling then somewhat shyly, he opens the box and shows her the necklace.

"Thank you," Jenna replies, again with a little laugh. She doesn't normally break into song in the back of a vehicle with a cute boy, but it seemed appropriate since he was teasing her.
"You have something for me?" Watching him open the compartment, she stares at the long box. She's about to tell him that it's too much, when he mentions it's a loaner.
That, she can handle.
"Oh. My. God. Chance, that's beautiful." Reaching out toward the necklace, she gently touches the stone and looks up at him shyly. "Are you sure you want to loan this to me?"

"Positive. It's a perfect match for your dress and your pretty throat shouldn't be bare."
Chance removes the necklace from the box and holds it out to her, "Let me put it on?"

It really is a perfect match for her dress, and it's much like the jewelry she prefers. Beautiful and understated. Not large and showy. Jenna touches the necklace once again before he removes it from the box.
"Yes, of course."
Turning her back toward him so that he can slip the necklace around her neck she asks, "What made you think of lending it to me?"

Chance lifts the necklace over her head and places it so the ruby and surrounding diamond land and lay flatly at the base of her throat.
"You said your dress was red, and I wanted to get you something extra to show how much I appreciate you going with me tonight. Then after Tuesday … I thought it would make you smile."
He clasps the necklace and smooths his fingers along the base of her neck. "I think it worked."

"Oh, Chance."
Jenna can feel the emotion behind the thoughts, and that's nearly enough to choke her up. Her hand reaches up and touches the red crystal once more before she turns around and abruptly kisses him.
There's not a thing shy or tentative about it, this time. It's real, and filled with emotion, and while it's not deeply passionate, she does rest her forehead against his when she pulls away.
"Thank you. It's beautiful, and you're thoughtful, and it's definitely going to have me smiling all night. I'm honored that you're lending it to me."

The kiss takes Chance by surprise, but only for a few seconds. Reaching up to cup her cheek, he returns the kiss easily. Parting her lips with his tongue, allowing himself to taste her and their tongues to dance and tangle. He doesn't hold her there, allowing her to end the kiss when she wants to do so.
"You're welcome. I'm glad you like it."

Jenna is blushing furiously, but she's really hoping that because their foreheads are touching that he doesn't notices. There is a breathless sort of pause before she says anything, and her hand comes up to touch her lips.
She really may not need her ploy later in the evening. There's no doubt in her mind now that he's interested. That was a hell of a lot deeper than any kiss he's given her before.
"I do," she whispers. "I really do, Chance."

"I can tell," Chance whispers with a soft chuckle in his voice. He leans in and kisses the tip of her nose, then the brushing fingers along her cheek settles back.
"We'll be there soon." Chance slips his hand into hers and gives her a fond, bemused grin. "Don't forget to save me a dance."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License