The Ties That Bind: Part Eight
It was Saturday night, and Mel was busy getting ready for Kally Kay's birthday party. She didn't know Kally Kay personally, but she did know that Kally was a couple years older than she was and attended a private school near the Ski Lodge. She was also a good friend of Kelsie's.
Mel slipped into her silver heels and adjusted one of the plastic diamonds that was falling off near the edge of the shoe. They didn't really match her rose-pink dress, but she didn't care. She could have borrowed some shoes from Kelsie, who owned about seventy pairs, but she insisted she wanted to wear her own clothes and then promptly went home and asked her owner Kim why they weren't rich.
"Hey Mel?" Kim called from downstairs.
“Yeah?” Mel dragged her brush through her hair before making sure what little makeup she was wearing on her face was perfect.
"When are you leaving?"
"Oh, Kelsie is going to come by and pick me up. She's coming in a Uni carriage," Mel said loudly, fluffing her hair with her paws. She was nearly ready to go.
The party was formal, and everyone who mattered would be there. The important kids from her school, and ones that went to Kally Kay's, and other random rich pets who were acquainted with Kally's acquaintances. Mel was worried that she'd be the only one there that didn't know Kally, but Kelsie assured her that there would be tons of people Kally had never even seen before. Kelsie also said she'd told Kally all about Mel, so she didn't need to worry about extremely awkward introductions.
At six forty-five, there was a knock on the door, and Mel rushed outside after kissing her owner goodbye and slipping on her large puffy fur coat. Kelsie smiled, leading Mel to the Uni carriage. Mel sat down in it, shivering uncontrollably as Kelsie sat down beside her. The carriage then started down the snowy road to Kally Kay's mansion.
"Aaaah! Where did the present go?!"
"You idiot! Don't tell me you lost it," Mikey groaned, as he stood in front of a mirror, straightening out his tuxedo.
Garret sighed, digging through the bag of stolen candy as he sat on Mikey's bed. "Come on, we need to leave soon. It's already seven. If we show up late, they might be suspicious. We aren't on the guest list, remember?"
The yellow Eyrie picked out a Yellow Gummy Quiggle and popped it in his mouth. He decided that it didn't matter if he ate the stolen candy. After all, he wasn't the one who had stolen it. And it wasn’t like you could return candy. For the past day he'd been sitting on his butt eating his problems away. Tonight was the night. The night he would discover if Mel really did hate him, and if Sam would quit bothering him, and if Mel would finally come to her senses and realize that Sam was evil.
He sighed. His life smelled of dung.
"AH! I found it!" Chad shouted. The red Lupe ran into the room, holding the Mystery Island Shell Necklace they had purchased the day before. He set it down on the bed and grabbed a roll of wrapping paper that was lying on the floor (they had found it in the closet and brought it up earlier, thinking ahead), and ripped a large square off, since there were no scissors in sight. He put the bracelet inside the wrapping paper and twisted the paper around it.
"Hm. Now for a finishing touch," he said, looking around Mikey's room. Mikey's lazy Meturf was curled up on a pillow in the corner of the room. He tiptoed over to the Meturf and plucked a few thick green hairs from his back. "Yes, this will do." Chad wrapped the hairs around the twisted wrapping paper and tied it into a little bow.
"That's hideous," Garret commented, raising his eyebrows at the Christmas wrapping paper. "And tiny. She'll probably think we got her a pebble."
"Hey! This was a bargain," Chad growled. "Oh yeah, do you have your present for Mel?"
Garret pulled out a small silver box from his suit pocket and opened it. Mel's Silver Charm Bracelet was inside.
Mikey turned around from the mirror and narrowed his eyes. "...Maybe we should have put Kally Kay's present in that box."
"No way! Mel is way more important than Kally Kay," Chad said as he put Kally Kay’s 'present' in his pocket and grabbed Garret's arm. "Now come on!"
Sam and Krystal made their way toward Kally Kay's mansion. The stone pathway took them through a large garden. The snow-kissed bushes and frozen ponds were beautiful in the moonlight that shone down on them that night. Sam had to hold her dark blue dress up to keep it from dragging on the ground. Krystal was wearing a brown gown that matched her eyes.
They neared the large double front doors of the mansion and before they could knock, the doors opened. A shadow Meerca wearing a tuxedo stuck out his hand, and Sam and Krystal handed him their invitations. He asked for their names and then looked at his clipboard. After flipping through a few pages, he nodded them inside.
Sam sighed, relieved. Krystal had managed to get her name on the guest list a few days earlier, since Krystal was a friend of Kally’s. Krystal said their owners knew each other really well.
They made their way through crowds of pets toward the refreshment table, looking around the giant house in awe.
"Tell me if you see Mel," Sam told Krystal as she poured herself some Bubbly Roseatte Juice. They had a plan to get Mel to start talking to Sam again, and hopefully it would work. After all, Krystal had connections, and she sounded like she knew what she was doing. As long as Mel came in with Kelsie, everything would go smoothly.
While waiting for Mel and Kelsie to arrive, Sam and Krystal danced, chatted with random people from Krystal’s school that Sam didn’t know, and got introduced to the birthday girl. Kally Kay was a spunky, outgoing pink Meerca. She graciously accepted Sam and Krystal's gift, a pair of expensive shoes, which Krystal had bought.
Chad, Mikey and Garret sneaked through the snowy yard of the mansion, staying out of the light cast onto the ground from the giant house. They had shown up at the front door, but were denied since they weren't on the guest list. So they had no other choice but to break in.
After returning to the mansion after going back to Mikey’s house to get a few supplies, they crept over to a window on the side of the manor and Mikey peered inside.
"Nobody's in this room. It's all dark," he said, nodding to Chad, who turned on a flashlight and pointed it at the windowsill so Mikey could see. Mikey heaved open the unlocked window and squeezed himself into the house, followed by Chad. Garret was the last to get in, and, due to his large size, barely made it through the window.
They stripped off all of their dark clothing (worn specially for secret missions like breaking into people’s houses) and adjusted their suits before opening the door and going out into the hallway.
"Um, I need to go to the bathroom," Garret said to Mikey and Chad. "I'll meet up with you guys later."
The Lupe and Shoyru nodded, then continued down the hallway toward the loud music and dancing pets.
Garret ambled down the hallway; looking in every room he went past. He walked by a study, a room that was completely empty, a recreational room, and even a baby's room. At the very end of the hallway was what he was guessing to be the bathroom, as the light was on and the door was closed. He leaned against the wall as he waited for whoever was inside to finish.
He heard the toilet flush and the sink turn on, and finally the door opened. A beautiful yellow Usul wearing a pink dress opened the door and, without looking up, walked out of the bathroom, right past him.
"Mel?!" Garret called. The Usul froze, turning around slowly.
"Garret." She frowned. "What in Fyora's name are you doing here?"
The yellow Eyrie felt his face get hot. "Oh, well you see, um, well..."
Mel sighed impatiently. "Look, I actually don't care. I don’t even know why I asked. I don't want to talk to you either, so please just stay away from me tonight, okay?" She turned and started to walk away again, but Garret stopped her once more.
"Mel, wait. I'm serious."
"What?!" The Usul put her paws on her hips as Garret approached her, digging into his pocket for the box with the bracelet inside. He pulled it out slowly, hoping to the faeries that she would forgive him after this. After all of the trouble he went through to get her the stupid thing...
Her eyes widened, and she took a few steps back. "What're you doing?! I told you to leave me alone!"
Angrily, Garret shoved the box in her hands. "It's for you. Just take it." He then strode past her, bumping her in the shoulder as he stormed off.
Mel opened the box, gasping when she saw the beautiful bracelet inside. Had Garret gotten this... just for her? She wanted to give him a big hug, yet at the same time, punch him in the face. She spun around, only to see he was now lost in the crowd of the party.
She sighed and went back to find Kelsie. They still had to meet Kally Kay and give her their present.
After about ten minutes of waiting for Mel and Kelsie, Krystal nudged Sam in the arm with her elbow. "I see them," she said firmly, above all of the loud music. Kally Kay had somehow gotten Yes Boy Ice-Cream to play at her birthday party, and a lot of the girls were screaming, trying to lift each other on top of the stage and get the band's autographs.
"Where?" Sam asked, standing on her tiptoes, looking over the heads of all of the pets in the giant room.
Krystal pointed over to the table that had all of the presents piled on top of it. Kelsie was giving Kally Kay a hug, and when they broke the embrace, Kally set Kelsie's present down on the table and then shook hands with Mel. Sam narrowed her eyes as the Zafara and Usul made their way through the crowd. Krystal grabbed Sam's arm and turned her around so she was facing the other way.
"Looks like they're coming over here," Krystal said into Sam's ear. The faerie Uni nodded.
Mel and Kelsie squeezed past a large Skeith, making their way to the refreshment table. Krystal stood there, looking around the room, waiting to be noticed by one of them.
Kelsie sidestepped down the long refreshment table, empty cup in hand. "Hmm, what should I get? The Spicy Fruit Punch looks good, but so does the--"
Kelsie had bumped right into Krystal, causing the red Krawk to drop her cup. Its contents spilled all over the two of them and onto the floor. The Island Zafara stared down at the mess they had made, her jaw dropped in guilt.
"I... am SO sorr--" Kelsie paused when she saw Krystal's face, however, and she and the red Krawk began to laugh spontaneously. Kelsie looked down at her white dress, which was now stained with red splotches, and Krystal looked at her own ruined gown. The two of them began to laugh harder.
Mel appeared behind Kelsie. "What happened?"
Kelsie pointed at Krystal, trying to contain her giggles. "This is Krystal! My cousin!"
The yellow Usul's eyes widened as she looked at the red Krawk. "Krystal...?"
"Yes! We just bumped into each other and spilled juice all over ourselves!" Kelsie told her, holding her stomach.
Mel felt her eye twitching. Yes, this sure was the same Krystal who had managed to ruin her life a couple years ago. The one who had stolen her best friend and turned Sam against her. "She's... your... c-cousin?"
At that moment, Sam spun around, looking quite confused. "What's going on here?!" she asked, and then saw Mel and Kelsie standing a few feet in front of them, juice splattered all over the floor and on Kelsie and Krystal's dresses. "Oh."
"Sam?!" Mel breathed, looking over from Kelsie to Sam and back again. "Sam?! You're hanging out with... with..."
Krystal smirked, further angering Mel. The Usul didn't know what to say, or think, or do, and she hadn't breathed in at least twenty seconds from pure shock. She did the only thing she could think of doing at that moment. She fled into the crowd, out of sight from Sam, Krystal and Kelsie.
Kelsie exhaled deeply. "Well, then. What was all that about?"
Krystal and Sam exchanged glances.
"It's a long story.”
Sam raised an eyebrow, looking over at Krystal. “Wait, wait, wait. You two are cousins? I didn’t even know that!”
Kelsie sighed, setting her empty cup down on the table. "Well, I better go find Mel..."
To be continued...