Danni's Randomness

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Post  Danni Grindelwald on March 10th 2010, 6:17 am

[I came up with this AFTER I came up with my name and character on her.]
Vandani- adored
Danuta- gift from God
Chapter I

Danni smiled in what looked like total innocence as she checked out the hottie down the bar, chatting with the bartender. He had a five o’clock shadow and a slightly wrinkled dress shirt with a loosely tied necktie above pinstriped slacks. He seemed like the English major type, intelligent but not too nerdy, cute without being a total jerk. She flagged down a waiter, paid a small tip, and asked for him to refill whatever he was having and charge it to her. It was clichéd, she knew, but he would appreciate the cliché almost as much as the extra Bourbon.

She stretched and glanced at her cell phone, noting both the time and the three new text messages from Brayden, her most recent ex. She erased them without reading them, not caring what he could have to say to her, taking another sip of her peach schnapps to forget his begging. It was pathetic really, and she was glad to be shot of him, especially if English major cutie was on the menu tonight. He accepted the refill with a surprised smirk, scanning the bar for whoever had gifted him with more of his poison of choice. Danni didn’t look away, and his eyes soon found hers. He looked curious. That was only the first step.

It was then that she dared to look away. He’d seen her, and would be coming over soon, especially since- “Hello little darlin’. You alone or with somebody?” A shaggy-haired stranger had approached, breaching the distance from the dance floor in record time for someone as intoxicated as he. She put on an uncomfortable look, but she didn’t much mind the drunkenness or slurred speech, she didn’t even really mind the way he smelled, but she knew that guys liked to play the hero, and wanted to give English major boy something to rescue her from.

“I’m…” she let her voice trail off as she felt a presence behind her, and looked up into the eyes of her ‘hero’. He’d taken the bait, and grabbed her arm protectively.
“She’s with me, buddy, so get outta here.” His voice surprised her. It was nearly a growly bass where she’d been expecting a tenor, and it had a strange lilting accent, almost as if he had combined street talk and aristocratic speech. As the stranger stumbled off, grumbling about why ‘all the pretty girls have sugar daddies or pimps’, English major boy turned to her. “Are you okay?”

That sounded more like she’d imagined, accent-wise. It was American with hints of a Scottish background, the typical Lit fanatic’s accent of choice. “I’m fine, thanks to you,” she murmured, letting her fear show in her eyes. This was always the riskiest part- the first real meeting between her and her new guy, and this was the stage where things often went wrong. She tried not to let her eyes linger anywhere but his, and then only for a moment before looking down at her hands, balled into fists out of instinct. Her body knew the drill. She relaxed them, trying to look shy and scared.

“You have to be more careful,” he said. “A pretty girl like you, alone in a bar, is pretty much asking for trouble, wouldn’t you think?” She looked up at him, and wasn’t surprised to see his eyes scanning her body, down the low-cut neckline on her dress to where it cut off, mid-thigh. She tried to blush, but in the end, decided to pretend she hadn’t noticed. She was supposed to be innocent, after all. “Did you send me that drink?”

She laughed a bit. He was perceptive, of course, which had been her reason for picking him in the first place. “Yeah. Obviously it didn’t work as well as the movies show. I shouldn’t have done something that clichéd. Sorry about that.” She was stumbling and making abrupt sentences, giving herself over to looking awkward, as if she was new to this game. Guys liked being taught in high school, but by college age, they were ready to play teacher.

Now it was his turn to laugh, and he did so right on cue after deciding that it wouldn’t offend her. “I appreciate cliché from time to time as much as the next person. Clichés wouldn’t exist if society didn’t use them, right?” He was smart, witty, and charming. She might actually come to like him one day for something other than his looks. Right now she just smiled, sensing that he wasn’t done yet, although she was yearning to add my “Touché,” to what he’d said. “But isn’t it normally the man that buys a refill for the mysterious sex goddess across the room?”

“I forget the details,” Danni teased, playing coy, “but it seemed appropriate at the moment.” The song changed from throbbing base to Cascada, slowing down. She let herself react to it and started dancing a tiny bit to the beat, a real smile lighting up her face. Damn, I’m good, she thought, seeing him smile and then look away quickly. This was her favorite game to play, simply because she was so good at it, and practiced a lot to make sure she stayed sharp. She vaguely wondered what he would do if she just came out right then with her evil intentions, and laughed inwardly, watching him get up the courage (maybe something else?) to ask her to dance.

He surprised her again. She was rarely surprised by men, so it was a nice, although startling change. “Well, I just realized that I’ve been a complete dunce and forgot to introduce myself. I’m Damien Scott.” That wasn’t so unexpected, nor was the handshake and the casual questioning of her name, but it was unexpected that he would kiss her on the cheek after he introduced himself. “What is your name, beautiful? You’re so lovely that I have half a mind to re-christen you that. Lovely.”

She knew that it was just a line, probably borrowed from a song or book she’d never heard of, but couldn’t help but feel a bit better about herself despite that. “I’m Danni,” she replied, tensed and ready for the question sure to come next.

He asked, but not in the typical way. She was beginning to learn that he went out of his way to be different than the average Joe. “Would that be short for something?”

Normally, it was ‘Is that short for Danielle? It’s cute, it suits you. I always though Danielle was a pretty name…’ Blah, blah, blah. But this didn’t assume anything. He was just asking. “It’s short for Vandanni,” she admitted. Most people had never heard the name before and wouldn’t have been able to spell it, or pronounce what they saw spelled. Her name did not rhyme. It was not Van-dan-nee, as most assumed when they read it, but Vahn-dan-nee, a distinction that most were unable to make.

“What a beautiful name. Sanskrit, unless I’m much mistaken?” She was amazed, and could only nod. “Care to dance, Danni?” His voice caressed her name, making her feel all warm and tingly inside. It was sickeningly cute, and instinct would normally have had her running away, but she’d decided that he was her target, and she wouldn’t run from a good challenge. Danni let him lead her out to the dance floor, let him feel like dancing was his idea all along and that she was simply going along with it, although the truth was she’d been subtly hinting that she wanted to dance since the song had changed.

They made small talk as they danced, her arms draped playfully around his neck, teasing him as her already short skirt got even shorter. She couldn’t believe that he was paying as much attention to dancing as to talking, and that he was actually good at it. There were precious few men in the world that bothered to learn how to dance well anymore, even fewer than the women, and that number had definitely dwindled within the last decade. She supposed that was what people would call evolution, but she had simply watched the jazz age style of dancing come back and go away with a sadness that couldn’t be explained.

He hardly seemed to pay attention to her scrumptious body as their conversation turned from the music to European literature. Even she was surprised at how well read he was, even when he admitted to majoring in English in college as she’d guessed. Most people had never heard of half her favorite books, but he had liked them. The authors were obscure, and she generally didn’t talk about reading when she was with men, but he was smart, and that was a turn on she hadn’t felt in a while. After a while of dancing, she made her excuses and slipped away to the bathroom, curious to see her reflection, which would have subtly changed since the last time she’d seen herself.

She entered, locking the door with a soft touch to the metal after checking that there was nobody in the stalls. Her reflection stared back at her, cheeks slightly flushed and eyes alight with excitement. Her hair was a bit longer than it had been, she had a trace of red in her chestnut colored hair, her brown eyes were a bit larger, and her dimples more pronounced. She smiled, pleased with everything except for the length of her hair, falling in loose curls all the way to her narrow hips. For some reason, she’d never liked to wear her hair long, and had loved Flapper hairstyles from the twenties, because men didn’t mind them.

Lately though, men seemed to lean toward the longer hairstyles as “attractive” and she didn’t really have much of a choice in the matter. She didn’t know what she was, just what her mother had told her, and despite all her research in the matter, she had yet to find an author that had invented a creature exactly like her, unlike her vampyre friends, who had a few authors that had described them exactly. She wasn’t a vampyre, a dhampir, a witch or a werewolf. To her knowledge, she wasn’t even a succubus or siren of any sort, although that was what she most closely resembled.

Vandanni was a different breed altogether, one that had stayed aloof and hidden among people for centuries because they were so much like humans, except for the growth rate. She knew that her mother’s pregnancy had lasted the normal time, but that each proceeding year it took her longer to age, and that all her life, her mother had either moved a lot or stayed put, hidden, because how do you explain to your neighbors that you’ve had a six month old for over a year? When Vandanni was young, she’d been hidden away carefully until she looked about three years old, and then they’d moved and put out the story that she had been born early, and as such, wouldn’t get very big.

People had accepted the story for a few years, but then they’d moved again and done the same thing in another place. Every few years, they moved, and her mother had been careful to never get pregnant again, reminding Danni often of how big a pain it was to deal with a toddler for twice that amount of time so that Danni wasn’t tempted to have her own child. The weird thing was that biologically getting pregnant would be impossible for someone who didn’t have a period, right? But Danni had never had a period. Anyway, Danni’s mother, Danuta, often joked that she would never be old enough to be a grandmother, and that was probably true, at least as far as looks were concerned.

The older she got, the more slowly she aged, so the looked about ten years older than her nearly grown up daughter. Her own mother only looked to be about thirty years old, and she had known Christ when he walked the earth. So Danni and her mother put out that they were sisters, and that was generally an acceptable story, although Danni was in high school again and her mother had only a part time job as a waitress in the local café. They had to work jobs people would expect young people to work, so they left the really hard work to Rebecca, Danuta’s mother.

Danni stopped examining herself as she started to drift back to what she normally looked like, and hurried back to Damien before that could happen completely. She would slowly become his dream girl, so that by the time they parted, his heart would have shattered completely. She’d done it often enough in the past to know what happened, to know why her body changed depending on who was with her at the moment, and she only felt a slight twinge of guilt when she remembered past boyfriends. After all, they couldn’t very well stay with her forever, and she was forbidden to love, anyway.

Damien was breathless as she hurried back, trying to look shy instead of cocky, innocent instead of evil. She smiled at him, and he smiled back, looking just as nervous as she was trying to look, and pulled up a chair for her. She thanked him loudly so that he would hear her over the music, and grabbed his hand. “Thanks for a great night, it was really nice to meet you, but I’ve got to go now,” she half-shouted. His face fell, and she knew that he was not excited to watch her go, and that by the time she stood, he would have decided to ask her.

“Can I at least walk you out?” He didn’t disappoint, leaning close to her ear so that he didn’t have to shout the request, for it wasn’t a question, although it had sounded like one. He wasn’t giving her a choice, and held tightly to her hand as they made their way through the bar, and she knew that this one would last for a while. She felt the anti-climax that always came when you saw victory coming before it actually occurred, and sighed inwardly. At least he was going to be a challenge, something a little bit different, so that it wasn’t the same boring relationship she always lived.

Once they were out of the bar atmosphere and into the cool October air, he spoke again: “You leave so quickly when the night is still so young.” Danni glanced at her watch and laughed, letting her new voice through and making the most of it.

“Damien, it’s almost midnight, and I have school in the morning.” She raised onto her tip-toes (when had she gotten so short?) to kiss his cheek, feeling the stubble on his face and adoring it. He caught her in a loose hug, and she moved a bit, kissing him softly on the lips, feeling his surprise. She pulled her arms around his neck and kissed him more deeply, and felt his breath catch. Pulling away carefully, she checked that he was still breathing, and chastised herself for losing control.

“Danni…” he moaned softly as she pulled away, his eyes begging for more but his body telling her that he was stubborn and would make her take the next step. She chose to ignore both, pulling back down to her now normal height. The kiss had been necessary so that her appearance wouldn’t change permanently until they broke up or she kissed someone else, whichever happened first. She couldn’t help being a player occasionally, and Danuta said that it was because she was so beautiful, although Danni herself disagreed. It was that she was so good at it, and it was so easy and fun.

Danni stepped to her car, smiling at the parking pass for her high school hanging from the mirror. She had an old beater of a car, a 1983 Mustang Fastback that looked about a hundred years older than that, something that fit her “age”, but she knew enough about engines that this little pile of scrap metal was faster than half the brand new cars in the world. She saw his eyes scan it, widen a bit at the parking pass, and watched as they turned to stare at her. “You’re in high school?” She laughed again, sounding tipsy, but not really feeling it.

“Yeah, about that…” she let her voice trail off, staring at him. “How old are you, Damien?” She knew the laws, and could recite them perfectly if he cared to ask.

He seemed rather taken aback. “I’m twenty two,” he replied, blushing, “Way too old for you.”

She shook her head. “No, Damien, not too old, not if we keep it quiet. I have a fake ID that puts me at twenty one, and if we ever got caught, that would keep you from getting in trouble.” She paused. “That is, if we were to do anything. Look, it’s late and I have Zero period tomorrow, so I really ought to go, but it was nice to meet you.” She let her voice sound disappointed and defeated, although she knew they were far from done with the game. She guessed that they had about ten more minutes before she would be able to go home for the night, as it would take him about that long to man up and take things into his own hands.
“You too,” he muttered, still looking too shocked to process what was going on. “Are you sure we wouldn’t get in trouble Danni? Look, I know it sounds like a line, but you are the girl from my dreams, and I think… I think I could love you.” She kissed him one more time before unlocking her car.

“Then love me, Damien,” she murmured, her back to him, but she knew he had heard it because he obeyed, in a way, by pulling her around and this time he kissed her with a passion that left little doubt as to how he felt. This time, she tasted the Bourbon in his mouth, the slight taste of chocolate, and felt how strong his arms and back were. Lip-locked, his hands fumbled at the back (or lack thereof) of her dress, trying to feel her skin, and she pulled away, attempting to look shocked and failing miserably. “I do have to go.” She let it sound like a question, and he responded to that, not letting her say another word before he was kissing her again.

This was too easy, and Danni wondered when Damien had last had a girlfriend, because he groped her as if he was new to doing so, slowly and clumsily. She didn’t mind his hands crawling all over her body, didn’t mind the bulge in his slacks, didn’t mind the panting for breath, but she did mind that she was groping too, her body in control, her hormones taking over and not being able to control it. She finally broke free and pushed away. “Damien, I have to go.” She handed him her cell phone, open to “Add a contact” and started the car, knowing she would have his phone number and he hers by the end of the night.

He stared after her as she drove away, and she knew he would have trouble sleeping that night and that when he finally fell into a restless sleep, her face would haunt his dreams. Danni sighed as she drove home, wondering how her mother would like this new development, and not looking forward to the headache this would cause. She checked her phone again, noticing that she already had a text from Damien, and rolled her eyes. She flipped it shut, and drove the rest of the way home with a small smile on her face and her eyes dancing with excitement.

Danni Grindelwald

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Danni's Randomness Empty Re: Danni's Randomness

Post  Guest on March 14th 2010, 12:24 am

I loved how you made Damien the ideal guy. I think I'm gonna have to fight you for him! haha
I really liked how you put a little fantasy into a romance, it was quite refreshing.
please write more:)


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Post  Danni Grindelwald on March 14th 2010, 1:04 am

[[Unfortunately, Damien isn't the "perfect guy" as you will see in this next bit.]]

Chapter II
Danni was in an exceptionally good mood the next day, waking up early and kissing her mother and grandmother on the cheek on the way out the door. She smiled at the police officer that pointed her down a detour and the slightly awkward looking boy that she bought her coffee from, and even smiled at her homeroom teacher, Ms. Wilde, who she could never like, even if she had wanted to. Ms. Wilde was the teacher you would expect to sleep with all the teenagers in her class, but Danni knew better. Ms. Wilde was an old family “friend” who had a curious affinity with old men.

Danni knew it wasn’t any of her business, since she liked older men herself, but she never went any older than maybe ten years more than her ID said she was, while Ms. Wilde… well, let’s just say that Pricilla Wilde would have loved Hugh Hefner. It would give Danni some sort of complex if she thought about it too much, so she sincerely tried not to, but it was hard to do when she sat right in the front and had to stare at cleavage and long legs all day and listen to the guys.
To say it was disturbing was a bit of an understatement, but Danni had known Pricilla Wilde for the better part of fifty years, so she couldn’t judge her too harshly. Anyway, she walked in, smiling wanly at the woman, and concealing her cell phone behind her binder, texting the gorgeous Damien. Roll call went swiftly and she hurried from the room before Pricilla asked about her night, glaring at the boys who whistled at her retreating ass.

She’d dealt with this for years, but it still infuriated her that she didn’t have a single bad hair day, not a single day where she could just look grubby. She’d lived the high school experience over and over again, but at the same time, hadn’t lived it at all. She’d never broken out on picture day: never, in fact, broken out at all. She didn’t sweat and her makeup never streaked, and she felt like an alien.

She didn’t belong among people with flaws, perfect flaws that enabled them to accept one another and fall in love, she belonged with people like herself, except… she’d never really belonged there either. She felt out of place when she wasn’t with a man, and even then she was foreign to it, despite her sexual experience being such that she could give them Playboy Bunnies a few tips. She wanted to fall in love, but didn’t know how and didn’t dare risk it.

“Hey, Danni!” It was one of the peppy little bitch cheerleaders, too perky to be entirely natural, running toward her up the hall.

“Yeah Lindsey?” She hadn’t meant to sound snippy, and Lindsey looked affronted. “Sorry, PMSing,” she shrugged, wondering for the millionth time what that felt like. “You need something? I’ve got Davis next, and you know how he feels about people who come late.” She smirked, remembering Lindsey’s panic last year when she was, well, late.

Lindsey’s face paled as she caught the jab, but she chose to ignore it. “Um, I’ll make it quick then. We need acting help in the Pep Rally, and there’s a role for the beautiful wicked queen. Jamie thinks you’d be perfect for the role, and I must say I quite agree. Consider it and get back to me, okay?” Never liked that bitch, anyway, but this was crossing the line. Danni was so much nicer in the last couple of years than she ever had been before, so they ought to feel lucky.

She crossed the hall, hurrying to Davis’ class, but didn’t make it before the bell, and swore under her breath as she saw that he’d started the lesson early, again. He stopped. “Nice of you to join us, Miss Vector. Hall. Now.” She stepped back into the hall, seething and cursing herself for wearing her favorite skirt, which also happened to be the shortest. He slid out of the classroom moments later, and she heard Beverly of the Big Teeth continue on with the lesson, sounding breathless.

Probably the most a man has ever paid attention to her in her entire life, she thought vehemently. Beverly had done her best to get Danni expelled the previous year for leaving campus every day, so she didn’t even feel sorry for thinking that, even as she surveyed Mr. Davis in distaste. He was all flab and flabby skin, no muscle left on his bones, and his toupee was crooked over his bald head. He stared back at her, leering at her exposed legs, and smirking at her discomfort.
“We can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way,” he began, breathing very close to her face. “Come in at lunch and I’ll see whether or not I can do something about your tardy, otherwise, you have detention for a week.” She fumed silently, knowing from how his hand shook as he brushed her cheek that she wouldn’t be helping grade papers or even just doing a quickie. He wanted a blowjob, she would bet on it, and she was not the girl to give it.

“Sorry sir,” she replied in a would be polite voice, except that it trembled in anger as she spoke, “but I don’t do teachers as ugly as you, so you can fuck off.” He blinked as if he couldn’t believe she’d dared say that to him, and she knew there would be hell to pay, but long gone were the days that she would submit to any hungry man’s whims. Any games were on her terms now, and she much preferred it that way.

Danni felt her phone vibrate in her bra and wondered briefly if Damien would beat Mr. Davis for her if she asked, not that she would need the help, but it was something to think about.
“Office, Miss Vector, and you can explain to the principal what exactly it was that you wanted to achieve by swearing at me. And you’ll be serving your detentions with me, no complaint, or I will personally see to it that you are suspended for your excessive tardiness.” He turned and walked back into the classroom, his face red and the veins on his neck almost to popping point.

Danni walked slowly down the hall, checking the text from Damien as she went.

Hey beautiful, you should be in class, shouldn’t you? What’s your favorite subject (other than European Lit., obviously)?

How I like a boy would could text with good grammar, she thought, grinning stupidly to herself. She couldn’t argue with his logic, European Lit. was definitely a good subject, and it had lead her to meet Damien, after all. She meandered slowly through the halls, not bothering to hurry to Mr. Hansen’s office. He adored her, and she talked to him all the time, just for fun. He would probably agree with her that Davis had it coming, too, and would try to get her out of her detentions. She texted Damien back.

Yes, I should be in class, but my chauvinist teacher decided sexual favors were a fair trade for erasing a tardy, and I refused, so I’m on my way to the office to have a chat with our lovely principal. I don’t know what my favorite subject is, just that it isn’t Financial Literacy, which aforesaid teacher attempts to teach.

She sent it, a stupid smile on her face as she imagined his reaction to the way she’d phrased that. He would appreciate his sense of humor, of course, and be in shock over the nerve of her teacher, and admire the fact that she was still in a good enough mood to be lightly sarcastic just to make him smile, even when she was in a bad mood.

Damien’s reply was short- Damn teachers. Are you okay? Danni didn’t know what to think of that. Since when would a man care about her feelings when his jealousy and pride were at stake? He was definitely an odd duck, and she pushed it out of her mind for now, sending back a noncommittal Sure. She turned her phone off and walked out the front doors, craving a drive, and maybe a nice make-out session with a certain hot college junior.

Danni turned her phone back on, thinking she’d text him more, perhaps an explanation, but he’d already texted back. I hate answers that don’t answer the question, and sarcasm sure doesn’t work well over text, so call me or clarify, please. A polite order, how nice. She smiled at his frustration. A call would work.

He answered on the first ring, a gruff “Hello?”, and she smiled, could hear him smiling over the phone.

“Hey handsome, do they let you out of that prison for meals, or do you have to suffer on campus all day?” She teased him lightly, knowing that he loved school and that he might feel inclined to defend it. Sure enough-
“It’s a school, not a prison, which is the difference between high school and college, my little bird. Speaking of birds, it sounds like you’ve broken out of your cage, m‘dear. How did the chat with your beloved principal go? Is the teacher in question fired or on probation?” They both chuckled, and Danni shook her head, letting her hair fall into loose curls around her back and shoulders.

“Haven’t been yet. I decided I’d rather hang out with you than the dry old principal, understanding as he may be. Come on Damien,” she adopted a baby voice, as if she were talking to a young child or a pet. “You know you want to introduce me to all your friends and show them the only high school kid you’ve ever known to spend a weekday evening in a smoky bar, don’t you?” She laughed again. “Round up a few friends and meet me at Sussy’s Cafe in twenty minutes.”

She hung up before he had the chance to reply, her briefly bad mood replaced by euphoria. She drove quickly, snagging a big table in the back, pressing a twenty into Sussy’s hands to ensure both privacy and good service. Sussy was quite used to the drill by now, and would keep her mouth shut about any ex-boyfriends I’d brought there. “Cute boy?” was all she asked, a knowing smile and wink.

Danni laughed, tossing her hair. “Man. He’s a cute man.” Sussy laughed to, heading to the kitchen.

“Just let me know when I’m needed. I’ll stay out of the way until then, just like I always do. Have fun, kid.” Danni laughed, reaching into her bag and grabbing the necessities to reapply her makeup, just to have something to do. She looked around, noticing a group of young adults climbing out of an SUV in the parking lot, and smiling to herself. She set her bag under her chair and pretended to examine the menu, watching out of the corner of her eye as he tried to find her, and checking out the people he’d brought with him.

He was trailed by three boys and two girls, all of whom were very good looking. Two of the other boys were very muscular, one taller and the other a bit shorter than average, both with tan skin and short brown hair. She would be willing to guess that the two were brothers. The other boy was average height and stringy, with snakebites and long-ish red hair. He was yummy. Maybe she’d take him out, next.

The girls were no less beautiful, and she was almost sure they were twins. Both had dark green eyes, full red lips, and dishwater blonde hair. One of them had cut it quite short, and the other had grown it out and highlighted it with red. It was quite an attractive effect.

They made their way over to the table slowly, inching through the café after Damien finally spotted her. She looked up when they got close, and smiled, but didn’t move from her place. Damien sat next to her, and everyone else situated themselves around the other empty chairs. To her delight, the gorgeous ginger was on her other side. “Hey beautiful,” Damien whispered. She did her best to blush.

“Hi Damien and friends.” She smiled at all of them, catching Ginger’s eye. He grinned sheepishly and looked down at his menu, blushing. “I’m Danni.”
Damien took over from there. “Um, this is Amber” -the shorter-haired twin- “Amythest” –the long-haired one- “Jared” –the taller jock boy- “Conner” –the shorter one- “And Zeke” –the redhead. She couldn’t help but stare at him, he was so beautiful.

Everyone was settling down, getting out the menus and chattering about what they were going to order. Danni, who’d been to Sussy’s hundreds of times in the last three years, already knew what she wanted, and used her menu as a buffer between her and everyone else, intent upon studying Zeke. His red hair was long enough that it caught in his eyelashes, a bit frizzy, and it tangled differently every time he moved, never just lying straight. His green eyes kept darting to hers, but she didn’t look away, enjoying the attention he was providing.

Damien rested his hand on her bare knee, bringing her attention back to him. “Are you ready to order, Danni?” She nodded, resting her hand on his thigh, looking deep into his dark brown eyes. He tensed, readying himself for a kiss, and she stuck her tongue out at him, making him erupt in laughter. “Everybody nearly ready?” Everyone nodded, but Danni was surprised that his grammar had been better in a bar than it was at lunch with a few friends.

Danni caught Sussy’s eye from where she was spying through the kitchen door, nodded, and watched as she came hurrying over. “Hi, I’m Sussy, and I’ll be taking care of you today. Drinks are on the house for you lot, just let us know what you’ll have and we’ll bring it over. Danni, do you want the usual?” Danni nodded, and Sussy turned to everyone else to collect their orders in turn. She repeated each order back with the price, asked how we’d have the check and then hurried away, leaving us alone.

The jock boys and twin girls, whose names Danni had already forgotten, instantly wrapped around each other, leaving only Zeke, Damien, and Danni to carry on the conversation. Zeke leaned over, whispered “They’re always like this.” Danni laughed realizing with an unpleasant jolt that she was usually like that: anti-social, her body alone doing the communicating. Zeke must have seen some of that in her expression, because when he continued, his voice was sweet and unbelievably reassuring.

“I told Damien a hundred times that he was crazy for wanting to date you, but now that I’ve met you, I understand why. You’re beautiful, kind, soft-spoken, and slow to judge all of us college dweebs. I approve, so you’ve now passed the best friend test and can’t ever leave.” He put his arm around her shoulders, pulling Danni in close to him, whispering in her ear. “You and I should get together, there are some things you need to know about Damien.”

She nodded and pulled away, twining her fingers with Damien’s and smiling up at him. Eye candy was fine, but she didn’t want to hurt Damien for whatever reason, so she was cuddling with him when Sussy came back with their food and drinks. The others resurfaced and they all spent a quiet meal poking fun at the lip-locked couples, making a few ginger jokes, and exclaiming loudly about Danni’s “manly” meal of steak, biscuits, and gravy.

When the meal was over, the others locked lips again, and Damien slipped off to the bathroom while Sussy fetched their free dessert and their check: Sussy always took good care of Danni. Danni leaned over to Zeke, whispering urgently. “What did you want to talk about?” she hissed. But he just shook his head.

“Not now. Do you have time later tonight?”

She hesitated. It was a Friday night, and she’d been wanting to hang out with Damien, but her curiosity finally got the better of her. “Fine. Where and when?” She saw Damien inching back toward the table and pressed her phone into his hands, alight with her phone number. “Text me!” He slipped her phone back to her right as Damien and Sussy arrived.

Danni was distracted the rest of the time, relieved when Damien asked her if he could hang out with her for a while right then since he had to work later that night. ‘Hanging out’ was taking him back to her place, pretending to watch a movie while doing a lot of kissing. He was a gentleman, didn’t try to do more than that

She half appreciated that and half despised it. Her mother wasn’t happy when she arrived home from work near the end of the movie, but was nice enough to Damien, introducing herself as Danni’s older sister. Danni didn’t check her phone until Damien left as four-thirty, and she had five texts from Zeke.

Hey, it’s Zeke.
When are you free?
Hey, don’t ignore me.
Meet me at the tracks off campus ASAP

Danni grabbed her keys, texting a quick apology. “I’m going out Mum! I’ll be back later,” she called. There was no response, and she hadn’t really expected one. Danuta had finally realized she couldn’t hold on to Danni forever, and she’d stopped being such a mom lately, and more of a sister, which made things a lot easier for both of them. Danni loved her mom, but she often wished that she looked old enough to live on her own.

Danni raced to the tracks, a popular hangout for college kids and the high school kids who thought they were cool enough to hang out there. The abandoned rail yard looked especially beautiful in the sunset rays, almost haunted. She parked and walked to sit on the tracks, her back to the road, knowing she would hear him walk up. She shivered, although for October, it wasn’t really cold. She didn’t really want to hear what Zeke wanted to tell her about Damien, but it shouldn’t make a difference. He was just another one of her many boys.

She was so lost in her thoughts that she only vaguely noticed when Zeke sat down next to her. He didn’t speak, just pulled her into his arms and she buried her face in his chest. He ran his fingers through her hair, soothing her as much as he could. Through the haze of fear and confusion, she realized how very lonely she was. She had no friends, and only jumped from boyfriend to boyfriend, never allowing herself to settle down. Somehow, incredibly, she thought that Zeke might just understand.

“You don’t want to hear what I know I need to say,” he whispered, “and I’m sorry I have to say it, but I do.” She nodded. He did understand. “I…” He stopped. “Vandanni, you can’t be afraid to love people or you will always feel as alone as you do right now. But before I let you love Damien, there are a few things you ought to know.”

Danni stared to the west, at the last vestiges of light disappearing below the horizon. She registered in her peripheral vision that Zeke had changed clothes, dressed in pinstriped slacks and a black button-down shirt, rolled almost to the elbows, the top few buttons undone. It was a very attractive look, and she reached up to touch his somewhat prickly face.

He flinched away, grabbed her hand, and placed it back on her lap. “Danni.” He sounded warning, cautious.
She looked down, tears forming in her eyes that would never fall. “Sorry,” she murmured.

He kissed her forehead, lingering for a small moment. “This isn’t going to be easy for either of us,” he admitted, “but you need to know…” He let go of her and looked away, seeming to search the night for the right words. “Damien had a girlfriend for two years, Shannon, and everyone thought they would end up married with a couple of kids, but then… He met you. He broke up with her for you. She’s really broken up about it, and he’s trying not to care, but I’m his best mate and I know him better than that.”

He was right- this wasn’t easy.

Danni Grindelwald

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Post  Guest on March 14th 2010, 1:53 am

The other boy was average height and stringy, with snakebites and long-ish red hair. He was yummy. < I was laughing so hard at that:)

omg! I love your writing! The story is getting better and better!!!


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Post  Danni Grindelwald on March 14th 2010, 2:57 am

Thanks! This idea came out of nowhere.

Danni Grindelwald

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