Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Venus Transcendent Teaser

I'm really trucking it through Venus... at the moment all of my attention is focused on it. I normally find it hard to focus all my attention on one project, but for some reason it becomes easier when I start getting close to the deadline. Even if it is self-imposed.  Really hoping to get a lot of work done on it today...

In the meantime, here's another teaser. This time I went for plot teaser, especially since a lot of people expressed interest in my tweet about Jessica's brother Jay ;)

(Also, on a side note, although I appreciate the support, enough with the back and forth with the idiot who accused me of plagiarism... there's no point in arguing with someone like that because they're obviously too caught up in their own little world to be able to admit when they're wrong and it's just a waste of anyone's time. But I really do appreciate all the support that people have given me about that issue. =)

Jessica drummed her fingers against the steering wheel as she pulled into the apartment complex.  She was a little nervous but nothing compared to what she’d felt like when she’d confronted her parents.  The dynamic here was completely different.  Taking a deep breath, more to control her anger than to give her confidence, she glanced over at the junker of a car to her right.  Amazing that it was still working, but at least he hadn’t gotten rid of it yet. After all, that was how she knew he was home.

She took the steps two at a time; the buildings in the complex were only three stories high and had open air stairways.  It was a nice set-up all in all, although she bet that during the winter it was a little bit less fun. A conventional apartment building, like hers and Hilary's meant staying in the warmth that little bit longer.  Although soon she'd be living in a house again, something she hadn't done since she'd moved out of her parents. 


The doorbell was still broken so she pounded on the door.  The rumble of male voices was just barely audible through the thick wood, and the door opened to present a sleepy looking blonde with tousled hair and no shirt.  She raised her eyebrow at him.

"Jess... hey what's up...?" He leaned against the door frame.  Granted, he had a pretty nice build but Justin and Chris' were better.  Besides she liked em tall dark and handsome now.  Blue eyes swept over her, taking in her new clothes.  "Looking good..."

"Bryan!"  An exasperated voice behind the blonde exclaimed.  "Stop hitting on my sister!"

"What, she looks good."

Bryan gave her another grin and ambled off, Jessica followed him into the apartment slightly bemused.  Although Jay had been living with Bryan for a while now, he'd definitely never looked at her like that before.  Did he know about her relationship? If so he didn't seem judgmental.  Or maybe he was truly just reacting to her new look.  Why hadn't she worn more flattering clothes before?  Not that she'd ever wanted to attract Bryan's attention, he was a bit of a man-whore on top of the fact that she'd feel like she was robbing the cradle, but it was still nice to have him notice her as something other than his roommate's big sister.

Standing in the doorway, Jessica put her hands on her hips and glared at her brother who was standing in the kitchen.  The front door emptied out into the main room where the TV was - it looked like she had interrupted Call of Duty - and the kitchen was to the right with a buffet counter that allowed her to look right in at him. He was the male version of her, with short-cropped curly brown hair and hazel eyes, although he was also about half a foot taller than her.  Unlike Bryan he was fully dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.

Her friends, upon meeting her "little" brother invariably would say the same thing - "Jessica, that's not little."

But to her he would always be the pesky little runt that she'd dressed up in her ballerina costumes and forced him to let the Barbies into the G.I. Joe fort they'd made out of his bed.  Size didn't matter; Jay was still her kid brother.

And, as such, one of the few people she had absolutely no trouble being aggressively confrontational with.  Actually, perhaps the only person.

"Hey Jess," he muttered, not quite meeting her eyes as he chugged some orange juice straight from the container.  She made a face.  Definitely one reason she did not miss living with him. 

"Let's go."

"What?" he looked at her like she was delusional.

"You're coming over for dinner. Let's go, now. Consider this a kidnapping."

A mulish expression slipped over his face but then he glanced over at Bryan and obviously decided to hold his tongue. "Fine.  I want to talk to you anyway."

Not as much as I want to talk to you, she thought but didn't say.  No need to start anything in front of Bryan who was obviously clueless and she was content to let him remain that way. 

Shoving shoes onto his feet, he grabbed his jacket and swiped his keys and his wallet off of a table by the couch. "I'm out bro, I'll see you later."

"Bye Bryan."

"See ya. Take care Jess."

Brother and sister walked in silence to her car, Jay with his hands shoved in his pockets and looking rather uncomfortable.  After all, Jessica thought somewhat exasperated and amused at the same time, what do you say to your sister when you know she's sleeping with two men?

When they got in the car, Jessica tossed her phone into his lap before he could say anything.

"Read through the marked text messages," she said.  "I haven't deleted them in case I have to file harassment charges."

The look Jay gave her was one of alarm, but she kept her attention on her driving as she pulled out of the parking lot.  Out of the corner of her eye she could see him frowning as he began to look through the text messages; she'd locked the worst ones just in case things really did escalate to a point where she needed to notify law enforcement.  Since the weekend the majority of nasty text messages from unknown numbers had slowed down.  Maybe because people had gone back to their real lives yesterday, or maybe because she hadn't bothered to respond or even to contact Sean to tell him to call off his friends.  If all of them were even from his friends. 

Her brother's face turned a bright pink and then darkened to red as he scowled. 

"What the fuck?!" he finally exploded.

"As far as I can tell, most of those are from Sean's buddies," she said conversationally. "I don't know the numbers.  Some of them might be from some people I know, since he crashed the Halloween party I was at on Saturday and announced to everyone there that I'm fucking two guys."

It wasn't easy for a guy who was over six feet tall to shrink into himself, but Jay made a good effort.  The look on his face was stricken. 

"He also told me that he'd be willing to take me back, since obviously our break-up had affected me so deeply."

"Well hadn't it?" Jay looked rather forlorn, a little desperate to absolve himself of the responsibility for the nasty text messages he'd just read through. The ones calling her a slut and a whore, from people that she might not have ever even met, judging and lashing out at her for no good reason. 

"Yeah, it made me realize how much of a rut I was in and how much better I deserved than him."

"I'm sorry Jess... I didn't mean for... well I didn't mean for this to happen." He waved her phone in the air.  "But I mean... come on... two guys? Do you know what this has done to Dad?"

"How is it any of Dad's business who I date? Or yours for that matter?" she demanded fiercely, glaring at him before focusing her eyes back on the road as she got onto the highway.  "Did I say anything when you got back together with Tracy, after she cheated on you? Or when you got the clap from Patricia and then kept sleeping with her anyway?"

Jay bolted upright in his seat, glaring at her even though his face could have rivaled a tomato.  "How did you know about that?"

She rolled her eyes. "Like that matters.  My point is, I don't interfere in your dating life, what the hell makes you think you have the right to interfere in mine? Not only that, but without even talking to me.  Did you know that the first time Dad's talked to me in months was this Sunday? Any information you got from him was secondhand through Mom, plus it's not like he's behaving rationally about this."

"I'm not sure you're behaving rationally about this," Jay countered stubbornly, his arms crossed over his chest and his eyes firmly out the window.  "I mean come on Jess... two guys? At once?" He shuddered, although she wasn't sure if it was caused by the two guys at once thing or the fact that that he was talking to his older sister about her sex life period.

"I'm not sure you're behaving rationally either.  Would it have killed you to talk to me first instead of my ex?" 

There was a long silence as she drove.

Finally Jay sighed.  "Look, I'm sorry, I should have talked to you first. But that doesn't mean that I can support this whole... whatever it is you're doing."

"Not asking you to," she retorted cheerfully, pulling into the neighborhood. 

"Is this some kind of wild rebound thing? Like, going crazy before you settle down?"

"Nope. I am settling down."

"Jess, come on... wait..." He looked around as she slowed the car.  "Where the hell are we?"

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