"What do you mean, you can't come over tonight?" Misty screeched into her cell phone.
On the other end of the cell phone, Gothic sighed. "Look, Misty, Cola's really busy with the fashion show right now. He needs my help."
"Are you forgetting whose side you're on?"
"Baby, it's just hectic, all right? The fashion show is his responsibility, Spice is mad at him, his brother just showed up out of the blue and is a real handful. He needs me."
"Oh, I see. He 'needs you'. Of course. And when was the last time you two had sex?"
"What?" Gothic sputtered. "That's none of your business."
"Uh-huh. Jesus fucking Christ, Gothic, you're such a predictable boy." She bent down and fixed a strap on her sandal. "Look, I don't really need to see you tonight, I suppose, but you're here tomorrow, got it?"
"Good." Misty closed her cell phone with an angry snap . Just then, the doorbell rang. Cursing under her breath, Misty stalked across the apartment and flung open the door. The tall cocoa-skinned woman on the other side slipped off her sunglasses and smiled widely.
"Currant," Misty replied, not a trace of pleasure in her voice. "What brings you here?"
"Oh, well you know. I just had to be here for my little sister's fashion show. Plus, I would think my being here would get some publicity for your designer friend."
"Well, I thought so." Currant put her sunglasses on and walked through the door into the apartment, followed by several rail thin, black clad people, all talking on sleek cellphones. "Oh, and my people can stay here, right?"
"Well, I don't see why you just can't use your discount, Rose," Spice groused.
"'Cause it's cheating?" Rose replied, raising her eyebrows slightly.
"It's just a T-shirt, Rose, they're not going to call the Gestapo."
"It's strictly against Gap policy to use the employee discount for family members."
"Oh, there you are, Rose..." Copper walked up to the clothes fixture her other sisters were bickering by. "Spice! What are you doing here?"
"Hey, sis. Cola and I are shopping. Well. I should say that I've been shopping and he's been waiting for Gothic to call."
"I've been shopping too, Spice," Cola protested as he ambled into view.
Cola's cell phone rang and he snapped it open quickly and brought it to his ear. "Hello? Oh, hi, Gothic. Now?" Spice rolled her eyes. "Yeah, OK. I'll meet you in twenty." He turned off his phone and looked pleadingly at Spice. "I have to meet Gothic. It's really important."
"Fine," Spice sighed. "Copper, can you drive me home?"
"So I was like, hello, I'm Copper's girlfriend. And she just gave me this look-what? No, she went shopping with Rose." Ruby shifted the phone to her other ear. "No, I don't know when that one's leaving. Coral called yesterday and said at least another two weeks."
She sat down at the kitchen table and started to sort through the stack of mail. "No, you don't have to tell me, I know. She won't do anything with her sister in the house, it's been more than a week. That's none of your business, Blaze."
"Anyway," she continued as she threw one of the letters in the trash, "she gave me this look and then ignored me for the rest of the conversation, which was basically her flirting with Co. Oh, you know how Copper is, Blaze, she was oblivious to it all....what? Yeah, OK, I'll see you then. Bye."
Ruby hung up the phone and turned towards the living room just in time to see Copper, Spice, and Rose opening the front door. They were all carrying shopping bags.
"Hey, it's the whole Shimmer sister set...where'd you pick up the middle one?"
"Oh, we ran into Spice and Cola and then Cola had to do...something," Copper said.
"Someone, more like it," Spice cut in.
"His boyfriend called him," Rose said, her lip curling in distaste.
"So, I drove Spice home," Copper finished.
Ruby walked into the living room, taking in all the loot. "Victoria's Secret, eh? Anything for me?"
"Indirectly, maybe," Copper purred as she stepped into her girlfriend's arms and kissed her. Spice smiled while Rose pulled a face.
"I'm going out tonight," Rose said loudly.
"And with whom, young lady?" Ruby said sarcastically.
"None of your business, but Cherry."
"Again? Didn't you go out with her on Tuesday?" Copper asked.
"You noticed?" Spice said unbelievingly.
"I pay attention...sometimes."
Rose sighed. "Yes, again. I'll be back around ten."
"Cashmere! Sweetie, I'm so glad you made it." Champagne airkissed the sleek blond and motioned for the butler to take her suitcase.
"Well, I can't leave my favorite cousin out in the cold, can I?" Cashmere took Champagne's arm. "And I am looking forward to the fashion show. Are there any good designers showing?"
Champagne sighed. "The usual lot, a hoard of people who think chain mail is the new look for spring. But there is one...Cola something or other. He's very talented...and well, Gothic's dating him, I'm afraid."
"Again? I thought he got that all out at university."
"Mother and I had hoped...but no." She turned to the door. "And who's this?" She looked at the pretty, golden haired woman standing in the doorway.
"Oh! I hope you don't mind. She's a friend of mine. Champagne, this is Golden. She's Jennifer Lopez's body double, but she does some acting on her own as well."
"Pleased, I'm sure." Champagne shook Golden's hand. "I'll have Jeeves make up another room then."
"Oh, no...that's all right, Champagne, we can share...I'm sure it'll be more than enough room for both of us. I remember the size of this house!"
"Nonsense. We'll put you in the Green room, Golden, how does that sound?"
Golden shrugged. "Fine with me."
"OK, so he knows there's a killer in the basement with a chainsaw, so he goes down there with a butcher knife? That doesn't seem even." Cherry ate a handful of popcorn as she and Rose left the movie theater.
"It can't be even. Didn't you see Scream?"
"Please." Cherry waved a hand dismissively. "My dads were doing post-modern irony way before Wes Craven."
"Don't you think that's kind of weird? I mean, your dads?"
Cherry shook her head. " No, not really. I mean, I got teased a lot but eventually I was like, screw those people. I mean, how is it with your sister?"
"Oh, I don't know." Rose fiddled with her bracelet. "I love my sister of course, but it's just not...natural. I don't hate her, but sometimes I wish...I don't know," she trailed off, then shrugged. "It didn't use to matter so much, but as you get older, things become more important."
The two girls were silent for a minute, then Cherry giggled.
"What's so funny?"
"I was just wondering how your sister ever realized she was a lesbian -- she seems kind of out of it."
Rose smiled. "This morning, she lost her keys, and then it turned out she had left them in the crisper, of all places." Both girls laughed.
"Oh, hey, this is your block. So, I guess I'll see you soon...do you want to go to the fashion show next Friday? I could drive us out there after school."
"Yeah, that'd be cool." Rose glanced down the street. "I better go, I said I'd be back by ten." She took an unconscious step towards Cherry. "I had a really good time tonight."
"Yeah, me too. So I'll see you..." Rose smiled and tilted her head to the side, nodding slightly. Cherry swallowed hard. "Rose.." She stepped closer to the other girl. "You're so beautifully confused. I really, I just really want to kiss you right now."
She moved in even closer, resting one hand on Rose's hip and gently kissed Rose, her other hand going up to stroke Rose's strawberry blonde hair. Rose gasped, but then her lips softened and she kissed Cherry back. The two girls stood there for a minute, but then Rose stiffened and pushed Cherry away.
"What are you doing?" she screamed.
"Shit, Rose, I'm sorry..." Cherry tried to explain, but Rose cut her off.
"I'm not like that! I'm not... Leave me alone!" Turning on her heel, she ran down the dark street.