Michelle and Stephanie were bursting with excitement as they boarded their plane to New York. Having said goodbye to the family, they were thinking of seeing their new friends again, Rudy and Olivia. The success of their meeting in San Francisco had led to a long pen pal relationship between the four girls, until finally, six months later Danny had said the girls could go to New York to visit them.
As they passed the flight attendant on their way into the plane, Stephanie stopped a minute, holding Michelle back.
"Excuse me Miss" she said "Are you sure this plane is going to New York and not New Zealand?" She asked. The bemused Attendant assured her that the plane was indeed going to New York. "Phew!" Stephanie exclaimed to Michelle as they walked to their seats. "We don't want to make that mistake again do we!". Michelle rolled her eyes in response. As the two girls put their seat belts on Michelle couldn't contain her excitement. "I can't wait to see how Olivia is, and Rudy as well" she said, grabbing Stephanie's arm in her enthusiasm.
Stephanie smiled at her younger sister. "I know, me too!" She said, "I bet we are going to have a lot of fun with them!" She added. The two girls looked out the window to catch a final glimpse of San Francisco.
Olivia were almost jumping for joy as the intercom announced the arrival of flight 264 from San Francisco. Theo and Rudy were a little embarrassed standing next to her as she did her dance. "I'm gonna see Michelle, I'm gonna see Michelle" Olivia sang as Rudy looked at her and smiled. She could understand Olivia's excitement, she herself was looking forward to seeing the two girls. She looked up at Theo. "Hey, thanks for offering to pick them up for us. It's too bad you and Vanessa are going to be away while they're here". Theo was glad for the conversation. It took his mind off the crazy dancing midget next to him. "That's okay Rudy, any time. Yeah, it's a shame but we had this trip booked for a long, so it's just you guys and Mum and Dad. Got the whole house to yo..." He said, interrupted suddenly by Olivia's scream.
"THERE THEY ARE" she squealed in youthful delight, running down the walkway to embrace Michelle. She turned to hug Stephanie's leg, then the three of them turned to walk towards the others, Oliva and Michelle already talking at a fast pace. "Hi guys" Stephanie said to Rudy and Theo, hugging Rudy. "Hey Steph, you look great!" Rudy said, beaming. They all departed for the car, exchanging greetings and news as they left.
The next day was spent by the four girls taking in as much of New York as possible. Theo and Vanessa had departed, so the girls had been given permission by Claire and Cliff to go around the city on their own, to the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and all the other usual spots. Late that afternoon, the girls, slightly exhausted but still high on each other, arrived home to find Cliff and Claire dressed for a night out. "What's up Mum, where are you guys going?" Rudy asked.
Claire smiled at the girls. "I bumped into an old law school friend of mine in town today, haven't seen her for 15 years, and she's only in town for tonight with her new husband. So your father and I are going out for dinner with them. Do you girls think you're old enough to look after yourselves tonight?" She asked.
Michelle immediately chirped up. "Can we have ice cream?" She said.
Claire smiled. "Of course you can, not too much though".
"And popcorn?" Olivia asked. Claire smiled again and nodded slightly.
Michelle started again "And, and........".
The four girls looked at each excitedly and then together finished Michelle's sentence.
"PIZZA!" The girls all roared in unison.
Claire laughed as she headed for the door. "We really have to get going, come on Cliff" she said, looking back at him. Cliff was heading towards the girls. "You see, you never told me there was going to be pizza here. I think I'm going to stay with the girls" he said, trying to get into the girls circle.
"Come on Cliff" Claire said smiling, coming back and grabbing his arm. Remembering something, she looked at Rudy. "Oh and Rudy, a delightful young man called Malcolm called earlier, and would like you to call back if you so wish".
The other girls looked at Rudy, who was already slightly embarrassed by this. "Ohhh, who's Malcolm" asked Stephanie.
"No one, he's just a boy from school" Rudy said, her cheeks going slightly red.
"Is he that boy you were talking to last night when you wouldn't let me in our room?" Olivia said, accusingly.
"NO!" Rudy snapped, a sure admission of guilt.
"Is Malcolm your boyfriend?" Michelle grinning, in that innocent way that only young children can get away with.
"NO, NO, NO" Rudy shouted, moving away from the girls who had been advancing on her, teasing.
"Come on, you can tell us about him, what's he like" Stephanie said.
"Look, he's no one okay, just a guy from school" Rudy said, incredibly embarrassed. "Now Mum, Dad, don't you guys have to go?" She added, quickly changing the subject. The other girls backed off, disappointed. *I'm sure she's not telling us the whole truth!* Stephanie thought to herself as they all turned around.
"Yeah, but ya see, I was thinking of staying. You sure there isn't room for one more in your group?" Cliff said, asking the girls.
Olivia began to shove him away. "Sorry, this is girls only! Boys out!" She said as combined with Claire's tugging, they managed to move Cliff towards the door.
Cliff stopped again and looked at her. "You see, we could go down to the bank manager now, and see what he has to say about this being a girls only house, and whether you girls only are going to pay the mortgage". Olivia looked strangely at him, having no idea what he meant.
"Come on Cliff, we're going to be late" Claire dragging him out the door, then leaning back to talk to the girls. "We'll be back about 11.30pm, have fun girls" she smiled at them as she shut the door. There was a pause as the four girls looked excitedly at each other again, then the door opened. Cliff stuck his head in the doorway. "And if there is no pizza saved for the lord of the house, then you will all receive your eviction notices in the morning" he said, as Claire's arm reached over and dragged him away. As the door shut the other girls immediately turned back to Rudy. "So come on, you can tell us about him now that they've gone" Stephanie said, tugging on Rudy's arm.
"Look, there's nothing to tell okay" Rudy said, deliberately not making eye contact with her.
"Hey, you should invite him around tonight so we can all meet him" Michelle suggested.
"Look, would you guys just quit it, come on, let's order pizza okay".
The other girls attention turned to the food, quickly forgetting about Malcolm, but Stephanie looked at Rudy for a few seconds longer. *I'm convinced there's something up with her and Malcolm* she thought to herself, leaving it for now but determined to find out more later.
Later on that evening, the girls tucked into their pizza and ice cream feast. There was much excited talking and laughing amongst the four of them as they finished their dinner. After dinner, a David Copperfield special was showing on t.v. So the girls settled down to watch it. They were all amazed as he 'made' the Statue of Liberty disappear. Once the show finished, Michelle began to tell the others about Stephanie and her attempts at being magicians. "Really?" Said Olivia when Michelle had finished. "You guys know some magic tricks?" She continued excitedly. "Rudy is learning a magic trick at the moment!".
"Really Rudy, what one?" Said Michelle, looking at her with interest. "Well, it's like, the famous one where you pretend to saw someone in half in a box. I'm doing it with this guy, he's the magician and I'm the assistant. We've got the box upstairs".
Stephanie laughed and immediately asked "And is this guy by any chance Malcolm?"
"NO! It's my friend Kenny all right!" She said, flashing Stephanie a friendly but slightly annoyed look.
Michelle chirped up again. "So can we see this trick then? I really wanna see how it's done!"
"Well, I guess so. Come on guys, up to my room" Rudy said, as they all stood up and started to clamber upstairs. Just then the phone rang. Olivia ran to pick it up. "Hello, who is.....MOMMY!" She squealed as she recognised the voice. "Okay Mummy, hang on a minute" she said, looking over to the other girls. "It's my mommy" she said excitedly "You guys go up and start, I'll catch up later" she said, moving back to her conversation. The others smiled at Olivia's enthusiasm and continued to walk upstairs.
Rudy opened the door of her room and went over to where the box was. "So this is it" she said, opening it. "Your head goes this end and your feet stick out this end" she added, motioning to the two ends where there were holes. "And then are two locks at either end" she continued, pointing them out.
Michelle was incredibly enthusiastic as she looked at Rudy.
"You know, I'm a great magician. I bet I could saw you in half! Can we try it? Please, please please?" She said, tugging on her arm. Rudy laughed and looked up at Stephanie, who was looking at the box with a thoughtful look on her face.
"But Michelle, I don't think it'll work. You don't know how to do the trick".
"Please, please, please. We can make up a trick or something".
Rudy looked up at Stephanie for help as Michelle started tugging on her arm. Stephanie smiled at her.
"Yeah, why not Rudy? It'll be a bit of fun anyway" she said, looking back at Rudy.
"Oh all right then" said Rudy. She pulled out the saw that was used for the trick. Michelle's eyes grew wide in amazement. "So this is what you use, it doesn't actually saw, so you don't have to worry about that" Rudy said, pretending to saw Michelle. Michelle was scared at first, but soon worked out that it was a fake saw. She laughed.
"Okay, so get in the box so I can saw you Rudy" she said happily to Rudy. Rudy laughed again.
"Okay then" she said. She climbed into the box and lay back, putting her head in one end and her feet out the other. Stephanie stepped forward.
"Okay, so now do we shut the lid like this?" She asked, bringing the lid over top of Rudy to close the box.
"Yeah" said Rudy, smiling at Stephanie for going along with Michelle's enthusiasm. Stephanie flashed her a slightly strange smile back, as she walked around the other side and flicked the two locks shut. Rudy suddenly felt a little uneasy, but she soon talked herself out of it. *They're my friends* she thought *They're not going to do anything to me*.
Michelle began enthusiastically 'sawing' Rudy. Rudy laughed at Michelle's comments about cutting her in half. She looked up at Stephanie, and noticed she still had that strange, thoughtful look on her face. Rudy began to get a bit puzzled by this, but her attention was taken back to Michelle's boisterous comments. After a few minutes Rudy decided it had gone on long enough.
"Okay Michelle, that's enough. Come on, let me out" she said.
"Ohhh" said Michelle, "Can we do another trick? Come on, let's think of another trick".
"All right, we can think of another trick, but can you guys let me out first?"
Michelle moved to unlock the boxes, but Stephanie stepped forward and stopped her. Rudy gave a confused look at Stephanie, who grinned at her.
"Just a minute Michelle. We'll let you out of the box Rudy, but first, how about you tell us the truth about this Malcolm guy?"
Michelle's eyes grew wide. "Yeah come on Rudy, tell us and then we'll let you out!".
Rudy rolled her eyes at the girls. "You're not still going on about that are you? I told you, he's just a guy from school!. Now would you let me out?" She said, slightly annoyed.
Stephanie and Michelle walked up to the end of the box, and faced Rudy. Stephanie smiled. "I don't think you're telling us the truth, what about you Michelle?" She said, looking down at her.
Michelle giggled. "No I don't think she is either".
"You guys, look, let me out okay. I'm telling the truth, and even if I wasn't, You wouldn't be able to get me to tell you while I'm stuck in this box" Rudy replied. Michelle sighed.
"She's right you know Steph, we should let her out".
"Not so fast Michelle" Stephanie said. The two other girls looked at her. *What's she doing now!* Rudy thought to herself.
Stephanie grinned somewhat slyly at Rudy. "Our Uncle Jessie has a 'trick' that he uses when he wants us to tell the truth. It always works too!" She said. Rudy looked puzzled and a confused Michelle looked up at Stephanie. "He does, what trick is that?" She said. Stephanie smiled and leaned down to whisper something to her. Michelle's eyes grew wide. "Oh yeah, that would work really well" she said excitedly. She looked up at Rudy. "I'd really suggest that you just tell us now, for your sake" she said somewhat sympathetically. Rudy laughed. "Ha, I bet she told you to say that. Nothing doing!" She said cockily.
Stephanie and Michelle looked at each other again, their eyes glowing. "Are you sure Rudy? It'll be a lot easier if you tell us now?"
"Ha!" Scoffed Rudy "There's no trick that'll make me tell the truth" she thought about what she had said for a second, then added "Because of course, I already am telling the truth".
Stephanie grinned. "Well, if you're sure. You ready Michelle?" She said, looking down at her sister who was struggling to hold in her excitement. "Yeah, let's go" Michelle said, almost ready to burst. They both brought a hand forward and began to tug on one of the laces on Rudy's sneakers, untying them.
"Hey, what the....what are you guys doing?" Rudy said in surprise as she craned her head up, trying to see what was going on. She was met with sly grins from both of them. "Come on, what are you guys playing at?" A confused Rudy exclaimed as she felt first one then the other sneaker removed courtesy of Stephanie and Michelle. Rudy wiggled her feet around inside her socks. "This is your 'trick', taking off my shoes? Ha, how is that going to work?" She scoffed again. Michelle placed the shoe she had removed on the floor, while Stephanie held hers up and began to unthread the lace from the shoe. She smiled at Rudy.
"You know, it's not too late to tell us if you want?"
"Ha, not likely!"
"Well all right then, away you go Michelle".
"Hey, what the....!" Rudy exclaimed as she felt Michelle's small hands grip the ends of her socks and slide them off. She caught a glimpse of a smiling Michelle holding up her socks before letting them fall to the floor. "You guys! This is getting really weird!" She said as Stephanie pulled the lace completely out of her sneaker.
"Last chance Rudy, tell us about Malcolm, or face Uncle Jesse's 'trick'!" Stephanie grinned slyly again. Rudy wiggled her toes as her feet adjusted to the fresh air circulating around them. It sent a shiver down her spine. "What are you guys doing?" She said, almost pleadingly as Stephanie reached down with the lace and used to tie the big toe of each of Rudy's feet together. Rudy instinctively curled her toes as she felt Stephanie's fingers on them, but to her annoyance found after the tying was done she could hardly move her feet at all.
"Okay Rudy, you sure you don't want to tell us about Malcolm?" Stephanie said with a gloating look. "No, look, I told you, it's nothing, now let me out!" Rudy said, starting to get annoyed.
Stephanie and Michelle looked at each other excitedly. "Okay, but don't say you weren't warned!" Stephanie said with another grin. Rudy just scowled at her. There was an uncomfortable pause for Rudy as Stephanie nudged Michelle out of the way and stood directly in front of Rudy's bare feet, which were now tied together and sticking out of the end of the box.
"Okay, here we go!" Stephanie said, bringing her hands down out of Rudy's sight. There was another pause and then suddenly Rudy felt it. She twitched and tried to wiggle her foot as she felt Stephanie ever so slowly pull one fingernail up the entire length of the sole of Rudy's left foot. "Hey, quit it! Cut that out!" She said as she just managed to hold out a laugh. The tickling sensations that she was feeling were accentuated by the fact that she couldn't move an inch, neither her feet or the rest of her body could move away from Stephanie's tickling finger.
Stephanie and Michelle exchanged another one of those excited looks, that seemed to telepathically say to each other "Yes, she's ticklish!". Stephanie grinned back at Rudy, in complete control. "I'll cut it out when you tell us about Malcolm!" She said. Rudy stopped, she couldn't tell them about Malcolm, could she? "No, I won't!" She said defiantly.
"Well, all right then, brace yourself!" Stephanie said. She held up her hand and slowly formed her fingers into claws. 'Oh no!' Rudy thought, as she prepared herself for the next ticklish assault by biting her bottom lip. Stephanie had a sly grin permanently on her face now as she brought her clawed hand down and then slowly raked it up Rudy's bare sole again. Rudy tried ever so hard to keep a laugh in, so the barest mumble of a laugh came out of her clenched mouth. "Mmmhmmmmhmmmhmmm!" Came forth from her mouth as her eyes shut and her head rolled about. 'Oh my God! That tickles so bad!' She thought to herself. She remembered being tickled by Theo when she was younger, but then she had been able to wriggle around which countered it somewhat. This time she wasn't able to move at all which seemed to make it more ticklish!
Stephanie stopped again. 'This is fun!' She thought to herself. "Well, you know how to make it stop Rudy, just tell us about Malcolm!" She said, pausing for a second. This only made Rudy more determined not to tell though, and Stephanie continued "No? All right then, have it your way!" She said with a half friendly/half teasing smile at her friend. She lifted both her hands up this time and formed them both into claws. Rudy's eyes almost popped out of their sockets. "Oh Man!" She said out loud. She tried once more to get her feet back through the holes, but it was futile with her toes being tied together as they were. She bit down on her bottom lip harder as Stephanie's hands slowly came down. Even Michelle cringed as she watched in silent awe.
Stephanie paused for a second, then raked both hands up Rudy's bare soles, even slower than before. This was too much for Rudy, who threw her head back and began to laugh hysterically immediately.
"AHAHAHAHA NO PL-AHAHAHAHAHAHA ST-STOP AHAHA IT!" She squealed at the top of her voice as Stephanie's fingers reached the top of her feet. Stephanie smiled and repeated the process several times, which only served to send Rudy into bigger crescendos of helpless laughter.
Stephanie stopped. "Okay Girl, I know this must be getting hard for you to handle. Just tell us about Malcolm and I'll let you out!" She said, smiling sweetly. She hoped Rudy wasn't too annoyed at this, after all, she was just doing this to tease her a bit, not be nasty. Rudy meanwhile, was taking the opportunity to take in a few deep breaths. Eventually she recovered and with that, got her resolve back. "Ha, it'll take a lot more than a little tickling to get me to tell!" She scoffed back, cursing herself under her breath as she said it, realising that this was virtually a confession.
Luckily for her, Stephanie didn't seem to pick up on this. She took a step back from the box and thought to herself for a moment. She didn't really want to continue tickling Rudy, fun as it was. She was starting to feel guilty. She began to think aloud. "I don't understand why she won't tell, I mean, am I not tickling enough or what?" She said.
Michelle heard this, took one look at her and stepped forward, giving Stephanie a gentle shove out of the way. "Move aside, let me have a go!" She said commandingly. Stephanie was a little
stunned at this, and watched on as Michelle stood in front of Rudy and without a moment's pause, began to dance all her fingers over the top side of Rudy's bare feet.
Rudy was completely unprepared for this all out assault. She gasped as she realised how much it tickled immediately. Before she had a chance to control it, she was helplessly shrieking at the top of her voice in ticklish surprise. She'd never had the tops of her feet tickled before and boy, did it tickle! It was more overwhelming than any tickle she had ever experienced before, more so was she was being tickled by someone so much younger than her. Unable to stop her laughing, she was soon begging for mercy in between the giggles. It was hard for her to focus on anything else while this was happening. All she knew was that she had to get this to stop, or she was gonna burst!
"AHAHAHAHAHA STOP IT PLEASE HAHAHAHA YOU WI HAHAHAHA YOU WIN! I'LL TELL AHAHAHAHA ABOUT AHAHAHA MAL-HAHAHA-COLM!"
Stephanie and Michelle looked at each other in amazement, both at Rudy's reaction and that she had finally given in. Michelle stopped her tickling and smiled at her cheekily. "Okay, you've got ten seconds to start talking or I'll keep going" she said, eyeing up Rudy's toes.
Rudy quickly gasped in some breaths and then started quickly talking, lest Michelle make good on her promise.
"Okay you win all right, he's my boyfriend. Well sort of!"
Stephanie exclaimed "I knew it! But Rudy, why didn't you want to tell us?"
"Well, I'm not sure, we haven't really been out on dates or anything, we just like hanging out together. But he's really cute, and I really like him!"
"Rudy, that's great. We're so happy for you!" Stephanie said, beaming a smile at Rudy along with Michelle.
They were interrupted suddenly by the door opening and Olivia entering the room. She surveyed the scene, staring for a moment at Rudy locked in the box with her bare feet sticking out and exclaimed "Hey, what's going on here? What was all that noise about before!"
"Oh nothing Olivia, we were just tickling Rudy's feet to get her to admit that she has a boyfriend!" Michelle piped up excitedly.
Olivia's eyes opened wide. "Really? That's so sweet. I'm so happy for you too Rudy!" She said.
The four girls experienced a shared moment of happiness, before Rudy asked the obvious question.
"So um, could I get out of the box now?"
The others laughed and Stephanie moved forward to unlock the locks. "Of course Rudy, sorry, we forgot about it" she said, untying the shoelace around Rudy's toes and then unlocking the box. She flipped it open and helped Rudy get out. Rudy looked at Michelle with amazement. "Wow Michelle, that tickled so bad! How did you do that?" She said.
Michelle grinned at her. "Uncle Jesse's been teaching me a few tricks!" She said with a wink. The other three girls laughed at this.
Stephanie suddenly remembered her worry before that Rudy might have thought she was being mean. As Rudy stood up straight on solid ground again, Stephanie asked "So um, no hard feelings?" Rudy looked her in the eye and saw the worry on her face. She smiled.
"No Steph, it was kind of....fun, in a weird kind of way. No hard feelings" she said. Her feet still tingled in a strangely comforting kind of way, but which reminded her of what she had just been subjected to. Maintaining her gaze at Stephanie, her lips curled up into a sly grin. She looked at Michelle and Olivia, who somehow realised what she was thinking. Rudy stepped around Stephanie so that Stephanie was now between her and the box. With the sly grin still on her face, Rudy made eye contact with Stephanie again and said "Or at least, there won't be any hard feelings once you've had a turn in there!"
This took Stephanie by surprise and she only looked on, stunned, as Rudy grabbed her arms. "Wh-what are you doing?" She said, still not quite able to take in what was happening. Michelle and Olivia giggled as they stepped forward and grabbed one of Stephanie's legs each. Together the three of them managed to lift Stephanie up and get her into the box, with her head and feet sticking out through the holes. Rudy flipped the lid over and leaned on top, staring at Stephanie. A confused Stephanie slowly realised what was happening. "N-No please, you can't do this, I-I'm sooooo ticklish!" She begged. Rudy was now grinning like a Cheshire cat as she clicked the locks on the box shut. "Well, that didn't stop you from tickling me, did it!" She said.
Stephanie couldn't believe this was happening. She wriggled around furiously for a moment, but realised that she was trapped in the box. A horrible feeling of helplessness came over her. This was made worse by the feeling that she somehow deserved this. She realised that she wasn't going to be able to beg her way out, and could only watch on helplessly in silence as a giggling Michelle and Olivia stepped forward and removed one of her slippers each. Rudy looked over at Stephanie's bare feet and smiled. Her bare soles looked smooth and ticklish. Rudy salvaged the shoelace that had been used on her and brought it over to stand in front of Stephanie. Stephanie winced as Rudy tied her big toes together. "No please don't! I'm really sorry!" She said. Rudy just smiled and added "Oh, you will be!" She stood back as soon as the toes were tied together and surveyed her work. Olivia and Michelle grinned as they waited to see what Rudy would do.
"Wa-Wait!" Stephanie said "This isn't fair. When I tickled you we stopped when you answered the question. When are you gonna stop with me?"
Rudy thought about this for a second. The most embarrassing thing for her had been how loudly she had laughed. "I'll stop when you're laughing as loudly as you made me laugh!" She said decisively and before Stephanie had a chance to argue, Rudy had slowly run a single finger up the entire length of Stephanie's bare right sole. Stephanie closed her eyes, jerked her head back and shuddered as the first wave of ticklish vibes crept through her body.
"Oh, does that tickle?" Rudy said in a teasing voice. Stephanie grimaced and bit her bottom lip as Rudy made her hand into a claw. But that wasn't enough to stop her laughing as Rudy ever so slowly dragged her fingers up Stephanie's sole. "Ahahahahaha, oh no stop it that tickles!" Stephanie said, helplessly grinning at Rudy. Rudy grinned back. 'That's more like it!' She thought to herself. She held both her hands up and formed them both into claws. "Well I bet this tickles twice as much!" She said, slowly bringing them down. Stephanie was able to gasp in a deep breath before erupting into laughter. "NOHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE ST-STOPHAHAHAHAHAHA!" She squealed at Rudy grinned and repeated the process several times. Heartened by this reaction, Rudy continued to rake Stephanie's soles. However, after her initial laughter, Stephanie eventually found that for some reason that she was laughing silently whenever the tickling sensations rippled up her body. This annoyed Rudy who gave up a while. "It's not fair, I wanted to hear you laugh as loud as I did!" She said, as Stephanie took the time to gasp in some deep breaths. To the surprise of everyone else, Olivia stepped forward. "Here, let me have a go Rudy!" She said, standing in front of Stephanie's bare soles. Everyone else was a little stunned, but Stephanie's eyes widened as she saw Olivia's hands come down and remembered at the same the effect that Michelle's tickling had had on Rudy. Sensing that something similar might happen, she was able to get out a quick "No, don't!" Before feeling the first strokes of Olivia's fingers. She bit her bottom lip in preparation, but no amount of anticipation could have prepared any of them for what happened next. Olivia's hands went down past Stephanie's toes and soles, to her heels. She immediately began an all out tickle assault on Stephanie's heels, with the unrestrained enthusiasm that only a young child can muster. Having been expecting her soles to be tickled, Stephanie was taken by surprise by this and before she knew what was happening, was squealing in helpless laughter. Laughter built up to a crescendo that was even louder than Rudy's earlier. "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA AHAHAHAHAHAHA ST AHAHAHAHA STOP PL AHAHAHA PLEASE AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" She screamed, eventually succumbing fully to the ticklish sensations. Rudy was elated at this and realised it was getting to more than Stephanie could take. She stepped forward. "Okay, that's enough Olivia!" She said. Olivia carried on for a few seconds before stepping back. Michelle and her exchanged excited looks as Rudy stood over Stephanie, who was gasping for air. "Oh no, I'm sorry. Are you okay?" Rudy said as she quickly unlocked the box. Stephanie managed to speak finally as she was helped out of the box by Rudy. "I'm (gasp) okay thanks" she said. Stephanie stood up straight and faced Rudy. Now it was Rudy who was feeling sorry. "I'm sorry Stephanie, I had no idea she was gonna tickle you like that Um, no hard feelings?"
Stephanie held a stern look at her for a moment, then broke out into a smile. Leaning forward she embraced Rudy in a big hug. "Of course there's no hard feelings. Rudy, I really hope things go well with you and Malcolm. And you're right, this was kind of fun!" She said. The two smiled at each other as they broke out of their hug. Stephanie was still feeling the tingling sensations in her feet, which reminded her to turn to Olivia. "Oh my gosh Olivia, I've never been tickled like that before in my life. Where did you learn to tickle like that?"
Olivia grinned and then giggled as she looked at Michelle. She looked back at Stephanie.
"Michelle's been teaching me some of Uncle Jesse's tricks!" She said. The four girls all began to laugh heartily at that. Eventually Rudy and Stephanie exchanged a look. Rudy took a step towards Michelle and Olivia. "Well, you girls have certainly both been well taught!" She said, glancing at Stephanie again to check that Stephanie was following her. Stephanie stepped forward, ahead of Rudy and said "Yeah, but I uh, I think there's still one or two tickling lessons that they need to be taught, don't you Rudy?"
Rudy grinned "Definitely". They both strode towards Michelle and Olivia. The two young girls took a quick look at each other and screamed "AHHHHHHH!" Before turning and racing out the door. Stephanie and Rudy laughed and gave chase, with Rudy stopping in the doorway for a moment. As she watched Stephanie run on, she reflected on what had happened that afternoon. She was glad now that she had shared her feelings about Malcolm with them, and in a strange way she felt like tickling each other had brought Stephanie and her closer together. As she began to give chase again she realised she had a warm feeling in her stomach. She smiled at this. It had been a good day.