CHAPTER XIV

Quinn tapped her foot, as she sat at the breakfast table, and clicked the pen she was using on and off with angry impatience. "Ugh!" she exclaimed, throwing the pen down, rolling her eyes when it bounced off the table into the English ivy plant behind it. "Stupid freakin' wait," she muttered as she walked purposefully through the house. "I'm only freakin' human. How much more waiting can one freakin' girl take? Even a girl as cute as me…"

"DARIA!" she yelled, swinging her sister's door open.

"That's a hippie name," she replied, barely turning away from her computer screen. "You mean Miss Darlene." Quinn walked towards her sister and crossed her arms. Dara's eyes darted briefly in her sister's direction. She hoped against reason that Quinn cared enough about her body language not to ask questions.

"So?!" she asked, trying to draw her sister's attention away from her Gateway desktop. "So what happened last night?! Daria, I need details."

"Quinn, you read Pride and Prejudice at some point in high school, right?" Daria asked, still focused on her computer screen.

"Part of it, but I had to read the whole thing after seeing that movie," said Quinn, thinking dreamily of Matthew MacFayden. Coming out of her fantasy, she asked, "But what's that got to do with anything?"

"Remember how disappointed you were when you got to the final marriage proposal at the end, hoping for a hot night in Regency England, only to get almost no information about what Darcy said to Elizabeth, other than that Elizabeth said yes to his proposal? Get ready for Round Two of that."

"Daria, come on, we're sisters," Quinn pleaded to a conscience she wasn't completely sure was there.

"Sorry, Quinn. Some things are just meant to remain between two people. Now if you'll excuse me, Melody Powers is about to have a similar experience. The U.S. wants to know how her lover Tonio died, but she and the Kremlin think that's just too intimate to share."

"Intimate?" asked Quinn blankly. "Eww! I don't need to-to picture…that!"

"What?" asked Daria, finally turning her chair in Quinn's direction. "That's not-"

"Ha!" Quinn said, putting her hands on each armrest, and pulling Daria's chair towards her bed, where Quinn sat down. "Spill it."

"I thought you didn't care what 'couple people' do?" asked Daria, crossing her arms.

"I don't!" said Quinn defensively. "But you're not people, you're my sister. And besides, except for maybe Jane-because, let's be honest, Daria, now that you're dating her older brother, there may only be so much you can share with her for so long-if you can't talk to me about dating, who can you talk to? Or would you rather I ask you in front of Mom?" she asked crossing her arms mirroring her sister. Daria's eyes narrowed, as she stared Quinn down, who was smirking in early victory. Daria sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose. She answered Quinn's questions with great reluctance, remaining as taciturn as possible, in part to annoy her sister and to maintain her lifelong quest for privacy. "Last question" said Quinn finally. "You don't normally wear jewelry. Is that his?" she said, pointing to the pendant around Daria's neck. Daria's eye widened, as her cheeks flushed bright red; she clenched her fist around the object in a small panic, praying Quinn still hadn't developed a sense of object permanence.

"I knew it," said Quinn quietly. The smile on her face made Daria supremely uncomfortable. "Can I see it?" Daria held up the pendant in her palm for Quinn to see. They both gazed inquisitively at the indigenous art carved into the gold, extending from the Sun placed in the very center of the piece. "What is it?"

"I'm not sure," replied Daria. "If it were anything else, I would be tempted to say that he got it out of a magazine, but the patterns are too intricate, and there's no production inscription on it."

"Hmm, well, it must mean something to him, if he asked you to wear it... Oh, Daria!"

"Aghh!" Daria exclaimed at the unexpected hug. "Too close!" she said. "Too close!"

"Please, I can still smell him on you," said Quinn as she stepped away. She decided to be kind and leave. As she walked towards the door she said, "I'm gonna go get ready for my study group. Enjoy your Kremlin forest, or whatever. Bye!"

But Daria couldn't enjoy her Kremlin forest, or whatever. It was still early enough that her parents could still be asleep. The third degree from two more people would be bad enough without the possibility of circumstantial evidence giving her away. She hoped she had time for a shower.


Author's Note: Hello, Readers! I just wanted to let you know that this may be the last chapter for the rest of the month, as I'll be traveling for the next two weeks. If I'm unable to do any writing, the temporary hiatus will be over around August 6th.