Two Women Too Many

Seth Cohen was confused. Strange things were happening in Newport; stranger things than what normally occurred, not the least of which was the fact that he had actually taken an interest in someone else's life other than his own. Granted, it was not as important or bizarre as what was happening to him, but he was proud of the fact that he had noticed.

Finally, after nearly a month of mixed signals, bad communication, and misunderstandings, Ryan and Marissa were actually working as a couple, he thought. She had shown up at his Grandfather's birthday party with Luke, and Seth just assumed that things would go down hill from there. Ryan had been sullen and, of course, brooding ever since he found out that Marissa was coming to the party with her ex-boyfriend….or at least that's what Ryan's hopeful mind called Luke. Somewhere between their cold greeting and just a few minutes ago when he had stealthy eavesdropped on them having a very private and schmaltzy conversation in the poolhouse, something must have happened to make Marissa decide once and for all whom she wanted, and luckily for all of mankind, she wanted Ryan.

He had been sitting behind a large potted palm watching Summer work the party, flirting and flaunting herself to all of the single, wealthy young business men there when he saw a sly Marissa Cooper sneak into the poolhouse, the very place he knew that Ryan was hiding from the party in. Sliding around the building, he stood nonchalantly by the very far doors that no one used, because Ryan would be less inclined to check them for eavesdroppers. What he heard did not disappoint.

Marissa admitted to Ryan that she wanted him, that she chose to be with him, and that she was just there with Luke because he hadn't of asked her yet and she wanted to make sure she would be able to see him that night. Ryan, typically, was at a loss for words, but it seemed that at that moment talking wasn't very high on Marissa's priority list, because from what he could hear, they were letting their bodies do the talking for them. Watching their shadows and feeling very much like a perverted voyeur but not caring, Seth saw them stumble back and fall onto the bed, but before their actions could get too carried away, a loud commotion from outside of the poolhouse startled them and they sprang apart.

"Want to get out here," he heard Ryan ask Marissa, to which she must have nodded her head, because the next thing he knew they, holding hands, left the poolhouse and continued to leave the backyard as well and headed off into the night to the private beach the Cohen's had below their house.

Speaking aloud to himself, Seth said "they should take out the Summer Breeze."

"What's that," a feminine voice behind Seth startled him. Turning around he saw a very annoyed and confused Summer Roberts, hands on hips and a temperamental glint in her chocolate eyes, staring back at him in wonder and expecting an answer.

And that was the second thing that was strange about Newport these days: Summer Roberts was at his Grandfather's birthday party with him….as his date.

The next hour had been a blur for Seth. He vaguely remembered being drug around the party by Summer as she insisted that he introduce her to every eligible guy at the party, something he found rude and exasperating considering the fact that she was supposed to be his date, but who was he to argue. He was Seth Cohen and she was Summer Roberts, his dream girl, and if this is what she wanted from him, he would do it no matter how much it belittled his masculinity and confidence. But after the seventh guy in a row stared at Summer's chest instead of her face while he was talking to her, he had had enough.

Pulling her aside, they had gotten into a fight. By that point Seth was so incensed that there was no self-censorship and he just said whatever he thought of, meaning he said way too much. It ended up working to his advantage though somehow. After revealing his stalker-like, obsessive crush to her, sharing his memories of her and the squirrel and reciting her Mermaid poem, she had leaned in and kissed him. The few seconds that kiss lasted, he decided rapidly, were the best of his life…well at least up to that point. Unfortunately, it didn't last for long, and it seemed that just when it began, it was already over and Summer was gone like a phantom presence, but the aftertaste of her lip gloss on his own lips let him know that it hadn't just been a fantasy. Their kiss had been the real thing.

He was in a daze as he wandered around the party, ignoring comments people made to him and not even trying to eat or drink anything, a very un-Seth like thing to do. The scene just kept replaying itself in his mind over and over again, and no matter what he could do, he couldn't stop thinking about it or her. If he hadn't of been completely gone before on this girl, he was definitely now, and he needed to talk to someone about it.

Regrettably for Seth, the two people he could discuss the new development on 'the win Summer and make her fall in love with you front' were off together doing god knows what on the beach….in the sand, a situation Seth did not find appealing in the least regard, but to each his own, he thought dismissively. He needed Ryan for the technical advice, the practical words of wisdom on exactly what he should do the next time he saw Summer, and he needed Marissa so that she could tell him what exactly had been running through Summer's mind at the exact moment she had kissed him. Basically, he needed help with everything, but he was man enough to ask, at least that's what he liked to tell himself, that it took a real man to ask for romantic advice.

So, still thinking about the encounter by the poolside with his brunette beauty, he wandered into the poolhouse determined to wait out his two friends knowing that they had to return eventually.

"Boy, that was quick," he said out loud to himself as he heard the door click open while he was reclined on the bed reading a comic. He hadn't even hoped they'd be that soon to return, but he wasn't going to complain. Putting the comic book aside he looked up and saw a blonde but it was not one he was expecting. Now that he thought about the past couple of days though, he should have been, but this was still too extraordinary for Seth to logically comprehend. Of all the frighteningly weird things going on in Newport right now, this had to be the strangest.

Standing in front of Seth with a devious look in her eyes was Gabrielle, his Grandfather's latest girlfriend.

What was with the ladies tonight, Seth thought silently to himself as he watched Gabby parade to his bedside seductively as she untied her halter dress revealing her black strapless bra and amble breasts. Luckily for Seth he avoided passing out, but he wasn't sure how much more of this delightful torture he could handle. The thought that this should not be happening because she was dating his Grandfather did not even register in his mind; he was too far gone already. After unzipping the dress and letting it fall to the floor, she climbed on top of him in just her lingerie, kissing him softly along his jaw line as she unbuttoned his shirt.

It had started innocently, or at least Seth had thought so, when she had asked him the first day that she was there to show her around town. He had agreed thinking that she was nice and he had nothing better to do with his time since Ryan was too stubborn and prideful to let his parents pay for everything even though it was their job. Plus, if someone thought something was going on between them as they were roaming around town together, what harm could come from that. His reputation needed all the help it could get.

The flirting was subtle at first, a slight brush of hands here, an accidental foot grazing under the table, but by the time the afternoon had ended with him dropping her off to get ready for the party, Seth knew something else was going on. He distinctly remembered several pinches on his butt and he couldn't even keep track of how many times she had run her hand up his thigh to leave it there for a few seconds and squeeze it teasingly. Then, when he had said goodbye to her, she had leaned in to kiss his cheek, but conveniently had placed her lips on the corner of his mouth letting them linger there longer than any friendly kiss would allow.

Because of Ryan's terrible mood, he had refused to talk to him despite Seth's incessant knocking on the poolhouse doors and shrill entreaties. He had even locked it so that Seth could not barge in without invitation. Marissa was not answering her phone, and there was no way he was going to the Cooper house before a party. He knew Julie Cooper well enough to know that was like committing suicide. Desperate, he had even tried to talk to his Dad about what was happening, but he was too distracted and busy with something big he was discussing with his Mom. Even Rosa had the night off. With no one to talk to, Seth had to just attempt to figure out the situation on his own. The only conclusion he could come to was that what was happening was awesome and he was just going to run with it.

At first when Gabby started her assault upon his body there had been fleeting thoughts about what his Grandfather would do and say if he found out and what Summer would think if she ever discovered his "friendly relations" with this woman who could very easily be a playmate of the month, but those thoughts quickly disappeared as the sensations she was invoking, sensations he hadn't known her possible prior to that evening, in his body began to take over. He had completely lost touch with reality and never heard the door to the poolhouse open.

"Look Cohen, we need to talk," Summer started before the words died unuttered on her plump lips when she saw what she had walked in on. "Holy shit!"

As Seth scrambled to cover himself and calm his raging mind so that he could actually form two words and string them together, he noticed that Gabrielle was laughing softly at the situation they found themselves in. He could not believe that laughter was her reaction. She had more on the line than he did, but still she could somehow find the hilarity of the situation and he could not. Luck was not on his side though, and before he could say anything to Summer to explain his actions and inquire as to why she wanted to talk to him, his Grandfather followed her into the poolhouse totally unaware of what was happening.

"Summer," his callous, remote voice boomed, "did you find Seth?" The first thing he noticed when he walked in was Summer's shocked and horrified face, and then, as his eyes traveled to where hers were glued, he saw something that, surprisingly, made him laugh harder than he had in years, his teenage grandson in bed with his 20-something girlfriend of the week.

"I think you better put this back on and call a cab," he said dismissively as he tossed Gabrielle her dress. Standing in the doorway, he was blocking Summer's path of retreat, but as she sighed loudly out of frustration, he once again remembered that she, too, was in the room and let her pass on by, out the doors, without a word of explanation from Seth.

No one said anything while Gabby threw her dress on haphazardly. Seth was still too embarrassed to say anything, Caleb was still laughing silently to himself, and Gabrielle was just trying to escape the awkward situation as quickly as she could. Again, without a word of explanation, she slipped by Caleb and disappeared into the night leaving Seth and his Grandfather alone in the poolhouse. Caleb closed the door after she left and went to sit down in the arm chair while Seth grabbed his clothes and went into the bathroom to change. He took his time hoping that his Grandfather would get sick of waiting and would just leave, but when he opened the door and tentatively peeked his head around into the main room, he saw that luck was not on his side. Approaching slowly, he sat back down on the bed bracing himself for a lecture he would never forget. Surprising him, Caleb said the last words he ever expected to hear come from his mouth.

"Sorry that we interrupted that."

As Seth looked up to meet the older man's gaze, he saw that his Grandfather was genuinely sorry that he and Summer had stopped him from having sex with Gabrielle.

All Seth could mutter was "What?"

"Come on, Seth, it's not as if I had feelings for that girl. She was fun."

"That she certainly was," Seth added in making Caleb smile broadly.

"I'm just glad that you finally broke out of your shell and that you're not gay," Caleb said earnestly shocking Seth. "I've been worried about you for a while now. So, did you make the first move or did she?"

Seth's mouth fell open in disbelief, but Caleb just kept staring at him waiting for a response.

"She did," Seth finally admitted while moving his down away from his Grandfather knows that his response was not the answer the older man had been looking for.

Standing up, Caleb patted him on the shoulder in a friendly manner. "Ah well, you'll make the first move next time. How about we keep this just between us though? You can tell Ryan since you seem to think of him as your friend, but let's avoid letting your parents find out about this. Your Father would never let me live it down and you would get in trouble, something we both don't need."

Seth stood up with a large, ridiculous grin plastered on his face. "I couldn't agree more, Gramps."

Caleb began to walk away, but Seth's voice stopped him before he left the poolhouse. "Oh, and hey, next time, could you make it a red head? Muy caliente!"

The last thing he heard from his Grandfather was the sound of his loud, booming laughter traveling through the backyard after he left Seth alone in the poolhouse.

Seth stayed in the poolhouse for a while by himself waiting for Ryan to return, but he did not return alone. Marissa came with him. It was late. The party had been over for quite a while already, but it appeared as if Marissa was staying for a while.

"What are you doing, Cooper, moving in," Seth teased lightly as Ryan pushed him off of the bed so that he and Marissa could sit on it. Surprising them, Seth just sprawled out on the floor and did not move to the chair. Taking his actions as a signal, they laid down on the bed, too, Marissa snuggling into Ryan's arms as the three of them prepared for whatever the night brought them.

"I'm not tired," Marissa explained, "and my Dad's too preoccupied to pay attention to what I'm doing, and there's no doubt that my Mom is sleeping off one too many glasses of champagne, so she'll never notice what time I go home."

"Well then," Seth said eagerly, "in that case, you can help, too. You missed quite a party."

Snorting, Ryan laughed. "Yeah, doubt that."

"No, I'm serious," Seth tried to convince them. "Actually, I don't really know what happened to anyone else, but I had an interesting night. Not only did Summer kiss me by the side of the pool, but I almost had sex."

"With Summer," Marissa asked incredulously, shooting upright in the bed and startling Ryan.

"No, but that would have been nice," Seth calmly commented.

Interested, Ryan inquired, "Who then?"

With wide eyes and a wiggle of his eyebrows, Seth replied "Gabrielle."

"Who's that," Marissa asked innocently lowering herself so that she was once again resting in Ryan's arms.

"Caleb's girlfriend," Ryan answered her.

The only thing Marissa could think to say was "Ew!" Ryan couldn't help but laugh, but Seth was offended.

"What do you mean, ew," he pushed her to explain her reaction.

"Your Grandfather's girlfriend, Seth, that's disgusting. How old was she, forties, fifties?" She shuddered as she thought about the situation.

"If by old you mean older and mid-twenties, than you're right," Seth shot back smugly.

Confused, Marissa turned to Ryan. "Why don't you seem surprised by this at all?"

"She's kind of been hitting on him all week," Ryan explained.

"How ugly was she," Marissa pondered making Ryan laugh and Seth kick the bed.

"Hey, I resent that," he yelled to her.

"Oh come on, Seth, do you really expect me to believe you went from a shut in to practically having sex with some beautiful older woman?" She turned to Ryan expecting him to back her up. "Ryan, tell me, honestly, and I won't get mad, what did she look like?"

Avoiding her eyes, Ryan muttered out quietly, "let's just say that she was definitely out of Seth's league."

This elicited another kick to the bed from Seth and another offended yell.

"Hey, man, I thought you were on my side here!"

"So what happened then," Marissa continued to pry, "what stopped you guys?"

"Actually," Seth said in a disappointed tone, "first Summer walked in and interrupted us and then my Grandpa, who, before you ask took the situation well and congratulated me actually, came in, too. Summer left right away, and then Gramps kicked Gabby out so that we could talk. Just make sure you don't say anything to my parents, because Gramps and I agreed that they could not find out."

Ryan and Marissa were both laughing softly throughout his entire explanation of the night's events, but Marissa stopped suddenly as she remembered something else that Seth had said earlier.

"Wait, Seth, did you say that Summer kissed you," she asked incredulously.

"Yeah, I was as shocked as you are now," he admitted. "We ended up fighting and then I confessed something really embarrassing to her and she leaned up, shocking the hell out of me, and kissed me. Before I knew it, she was gone and I didn't see her again until she barged into the poolhouse. I have no idea what she wanted either, because she left before I could say anything to her."

"I'll talk to her if you want me to," Marissa offered.

"You will," Seth questioned, surprised.

"Sure, why not. Besides, I'm curious now, too," Marissa admitted.

Finally speaking up, Ryan chuckled as he spoke. "You're right, Seth, the party does seem kind of interesting."

"Mad you missed it," Seth shot back smugly.

He couldn't see Ryan pulling Marissa closer to him and kissing her softly, but Seth could hear his tone and knew that he did not want details. "Nope, my evening was just fine the way it was, thank you."

Standing up, Seth moved towards the doors. "And that is my cue to leave. Now, you two crazy kids better not do anything I wouldn't do."

"And that would be what exactly," Ryan shot back sarcastically.

"Fine," Seth complained, "just learn from my mistake and lock the doors." With that, he left them alone.

The house was dark as his parents must have gone to bed assuming he was out playing Playstation with Ryan in the poolhouse, so Seth just crept up to his room not wanting to wake them in case his face revealed that something major had happened. As he entered the quiet sanctuary of his room, he put on some soothing Deathcab, changed into his pajamas quickly, and went to check his email noting to himself that he had had one woman too many that night. Opening the first letter, he quickly saw that it was from Anna in Tahiti.

"Great," he said out loud in a defeated and unsurprised tone. "Now I have two women too many. The ladies just can't get enough of me!"

With that, he switched off his computer and went to bed only to be haunted in his dreams by the idea of three women chasing after him and not knowing who exactly he wanted.