Hey, readers! I know I'm a slow updater. But now that school is out it is much easier to update. Here is a huge PINK chapter, just for you guys. Don't forget to review and I hope you like the romance in this one!
The music began, drowning out any conversation any of the council members may had been having. Corny took his microphone and smiled that million dollar smile of his. "Hey there, Teenage Baltimore! Don't change that channel because it's time for the Corny Collins Show!" he said enthusiastically. The dancers started tapping their feet rhythmically. "Brought to you by Ultra Clutch Hairspray!" Corny added.
Nerves raced through Penny. Not because she was going to be on television and if she screwed up all of Baltimore would know, but because Tracey Turnblad would never speak to her again. And communication with her best friend meant the world to her. How could she have been so selfish?
"Ev'ry afternoon when the clock strikes four," Corny began to sing. "A crazy bunch of kids crash through that door," he said melodically.
"Bop-bee-ba, ba-ba-ba-ba, bee-ba," the council echoed. Penny could feel Link's warm breath on her neck as he sang along. Now her smile was genuine. They continued singing to the upbeat song, The Nicest Kids in Town. Penny had memorized the lyrics a long time ago from the various times she and Tracey had watched the show. The only thing she couldn't recall was if she had to say her name after Noreen or Doreen. It didn't matter. It wasn't like she was going to stick around long enough for someone to care.
As they had practiced, Penny danced with Fender for this part of the show. The steps came easily, or at least she couldn't tell if they were wrong because her mind was somewhere else. She occasionally would glance at Link in all of his glory, in all of his perfection, dancing flawlessly to the tune.
"Roll call!" Corny yelled and now her attention was focused.
The council members continued to say their names. Link was once again behind Penny. "Get ready," he whispered in her ear. There was no camera focusing on them now, so Penny felt free to smile, a real smile this time.
"Penny!" She said as gleefully as she could. She worked her way into the next formation, grabbing the ends of her dresses and tossing it around joyfully.
"And I'm...LINK!" Several female audience members squealed at the sight of him. He was truly beautiful. Penny sighed, but at the sound of Corny's awakening voice, she returned to Fender and allowed him to spin her around in a circle. As if she wasn't already dizzily confused enough….
Amazingly, Penny was enjoying herself. The outrageous, fast paced dance moves quickened her heart beat and forbade her mind from drifting off into the thoughts that had troubled her moments ago. The sight of Link only brought happiness and excitement to her, now. There was no confusion. She knew what she wanted: him. She wanted him to like her and stroke her hair, and hold her hand again. It was all too delicate of a moment.
As if he had heard her thoughts, Link's hand moved towards hers and grabbed it. He was deviating from the routine as he spun her about. Fender's face was preoccupied as he grabbed Amber, Link's original partner and carried on with the routine.
"What are you doing?" Penny said in between giggles.
"You're beautiful when you smile," he stated. Penny's cheeks burned a hot red, almost the shade of her cherry lollipops. His touch burned her. The song was slowly coming to an end. "Penny," he began, momentarily letting go of her. He spun around and grabbed her hand once more. "I'm sorry for whatever I did."
Penny's expression changed in a fraction of a second. Tracey. Tracey hated her right now. She was indulging herself with Link's affection while Tracey was in pain. She was right: she was betraying her best friend.
"It's not your fault," she whispered.
"Nicest kids in town," Corny Collins ended. Penny could feel the tears on the verge of pouring down. She didn't want to, but the emotion was overwhelming. Why did everything have to be this hard? It was so unfair. Link would not stop looking at her. He was searching for an answer. Surely, he still thought he was the source of her problems. But he wasn't! Not entirely.
"Penny?" he held her hand once more. He spoke through his teeth in case the cameras were pointing their way. Penny moved away from his benign gesture. "Did I say something?"
"No, Link," she left him with those two words and nothing more. She went back to Fender's side while Corny announced a few things. Link was taken aback. Although now was not the time, he wanted to know her. He wanted to figure out all that was Penny Pingleton. She made him forget. She was the remedy, part of the answer. She had to know this. Penny turned towards him. Her green eyes staring at his, apologetically.
Link's back stood against the rough, hard brick wall that surrounded the location where Corny Collin's show was filmed. His hands were shoved in his pockets and he breathed anxiously, awaiting the arrival of a certain girl. He could feel the temperature had dropped, hence the fall season. Cold air whipped his face and sent shivers through is body. He held his breath as the door opened, but it was nobody that he wanted to talk to. It was only Marky.
"See ya, Link," he said, walking towards his vibrantly blue car across the street. Link nodded in acknowledgement. Why couldn't his life be as easy as Marky's? He had the car, the happy family, and the good grades. He was probably the only nice kid out of the nicest kids in town.
The door opened once more to reveal Penny Pingleton, struggling to get the fake eyelash off her eye. She succeeded. Link noted the drastic difference. Her eyes were as green and bright as ever. He smiled. "Penny, can we talk?" he asked.
Penny was shocked at his presence. She took a step back, hesitantly. "What about?" Penny asked, knowing the answer. What was she suppose to say? I can't talk to you because I'm afraid I like you and my best friend is completely in love with you? That would go smoothly.
"I just don't understand what I did or do that bothers you so much? Is it the hair? Is it my voice? Do I smell?" Penny laughed at his ignorance. It had nothing to do with his appearance. Well, it did actually, but not about how bad he looked. He was perfect. Link wasn't as troubled as before; he smiled when she did.
"It isn't that, Link. It's just…." She began but could not find the words to describe the situation. "It's nothing." She added.
"I know you're trying to be reassuring, but it isn't working. Penny, what's wrong?" he asked. It was quite ironic how Link was facing the greatest tragedy in his family and yet this girl seemed the height of his troubles.
"I'm just fighting with my friend," Penny stated. It was the truth but not the whole truth which made all the greater difference.
"How can I help?" he asked. He was no incredibly naïve.
"Stay away from me and forget I exist. In fact, a fight with me would be magnificent," Penny said sarcastically.
"I would never be able to do that," Link said. Penny did not know how to respond.
"It's that. You have to stop doing that; it doesn't help at all," Penny whined, she was now standing an inch away from him now. She had done it absentmindedly and yet she enjoyed in. In the increasing cold weather, only his warmth could keep her from shivering.
"Doing what? Penny what is it?" He asked. She shook her head looking down at her feet.
"I'm just afraid that something might happen that will destroy my relationship with her. And the only thing you could do to fix this would cause another problem," Penny said. Link was completely confused. Not one word had made sense. By making it better he was making it worse? No one could understand her.
"Huh?" he said.
"Exactly. I'm just kind of stuck," Penny said.
"I am too. Believe me," Link said. Regardless of Penny, his father was still at war. Far away. Probably not going to return. "Listen, Penny, how about we forget all this drama? Let's go somewhere. Forget all this." Link said walking out onto the street that was free of vehicles at this time. It was nearly six o'clock.
"That would be great," Penny said, finally giving in to her own feelings. A few hours with Link couldn't cause more damage than what had been caused already.
"Great. What time is it?" He glanced down at his silver watch. "Perfect. Follow me, Penny. I've got the perfect place in mind," Link said, taking her hand. Penny held onto him as he led her through the streets, far away from the heart of Baltimore, towards the outskirts. The sun was slowly going down. All inhabitants were in their homes, nobody in sight except the two running down the coal black road, hand in hand, the cold breeze hitting their faces.
"Where are we going, Link?" Penny yelled.
"You'll see. It isn't too far. Hope you have enough energy in you so that we get there in time," He said. He smiled, the light bouncing off of his teeth and his shimmering black hair. "You're amazing, Penny Pingleton. Purely amazing," he said to her. Their pace grew slower into a jog.
She was surprised at his words because they mirrored her own feelings so much. He was the amazing one here. The talented, gorgeous, breathtaking one. "Why do you say that? I'm as dull as dull can get," she said.
"But you're not! You're different from the rest," he said. "It's kind of embarrassing for me to say this, but, hey, I have to do it sometime," he said. Link felt a great pain lifted off his chest as he admitted his feelings to her. "It's like nothing could ever tear me down. It sounds incredibly stupid, but it's like I'm invincible," he continued.
"You're not stupid," she comforted.
Penny never wanted him to stop talking. He said all the things that needed to be said. "Funny, I've only known you for almost a week and yet this happens," Link said. His fingers were laced with hers as they walked down the road. They were near the destination.
"Link, I…you're…I'm sorry," Penny said. She couldn't figure out her own feelings. He had said it all for her. Nearby she saw a sign that read Drive-In Theater. "The drive in?" Penny asked.
"No. Follow me," he said, hopping over the red and white pole that blocked the entrance. Penny stood on the other side. He placed his hands on her small waist, lifting her over it. She wanted to stay in his arms. "This way," he motioned.
She felt off balance as they went higher up the hill that surrounded the drive-in. Bright green grass that seemed freshly planted surrounded them. The sky was a light pink mixed with purple clouds.
Penny gathered her dress to prevent herself from tripping. They were at the top of the hill now and Link put his arm delicately upon her waist. She let go of the ends of the dress and pushed away her softly curled blonde hair. The golden sun was starting to set. The wind blew their way and not even Ultra Clutch hairspray could prevent their hair from floating in the wind. He reached for her hand again. She watched him, how his deep blue eyes gleamed in the light before them. Her dress was pushed behind her. Her right arm was outstretched feeling the relief present in the air. Link stared at her enveloping her in a careful, warm embrace. She sighed blithely. He held her there his body touching hers was more than she could take. His body turned, now blocking the sun in front of her. She could see him for him now. The beautiful person that was Link Larkin. His hands moved towards her face, cupping it. She laid her hands on his arms and closed her eyes.
He placed his lips on hers passionately. It was all she had ever wanted. Everything she had longed for. No moment in life could compare to this one. His tongue invaded her mouth and she ran her fingers through his hair. If a touch had burned her, this kiss was lightning, running through her continuously and never-endingly. Only because they needed to come for air, was when they broke away.
He kissed her forehead, holding her still. She rested her head on his shoulder. Darkness soon overcame them and engulfed them, not allowing them to look at the city before them that held so many problems for them.
"Thank you, Penny Pingleton," Link whispered in her ear.
"For what?" She said curiously.
"For helping me," he said. Although, Penny did not know why he had said this, she did not care. Whatever she had done, had given him happiness, and that was all that mattered.