-- Jane Austen's story and inspiration, my twists, my characters --

A/N: Wow. It has certainly been a while! I have been outrageously busy since I last posted. Well, here I am at it again, hoping and praying you remember who these characters are! Anyway, you're most likely wondering how you can thank me for being wonderful enough to post another chapter. :P I thought so! There is one thing you can do... REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW!! If you do, you'll go on my happy list. It's a good place to be :) Love you all!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chapter 6: Caffeine highs and sugar lows

Catelyn's rude awakening was a peppy, sighing musical ring tone coming from Hannah's cell phone. She rolled over and squinted at the clock.

4:30 AM. Ugh. I hate Chris Brown ringtones.

She heard Hannah's groggy voice, "Ggrrrrmmmmhello? ..."

I want my dream back!

"...No, I can't talk right now. It's four in the morning, you dimwit ... yes, I just called you a dimwit. Don't make me do it again. Geez ... Fine ..."

And I had just gotten to the good part.

"I'm with Catelyn ... yeah ... I know ..."

Why can't I just flip back to that spot in my dream? Or better yet, why can't I start hearing pebbles at my window instead of taxi horns? Grrr.

"When will I get to see you again? ... Oh I forgot. I guess I can wait that long. I'm tired. Bye."

Or, best of all, Adam and I can just finish the dream in real life! Ah, yes. That's the way to go...
But would he want to? Ha. Yeah right... Why? WHY ME?

Catelyn soon heard Hannah's breathing become rhythmic again, but found it impossible to fall asleep herself. She could still feel Adam holding her in his arms again, the warmth of his nearness, the wet, rough surface of his cheek; and remembering how close his lips were to hers still made her heart flutter. She held onto this dream as hard as she could even has she faded into a half-conscious state of slumber, for she feared that it was the closest that she would ever be to him.

The sun shining through the gauzy curtains woke Catelyn earlier than she had hoped. She scowled, not because she was bothered by the light, but because her dream had not continued further. She felt the mattress bounce violently.

"Catelyn! Get up!! We have some girl bonding time / shopping extravaganza to start!" Hannah sounded as if she were about to burst with excitement. Catelyn groaned, burying her head deeper in the pillow. The mattress continued bouncing, and she couldn't take it anymore.

"FINE! Fine. I'm coming. I'll get up."

"So- sweet dreams, perhaps? About your man?"

"Do I talk in my sleep?"

"Maybe we'll see him in Saks, or Nordstroms', or Sephora, or"-

"Sephora? What the heck would he be doing there?"

"HA! You're more awake than I thought. Well, he could be buying cologne, or buying his sweetheart a sensual massage oil-- sweetheart meaning you, of course"-

"Sensual massage? If that's what he was doing, I'd be disappointed. Not my type."

"So you more of the bathtub with candles and rosepetals type? 'cause I can't see you as the type who would think a dinner discussing presidential candidates over lasagna is romantic, or a one-on-one kickball game or something. Wow, definitely not that type! Wait, it's impossible to play that one-on-one... oh well, you know what I mean."

Catelyn blinked at Hannah a couple times, then swung her legs over the side of the bed. "Ugh. Morning breath."


I said that out loud? "Nothing. So we're going to Nordstrom's, Saks 5th Avenue, and Sephora?"

What was I getting up to do again?

"Well, yea. I mean, like Hollister or Urban Outfitters or something along those lines, because I don't know how many cute guys we'll find in the other stores."

Oh right. Teeth. Brush teeth.

Catelyn stood up. "So are we shopping or boy-hunting today?"

"Well, I happen to be a fan of both, so..."

"Okay, fine."

"Ooh, YAY!! I knew I'd convert you, Catelyn!"

"No conversion. Only compliance."

After their "shopping extravaganza, the two friends ended up at a window seat in a coffee shop, people-watching as they sipped their beverages- Catelyn, of course, despised coffee so settled with a strawberry smoothie; Hannah had her "usual"- skim medium white mocha plus chocolate drizzle and double shot, no whip. She took a sip. "Mmm! Perfect as usual. The first time I ever ordered this was my first exam week in college, and was beyond desperate for caffeine. Henley persuaded me to do the double shot, so I owe her big now. It saved my GPA. Or, you know, what was left of it." She giggled.

Catelyn sipped from her smoothie, then winced at a brain freeze. "Who's Henley?"

"Oh, my bad! She was my roommate all frosh year. She isn't going to be this year though, because she's moving into an on-campus apartment with her fiance. They are too cute! I so wish you could meet them. Besides, you would totally fall in love with her shoes. It's totally amazing how enviable they are."

"Hmm. Did you know her before you went there?"

"No, but her fiance is from my hometown, so we knew each other a little. I mean, he even asked me which of his poems he should propose with! They are too cute. He's a perspiring songwriter, you know. And a phenomenal guitarist. He even knows Tom Higgins or whoever that Delilah guy is."

Catelyn frowned and sipped her smoothie slowly, making sure her brain wouldn't freeze again. "A perspiring songwriter?"

"Yeah, like he's trying to make it big, you know? Oh my gosh, no way. He texted the proposal poems to me when he asked for my advice, and I still have them right here on my phone! You want to hear them?"


"Great! Here we go: 'You hear the whisper in the breeze, with the beat of my heart? It's my soul begging for the keys for your motor to start.' Adorable! Pretty sexy, too. Totally channelling Rihanna. Oh here's my favorite! 'Take my hand, follow me into the light. Then we'll shut our eyes and wish with all might. I might not know your wish, but here is mine: to be your man till the end of time. Marry me, Henley!'"


"Yeah, I know, right? Is that not the cutest darn thing you've ever heard?! Of course that's the one I told him to use."

Catelyn smiled. "Heh, good choice. When are they getting married?"

"After she graduates."

"Oh, so he's what, a year or two ahead of her?"

"No, he's just dropping out. You know, to pursue his musical dreams and all. I don't see why she doesn't drop out too and pursue her own dreams of marrying her true love, but I think it's her parents. Because, I mean, seriously! Hud is just amazing"-

"The guy's name is Hud?"

"Yes. Like"-

"Henley and Hudson?"

"Mhm. So basically he's gorgeous. Well, my idea of gorgeous. You know, tall, dark, handsome. Good pecs. And hands! Oh baby, hands. So beyond important. What about you? What is your dream man?" Hannah's eyes twinkled. "Or, should I have said what does dear Mr. Bradford look like?"

"He's not Mr. Bradford, that's his dad's name," Catelyn said shyly.

Hannah gasped. "Oh I almost forgot, you've even met the millionaire yourself! Cate, you are well on your way to being an heiress."

"But isn't an heiress usually someone who inherits"-

"It's called life insurance, doll. Anyway, answer the question!"

"Oh. Sorry. I like him to be a good height, with pretty eyes and a sense of humor."

"So do you usually like them light or dark?"

"What? Um... is medium an option?"

Hannah grumbled. "If it must be to get this confession out of you."

"Medium is my preference. And he must be a gentleman."

"Aww, you are a good girl," Hannah said smiling. "Oh! Guess what! I have a surprise for you today. You will LOVE it. Let's go- oh, and don't forget that that smoothie!"

Catelyn was overwhelmed by her companion's spontaneity, and the iron grip on her wrist left her no option other than to follow along. She was quickly learning the consequences of being in Hannah's presence while she had caffeine in her system.

"So you know about my roommate Henley? Well, her cousin Carly was a junior and my psych tutor because I was totally about to flunk, and she gave me the background on the Carly-Devin scandal. Apparently Carly- well, you can guess how she was in highschool. She had, like, three boyfriends at a time her sophmore year (just imagine her senior year! ughhh) and all of them were completely different. I really thought she was schitzo or something after hearing about it. Especially with all of the tutoring in psych. I could have used her as a case study or something if I was brave enough to get near her. Like, what kind of girl goes out with the all-American football-playing valedictorian (I mean, why would he want her anyway? She is UGLY), the pot-smoking self-pity-er, AND the chem teacher? Seriously, the girl has issues. Get this - her idea of a PB and J sandwich is crunchy natural peanut butter and lumpy plum jam. She said it was good for her digestion. Who uses jam as a digestive agent?"

But there were more problems than just incessant talking.

"Catelyn! OhmygodIhavetopee. NOW." She dashed into a smoky pizza joint, heading for the back.

Catelyn followed her inside, frowning at her friends misuse of the Lord's name. She was feeling more irritated than ever- even though it was probably due to her post-smoothie sugar crash, she believed she had the right to be frustrated. She hadn't even been able to say one word, and all she wanted to know is how many more blocks they would have to walk! She had a feeling they may have even walked in circles a couple times. She sat down on a stool in front of the window and, hoping to forget her frustration, pulled Rebecca out of her purse and opened it to the dog-eared page. She had hardly gotten three words in when she heard Hannah yelling at the store owner.

"What do you mean I have to buy something to use your restroom? Would you rather me buy something after I pee in the bathroom, or have me buy nothing but leave a puddle for you to clean up later?"

Catelyn heard his heavy footsteps and the unlocking of a door, then its slam. Catelyn continued her reading. A couple minutes later, two guys walked in front of the pizzeria then stopped. Suspecting they were looking at her, Catelyn lifted her eyes hesitantly, only to see that they were looking over her shoulder. She swiveled around on her squeaky stool and saw that Hannah had emerged from the bathroom and was adjusting her bra.

Of course that was what they were watching. Catelyn tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear and continued reading until a sigh interrupted her.

"Catelyn! I can't even begin to tell you how much better I feel! Wow."

"Oh, good. How much longer do we have?"

"Oh, about three blocks."

"Where are we going? Or is that the surprise?"

"No, we're just going to a hotel. The surprise is our company!"

Catelyn's heart jumped. Her first fleeting thought was that she was going to see Adam and he would sweep her off her feet, but reality hit her hard enough that this thought shook off quickly, leaving Catelyn in a gloomy state of boredom. Naturally, this contrasted with Hannah's enthusiasm. By the time they arrived at the hotel, Catelyn was not in the mood for a "happy" surprise, but when she saw her brother Andrew in the lobby of the scummy hotel, all of her burdens and dark spirits were cast off and forgotten for good.

"Cate! I've missed you so much!" he cried as she ran into his arms.

"I can't believe you're here, Drew! This is crazy!" Catelyn turned in his embrace to Hannah. "How did you know? Do you even know each other?"

"Ah, well, you see... oh, there you are Nelson! Catelyn, meet my big brother, your brother's roommate."

She stepped back from her brother, looking behind him to see a pale-eyed man approaching with a crooked grin on his face.

"Hey there, Miss Catelyn," he drawled. "It is a pleasure to meet you."