Summary: As Anne, Elisa and Trina get ready to become debutantes, Eva and David get ready to get married and Gordon and Bella try to move on, and they aren't the only ones.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, not Ducks, Eden Hall, or the songs I'll be using in the chapters.
She's the kind of girl you want so much
It makes you sorry
Still you don't regret a single day.
"Anne, stand still!" Tammy Duncan said sternly to her daughter. Anne sighed and squirmed a little in the white muslin dress that her mother was pinning.
"Why did I agree to this again?" Anne said as Tammy accidently nicked her skin.
"I have the faintest idea," Tammy shook her head. "I knew I'd be doing a dress for Trina, but you and Elisa," she sighed. "There, try that." Anne walked over to the mirror and looked at the dress and sighed. The dress was long, and still poofy, as was expected. Instead of a tulle skirt, it was outlined in petals. She stared stunned in the mirror. "Anne?"
"Oh Mommy!" She whispered.
"Mommy?" Tammy laughed. "I haven't heard that one in a while."
"It's so pretty," Anne said. Tammy nodded. "It'll be white?"
"I was thinking more of a blush pink," Tammy said. "So white-ish." Anne nodded. "I haven't done one of these in a long time."
"You're doing Eva's wedding dress," Anne shrugged. "It's sort of the same."
"A wedding dress is different," Tammy said. "Not as restrictive." Anne nodded. "Not to mention that you don't have to worry about making them age appropriate."
"Aren't they usually white though?" Anne asked. "It should be white!"
"The only pure white one I ever did was for Bella," Tammy shook her head. "Elena Vanderbilt's, back when she was Elena Cole, hers was champagne. I think Elisa's will be pure white though. Trina's is going to have some blue in it."
"Do I have to take it off?" Anne asked.
"You've never loved one of my dresses this much," Tammy laughed, "and this is just the muslin! And yes, you have to take it off." Anne pouted.
"Anne, I'm wondering if you could," Hunter walked into the studio and stopped. "Wow," he whispered. "That's for the debutante ball?"
"Mm hm," she said, smiling a little at the look on his face. Hunter hadn't looked at her like that in a long time.
"Kevin's going to need new underwear," he smirked.
"Hi," Tammy said. "How's it going Hunter?"
"Oh um, hey Ms. Duncan," Hunter said. "So yeah, I'll come back."
Bella Riley walked quietly along a beach in Newport, California. She'd come out for Spring Break, staying with her Aunt Julie's mother and step father. She sat down on the beach and let a wave roll up and hit her toes. A dog ran over, and started nudging her. She laughed and pet him.
"Hi, there," she said. "Where did you come from, huh?"
"Jacob!" A boy ran up, "Sorry, is he bugging you?"
"No, he's fine," she smiled.
"I've been trying to keep him from running over to beautiful girls," the boy sighed. She laughed. "He's just a dog though not much to be done."
"Sure," she nodded. "Did you say his name was Jacob?" He nodded. She bit her bottom lip.
"Is that funny to you?" He raised his eyebrows.
"Kind of," she said. "He's a dog…" The boy nodded. "Named, Jacob, you know what never mind."
"OK," he said. "I'm Randy." He extended his hand.
"B-" she started and stopped. "Anna, I'm Anna." She took his hand.
"Nice to meet you Anna," he said, sensing her hesitation. "Anyway, um, sorry about the dog." She shrugged as Randy and Jacob took off in another direction. She took her phone out and went to call and then stopped herself. That was a story Gordon would have loved, but she couldn't call her ex boyfriend, as much as she wanted to. She rested her chin on her knees and let the waves hit her feet some more. She closed her eyes tightly and imagined him on the beach next to her.
"It's funny Leigh," she heard his voice clearly. "Pick up the phone and tell me." She shuddered and stood up, further conjuring him walking beside her. "It's nice here," he kept talking, the way Gordon tended to. "Really peaceful. I see why you like it."
"I heard about Notre Dame," she said softly. "I'm proud of you Gordie."
"I'm not going to have to worry about you and Kevin at Georgetown am I?" He teased. She smiled softly. "No answer, mm, that's what I thought." She got back to the car and the apparition disappeared. She drove the old Jeep back to the large mansion and got out and walked inside.
"Good morning Bella," Josh Parker smiled. She smiled back. "You're out early."
"I couldn't sleep," she said softly.
"You go back tomorrow, right?" He asked. She nodded. "We've loved having you."
"Thanks," she said. "I'm going to go shower." He nodded and she walked upstairs. Jaime walked in and poured herself a cup of coffee. "You just missed Bella."
"Is she any better?" Jaime sighed, sipping.
"This trip is making Julie's visits from high school look down right perky," Josh shook his head. Jaime sighed. She wanted to help Bella, to do something for Evelyn's granddaughter, repay the favor from so many years ago.
Gordon Conway cleared a table in the diner where he'd been working since he was fourteen. He glanced over at a corner booth and swallowed, burying his emotions. That was where they'd sat that first night. Bella, Annabelle Leigh Riley, the girl had come into his life and woken it up, and then left, and he'd been trying to go back to sleep ever since. He'd been failing.
"Someday," she'd whispered to him that night. But they were quickly running out of somedays, senior year was almost over, and in the fall they'd be half a country away from each other.
"Gordon," a soft female voice spoke up behind him. He turned around and frowned.
"Go home Eva," he mumbled and walked to his next table, and put things down.
"Gordon, please, just listen," she said. He sighed and looked at her. "You RSVP'd no."
"Yuh huh," he nodded. "I'm really sorry. I'm happy for you and David, but I can't," he sighed. "Don't tell me you don't get it!"
"She really wants to see you," Eva insisted. He sniffed. "Gordon!"
"Eva, she doesn't," he said. "If she wanted to see me, she would call me, or talk to me at school." Eva sighed.
"She's afraid," she whispered.
"I don't think she is," Gordon shook his head. "I think she maybe doesn't love me anymore."
"I know my sister," she insisted.
"Eva," he said firmly, "it's over, OK? I'm going to finish high school with my head down, and go to Notre Dame and then maybe the NFL, and yeah, I'll remember that once upon a time I had the perfect girl, but you can't hold perfection. I'm done trying."
"You're a fool, Gordon Conway," she shook her head and walked out. He smiled softly. Maybe he was a fool, but he'd rather that than have Bella be the one laughing.
Tony Duncan sat on a sailboat, looking at the clear blue water of Key West.
"Hey," his best friend Connie Vanderbilt said settling in next to him, wearing a solid blue bikini. He smiled at her as she kissed him softly. They'd spent the past week on her boat, Two Roses, swimming, drinking and even having sex. "Mm, you're all scratchy," he laughed and itched the small beard he'd grown.
"I'm thinking about keeping it," he said. She scrunched her face. "You don't like it?"
"I'm not the one you should be worried about liking it," she shook her head. He laughed and kissed her softly, teasing her lips with his tongue. "Tony," she mumbled.
"I love you," he said, "you know that, don't you?"
"Mm," she said. "You do, I know that." He hugged her close. Tony loved her, of course he did. But he wasn't in love with her. He hadn't been since they were fifteen. He was in love with their friend, his ex girlfriend Elizabeth Norris. And maybe, if she hadn't been passionately in love once, with her ex, Kevin Reed, she could settle for the kind of friendly fondness she would have in a life with Tony. At this point it looked like he was willing to settle for it. "I love you too." She spread her legs and straddled him and kissed him deeply. "It's our last night, you know."
"Mm, so it is," he whispered. "What are we going to tell her at the wedding, Connie?"
"Tony," she whispered and kissed him. "We don't have to tell Lizzie anything. She knows." He nodded. "I can't be with you, Tony, I love you, but not like that." He nodded.
"I know," he whispered. "I thought maybe after this week," he said, "I thought things would be different between us."
"I thought so too," she said. "And I do love you, and I love having sex with you," he laughed. "But I just don't feel the way I used to about Kevin or even about Donovan." He nodded. "And you don't love me the way you love Lizzie."
"It doesn't have to be the same," he whispered and kissed her neck, gently removing her bathing suit bottom. "I want to move on." She groaned as he touched inside of her. "I want to be with you." He untied the two triangles of her top with his other hand, it fell down and he put his mouth to her breast. He'd learned over the week the right places to touch and kiss to please her.
"Oh, Tony," she groaned. "Take me below." He smiled and lifted her up and brought her below decks. He removed his swim trunks as they lay down and he kissed her. She moved her hand down and started touching him. He groaned and pushed her legs apart.
"I need you, Connie," he whispered and kissed her, pushing into her.
"I think you're being over dramatic," Stephanie Gaffney said, as her friend Lizzie Norris took her senior prom picture from it's frame and took a lighter out of her pocket and burned a hole in the face of the boy holding her waist, Tony Duncan's. "You're going to regret that."
"Oh no I'm not!" Lizzie said, next taking a picture of herself, Stephanie and their friends Reese Layton and Connie Vanderbilt, luckily Connie on the end and snipped it off. "They are such liars!" She screeched. "All that time, swearing that it was just once, that he loved me and not her,"
"Liz," Stephanie said quietly.
"And then they just go spend two weeks on a boat together and I'm not supposed to think that nothing's happening?" She shook her head "What they're just swimming, or something?"
"Elizabeth!" Stephanie said more firmly. Liz turned and looked at her. "Why don't you just tell Tony?" Lizzie swallowed.
"Because I didn't earn it, Steph," she whispered. "I cheated on him and I kept him at arms length, and I don't deserve to love him. But I do get to be angry."
"Lizzie," Steph shook her head. "Tony loves you so much, and the wedding is in a few weeks, you should tell him then." Lizzie bit her bottom lip.
Elisa Riley sat at the vanity in her bedroom and slid her hair off of her neck.
"Ellie?" Her father knocked on the door. She looked at him and smiled. "Are you packed?"
"Mm hm," she nodded, he looked at the newspaper on the vanity.
"What's this?" He picked it up.
"Aunt Kelly sent it," she said. "I think she thought it was funny."
"In the coming month Miss Elisa Riley, of Bangor, Maine, daughter of James Michael Riley and Julia Marie Riley will be presented at the Minnesota Club of Minneapolis, escorted by Hunter Nichols, son of Grant Nichols of New York City and Bonnie Hunter of Boston," he whistled. "Certainly plays up the pedigree on the two of you. You're like show dogs."
"Hunter's a show dog," she shook her head, "I'm more like Ponyboy was, well bred, but too common."
"You are not common Elisa," he said. "And neither was Ponyboy, he was the best dog ever." She giggled and then got serious quickly.
"Is this important to you Daddy?" She asked as he slid a chair up and sat down. "That I do this?"
"I didn't think it was," he said. "I mean, it certainly wouldn't have been if you hadn't. But yes, it's important to me, the debutante thing was very important to Nana." She smiled. "And speaking of," he took a blue velvet box. "Grandpa sent this to me, for you." She opened it, there was a flawless strand of pearls rested in the box.
"Were they," she whispered.
"Yes," he nodded. "They were hers. Don't tell Trina though, Kelly would not give it up, but I'm pretty sure she has some Vanderbilt heirlooms to wear." Elisa smiled as he slid them on and fastened them. She placed her hand against the pearls, they felt cold against her skin and looked in the mirror. "I love you." He kissed her hair.
"I love you too," she said as he walked out. She stroked the pearls softly. "James and Julia Riley, of the Minnesota Rileys are proud to announce the debut of their daughter Elisa," she whispered to her reflection. "Hunter Nichols of the New York Nichols is happy to settle for her."
So, there's the start! Get the reviews out and let me know!