Zoey looked at herself in the mirror. She was clean, not bloody, for the first time since the infection began. Though she wished she didn't have to wear the dress the Plantation owner had picked out for herself. But the plantation owner wouldn't let her not wear it. She sighed as she adjusted the corset on her dress. Sleek black, layered, and corseted to make herself look much too skinny almost anorexic. She took a deep breath and held it, seeing how shallow she could breathe when she could no longer hold her breath she huffed loudly. She really wished she didn't have to wear it. Behind her she saw Rochelle in the same predictament except she had a yellow dress that screamed, "Disney Princess." Rochelle then said, "Why must they make us look like Disney princesses?" almost exactly quoting her own mind. Zoey shrugged, "I don't know… maybe to make us want to shoot ourselves in the foot?" Both the girl laughed.
"Zoey, come on. The guy is getting impatient." Zoey looked at the door, "Okay, Francis. Don't laugh." Zoey opened the door; her brown hair was tied up into a bun. A flower diamond encrusted pin in her hair held the bun together. Zoey's face showed a hint of a blush. Francis stood there gaping at Zoey. "Z-zoey. You look... Hot." Zoey frowned, it was so anticlimactic. She expected something like, 'Zoey you're a girl? Wow. Never would've guess.' Or something weird like that. Zoey looked at Francis, "Oh my God... They got you in a tux!" Zoey laughed. Francis was wearing a tux. It was the funniest thing she could have ever seen. Rochelle walked up behind Zoey fidgeting awkwardly, "Oh Lincoln's beard… you look good Francis… You should wear suits more often." Rochelle winked grabbing his arm.
Francis took Rochelle's hand and led her down some spiraling stairs. Zoey treaded lightly behind the two, finding it hard to walk in heels. She spotted Nick, who was wearing a clean white suit, and Ellis. When Ellis and her eyes looked into each other, she felt fire grow within herself. And it appeared on her skin. Francis saw the look Ellis gave her a nudged her a bit, "Zoey got a crush." Francis said in a sing-song voice. Zoey slapped Francis arm, "Do not!" she squeaked. Rochelle berated the two with both of them saying sorry to each other they finished walking down the stairs.
Ellis was talking to Nick when he heard foot steps coming from behind him, "So that's where I'm at Nick." He said, his southern accent flowing strong in his voice. "Oh? Heeelllooo? Nick? Anyone there." Ellis looked at the stairs after seeing Nick just stare at something behind him; he then turned and saw her. The way she flowed down the stairs, her floor length black dress flowing like silk behind her; hair soft, simmering brown hair put up show off her beautiful face. Ellis felt his heart speed up, he looked at her blue eyes and Zoey looked at Ellis's brown ones. They both looked away at the same time.
Zoey was followed Francis and Rochelle towards the others; Francis snickered at every step she tried to take. She sent glares at Francis, but she knew they won't faze him. They had known each other far too long. While she thought, Francis, Rochelle, and Zoey had arrived in front of Nick and Ellis. Zoey smiled at the two, "Hello, and is it just me, or does anyone else hate their clothes?" She whispered the last part silently hoping the plantation owner was not near by. Nick shrugged; he'd wear his suit anytime anywhere. It didn't faze him.
Ellis smiled his signature loopy smile, "I'm not too happy with it y'know? I'd rather be in my dirty clothes then these." Ellis pouted.
Zoey laughed. He looked so cute when he pouted. She lifted up her dress and exposed her feet, "You are so lucky you don't have to wear these." She showed her three inch heel. Black straps. Her feet were starting to hurt. She then heard clapping.
Nick, Ellis, Francis, and Zoey all turned towards the clapping. "Y'all look very good now." The plantation owner said with a deep southern accent as he walked into the room. He nodded at them all. "You look mighty pretty there, Zoey. And you looked absoulely dashing, Rochelle." He man said, his light brown eyes twinkling in the light. Zoey looked at the man, "I hate you. You know that?" Rochelle blushed pushing Zoey a bit. Zoey then glared at the man. The man laughed, "I know. I know. But a tom-boy like you needs to wear a dress occasionally. You'll never know how to win a man's heart without it." The man said, his southern accent pulled through his words stronger then Ellis himself.
Zoey sighed and shook her head. She didn't need someone to tell her how to get a man. "Whatever." She said. Zoey looked back at the man, she shivered. He wore a smirk on his face. "Oh really now? Then why don't we all dance." The man knew most tom boys hated dancing. That's why he said it.
"No. No. NO. I draw the line at THAT." Zoey's eyes widened. She stepped carefully back, almost to the point of running away. Zoey bumped into Francis. Ellis laughed at her face, "Come on, Zo. It's not THAT bad. I had to learn how to do that when I was little." His southern accent seemed much more soft then the plantation owners.
The man nodded, "Stop calling me that. I have a name. And it's Mark. Mark Breaux; Ellis why don't you take Zoey to the floor and dance the night away. And Francis take your gorgeous lady with you. Nick and I need to have a chat." Mart winked at Ellis. Ellis shrugged, "Alright I guess." Ellis walked towards Zoey and talking in a low voice, "The soon we do this. The sooner I can get out of this tux and you can get out that dress." 'Even though I don't want you too.' He spoke then thought the last part. Zoey took his hand, "If you say so."
Francis scowled, "This doesn't seem fair…" Rochelle dragged him, "You're going to learn anyway… just get it over with." She grabbed his hands and placing them on herself. She then moved her hands into their positions and started the dance.
Ellis took Zoey's hand and walked her to the middle of the room. He placed one hand on her waist and the other on her shoulder. "Do what I do." Zoey nodded, and slowly put her hand on his waist and her hand on his shoulder. Ellis smiled, "That's right. Now I'll lead. All you have to do is follow my steps, alright?" Zoey nodded. Ellis started to move across the floor. One two. One two. Zoey followed behind. One two. One two. Zoey looked into Ellis's eyes. Ellis did the same. They danced with each other for what seemed like forever in their eyes, but only for 20 minutes in actuality.
Nick and Mark sat at table and talked. Nick kept glancing at the four just dancing. Rochelle, Zoey and Ellis seemed to be having a good time. While Francis was tripping over himself trying to learn. He sighed and looked back at the other guys. "Pity there ain't anymore pretty ladies with you." Mark said. Nick eyed Mark's beer, "How many more do you have of those?" He asked. He wanted to be wasted. Mark got up and motioned to the other two to follow him to the beer. Nick happily got up and followed him.
Zoey and Ellis continued their rounds til Ellis smiled softly. Zoey looked up to Ellis and smiled back. She was having a great time. Her heart pounded in her chest. And she could practically hear Ellis's. Was he nervous? Zoey's mind went blank. She caught sight of his lips. She stopped dancing and just stared at Ellis. Ellis, reacting to Zoey's sudden stop, stopped as well. "Uh...? Zoey why'd you sto-" Ellis was caught up by Zoey coming up to his face and kissing him. Ellis's mind went blank. He gently kissed back. Zoey wrapped her arms around Ellis's neck. For the first time in a long time she was happy. When she heard foot steps she backed up and wiped mouth before running up the stairs to the room Mart had given to her to stay in.
Ellis heard the footsteps and felt Zoey back up, ending the kiss. He watched Zoey back up and run up the stairs. That's when he snapped out of his stupor. "Z-zo, wait!" Ellis was about to run up the stairs after Zoey until he heard Nick call him.
Francis and Rochelle had stopped in enough time to see what had elapsed between Ellis and Zoey, "Well hot damn he got to first base…" Frnacis laughed out. Rochelle turned to him, "Oh that was so cute! Did you see how upset he was she left? Puppy love…" Rochelle said in a cooing voice. Francis and Rochelle walked towards Nick after watching him call Ellis over.
Ellis glared at Nick, but walked back to the group. "What do you want, Nick?" Ellis tried to say as calm as possible. Internally he was in turmoil, did Zoey like him or not? Ellis reeled back, the strong stench of beer clogging his nose. "Oh my God, are ya drinking?" He asked in a harsh tone. He didn't want to be next to Nick and them right now. He wanted to be next to Zoey trying to figure out his feelings.
Nick shoved a bottle of beer into Ellis's hand, "Drink. Now." He saw Ellis was not in the mood for it. He watched Ellis shove the beer back into Nick's hand and pushed him, "No." Ellis walked away, up the stairs that lead to Zoey's room. Nick frowned, before meeting Zoey, Ellis would've drunk til his liver gave out. Now look at him, he just wanted to stand next to Zoey. That's when it dawned on him, "Ellis is in love with Zoey..." Francis, Rochelle, and Mark both looked at Nick like he was nuts. Francis rolled his eyes, "Duh. Even I knew that." Nick took the beer that he gave to Ellis and took a long swig of it. He wanted to be wasted now.
Ellis knocked on Zoey's door, "Can I come in?" He heard Zoey say yes. And he opened the door slightly, his questions about to burst from the seams of his throat. He walked in and blurted out, "Why the kiss? I gotta know." Ellis looked Zoey straight in the eyes, wondering if she liked him, they way he loved her.
Zoey looked up at Ellis, "I don't know... It just... felt right. You know?" Zoey smiled at Ellis. Zoey fidgeted in her spot, "Ellis would you find it strange if... I asked you to help me with this corset...?" Zoey turned slightly red, but it was hard to breathe with it on. Ellis flustered, "Ah... naw i-it won't be." He stuttered out. Ellis walked next to Zoey and helped her untie her corset. All the while having terrible thoughts about themselves, him and Zoey doing many things after he got her corset off. Ellis internally slapped himself. He was raised in a good catholic home. He knew that there was no sex until marriage even if he wanted to so much. Ellis finished undoing her corset and stood up.
Zoey took a deep breath and let it out. It felt good to breathe. She smiled at Ellis, "We have to dance some more sometime." Zoey smiled lightly and went to the closet. She shut the door behind herself so she could change. Ellis walked back to the bed and sat on it. He twiddled his thumbs and waited for Zoey to walk out of the closet.
Zoey looked at her clothes choices and pouted, nothing in here was good. She grabbed an overly large t-shirt and wore it. No pants needed. She walked out of the closet and saw Ellis, she had thought he left. "Ellis? I thought you left." Zoey asked. She was actually glad he stayed. Internally she was a tad bit freaked out by the place. She didn't want to be alone for long periods of time. Zoey sat next to Ellis.
Ellis looked at Zoey, "Oh? I can leave if you want." Ellis said crestfallen, he really didn't want to go. But when he saw her sit next to him, all doubts left him. She wanted him here just as much as he wanted to be with her. Ellis took off his jacket and his tie and threw it at the door. He glared at it, "I don't like ties and suits." Zoey laughed at Ellis. He had said something so close to what Francis said it was almost uncanny. Zoey yawned, she was tired. It was a long day. Zoey laid back and pulled herself completely on the bed. The turned over and faced the wall.
Ellis started to get up but heard Zoey say something, "Please don't go... I don't wanna be alone." Ellis sat back down on the bed. He took off his shoes and laid as far away from Zoey as possible. Oh how he would love to lie next to her, but he wouldn't risk his friendship with her for it. He rolled over and faced Zoey's back.
Zoey turned over to face Ellis, "Ellis... I really like you. You're not like the other guys. You respect my space and I love it and I... I think I love you." Zoey watched Ellis face turned from confused to happiness, "Oh my God, Zo. I really love you. I've loved you ever since I met you." Ellis blurted out each word said within quick succession with the last. Zoey scooted closer to Ellis and shoved her face into his chest.
Ellis wrapped his arm around Zoey, "I love you, Zo. I really do." Ellis whispered out. Both of them tuckered out. Both of them swiftly went to sleep.