Hey, guys (old readers and new). So, I'm done with summer semester of college, and have finally overcome my laziness and now, I can write. This chapter will focus primarily on the Valentine's Day Party at Steve's house, but don't worry, the B/D action is plenty. I have a definite plan for where I'm taking this. As always, thank-you for reading and sharing my obsession!
Disclaimer: I do not own Beverly Hills, 90210 or any of the characters therein.
As Dylan's car idled on a remote road in the hills, Brenda sat in the passenger seat curiously examining her surroundings and wondering what Dylan could possibly have in mind all the way out here. She couldn't remember the last time she had been in the hills of Los Angeles—perhaps she had been on a drive or merely sightseeing.
She hadn't remembered the beauty of the place. The stars over the city of Los Angeles were brighter than she was accustomed to. The smog and the city lights seemed to be separate entities from the environment she was currently in.
Dylan parked his Porsche along the desolate road, and searching in his jacket pocket, removed a red blind fold. "I know what you're thinking," Dylan raised his eyebrows, as Brenda bit her lip, about to say something concerning her distaste for surprises, "Where are the red fuzzy handcuffs?" Brenda elbowed Dylan in the ribs. Dylan began to laugh, holding the blindfold across her eyes.
"I feel like we're in an episode of a cheesy crime drama," Brenda folded her arms, as Dylan placed the blindfold around her eyes.
"Bren, if I wanted to murder you I would have subjected you to the punch at my father's Valentine's Day party or, at the bare minimum, Christine's cooking. " Dylan raised his eyebrows, and feigned a shudder. "And trust me, I've tried her meatloaf sandwich. That thing is as good as arsenic."
"Ha Ha, Dylan, I think you've proven your point," Brenda's arms were still folded as Dylan tied a sturdy knot to hold the blindfold in place. The material of the blindfold was silky against her skin. She pouted a bit, as she heard Dylan's car door slam and her car door open several seconds later. He guided her to her feet, wrapping one arm around her waist.
"Out of curiosity, do you have an idea what's going on here?" Dylan's voice interrupted her own guesses as to what this night was all about.
"Short of a sexual escapade or murder, I'm drawing a blank," Brenda uttered dryly, shrugging her shoulders.
"Well, the sexual escapade might be in the cards," Dylan said in that sultry way of his, running a lone finger down her spine. "However, that is only half of what the night has in store for us."
"Are we bungee jumping off the Hollywood Sign?" Brenda smirked.
"You're getting warmer," Dylan stroked her back.
"Are we donating blood under the Hollywood Sign?" Brenda continued to smirk, this time breaking into a grin.
"That is so 1992, Bren," Dylan paused, and reaching for the blindfold, set Brenda free. In the middle of a flat piece of land overlooking the Hollywood Sign and the lights of Los Angeles, a table clothed in a black drape was situated, with a dim candle in its center and a white rose with a tiny turquoise envelope beside it.
White Christmas lights hung on the palm trees beside the table. Chinese lamps fashioned in the shape of hearts were also scattered amidst the lights. The final touch, a mock Eiffel Tower, was situated just a few feet away. Dylan set a boombox on the ground that he had been carrying all along. A French melody she was familiar began to fill the air.
"Je t'aime," The raspy voice of a woman sounded first. "Oui, je t'aime." Brenda listened, her cheeks becoming very pink.
A car pulled alongside of Dylan's, and a figure neared them. It soon manifested itself to be Nat, holding two trays of food, which he set on the table before them. Dylan grinned, pulling Brenda by the hand over to the table, and pulling her chair out for her. "Bon soir et bon apetit, mes amis," Nat said in a charmingly Americanized way. Saluting Brenda and patting Dylan on the shoulder, Nat walked off.
"Thanks for the favor, Nat, my man," Nat smiled at Dylan, waving to the twosome, before he started his car and disappeared back towards civilization.
"So, welcome to Los Angeles' own Paris," Dylan grinned, "We have our music, our sights, our food." Dylan reached over to pull the top of the tray off and reveal the food to Brenda. "Hamburgers avec des frites," Brenda giggled, staring around her environment in utter disbelief.
"Le repas, c'est très française," Brenda couldn't help but smile.
"Seulement le meilleur pour vous, Mademoiselle Brenda," Dylan returned, wryly.
"Je vais, je vais, et je viens entre tes reins." The song's melody went on. Brenda took a fry and thoughtful gnawed at it. "Et je me retiens."
Brenda grinned. "I never imagined Paris could be so close to home. This is really beautiful, Dylan."
"I wanted to do something special for you, Bren," Dylan watched as Brenda gnawed on a steak fry. "I wanted to make you feel special for a change. I want you to be the center of attention."
"It seems like everything has been so crazy lately," Brenda said. "We haven't had time to really enjoy being us again."
"I know," Dylan reached below the table to grab her hand. "Now has to be the time, Bren."
"Dylan?" Brenda looked at him, pensively. After a brief pause, she continued. "I love you."
"I love you too, Bren," Dylan stroked Brenda's hand, and they both became lost in the beauty of the L.A. skyline. He thought back to the evening when he sat in his Porsche with Brenda, after Emily Valentine's performance at Hello Day.
"I wanted to tell you that I missed you, that I needed you. What we've got is more than just physical." Her voice was quaking with emotion.
"Bren, I'm not here because of that. I never was." Dylan wanted to touch her so badly, but he hesitated. "I'm here because I love you."
When Dylan looked back up to Brenda, he noticed that she had already bit into her burger. He examined her fully, noticing that her blue eyes were sparkling in a way they hadn't in a while. He smiled once again, his hand stroking Brenda's knee.
He picked up the turquoise envelope. "I was going to wait until after dinner, but I think now's the perfect time."
Brenda put down her burger, wiping her hands on the napkin situated on her lap. She opened the envelope, feeling a small, cool object fall into her hands. It was a silver band, with four small diamonds on the front. Engraved in the middle was the short message: "With love, from Dylan."
"Dylan, this is way too much," Brenda tried on the ring, a smile falling fast upon her lips. "But, I mean, I guess I have to keep it, right?" Brenda winked.
"If you don't, I'll tell Iris that I've been getting bad vibes from you and want her to do an intense palm reading and spiritual healing," Dylan cocked one eyebrow.
"You win," Brenda grinned, gleefully, leaving her seat and pulling Dylan out of his chair. "So, I've already figured out how to repay you for the ring. I owe you a minimum of five dances."
"The price sounds right," Dylan pecked her on the lips, and slid his hands down to her hips. Brenda wrapped her arms around his neck, and the two swayed to the gentle, easy sound of Serge Gainsbourg.
Steve's driveway was packed by the time Kelly and Brandon arrived. After making himself a parking spot along the road, the two approached the door. They could hear the music playing before they were even halfway up the driveway. The house, from what they could see, was entirely filled.
"Steve never fails to deliver," Brandon said, incredulously. "There must be 300 people here."
"When it comes to partying, Steve is the King," Kelly returned Brandon's smile. "I don't really remember freshman year really well. But there was this one time. Samantha went away for a week on a press tour to promote a new show she was set to star in, and Steve came up with this idea to have this huge masquerade party in his house. You know, costumes, masks, plenty of kegs, vodka, the works. Every freshman at West Beverly showed up and then, word got out to the upperclassman. I wouldn't be surprised if half of the school came. Steve just kept packing everybody in. Can you imagine? Drunk high school kids in masks packed into Steve's house like sardines, knocking over all of Samantha's furniture, practically ruining her white couch. I'm pretty sure Steve is still under house arrest for that stunt."
"God. Cindy and Jim would kill us if we tried that," Brandon winced, as if the thought of the punishment for throwing another out of control party physically pained him.
"It was bad enough when you guys threw that party sophomore year," Kelly said. "Samantha Sanders is one temperate woman. If Steve were my son, I would have pushed him off a balcony by now."
"I don't know if I could make it eighteen years raising that kid," Brandon said, prompting Kelly to laugh, as they approached Steve's front door.
Steve, always one to fulfill his host identity, answered the door, in full Hugh Hefner garb. Donning a red housecoat, leopard slippers, and holding a pipe with one hand, Steve looked every bit the part of a playboy.
"Hello, lady and gentleman," Steve grinned from ear to ear, putting the pipe up to his mouth. "Who might this pretty young thing be? Did I already say I'm going through a blonde period?" Steve raised his eyebrows.
Kelly pushed him away playfully. "Come on, Steve, can't you see I've brought a date?" Kelly turned to Brandon, planting a kiss on his cheek. "Brandon, Hef. Hef, Brandon."
"Ah, Brando," Steve patted him on the shoulder, "Come in, come in, you two. Food's in the kitchen, keg's in the living room, there's an open bar, and the grotto is completely open, if you know what I mean."
At that moment, a thin, pretty girl with curly light brown hair walked out of the kitchen and into the living room. Wearing a tight leopard print dress, black wedges, black eyeliner, and red lipstick, she looked completely divine. "There's my new lady," Steve pulled her by the waist, kissing her. "Guys, this is Celeste."
Celeste grinned, "You smell like you fell into a keg."
"That's actually the cologne he wears," Brandon cocked an eyebrow, grinning, Celeste throwing him a smile. "Eau de Jock."
Celeste smiled. "You must be Brandon. And you're Kelly, right?" She turned to both of them, and they nodded.
"Some of Steve's numerous fans," Kelly smiled, recognizing that Steve was completely smitten.
"I wasn't aware that this man could have fans," Celeste raised her eyebrows.
"Believe me, it surprises me too." Steve wrapped his arms around Celeste's waist.
"So, Brandon, I brought a friend that's visiting from out of town tonight. Steve told me that you could talk to her and maybe show her around the city tomorrow or something," Celeste smiled, looking to the connecting room, and then turning back to Brandon.
Kelly looked down. Brandon saw her gaze shift, and wished he had just insisted that Steve not try to hook him up.
"Really? That's great. How long is she in L.A.?" Brandon asked, politely.
"She's staying for a week. She has a break from school." Celeste began to raise her voice as the music became louder.
"Well, maybe I'll bump into her sometime tonight," Brandon said, putting an arm around Kelly's shoulder.
"Cool, I'll let her know," Celeste smiled at Brandon before being pulled by Steve to the dancefloor. Brandon looked towards Kelly, and saw that her look had changed.
"She must be a real babe," Kelly said, trying to sound convincing. "You probably shouldn't keep her waiting. I won't be offended."
"Kel, you're my date. I plan to have a lot of fun and you're definitely going to be involved," Brandon slid his hand down her arm. "And, to tell you the truth, I'm not so psyched to go hang out with some random girl. I came here with you because I wanted to come with you. I wouldn't have accepted your invitation if I didn't want to."
Kelly smiled, feeling so transparent.
"C'mon, let's grab some food." Brandon
The two wandered into the kitchen, trying to escape from the music.
"It seems all of our major food groups are represented. Pizza, pizza, and a half-eaten calzone," Brandon said. A number of jocks had gathered in the adjacent dining room, throwing around a notepad.
Brandon was confused by this spectacle until he saw the petite figure of Andrea standing impatiently at a counter nearby.
"Chief," Brandon grinned, coming up to pat her on the back. "What's happening?"
"Athletes," Andrea scoffed. "They're always completely determined to assert their dominance over the lower rungs of the high school social hierarchy in any way they can."
"Translation?" Kelly entered the conversation, watching the notepad crash into a puddle of beer.
"The jocks stole her notepad," Brandon turned to Kelly, smiling knowingly.
"Were you really trying to interview highly intoxicated jocks at a party, Chief?" Brandon put a friendly arm around his friend.
"Let me take care of this," Kelly walked into the other room, with her hands on her hips.
While the notebook hung in midair, Kelly snatched it. The jocks, realizing that Andrea was with Kelly, quickly made an exit to a close-by keg.
"I'm giving your notebook back to you on one condition. Promise me you'll enjoy the party and not focus on The Blaze." Kelly raised one eyebrow.
"I guess I could loosen up a bit," Andrea adjusted her glasses. "I just wanted to write this piece and—."
"Lighten up, Chief. Let's make our entrance into the living room and find Donna or something." Brandon put his arms around Andrea and Kelly's shoulders to push them forward.
"And you can find whatshername," Kelly said coyly.
"I wouldn't count on it," Brandon said, somewhat unenthused.
The main room was positively packed. Brandon spotted Celeste and Steve dancing in an intimate corner, and Donna chatting to a girl that looked vaguely familiar.
Andrea broke away from Brandon's grasp, and headed over to Donna, telling Brandon she would catch up with him a little later. Kelly stayed behind, folding her arms, and glancing in Brandon's direction coyly.
"I suppose asking you to dance would be a pointless question," Kelly smirked, knowingly.
"Maybe you can convince me a little later, Kel," Brandon returned her smile. "But for now, I'm going to have to stick to boring Brandon's guns and say no."
"I got you to dance once before, Bran," Kelly grinned, reaching for his hand and pulling it off her shoulder slowly. "I'm not going to give up on you just yet."
"I haven't forgotten your powers of persuasion. We'll see if they still do the charm," Brandon watched Kelly's eyes sparkle and her lips curl slightly before she turned away, to meet up with Andrea and Donna.
Was he actually flirting with Kelly? And did flirting with Kelly actually seem eerily natural? Had the tiny, suppressed crush that Brandon had always had on her developed into something that wasn't merely confined to the backburner? Only one thing was certain: he was certainly confused.
Brandon suddenly found himself standing alone. Standing in the middle of a group of dancing kids made him nervous, not to mention claustrophobic. Noticing that the conversation between Andrea, Donna, and Kelly had shifted from the standard pleasantries to a giggly gossip fest, Brandon bowed out, venturing out into a secluded spot near the pool. Though a few stragglers had already made their way into the pool, Brandon was pretty certain that the real pool dash wouldn't begin for a while. He felt comfortable just being alone with his thoughts for a minute.
After several minutes of sorting through his conflicting thoughts, he saw a woman, dangling pale legs clothed with knee-length black boots, leather jacket covered with shoulder-length brown hair, hidden away on another pool chair, facing the opposite direction. An eerily similar silhouette flickered, due to the presence of a fading gas lamp. Brandon looked down, trying to shake the feeling that this girl was anything less than a fellow reclusive party goer.
Once he had finally determined himself to simply return to the party, he noticed the girl had turned around. She stood at her full height, adjusting her chestnut locks. They locked eyes, and all of Brandon's worries had suddenly come to fruition. Deep, pained brown eyes gazed in his direction. Nothing had changed about the face that stared back at him, except her far less choppy, far less blonde haircut.
Brandon felt immobilized. All he could think of was trying to get away, but he simply couldn't. As they came face to face, Brandon rising from his seated position, he felt bad memories return all at once—a mixed drink gone awry, the hundred phone call hang-ups, the tubs of gasoline.
"Hey, Brandon," Said a familiar voice. "It's been awhile."
What do you guys think? Let me know! Up next: Iris will be making her appearance in either next chapter or the one after that, Brandon and Kelly will be a definite focal point, Dylan and Jack's relationship will also come into play, and senior year is anything but over. Stay tuned. And review! Your reviews make me want to write (wink, wink).