"This whole idea is terrible," Angie said.
Lyle tried not to do it, but he nodded in agreement. This whole benefit dinner was a total farce. The only reason the gang had to go to this gala was because Max wanted to improve his image after a horrible protest in front of his mansion ruined his beautifully mowed grass. The only way he would go was if the gang went with him. He said that they could talk to everyone for him and Angie could write the non-angry speech about dying animals or starving children or whatever the thing was about. Max didn't really care. As long as no one touched his lawn ever ever again.
Lyle checked in the mirror and straightened his tie. When he told his father about this dinner, it happened that he was going to a one not too far from it. Apparently, all adults who are in some serious need of publicity loving attend benefit dinners. Ever since Mayor Hugginson didn't approve a raise in taxes for the yuppies in Daventry Valley, he hadn't been too popular either.
When he told his father about the dinner he was so happy that he literally bought Lyle four sets of custom made Italian suits and he wanted him to change into them throughout the night to get the full use out of all of them. After telling the guys and Angie about the other dinner part, they refused to tag along and leave Max. So he has to ride in a big limo. With his dad. Alone. Then spend the whole night with him. In public. He couldn't be more delighted.
"Where are Dante and Wyatt? We were supposed to all get ready together before I have to leave," Lyle whined.
"Stop being a girl. They'll get here soon so they can see you off to spend a wonderful evening with your dad," Angie teased.
Angie took her make up kit out of her bag and kicked Lyle over to the side so she could finish putting her ceremonial make up on. The two friends heard a knock on the door and two flustered teenage boys busted through the door to Lyle's bedroom.
"What happened to you two?" Lyle asked, straightening his tie in the mirror for the 800th time.
Wyatt collected his breath and began his story, "It took us hours to find Dante anything remotely appropriate to wear to a civilized event. And he still won't change into it."
Dante jumped up from behind Wyatt and threw down a garbage bag.
"I deny this fabric that will retain my creativity and hourglass figure!"
Angie shook her head and added the finishing touches to her lip gloss. Wyatt grabbed his suit bag and went into Lyle's on-suite bath to get ready. Dante plopped down on Lyle's bed and started flipping through the Sports Illustrated that was on Lyle's bed side table.
"I don't get the appeal of those things," Angie pointed to the cover of the magazine where a bikini clad women covered in sand laid in a generic supermodel pose.
"I do," Dante chuckled and Lyle stopped obsessing over his tie to give Dante a chauvinistic high five. "The main reason is because it's there. Not who it is… that it is…."
Lyle nodded, "Deep man, deep."
"So if I walked around in minimal clothing you'd drool over me too?" Angie asked.
Dante didn't bother looking up from the magazine to say, "One hundred percent."
Angie put more cover-up on to hide her blush. A knock was heard on the door and Mayor Hugginson popped his head in to retrieve his reluctant son for the dinner from hell.
"Ready to go Lyle?" Lyle's dad asked in an unusually chipper voice.
"Yeah," Lyle said. He turned to his friends, "If you break anything while I'm gone I'll punch you all in the head. Even you, Angie. Alright guys, have a good time!"
Once Lyle left, Dante hopped up and off the bed. "Let's look through his stuff."
Angie finally put her make-up away and stood in front of Dante, directly blocking his path to Lyle's desk, which he has made clear on many occasions; was off-limits.
"He's one of your best friend's. Isn't there like a bro privacy code or something?" Angie sighed.
"Angie, we both know I don't follow rules," Dante whispered in her ear.
His breath left a tickle down her spine.
While distracted, Dante slipped past Angie. She whipped around and pushed him against the neighboring wall, away from the sacred desk. She grabbed his wrist and pinned them against the wall. Oddly, Dante did not protest. Angie couldn't help but notice that he had such chocolate-y brown eyes and Dante can't help but notice that maybe she's doing something new with her hair.
A far away door jiggled and Wyatt came out of the bathroom all dolled up for the gala in a simple black suit with a lifeless gray tie. He saw the two squabbling and just shrugged his shoulders.
He interrupted them by shouting, "Next!"
The two teens separated like they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Angie let go of Dante's wrists and then took her dress bag into the bathroom. Wyatt picked up the garbage bag of assorted 'nice clothes' and chucked it toward its owner.
"Put it on once Angie gets out or I will find a setting on Blast-a-Ton that will hurt your brain so hard it will cry tears," Wyatt said.
"I will not stuff myself into that monkey suit," Dante said in disgust.
"But you'll have Angie sit on your shoulders and walk around in a Skunk bear outfit?"
Dante laughed and seemed surprised. "Uh, duh."
The two boys heard a thud, a string of swears and a muttered sentence that sounded something like, "I really need to start hanging out with girls."
Wyatt gave a concerned look to Dante and yelled hesitantly, "Angie… is everything okay in there?"
"I hate to say this… but I need some help," she said.
Dante made a cringe worthy face and the worst images came to mind. "It better not be all Bridesmaids up in there!"
"Ew, Dante! No! I need help zipping up my dress. Wyatt!" Angie called from the bathroom.
Since Wyatt was her BFF in all, she wouldn't mind having him do it because he was essentially a girl. Although, Wyatt had this look on his face and he pretty much shut down.
He leaned over and whispered to Dante, "I'm afraid of lady skin. You have to do it."
"Hey, can't you just do it yourself?" Dante yelled to Angie in the bathroom.
"You obviously have never worn a dress before. They are the most complicated and frustrated puzzles the modern world has to offer," Angie said back.
Dante took a deep breath and patted his best buddy on the back. "I'm going in."
He sauntered over to the door and knocked on it gingerly. Angie opened the door and peaked her head out. She then closed it abruptly.
"I asked for Wyatt!" She called.
"He's afraid of lady skin!" Dante yelled back.
Angie let out a sigh and opened the door. She had on a liquid gold floor length dress that clung to her curves even before it was zipped up. There were specks of black in it that matched her strapless bra which was exposed in the back because of the lack of zippage.
"Stop looking and just do it," Angie spat.
Dante took a hold of the zipper situated on the small on her back and began to tug it up. It was half way when it reached its first snag. He looked up and caught a glimpse of Angie in the mirror. She was so beautiful and Dante felt as if he looked like an undeserving and ugly lampshade next to her. Their eyes caught each other's accidently in the mirror and Dante had this overwhelming feeling that he wanted to kiss her. Angie on the other hand was shocked because she wanted him to kiss her. She cleared her throat and Dante turned back to working on the zipper.
Once it made it all the way up Dante awkwardly patted Angie on the shoulder and started to leave. Angie stopped him with her arm.
"Put on the monkey suit," she told him.
Angie followed Dante out of the bathroom. Dante got his clothes and slammed the door. He just needed to get away from Angie fast before he did something that would ruin their somewhat of a friendship.
Angie tried to sit on the bed but her dress was way too tight. She finally noticed the glare that Wyatt was giving her.
"What?" she asked.
"Oh, nothing," Wyatt shrugged.
Within minutes, Dante emerged from the bathroom. He had on a sports jacket, ("Albert" sewn on) with a black and white striped shirt underneath. A purple clip-on tie was clinging to his shirt. He had some black skinny jeans on and the fanciest shoes in his closet—shiny black converse. Angie thought he looked pretty cute—a dressed-up version Dante but still him all the same. Angie decided to push the thought out of her head.
"Looking dapper," Wyatt commented to his friend.
Dante walked over to Angie and nudged her shoulder, "Not as good as Angie."
Not enough cover-up in the world could hide the blush that she was sporting right then. The trio walked downstairs and Max was already waiting outside with his limo parked up front. His "beautiful" face was plastered on the side of it. The gang got inside the stretch and sat on the other side of Max.
"The whole having your face on your own car thing isn't going to sit well with the charity crowd," Angie said.
"I'm giving them the gift of my face. I see nothing wrong with that," Max countered.
Angie just rolled her eyes. Angie tried to cross her legs but the dress was still too tight. Dante fixed his monkey jacket and when he was done, his hand accidently grazed Angie's knee. She barely felt it through the fabric of her dress, but she did and she thought she saw stars.
Angie had no idea what was happening. Dante's gross. He's not all that bright and he's very immature. But she didn't care because he had something that over shadows that. That made her heart race and her knees buckle. He had her heart.
Maybe it was the dress, or Dante's shiny shoes but she just started to realize it then. It dawned on her that this night could be her Cinderella night. She just has to make sure that the clock never strikes midnight and Dante doesn't turn into a pumpkin.
They all arrive at the event very nervous. None of them had ever been to one of these things before and it was easy to say they didn't know what to expect. They all walked in together and searched for a table far in the back so they got the minimal amount of face time with everyone. The Max's surprise, no one threw tomatoes at his head when they sat down. He saw that as a plus. A waiter passed around lobster and filled their glasses with champagne.
"Uh, we are under aged," Angie told him, pointing to herself, Dante and Wyatt.
The waiter smirked and filled their glasses anyway, "Could of fooled me, baby."
Once the waiter stalked off, Dante downed all of his glass and said, still with a mouth full of champagne, "I'm going to kick his ass."
All the champagne hit the table cloth.
Max leaned over and whispered to Wyatt, "Keep him on a short leash. I don't need that ego of his embarrassing me."
Wyatt decided not to say that Max's own ego is the most embarrassing of all. Dante started to get hot, was it just him or was it hot? God, he was hot.
Dante took the napkin out from under the silverware and they went flying everywhere. He wiped his brow. He should have known. Alcohol makes him feel like he is going a middle-aged woman going through menopause. He got up and grabbed his plate with the lobster.
"I'm going outside," he announced.
"Is he okay?" Angie asked when he left the ballroom.
Wyatt shrugged and picked through his lobster. "He gets hot when he drinks."
Max rolled his eyes and threw his knife down on the plate. The clatter made everyone in the dining hall stop their chatter and look over at Max.
"This lobster sucks!" He yelled.
The chatter began again, but it was all about how Max was a quote "insensitive jerk" and an "inconsiderate money-whore." Angie turned to Wyatt and he nodded in return.
"I'll do the damage control," Wyatt said.
He grabbed Max and the two went up to the podium and tried to get the attention on the assorted people throughout the charity ball. A woman with a blond bun so tight on her head it seemed to almost rip her face; came up to Wyatt and Max.
"Excuse me," she said, "this area is off limits."
Wyatt put his pointer finger in the air. "One moment."
Max and Wyatt faced the crowd and Wyatt tapped on the microphone for testing.
"What Max Ross means to say is that it sucks that all of these lobsters have to die to feed us… when they could be… living in the ocean with their families…." Wyatt explained. He completely pulled that out of his hat and he was pretty pleased with himself.
The crowd seemed to have believed that because the gossip about Max changed from negative to positive. People were heard saying "he may have a point" and "those poor crabs." (Even though they were lobsters. Rich people don't pay attention to little details like that.)
Max and Wyatt scurried back to their tables unnoticed and saw that Angie was practically squirming in her seat.
"What's wrong, Angie?" Wyatt asked.
Angie jumped up from the table and said, "I'm going to go find Dante."
After searching through what seemed like millions of rooms, Angie finally found Dante outside by the hotel's pool. The aqua reflection of the water casted a haunting glow on Dante's face. He sat next to the pool, legs crossed and the empty plate of lobster shells nestled near his thigh. Angie took off her gold heels and she gingerly sat down next to him.
"Hey," she said simply.
"Hey," he said back.
There was something off about Dante and Angie noticed it right away. He fidgeted with his hands and a devious smirk wasn't plastered on his face.
"Are you okay?" Angie asked.
Dante shrugged and didn't look up. "I just got to thinking."
Angie tried to stifle a laugh but failed and her giggle turned into a full snort, "You think?"
Dante cracked a smile and playfully shoved Angie's bare shoulder. She smiled back at him. What Dante was really thinking about was the fact that he would never have a chance with Angie. She was perfect, beautiful and smart. But Dante wasn't one to give up so easily. In his eyes, he never had anything to lose, so might as well take the chance.
"So what were you thinking about, Sir Bickle?" Angie teased.
Dante had a couple of options. He could just tell her right then that he liked her. Like like liked her. Only Gus has done that. Or, he could just kiss her, go for the whole romantic and spontaneous sort of thing. Was Angie into that? He didn't know. Or, he could play it safe and just say he was thinking about meatloaf or something. She wouldn't doubt that.
This silence gave Angie a couple of options. One, she could just go right out and say she liked him and wanted to be with him. Or, she could just grab his face and kiss him right there. Or lastly, her personal favorite, not saying a word and just leaving things as it was.
Something went off in their heads at the same time because both teens grabbed each other and pressed their lips together. Angie could feel Dante's braces and it was so cute. Dante felt the softness of Angie's skin and he thought she was the most beautiful thing in the world. Dante put one hand on Angie's waist and she moved so her hands were playing in his brown hair. The two were so happy that their lips moved against each other's frantically and their hands roamed around each other's bodies without thinking.
The two pulled apart to breathe. Angie bit at her lip and she was blushing madly. Dante had on a full blown smile. He gave Angie gentle pecks as the two smiled and giggled and realized what had just happened between them.
Dante reached for Angie's hand and he intertwines his fingers with hers. She looks down out the hand, wondering what she got herself into by kissing Dante Ontero.
"What?" He whispered, shifting his gaze from her eyes to her lips.
"What would Wyatt, Lyle and Max think?" Angie mused.
Dante seemed a bit hurt and gently pulled his hand out of Angie's grip. "Does it matter? We like each other," Dante said.
When Angie didn't answer right away he added, "Right?"
Angie shifted trying to get comfortable in her anything-but-comfortable dress. Angie liked Dante, she really did, but there was something that was holding her back from admitting that to Dante. She could barely admit it to herself, let alone anyone else.
"Right?" Dante repeated after a moment.
"Don't you think it would be weird though, if we started going out?" Angie asked.
Dante stood up and crossed his arms. "No! Not if we want to be together."
Angie attempted to get up to meet Dante's height, but the gold dress wouldn't let her. Despite how angry Dante was at her for doubting their chemistry, he offered her his hand which she gladly took.
"Dante, I'm just saying that—."
Dante threw up his hands and didn't want to hear anything she had to say anymore. "You know what, fine. Live in your happy little world with all your perfect people and all you're perfect little guys that shower every day and don't eat food they find in their lockers."
With that, Dante left Angie and went back into the ballroom with the guys.
Angie liked Dante. Dante liked Angie. But for some reason, she was making things more complicated in her head when really; they were as simple as Dante had said. What would people think? What would people do? Would they last? Did it all matter? When two people want to be together, that's the only thing that is important. Not what others think.
Wyatt came out of the double door moments later and tapped a stunned Angie on the shoulder, breaking her from her thoughts.
"Time for Max's speech about the foundation," Wyatt told her.
"So?" She snapped bitterly.
Wyatt crinkled his eyebrow and showed the palm of his hands in defense. "You wrote it; don't you want to hear it?"
"Did something happen between you and Dante while you were out here?" Wyatt asked, actually oblivious to the truth.
Angie turned to Wyatt and panicked, "What? Did he say something did?"
Wyatt shook his head and said, "No, but he seemed pissed. And I know it wasn't the champagne because he never actually got around to swallowing."
Angie laughed a bit, but her face still was solemn and gray. She looked up at Wyatt. "What would you say if Dante and I started going out?"
Wyatt's eyebrows did a little dance as he thought how these to opposites could ever want to be with each other. But he shrugged eventually and just said, "I would say congratulations."
Angie smiled and put her arm around Wyatt. "Let's listen to Max's speech."
When the two friends walked back into the building, they quietly got back to their seat while Max began his speech, bumbling like an idiot. About half way through, he got the hang of it and people actually seemed to like it. Angie grabbed Dante's hand and dragged him to the back of the hall. Angie pushed Dante against a yellow wall that had a blue curtain hanging in front of it.
"What are you doing?" Dante asked angrily.
"Let's do this. You and me. I don't care what anyone says. I want you. All of you," Angie confessed.
Dante contemplated for a moment… maybe he should make her squirm a bit more. Naw. He took a hold of Angie's waist and pulled her into a heated kiss. Angie took her spot around his neck and her tongue in his mouth like she was meant to be there all along.
The two were so involved in the kiss that neither of them heard the enthusiastic clapping or when Wyatt interrupted Max to give Angie the credit she deserved for her wildly and surprisingly popular speech. Wyatt yelled, "And there she is, the woman who wrote the speech, Angie Prietto!"
A spot light shifted onto Angie, who was latched onto Dante. The room went silent. The two lovers pulled apart and looked awkwardly at the crowd. Wyatt started a slow clap, and soon everyone joined in. Angie couldn't believe it. No one cared that it was Dante. Aww, whatever. She got her man.
On the ride home, Max decided not to say anything about the kiss because he doesn't believe in human conflict. Wyatt however teased them relentlessly. They didn't care. They held hands the whole way home.
When Max dropped them off at Lyle's house, he still wasn't there. Dante crashed through the door, claiming to be starving. Wyatt walked along side Angie and smirked at her, which she caught in the corner of her eye.
Wyatt put his arm around Angie and whispered, "Congratulations."
Yet another Dangie! My favorite:) So I have been looking over my other Dangie's and noticed that they kind of sucked. At least I felt like I could have done better. So, that's how it will be from now on! I hope everyone who read enjoyed! R&R! Huzzah! :*