AN: I forewarn you; Livvy is a very strange character, and I like her that way ;) Take her with a pinch of salt! Feedback is much loved and I promise to reply if you leave a signed review or email address... enjoy!
Chapter 1: Heeelloooo Livvy!
Some people would think me weird if they ever came to really know me
Some people would think me weird if they ever came to really know me. I am quite content to be what one would generally acknowledge as freakish… in fact it gives me great joy to be such. You see, I, Olivia (Livvy) Benton, have generally and for most of my life been considered the epitome of normalcy. Read: boring.
I make it sound rather like I walk down the street and passing pedestrians whisper: "There's that Livvy Benton… you know… the boring one." In those very loud whisper voices behind their hands that only particularly talented gossips are capable of using, notice the sarcasm here. This is in fact not the case. You see when one is normal; and believe me there is such a thing as normal (I should know as I have born witness to normalcy), nobody really pays attention to you, you are not even worthy of those shout-whispers that have been the bane of non-gossips' lives' for the better part of the existence of the universe. (In fact I rather think that even certain elite cave women did it, you know: 'grunt, grunt, I heard that Hairy-Legs the horrible dragged Twig-ear across the fire there into his cave last night, grunt.')
I was never really interesting enough to be noticed by those middle aged, rather weighty around the thigh's women that enjoy viciously spreading any tidbit of a misfortune across the four corner's of the globe (despite the fact that a globe has no corners and their news is admittedly not quite that wide spread. Although a new generation of gossips is coming I tell you! Those who will utilize the internet for maximum exposure of misfortune… just wait until the dear old Aunty Sue's of our world who are incapable of using a mouse let alone surfing the web, make way for their chat-room-loving information-generation counterparts. It's going to be a revolution!)
Now, to explain how I could have possibly been 'normal', when every motivational speaker on the planet will swear on his darling dead mother that 'normal' does not exist. Let us first and foremost set the record straight; normal most certainly does exist and it is also known as the ninth circle of hell (where all the motivational speakers are no doubt going for swearing on such a falsitude). I was neither beautiful nor ugly, demon nor saint, passionate nor indifferent, athletic nor nerdy. I was reasonably intelligent though never intelligent enough to be recognized at prize giving's. I was reasonably competent at everything, but never talented enough to attract attention. I was never daring enough to do anything spectacular, nor was I cowardly enough to be recognized as a wimp. Basically, I was the epitome of average. Or at least that was what I was perceived to be by anyone who, for no particular reason, chose to perceive me.
Now do not be fooled, I was not some completely unoriginal and mindless blob… in fact I rather thought my normalness, which I had long since come to terms with, made me unique. If I could say nothing else, I could at least say that there was no-one out there quite as normal as myself. And so I floated unhappily along for the greater part of my childhood.
That is, until I met Rodney. Rodney, despite his rather unfortunate name (no offence to anyone whose Dad's name is Rodney, but it really is a rather sad name… like the male version of Gertrude… no I exaggerate, it's not quite that bad, I mean Gertrude! For heavens sake whatever possessed anybody to name their kid that! It reminds me of Gherkins! Although I'm one to talk… my name reminds every one of Olives, I think my mom was hopped up on pain medication when she chose it.) But I digress; I was telling you about Rodney, who, despite his unfortunate name was- like me- in every way normal. This initially came as a shock to me. My entire identity and all my self worth was based on the fact that I was uniquely normal. No matter how depressing my existence was, uniqueness was something damn it! And Rodney had no right to rob me of that!
I did however manage to swiftly get over the loss of my uniqueness when it became clear that Rodney had taken a fancy to me. Now I cringe at the very thought, but honestly, when one isn't used to being paid attention overly much, and when one's vanity (for even I had a certain amount of vanity) is flattered by the knowledge of being the object of someone's affections, one cannot help but become slightly biased towards this person, the source of ones unexpected joy, no matter how boring and normal he may be.
And boring and normal Rodney most certainly was!
Now, from the appearances of things, our relationship should have been perfect (I mean, 'we had so much in common!'). In reality it was anything but. You see, there is something that I have neglected to tell you. And that rather pertinent fact was, that although I was perceived by everyone, including myself, as even more normal than a happy family with 2.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence, I was and still am anything but normal. Rather than boring, I was bored.
It just took me a whole lot longer than it should have to realize it.
And far more time than Rodney lasted as my boyfriend, because I may not have known that the source of my normalcy was boredom, but I certainly knew that Rodney was even less inspiring than a lettuce leaf (and the stuff is seriously bland, I mean, what is the point of eating it? It has almost no flavor or nutritional value!)
We 'dated' (which consisted of far too much going to the movies and far too little actual fun) for just over three weeks, and by the end of that time I had determined that the guy was most definitely not for me (a fact I had actually known after about five minutes of dating, but had had trouble accepting considering how much we 'supposedly' had in common). I was contemplating how to break up with him (for the sake of my sanity… another hour in his presence may just have induced a mental breakdown; although I'm sure you could argue my mental stability by this point), when to my shock; he saved me the trouble by unceremoniously dumping me.
That talentless snot had the cheek to tell me that he found me boring and unadventurous. He also accused me of not having a spontaneous bone in my body. And for the first time in longer than I can remember, I was really, truly, and passionately incensed! In a way that is as un-average as it's possible to be. I was in fact extraordinarily furious.
So furious that I was rendered speechless.
Rodney being the moron that he was assumed I was speechless with grief over the loss of him or whatever, and was able to retreat before I was able to calm myself enough to enunciate words and thereby unleash my ire upon him. All I can say now is that it was his lucky day, because the power of my anger when allowed free rein would have fried his stupendously average brain, and it is also rather unlikely that he would have escaped our encounter with the ability to bear children.
Luckily for me, I had somehow tapped into an as yet unknown side of myself, a wild and passionate side that had been locked away for so long that I hadn't known of its existence. Without Rodney as a target my fury died down to a simmering resentment as opposed to my former boiling rage. Now, rather than a desire to decapitate him, I felt the need to prove him wrong, to be everything he accused me of not being. In short, I was for the first time feeling rebellious, and I was loving every minute of it.
Let me pause for a moment to explain myself, for I fear that you must be rather justified by your own experiences in believing that no teenager at the ripe old age of 17, can possibly be feeling the need to rebel for the first time. I assure you, in my very unusual situation, it is true. You see, my parents, whom I love dearly and have the greatest respect for (and I was only being slightly sarcastic here), are pacifists… to the degree that they make any other pacifist before them seem like manipulative, aggressive demons.
They're pretty much hippies only with jobs that pay a decent amount of money.
I am also an only child. Taking this into account, you will begin to have a greater understanding of why I never felt the need to rebel like any normal teenager (and why I hadn't realized that this made me abnormal I really cannot say… I plead temporary insanity). You see, there was never anything to rebel against. Our home can probably be described as the most peaceful household on planet earth… in other words; extremely boring. My parents never fight, they very calmly discuss. There are never raised voices. Whenever I was punished, which was very seldom, they explained their reasons for my punishment so thoroughly and nicely that it was impossible for me to hold it against them.
And probably the single largest reason I had for never feeling the need to rebel was the fact that my parents trusted me, and gave me freedom accordingly… being the free spirits that they are. If I wanted to go to a party, they would ask me where it was and what time I needed to be picked up, and that was that. Now this may give off the impression that I was given far too much freedom, and my parents didn't actually care about me. I have come to believe that it was in fact an amazingly cunning strategy. They imbedded good values in me so firmly as to be inescapable, and then gave me freedom (can't you just hear Uncle Peter in Spiderman saying, "With great power comes great responsibility!" well that was how I felt.) I think the worst thing was that when I did screw up, they often didn't punish me, they would rather sit me down at the table and ask me why I had done what I'd done, and talk over the whole thing, giving off such disappointed vibes that I would be as virtuous as a nun for months.
Anyway, enough about my freaky family… basically I was ready to do something crazy, something outrageous, something spontaneous! And I did.
Only not in the manner that one would have expected.
Because I've yet to meet anyone who would expect someone to break into strangers houses in order to take baths.
Yes, that's right, you heard me. I, Olivia Benton, frequently sneak into the houses of complete strangers in order to take advantage of their bathrooms.
This is not, as most people would expect, because I have no bathroom of my own. I do in fact have my very own, really lovely and fully functional bathroom… I just don't use it all that often as I prefer to use other peoples.
You see, at heart, I am a thrill seeker, and where most people jump out of airplanes or off bridges for their thrills, I go about it in a rather unique manner. I find a house, usually a rather large and expensive looking one (and preferably without dogs), I wait until all of the owners have vacated the house for the day… and then I use my talents to break into the house.
This is a thrill like you would not believe. Some people get high on drugs; I get high on adrenalin.
Then, when I am safely inside a perfect strangers' house, I strip off my clothes, I find the bathroom, and I run myself a brilliant hot, deep bath and use every expensive bath and beauty product that I can lay my hands on.
At this point, I would understand if you thought me crazy, most people would. Most people would wonder what possessed me to do such a stupid thing.
Most people are not me.
However I will explain my motivation, in an attempt to redeem some of your respect, which despite what you probably believe of me, I do really feel the need to hold.
The breaking into someone's house thing was basically entirely Rodney's fault. In fact I can blame everything interesting that has happened in my life since Rodney broke up with me on Rodney. At this point I would like to send my heartiest thanks his way, although I never wish to see him again and still think him the dullest creature I have ever had the misfortune of coming across… duller even than the color beige, and who has ever seen anything duller than beige! I mean, the word dull seems to have been coined especially for that color, but it hardly seems to do Rodney justice!
On with the story, though I fear that by now you have probably lost all interest as I do tend to get rather sidetracked!
Having determined upon doing something that Rodney and the rest of my boring suburb would never expect of me, I was rather at a loss as to what to do. I thought about dying my hair blue for a while, but decided it may not suit me, and that it was far too petty a thing and far too overdone. Then, like a lightening bolt, it hit me. The wonderful knowledge that, after watching a few crime TV program's as a child (the one's where they crack open safe's and pick locks and the likes), I had taught myself how to pick every type of lock available in our house.
Armed with this fresh-remembered and rather rusty skill, as well as some crudely constructed tools that had been hand crafted at age 11 using whatever was lying about and seemed useful, I made my way over to my neighbors house, and began the task of breaking and entering.
It was surprisingly easier than I had expected, but it was a rush that I had never felt before as well. Knowing that at any minute I could be caught got my blood pumping and my adrenalin rushing and I felt more alive than I had in years. And so, flush with victory, I found myself standing in the Thompson's living room. Unfortunately the buzz soon started to die off when I realized I didn't know what to do once I was there.
The thing was, I didn't really want to steal anything, and I hadn't actually given any previous thought to what I would do if successful… I hadn't thought that far ahead. So, at a loss as to what to do, I floated around the house a little, feeling extremely bored.
I watched a bit of TV, ate a bit of food and looked through a few draws half expecting to uncover some deep, dark secret that the Thompson's had managed to keep hidden for my entire 17 years of existence. Unfortunately I still haven't found out whether or not the Thompson's are keeping their crazy grandmother locked up in the cellar or robbing banks under cover of darkness, since all I really came across in my feeble pokings around were bills, clothes and cutlery. What I did find out however, was that they had a really fantastic bathroom!
Having been blessed with a rather weak bladder, I was rather suddenly obliged to make use of the facilities and rather vehemently regretting drinking the Thompson's entire supply of coke. (My mother, being the hippy she is, does not keep anything but water and organic juice in our fridge, and as a result I've quite an obsession with that wonderful liquid Coca Cola that can apparently eat through your stomach lining… yum!)
All of my regret (stemming from the fear of being literally caught with my pants down), disappeared in a poof smoke when I found the Thompson's recently refurbished (I knew this because the bloody builders had woken me up at the crack of dawn every morning for weeks with their racket), absolutely heavenly bathroom. I will not attempt to describe how absolutely wonderful the Thompson's bathroom was, but, if you will, imagine what your perfect bathroom would be and then multiply it by about a bazillion… and I'm not exaggerating! That bathroom was single handedly responsible for my subsequent obsession with bathrooms.
After I had done my business, I just couldn't bear to leave. I wanted to soak up the relaxing atmosphere. I wanted to bask in its glory! (Okay, so that may have been a slight exaggeration, even I am not that weird!) And the rather scandalous idea of getting caught with my pants down drifted into my head… not actually purposefully getting caught, but risking it. It had a certain thrill to it, and again I felt my adrenalin rushing, I regained that pleasure that came with risk taking that I had lost when I had achieved my goal of breaking and entering.
And this time I wasn't going to let it fizzle out. This time I was going to feed the fire.
I lifted my derriere from its perch on the edge of the Thompson's swimming-pool like tub (okay, so I admit it wasn't quite that big, but for a tub it was really, really, enormous.) Then I walked, feeling sexy and scandalous, swinging my hips for nobodies benefit but my own, towards the brand new, irresistibly shiny silver taps.
I put in the plug, and then slowly turned on the taps, feeling as if I was doing something supremely sinful and reveling in it. With smoldering eyes I sauntered out of the bathroom door, running my fingers over the beautiful plush white towels as I went.
Light was streaming through the house from the huge picture windows in every room. Adrenalin, like a drug, made me feel daring. I kicked off my shoes, leaving them where they lay on the soft carpet. I padded in the direction of the kitchen to fetch a lighter I had seen in one of the drawers. As I went I stripped off my clothing. The sweater came first, over my head and crumpled on the floor before I had gone half way down the passage. Then I stopped to unzip my jeans, pulling them down ever so slowly so that inch by inch my skin was exposed. Next came the tank top, which I recklessly flicked into a family photo on the wall of the open plan lounge.
By the time I had found the lighter I was down to only my underwear and I had never felt so wickedly and spontaneously alive!
Sauntering out of the kitchen in only my underwear the reality of what I was doing finally hit me.
I was doing a strip tease for dining room chairs!
This thought stopped me in my tracks. And there was a moment, one very strange, very enlightening moment, when I realized that I was quite possibly a completely insane freak. Then I realized that I really did not care… in fact, being a freak was kind of awesome.
So I carried on doing a strip tease for the Thompson's furniture.
I was completely naked, exposed and vulnerable when my bare feet left the soft carpeting of the passage and touched down on the cool tiles of the bathroom. There was something both terrifying and exiting about making ones self so completely vulnerable. The thrill of it seemed to have seeped into my bones.
The tub was almost overflowing with bubbles… I switched the taps off. I lit the candles that squatted around the edge of the tub. I let down the blinds. I closed the door. And then slowly I stepped into the bath. The hot water and smell of the bubble bath relaxed me while the still pumping adrenalin excited me. It was almost as if a tug of war was happening in my body. It was the physical manifestation of an oxymoron. If I could describe the feeling in one word, it would be; divine. Actually, I lie, there is no one word for it… it's fantastic, marvelous, heavenly, incredible, superb, brilliant and orgasmic all rolled into one.
When I got out of that bath tub, dripping wet and pruney, I felt better than I had ever felt in my life. Perhaps now you will understand why I would want to do such a thing again. The first time, I had something to prove, after that it was all for the heck of it, all for the thrill and the pleasure of it. I turned bathing in a strangers' house into my very own unique art form. My own bizarre obsession.
When all of this started I was in the beginning of my last year of high school. I'd very luckily been able to both get rid of Rodney and acquire what one might term a hobby rather early in the school year, and the combined effect was nothing short of miraculous. I will not give Rodney much credit at all here, as the best thing he did for me was to bugger off (and I have a few choice words in my vocabulary that I could substitute for 'bugger' there; I'm sure you can use your imagination, but I shall refrain from doing so as I shall not stoop to the level of such an insufferable prat!)
I give the majority of the credit for the upward direction my life took at that time to my new 'hobby'. For the first time ever, I had a secret, a real secret that felt both exciting and dangerous. Carrying the secret around with me gave me a great sense of satisfaction, and had the rather positive byproduct of giving me an air of mystery that I was completely unaware of, but seemed to garner me a bit more notice than I was used to.
Possibly the best consequence of my newly acquired obsession was the alleviation of boredom. I finally had something to do in my free time (AKA most history and all physics lessons). Not only that, but it somehow made life in general seem less boring. Perhaps in believing myself boring I had shut my heart and mind to everything that was at all interesting, or perhaps in having nowhere to channel my creative energy I had been so utterly and chronically bored that I ceased to care about anything only vaguely interesting. Whatever the reason, I suddenly seemed to wake from a kind of hibernation.
I saw life with new eyes and was unexpectedly motivated to put a little more effort into it. Perhaps the most quantifiable benefit of this was the fact that my grades soared. By the end of the year I was one of the top of my class and had my pick of universities. Life seemed to be going swimmingly.
The summer before I left home I encountered a little road block.
I had continued to break into people's houses all year, and having nothing else to do in the summer before I left for university, I stepped up my breaking and entering schedule. Plus I figured that I wouldn't want to do so much breaking and entering once I left home, the university district not being renowned for its bathrooms (communal bathrooms… need I say more).
For the last break in of the summer I'd decided to really splash out. I set my sights on the most enormous mansion for miles around… complete with six car garage, tennis court and tastefully highlighted, perfectly primped housewife. I offered to baby-sit my neighbors' kid and spent a week in the park opposite the house on stake out. It was totally worth it!
The entire place just screamed money, taste and luxury from top to bottom. It was like something out of a dream. My feet sunk into the carpet as I walked. Every surface gleamed. There was a huge, beautiful staircase that led to the second floor and I couldn't stop myself from running my hand along the smooth dark wood of the banister.
I felt like a fairy princess. Like I was floating on a cloud, or living in a fantasy. My eyes gleamed with wonder and my mouth curved upwards ever so slightly in an adoring smile.
By the time I was in the bath I was in seventh heaven. The bathroom mirrors were cloudy with sweet smelling steam, light flooded into the room through the enormous picture window that overlooked the sea, affording me the most magnificent views. I drifted into a doze to the soft sound of the waves crashing onto the shore.
I was jolted awake approximately ten minutes later by the clearing of a throat. I lazily opened an eye to investigate the source of the noise.
It is certainly a rather compromising position when one is caught taking advantage of the bathtub of a family one does not know from a bar of soap (no pun intended), by (of course) the unreasonably attractive son of the owners (or at least that was what I assumed he was as I regarded him through one eye from my rather vulnerable position in the bathtub, without even a wisp of bubble bath to preserve my modesty).
He wore an irresistibly sexy black t-shirt with the name of some band plastered across the front of it. I was too busy admiring the way it clung in all the right places to pay attention to which band it was. His dark blue jeans hung loosely from his hips and exposed his silk boxers in a way I had always thought ridiculous (because who the hell feels comfortable with their pants slipping off their arse!) but now, for some unaccountable reason, found ridiculously sexy. They were also purposely ripped and frayed in places… which I had always thought beyond stupid. Basically they epitomized everything I hated in a pair of jeans… but I suddenly felt myself inclined to find them drool worthy.
This entirely strange form of temporary insanity I was experiencing is also sometimes, by trained professionals, termed lust.
And while I was still looking him up and down, by now through both eyes, although admittedly they were only partially open and I was checking him out in a rather sleepy and relaxed manner, he was doing some checking out of his own.
He leaned against the door frame… I had rather cockily left the door wide open… and smirked as he stared unabashedly at my bare, heat flushed skin, at my soaking wet dark curly hair that was rather unsuccessfully piled onto the rim of the bath above my head, at my feet; crossed and resting on the taps, and my arm; hanging over the edge of the tub still clutching a glass of mind-bogglingly expensive champagne.
At this point any sane person would have cut and run, but being rather insane and also rather comfortable where I was, I decided that this punk wasn't going to rob me of my well earned bath. (Okay, so I'll admit that that probably wasn't the case, I was most likely just too stunned to move.) Finally he broke the silence, which I wasn't all that happy about since I was perfectly content with the silence myself.
"Should I know you?" He asked. I raised an eyebrow but otherwise didn't move a muscle.
"Do you?" I asked in an unconcerned manner.
"No… which leads me to my next question, are you one of my father's 'friends'?"
I chuckled lazily in response. "You sure are direct aren't ya?"
"And you sure seem to like answering questions with more questions." He replied.
"Mmmm," I replied disinterestedly and turned my eyes away from him. I lifted my champagne glass lazily to my lips and took a sip. Gorgeous didn't seem to get the hint… or maybe he just didn't take kindly to being ignored.
"I'm going to assume that you aren't at all acquainted with any member of my family and skip right ahead to asking what the hell you're doing in our bathtub." He said mildly.
I rolled my eyes. "I would have thought that that was fairly obvious, but as you seem intent on bothering me, I'll just be getting out."
I'm still rather unsure what possessed me at that moment, but before Gorgeous had time to reply… before he even had time to turn around, I stood up and stepped, dripping, out of the tub.
I thought his eyes were going to pop out of their sockets.
He stood, dumbstruck, and stared at my entirely naked form, his eyes glazed over with lust. And I felt incredibly powerful.
I languidly held my hand out for a towel. He blinked at my hand for a few seconds before he realized what I wanted, then he seemed to come to his senses. He slowly and purposefully dragged his eyes back up my body and met my arrogant smirk with one of his own. Our heated gaze was like a battle of wills, our eyes challenging each other to rise to greater and more idiotically daring heights. Slowly he turned and pulled down the single small towel among the masses of bath-sheets off the towel rail and held it out to me with that infuriating smirk of his.
I raised my eyebrows in amusement and took it from him, slowly wrapping it around myself with my eyes still firmly glued to his. Then I shot him a wide, lopsided, amused smile and sauntered out of the bathroom still dripping wet. I felt his eyes following me on my path down the hallway. I bent at the waist to pick up a pair of lacy black panties, audaciously giving him quite a show. The panties in question were the first item of clothing in the trail I'd left, and Gorgeous had undoubtedly followed, to the bathroom. I did the same thing to pick up the entire trail. I heard an amused chuckle as I let myself into the guest bedroom at the end of the passage. I turned to close the door and met his eyes as he stood in the bathroom door frame. I winked before I closed the door on him.
Five minutes later I was dressed and ready to go, albeit sans bra, as I had apparently misplaced it and I was not about to go on a hunt for it. I opened the door to be faced with the shocking blue eyes of Gorgeous regarding me from across the passage. I smirked.
"I gotta run." I stated, walking past him and patting him condescendingly on the shoulder. "See ya round!"
And then, for some reason, I hopped up onto that irresistible banister and slid down to the first floor. I waved cheekily from the bottom of the stairs and then sauntered out of the open front door with a wonderful sense of satisfaction.
AN: Review! I'll love you forever if you do!