2. Of Awkward Dinners and Dirty Princesses

I felt like I was in a Tim Burton movie.

Being seated beside Cole at the Mercer dining room table was not my idea of fun. Four pairs of eyes blinked curiously at us from the other side. Corinne sporting a very rainbow colored blouse was sitting next to Lydia who was wearing a bright red feather in her hair. Why? I had absolutely no idea. What would posses anyone who wasn't a pirate or Pocahontas to wear a feather in their hair? Beats me.

Next to Lydia was Mr. Sean Mercer. Cole's much older father. And oh boy, did he like younger woman.

It was clear Mr. Mercer was going through a mid life crisis. Only men with a need to impress younger women would dye their hair pitch black and go to a tanning salon…

Mr. Mercer's new bride was something to look at. Yolanda, had to be at least seven feet tall. She was like a giraffe with her long stick legs. Her white blonde hair was cut short and gelled to stick up in that "bed head" type of way. And her clothes… seriously, who wears a fur coat in Jacksonville, Florida…

The fabulous Yolanda does.

"Don't you think Josslyn looks lovely this evening." Lydia cooed.

Did I mention I was wearing a pink plaid dress? No? Well I was. All thanks to Lydia. I swear to God that woman fed of my humiliation. You know how she got me in this dress? Basically she stared at me with her cold lifeless eyes until I cracked and agreed to wear it. I think she's so evil she doesn't even know it.

She even "offered" to do my hair. You will never guess what she did to it. She braided it… You know those blonde Swiss milkmaids that yodel on mountains or whatever. Basically that's what I look liked; minus the blonde hair. Actually I have really long wavy brown hair. I didn't know why she thought it would work.

I looked like an idiot.

You should have seen the way Cole reacted when he saw me. His eyes got all wide and I heard him squeak out a strangled laugh. I bristled a bit. Jerkface.

Everyone's eyes flashed to me. I saw Yolanda snicker at Lydia's question. I look so stupid she thought I was the "help" when she arrived. She even handed me her squirrel coat only to reveal her very hot pink dress with the daring neckline.

No one answered Lydia. I felt ridiculous.

I looked over at Cole expecting him to give me that disgusted look, but instead he was staring down at his plate of clam chowder. He looked like he would rather be in the middle of a hurricane.

Lydia didn't seem to be fazed by everyone's silence. Instead she kept speaking. "Would you believe it took me hours to do her hair? Personally I think she should cut it short. You know show off her neck. She has a lovely neck. I would kill for your neck." She just kept going. "This one time when I was about sixteen, this modeling agency approached me and the man told me I had the exact same neck as Brook Shields!" Everyone looked so bored. "What are the chances of that?!"

Who cares…

"Oh, it's just great that Josslyn is here. It'll be nice to have an another ovulating woman in the house!"

I chocked on my chowder and Mr. Mercer dropped his spoon with a loud clatter. I heard Cole mumbled something to himself and lower his head even more.

"I swear since this place has lost all its feminine vibe. Cole's been stinking it up with his testosterone!" Her and Corinne erupted into laughter. Apparently this was only funny to the homosexuals.

I saw Cole run his hand over his face and sigh. How could he stand her? She'd lost her marbles. "I once tried to integrate femininity into Cole's life, remember we went to those Lamaze classes, dear." Cole shut his eyes painfully at the memory. "It didn't work. He's such a man, so rugged and dirty."

Yolanda let out a soft giggle. Could she be anymore obvious? She practically rubbed her body against his when she greeted him hello.

"May I be excused?" Cole asked with an edge in his voice. He stood quickly and waited for his mother to say something.

"Is something the matter, dear?" She blinked up at him.

"I um… have a bit of a headache."


"Oh!" She crooned. "Take Josslyn with you, maybe she could help." I didn't like her suggestive tone.

He made a face, but I was up. I didn't want to sit with those people. I followed him quickly out of the room. Once were out of hearing distance he erupted. "Does she hear herself when she speaks!" He growled.

"Lamaze classes?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Shut up." He barked. "That is on a long list of fucked up things she thinks will better "enlighten me"."

I stayed close on his heels as we went up the stairs. "At least she didn't make you wear a dress."

He stopped and gave me a look. My eyes grew wide. "She didn't!"

"I was five…" I started to laugh. "Shut up at least I don't look like Little Bo Peep." His voice was low and guarded but there was a hint of humor.

"Well at least I don't have my step mother undressing me with her eyes."

He laughed. "What about my dad? Watch out or you'll be my new stepmother."

I shuddered.

When we reached his bedroom he turned around to face me. "You're not coming in."

"Why not?" I asked annoyed.

"Because I hate you…" On that note he slammed the door in my face. I stood very still looking at the wood door. Who the hell did he think he was?!

I banged loudly. "Open the door, I'm not going back down there!"

"Go away!" I heard him shout from inside his room.

"Open the door!"

The door opened and he stuck his head out. His dark brown eyes narrowed. "How many rooms are in this house?" He asked.

I was fuming. "I don't know!"

"Neither do I, but I'm sure if you look you'll find a couch. And, maybe if you're lucky it'll be a pullout." He slammed the door in my face.


The door opened again. "Oh, and there's a Murphy bed somewhere in this house, but I'll never tell."

This time he slammed the door so loud I jumped. I stood there for a while trying to decide what to do. All the guestrooms were locked. Fuck.

Cole Mercer was a monkey's asshole.

I wandered for an hour around Cole's massive mansion. It was ridiculous really, how big this place was. There seemed to a room for everything. I found a room with nothing in it but a large painting of an old woman. She was slightly creepy, and I wondered why she would need a whole room to herself. I didn't stay too long…

Eventually I found myself outside in the gardens. Or, well it would be soon. Beyond the pool was a huge green field just on the edge of the woods. Some of the ground was dug up with holes and such. A pathway was being put in from what I could see. I imagine for Lydia's upcoming birthday.

Lydia was very picky about her birthday. She plans this extravagant ball for herself.

Rich people…

So, on August the 1st, she has this ball. There was always a theme. Last year was famous couples…She obviously made me pair with Cole. Guess who we were… Yup, that's right, Fred and Wilma… Everyone's favorite prehistoric couple! You thought I was going to say Romeo and Juliet or something romantic, didn't you? There we were standing like idiots. You should have seen Cole wearing a large orange dress thing… It was so sad. I thought he was going to cry or snap and kill everyone.

How his mother manipulates us into doing weird shit is beyond my understanding. She can make people do anything; it's freaky. I wouldn't be surprised if she was the one who persuaded that Chapman guy to shoot Lennon.

I stood by the pool and wondered what she was planning. In a month, I'll probably be dressed like Anne of Green Gables or something.

Heading for the field, I untied my hair and ran my fingers through the strands as I looked up at the marvelous star filled sky. It was beautiful. Amazing… I could see constellations, or wished I could.

I had this little fantasy that I'm seven, and my father and I are standing on my bedroom balcony looking up at the stars with a telescope. He's telling me all their names, and I'm fascinated. He lifts me on my shoulders as if the few extra feet towards the sky are going to help me see the star any clearer.

That never happened so… I don't know the constellations. It's one of those childhood experiences I've missed. Like bedside stories, or believing in Santa. My parents weren't really big on Christmas. Missed childhood experiences really started to add up.

Because I was wondering aimlessly and feeling sorry for rich ass I fell.

Into a hole.

It took my by complete surprise. One minute I was walking and the next moment there's nothing beneath my feet. I was in a freaking boy was it deep. Pain pulsed from my wrist up my arm to my shoulder. I honestly couldn't believe I just fell in a hole.

I looked up. Yes, I was in a hole.

It had to be at least ten feet deep. I looked up and all I could see were stars. My claustrophobia kicked in. I tried to climb the sides but my wrist didn't approve and the moist earth just crumbled away as I grabbed hold.

I was stuck in a hole like one of those kids named Tommy or Timmy who'd fall down a well and weren't seen for, like, a week.

Shit, what if no one found me? What if I starved? Or worse, what if I had to eat bugs to survive? I don't think was cut out to be a victim of starvation. I wouldn't last long…

Snap out of it! I took a deep breath.

Someone would notice I was gone. Maybe not Cole, but Lydia! She'd notice when my ovaries were gone!

After my few attempts to call for help were unanswered I curled up and cradled my stupid throbbing wrist. Within fifteen minutes I had Sexyback in my head. Another hour later and I was asleep.

Pink puppies surrounded me…

They were running around me and yapping. One stopped. It looked up at me with its adorable pink puppy-dog eyes and said, "Can you hear me?" I looked at the dog completely surprised that it was talking "Are you okay?" It asked.

Yes, I was okay? Should I not I be?

"Shit, it's dead." The dog cursed.



My eyes shot open. There was a very vivid pain bouncing around my skull. I sat up and cradled my head in my hands. "Fuck, fuck, fuck," I screamed.

"Shit…" I head a voice from above.

Oh man! I was still in the hole… I looked up and found blue skies above and a head peering over the side. I didn't recognize him, but there he was looking down at me.

My knee bumped against something. It was a rock. A large rock. I grabbed it. "Did you just throw a rock at me!" I yelled, still rubbing my head.

The man bit his lip. "Sorry…"

"Who the hell are you! You can't just throw rocks at people!"

"I was making sure you were alive!" He said.

"Well obviously I am!"

"I know that now!"

I was filled with rage, I didn't really know why. Maybe it was because someone found me in this horribly embarrassing situation. I was silent for a moment, and then stood up, ignoring the pain in my head and my wrist. "What are you doing in a hole?" He asked with a little laugh at the end.

I growled. "If you must know, I didn't intend to come down here."

He laughed. "I guessed that much."

His careless voice echoed off the walls. "Instead of throwing a rock, a ladder might have been more useful." I snapped.

He laughed one last time then disappeared. I waited. Was he coming back? He better… Once he appeared, he lowered a ladder into the hole. I was so thrilled my anger was almost dissolved.

I climbed the ladder one handedly while I pressed my wrist to my chest. When I reached the mouth of the hole. The man was holding out his hand for me. I ignored him and helped myself out.

I blinked at the sudden bright sun and pushed my hair out of my face. I was completely covered in dirt. My hair, my stupid dress, my knees, under my nails! The man stood in front of me with a strange expression on his face.

"What?" I barked.

He shrugged. "Well you're covered in dirt."

A blood vessel was ready to pop. "Yes, thank you. Thanks for pointing that out; I really appreciate it. It's not like I knew that already, because I really needed for you to tell me that I was covered in dirt. It must be true now." I was out of steam.

He blinked his clear blue eyes at me and crossed his arms. Wow, he had arms… "Have I offended you?" He asked tilting his head to the side.

I raked my hand through my dirty hair. "You threw a rock at me!"

"And I've apologized."

"Well, I don't accept." I said stubbornly.

"Well I'm sorry to hear that, Princess…"


I know he didn't just call me Princess… "Excuse me?" My left eye twitched.

He smirked. "I like the dress, it really completes the picture."

I let out a shaky breath. He was pushing my buttons. "Who do you think you are?" I cried.

"I'm Jack, and you are…" He stuck out his hand for me to shake, but my right hand was slightly in a lot of pain. He noticed my swollen purple wrist and lowered his hand. "You're wrist is broken."

I was offended at his politeness. "Yes, I know! And, my name is none of your damn business!"

He grinned. "So I guess I'm not forgiven."

"Of course not." I watched him run his hand through his light brown hair. It was shaggy, and stuck up in a Brad Pitt kind of way.

He shook head disappointedly. "Then I guess our relationship ends here." I watched as he walked away. I stood there wondering what he was doing on Cole's property, but then I saw a few other men standing around with various tools watching me with confusion. That's when I realized they were landscaping Lydia's dream. Okay, The truck with the large red letters, which read, "Pete's Landscaping" was a big giveaway.

I was about to head back to the house when I head a shrill yell. "Josslyn!" Lydia cried running across the field towards me in a zebra printed silk housecoat.

"Josslyn, Oh my Lord!" Seriously, what was with the name? Most people just call me Joss. The lyn was so unnecessary.

She ran towards me and grabbed my shoulder. "What happened to you!" Her eyes were wide with fright.

"I'm f-"

"Did one of the men do this?!" One of her eyes went very narrow as she looked around at the men who were all curiously staring at us from a far distance.

"Huh?" Was all I could muster.

"Don't worry, you can tell me. Men think they can just take advantage of a beautiful girl like you, but I wont have it!" She yelled. "They think they can just go sticking their penises in whatever then want."

Please don't let anybody hear her.

"No, I fell in a hole." I pointed to the hole we were standing beside. "See… a hole."

She let out a sigh of relief. "Oh thank God!" She cried happily. That wasn't really the reaction I was hoping for. "I just thought since we're standing in the middle of a field with dirty men… Jesus Josslyn, you look so sexually abused covered in dirt and all."

I didn't really know what to say. "I'm sorry…"

"Don't let it happen again…" She warned and pulled me towards the house. "Oh you're wrist!" She said unhappily. "You need to go to the hospital."

Instead of leading me indoors she went over to Cole's dark Aston Martin. "Wait here," She said then hurried away. "Cole will take you too the hospital."

"Wait, I'm covered in dirt." I said as she scurried. "I need to change."

She turned. "Oh no! You're injured we must be quick!" She paused. "And quite frankly you'll track that dirt all over my Marc Philippi rug."

I rolled my eyes as she disappeared into the house. Why was this happening to me? I'm a good person.

I waited for a half an hour until Cole emerged from his house. He took one look at me shook his head. I prepared myself for humiliation as he got closer.

"If it wasn't 7:45 in the morning…" I didn't hear the rest. He rubbed his eyes and yawned. "I don't even want to know why you're covered in dirt, or why I'm driving you to hospital." He pressed the button on his keychain making the car honk and unlock. "Just get in and don't speak."


He put up his hand. "Just get in the car, Joss." I did and we were silent for the entire ride to the hospital.

When he actually wakes up he'll be pissed. I was so not looking forward to that.

First of all, thank you so much for the reviews. 10, wow. Pressure. And yeah sorry about the whole "completed" thing. My bad. And also the lofah/ loofah thing. My computer is as bad of a speller as I am... So, here's the second chapter. It is what it is. Enjoy.

Leave me a copious amount of reviews, pretty please. I'm off to watch The Black Cauldron.