Chelsea Parker, Posh Totty extraordinaire, doesn't know what she's going to do now that she's graduated from St. Trinian's. Peaches and Chloe have already gone (she misses them desperately), Bella and Saffy have two years left (so young, the darlings), so it's just her and Annabelle.
Only Annabelle has a job offer with whatever super secret agency that Kelly's working at, so she vanishes an hour after the graduation party ends. She stumbles out the door in time to watch as they peel off in Kelly's cherry red rag top. Annabelle waves, red lipstick gleaming. Kelly leans back and settles her sunglasses up on her forehead, a long alabaster scarf streaming back in the air. It's all very Isadora Duncan of her, minus the tragic death.
Chelsea stands on the steps, adorable tangerine Givenchy tote in one hand and balancing on her fetchingly strappy black patent Alexander McQueens. She's sent on her trunk already; otherwise the girls would have descended on it and split her clothing between all of them. Sometimes literally, as a matter of fact. Nothing hurts more than seeing a Stella McCartney original torn in three parts to be worn as some first years' battle trophies.
She's not kept waiting long. A navy blue Beemer pulls up to the front steps, swerving to miss a bed plummeting from three stories up.
"About time," says Chelsea. She smiles as Peaches opens the door. Chloe leans out of the window. Kelly prefers showy, but Posh Totties, they exude class.
Turns out she does know what she's going to do after St. Trinian's after all.
"We've been waiting for you all year," says Chloe. She has the same wide eyes and eager look that Chelsea loves about her.
"Everything's set." Peaches stands there and takes her hand. "You're moving in with us, right?"
Chelsea tosses her tote in the back and then leans in. They're in public, so there are appearances to keep up, of course. But she still kisses Peaches on the cheeks, because it's been a year. "Who else?"
"Smashing," says Peaches, grinning.
"We've got the perfect set-up," says Peaches. She gestures at a corner of the living room, where there's a wooden desk, a slate chalkboard, and a large camera attached to a computer. "Expanding our chat line into an internet web cam service is raking in about a thousand Euros a day."
There aren't words to describe the sound Chelsea makes, but that doesn't matter. Chloe and Peaches understand her anyway.
Polly is tapping away on the computer. She doesn't - precisely - roll her eyes, though she does sigh and give them another long-suffering look. It doesn't faze them; they've been getting long-suffering looks from Polly as long as they've known her.
"That's after the ten percent that Polly takes off the top for running our site and getting our webspace started. And the incorporation paperwork filed."
"If you start needing any more maintenance, I'm going to be asking for five percent more of the company shares," adds Polly.
"Tut-tut," says Chelsea. She walks onto the carpet and perches on the edge of the desk. "Now is not the time to talk business. It's been a whole year."
Ten months, actually, plus the week she saw them during half-term, but who's counting?
Dinner is curries around the kitchen table, laughing at everything that's happened, including everything Geoffrey Thwaites has ever said. It's not well-known around St. Trinian's that Peaches can do a stellar impersonation of at least half the teachers, not to mention Miss Fritton. Chelsea plays the role of the former Minister of Education to a tee.
"Oh, Miss Fritton!" Chelsea kneels in front of Peaches as Chloe laughs at both of them. "I'm a horrible drunkard because your love has ruined me for the love of another woman."
"Why, Geoffrey," says Peaches, deepening her voice. "You mad, impetuous man. I simply can't control myself around you."
"But can you ever forgive me for joining a secret society of misogynists that has been trying to ruin your family for centuries?" asks Chelsea. She widens her eyes and she clutches at Peaches' hand, holding it to her chest.
A thrill races through her. Peaches eyes are dancing with laughter. Chelsea breaks character just for a moment and bites her lip.
"You'll have to prove to me you've changed," says Peaches, tugging on Chelsea's hands. Instead of letting go, Chelsea lets Peaches tug her to her feet and they end up centimeters away from each other.
This time, their kiss is a lot less perfunctory. Peaches slides her hands along Chelsea's arms and her lips are warm. She tastes like curry and peppers and Chelsea wonders why they've never done this before.
"Oh my God!" exclaims Chloe. She flicks bits of napkin at them until they break their kiss and turn to look at her. "I had odds on you two getting together before Andrea and Taylor gave in."
"They haven't yet?" asks Chelsea, frowning. Damn. She's lost money on them. She'd been sure Andrea and Taylor would have made out by now. They argue too much for it not to be love.
Rule one of St. Trinian's ought to be 'never argue with a Posh Totty about love,' but they've never asked her what the rules should be.
"Do you really care what Andrea and Taylor are doing right now?" asks Peaches, cupping Chelsea's chin with her fingers.
"Hardly," pronounces Chelsea, her voice arch. She leans in to kiss Peaches again, but a chopstick hits her temple.
"Get a room," pronounces Chloe, snapping pictures of them with her phone. "I'll call Dylan and he'll take me out dancing tonight."
"How lovely for you, dear," murmurs Peaches. She wraps one arm around Chelsea's waist and leans her head on Chelsea's shoulder. "Don't forget, we're writing out all our Greek conjugations for you to read on camera tomorrow."
"I don't know about you, but I'm sleeping in," says Chelsea. She looks smug, but she thinks she deserves to. "I plan on exhausting myself."