Pause: I ask that you go and read the author's note if you have not. It contains information that could impact your decision to continue. If you continue to read, please enjoy the story.
Bianca was a lot of things. Most people would go as far as to describe her as fearless though she would laugh in their faces at that description. She was so far from being fearless it was almost sad. One instance in particular? When looking for somewhere to move, Miranda idly said she would like to move back to Paris and Bianca felt fear grip her. It was for a short time admittedly, but Paris was no longer the city of love in her opinion. She'd been cheated on, left, made to feel like the enemy in that city. Every time she visited or moved there, she turned up empty handed. So yes, she was afraid of Paris. She was terrified, no matter how irrational it may seem, that Michael would somehow come back at some point and take Miranda. She feared spiders. So, you see, she most certainly wasn't fearless.
Despite these, no one would dare to call her a coward. Well, except herself. Because that's what she felt like as she carried another box off the moving truck. She'd packed up and moved just because she fell in love with her best friend. Again. That was something she had every intention of working on. Especially now that she was states away from Marissa and would only have to see her occasionally when she went to visit Pine Valley.
"Mom?" she glanced down at Miranda as she carried the box up the stairs.
"What is it, honey?" she asked. Miranda looked outside then back at her mom.
"Can I go say hey to the girls next door?" she asked. Bianca bit her lip, no, the answer was no. But Miranda looked so hopeful after looking so sad all week as they made the transition, so she sighed,
"Let me go put this box upstairs and all three of us will go, okay?" she offered. Miranda beamed at her, a megawatt smile. Bianca smiled back.
Bianca let herself be dragged clear across the yard by Miranda and Gabby as they raced to see the neighbors.
"Girls, slow down. Mommy's old." she tried with no luck. Finally, they stopped,
"Hey, I'm Miranda." Miranda introduced herself. "This is my sister Gabby." she told the girls who looked up. One of them tilted their head and smiled,
"Hey Miranda! I'm Claudette!" she said cheerfully. "D'you wanna play with us?" she asked. Miranda nodded and took her little sister's hand and sat in the grass with the two girls. One of them was quiet but seemed friendly. Bianca smiled, she loved the simplicity of childhood.
"Uh, hi." she heard a deep voice speak. She jumped from her skin practically, turning to the walk way. She glanced at the girls and walked toward the tall man with tan skin.
"Hey, I'm Bianca Montgomery. I just moved in next door." she offered a hand. He smiled in recognition,
"Oh! Johnny was telling me I'd be getting a new neighbor soon! Welcome to the neighborhood!" he said brightly. She couldn't help but chuckle at his hyperness.
"Thank you..." she trailed off realizing she didn't know his name.
"Sam." he offered his hand with a boyish grin. She smiled back.
"Dad!" was all she heard before she felt a breeze whip past her.
"Well hello munchkin!" Sam lifted Claudette up into the air easily. Bianca smiled, stepping away to give the father and daughter some time.
"Dad, those are my new friends Miranda and Gabby. They just moved here. Can they come over for dinner?" she said in one breath. Sam laughed, putting her on the ground and ruffling her dark hair,
"Go play." was all he said. Shrugging, Claudette zipped past Bianca again. "Hello, Megan." he greeted the other little girl who just waved a hand at him. He chuckled,
"Your daughters?" Bianca asked conversationally. He shook his head,
"No, just 'Dette. I'm just babysitting Megan for Johnny while he goes to show another house." he said waiving a hand. "Hey, would you like a drink? I could set us up a table right there, so we could watch the kids. My wife should be home in a little while." he offered. Bianca weighed her options, she was going to be here a while so why not.
"Sure." she said with a smile.
"Yes, Kendall, I've checked out the school." Bianca said into her cellphone later that night with an amused eye roll. "The girls aren't going to private school." she told her sister.
"Are you sure you want to subject them to public school?" Kendall asked somewhat fearfully. Bianca smiled at her sister's worry,
"They will be fine, Kendall." she tried to reassure her.
"Any cute guys there?" Another voice on the line chimed in. Bianca laughed,
"I'm sure there are, Greenlee. Not that it should matter to you." she said pointedly.
"What? When I come visit, I wouldn't mind knowing a few handsome men. As friends." she said unconvincingly. Bianca looked at the phone hearing a beep,
"Hey, can I call you guys back? I have another call coming in." she said. Kendall sighed dramatically.
"Fine. Tell Marissa hello for us." she said disconnecting the calls. Bianca clicked over with an eye roll,
"Hey, you." she said with a smile in her voice.
"I hate you. You left me." came the joking voice on the other line. Bianca laughed,
"JR, is there a reason you're on Marissa's phone?" she asked. She could practically hear her other best friend shrug,
"It was closest." he said. Sitting back in his chair, he put his hands behind his head, "So, d'ya hate it there yet? Are you moving back next weekend?" he asked genuinely hopeful. Bianca sighed,
"JR, I've been here a day. You have to give me a little time before you start asking if I'm moving back." she said seriously.
"I don't get it, Bianca. Why not just tell her! She's our best friend." he said. He, Bianca, and Marissa had been friends for over three years.
"I'm tired of it, JR." she started sitting on her bed. "I'm tired of falling for my very straight friends." she whispered.
"One time! Maggie was just a fluke." He insisted.
"Reese only dated men before she met me." she reminded him.
"And that means she's straight? Just because she only dated men? What did she sleep with?" he fired back.
"Played with your feelings."
"Was more pan-sexual than anything."
"Was hot and you were never in love with her. It was a passing attraction. Even I know that."
"You just have all the answers, don't you?" she asked unable to argue with his logic.
"Of course, I do. I've witnessed it happen so yes, I have both the insiders point of view and the outsiders." he said confidently.
"Marissa is straight, JR." she said hoping to end this discussion.
"Hell, so is spaghetti until you heat it up." he said seriously.
"I'm hanging up now. I'll call you later." she said rolling her eyes.
"Don't forget, you promised Marissa a video call so the girls could talk to AJ." he said disconnecting the call. Bianca looked at her phone before tossing it onto the bed,
"Are you girls ready to talk to AJ!" she asked walking through the hallway. She heard feet scampering then two little brunettes ran past her.
"Hey Ms. Bianca!" AJ's bright voice chimed in as the video call was answered. Bianca couldn't help but smile back,
"Hey, AJ. Whe-"
"Right here. He stole my seat." Marissa's voice piped in sliding AJ's chair over a little so they were both visible. "Hey girls!" she waved into the screen. Miranda and Gabby waved back enthusiastically. And just like that, the kids were chattering away like they were in the same room. An hour passed before the parents decided it was a good bedtime for their little angels.
"Goodnight, AJ." Bianca said sweetly. He waved, yawning a little and walking away.
"Hey, could you leave the call running until after you get the girls settled?" Marissa asked before Bianca could disconnect the call. Bianca paused and nodded,
"Sure, I'll be back." she said going to get the girls settled in. After giving them both goodnight kisses and promises they could call AJ tomorrow night, she was finally able to return. Only it wasn't Marissa's face on the computer. In fact, it was a blue eye and that's about it. She saw the corners crinkle a little and knew who it was, "Chandler." she said sitting at her computer. JR pulled back and grinned,
"Bianca! I haven't seen you in forever!" he said dramatically. She couldn't help but laugh at his antics. She shook her head, deciding to humor him,
"I miss you too, JR." she replied. He smiled, softening his features,
"Are you okay?" he asked seriously. She thought about the answer, not wanting to lie to her longest friend despite their time when they were enemies.
"Not quite, but I think this is what I need. A change of scenery." no sooner than she said the words, JR fell from his chair and Marissa settled in with an innocent smile.
"Tired of looking at his mug, huh?" she asked. Bianca chuckled, shaking her head when JR stood behind Marissa making faces.
"There is no good way to answer that." Bianca replied. She sat back in her chair, smiling as JR and Marissa bickered for a few minutes. For a short second, it felt right. Like she hadn't left that morning. It didn't last.
Bianca glared down at the paper in her hands, wanting nothing more than to disintegrate it with the powers of her mind. She was Erica Kane's daughter, she should be able to use that super power now. She figured she'd have to wait until she was thirty to be able to bring grown men to their knees in pain with a look.
"Damn you." she muttered to the papers in front of her. They'd been living in Atlanta for a few short weeks now and while they had picked up a routine, some things still had to be done. For instance, she had some paper work to catch up on for Cambias Industries and she had to work on building another Miranda Center, but these evil little miscreants called paper were giving her a hard time. Frowning at the now evil electronic, she picked up her cellphone,
"Bianca Montgomery." she barked.
"Ohh, say it again. It makes me tingle." the playful voice said back. Her face softened and she smiled without thinking about it,
"Marissa." she said simply. Marissa, on the other end, grinned goofily,
"Well hello!" Marissa said sitting back in her chair. "No thank you." she said to a waiter who was about to pour her a glass of wine. "How are you?" Marissa asked worriedly. Bianca hadn't called her in the past week and she was a little worried.
Bianca, for her part, felt a little guilty. She'd been avoiding Marissa on purpose, but she wouldn't say that,
"I've been fine. I've been so caught up in the new project and Cambias is having some kind of crisis in the European division." she said with a tired sigh.
"JR makes it look easy to run a company," Marissa commented.
"JR doesn't work." Bianca quipped. "How've you been?" she asked sitting back and allowing herself to relax.
"Well," Marissa started glancing at the smiling face in front of her, "Bored actually. JR's had me here for an hour without a break. Save me?" she said with a straight face.
"I am not boring!" Bianca could hear JR hiss in the background.
"Are you two on a date?" she asked horrified. Marissa laughed then stopped,
"No, God no." Marissa said shaking her head, "No we're just out having the weekly dinner that's much worse without you." she said the last part softly. Bianca's breath hitched,
"Oh well, I'm sure-"
"I miss you." Marissa said, and Bianca's heart stopped for a minute. Before she could reply, she heard the front door open signaling the girls were home from school,
"I miss you too. I have to run; the girls are home." she said quickly hanging up.
Marissa looked at her phone then back at JR,
"It's okay, Marissa." he said simply. He leaned across the table grabbing her hand tightly, "It's okay. I'm sure about this." he insisted. Marissa rolled her eyes and took her hand back,
"I think you're crazy."
"Maybe, but she's crazy about you." he said simply.
"What makes you so sure?"
"She said so." he shrugged sitting back.
"Can I get you two anything else?" a familiar voice drawled. Both Marissa and JR looked up at Krystal and shrugged,
"No." JR said simply. Krystal nodded, leaving them alone. "We'll get her here and in your arms soon." he promised. Marissa scoffed, yeah right.
"How was school?" Bianca asked as Gabby dove at her. She lifted her into the air easily, hating that her baby girl was getting to old for her to lift easily.
"Boring!" were the easy answers. She laughed, kissing Gabby then Miranda on the cheek rolling her eyes when the doorbell sounded. She walked over, sitting Gabby down and smiling at the three faces in front of her,
"Hey Sam, Jennie, Claudette." she said with a tired smile. Her neighbors were nice, and didn't bug her much but she just wanted to relax with her girls.
"Hey, Claudette's birthday is Saturday and we wanted to invite the three of you. Pool for the kids, good food and music for the adults. Good time all around." Jennie said with a bright smile and a slight accent. Bianca considered it, but felt tugging on her arm and smiled back,
"Tell us what time and what to bring and we'll be there." she promised. Sam smiled,
"Great. 'Dette insisted that we come tell you face to face," he said apologetically. Bianca waved him off,
"It's fine." she said. "Besides, it'll be fun. Thank you for inviting us." she said sincerely. How would she possibly know this party would change her life?