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To The Shock of Miss Louise

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The club was full of thriving, life-filled bodies; packed tightly around tables and in smoky booths. The bass turned up high on the sound system, making the glasses on the bar rattle. One of the more popular ones in Los Angles, a crowd had built outside the door, winding down the sidewalk like a thick-bodied snake. Kids with mohawks spray-painted in a rainbow of colors, girls and boys with heavy eyeliner and safety pins through their ears. Each wanted to be noticed and this club was the place they sought out to be seen in.

One girl in particular, though, was hoping not to be noticed. The black jeans with holes worn through the knees and the ragged Depeche Mode shirt helped. No one else in the club was wearing anything remotely like her. Her friend had ditched her for some pretty boy who had offered free drinks and maybe more. She refused, keeping to the worn, vinyl covered bar stool. The bartender occasionally asked her if she wanted another refill, but he was the only one who talked to her.

Ruby sighed. It was so stupid on her part to bother to come to California in the first place. Here she was, barely 21, and practically broke. And having picked up and walked out of her parents' home with what she could carry in two suitcases hadn't been the brightest idea either. Berating herself for the fortieth time that day, she swirled the straw in her Jack Daniels and coke around with another sigh.

It was Jane's idea to come to California, to try and be famous. She insisted that Hollywood was waiting for them. Ruby was sucked in, longing for a better life then one stuck in the small coastal town that she had grown up in. And living with her bickering parents wasn't that great either. So she, along with Jenny and Sarah had packed up and driven to Hollywood in Jane's Camero.

Ruby studied the ice cubes in her glass. Slowly melting, slowly disappearing from existence. She wished she could too. Upon reaching Hollywood, the girls' realized they were just like the rest who come to Hollywood, trying to make it in a world that fed off beauty, wealth, and prestige. Jenny had called her parents after the first week and they had wired money for a plane ticket. Sarah had disappeared with a guy she'd met at the Whiskey. Jane had gotten a job as a "gopher" on a movie set... and Ruby... well, she'd been hired as a script girl. Some cheesy movie, no less. She really hated her job.

Pushing her long red hair from her eyes, she took the last drink from her glass and rose. Jane was still gone, somewhere with what's-his-name, who had invited Ruby to tag along. Ruby had politely declined, saying she had work in the morning. It was partly true - she did have to be at work. Didn't mean she was going to show though. Reaching to collect her coat, she felt a pair of eyes on her.

Ruby looked up, then slowly gazed around at the crowded room. Where was the gaze coming from? People occasionally met her questioning glance, but they always looked away. But one pair of eyes didn't.

"Hi." The storm-gray eyes smiled. They were right in front of her. Ruby blinked.

"Huh?"

"Hi. You do speak English, right?" the eyes laughed. Ruby blushed.

"Well yeah..." She mumbled. The guy smiled, a sweet grin containing no malice.

"I'm sorry." He held out a hand. "I'm Marko."

Ruby eyed the guy. He was a bit taller then she, with long blonde curls, tied back with string and trinkets. His grin widened as she took his hand. "I'm Ruby."

"Pleasure to meet you. You want to come join me and my friends?" his eyes looked past her, towards the shadowy booths along the wall. Ruby turned, looking over her shoulder. The cigarette smoke in the room clouded the faces of the occupants, making it hard for her to see them.

"I was leaving, actually..." Ruby slipped her coat on. She looked back at Marko, whose head was tilted to the side. His eyes betrayed his disappointment.

"Oh... bummer." He nodded. Again his eyes went to the shadowy booth.

Ruby swallowed. There was really something cute about this guy, and his clothes were a lot different then the punks and wannabe punks in the club. An embroidered denim jacket with patches and fringe. Jeans with black leather riding chaps. The wife-beater that was tight and dirty. "Well, I've got no where to go. I guess I can stay."

Marko's grin returned, as he took her hand. Ruby started, barely able to grab her coat before being dragged to the booth. Three pairs of eyes were staring at her.

"Ruby, these are my friends." Marko grinned. He pointed to the one on the right.

"Paul." - a lanky, sharp faced guy with a mane of dirty blonde. Fishnet shirt under a black tux coat, complete with tails. Really -really- tight white jeans. He grinned at Ruby.

"Dwayne." - a dark-eyed boy with a serious expression and midnight black locks. A necklace of jumbled pieces - was that a rat skull- no shirt, and a beat up leather jacket with jeans.

"And David." - Marko gave Ruby a small tug, pulling her closer to the table. Closer to David. Ruby found herself blinking again.

"A pleasure." David, the one with the bleached-blonde spikes, the one with the sky blue eyes. The black trench coat with the silver buttons and medallions. His gloved hand took Ruby's, as he kissed her knuckles. "I hope the boys haven't scared you." He chuckled, seeing Ruby's blank expression.

"No..." Ruby dumbly shook her head. Marko grinned again, pushing her into the booth. She sat down hard, as if her legs had gone useless. She was stuck between Paul and Marko.

"You scared the girl dumb, Marko." Paul laughed, aiming his straw at his bud. Dwayne reached over and yanked the straw away, before the spitball hit its target. Paul grimaced at Dwayne, who remained impassive. David was still staring at Ruby, she staring back at him in turn.

"Anyway. What's brought you to Los Angles?" David asked, a smile on his lips.

"My friends, who've ditched me." Ruby answered, frowning as she replied. David nodded. Paul was rolling tiny balls from the labels he'd picked off the beer bottles on the table and throwing them at Marko, who was trying to knock them away.

"Obviously not very close friends." David remarked. Dwayne flicked the back of Paul's ear with a finger. Paul yelped and turned, glaring at his friend. Dwayne smirked and Marko chuckled.

"What brings you here? I've never seen you guys in here before." Ruby was oblivious to everything expect David. The world could have ended and even that couldn't have broken their eye contact.

"We came to see Hollyweird." Paul laughed, Dwayne and Marko joining in. David grinned wickedly.

"Actually, we came to see if an idea we had would fly, perhaps be made into a movie."

"Oh, so you guys are script writers?" Ruby raised an eyebrow. These guys certainly didn't fit the image of scriptwriters.

"A little. There's an old legend in the town we're from. We thought it would make a great movie." David explained, as the other boys shared another laugh.

Ruby nodded. "So did it 'fly'?" David shook his head.

"Not yet."

"Partly because we know shit about scripts and pitching ideas." Paul sniggered. Marko shook his head, grinning. Dwayne was silent again, seemingly contemplating his beer bottle.

"Oh..." Ruby nodded again. "It's really not that hard." As she said this, all four pairs of eyes locked on her. She swallowed.

"So you write scripts?" David asked.

"No, I worked as a script girl. Actually, I am a script girl and I hate it." Three pairs of eyes lost interest. One pair didn't.

"Interesting." David nodded, the wheels turning in his mind. "Say, would you like to come for a ride? Perhaps learn the legend of our town?" This brought chuckles from the boys.

Ruby swallowed. Four strange guys were offering a ride, to hear some stupid legend. Ah hell, you only live once, girl. Right?

"Sure." Ruby grinned.