Will You Dance,

If I Ask You to Dance?




Chris arrived promptly at seven o’clock.  He greeted Mrs. Belden politely and was charming, without sounding slick.  At least he’s not an Eddie Haskell-type, Helen thought.

As she entered Trixie’s room to tell her Chris was waiting, Helen looked at her daughter.  My baby girl is so grown-up, she sighed.

“Trixie, this is just a simple first date, right?” she asked.

Trixie stared at her in confusion.  “What else would it be, Moms?”

“I don’t know,” Helen sighed.  “I know, that sounds stupid even to my own ears.  It’s just that, lately, I feel like you’re hiding something from me.”

Frowning in consternation, Trixie looked at her mother.  “Moms, I am not hiding anything.  There are no mysteries, except for a miraculous abundance of dates.  I’m not in any trouble, and I’m not planning on being in any trouble.”

Helen looked her daughter over carefully.  “You’re sure?”

“Yes, Moms.  Very sure.  I’m not hiding anything.”

Satisfied, for the moment, at least, Helen nodded.  “Okay.  Hurry downstairs.  Chris is waiting.”  Then she returned to the living room.

Before leaving, Trixie headed to the bathroom for some Tylenol.  This stupid headache she’d had all day was not going to ruin her date.

Entering the living room, Trixie kissed her mother goodbye.  Helen warned them to be home by eleven.  Trixie looked at her in surprise

Helen hugged her and whispered in her ear, “He’s nice, but he’s not your brother or a Bob-White.  You’re only fifteen.  Be glad you’re not being chaperoned.”

Trixie pondered that for a moment.  Then she nodded and smiled.  “Okay, Moms.  Eleven it is.”

Chris promised to bring her home safe and sound, and they headed off to the Cameo to catch the early show.  After the movie, they walked hand-in-hand across the town square, enjoying the fresh scent of the air, still damp from the afternoon rain.

When they stopped to say hello to Hoppy, Chris turned to Trixie and grabbed her other hand.  He stood facing her, clutching her hands tightly, piercing gray eyes searching her face.  “I’ve been very patient, Blue Eyes, but the suspense is killing me.  What did you tell Tad?”

Twin sapphires sparkled up at him, and a soft smile graced her face.  Her voice was little more than a whisper as she said, “I told him I’d like to go to Homecoming with you.”

“Really?”  At her nod, a wide grin split his face.  “You have no idea how happy that makes me.”

He took a step closer and slowly, gently placed a sweet, soft kiss on her lips.  He pulled back and stared intently at her for a long moment before speaking again.  “I promise you a night of magic, Trixie Belden.”

Her pulse did a little dance, and she smiled – one of those smiles that could light the night sky, that glorious smile that captured the essence of Trixie.  And she smiled it for him.  Chris’ heart soared.

He put his arm around her as they walked from the square.  “Come on, Blue Eyes.  There are people waiting for us at Wimpy’s,” he said, and they went to meet Riss and Paul.





When Chris dropped Trixie off at Crabapple Farm’s door, promptly at eleven o’clock, he gave her a chaste kiss.  The innocence of the gesture belied the depths of feeling in his eyes as they lost themselves in each other’s smiles. She said simply, “Thank you for a lovely evening,” before turning and slipping inside.  The rest of the Bob-Whites were sitting around the kitchen table playing Monopoly.

Brian looked up as Trixie practically floated into the room.  He raised an eyebrow at her, and she smiled at him as she walked behind him and wrapped her arms around his neck.  “Things went well, I take it?” Brian asked.

“Perfectly perfect,” Trixie replied.  “All according to your diabolical master plan.  I bow to your genius, oh Wise One.”

Dan smirked at her.  “Diabolical master plan?  What have you gone and done to poor Chris?”

“I’ve done nothing to the poor boy, Danny,” she retorted.  “He’s the one silly enough to want to take me to Homecoming.”

“Wooo-Hooo,” Diana called out.  “Blue Eyes Belden snags the Leader of the Pack.  You go, girl!”

Honey cleared her throat.  “Uh, not to put a damper on things, but what about Tad?  I got the distinct impression he wanted to take you to Homecoming.”

“Tad is fine with this,” Trixie reassured her.  “In fact, he encouraged it.”

Honey shook her head.  “I don’t believe it.”

“I do,” Dan said.  “Come on, Honey.  Don’t you know how much Tad would love to see Beth Fleming squirm?”

“Tad would rather you went with Chris than with him?” Honey asked.

Trixie shrugged her shoulders and headed for the stairs.  Over her shoulder, she tossed out airily, “Tad is being… otherwise compensated.”

Mart’s faced turned red, and he got hot under the collar.  “Otherwise compensated how?”

Trixie stopped at the doorway and turned to smile at him.  “Wouldn’t you like to know?”  She winked.  “Good night, all.”

Mart sat there sputtering in fury.  He whirled on Brian.  “You planned this?!”

Brian calmly gazed at his younger brother.  “The king of the social pecking order at Sleepyside High wants to take her to Homecoming – my baby sister who deserves nothing less than the best.  Of course, I encouraged it.  She will go and be the belle of the ball.  And the ugly duckling will hopefully realize she’s been a swan all along.”

Dan laughed.  “Brian, I’m impressed.  To quote my favorite blonde: ‘I bow to your genius, oh Wise One.’”

Jim had been silent the entire time.  He had stared at his property cards intently, while trying to ignore the burn of jealousy and the black feelings of betrayal rising against Brian.  Finally, he couldn’t take it any more.

Rising to his feet, he said, “It’s getting late.”  Reaching for his jacket, he unconsciously echoed Trixie, “Good night, all.”

Brian followed Jim’s departure with sorrowful eyes.  When you’re back in Boston, it won’t feel so bad, Jim.

Honey stared in surprise at her brother’s retreating back for a moment before turning to Brian.  “What was that all about?”

Brian shrugged nonchalantly.  “I think his eyes are a little greener than usual.”

Honey raised an eyebrow.  “I thought he was dating girls at school.”

“He is.”

“That’s a bit of a double standard,” Honey replied indignantly.

“Exactly.  He’ll get over it.”  Brian picked up the dice and handed them to Dan, reminding him it was his turn.

Honey wasn’t quite willing to drop the subject, however.  “I suppose that means tension between Trixie and Jim,” she said thoughtfully.  “Is there anyone she’s not having problems with?”

“Me,” replied Brian.

Mart raised an eyebrow.  “Really?  Then why were you surprised at the trouble between her and Moms?”

Brian grimaced.  He had to concede that point.  “I don’t think there’s any problems between us.  I think she just skipped over that information.”

Mart shrugged.  “Okay, then she’s hiding stuff from you.  She’s dealing with Jim’s jealousy.  She hates me, and she and Honey are having problems.  What about you, Di?”

“It’s better if she doesn’t know how supportive I’ve been of her lately,” Di said nonchalantly.

Honey gasped.  Her hazel eyes widened in amazement, and her jaw dropped.  Giving Diana a discerning look, she said, “It was you!”

Dan looked back and forth between Honey and Di.  “What was her?”

Honey shook her head in amazement.  “Beth’s blue-ink dye job.”

Di blinked her violet eyes innocently, fooling no one.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Mart scowled.  “Diana!  I can’t believe you’d do something like that!”

Di narrowed her eyes and glared at him.  Through clenched teeth, she stated, “She deserved it.”

“I doubt that,” Dan said.

“Oh, yes, she did!” Honey said vehemently.

Brian leaned forward to study the girls.  It was so unlike either one of them to react that way.  “Why?” he demanded.

Honey looked around at the boys.  She looked at Di.  Di shook her head emphatically, her face set in stone.  “No.  Absolutely no boys allowed,” she told Honey.

Honey nodded in agreement.  “Girl stuff.  Don’t worry about it.  Dan, would you please roll the dice, already?”

Dan rolled and moved his man, while the guys held a private conversation with their eyes.  They agreed to drop the subject for now, but they weren’t going to forget about it.



Author's Notes


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