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.
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.
this is just a simple first date, right?” she asked.
stared at her in confusion. “What
else would it be, Moms?”
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
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
looked her daughter over carefully. “You’re
Moms. Very sure.
I’m not hiding anything.”
for the moment, at least, Helen nodded.
downstairs. Chris is waiting.” Then
she returned to the living room.
leaving, Trixie headed to the bathroom for some Tylenol.
This stupid headache she’d had all day was not going to
ruin her date.
the living room, Trixie kissed her mother goodbye.
Helen warned them to be home by eleven.
Trixie looked at her in surprise
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.”
pondered that for a moment. Then
she nodded and smiled. “Okay,
Moms. Eleven it is.”
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
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?”
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.”
At her nod, a wide grin split his face.
“You have no idea how happy that makes me.”
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.”
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’
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.
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
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.
perfect,” Trixie replied. “All
according to your diabolical master plan.
I bow to your genius, oh Wise One.”
smirked at her. “Diabolical
master plan? What have you
gone and done to poor Chris?”
done nothing to the poor boy, Danny,” she retorted.
“He’s the one silly enough to want to take me to Homecoming.”
Diana called out. “Blue
Eyes Belden snags the Leader of the Pack.
You go, girl!”
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
is fine with this,” Trixie reassured her.
“In fact, he encouraged it.”
shook her head. “I don’t believe it.”
do,” Dan said. “Come on,
Honey. Don’t you know how
much Tad would love to see Beth Fleming squirm?”
would rather you went with Chris than with him?” Honey asked.
shrugged her shoulders and headed for the stairs.
Over her shoulder, she tossed out airily, “Tad is being…
faced turned red, and he got hot under the collar.
“Otherwise compensated how?”
stopped at the doorway and turned to smile at him.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?”
She winked. “Good
sat there sputtering in fury. He
whirled on Brian. “You planned
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.”
laughed. “Brian, I’m
impressed. To quote my
favorite blonde: ‘I bow to your genius, oh Wise One.’”
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.
to his feet, he said, “It’s getting late.”
Reaching for his jacket, he unconsciously echoed Trixie, “Good
followed Jim’s departure with sorrowful eyes.
When you’re back in Boston, it won’t feel so bad, Jim.
stared in surprise at her brother’s retreating back for a moment before
turning to Brian. “What was
that all about?”
shrugged nonchalantly. “I
think his eyes are a little greener than usual.”
raised an eyebrow. “I thought he was dating girls at school.”
a bit of a double standard,” Honey replied indignantly.
He’ll get over it.” Brian
picked up the dice and handed them to Dan, reminding him it was his turn.
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
raised an eyebrow. “Really? Then
why were you surprised at the trouble between her and Moms?”
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.”
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?”
better if she doesn’t know how supportive I’ve been of her lately,”
Di said nonchalantly.
gasped. Her hazel eyes
widened in amazement, and her jaw dropped.
Giving Diana a discerning look, she said, “It was you!”
looked back and forth between Honey and Di.
“What was her?”
shook her head in amazement. “Beth’s
blue-ink dye job.”
blinked her violet eyes innocently, fooling no one.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I can’t believe you’d do something like that!”
narrowed her eyes and glared at him.
Through clenched teeth, she stated, “She deserved it.”
doubt that,” Dan said.
yes, she did!” Honey said vehemently.
leaned forward to study the girls. It
was so unlike either one of them to react that way.
“Why?” he demanded.
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.
nodded in agreement. “Girl stuff. Don’t
worry about it. Dan, would
you please roll the dice, already?”
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.