“Oh yeah,” gasped Tucker as he finished plowing Chrissy Pak on the floor of the store he had partial ownership of, Otaku LA, recently renamed from Asian Invasion to better express what the store offered, though Bianca, one of the other owners, was annoyed that it still didn't point out their supply of non-Japanese costumes. The store, despite name changes, was still quite popular; with profits up too, allowing each owner to draw a very reasonable salary plus hire a few employees, though the rule was at least one owner had to be there every day. Tucker and Lance, the third and last owner, both still went to school at Decker State College, so they tended to only work three full shifts a week with the occasional fourth while Bianca was there five out of seven, given it was her only focus in life with school having long since been done for her.
On the current day the store had four people working, namely Tucker, Bianca, James Hewitt and Umiko Pine. James was a guy Tucker had known a couple of years ago who'd moved to New York to take two years of school before returning; he was currently working at the store just to make ends meet while working on finding a real career. James was a big anime fan but his true passions lay in metalwork, with some of his artistry on swords actually now for sale in the store. Umiko meanwhile was a Japanese girl whose family had moved to the US over a year ago and legally changed their last name to a rough translation of it in English, which ended up being Pine. Umiko, however, still embraced her heritage and had kept her first name while her father's name was now Ralph. The pair were welcome additions to the store's staff.
Why Tucker was able to get away with having sex with Chrissy on the floor of a busy shop such as this was that he'd stopped time, freezing everyone and everything around him, thus allowing him to take his friend, put her on the floor, undress her, and get crazy. Chrissy was a member of the Lady Raptors soccer team from Decker State College and one of the heads of the Anime Club that sponsored the team, not to mention a cute dye-redheaded Korean girl. She and her roommate Diane West, another cute redhead, though she was Caucasian, had come by the store just as Tucker was getting ready to leave for the day and, seeing Chrissy in her cute yellow mini-skirt and white tank top as well with her hair in a braided ponytail, Tucker immediately froze time with his magic wand and took her right then and there, no one else batting an eye, naturally, since they couldn't perceive it. Frozen time was like that.
“I needed that,” gasped Tucker, grinning as he stood Chrissy back up; the girl's hands stretched forward from her body as she'd been touching a costume on a rack when Tucker had stopped time, a look of wonder on her face. In spite of his fun-loving lifestyle Tucker had recently been hit hard by drama: first with his breaking up with his old girlfriend Haley Leone; then hooking up with cheerleader Julie Vaughn; then his best friend Maggie getting electrocuted and almost dying; then his quitting his job at Persephone's Books so he could open the new store; then accidentally getting involved in an unusual international kidnapping spree perpetrated by an insane scientist; then a sultry law enforcement agent had attempted to seduce him and had not entirely failed; then he'd he found out he'd gotten his best friend’s lesbian sister pregnant; and finally Maggie had moved out for an unknown amount of time, no longer wanting to be in the same place as the man who'd impregnated her sibling. Needless to say, Tucker was glad he had his wand as it allowed him to escape from normal reality while still remaining in touch with it; plus it allowed him to fulfill the fantasy of pretty much sleeping with every woman he knew that he was attracted to.
After moving Chrissy back to where he'd retrieved her and replacing her clothes as best he could, Tucker eyed Diane, who also looked good that day as she was wearing a tight black top for a change, revealing her well-endowed chest whereas she usually wore dumpy clothing. Her jeans were a bit baggy and her hair was just in a lazy pulled-back frizzy ponytail but Tucker was still practically hypnotized by her breasts, though ultimately he let the frozen woman go with just a groping. Deciding he'd had enough fun with Chrissy, and worried that if he kept up he might have to clean afterwards, Tucker elected to return to where he'd been standing when he'd stopped time and let it resume with five quick taps of his wand, then pocketing the item before anyone saw it.
“Hey dude,” greeted Lance, coming up beside his friend. “You've been here since we opened, so you're out, right?” The blond-haired man smiled at Tucker, wearing a staff badge on top of a red and white Hawaiian shirt that some would call loud.
“Yeah, I guess I'll just go home and play a few games or something,” shrugged Tucker with a nod. “Good news is Julie's talking to me again.”
“One down, one to go then huh?” remarked Lance, causing Tucker to wince slightly. Maggie was currently out of his life in every sense of the word; she'd moved into her girlfriend Cindy's carriage house, stopped texting, stopped calling, and even removed him from every online friend list she had. Maggie's specific reasons for freezing Tucker out in such a way weren't fully clear, but it did stem from his impregnating her sister Madison. Tucker hadn’t known and managed to stick his foot in his mouth with Maggie. Tucker knew she felt betrayed and lied to, but to what extent and what specifically about the action had enraged Maggie so much was the real mystery, though no one really blamed her. Lance and Bianca were – fortunately – understanding and Madison and Maggie's mother had been pleased, though she'd been told it was to allow for Madison to live her lesbian lifestyle with her soon to be joined-partner Alana and still have children without resorting to adoption.
“I'm just going to give Mags space; this will end when it ends,” declared Tucker, confident that in spite of everything Maggie would eventually forgive him. Years ago Tucker had ended up dating a girl Maggie had carried a torch for after finding out before his friend that the girl in question was straight; due to this faux pas Maggie had avoided being in the same room as Tucker for nearly a month. “I have been thinking about getting a new place though,” Tucker then announced, changing the subject.
“No way; you're ditching your sweet pad after only a few months?!” exclaimed Lance in surprise. “What brought this on?”
“Where I live now is just far enough away to be a pain to walk and not far enough to merit driving,” explained Tucker, indicating the store. “Plus the college commute would be easier if I was closer to the water, and also I'd be closer to Madison and the baby.”
“Proximity is the name of the game, huh bro?” laughed Lance, being a little inappropriate, but that was the man's charm and weakness rolled into one. “So where are you thinking? Santa Monica? Westwood? Beverly Hills?”
“I know a place just inside Culver City actually,” revealed Tucker. “Problem is, its way out of my price range since it's a buy only, no renting.”
“I'm no help there dude,” chuckled Lance, making light of his own financial issues. “Well, take it easy bud. I'm going to see if our friend Chrissy is interested in checking out a special Sailor Moon item I got in today.” Lance moved off to speak to the Korean girl Tucker had just slept with moments earlier while Tucker smiled and headed for the exit, having come to work with nothing but his keys, cell phone, wallet and wand, all of which were in his pants already.
Walking was a pain for Tucker, since even if he stopped time it would take roughly half an hour to get home. All the same Tucker decided a move was worth it, knowing that only people aware of his magic wand would know how he'd gotten home so quickly. Tapping his wand again after ducking into an alley, Tucker emerged and began his long walk home, whistling as he went since he'd forgotten his mp3 player at home. While Maggie now owned the Lancer they’d bought a while back, he had bought a conservative Ford Focus, though he wasn’t driving it much due to the distance to work, though the car was still useful for going to school.
A good twenty minutes later by his perception Tucker was passing a community pool where a sexy lifeguard named Heather worked; the woman having been one he'd used in the past to create cosplay calendars to earn money. The bronze-skinned brunette was not in the lifeguard tower at the moment but was walking by the edge of the pool in a tight one-piece white swimsuit with a red lifeguard logo on the front and back. Her hair was hanging in the air, most likely due to the breeze that had been coming along when time had stopped. It was a bit of a cold day for the current season, only fifteen degrees Celsius with a low of six overnight, but it was still warm enough for people to go swimming in the outdoor pool. Tucker scanned the pool area and was then surprised to see Haley, his ex, sitting in one of the pool chairs, sunglasses on and apparently tanning.
“Why the hell not?” shrugged Tucker, producing his wand and walking over to the pool. When he arrived next to Haley he tapped his wand on her right arm and she immediately smiled, sitting up and removing her sunglasses. She was used to Tucker’s antics with the wand so the time-stopped statues all around didn’t surprise her at all.
“Hi Tucker, good to see you,” greeted the model, moving for a hug but then stopping, which was most likely for the best as the previous time the pair had embraced, they'd momentarily kissed by mistake.
“Yeah, I'm actually surprised to see you here,” noted Tucker, glancing around. “You have access to some of the best beaches around. Didn't you say you got invited to one of Steve Greene's houses on your Twitter account last week?”
“The guy's cool, but his friends are jerks,” revealed Haley, shrugging. “I like this place; it reminds me of where I came from. I may be blowing up career wise but my life hasn't fully caught up to that yet. Heck, I'm not even in any magazines that list people you should be watching, in spite of the fact that my mentor is one of fashion's biggest icons.”
“You sound bitter,” laughed Tucker, knowing it wasn't the case. While Haley Leone was on the path to become a major name in fashion, at least in terms of supermodels, she wasn't there yet, though she liked to make light of the idea given how fortunate she'd become. Zoe Hollander, better known as Miss Zoe, almost seemed to view Haley as a younger of version of itself, or so it seemed.
“Whatever,” shrugged Haley, giving Tucker a fake-angry look. “I'm actually glad you stopped by, no pun intended. I'd been meaning to ask what was up with the housing situation with Maggie gone.”
“I still don't really know myself,” declared Tucker, moving to grab a small unused plastic chair and sitting down near Haley's own chair. “Maggie's been gone for eight days and she isn't coming back anytime soon. Her friend Kansas came by a few days ago to pick up most of her stuff, leaving just a few pieces of furniture she probably doesn't need at Cindy's place. That pretty much puts the nail in the 'coming back soon' coffin. Kind of inopportune too, since my uncle gave me a giant check for Christmas, not to mention a new girl she probably would have wanted to check out.”
“Oh, so this check; you're house-hunting with it?” asked Haley, interested and ignoring the announcement of another woman being added to Tucker's collection.
“Well, it’s complicated,” explained Tucker, sighing. “I'm loaded now and I know a place that's both in a prime location and steal for its size. The problem is, the place still costs in the seven digit range. I can afford it, but my image can't.”
“Right; a guy paying his way through his last semester of college, even if he's also a business owner, couldn't afford that kind of house alone,” agreed Haley, understanding the problem. “You have a lot of money but image-wise you can't use it buy that house without people asking where it came from. Even getting an inheritance wouldn't make sense; not for that kind of dough. Though...”
“Though...?” asked Tucker, noting Haley had a funny look on her face.
“... Well, if you moved in with someone who should be making that kind of money, or who did, it wouldn't be a problem, would it?” pointed out Haley, looking extremely uncomfortable.
“Oh,” Tucker muttered, looking her in the eyes, suddenly realizing what Haley had thought of. “Are you suggesting...”
“Well, I guess I am,” admitted Haley, her cheeks turning red. “Tucker, do you want to move in together?”
Four Days Later
“For the last time, we're still just friends,” Tucker insisted as he boxed up some random items that had been inside his desk.
“Right, you really expect me to buy that?” asked Bianca, who was picking up another box that Tucker had left on his bed. After Haley had uttered the fateful words, the pair had talked, long and hard, about the concept. Both had made it clear they weren't doing it for romantic reasons, especially since Haley was currently romancing a B-list actor and Tucker was with Julie, but rather practical ones; Tucker wanted to be closer to certain things and wanted a new place that didn't remind him of Maggie, Haley needed a place to match her new status but still hadn't earned the money to afford it, though that was mainly due to her buying a status car that cost over one hundred thousand dollars. The pair had also agreed to split the house properly to avoid giving people the wrong idea, with Haley getting the biggest room since she was ideally the richest in the household. The final clincher, however, had been a bit more complicated.
“Stop giving him a hard time, Bee; he knows how it looks,” chided Lance, walking into the room. Since it was a move, all three were dressed in old clothes. Tucker was wearing an old Decker State College sweatshirt, which was colored orange and white, with a pair of jeans that had a grease stain on the right knee. Lance wore similar fare, his DSC sweatshirt blue and his jeans just overly brown from baked-in stains that he claimed were from coffee. Bianca, meanwhile, wore a red tank top with brown jean-shorts, something Tucker could never remember the blond woman wearing before. Bianca had also recently added streaks of blue and pink to her hair, putting it up in a ponytail on the left side of her head to make it more visible.
“I'm just saying, no girl I know would be thrilled that her boyfriend was moving in with his ex,” pointed out Bianca.
“You really don't know Julie then,” laughed Lance as he picked up two boxes at once, possibly to impress Bianca. “She's fine with it. Heck, I'm certain she wouldn't care if Tucker cheated as long as he remained mostly committed to her. Julie's been head over heels for the guy for years.”
“You're making it sound not so healthy,” warned Tucker, not enjoying it when people pointed out how Julie's infatuated behavior seemed less than ideal. Tucker's recent affair with Tasia had been making him wonder about Julie and himself, if perhaps their relationship was ill-advised due to how devoted she was to him while he lacked that mentality.
“In any case, that about wraps up your room, right?” asked Bianca as the trio exited Tucker’s bedroom. “The movers Haley got will be handling all the big furniture, yeah?” The official word was the house had been, from start to finish, Haley’s idea, and when she’d heard about Tucker’s housing woes she’d made the offer. Julie had thought it was ‘sweet’. Thus only Haley and Tucker knew the money was actually his, covering the movers that were coming later in the day to grab the big things as well as the purchase of the house itself, with Tucker essentially renting from himself.
“Yes, that just leaves a few things in my office,” confirmed Tucker as they walked, shocked by how bare his apartment was now. The previous night Tucker had stopped time to stuff all his belongings into boxes and for the past hour and a bit he, along with Bianca and Lance, had been loading it into Lance’s truck. Bianca hadn’t gotten off of Tucker’s case the entire time about the context of the move, which had been grating, but luckily it would be over soon.
“Phew!” gasped Lance a minute later, heaving his box into the back of his truck just outside and downstairs. “Right, let’s just get the other two in and then…” Lance’s voice suddenly cut off as Tucker had just stopped time, having hid his wand under his box the entire time. The blond man froze while reaching for Bianca’s own box, the female blond extending the object towards him with a soft smile on her face. Sighing in relief, Tucker put down his own box and wandered back inside.
“I can’t believe I’ll be gone,” breathed Tucker, strolling through the silent lobby and taking the elevator up to Haley’s floor. Entering the hallway, Tucker soon spotted Kayla, Haley’s best friend, standing in mid-stride with a box in her arms and her body clothed in old sweats. The classically sexy brunette was wearing light gray sweat pants and a light green tank top that was closer to yellow than blue by a long shot, her hair loose and just pushed back behind her ears.
“Hello, sweaty lady,” Tucker chuckled, doing a twirl and coming up behind the brunette, wrapping his arms around her stiffened waist. “Just think, soon we’ll be able to hang out more often. You’ll be getting more with me than you normally do with anyone else!” Tucker laughed at his lame joke, Haley having told him about her friend’s lack of sexual experience in spite of her flirty attitude. Tucker had fooled around with Kayla quite a bit while she’d been frozen in the past, but now that she’d be coming over it would be much easier, thus likely to be more frequent.
Moving down the hall, Tucker found Haley exiting her own apartment, nothing in her hands but her keys. The sleek blond stood with her right arm extended, the metal objects dangling from her pinky finger, a sad smile on her face. Haley was dressed almost the same as Kayla except her top was orange and her pants were cleaner, her hair was even styled almost the same way. Tucker brought up his wand and tapped Haley on the head with it. “Oh, hey!” greeted Haley, hardly missing a beat at the surprise appearance of her new roommate. “Everything packed?”
“Yes, just two boxes of calendars up in my office, plus the obvious,” confirmed Tucker with a smile. “You want to come upstairs and get acquainted?”
“Might as well, then after we can finish packing and go grab lunch,” agreed Haley, closing her door and locking it. “I just can’t believe we’re leaving this building. It seems like so much has happened in just a year.”
“I’ve been here two years; you not much less than that,” agreed Tucker as they headed for the unfrozen elevator, passing Kayla in the hall.
“Hey, don’t hit that until after we move, okay?” Haley said in a snarky voice while pointing her thumb at her friend; Tucker smiled and shook his head.
“Come on, you know Kayla isn’t my type,” insisted Tucker as they rode the elevator upstairs. Before entering his own apartment however Tucker and Haley stopped in front of his neighbor Lisa’s, using his key to get in. Tucker originally had a spare key for Lisa’s place in case she got locked out, but now he’d returned it though not before getting a duplicate, which he was going to use to make the move easier.
Opening the door, Tucker saw Lisa on her couch, reclined with her feet on her glass coffee table and clad only in a fuzzy peach robe, a hint of her crotch even visible and her hair visibly damp. “Wow, you are having such a good day,” groaned Haley upon noticing how revealing Lisa’s clothes were. Tucker just faked a laugh and then waved his wand at Lisa, ensuring she’d remain frozen even if time started again. Following this the pair left, leaving the door open, and headed into Tucker’s place.
“So this is her?” asked Haley upon entering Tucker’s office. The room was mostly empty save two boxes on top of the desk and, naturally, the five permanently frozen women who were standing at attention like mannequins on sale. Tatiana, Candice, Leslie and Jen were four women he’d picked up along the way, two gifts from his uncle and two women who knew his secret, which he knew to be a very bad thing. The fifth woman was Hitomi, another ex Tucker had frozen and collected up in Canada and then given to Haley, though she’d been moved to his apartment the previous night so no one would see her, even though Kayla currently believed the Japanese woman was just a lifelike mannequin. All five women were fully clothed, Tucker wanting them that way in case someone else entered Lisa’s apartment, which was where he’d stash them until later. Tatiana was wearing a white turtleneck with black pants, something that suited her tall frame; Candice wore a zebra-colored dress, again keeping with the black and white theme; Leslie sported all-black in the shape of a tank top and hot pants, showing off her strong but sexy body; Hitomi was dressed in a white kimono, something Tucker had always liked seeing her in, though the outfit lacked any more color; and finally Jen wore a black business dress with a white blouse underneath.
“You gave Rebecca to that Chloe girl, right?” Haley confirmed with Tucker, noting the absence of a familiar face. “You sure that was a good idea? She knows about you.”
“Chloe doesn’t seem like the stupid type, plus I doubt anyone will figure out how her ring works,” Tucker assured his ex as he produced a device from his pocket and placed his wand on top of Jen’s head. “Watch this,” he stated, tapping the woman twice. Normally the taps would unfreeze someone, but Jen, while no longer frozen in time, was frozen by other means.
“Huh, impressive Tucker, you turned a statue into a statue,” mocked Haley, shaking her head. “So does that remote thing control her? Like with the other chips Scott and Ryoshi had?”
“Yes, let me show you,” offered Tucker, moving back to stand next to Haley. “You press this button to freeze or unfreeze her. After that you have three settings: slave, servant and hand-job.”
“Hand-job,” Haley repeated.
“Yeah, apparently my aunt Ryoshi has too much time on her hands,” sighed Tucker, shaking his head. “Anyhow, the slave mode means she’ll only do what you tell her to do. Luckily she’s intelligent and was given a homing program of sorts, so if you tell her to do something but don’t tell her to come back, she’ll search for you. The program in the chip that controls her is small but quite smart. Remember that this also means she’ll ignore anything unless you warn her about it, so it probably isn’t ideal to use in public. Servant will be the mode you’ll be using most though, since it makes her more or less act normal. She still lacks any feeling of emotion but she won’t talk like a robot or anything. She’s still also devoted to whoever she’s told is her master, which in this case will be you. What’s nice though is she can take commands and learn them, so if you tell her to, say, never take a call from Kayla on a Saturday, she’ll remember that in this mode. She does have a memory limit but it’s huge so as long as you don’t make her do too much or give her too much freedom she’ll be okay. She can even socialize, though she won’t have anything interesting to say about current events.”
“So slave mode she’d only be a puppet; in servant mode she actually slightly resembles a human being,” confirmed Haley. “Yes, it’s coming back, but its good to go over this again. Been a while since November.”
“True, but I still wouldn’t take her anywhere where she’ll be separated from you for long periods of time,” confirmed Tucker. “Jennifer Yates, meet Haley Leone. She is your new master.”
“Nice to meet you Haley, I will now work for you,” greeted Jen, her soft voice coming off a bit rough, but still fairly normal, the woman even bowing slightly. “Just tell me what you need and I’ll do it. I don’t need to sleep; I can rest when I’m frozen.”
“I would let her get some real sleep now and then though,” added Tucker, nodding in approval.
“Wow, she’s really self-aware,” noted Haley.
“Yes I am, but the chip disables emotions, so I have no problem doing anything I’m asked, though I will let you know whenever I need something,” announced Jen, even smiling slightly. “Sort of like a pet.” Jen’s smile indicated she might be making a light joke, but her delivery was totally deadpan.
“Weird,” breathed Haley. “Okay Jen, first order: we’re moving these four to the apartment next door, and then I’m going to leave them there with you until we can finish moving.”
“I am happy to help,” announced Jen.
* * *
“Oh wow!” exclaimed Kayla upon arriving at the new house hours later. After the four had been moved into Lisa’s place the moving had resumed, then there had been lunch, then everyone but Kayla had brought the boxes to the new place. After all the boxes were delivered, Lance and Bianca had headed back to the store. Shortly afterwards Haley and Tucker had gone off to help the hired movers collect the furniture and deliver it. Finally the pair had stopped time to collect the five women they’d left behind frozen at the apartment, plus synching Lisa back with normal time and putting her to sleep. Upon returning, both had decided to take a nap while Jen started dutifully moving the labeled boxes to the labeled rooms, the pair having put the tags up for the movers. After waking up, they had unpacked everything, more or less, before unfreezing time. Jen was then put away out of sight and frozen just in time for Kayla to show up.
“I know; isn’t it great?” agreed Haley, walking with Kayla as they strolled down the curving front walk to the door. The outside of the house was white with classic dark brown/gray shingles on the slanted roof. There were three floors, the third being much smaller than the first two but also holding a large deck that was visible from the ground and protected by a glass fence. The grounds featured a 2-car garage, which was separate from the main house and not fully enclosed but still behind an iron fence that looked difficult to climb, plenty of grass with flower beds around the outside of the house as well as bushes near the fence; around the back a small swimming pool was visible. A silver Ford Focus and a yellow Audi R8 sat in the garage area, which was just wide enough for the two plus a spot to park bikes, though neither resident owned one at the moment. “After a couple of gigs I’m thinking of getting a hot tub put in,” explained Haley as the pair approached the glass sliding door, which opened into a miniature lobby holding shoe racks.
“Wow again!” gasped Kayla after taking off her shoes and stepping through the main door into the house itself. The entrance floor was wood, the walls papered with a light rose pattern. Immediately to the right were a coat closet and a key rack, while straight ahead was the archway leading into the dining room and to the left was the way to the living room.
“Come on,” insisted Haley with a smile, leading Kayla first into the living room. Haley’s old TV had been traded in with some cash for a fifty-inch flat screen which hung from the wall like a painting above a fake fireplace; the room was accented by a fuzzy rug and three couches, all of them black leather. There were cabinets to the left and right of the fireplace that housed DVDs and Tucker’s gaming equipment. Tall windows gave anyone in the room a good view of the front yard.
The next area was the hallway, which led to a large bathroom that included a full bathtub as well as the stairs up and several closets as well as a special room. The room in question was an office space of sorts where Tucker currently was working, sitting at his old desk and configuring his computer. The walk-in closet in the room, unknown to Kayla, contained the frozen women he’d collected from Lisa’s place earlier in the day. “Ladies,” greeted Tucker. “You liking it so far, Kayla?”
“I was,” grinned Kayla, then chuckling to let Tucker know she was kidding. “No, it’s great. But there’s more to see!”
The other end of the hall took the two women into the kitchen, which featured white tiles and oak cabinets. Facilities included a massive fridge, a six element stove, a microwave, a toaster oven, a juicer, a coffee maker and an espresso machine, plus a water cooler that was connected directly under the sink, the sink featuring a garbage disposal. Besides elevated and lower counter cabinets there was a pantry cupboard next to the fridge. “I bet even Leslie Lee would want this place,” whistled Kayla.
Exiting the kitchen, they were in the dining room, which had enough seating for ten as well as a small bar and a stereo hooked up in the wall. “There are speakers in the living room connected to it too,” Haley told her friend with a grin.
Circling back around, the friends headed upstairs where Kayla discovered an L-shaped hallway. “The stairs up to the third floor are down at the other end,” explained Haley, leading her friend down the hall. “Okay, this door on the left is Tucker’s room; the door on the right is the guest room. After that, there’s a bathroom on either side. Next is the second guest room on the left, and on the right is our work-out room, which is really where we keep the stationary bike, my yoga stuff and his tai chi bits.”
“Not showing me anything?” asked Kayla, surprised.
“Tucker’s been in the office so his room is just full of boxes; the extra rooms are empty and the work-out room hasn’t got anything in it yet, the bike comes tomorrow,” replied Haley, opening one of the bathroom doors to satisfy her nosy friend, which revealed a circular shower and a toilet with a sink and nothing else. “The bathrooms on this floor are simpler, not sure why. Anyhow, wait until you see upstairs!” Both girls giggled like children; Haley and Kayla almost raced up the second flight of stairs.
Upstairs was indeed smaller, featuring three doors to the right of the stairwell, one a sliding glass panel leading out to a currently empty deck. “Behold, my palace,” laughed Haley, opening her bedroom door. The room was massive, featuring white shag carpeting and rich purple walls. Her bed was king-sized with leopard sheets and there was a giant closet in the corner which also had a door leading out to the deck. The room even had enough space for a desk and a lounger chair that held a bookshelf, with a small LCD TV hanging from the wall across from the bed. For décor the room had matching end-tables for the bed as well as a small palm tree in one corner and Hitomi posed artfully in another, the mannequin-still Japanese woman close to Haley’s dimensions and thus an ideal dress form. Even though Kayla had seen a lot of Hitomi in the past, Haley still covered the living statue’s shame with light underwear to avoid having to explain the realistic nipples and groin.
“I want to live here,” gasped Kayla, stunned. Haley just smiled and opened the third door in the room, which connected to the bathroom. There was a small Jacuzzi next to a window as well as a giant counter with plenty of doors and even a chair so Haley could sit while doing her make-up. “You have a spare room; let me stay!” Kayla almost screamed.
“No dice,” mocked Haley, leading Kayla back into her room. “At least, not yet.” Opening part of her closet, Haley retrieved a bottle of wine she’d just opened before her friend had arrived, as well as two glasses, pouring the pale liquid into them and then handing one to her best friend.
“Seriously; I am jealous, especially since I still live in a two bedroom dump,” grumbled Kayla, smiling all the same. “Then again, in a year you might be on one of those hottest women lists while I’m still waiting for my big break.”
“At least you only need to work two shifts a week at club Sting now,” Haley pointed out. Kayla was still no success, but she was making decent enough money doing minor roles around the greater area.
“Yeah, plus I could be the idiot who tricked my ex into moving in with me,” sighed Kayla, getting an ashen look from Haley.
“I didn’t trick him,” Haley insisted.
“Uh huh,” scoffed Kayla. “Look, in spite of his geeky nature, I like Tucker, or at least respect him since he’s self-employed. You really think he won’t figure out you knew about him looking for a new place so he could be closer to that kid he helped create as well as his new job? Not to mention that you knew he’d walk by that pool? Cripes Haley, you hate public pools! And another thing…”
* * *
“That’s all I needed to hear,” remarked Tucker, emerging from his hiding spot in Haley’s closet. With a flick of his wand he’d frozen both his new roommate and her best friend. Haley was still dressed the same she’d been all day and stood with an embarrassed look on her face, her wine in her right hand while her left was gesturing away from her body, her fingers upwards. Kayla had changed into something a bit sexier, wearing a pink tube top with white streaks and light-blue jeans, one of her many cowboy hats on her head with this particular one being white. Kayla had raised her glass to near her lips and had her free hand hooked in her belt looks, her mouth open as she technically wasn’t done speaking.
“You wanted to move in with little old me even though we’re not together?” asked Tucker, making sounds like one would make when witnessing a cute moment on a sitcom. “Well then, thank you.” Breaking a promise he’d made, Tucker leaned in and kissed Haley full on the lips, causing her to wobble slightly due to how rigidly she was standing. The rule had been Tucker wouldn’t do anything with Haley, even with his wand, but he’d changed his mind because of the news.
“Still, you broke it off with me,” Tucker told the unhearing Haley. “You’re playing mind games, so I’m going to punish you. You two are staying exactly like this for a while, but I promise to not put you in a possible situation that could make you wonder if you’d experimented with each other.”
At that moment the doorbell rang. “Now if you’ll excuse me, Julie’s here and we need to give the downstairs carpet a test run, shag-wise, if you know what I mean,” grinned Tucker as he exited the bedroom, lingering for a moment to look at the frozen forms of Haley and Kayla before departing.
The End (For Now… maybe… possibly… I don’t know?) ...say, let's Go Hollywood...