"Will someone please open the zarking door?" I shouted over the rising wind. I was trying to balance two bags of munchies while also attempting to adjust my Renaissance serving wench costume I was in danger of falling out of.
The door popped open, and Wes just stood there a moment, observing my predicament. I glared, and he smiled. He grabbed the two grocery bags and set them on the tables. "Need any more help?"
"Thanks, Wes, no." I hitched up the front of my costume, and ran back out to my car for two more bags.
Wes was still smirking when I came back inside. "I really like your costume, Elizabeth." I shook my head, and began to unpack the bags.
"You're a little wet...looks like I was right about the storm," Hobbie said to no one in particular.
"Hey, slick get-up," Varghona said as she started to help me with the snacks.
"Oh, thanks. It was either this or Xena, and I thought that would be a bit too scary." I looked at her outfit. "Shoot, no one told me we were doing Rocky Horror! I like it, though."
I heard a "Hey, munchies!" from behind me, and suddenly we were descended upon by hordes of hungry young pilots. For a moment I regretted not going with Xena. I could have used the whip right about then.
As it was, I made do with the cider ladle. "Get your paws off." (swipe) "No, not yet!" (swipe) "Come on, guys!" (swipe) (whack) (yeeowch)
A soft "ahem" from across the ballroom, and suddenly the swarming mass transformed into a group of silent young men, standing at attention before their commanding officer. Wedge stood at the foot of the stairs with a stern expression on his face. "Guys, leave her alone until she's done, OK?" The pilots dispersed, and Wedge came over to stand next to me.
"Can't take your own orders, eh?" I said as I dumped carrot sticks onto a platter (yeah, it's healthy--sue me).
"Actually, I just wanted to know what you thought of my costume." I looked at him, and my jaw fell to the floor. "Oh, you like it, then?" Wedge grinned.
Some time before the party, Wedge had asked us women what he should come as. He said he'd never been to a costume party before, so we'd all given him suggestions on what to dress as. We had come up with Tarzan (vehement no), Han Solo (nope, too weird), Captain Jean-Luc Picard (which I thought was disgusting), and all manner of others. Finally, I had suggested Robin Hood, mostly because we were desperate. Apparently Wedge had found it acceptable. I personally found it much more than acceptable. Head-to-toe green really suited him, and I said so.
"Why thanks. I wasn't sure about it, but if you say so...."
I just nodded and smiled. That was about all I could do. I turned back to the snack tables, essentially unable to say anything that had a point. Wedge grabbed a carrot stick and, before I could stop him and accuse him of being a hypocrite in front of his men, breezed away to another part of the room. Dammit, I thought. Oh well.
Varghona gasped, and sped off to keep Wes off her drums. As she left, I caught sight of Gavin sneaking around the cauldrons with a paper cup, every so often looking around and being generally suspicious. I dumped the last bag of chips into a bowl, and slipped behind him.
I tapped him on the shoulder and he jumped about a foot in the air. He whirled around and glared at me. "What?!"
"Uh, Wedge did tell you that you're underage, right?"
"Um, no," Gavin lied, his face turning pink.
"Right." I plucked the cup from his hand, and filled it with unspiked cider. "Here you are. Happy Halloween."
He took a sip and made a face. "This really bites, you know."
"I'm underage too, so stop yer complaining." I poured myself a cup of cider and touched my cup to his. "Cheers."
"Right, cheers." We both drank. He made another face. Apparently he knew
something I didn't. I just sighed, not knowing what it's like to have friends
much older than myself. Damned US liquor laws.
Continued in Part Four