Wallflower Girl (Chapter 2, page 1 of 3)


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Anne showered and checked her suitcase once more before closing it. She straightened her violet blouse, tugging at it and peering at herself in her mirrored wardrobe. A pair of khaki shorts and some brown leather sandals completed the casual summer look. She pulled the shorts low, thankful she was blessed with a slender waist. No love handles, and the fabric covered her scars if she remembered to give that extra little yank. She looked… decent. I'm not mousy!

It was true. She had been called that before by several different people, and who knew how many referred to her that way behind her back? Her hair was kind of thin, plain brown and a bit scraggly no matter how she fluffed it. She kept it above her shoulders and often wore a hat or scarf. Today she settled on a pony tail. Her face was narrow and her cheeks freckled. Her eyes were the same colour as Kelser's; hazel, and if she used enough makeup she could make them look sparkly and interesting, but she rarely used any eye makeup at all. She would dab on a bit of foundation to cover the freckles and some lipstick and eye shadow on a special occasion, but she had gift-kits from years back with the eyeliner and mascara untouched. Wait, didn't mascara expire after a certain number of months? She looked at one tube and chucked it into the trash. It was not worth risking an eye infection. The one she'd received for her last birthday was still fresh, and she tossed it into the suitcase.

Maybe mousy is more of an attitude than a look, she pondered. She had a decorative flower and lace barrette to wear to the wedding. There was a makeup kit an aunt had given her the previous Christmas that she found in the drawer of her dresser. She looked at it. Everyone said purple was a good colour for her, and this set had three shades of violet shadow. She packed that in her suitcase before lugging it into the front room. Her brother was sprawled on the couch again.

There was no protecting her pretty apartment from him, and most likely some of his mates. "You won't have anyone over will you, Graham?" she asked pleadingly. "Please?"

"Probably just Arko and Chad for the game on your big-screen tomorrow night. But we'll clean up, sis. Don't worry."

Yeah right-don't worry! Anne told herself hopelessly as she wheeled her bag down the stairs. It was too heavy for her to carry. There were voices of men coming up the stairs, and she encountered them edging a huge bureau around the narrow landing of the third floor. She flattened against the eighties style rose-printed wallpaper so they could get past. It was a big hairy guy on the front of the monstrosity and her new neighbour on the back. He had his head turned and pressed against the side of the bureau, unable to see Anne as he moved past. He had on a singlet. His visible back and shoulder muscles bulged from the exertion, shiny with sweat and rippling taut. His manly scent made Anne stupidly giddy; that and the thought of him asking about her.

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