A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
|Previously: "The Girl Who Could Be More"
You begin to mull over and weigh your options. None of them, you feel, will be easy even for someone like Stephanie. Sure she's bigger than Chelsea, stronger than Chelsea, more hardnosed and intense than Chelsea. Unlike Chelsea she's not someone who would be manhandled by Dane Matthias and dragged halfway across the school. But that doesn't mean she'd give you one hundred percent odds against any of your intended targets, merely a fighting chance.
Take Jason Lynch, a sniggering little goblin-man who seems to want to join himself at the hip to Gordon. Yet despite his attitude and his height -- Stephanie is likely taller than him -- he's still a high level baseball player and in top shape. Stephanie's fast and numble but should you mess up and should he then catch you... well, there's not really anything you could do about it.
Then there's Chen. Again, small in stature but far and away the most dangerous. You'd bet that he's the kind of guy who'd carry a knife on him and would definitely know how to use it. He's also probably the kind of guy who'd have no qualms about getting violent with a girl who managed to get on his bad side. To be frank, even with Chelsea's own high confidence and bravado seemingly embedded into your brain you have to admit that he scares you and that you'd rather not risk finding out just what he'd do.
So that leaves Steve Patterson, the one that Chelsea (and thus you) is most familiar with and the most obvious suspect for the theft after Chen. He's cold and intense in a way that gives even Stephanie pause you realize, yet your experience with him so far also pins him as the least likely to get rough with you should things go south. For as bad as he is, he at least tries to maintain a level of respectability that the other two lack.
Plus he seems like the easiest one to get. He's a guy who's as guided by the head in his pants as he is the one atop his shoulders and you imagine that you could quite easily use Stephanie's body plus Chelsea's charm to get him into a position where you could use the band on him with little complication. It would just mean having to be willing to be a little intimate with him but if you could do it with the boy disguised as Gordon then you sure as hell can do the same with Patterson.
Besides, it's not like it'd be your body. No, the body you've increasingly come to regard as your own is sealed up in another mask laying on Chelsea's bed. What do you care what happens to Stephanie Wyatt's body... or Stephanie Wyatt herself?
* * * * *
It's late Saturday morning; you're dressed out as Stephanie and standing impatiently in the school parking lot. You'd sent (and deleted) a text from Chelsea's phone last night telling Steve that someone wanted you to relay a message to meet him up at the school at the given time to discuss some things. You didn't really receive a response so you can only hope that he didn't just ignore it and cause your entire plan to crash and burn.
However, any of those fears are removed when you see a car pull up into an empty space and a figure exit. Patterson spots you and begins making his way over to you, his expression cold until he gets closer and seems to get a good look at who you are. Then it changes, softening but also becoming hungry. You ready yourself for what you may have to do.
"So you're who I'm supposed to meet?" he asks as he pulls up to you.
"Maybe," you say trying to pull in every ounce of Stephanie you can.
"Chelsea's text, right?" he asks and you nod. "Don't know what you'd want with me."
You shift a bit, ostensibly to show that you're not scared of him and are willing to hold your ground. But it also has the effect of pushing your chest out. "I can think of a few things," you say as you catch sight of Patterson's eyes scanning you, "but I don't want to talk out here. You and your guys have that little hideaway above the gym don't you?"
Patterson smirks at that. "Yeah, but it's not the kind of place for someone like you, unless--"
"Unless what?" you interrupt, taking a step forward. On the one hand, you're showing him that Stephanie Wyatt won't be afraid to get in his face. On the other hand, Stephanie Wyatt is in now right in his face. "I want to talk about what's going on with your friend and what we can do to stomp that shit out so it doesn't filter back to my girls."
You want to laugh at that line since Julia, Stephanie's teammate, makes little secret of the fact she enjoys getting blazed. But whether Patterson believes you or not he at least pretends to, smiling and walking by you while telling you to come with him. You do as you walk you feel his hand on the small of your back. You jump but this is what you knew you might have to deal with so you bear it and do so again when you stop at the gym and feel that hand on your ass.
The real Stephanie would've killed him by now.
* * * * *
You follow Patterson into the gym, reaching into your pocket and grasping the band as you ascend the stairs. You wait while he unlocks the door and then follow him into the loft. You're about halfway in when he turns to you. When you're both a nice ways into the room he stops and you do as well, he turns to you ready to speak but you quickly jam the band onto his head while making no effort to catch him as he collapses... not that you could if you wanted to. You instead close and lock the door behind you before crouching down next to him.
While he's out, you study him.
He's tall and thin yet still well muscled you can tell from the tone of his arms. His face is handsome, even a bit youthful, but serious and even unconscious his icy blue eyes feel like they're piercing to the most inner reaches of your person. For all of his negative qualities he's a nice looking guy and it's easy to see why he has little problem getting girls. Even Stephanie, who's no great fan of his and only has eyes for Marc Garner, wouldn't deny that physically at least he's a definite catch.
It's his personality that's the problem. Intense, arrogant, an all around asshole who walks around like he's owed something. You could feel it from her mind when you were in Chelsea's mask. She hates how Patterson won't be swayed by her, how he stands up to her and treats her with little respect. And yet, deep down, maybe just a tiny bit... it kind of turns her on. Chelsea likes control of course but she also likes it when a guy has backbone too.
After your first encounter with him in her mask, a thought that Chelsea has occasionally had cropped into your mind.
If I wasn't with Gordon, could I wind up becoming another notch on Steve Patterson's belt?
You're still thinking and studying when you notice the band appear, grab it and shove it in your pocket. You're about to leave when he begins to stir and you stop. On instinct you help rouse him and pull him up to a sitting position. You're feeling worked up, your body is aching and with little thought you pounce on him, your mouth on his and your tongue jammed into it.
That's how Stephanie Wyatt nearly became another notch in Steve Patterson's belt.
* * * * *
"Seriously, what the fuck have you been doing!?" Caleb demands after lunch. You're in the basement of the elementary school though still in Stephanie's mask, having not had the opportunity to remove it.
"I had to know if Patterson had taken the stash somehow!" you protest.
"Yeah, by fucking him?" he asks sarcastically. "Great job Mata Hari."
"I didn't... we just made out, okay!?" you exclaim in embarassed frustration more characteristic of Chelsea than Stephanie. "The worst part is that it's all useless and all I've done now is made a mess for the real Stephanie."
It's true. You'd given the band to Caleb upon meeting him and Patterson, it turns, out, had nothing at all to do with the theft only knowing what you've told him. And it only now hits you that, though you don't care a whit for Stephanie, this could be a complication that could mess things up for you if Patterson goes after her some more and it spirals out of control; a fear that you voice to Caleb.
"Well, if you want to deal with it then just make up a new mask, get it on him and I can switch with him," he says.
You roll your eyes at that; of course he'd suggest it. However, this time it might actually help you so you can't discount it, especially if you could convince him to tryin going out with the real Stephanie. But that'd mean having to make another mask so how else could you solve this problem?
The thought hits you of trying to convince Caleb to switch with Stephanie instead. You could just tell him to ignore Patterson while also telling him to be more friendly with you, or have him hook up with Patterson; whichever. Either way -- Patterson or Stephanie -- it could save you a lot of headache and bring Stephanie into your orbit which means an easier time of splitting off the Garners from Cindy.
But to be honest it seems like a lot of work and a giant pain in the ass. It probably wouldn't be that big of a deal if you just let it slide. Plus it's not like switching Caleb with either of them would bring you any closer to finding out who took the briefcase.
That's all for now.