Kendall OR Greenlee...
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A/N Thanks again to Daysfan for helping. Enjoy!
The Lewis Mansion somehow appeared even larger, and quieter, now that there wasn't a Town Party going on. Plus it seemed that all traces of the party had been cleaned up, or moved.
Kitty lead the way as she and Melissa walked through the large Banquet Hall, where the party had taken place three days ago. Their footsteps seemed to echo against the glistening marble floor, as they made their way toward Mr. Lewis's office, located just off to the right of the Hall. They passed by the banquet tables, which were now empty, and had their silky tableclothes changed. They looked like they were ready for another event, perhaps one that would take place very soon. Other than those tables, and the paintings and portraits that hung on the walls, and the lovely chandalier that hung from the ceiling, the room was quite empty. In fact, with the floor so spotless that one could see one's own reflection, and the general squeaky cleanness of the rest of the Hall, it looked more like a museum, or perhaps a brand new place that was for sale, rather than a place where the Christmas Town Party had been held merely days earlier.
When the two young women arrived outside Mr. Lewis's office, Kitty stopped, and said, "You go on in. I'll wait out here."
Melissa looked at her, puzzled. "I thought you were coming in with me," she said.
"I said I would meet you here, and I agreed to walk to you his office," Kitty replied, "but you need to see him for yourself. Go on, you'll be fine," she said assuringly. "You'll get to see what a wonderful man he is."
She stood to one side of Mr. Lewis's office door, and made a swooping gesture with her arms, almost as though she were showing off the way to see historic landmark. "Alright," Melissa said, and began to move past her. "Wish me luck."
"I already have," Kitty winked, then slipped off. Melissa watched her go, then she took a deep breath and slipped into the room.
Kitty made her way upstairs, to a room that few knew about, and even fewer were allowed inside. It was a comfortable room that was fair-sized, had a rather large sofa, a complete TV/DVD/VCR setup, and a computer. In other words, just about every luxery that could possibly be put into one room... well, this room had it. It had been made special for the Lewis daughters, as a gift to them, and they made the room their own. It was truly a place where one could be comfortable and entertained for hours and hours, with several different forms of entertainment.
Kitty opened the door without knocking, and was a little startled when Daphne rushed toward her. "Careful!" Daphne exclaimed, and then Kitty realized what caused her to react so. There was a brand new boom box in the room, right next to the door, and she had almost slammed into it upon entering.
"Give me a hand with this," Daphne said, and Justin Lipton came to her aide. With some effort, they both managed to move the enormous radio unit so it was safely out of range of being slammed by the opening door.
Kitty shook her head as she shut the door behind her. "If you guys bring anymore of this... *stuff* in here, we're not gonna have any more room to hang out in here," she said jovially.
Daphne gave her a look, although her expression was also one of mild amusement. "You know you like having this stuff as much as we do," she said blandly. "Besides," she added with a smirk, "we can afford all this, so... why shouldn't we take advantage of it, and live a little?"
Kitty's only response was to grin, and shrug in a "You've got a point, of course" way, and then she went to sit down on the end of the sofa. It looked like everyone was there. Justin had taken his usual spot at the other end of the couch, beside Tony Vuel and Stephen (Sebby) Sebbers. Vivian appeared engrossed with a magazine, and was standing near the television, although she did smile and greet Kitty once she noticed her.
Everyone in this room had been friends for quite some time, and they loved to hang out in this room in order to talk about things, such as their jobs or even to complain about how much their families sucked sometimes. But most of all, they enjoyed the various forms of entertainment and amusement that were at their disposal here in this special room. It was like... a place where they could escape from the outside world, whenever they needed too. Or just when they wanted too, as well.
"So, what's up?" Tony asked.
"Melissa Howel has come here to interview Mr. Lewis," Kitty announced.
Heads turned in her direction. "Oh?" Daphne said. Even Vivian had put down her magazine, and joined the others at the couch. They were all seated now, and the couch was just barely large enough to hold them all.
"I heard about her... she's the daughter of Greg Howel," Daphne murmured. "He had a heart-attack right in the middle of the Christmas Party, and... well, my dad said it ruined the mood, and the party didn't make anywhere near as much money because of it." She shook her head, and snorted softly. "I think I overheard my dad mumbling something about... how he wished that if someone had to die, they could do it at home rather than in his mansion, because it ruins everything."
Kitty shifted slightly. "I... happen to know that Melissa is a sweet girl," she said. "She's grieving over the loss of her father, and frankly... if she heard you saying something like that, I don't know how she would react."
Daphne shrugged. "What does it matter? My dad's always muttering things like that, and if she's here to interview him, she'd better get used to it fast. I mean, he's always very charming whenever he meets someone face to face for the first time, but after a while, what's undernearth his charm always pokes through." She leaned back on the sofa, and stretched her arms over her head. "Besides, this is our room... no one ever comes in here. I can say whatever I want."
"That's just the thing," Kitty said. "I think we should invite Melissa to come here."
Daphne raised her eyebrows, almost as though someone had told her there was a spider crawling on her shoulder. "Invite her to come here?" she repeated. "But... her family just moved here, and... she's just some reporter person, isn't she?"
"I work for the local newspaper, as an assistent editor," Kitty reminded her. "And you've written articles for the paper yourself. I think you might like her... you both like to write, and I think you might have more in common with her than you think. Who knows?"
"Maybe we could let her here," Vivian chimed in. "I mean, if you think she's okay, Kitty, then I say okay! I know you wouldn't suggest we let anyone uncool in here."
"Well... alright," Daphne said, with a shrug. "It wouldn't hurt anything, especially if you say she's okay, Kitty."
"Are we going to watch that new movie, or not?" Sebby interjected.
Tony grinned. "Apparently it's rated R," he said, almost mischieviously. "So... be prepared."
"Ha, Justin had better be prepared!" Daphne chuckled, glancing over in his direction. "That last movie we watched, where the vampire's head got cut off and blood spurted everywhere, I thought he was going to start screaming like a little girl!"
"Oh shut up," Justin said in response. "If I remember correctly, we almost had to peel Kitty off the ceiling."
"Don't you go picking on our Kitty, now!" Vivian said, in that firm but almost playful tone she used when she was trying to play peacemaker, and to keep things from getting out of hand. "Now come on, just stick the movie in, and let's watch it."
"Righto!" Sebby said, and grabbed the DVD, then walked over to put it in the machine to play it.
The interview with Mr. Lewis went pretty well, all things considered. Although for some reason, Melissa couldn't shake this uneasy feeling when she was talking to him. He seemed... charming, and he had manners, but at the same time, there was something about the way he talked that made her feel like she was speaking to a snake. However, when he answered her questions and talked about what happened at the party in general, he showed no malice, he merely said that it was "unfortunate that such a tragic event had to take place on Christmas day, during a Town Party, of all places and times." And he appeared genuinely saddened... unlike he had three days ago, when she had overheard him sounding as though he were offended.
Maybe... it was just stress, or something, she thought, with a mental shrug. She wasn't sure how else to explain it... he certainly didn't *seem* like a snake, and she still remembered what Kitty said, about how once you got to know him, he wasn't so bad. Perhaps... it was possible to get off on the wrong foot with someone, and to misjudge them. After all, everyone said stupid things sometimes, didn't they? And someone as rich and powerful as Mr. Lewis probably had a lot of things on his plate, so it was probably no wonder he said stupid things sometimes.
Finally, she thanked Mr. Lewis, and left the office. Now all she needed to do was write down the events of the party from her own point of view, then include it with the interview, and she would have a story to put on Ms. Chiara's desk.
"I guess I'm going home for now, then," she murmured to herself. She glanced about as she entered the Banquet Hall again, hoping to see Kitty, but she could not spot her anywhere. So after a couple of minutes, she shrugged, then headed toward the door, and showed herself out.
Even as she walked toward her family's home, she frowned slightly, because... somehow she could not shake this feeling that something else was going to happen in her life... and soon.