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Declan | Lara
Pianos and Pranks
Wed Jan 18, 2006 23:22

A vacation sounded exceedingly nice, Declan thought later that afternoon.

Faced with a sea of freshman, the tall professor remained safely behind his lecturn and finished rambling out the Battle of Thermopolyae, much to the amusement of his class. It was understandable, really, there had been rumors hovering for several weeks now about a new film to be released in the coming year on this very subject. Starring an up-and-coming Scots actor and written by a comic cult favorite, there was a lot of renewed interest about the Greeks in general and Spartans in particular.

Five, four, three, two . . . one.

The bell shrilled merrily, prompting the sound of many books being slammed closed and stuffed into backpacks. Declan was smart enough to stay where he was, else get run over by a herd of students. However, several of them did stop to hover in front of his desk. The three were not freshmen, but they'd been hiding in the back row all the same. They were part of a scheme that had been cooked up earlier that day, in fact, since the Irishman decided his esteemed collegue needed a little push in certain directions.

"Alright. Stacy, you take these over to the science building. Thomas, you get the ones for the music auditorium. Cathy .." He eyed the grinning redhead through narrowed eyes. Of all his students, Cathy was the brightest and had a well devolped streak of humor -- if occasionally malicious. "These need to find their way to the teacher's lounge." The grin brightened; it was both a chance at a little extra credit and a dare to find her way inside the faculty domain without being caught. As one, they all saluted before turning heel and vanishing out the door.


There was a small photo left on the lecturn, taken just outside the club. The pretty blonde and Professor Holmes were, unsurprisingly, in another steamy kiss, but this one held a greater amount of heat than the others he was distributing. It would, indeed, find its way into safekeeping for a while, along with the negatives he'd purchased from Brandon - also a student of his. Allowing himself a Friday yawn, Declan carefully collected his papers and slid them into a satchel almost identical to Nigel's, before heading off in search of the named soul.

Apparently his little minions were exceptionally good at being sneaky, for by the time Gilchrist arrived at his office, someone had already plastered a couple of enlarged photos on the door, with red circles around Janey and Nigel, with some very caustic captions. Nigel himself was staring at one of them, hands flexing as if dying to rip them down - but not before he finished reading the scrawl.

"Look, this one is rating her by asset!"

Declan swallowed a grin, for the girl's assets were numerous and of the high class variety. No doubt half the seniors would be looking to track her down before her date did. "Shall I retrieve and shred them, then?" Of course his tone was sympathetic, there was a whole stack in his apartment; made during his lunch break at Kinko's and secured before a return to campus.

"No. I'll do it." Shred. Tear. Rip. And Nigel was smiling once more. "Hey, can I get a ride from you? Supposed to head over to Caleb's and plan for Thanksgiving." The teacher did not own a car, and the older instructor did, so these favors happened occasionally over the course of each semester.

"Indeed. Let me grab the essays for the viking assignment." He crouched in front of his file cabinet, situated behind his desk at the back of the closet-sized room and removed a thick folder. " I fear I may find references to Hagar again. Remind me not to volunteer for another 100 level world history class again for the next three years." Like Nigel, most of his classes were graduate level but there was often a shortage of underclass teachers. Shoving the drooping pile next to his lecture notes, Declan rummaged around for his keys, found them, and then held the door open for Nigel out of politeness. And maybe justa tinge of future guilt.

Fourty-eight minutes later found the Jetta rolling smoothly into the driveway of Caleb's home. Declan couldn't recall seeing a more nicely appointed home away from his own relations, and was content to just sit there and admire the design until Nigel smacked his shoulder. "Come on in, get some coffee. I know you don't make weekend plans." Huh. Well, maybe Nigel did deserve what was coming to him. Easing out of the vehicle, he chanced to notice a sporty Japanese model in the driveway, next to a Jeep Cherokee and a ... an apple-red VW Bug. Very good taste in cars, these Holmes had.

Nigel beat him to the door by a few minutes and left it open, vanishing inside. So Declan took his time, admiring the flower arrangements through the dusting of snow still around from a recent storm. In spring, the place would look stunning. And speaking of stunning, the tall Irish transplant met his destiny just inside the front door, willowy arms wrapped tightly around Nigels' shoulders.

Tall, blonde, face composed of delicate strength -- Declan Gilchrist quite forgot to breathe. There were shadows in otherwise clear eyes, the shade of a bluejay's wing. Her slim figure was enhanced by the masculine pants suit she wore, which really only served to heighten her beauty. Remembering himself, the man moved forward, feeling big and awkward. Normally, he could have cared less about how he looked, but somehow worn jeans, loafers and a fisherman's sweater seemed ... well, rustic. Old country. And his hair needed cutting, brown strands brushing against the nape of his neck. There was every reason to believe the angel would think him a student!

And why were lyrics from Phantom of the Opera rolling around in his head?!

"Oh! Caleb, Lucy, Jane ... this is Declan Gilchrist. The infamous."

Infamous? Oh, no. What had the oaf been saying about him? Caleb, an older version of Nigel, with the fair skin and dark hair, stepped forward to introduce himself. A hearty handshake and welcome to his home, yadda yadda. Lucy, his wife, was a petite blossom with features as delicate as Jane's and a wealth of long, brown hair. She opted to give him a hug in welcome and then went to pour out several mugs of tea. Jane ... her smile held much in reserve, but it still enhanced her visage all the more, and Declan had to struggle to stay above all of the sensations and images suddenly plaguing his head.

"I should go, Nigel. Lots of papers to grade. It was very nice to meet you ... all."

It was a poor excuse, but the sooner he was away from Ms Holmes, the easier he could think. Nigel shrugged, allowing him to turn around and bumble into the doorway before, "Oh. Come for Thanksgiving. I'll call you this weekend about it. And thanks for the ride." Issuing a noncommital grunt, the large Irish made fast his escape to the waiting car, and sped away as quickly as he dared. It wasn't until he'd made it back to his apartment and crawled into a hot shower that he realized he was physically shaking.

Wedding ring on the fourth finger of her left hand. The angel was married. Oh, god. Why? Why now? And with her?

"Honey, you've got a date this morning with the nice folks from Rolling Stone. Want me to make you some coffee?"

Lara cracked open one eye and eyed Amanda Sorensen, mother and real estate agent. The lovely redhead looked entirely too chipper for ... she glanced at her alarm clock and groaned. Eight twenty-two in the morning. There was a strong temptation to ignore 'the nice folks from Rolling Stone', especially since she'd played until almost one in the morning - sliding from her own music to the tunes once sung by her father. Granted, the register had to be adjusted to suit a feminine voice, but the third set had gone over so well with the audience.

And she'd met someone.

Arms automatically hugged her pillow at the thought of the tall, very muscular, very cute, and very shy fan who'd sat so enrapt in the music that she had really wanted to hug him. Or something. Eyes blinked rapidly, trying to banish away the sleep hovering just at the edge of her sight. With supreme effort, Lara rolled over onto her side and spent several minutes just sitting up. Mornings were just not her thing, really.

"Ok, Mom. I would love some tea?"

She offered her sweetest smile, one that her parental unit was not fooled by for a moment, but it worked. Amanda turned away from the doorway and sauntered back down the hall, wearing one of her better skirt and jacket sets. That always meant she was showing off a prime piece of property. If it sold, her mother would smile for a week straight and maybe buy something pretty.

Lara, even though she was in her twenties, liked to see her mother smile. There had been so little of that after her father had died. Hoping to keep everyone in a good mood, she forced herself out of bed and padded barefoot into the small bathroom that adjoined her sleeping quarters. It boasted a sink, toilet and tiny shower -- but it was all hers. Fingers rose to comb through unruly hair, the lifelong habit signaling the real beginning of her day.

Rolling Stone reporter and photographer arrived promptly at nine-thirty, along with her agent, Felix. They all adjourned to the patio overlooking Central Park, where the singer was asked a list of questions about her life, where she wanted to go with it, was a new recording coming out soon and ... inevitably, how did she compare herself to Edmund Sorensen, late lead singer of the band Checkmate. It was easy to answer the first handful as sincerely as possible, but providing information about her personal life was just about impossible.

Felix was smart enough to signal the interview portion over at around ten thirty. One hour. Not too bad. Everyone filed back inside the loft apartment. Since her mother was a neat freak, their home could have been photographed for H&G at the drop of a hat, and it was decided the photo session would take place in the living room and kitchen. Lara had been assisted in clothing choices by Amanda, as such dressed in snug black jeans and a white tshirt underneath a blue leather vest that had belonged to Edmund. The bubblegum-pink Doc Martens adorning her feet just completed the intended look.

It would undoubtedly excite her fans in the January issue.

Felix's phone rang about a third of the way through the shoot, but that wasn't unusual. Lara ignored the brief conversation and simply tried to look as innocently smouldering as possible (the photog's words, not her own) without bursting into giggles. By noon she felt absolutetly exhausted and ready to rip the camera out of the guy's hands and toss it to a Rottweiler.

But that would be unprofessional. So it was with barely-concealed joy that she bid the duo farewell before slumping down on the couch and removing the vest. It had been part of her father's stage ensemble, and wearing it felt like a betrayal of sorts. Felix carefully folded his thin frame into the chair opposite her, flipped his phone open again and began barking orders into the mic. Wasn't until the name 'Bennett Holmes' was uttered that Lara began to pay attention.

"Thank you, Carl. Lara, a Mister Holmes called for you this morning. I took the liberty of arranging a brief background check and nothing has popped up on the radar." Felix was British, a former agent for some of the punk bands that had gone big in Europe before disbanding when their members reached the age of twenty five and were no longer cool. "Here is his address, should you care to respond personally."

Would she evar!

One o'clock in the afternoon found her hovering outside a stately home in the northern portion of the city. She was surprised at the largess of it all, since Bennett hadn't exhibited any signs of extreme wealth. Dragging her attention away, she leaned in through the passenger window of the taxi and tossed several fifties onto the seat. "Keep the change, and thanks." The cabbie had employed little used routes to get her there in under half an hour. The huge tip was his reward.

Hers lay somewhere inside, because damned if her stomack wasn't doing flip-flops. Nervous about meeting a fan, are we? Well, a tall, extremely cute fan. Yeah. Lara was beginning to glimpse a little of her father's very grownup world. Exhaling slowly, she strode up the walkway, still wearing the tshirt, jeans and boots from the shoot, plus a small purse with money and cellphone. Just in case.

Knock, knock. Knock. Knock. Knock, knock, kno--

"Yeah, can I help you?"

Geez, the guy could have stood in for a tank. Bare chested, crewcut and wearing ... ah. A robe. "I'm sorry to bother you, but I was looking for a Bennett Holmes, and was told he was here? If I've got the wrong house, I'm sorry." Time to place another sweet smile on her mouth and hope the stranger wasn't as intuitive as her mother. Which he was, considering the bark of laughter she got in return.

"He's here. Come on in." The behemouth turned away from the door, allowing Lara barely enough room to squeeze by and into a marvelously appointed interior. Amanda would love the decor. "Go through the kitchen and into the second door. You'll find him." Ok, that was helpful.

"Thank you," she piped after the giant's retreating back. So, through the kitchen meant just that. A few steps further down the hall revealed that very room, which she hastily stepped into and then across, counting the doors as instructed. Second one opened onto a staircase heading down. "Curioser and curioser," the brunette muttered, feeling rather like her favorite fictional character.

Tied up in ancient history
I didnt believe in destiny
I look up you're standing next to me
What a feeling ...
This was unexpected. Her steps slowing, Lara carefully made her way down to the bottom of the steps and peered through the open door. There sat Benny, focused completely on the keyboard in front of him, singing in a voice ... it was a voice, alright. A rather good one. Faintly rough around the edges, and she could envisioning him singing some of Edmund's tunes.

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
It's brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don't care
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine

Settling on the bottom step, with a good view of his backside, the singer listened closely until the song was finished - an idea popping into her head by the time he'd finished up and begun another. It was so hard to wait until a lapse in vocalization, but she did. And then . . .

"That was great. Here, try this one. You and me . . ."

Not giving him more than a second to react, Lara stood up and stepped fully into the room, practically beaming. Sitting down at his side on the piano bench, she laid nimble fingers reverently against ivory keys before leading into a number that anyone familiar with rock of the last thirty years would recognize.
It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
The Regular crowd shuffles in
There's an old man sitting next to me
Makin' love to his tonic and gin

  • Feeling Like a... Ahem!Bennet Holmes, Tue Jan 17 23:18
    Beep-beep! Beep-beep! Beep-beep! Groaning, Bennett rolled over in bed, slapping his alarm clock at the ungodly hour of… Okay, so ten thirty in the morning wasn’t an ungodly hour. Well, it was if you... more
    • Pianos and Pranks — Declan | Lara, Wed Jan 18 23:22
      • Heart Attacks GaloreBennett | Devon, Thu Jan 19 02:31
        Now that he had had the chance to stretch his fingers and ease the dust bunnies from his voice box, Bennett was having a remarkably good time. Which was odd, considering he was alone. Usually, when... more
        • Turkey Day BluesMessers Schmidt und Krueger, Thu Jan 19 09:10
          “Let’s start over. Hi, I’m Bennett. What’s your name?” It had been just that easy. Hi, I'm Laramie Sorensen and I think you're just swell! Ok, it hadn't gone quite that cheesily, but she'd been able... more
          • Hershey KissesBennett | Devon, Thu Jan 19 12:24
            Thanksgiving dinner was… just dinner. Sort of. That didn’t stop him from eating, though! Bennett smirked across the table at Sean and John, who were obviously playing a game of footsie. At one point, ... more
            • Best of MeMonkeys with Typewriters, Fri Jan 20 10:08
              "Why do I suddenly feel like I'm in the middle of a Tarzan movie?" Bennett had reliquished his grasp on her once they were inside and standing in line. Lara was still trying to get her pulse down to... more
              • Interesting TurnsBennett | Devon, Fri Jan 20 14:48
                “Bennett Conan Holmes! Get your ass down here!” Uh oh. Benny took one last look at himself in the mirror, hoping his hide was still intact when he wandered out the door. What did he do now? God help... more
                • CorneredNigel Holmes, Fri Jan 20 14:48
                  “Not in here too!” Nigel wailed. He even huffed and puffed, threw a hissy fit, and tore down the offending pictures that were plastered all over his office like wall paper. How the hell did they get... more
                  • Playing in the HouseCaleb Holmes, Fri Jan 27 13:01
                    “ Luuuuucifer! I’m bored!” Caleb huffed and puffed until the house blew down, flopping onto a plush sofa in what was now being referred to as the ‘entertainment room’. Of course, once he had already... more
                    • IntuitionLara Sorensen, Fri Jan 27 16:32
                      "Grew up in a small town and when the rain would fall down, I'd just stare out my window ..." Lara's guitar thrummed obediantly, a perfect counterpoint to her husky voice. "Dreaming of what could be... more
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