Disclaimer: This is the only disclaimer I will ever write, and you can't say I never told you so. This story is very loosely based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I DO NOT OWN PRIDE AND PREJUDICE OR ANYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH IT.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
- Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single guy who is rich, hot, and popular must want an equally rich, hot, and popular girlfriend.
Or at least a girlfriend.
The guy in question may not know this, but all the girls in the neighborhood certainly do - and they will stop at nothing to get his attention.
- - - - -
The first thing I remember about that summer is that it was way too hot for clothes. That's not to say everyone was walking around naked, but at least my sisters and I had stripped down to the barest minimum. It was sweltering outside, and even though we had our air conditioning running full blast, it was still irritatingly hot.
It was the hottest summer yet, and if I was already annoyed, it was only about to get worse.
"Girls, look! The new neighbors are moving in!" cried my mother as she peered quite noticeably out the front window. The window that also didn't have any blinds because we liked to let the sun in. The window that people could so obviously see through at all hours of the day - which was why I avoided it like the plague. My mother had absolutely no inhibitions about being inconspicuous.
And yet my four sisters and I all stopped what we were doing (read: nothing) scurried to get a glimpse of the new neighbors. The Madisons, who lived across the street from us, were vacationing in Europe for the summer and had decided to take advantage of their absence in order to make some extra money. So they decided to rent the house out, and obviously these new guys had made the best offer. But why anyone would want to spend an entire summer in Santa Monica when they could be anywhere else is beyond me.
"I see a boy!" squealed Brayden in delight.
"I see two," corrected Brianna.
"Where's the rest of the family?" Brylee wanted to know.
Brylee was right to wonder. There was a car parked outside the house, but only two guys had gotten out. And from the looks of what they were moving into the house, it didn't look like much. At least not enough for a family.
Once it was obvious that there was no one else moving in, Brooke immediately grew disinterested. She mumbled something about being in her room, which probably meant she was either reading something highly scientific or working on blowing things up. Brooke was nerdy like that.
"Oh goody, now that Brooke's not interested, less competition for me!" said Brayden, rolling her eyes.
As the oldest and most sensible, Brianna had the grace to look politely appalled. "Brayden, what makes you think you're going to be hooking up with those boys?" she scolded.
Brayden, who usually got along with Brianna, scowled. "Why, do you like one of them?"
She blushed. "No, of course not. But you can't go around claiming guys when we haven't even met them yet."
But as soon as she said that, I groaned because my mother, who had been silently observing the new neighbors with a sly grin on her face, suddenly clapped her hands together.
"Fantastic idea, Brianna! Field trip, girls! We're going to welcome the new neighbors," she said, positively ecstatic. Her enthusiasm never ceased to scare me.
As if that weren't bad enough, she turned and addressed me, saying, "Oh, and Brigette? Why don't you bake them a nice cake before we go over?"
My mouth practically dropped open at this order. Did she not realize how hot it was? And that using the oven would not help the matter? The look she gave me said to do as I was told.
I didn't need to meet them to decide that I hated the new neighbors already.