Whatever You Say

by Emerald Masquerade

Prologue

An elderly couple graced their afternoon strolling through Evergreen Park, chatting casually about the new generations that were becoming exceedingly hard to comprehend.

Around them, it was a calm, peaceful day. The sun was shining brightly, just about blinding everyone lacking sunglasses, and the breeze was swift without being too agonizing to people's hair. There was a little boy tossing a frisbee repeatedly at his dog, who obviously wasn't interested in doing any sort of movement seeing as he just stared at the boy, letting the frisbee whiz right past him and onto the grass every time it was thrown his way. The boy didn't seem to notice though, and he just kept flinging the frisbee like a determined little bugger. An annoyed pre-teen sat on a park bench, picking at a violet viciously with multi-colored nails. And, finally, a bald calculus teacher stalked across the park without even raising his view from his newspaper.

The old lady suddenly caught sight of something from the corner of her eye, stopping mid-sentence and forcing their pace to a complete stop. For a second, she just looked, collecting her thoughts. It appeared that three young women were hiding behind a cluster of bushes.

"What do you think they're doing, dear?" the woman asked, squinting at the girls as if to find an answer camouflaged into the scene.

Her husband shrugged. "Hide and seek?"

"The one girl has specks, dear! Who are they spying on?"

Again, her husband shrugged. "Such fine young women! To think, they're stalkers!"

The woman gasped. "Maybe they're terrorists!"

"Terrorists?"

"Terrorists!" The elderly lady grabbed her husbands arm and rushed him away, escaping from the supposedly perilous park.


Spiky branches arched from the body of a purple butterfly bush, rubbing against Lisbeth's leg so frequently that it had begun to take a shade of light red.

"Come on, Marci!" Lisbeth complained. "It's my turn! Hand over the binoculars!"

"Fine," Marci sighed, lowering the binoculars from her eyes and dropping them in Lisbeth's hands. "He's not here yet, anyways."

Lisbeth grinned enthusiastically and immediately began to peer out through the bushes. In the meantime, behind Marci, Skye was busily gouging her name into the dirt with a branch she had found earlier.

"Why? Why do we hide behind these bushes every Saturday afternoon? I mean, we're attractive, young women, aren't we?" Skye asserted, hurling her stick in a random direction. Ignoring the surprised squeak from the girl on the bench, Skye continued, "You think we'd be able to just walk up to him and talk!"

"High school girl traditions?" Marci offered with a laugh.

"Were we ever this creepy?"

"Hey!" Lisbeth yelped suddenly, causing the other two girls to jolt upright. "Skye, why are you even here? I thought you were engaged to that sack of muscles who calls himself a football player."

The thought of Davin made Marci snort. He was Skye's boyfriend for two years, worked at a well-paying construction site and liked to play football in his spare time. Although he was quite gorgeous, sporting a mesmerizing smile and an amazing body, he wasn't exactly the sharpest crayon in the Crayola factory.

Skye lifted her hand and admired her engagement ring giddily. "I was going to say no, but then I saw the ring and I realized it would match beautifully with some of my outfits, so I changed my mind."

"You're horrible." Marci stared at her incredulously for a couple of seconds, but then decided to let it go, rolling her eyes.

Lisbeth just turned from the bush and marched on her knees over to Skye, examining her large diamond ring. Marci waited for her friend's reaction.

With a thumbs up and smile of approval, Lisbeth exclaimed, "Nice ring! Have you decided on how to break the engagement?"

Marci smacked her palm against her forehead, withholding a groan of disbelief. "You're going to break it?"

"Well, no, not yet," Skye confessed, "but you're right. I mean, can you see me sticking to one man for the rest of my life? I need to start thinking."

"You can't just break the engagement!" Marci broke in. "Plus, you'll need to give the ring back anyway."

Waving off Marci's statement, Lisbeth speculated, "So, Skye, are you planning to keep the ring or pawn it? In my opinion, I think you should get rid of it ASAP."

"Well," Skye said thoughtfully. "There is that really nice pair of Guess jeans I spotted at the mall yesterday. Oh, and a really cute pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos."

"Exactly! Just say that you lost the ring and you don't think it's meant to be or something," Lisbeth proposed.

"Do you think he'll get mad?"

"Of course not!" Lisbeth cooed. "He's not smart enough to get mad."

Marci sighed. They weren't listening.

"Hey, look, five o'clock sharp! It's him!" Lisbeth shrieked, tossing the binoculars back to Marci.

Sure enough, there he was. One of the most gorgeous and sincere men alive. Marci could feel her cheeks burning by just looking at him, but before she could make out any of his current traits, the binocular vision became shrouded by dark blue.

Marci leaped back in shock, accidentally pitching the binoculars into the air . . . only to have them plunge at Skye's forehead.

"FUCK!" Skye cried out, pounding the binoculars against the ground. "What's wrong with you?"

"Ahem," the blue in front of the binoculars—now proven to be a living creature—interrupted. "Good afternoon, ladies."

Slowly and innocently, the three girls turned to face a police officer.

"I was sent over here due to a report on suspicious activities taking place here that might be the work of . . . ," the young police officer wrinkled his eyebrows, studying us, ". . . terrorists. Perhaps the report was over-exaggerated, but you ladies are decked out in black when it's scorching hot outside. May I just ask, what you are doing?" He uncrossed his arms and lifted a hand to brush his bangs from his eyes, only to have them fall right back into place.

Marci was the first to react, quickly jumping up and swiping the dirt off her pants. "Oh my, God! I am so sorry. We didn't mean to disrupt the peace in the park. Please believe me, this is totally a misunderstanding!" She ran her fingers through her hair shakily, looking anything but innocent.

"You don't like my outfit, Mr. Police Man?" The corner of Skye's mouth rose as she quipped, "Well, what would you rather me be wearing? You?"

"Man hunting," Lisbeth answered simply and bluntly, "and might I add, yum, aren't you delicious looking."