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“Parker, are you sure you’re alright with me accompanying you to this party?” Matilda asked her brother, standing in the doorway of his bedroom while he tried to tame his mass of curly hair in front of his mirror.

“Sure. Why wouldn’t I be?” Parker asked her. Matilda shrugged.

“Most older siblings don’t enjoy socializing with friends while their younger siblings are around. Many seem to think it’s embarrassing,” she told him. Parker chuckled.

“Yeah, well most older siblings hate their younger siblings. I don’t hate you,” he told her with a grin before yelling in frustration and whacking himself in the head trying to disentangle his comb from his cherub locks. Matilda’s lips twitched slightly.

“Here,” she said, gently removing the comb from his hair and beginning to patiently pick through his knots and tangles.

“Thanks,” he muttered a little sheepishly.

“Young Ms. and Mr. Charm, your mother has requested that the two of you be home by eleven,” Katie told them, handing them their coats as they walked out the door.

“We will be. Thanks, Katie,” Parker smiled. Katie was his favourite servant. She wasn’t that much older than him and she never told his mother when she found him watching TV in his room after school instead of doing his homework. He always got it done, anyway, so what was wrong with taking an hour or two to relax after school first? She was also usually around to chat when Matilda was busy. Other than the servants and Matilda, there wasn’t anyone to socialize with at home. His parents, uncle and cousin were always working, his aunt was always running around space and his grandfather did nothing but lie in bed and mumble incoherantly these days.

Matilda walked up to the house with her brother and rang the doorbell. There was loud music blaring from inside. “Is your friend the rowdy type?” she asked curiously, peering through the window. Parker shrugged.

“He’s not really my friend. I just kind of know him through a friend of a friend’s girlfriend. I’m not sure why he invited us, to be honest,” he admitted. The door opened and a guy Matilda recognized opened the door.

“Good evening, Geoffrey,” she nodded to him. Geoffrey looked Matilda up and down with a hungry look in his eyes. It made Parker uneasy. He really wished his crazy sister hadn’t decided to wear her bathing suit to the party. It showed so much skin. Matilda, however, didn’t even notice.

“‘Sup?” he nodded to her and Parker. “We’ve got booze and weed. Want some?” he asked, letting them in. Parker ended up having a cooler, but drank it slowly and stopped after one drink. He stayed away from the weed altogether. Matilda remembered him admitting to her that he drank on occasion, but didn’t like going overboard and getting drunk. Matilda politely declined both the alcohol and marijuana. She could feel her brother’s watchful eye on her the whole time and felt a twinge of annoyance.

I know he cares about me, but I would have hoped he’d have realized that I can take care of myself now, she thought to herself. However blank and unexpressive Matilda appeared to be on the outside, she wasn’t emotionless. She did enjoy the company of people and always went out of her way to be polite and kind to everyone, and her heart broke at the sight of her dying grandfather at home. She just didn’t show these emotions. She wasn’t quite sure why. It just didn’t feel natural to her. She felt Geoffrey seat himself beside her and give her a drunken grin. “So… do you ever smile?” he asked her, guzzling down the rest of his beer.

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“I’m not sure. Do I?” she asked him politely.

“Nope. I never seen you smile once. You’re not a robot or something, are you?”

“Certainly not. I suppose this is just the way I am. I’m enjoying your party,” she replied cooly.

“Thanks. It’s more fun when you’re high or drunk, though. Want some?” he asked. Matilda shook her head.

“No thank you. I don’t wish to give my dear brother a stroke.” Geoffrey looked over at Parker, who was quite obviously glaring viciously at him.

“Oh, I get it,” he winked. “Maybe some other time. Say, do you uh, want to go somewhere more quiet?” he asked. Unaware of the connotation of the request, Matilda nodded.

“That sounds lovely. Thank you.” Geoffrey led her up to his bedroom, and immediately got closer to her once he shut the door. Matilda’s heartbeat quickened. She was very aware of the fact that she was alone in a dark room with a boy. Her brother and parents would never approve; she was darling, ever-polite and proper Matilda, after all. It was irritating having so much pressure as the heiress placed on her shoulders. She had never asked for her title. It had just been thrust upon her because there was no one else eligable to take it. I’m so tired of trying to live up to everyone’s expectations. Why can’t I just do what I want? she thought to herself.

“So babe, now that your bro can’t see us, what do you say we get a bit more comfortable?” he murmured, running his hands down Matilda’s arms. Geoffrey was a bad boy. Her family would disapprove of him and his ponytail and ripped up skull shirt. They wouldn’t want him anywhere near their precious, innocent darling heiress. Matilda inwardly grinned to herself. It was so… rebellious and appealing.

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“Mattie! Come on, we have to go! We missed our curfew already!” Parker shouted an hour later, banging on the bedroom door. Matilda gasped and jumped out of bed, her eyes wide with a rare expression of surprise. She quickly pulled her sweater back on over her bra and buttoned up her skirt.

“I have to leave now. It was a lovely party. Thank you for inviting me,” she said quickly, hastily running her fingers through her curls to tame them and running out the door with her brother.

“Do I want to know what went on between the two of you in there?” Parker asked his sister icily on their way back home. Matilda shook her head.

“Probably not,” she admitted quietly. She heard her brother intake a sharp breath, then exhale slowly. She thought he was trying very hard not to yell at her. At least he calms himself down before he starts screaming at me, unlike Mother, she thought gratefully to herself.

“Did you have sex?” Matilda’s cheeks flushed scarlett at her brother’s blunt question, but she shook her head again.

“No,” she answered. Parker nodded. Matilda never lied to him and he knew she wasn’t lying now.

“Be careful, Mattie,” was all he said to her before a police cruiser pulled up and a police officer stepped out of the vehicle. “Shit!” he swore.

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