It's a lovely spring day without a cloud in the sky. Though there could be clouds a little lower as Ashley, alone, strides towards the Marchant mansion. She is dresssed to the tee of course; sensible shoes, knee high socks, short plaid skirt, yellow tartan jacket over whiter blouse, tiny backpack on her back. Ashley has a habit of walking like she owns the place and today is no exception. Straight up to the door and pressing the buzzer. Fancy place...but one day she will have one that dwarfs it.
One might expect a butler to answer, but it's actually Jade. He's in long and a cotton candy pink t-shirt that's a size too big, stylishly so. His hair is styled with plenty of lift. Even on his downtime he's no stranger to product. The bastard always looks like he's ready for a camera to snap his picture. His brows lift in surprise to see Cash's sister on the step. "Hey," he says. Behind him a cat meows loudly, and he calls back, "I'm coming, Meezer!"
"Jade, just the man I was looking for" Ashley smiles. "Is your butler on holiday?" She stands there, patiently, before finally asking, "Invite me in? I have something to talk to you about."
"Huh?" Jade says. "No, I was just by the door anyway," he says. He steps back and says, "Come on in." One can see the gears turning behind his eyes as he tries to figure out what this could be about. There is a nother low, throaty meow, the kind only a pure Siamese can deliver, and at the top of the grand staircase sits a wedge-faced, seal-point cat with blue eyes slightly crossed. It looks imperious and impatient.
A smile and polite nod as Ashley enters, looking around the place with some interest - this is how the other half live. "Oh, cute cat. 'We are Siamese if you please. We are Siamese if you don't please'" - she knows all the big hits. "How is your girlfriend in...Paris isn't it?" Her tiny backpack is swung off her back as she awaits permission to sit somewhere. It's not as if this place is lacking in rooms or chairs.
Jade grins and says, "Thanks. That's Meezer. He's --" There's another loud, rattling meow. Jade eyes the cat. "-- impatient for me to get back upstairs. Me-me, you're going to have to come down here. There's company." He then gestures toward a sitting room that's positively luxurious, with a big TV screen and a sidebar Jade's probably not supposed to get into (and still probably totally does). "She's fine," he says wryly. "Can I get you some refreshments?" The cat finally deigns to pad downstairs and twine around Jade's legs.
"Some refreshments would be nice" Ashley nods, making her way into the sitting room and taking in the opulence. He isn't going to offer her a drink, is he? Of alcohol? They're //much// too young. "Meezer? Interesting name." She settles onto a comfy couch before taking a notebook and pen out of her backpack. "Is she coming here for Prom?"
"His real name is Prince Mirage," Jade says, "but he's a meezer, so that's what I call him." The cat gazes up at Jade as he twines. The cat has clearly picked its human. When Jade goes to grab a couple Pepsis from the kitchen, the cat remains to gaze at Ashely, assessing her, and as it does, it washes a paw. Elegant little snob. They say people start to resemble their pets.
Jade returns with Pepsi in glasses with ice, civilized. "I don't think she's going to make it to prom," he says. Once he take a seat, Meezer vaults into his lap and curls up, arranging so he can still watch Ashley, his chin resting on a paw.
"Prince Mirage is a much less unusual name" Ashley snortsm, eyeing off the cat in return until she is taking a glass of Pepsi from her host. A nod to the Parisian girlfriend being absent - she didn't expect she would be there. "In that case, I have a proposition." A sip of her drink before placing it aside on a coaster. "We are obviously the peak of the students at school and no doubt we will be elected King and Queen of the Prom. So I suggest we attend together. Don't worry, we won't be dating or anything like that. We won't even announce it until, say, a week beforehand, but it will add to our mystique when people keep asking us and we say we already have a 'date'." She smiles over at Jade and the cat. "Unless you've had a better offer of course." As if //that// could happen.
Jade strokes the cat's head, causing it to squint in happiness, then a little rumbling purr starts up. At least Jade has one true fan, and it's as mouthy as he is. "I think we could come to an arrangement," he says. "You're clearly a shoe-in for Queen, and King won't be hard to wrest from the mouthbreathers. And we would look fantastic together." He glances down at the cat, whose eyes have drifted closed. "Yeah, I think we can do this. Let me know what color you're going to be wearing." Because the fashionista needs to match, of course.
"Excellent" Ashley smiles before opening up her notebook and making some notes. "You will definitely be King, Jade, particularly with me on your arm. God, the last thing we need is another jock winning King. Like I want to dance with one of those freaks. I'll probably wear red. I was thinking a slip dress since they're so cool these days. We should probably make notes on each other's likes and such...in case there are questions. I would hate for people to think this was a deliberate business arrangement" she smirks.
"Red is classic," Jade says. "Of course you're going to be stunning." He smiles, a hint of laughter in his voice as he says, "Perish the thought. No, it'll be fun. I can't not go to prom, and I can't go alone. Who better than accompany than the queen?" He continues to pet the cat. It keeps the cat quiet. "We could also be seen hanging out the couple weeks leading up to prom, let people wonder. What kind of stuff do you like to do?"
"I wouldn't want to upset your Paris girlfriend but I'm sure a couple of sightings could get the rumor mill turning to our benefit. And arriving in a Ferrari can't hurt either." Ashley looks a little concerned for a moment. "As long as you don't wrap it around a tree. Not with me in it." A sigh as she thinks on his question. "I like dancing. Movies. Parties. All the good things in life. You?"
Jade says, "She's very understanding. Sometimes she has to be seen with guys for her career. We don't get hung up on it." How glib the lie comes out. He takes a drink of his Pepsi, then says, "I think my tree-wrapping days are over. I can't let this car get messed up, because I don't know if my dad will get me another one. Or it'll be something with a safety record like a Volvo." He pulls a face. Ugh, fate worse than death. "Let's see. I love dancing. Movies are awesome. You know where I stand on parties." The Marchant Triplets throw lots of them, and they tend to be ragers. "I like horseback riding, going to concerts, and just hanging out with people. Like your brother, we get along pretty well. Meezer likes him." Meezer continues to doze and purr.
"You must tell me her name. I get all the fashion mags, I'd love to see what she looks like" Ashley replies with an equally straight face. Of course it's all true! A look of distaste at the thought of a Volvo before making notes about what Jade enjoys. A smile at the parties comment. "You never stand through the whole party" she teases. "Ooh...horses...that could be fun. Yes, my brother is pretty awesome. Everyone likes him." She looks up from her notes and frowns slightly. "Well...maybe not //everyone//. Their own fault of course. I think this could work out very nicely, Jade. Oh...will we be doing kissing at the Prom? We don't have to."
Jade regards Ashley for a moment, then laughs a little and takes a drink. "I think at least one kiss would be endearing," he says. "We don't have to, but it would get people talking, and it would cement us as King and Queen. I promise I'll be a gentleman." Even if he does look like a villain in training petting that Siamese on his lap. It looks like a good cat for a villain. "People who don't like Cash just don't get him. He's got layers, you know? Anyway, Me-me is a good judge of character, and he doesn't like very many people, so if he says Cash is cool, then we like Cash."
"You base all your social interactions on your cat's choices?" There are stranger reasons...possibly. Ashley smiles at the cat this time. "I hope he likes me too then. Oh, yes, Cash has lots of layers." There is obvious affection when she talks about her brother, even if he sometimes does crazy things. "Okay, one kiss when we arrive, and another one after we win King and Queen. Then we'll do the dance...and then back to our awesome lives. I am sure Miss Paris will love to hear about you being King."
"Not all of them," Jade says. He scritches the cat's ears, which gets a louder purr. "I just pay attention to how he is with people. He likes you okay. If he didn't, he'd be hiding upstairs. He'd probably hiss, too. I've seen him get hissy." Nothing could be further from that at the moment, though. Purring kitty looks absolutely sweet and innocent. "That sounds like a plan. Obviously, you can dance with whoever you want. I'm not going to be like that."
"And, likewise, you can dance with whoever you like too. Obviously, we will have to maintain some connection through the evening until the votes are counted, but then you can cheat on Miss Paris to your heart's content" Ashley winks. "I am glad that I am Meezer approved." Another couple of notes. "Unless you have any more questions, that should do us for now."
Jade laughs and says, "I sincerely doubt I'll be cheating on Miss Paris. But I do like to dance." He thinks for a moment, then shakes his head slowly. "I can't think of any questions right now. I mean it's a brilliant idea. I'm surprised I hadn't thought of it. You're perfect. Frankly, this school needs this kind of representation. We're basically doing them a huge favor."
"Every moment we spend inside that school is a favor to everyone" Ashley smirks as she packs up her notebook and pen, then slides the small backpack back on. Rising to her feet she walks over to Jade and offers him her hand. "It is a pleasure doing business with you. We will talk about it more in the future. I can see myself out."
"Thank you," Jade says solemnly. "It's about time someone said it." The cat's eyes open to slits when Ashley rises, and Jade reaches over the animal tho shake her hand. Then he gathers the cat in his arms and rises to his feet. "I'm going that way to take this guy upstairs anyway." He heads toward the stairs, and he says, "I look forward to working with you, Ashley. Take care."
No stealing the silverware as Ashley is escorted to the door. "Have a good day, Jade. Meezer." She slips out of the door and imperiously strides off to her next port of call, humming to herself, and a smug expression on her face. Queen is in the bag.