Chapter Four

As Brenda straightened up the living room of her cottage, in preparation for the pajama party she was having with Lois and Alexis that night, she thought over the events of the day, bad and good. Lunch at the Port Charles Grill had proven to be the final business expense for L&B Records, when Lois had revealed that the company had, in fact, and in spite of their best efforts, been bought by J&J Jacks of Alaska. They were broke, and out of business.

It had been months since Brenda had modeled for Deception, and even though she had immediately called her boss, Lucy Coe, she wouldn't be able to work for a few months, at least, until Lucy could organize a new campaign. And so Brenda had made another phone call, to scrounge up money, to Katherine Bell, realtor to Port Charles' VIP, hoping to rent out the guest room in her cottage. She had offered the room to Alexis, who declined the offer, since she had just moved out of the PC Hotel and into an apartment about the law offices that she, and her partner, Scotty Baldwin had recently opened. Though Katherine promised to be discreet about Brenda's identity to potential renters, she was privately determined to ensure that Brenda's new roommate would be nothing but trouble for the model, Katherine's former employee at Deception.

With that part of business done, Alexis, Lois, and she had decided to end Brenda's solo days in the cottage with a slumber party, scheduled to start in twenty minutes. As she stoked the fire, Brenda gazed into the flames and couldn't help but remember the other part of lunch, the better part, the part that made her feel hotter that the flames into which she was looking.

Before the turmoil of the day had commenced, she had been enjoying lunch at the PC Grill, although, she admitted to herself, she had been a little distracted waiting for a reply from FlyGuy, and after disclosing her little secret to Lois and Alexis, she had suddenly received an instant message from FlyGuy himself. He had said:

FlyGuy: Hi

She, in turn, had replied:

PrncessBB: Hi
FlyGuy: How are you?
PrncessBB: Fine. And you? How are you?

It was after that, that the conversation had gotten sticky, with both she and FlyGuy stepping on each other's conversations, out of nervousness, and because they were each being influenced by outside sources, she by Lois and Alexis, and Jax by Jerry.

PrncessBB: Sorry
FlyGuy: Fine. Why?
FlyGuy: Why are you sorry?
PrncessBB: Good. I mean, I'm nervous
FlyGuy: Me too.
PrncessBB: That's why I'm sorry.
FlyGuy: Don't ever be sorry.

A long, awkward pause followed, before each of them simultaneously asked the question that had been burning in their minds, since their friends and family had pestered them about it earlier. Actually, they each admitted to each other, they had been wondering it a lot longer than that.

FlyGuy: Are you married?
PrncessBB: Are you married?

After such blatant synchronicity on their parts, both Brenda and Jax relaxed visibly. They each sent each other a smiley face


and gave each other the answer they had been longing to hear:

FlyGuy: No
PrncessBB: No
PrncessBB: I really loved the poem you sent me. It was so beautiful. It moved me; it was beautiful and soulful and musical-everything I imagine you to be.

Getting wide-eyed looks from both Lois and Alexis, Brenda continued, unaware that just outside the restaurant, Jerry Jacks snickered at her remarks, and began chiding Jax about his new role as poet laureate of the Jacks family.

PrncessBB: Umm-I can't really talk right now. I want to but, I'm kind of in the middle of a big business thing.
FlyGuy: No problem. Me too. I'm waiting for some business associates right now. We'll talk later, okay?
PrncessBB: Yes! Great, I'll talk to you later. Like this. We should do this again.
FlyGuy: Definitely. Talk to you later, Princess.
PrncessBB: Thanks for the poem. Bye
FlyGuy: Bye.

And just as quickly as it had started, it was over. In the lobby of the Port Charles Hotel, Jax watched PrncessBB log off of America Online, and as Jerry approached the concierge for a newspaper, Jax seized the opportunity to write to his Princess. *His* Princess? Was she *HIS* Princess? Was she his Princess? It was crazy. He barely knew her. Like Jerry said, she could be some psychopath or a stalker or god knows what. Not that it would matter, he reminded himself. It wasn't like he really cared about her, beyond any casual sort of-Who are you kidding, Jax? WHO? You can't stop thinking about her, you can't stop writing to her--maybe they should meet?

Staring into her fireplace, Brenda recalled asking the very same question to Lois and Alexis. "Maybe we should meet?" Meeting the astonished gazes of her friends, Brenda laughed off the idea. "Yeah. Cuss it's so *real* and so *romantic*! Yeah right! Maybe it'll just be the new Deception campaign, I mean, maybe it'll---It COULD be the new Deception campaign! You guys, I did it!"

"That actually might work," Alexis admitted. "It's certainly more clever than just selling you looks. I mean, with this angle, you're selling you're entire personality and in essence, saying that the fragrance represents everything about you and attracts men to everything about you." Lois signed the bill, with a sigh, and put the L&B credit card away.

"Well that was fun while it lasted." As the three partners made their way out of the restaurant and into the lobby, Brenda and Alexis tried to cheer up Lois, but upon reaching the lobby, Brenda, now realized that the day had gone from bad to worse. Correction, worse than worse. Just as Lois was the most upset over losing her dream, the loss was only flaunted in their faces at the sight of Jasper and Jerrold Jacks, who were lately known to Brenda, Lois, and Alexis as the "Brothers Grimm." Alexis had halted them in their tracks, as Lois, Brenda, and she had watched "Jax" and "Jerry" working on a computer and reading the newspaper, Brenda's temper got the better of her.

Immersed in writing a reply to PrncessBB, Jax didn't even notice the approaching women until Jerry elbowed him in the ribs. "Bingo." Jax looked up and caught his breath at the most utterly beautiful and amusing scene he had ever witnessed. Approaching the couch and coffee table he and his brother occupied was one of the most bewitching creatures he had ever seen. Her long brown hair came to rest on the lapels of her gray pinstripe suit; her chocolate eyes flashed fire in his direction as he watched her struggle, locked in a death grip with two other beautiful women, also dressed in business suits, who seemed more than reluctant to approach them.

Brenda stood directly in front of the blond one, "Jax," but was too angry to notice how his aquamarine eyes gazed over every inch of her, noticing how the angry amber flecks in her eyes and the flush on her cheek only made her look more enticing and more irresistible. This one was a handful, alright. Before Jax could address the women, Jerry stepped forward. "Ms. Davis. Ms. Cerullo. Ms. Barrett." He extended his hand to each one in kind, and was brutally rebuffed by all. Recognition dawned on Jax's face, and as he was about to stand, he was distracted by the movement in the "irresistible" one's eyes, Ms. Barrett, and he could see her mind spinning.

Ignoring Jerry's remarks, Brenda turned from them men to her partners "Hey, Lo? Alex? What do you think of these flowers?" Jerry, Lois, and Alexis were puzzled, but Jax could anticipate some sort of set-up. "I mean, how do you think they'd look at the Jacks Brothers' funeral, after I kill them for stealing out company?" And in an instant, Jax, the easier target, since he was still sitting, found the entire vase of flowers dumped over his head, triumphantly by Ms. Barrett. He couldn't help but smile as wet leaves and petals plastered themselves to the back of his neck; a woman after his own heart.

Lois and Alexis stifled a laugh as they finished the gag. "'Ya know, Bren? I dunno if those are really the right flowers for him? Whaddya say? Maybe those lilies over there might be better?"

Alexis removed her glasses from her pocket and inspected the still dripping "Jax" as though she were seriously contemplating the effectiveness of wildflowers vs. lilies. "Actually, I think these will do, although lilies might look nice on" and she paused, using the finger quotation gesture that had been a source of amusement for the three since they were first confronted with the Jax brothers, "Jerry."

Jerry's patience gave way with a "Why you little-" but he was cut short by a unanimous "Buh-bye," as Alexis, Lois, and Brenda made their way out of the hotel, as the concierge and bellman tried desperately to dry Jasper Jacks.

Brenda laughed to herself as she put a bunch of CD's in her multi-disc player, still picturing the dripping wet "Jax." She could see the petals and leaves sticking and dripping on his expensive Italian suit, the way the white shirt, soaked with water, clung to his broad chest, the way that the leaf that stuck itself above his left eyebrow seemed to bring out all the green specks in his eyes. Revenge was so very , very sweet.


Jax hung up the phone, and turned to his brother in the penthouse they shared. Jerry looked up from his magazine, urging his brother to continue. "That was Katherine something on the phone. She's some real estate agent here, and she heard about the 'incident' with Ms. Barrett, and was wondering if I was looking for an alternate residence."

"You're moving out? Jax, you just got here!"

Jax sighed and ran his hands through his hair. "We're gonna be here a while, and I'm sick of living out of a hotel. I want a house, a home, 'paradise,' 'heaven.' I described to her what I was looking for, and she said she thinks that something just became available, on the outskirts of town: a pristine white, Victorian cottage. Some woman, with no family, needs some help taking care of the place; Katherine says that she recently came into some financial troubles, and needs to rent it out. It'll work, for now. She's taking me to see it tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?" Alexis held the phone to Brenda's ear, as Lois finished painting her nails. "You found someone that soon?"

In her canopy bed on the other side of Port Charles, Katherine grinned from ear to ear. "Just looking, Brenda. You can't expect me to rent out you room without showing the house. It's not a definite thing. Don't worry about it. Just straighten up and put all of the pictures of yourself away. We don't want anyone to know it's you just yet, right?"

"Right, Katherine. I'll be at Alexis' office or at Deception tomorrow, so you can reach me on my cell phone if you need me. You know, if they take it. Make sure I get the message, okay?"

"Oh, you'll get the message, Brenda. Goodnight." Katherine hung up the phone and turned out the light. Revenge was so very, very sweet.