Chapter 36:  High Maintenance

“Alex, for the past week, no one has stopped talking about your party,” Serena said at lunch the next day.  “This is seriously gonna be the biggest party of the year.”


“Yeah, I never thought I’d get to go to prom twice in one year,” Elliot joked.


“Are you kidding?  This is gonna be so much bigger than prom!” Kathy replied.


Olivia grinned and patted Alex on the back.  “My baby is very popular.”


Alex groaned.  “You should’ve seen all the people trying to get an invite last week.  Olivia had to practically beat them away with a stick.”


“Aww, Liv.  That’s so cute!” Kathy gushed.  “You were like her bodyguard.”


“Hey, I had to hold back the mob,” Olivia said.  “Then the next day some kids were so pathetic that they were trying to buy invites from other people.”


“Are you serious?” Elliot asked.


“That’s really sad,” Casey chimed in.


“Speaking of sad,” Serena said, jerking her head in the direction of a tall guy walking over to their table.  “I think you have yet another admirer, Alex.”


Alex groaned again as Trevor Langan came up to her.  “So, Alex,” he said, leaning near her face and ignoring the daggers shooting out of Olivia’s eyes.  “What should I wear for the big party?”


Alex leaned back away from him and said, “Nothing.  You know, considering how you weren’t invited.”


“Well, I’m sure you just wanted to deliver your invitation personally,” he said with a big grin, looking her up and down.


“If you don’t distance yourself about 100 feet from Alex within the next 5 seconds, I’m gonna deliver something personally to your face,” Olivia said, raising her fist.


“Rawr,” Casey said teasingly.


Trevor scoffed at Olivia.  “Please.  Like I would ever find you a threat.”


“That wasn’t a threat.  That was a promise,” Olivia said, rising out of her seat.


“I don’t have time for this juvenile behavior,” Trevor said in disgust.  “I’m out of here.”


“Yeah, keep walking, dirtbag,” Elliot added.


Olivia sat back down.  “I cannot believe the nerve of that pompous ass.”


“Ugh,” Alex said, rolling her eyes.  “I went out on one date with that jerk because I lost a bet with Serena, and he still thinks he has another shot.”


Olivia frowned at Serena.  “You made a bet with Alex on Trevor?”


Serena shrugged.  “Hey, if she lost, she had to go out with Trevor.  If I lost, I had to go out with Jake Matthews.”


“What the hell would you make a bet like that for?” Olivia asked.


Serena smiled at her.  “Well, actually, the bet was on you.”


Me?” Olivia asked in surprise.


“Yep,” Serena confirmed.  “I just didn’t know it because Alex refused to name the girl who she had this huge crush on.  All she told me was that it was a female athlete, but she wouldn’t give anything up even though I named every chick I could think of.  So I made a bet that she wouldn’t ask this mystery chick out by that Friday.  Jake wouldn’t get off her back and Trevor wouldn’t get off mine, so we made a bet that whoever lost had to date the opposite prick.  Obviously, Alex was too chicken to ask you out back then.”


“When the hell was this?” Olivia wondered.


“At the end of last year.  It was during tryouts for cheerleading and girls’ basketball,” Alex answered.  She looked at Serena.  “And I didn’t tell you because if I’d told you I liked Olivia, you would’ve gone up to her and told her I had the hots for her.”


Serena grinned.  “No, I wouldn’t have.  I would’ve just announced it on the intercom.”


Alex’s mouth dropped open.  “See!  I told ya!”


“Aww, that’s so cute,” Olivia cooed, leaning over and planting a big kiss on Alex’s cheek.  Alex grinned widely.


“Yeah, just think about it, Alex.  If you had asked Olivia out last year, you could’ve avoided all the Abbie drama,” Casey said.


Alex chuckled.  “I know, right?  My life would definitely be a lot easier.”


“I totally agree,” Olivia responded.


“When are your dresses gonna be ready?” Casey asked.


“My dresses should be ready by next week,” Alex replied.  “And remember, guys.  Attire for the dinner party is cocktail.”


“How much do you plan on eating at dinner, Alex?” Casey asked.  “Are you gonna have any room for the food served at your party?”


Olivia smirked.  “Casey, this is Alex we’re talking about here.  Of course she will.”


Alex swatted her arm.  “Pay no mind to her.  There will only be cake, hors d’oeuvres, and other refreshments there, so I’ll have plenty of room.”


“What color is your dress?” Kathy asked.


“It’s this cute little black, strapless Badgley Mischka number that we got from Saks,” Alex said with a proud grin.  “And I’m wearing Brian Atwood black d’Orsay pumps to match.”


“Wow, someone’s high maintenance,” Elliot commented.


Olivia chuckled.  “You’re tellin’ me.  The shoes cost almost as much as the dress!”


Alex pushed her shoulder.  “Oh, come on!  Not even!  Besides, I didn’t hear any complaints about the cost of the dress when I was trying it on.”


Olivia smirked.  “That’s right.  I didn’t care how much it cost because you looked so fucking hot in it.”


“Translation, guys,” Casey chimed in.  “You don’t look at price tags when you get an excuse to see your girl naked in a dressing room.”


Olivia picked up her straw paper and threw it at Casey.  “Hell, she was smokin’.  If Serena was there, I’m sure you would’ve had the same reaction.”


“What’s your gown look like?” Casey asked.


Alex grinned.  “Can’t tell you guys.  It’ll spoil the surprise.”


“Ooh, she’s mysterious.  I like that,” Serena teased.


Alex smirked at Serena.  “Ok, so the first stage of my party is the costume party.  Everyone will have on Arabian attire.  Second comes the formal segment.  Any formal gown or suit—in the guys’ cases—will be appropriate.”


“I bet your costume isn’t really a costume,” Serena said with a smile.


“Hey, dresses can be costumes!” Alex protested.  “Trust me, the dress I’m having made for the costume stage is totally hot.  It’s very Arabesque.”


“Arabesque?” Elliot asked.  “Nice word, Alex.”


Alex smiled.  “And accurate.”


“And her cleavage isn’t bad in it either,” Olivia said, grinning.


Alex laughed and placed a hand on Olivia’s shoulder.  “You guys should see Olivia’s costume.  Talk about some major cleavage.  She’s gonna be the hottest harem dancer I know!”


“What are you gonna be, Elliot?” Kathy asked.


“Probably a sultan,” he answered.


“I wish I could just skip out on practice,” Alex said, dipping part of a chicken strip in honey mustard dressing.  “Daddy’s taking Liv and me car shopping today.” 


“What are you gonna get?” Kathy asked excitedly.


“Range Rover,” Alex said, clapping happily.


Olivia shook her head and pinched Alex’s cheek.  “You’re so cute when you’re excited.”


“Knowing Liv and Alex’s record, I hope she gets seat covers,” Casey said, nudging Serena in the ribs with her elbow.


Alex gasped in shock.  She threw a fry at Casey while everyone at the table laughed, including Olivia.  “Oh, please!  We do not have a record!”


“Whatever, Alex,” Serena said. 


“I wouldn’t talk if I were you,” Olivia chimed in.  “Little miss tigress.”


“Ooh,” Kathy and Elliot said in unison.


Both Serena and Casey’s mouths dropped open.  “Oh, Liv.  You are so going down!” Serena said, retaliating by throwing her own fry at Olivia.


Olivia dodged it.  “Ooh, I’m so scared!  A fry!”  She flexed the muscles of one arm.  “Can’t compete with these babies.”


Alex reached over and squeezed her biceps.  “Oh, how I love these.”


Olivia smiled at her and licked her lips.  “Tell me just how much,” she whispered.


“So much for a nice, G-rated lunch,” Elliot mused.


“Hey, sex is not the only thing there is to do, ya know,” Olivia said.  “There is innocent kissing.”


“Or just cuddling,” Alex added, scooting closer to Olivia.  Olivia wrapped her arm snugly around her waist and took a bite of her burger.


“Ah, she can multitask, I see,” Elliot teased.


“My baby can do anything,” Alex replied.  She lifted up Olivia’s shirt and rubbed her hand over her stomach.  “Look at this six pack, you guys.  How hot is that?”


“Elliot has one, too,” Kathy replied, lifting up Elliot’s shirt to show everyone his well-defined abs.


“Well, Liv.  Looks like you have some competition,” Serena said.


Olivia waved a hand dismissively.  “Oh, please.  Hardly.”


Elliot grinned.  “Jealous much, Liv?”


Olivia let out a chortle.  “Doubtful, El.  At least mine comes without hair attached.”


“I think it’s sexy,” Kathy said, leaning over to give Elliot a kiss on the lips.  “Hair is sexy on a guy.”


Elliot smiled at her.  “As long as my woman likes it.”


Alex reached for Olivia’s Skittles.  Grinning, Olivia moved them out of her reach.  Alex pouted.  “Liv, why won’t you share with me?”  She reached around Olivia to try to get them, but Olivia continued to hold them out of her reach.


“Sweetie, if you ask nicely I will be more than happy to share them with you,” Olivia teased.


Alex reached behind Olivia and unlatched her bra.  “Hey!” Olivia protested.  As she tried to latch her bra back, Alex continued to attempt to retrieve the candy.


“And ya don’t even need tickets to see this show,” Casey remarked.


“I know, right?” Serena agreed.


“Alex, I swear if you spill my Skittles!” Olivia warned.


“What ya gonna do?  Huh?” Alex replied, starting to tickle Olivia under her arm.  Olivia retaliated by tickling Alex’s stomach, which temporarily thwarted Alex’s attempts to get the Skittles.


“Girls, let’s play nice,” Elliot suggested.


“Tell Liv to share her Skittles!” Alex told him, pushing Olivia’s hand away from her stomach.


“Tell Alex to ask nicely!” Olivia shot back.


“Liv, please just give her the Skittles before clothes start coming off,” Elliot said.


“Oh, that’s not gonna happen,” Olivia said, putting her hand over Alex’s face.


“Liv, stop!  I can’t breathe!”


“Fine,” Olivia said, using her other hand to reach into Alex’s bag and take her glasses.  She put them on and teased, “Hello, everyone.  I am Alex Cabot, the Skittle thief.”


“Liv!  Don’t play with my glasses!  You’re gonna break them!”


Olivia pretended to pout.  “But I love your glasses.  You know I’d never break them.”


Sighing, Alex said, “Ok, Liv.  Just be careful.”  She grinned.  “You know…you do look kinda cute in them.  Now may I please have some Skittles?”


Olivia smiled.  “I thought you’d never ask.”  She poured a generous amount into Alex’s eagerly waiting hands.


“Thank you, sweetie,” Alex said, popping a few in her mouth.  She partially chewed them and proceeded to kiss Olivia.


As Casey watched Alex transfer the Skittles to Olivia’s tongue, she commented, “Well, in this case I guess Olivia actually gets to taste the rainbow.”  Without opening her eyes, Olivia flipped her off and deepened the kiss with Alex.




As soon as they arrived at the dealership after practice, Alex practically flew across the parking lot.  She openly gushed over a java black pearlescent Range Rover with sand interior and walnut trim.  She didn’t even bother waiting for a sales representative to assist them.


“Alex, don’t you want something smaller?” Mr. Cabot asked, making his way over to her.


“No, Daddy!  This car is the perfect size!  I want the supercharged version!” Alex exclaimed.  “I read everything about it already.”


“Alex…I’m not so sure if your first car should be $100,000, sweetie,” her father said reluctantly.


Alex pouted.  “But Daddy,” she said, looking up at him and playing with his tie.  “This is my dream car!  I have to have it!”


Olivia smiled.  She’s so cute but so spoiled, she thought.


John smiled curtly.  “Are you sure there isn’t room for another car in your dreams?”


“I’m sure.  Please!  It has a 400 horsepower V8 engine, Oxford leather seats, stainless steel pedals, heated and cooled seats, GPS navigation system, a central, roof-mounted DVD system with 10” display as well as two other 6.5” displays on the back of the front seats—”


“Ok, ok, darling.  I get the picture.  Fine, Alex.  If it’s the car you want, it’s the car you’ll have,” her father said, smiling and rubbing her back. 


“Oh, thank you!  Thank you!” Alex squealed, jumping on her father and tightly wrapping her legs around his waist.  Olivia couldn’t help but grin to see Alex glowing with such happiness.


“Are the interior and exterior to your liking?” the sales representative asked.


Alex nodded.  “Positive.”


“Well, I’m sure you’re very well read on the vehicle, but let me go over the other features in detail so your father will be up to speed,” he replied, smiling.  He proceeded to then spend several minutes to explain and demonstrate all the features of the Range Rover.


When he was finished, John asked Alex, “Are you absolutely sure this has everything you want?”


Alex nodded excitedly.  “Definitely.”


“And you don’t wish to look at any other vehicles?” John continued.


Alex shook her head.  “No, this is it,” she confirmed.


“All right.  Well, since we’re getting this car, I need to talk a few things over with Mr. Kressler inside.  I’ll be back, sweetie,” John assured her, kissing her on the cheek.  He excused himself to talk with the sales representative.  Alex squealed loudly.


“I don’t have to ask you if you’re excited,” Olivia joked.


“Ugh!  I wish I could get my license today!” Alex whined.


Olivia gave her a light kiss on the cheek.  “I’m sure you do.”


“Do you think Dad will let me drive it off the lot today?” Alex asked, watching her father and Mr. Kressler go inside the building.


Olivia shrugged.  “Probably.”


Alex squealed and threw her arms around Olivia’s neck.  “Oh, I can’t wait!  I can’t wait!”


Olivia chuckled.  “Alex, please don’t crush all the bones in my neck.”


Alex pulled back and rubbed Olivia’s neck soothingly.  “I’m sorry, sweetie.  I’m just so fucking happy I could do a whole string of back flips all over the lot!”


“Baby, I love you to death, but you know you’re spoiled rotten, right?” Olivia said, grinning.


Alex laughed.  “This I know.”  She pulled Olivia close to her.  “But I intend to make sure you’re spoiled rotten, too.  We both have spa appointments on my birthday.”


“Can we hold hands while we get our massages?” Olivia asked hopefully.


Alex smiled.  “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”


About a half hour later, John and Mr. Kressler returned.  “Ok, she’s all yours,” Mr. Kressler informed her, handing her the keys.


Alex happily took them and began jumping up and down.  “Yes!  Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!”  She opened the driver side door and got behind the wheel.  Olivia retrieved their things from Mr. Cabot’s car and then got in beside Alex. 


Alex’s father held the door open before she could close it.  “Now, Alex, I trust that you will be careful with this SUV.  No speeding, no reckless driving, no horsing around.  Olivia, keep her in line for me.”


Olivia smiled.  “I will, sir.”


“Hey, Liv,” Alex said. 


“Yeah?” Olivia answered.


“What do you think we should name her?”


“How about Pokies?” Olivia teased, giving her a sly grin.


Alex’s father furrowed his brow.  “Pardon me?” he asked.


Alex and Olivia both started giggling.  “Um…inside joke, Dad,” Alex explained.


“Ah, I see,” he replied.


“Hmm…maybe we should name her Princess,” Olivia teased again.


“Now that’s fitting,” John said, chuckling.


Alex gave her father a look.  “Hardly.  I’ll pass.”


“But you’re my princess,” John replied, patting her on the knee.


And mine, too, Olivia thought happily.


“Aw, thank you, Daddy,” Alex replied, giving him a grateful kiss on the cheek.


“You have your learner’s with you, am I correct?” John questioned.


“Yep,” Alex said, flipping open her wallet to show him. 


He nodded.  “And you have your license with you, Olivia?”


“Yes, sir.”


He smiled.  “Good.  Well, I will trail you girls home.”


“Ok,” Alex replied.  “Oh, Daddy?”


Mr. Cabot turned back around.  “Yes, dear?”


“Can I drive to school tomorrow?” she continued, smiling hopefully.


“Sorry, sweetie.  You will have to wait until you get your license for that.”


Alex frowned and complained, “But I wanna show all our friends!”


“Tell them to come over.  If they don’t see it there, they will see it at your party.”


Alex looked petrified.  “Dad, no!  That’s so lame!  Everyone already knows I was supposed to get a Range Rover this week.  Please!  Oh my god, I swear I’ll die of embarrassment if you give it to me as a present at my party!”


John smirked.  “If $100,000 vehicles are an embarrassment to you, then sobeit.”  And with that, he closed her door.


Alex looked at Olivia.  “Oh my god, Liv!  He can’t do this to me, can he?”


Olivia laughed and shook her head.  “You’re not thankful for small favors, are you?”


Alex sighed and put her key into the ignition.  “I’m sorry, Liv.  I’m acting like a spoiled brat.  I know I should be happy that he’s even letting me drive it before I get my license—and that he’s buying such an expensive SUV at all.”


Olivia reached over and rubbed her thigh.  “It’s ok, baby.  I know you’re over the moon.”


Alex sighed happily.  “Yeah, I am.  This is all like such a dream.”


Olivia chuckled.  “Careful.  You wouldn’t wanna wake up.”


“That’s true.  Hey, let’s test out the sunroof!” Alex said, pressing the button to open it.


“Nice,” Olivia said, looking up at it.


“And isn’t this rearview camera cool?” Alex asked, putting her car in reverse and backing out carefully.


“It’s awesome, sweetie.  I’m so proud you got what you wanted,” Olivia agreed.


Alex put her foot on the brakes and replied, “I have everything.  You, my dream car, you, the party of the century, and of course, you.”  She smiled sweetly at Olivia.


Olivia chuckled.  “Aw, I love you so much.”


“I love you, too,” Alex said, leaning forward and hugging her tightly.  Olivia happily returned the embrace. 


Alex pulled back and plugged in her iPod.  She looked at Olivia and smiled.  “I thought we could listen to some tunes on the way.”


“Sounds good to me,” Olivia said.


“You know…we could listen to yours if you want.  You have your iPod with you, right?”


“Yeah, but it’s ok, Alex.  Really.  We can listen to mine some other time,” Olivia replied.


“Ok, cool.”  Alex looked down at her dashboard.  “I cannot believe all the stuff this car has!  You’re gonna have to help me figure some of it out.  This sound system is so amazing.  And this navigation system really is—” Alex began.


Alex was interrupted by her father honking his horn twice.  She looked in her rearview mirror and laughed.  “Ok, I think that’s Dad’s sign for me to get a move on things.” 


“I’ll say,” Olivia said.


After they had been driving for a few minutes, Alex gasped, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I completely forgot!”


Olivia wrinkled her brow.  “What?”


“Can you reach in the backseat and get baby Tweety out of my bookbag?” Alex asked with a grin.


Laughing, Olivia reached behind her and retrieved the stuffed animal.  “Oh boy.  I knew there was something missing.”  She sat Tweety on the dashboard.


“Aww, look at him!  He’s so cute!” Alex cooed.  She poked Tweety in the stomach with a finger.  “Maybe we should name my Range Rover Tweety!”


Olivia shook her head fervently.  “No.  No, no, no, no.  We have two Tweeties already.  We don’t need a third.”


Alex laughed.  “I guess that’s true.  Well, maybe we don’t need to name the car after all.”


“Nah.  It’s fine just like it is,” Olivia agreed.


“You know,” Alex began, stopping at a red light.  “We should go camping one weekend.  Just the two of us, or maybe with Serena and Casey.”


“You mean you’re actually willing to sleep in a tent?” Olivia teased.


Alex shrugged a shoulder.  “Well, sure.  As long as you were there to protect me from the bugs and spiders and stuff.”


“You mean all the creepy crawlies.”


“Precisely,” Alex answered, giving her a grin. 


About 20 minutes later, Alex drove up her driveway, activated the garage door, and parked inside.  She squealed loudly and got out of the car.  “Oh my god, I still can’t believe it!”  She grabbed her things and ran to the door.  Olivia followed her inside.


“Mom!  Mom!” Alex shouted, walking through the kitchen. 


Janice was preparing dinner.  “Miss Alexandra, Mrs. Cabot is not in yet.  Her meeting is running a bit late.”


Alex groaned.  “Figures.”  She sighed and reached for Olivia’s hand.  “Come on, Liv.  Let’s go upstairs.”


Facing each other, they cuddled up in Alex’s bed.  “Does your dad know about us yet?” Olivia asked.


Alex sighed.  “I’m not sure.  I don’t think Mom told him or I’m sure he would’ve said something to me.  I don’t know how exactly he’ll react, so I’m holding off until after my party.  What about your mom?”


Olivia sighed, too.  “I don’t know about her.  We still pretty much aren’t on speaking terms.  And she’s still drinking.”  She shook her head.  “I wish things were different.  If she keeps acting like this, I’ll never be able to sit her down and tell her without her behaving irrationally.”


Alex softly stroked her face.  “Well, whenever you wanna do it, we’ll do it together.  Let’s try it one weekend.”


Olivia smiled and grasped her hand.  “Thanks, baby.”


“I can’t wait until our dresses are ready,” Alex said.  “You look so gorgeous in them.”


Olivia blushed.  “Oh, sweetie.  You look gorgeous in yours as well.”


They closed their eyes and held each other for several minutes until Alex’s cell phone began ringing.  Groaning, Alex fumbled around until she located it.  “Hello?”


“Hey, babe.  What’s up?” Serena asked.


“Just cuddling with Liv.”


Serena giggled.  “Well, sorry to interrupt.  I just wanted to know if you got your car?”


Alex sat up in bed.  “Yep!  Oh my god, I absolutely adore it!  It has everything I want.  You guys can come over and see it if you want.”


Serena looked at Casey and grinned.  “Ok, we’ll be over in like a half hour or so.”


“You guys wanna stay for dinner?” Alex offered.


Serena took the phone away from her ear and asked Casey, “Dinner at Alex’s?”


“Sure,” Casey answered.


Putting the phone back to her ear, Serena told Alex, “Ok, yeah.  That’s fine.”


“Good, then I guess Liv and I will see you whenever you get here.”


“Ok, bye,” Serena said, closing her phone.


“When are they coming?” Olivia asked.


“Serena told me to give them about a half hour.  In the meantime, that gives us a half hour to spend alone cuddling.”


Olivia grinned.  “And that’s my second favorite thing to do with you.”


“What’s your most favorite?” Alex asked.


“Kissing you,” Olivia replied, softly capturing her lips.


Alex pulled back momentarily.  “Wait a minute, I thought it was—”


Olivia tapped her on the nose.  “Sweetie, contrary to popular belief, I’m not always horny.  Sometimes I’d rather just kiss.  Besides, kissing leads to cuddling which can lead to other things…”


“Good point,” Alex said, resuming their kiss.