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They walked over to Cindy's room. It was a welcome relief to be in a well-lit room with the door shut after the dark and openness of the ruined Westin Dorm.
Maggie wanted something a little stronger than a beer, Cindy made her a rum and cola. Maggie sipped it, "Did you forget to put the rum in here?" She said handing the cup back to her.
Cindy gave her a stern look, and spiked the drink with half again as much rum.
It was nearly too strong to drink but Maggie said it was perfect.
Mary made her own with just a touch of the rum, well, a little more than a touch.
Cindy liked scotch on the rocks when she was going to drink something harder than wine. She had one with a little water in it to take the edge off.
They sat and brooded over the drinks, not saying much at first, then Maggie asked Mary if she and Jack had been 'busy?'
"Busy?" Mary didn't understand.
"You know.... busy?"
"Mags." Mary didn't really want to answer.
Cindy was looking at them with a grin on her face, she had heard rumors about noises from Mary's room.
She didn't know the noises were Jack watching sports. Not engaging in sports.
"Well. To tell the truth...." Mary trailed off.
Peggy was drafted to pick the girls that would move into the house, she was asked to pick those she knew to be of good habits and so on. The young girl nodded solemnly. She thought about a few of the girls on her floor.
Later She and Miss Alice went to the Catholic dorm in the van, the super wasn't there, but the Assistant Dean of Students, MS Fulton, was. The dean eyed Miss Alice suspiciously for a minute after she had explained what she wanted to do.
"Will the University be required to pay for their housing in your residence?" MS Fulton asked.
"Of course not ma'am." Miss Alice answered.
"When permanent accommodations are found for them they will of course have to file appropriate damage deposits and forms for occupation since they will have resided off campus for a time."
"And their damage deposit for the destroyed dorm rooms will of course be returned to the girl's accounts." Miss Alice asked pointedly.
The dean didn't say anything about that. "Just give me the names of the girls that are moving." She said.
Peggy had been looking up names on the registry of who was where. Most of her friends were at one end of the second floor. They walked up there.
Miss Alice leaned close to Peggy, "I can't stand that woman, never liked her from when she was a student here."
Peggy was shocked, but she didn't say anything. They were almost to the end of the hall. They heard a squeal before they got to the rooms.
"Peggy!" Somebody shouted from a room. There was much greeting and hugging. "What are you and your grandma doing here?"
Miss Alice looked at the girl with a sour face.
"You're a hero girl, you and your little boyfriend." Saleeta said to her.
Peggy just smiled. She did a quick head count, there were five girls she knew and liked. "Where's Valerie?" She asked.
"She's around here someplace." Julie looked around, "so what's up?"
"Let's find her, so I can tell you all at once."
Valerie was found and they all gathered in the lounge, it took some time to find the super, Maggie Carmichael, but soon enough they were all there with the assistant dean of students. None of the rooms being big enough for all of them to gather in comfortably so they all sat around the old musty smelling lounge with its leaning piano. Peggy ran through the plan. They all agreed before the details were gone into.
"Anything is better than this place." Was the way Sue explained the suddenness of the decision. Saleeta agreed with vigorous nods.
Their packing took all of about three minutes, the girls had very little in the way of personal effects. MS Fulton had papers for them to sign, Miss Alice stared at the woman and decided something of her own.
'It'll be a cold day in Spain when these girls move back into one of YOUR buildings, MIZ Fulton.' She said to herself sternly.
Peggy was still going through the house and its routines, she got to the part about dressing for dinner.
"We don't have anything much besides what we have on." Sue told her.
Miss Alice looked at them. "We can take care of that dear." She leaned over to the driver and said something. The van changed course and headed downtown. "I do not shop at that new mall." Miss Alice said as they pulled up outside a small women's clothing shop. For the record, the 'new mall' had been there almost twenty years.
Miss Alice lead the girls in, the place smelled exclusive. She walked right through the shop and into the back room. Returning in a minute with a man that looked just like her. "My cousin Radual. Girls, he will take your sizes, we will need something for them to wear tonight when they are presented to the House. The rest can be sent when you have time." She said to her cousin.
After they were measured Miss Alice led them next door to a small diner. They had soft drinks and talked for awhile, then back to the shop where each girl found a shopping bag and a hanging bag marked with their names. There was even a hanging bag for Peggy.
Miss Alice kissed her cousin on the cheek and they left.
"She paid for this?" Teresa whispered to Peggy, "Look at this price, just for mine!" She showed her the ticket.
Peggy whispered back, "Just smile and say, 'thank you Miss Alice.'"
"Thank you Miss Alice."
The lady smiled and patted Teresa's arm, "You are very welcome dear, you all just look wonderful when we have our little reception."
The girls marveled at Miss Alice.
The van pulled up at the house, "You all go get changed, I'll have Georges make things ready."
"That's the butler, you'll have to get used to him." Peggy warned them.
The girls looked at each other.
They had been going at it for some time.
Cindy and Maggie finally got Mary to admit that every time they had tried to do the dirty deed, as Maggie put it, they had been interrupted.
"The last time was your dorm burning down." Mary said pointing her finger at Maggie.
"Oh, sure, blame me because you don't get any."
Cindy was laughing, "How are you doing with..."
Maggie cut her off, "Now don't you start on him, he was a jerk."
Mary was laughing as well now. Finally Maggie chuckled, "You can't live with'm and you can't..."
"Give it up Mags." Cindy said.
They kept at it. Maggie has a peculiar laugh, when she gets rolling she sounds like a seal having some sort of fit. Cindy had tears running down her cheeks from laughing.
"I'm not the one with the latent tendencies that can't get her boyfriend to perform." Maggie said with only trace of a smile.
"You're one to accuse me of having tendencies." Mary defended.
Cindy couldn't handle any more. She tried to get up still laughing at Maggie. She ended up tripping and spilling her drink on Mary.
Finally Cindy answered her ringing phone.
"Yours." Cindy said to Maggie.
Maggie listened for awhile. "They're going to do what?" She listened some more. "Move into the Ross mansion?"
Mary snickered, Maggie tried to keep a straight face.
"I'll be there in a few." She said and hung up, then she finished her drink. She shook her head, "That was that bitch Fulton. I've got to go. But! I'll be back." She slammed her cup down and told it to stay, then she walked into Cindy's bathroom, "Where's your mouthwash, I can't go talk to her smelling like liquor." She yelled.
"Bathroom." Cindy called to her, then the laughter started again.
The house residents gathered in the music room. The girls had changed and gathered in the hallway. The butler was introduced to each of them in turn, he nodded to each with only a hint of a smile.
In a few minutes they were presented to the residents, the butler calling them by name, each being presented with a tulip of champagne and a corsage. Each was greeted by first the help, then the residents.
The butler leaned toward Miss Alice, "Madam, you are trying to turn this into an all female residence, are you not?"
"Are you complaining?"
The butler returned to attention.
Harrison managed to tow Valerie away from the others. "Miss Gates" He called her as the butler had introduced her, "What are you doing here?"
She looked at him. "Well. Well. You're still alive after all."
He smiled at some of the others, "Well?"
"You got your Ph.D. two years ago, why are you still here?"
"I asked first."
She shrugged, "Westin finally burned down, Peggy was across the hall from me when school started, so... here I am." She looked at him.
"I wanted some extra classes, and I didn't want to teach junior high science. So?" Harrison sipped his champagne.
"So have you driven off in a car that's not yours, or caught a bus to Chicago thinking you were going to campus or anything like that?"
He shook his head, "I'm getting better. Especially since I moved in here."
"You mean you don't go to classes in your pajamas anymore?"
"Just during homecoming week." He laughed with her.
They were joined by others and they ended their private chat.
Dr. Simmons Harrison smiled at the memories while the others made small talk.
It was even later now in Cindy's apartment, Maggie had a new reason to get sauced. Ms. Fulton had thoroughly disapproved of almost everything about the Old Catholic Dorm, but there wasn't anything she could do about it except complain.
Maggie puffed herself up and acted important and strutted around. Actually it was a fairly good impersonation of the assistant dean. But in a minute, it degenerated into Maggie explaining in great detail where the lady could put the magic marker she used to write notes about what needed done in the dorm.
It wasn't long before Maggie was rolling on the floor doing her seal laugh, Mary shook her head and went into the kitchen to get more ice. Cindy was laughing even harder, she walked down the hall and almost made it to the bathroom.
Maggie heard Cindy scream. She got to her feet and bounced down the hallway wall to see what the problem was. Cindy was in the bathroom trying to get her foot in the sink.
Maggie noticed the hall floor was wet. "Wha' ha'pen'?" Maggie slurred.
Cindy answered before she thought about it. "I had an accident." Light dawned on her. "You just shut up right now, don't say a word."
It was too late, Maggie was reeling down the hall laughing and shouting for Mary. Cindy slammed the bathroom door.
Later Jack showed up, looking for Mary. As soon as he stepped in the room Maggie was laughing to beat the band again. Mary was smiling and giggling over her cup at Cindy.
"If either of you says a word. You will die." Cindy threatened.
That was all it took, Maggie couldn't resist, she spilled the beans and Jack started laughing too. Mary tried to get him to stop, but she was openly laughing as well. Cindy sat and stewed, contemplating a triple murder.
"I came over to ask you guys if you wanted to come to a little party at the house." Jack said wiping his eyes.
"Sure!" Maggie said jumping up. Cindy made a face at them but nodded. Mary shrugged and they left.
Harrison was considering hiring Valerie as his assistant on a project he was getting ready to start. The school paid for one assistant on a graduate level research project. It wasn't the best paying job on campus, sometimes the work was monotonous, and the hours were invariably strange and long. But you could get credit on an independent study if you were a major in the field, and sometimes if the work was published, you could get money through royalties.
Valerie had worked with him before, and was somewhat familiar with the subject.
Plus she enjoyed swimsuit dictation in the improvised sauna in the science building.
The reception was breaking up. Valerie had left and gone back to her new room, she was sorting her few belongings and looking at the outfits that had arrived for them from the shop. She shook her head.
Miss Alice had gone overboard. They had several packages and boxes with their names on them. Shoes, underwear, slips, and accessories to match. Valerie opened one box and found three purses in it, all matched her new clothes. There were even scarves and hair trimmings to match it all.
Her roommate had a similar stack on her bed. They compared clothes and marveled. The clothes all seemed to suit their new owners quiet well. Valerie's outfits were a little more sedate and mature, Teresa's tended to the slightly cute and younger looking. They saw that the clothes were mostly all separates and by careful selection they had two weeks worth of outfits and didn't have to repeat a look to do it.
Miss Alice smiled and nodded when one of them came out wearing something new. She was thrilled that they were happy after such a terrible event as the dorm fire.
Later in the Roz house the girls were introduced to one of the more popular perks of life there. The nightly popcorn break.
Late in the evening, usually before the house had pretty much settled in for the night, somebody would fire up the small theater style popcorn popper and the house would take a collective break. It was as relaxed as the house got. Girls with rollers in their hair were often spotted. Harrison would be wearing his ragged housecoat, fuzzy slippers and all. They would sit around in the utility room back porch and watch TV, play cards, and relax while munching popcorn. Peggy was a regular at this happening, she loved the company, and ate popcorn like a champ.
The new transplanted residents were rousted out and invited. All six showed up. Some of the regular residents hadn't been at the reception earlier so there were more introductions. Dale came down later.
He had thought Ralph was the crudest thing on two legs, but now he was the subject of an intense interrogation by Peggy's friends. They cornered the two of them off to one side and asked question after question of the most personal nature, accompanied by intense giggling.
Peggy thought it was kind of cute the way he kept blushing, but then Saleeta leaned over to him and whispered something in his ear. Dale turned nine shades of red and got up and ran out the side door without looking at anybody.
"Oh heck Saleeta, what did you say to him?" Peggy asked.
"I asked him if you was a good lay, because you butt is too skinny." She said flatly, to the accompaniment of much giggling. The others in the room laughed and chuckled. Peggy shook her head and went after Dale.
The party in the Independent house had been kicking awhile by the time Mary and the rest got there. The party had tried to be a Tex-Mex theme party, but missed the mark. They had tequila, but no south of the border music, so they settled for ZZ Top and some other Southern Rock bands. They did try a hat dance, without a sombrero.
Dancing around a ball cap didn't have the same romance and effect as the traditional dance. Especially when you kept stepping on the hat.
Mrs. Smith was outside again. She had called Dr. Wilson earlier and was waiting on him to come over. Maggie ran into the lady in front of the house and asked her if she had seen Kali.
"Kali who?" Mrs. Smith asked her.
"You know Kali, I think her real name is Korintha. She was looking for you. She's inside. Come on, I'll help you find her."
Mary smiled at Jack. Sometimes Maggie was amazing. Cindy followed them in.
Somebody handed the older lady a cup of punch, and a taco. The music in the main room was almost deafening. So they went back to the kitchen. Mrs. Smith took a sip of the punch.
"A little sweet, but not bad." She said.
For the record, the punch, named the Mexican Martini, was a little sweet. It was also as powerful as warm nitroglycerin. Many who took a sip couldn't speak for a few minutes. Jack's ears started ringing when he took a drink. The main ingredient was 100+ proof tequila, with several other handy bottles of booze added for color, and some frozen concentrate punch mix stirred into the hellsbroth for taste. It didn't seem to bother Mrs. Smith.
She took a bite of the taco.
For the record, the tacos were made by Hairy and his cousin Connie. They had laced the meat with hot sauce that had a label on it with the Devil proclaiming 'You Can't Stand This Hot Sauce!', enough garlic to almost be a war crime, onions, and apparently random spices until the meat all but glowed in the dark. After the punch, Mrs. Smith shouldn't have been able to taste anything else, but the taco she thought was spicy yet rather good.
Two Dorms Part 14
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