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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: October 22, 2020      Views: 15
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Chapter 25 of the book Pewter's Homecoming
Marcy goes to the party.
"Chapter 9 - Before Homecoming" by teols2016
Five years later, a closed homicide gets a second look.

Previously in "Pewter's Homecoming":

Marcy Sellers starts her junior year as a new student at Pewter Public High School in western Texas. She meets Lily Harvey, who shows her around. A few weeks later, both girls are attacked. The police quickly arrest a suspect, but, five years later, Roland Davis, a lawyer from Dallas, is given a chance to review the case.

Five Years Ago:

Marcy milled through the partiers, someone having shoved a pink drink into her hand. She'd sipped it, not missing the alcoholic content in her cup. She noticed an ongoing game of Beer Pong in the den. Some people were dancing to the music playing over several speakers, though many of the dancers had indulged in enough drinks to eliminate any inhibitions about appearing foolish. Even more blatant were the couples making out in various corners of the joyful mayhem.

Marcy had spoken with a few people and had to admit she'd enjoyed some of those conversations. She was thankful to have not spoken to Jeff yet. She'd noticed him looking around for her and always ducked away before being spotted. She'd seen Cassidy and briefly spoke with Lily earlier. She hadn't seen Amber anywhere.

Marcy took a gulp of her pink drink. People were being nice to her. She felt more blended into this community instead of just being the new girl anymore. Maybe her mother had been right. History wasn't repeating itself. Maybe she'd leave this party in a couple hours, her life still intact.

She suddenly found herself in a small side hallway. There were three doors. Marcy wondered how big this house was. As she understood it, Amanda was an only child. She could probably have three bedrooms to herself in this dwelling.

Curious about what these three doors hid, Marcy tried one of the handles. A thick stench hit her as she pulled open the door. It was a small bathroom, recently used. Marcy shut the door and fanned her free hand in front of her face. She reached for another handle.

"I wouldn't," someone said behind her.

Startled, Marcy turned to see Lily standing behind her. The blonde girl had her own plastic cup and she looked a little flushed. But, she was smiling and still seemed aware of her surroundings.

"Why not?" Marcy asked.

Lily giggled.

"I think Ethan and Amber chose that room," Lily replied, leaning close to her friend. "Amber got his attention, all right. She's reeled him in for herself."

Surprised, Marcy pressed her ear against the door she'd been about to open. Through the music, she now heard faint grunts and moans beyond the wooden barrier.

"Wow," she commented.

Lily giggled again.

"Plenty of rooms in this house," she said. "People hook up all the time at these jamborees."

She leaned in even closer. Marcy could feel her breath on her ear.

"Jeff's looking for you," Lily whispered, actually trying to keep things private now. "Maybe you two could ..."

She backed up, breaking into a third giggling fit. Marcy shook her head.

"What's wrong?" Lily asked.

Marcy opted for the lesser truth.

"I've never ..." she said. "Well, I've never ..."

She looked down at her feet. Not hearing a response from Lily, she looked up again after a few silent seconds. She was surprised to see Lily looking seriously back at her. Maybe her friend wasn't as drunk as she'd perceived.

"Are you a virgin?" Lily asked.

Marcy supposed some alcohol had given the blonde the courage to pursue asking this question.

"Yes," she admitted in a small voice. Her cheeks turned red as Lily giggled again.

"That's sweet," Lily said, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Really. You've got nothing to be ashamed of."

Marcy heard some other people coming their way. She did not want to add more participants to this conversation.

She tried the third door and saw it led into a small office, currently unoccupied. She pulled Lily inside, shutting the door behind them. There was another question she wanted to ask before she lost her nerve. Right now, she had the advantage of the possibility that Lily wouldn't remember this tomorrow.

"Have you ever ..." she queried. "I mean, have you ever ... you know, been with someone?"

Lily regarded her for a long moment before nodding. She held up two fingers.

"Twice," she said. "With a guy I was kind of dating in my freshman and sophomore years, before I dated Ethan."

She shook her head and took a large gulp from her plastic cup.

"Nothing to brag about," she continued. "Really. Neither 'event' lasted long. I sometimes wonder if I ought to have done it. It wasn't like I was in love with the guy. It was just ... fun."

She regarded Marcy again.

"I don't blame you for wanting to wait," she said with a smile.

Marcy took another sip from her own drink.

"Thanks," she said, glad to have her friend's support on this issue. In fact, she felt a huge wave of relief washing over her as she listened to Lily, even if this was only a secondary problem. She'd never imagined having this conversation, let alone hearing this response from a fellow high schooler.

"You should still talk to Jeff," Lily said. "You two would be good together. He's a nice guy, not a stuck-up jock like you might think ..."

Marcy shook her head, taking a gulp of her drink. She needed some liquid courage and hoped she wouldn't lose control.

"I know," she said. "He is nice. It's not that."

Lily stared at her.

"Then what is it?" she asked.

Marcy stared at Lily, drinking some more of her pink concoction. She had a choice to make, either option presenting massive ramifications. This could no longer be let go.

"I'm not interested in Jeff," she said, swallowing a lump in her throat. "I'll never be interested in Jeff ... or any guy."

She cast a longing look at her confident, blonde, beautiful friend, willing her to understand.

The book continues with Chapter 9 - After Homecoming. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
These chapters are, for the most part, divided into 3 sections: "Before Homecoming", "After Homecoming", and "Present". There will be a couple exceptions to this structure in the last few chapters. The "After Homecoming" section also has the largest time shift throughout the chapters,.

Pewter is a fictional town in fictional and rural Alter County in western Texas.

Cast of characters:

Marcy Sellers: a new student at Pewter Public High School,, starting her junior year. Was raped and left comatose in the girls' locker room after the Pewter Homecoming game.

Lillian "Lily" Harvey: a junior at Pewter Public High and a cheerleader. Was raped and murdered in the girls' locker room after the Pewter Homecoming game.

Andrew Mooruff: custodian at Pewter Public High. Convicted and sentenced to death for the locker room attack. Awaiting execution on Texas's Death Row.

Amber Rose: Lily's friend and fellow cheerleader.

Cassidy Ada: Lily's friend and fellow cheerleader.

Ethan Huntley: junior at Pewter High and Running Back on the school's football team. Lily's ex-boyfriend.

Jeff Edwards: junior at Pewter High and Left Tackle on the school's football team.

Feedback, specifically suggestions for additions/subtractions/alterations, is always welcome. Enjoy.
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