Paper Towels And Open Flames Don't Mix (Part 1)
Life had been a series of catastrophes for the Morgendorffer clan since Dorian returned from Spring Break. First, Jake's car broke down and he, Dorian, and Jane ended up asking Trent for a ride to the mall. Jane and Trent tried to calm Jake down by telling him cheesy urban legend stories. His mood was starting to improve until Trent's engine started smoking up just a few blocks down the road from Schloss Morgendorffer. Fortunately, Aunt Amy came to the rescue and picked Quinn and her friends up and brought them home, then went and got Jake and everyone else. Amy hurried back to her house before Helen arrived home.
Then, the chandelier in the dining room shorted out. Jake replaced it and it seemed to work fine until one night while everyone was eating dinner, the fixture started to come undone. Quinn had to quickly move to avoid getting seriously injured. Then, the Fashion Club blamed Quinn for their bout with food poisoning because she didn't eat the same salad dressing as they did. Shortly after that, Quinn had a drink spilled on her and accidentally busted a glass megaphone when she leaned on the mixing board Mystik Spiral was using at Brittany Taylor's party. The whole incident left Quinn questioning her faith. Dorian was able to cheer her up and things seemed okay until a week and a half later.
It was one in the morning and Jake couldn't fall asleep. Earlier that evening, he and Helen went out for a romantic dinner. Jake ordered a decaf coffee to go with his dessert, but the waiter gave him regular instead. Deciding that a warm cup of milk might help him fall asleep, Jake walked down to the kitchen. Once he turned on the burner and sat the saucepan down, Jake went to the fridge and grabbed the carton of milk, spilling it as he placed it on the counter. To make matters worse, the paper towel roll stuck to each other and landed on the pan and near the stove's flame. Not realizing how close the towels were to the flame, Jake walked to the utility closet to grab the mop. That's when he smelt the smoke. He turned around to see the stove and counter covered in flames.
"FIRE! FIRE!! FIRE! FIRE!" He screamed as he ran towards the stairs.
Dorian was sound asleep after spending several hours working out with Mack and the three Js. The Daria side of his brain, however, heard her father's screams. Dorian, this isn't a social call. The house is on fire so GET YOUR ASS UP AND GET US OUT OF HERE! Dorian grabbed his glasses and bolted out of bed. He ran into Quinn as he left his room. His parents were already heading outside. Helen was on her cell phone calling the fire department. They met out by the curb as their neighbors started to gather around. A few minutes later, sounds of sirens blaring filled the air.
Trent was driving home from practice and saw the fire truck turn down the Morgendorffers street. He parked his car and ran up to Jane's room. After he pounded on the door, Jane threw the door open and glared at her big brother.
"Trent - this better be good or you will be wearing your guitar as a neck tie."
"I just saw a fire truck go down Dorian's street."
Jane slid on her running shoes and took off towards Dorian's street. As she turned the corner, she realized that the fire truck was right in front of Dorian's house. Her pace quickened as fear set in. Please, let everyone be okay. As she got closer, she saw all four members of the Morgendorffer clan standing beside each other. Dorian looked over and saw Jane running towards them as fast as she could. He broke away from his parents and met her in front of his neighbor's house.
"Trent was coming home from practice when he saw the fire truck come down your street. Is everyone okay? What happened?"
Dorian explained to her about what his father had done and assured her that everyone was okay. Trent pulled up to them a few minutes later. Dorian and Jane walked back over to where his parents and Quinn were standing. Ten minutes later, the firemen exited the house and told them that the fire had been extinguished, but the house was still full of smoke. Jane and Trent told them they could spend the rest of the night at their house. Everyone but Dorian and Jane loaded up in Trent's car and headed for Casa Lane. They stood and stared at Dorian's house for a moment.
"Are you okay?" Jane asked.
Dorian nodded and gave her a quick kiss before they walked away. The whole walk to Jane's, he kept turning around and looked towards his house. When they walked in, Dorian hugged his parents as they were heading to Penny's room. Quinn was standing outside of Summer's old room as Dorian and Jane approached.
"Why don't you try to get some sleep, Quinn? Jane and I are going to be up for a little while watching TV."
"I - I don't want to be alone," Quinn whispered.
"Okay, you can join us. I'll pull out the sleeping bag in case you start to get tired. Just promise me you won't spend the entire evening talking about fashion like you did the last time you were here," Jane said as she pointed towards her door.
Dorian woke up confused and in a daze. Then his mind filled with images from the night before. The fire, Daria waking him up to get him out of the house, Jane running down his street in a panic when she saw the fire truck ran through his mind over and over again. He looked around his surroundings. Jane was asleep on the bed he was leaning against while Quinn was curled in a sleeping bag a few feet from him. He was a little surprised that he wasn't uncomfortable. Jane brought you a pillow and blanket from Wind's old room. You fell asleep before she and Quinn did. It's weird watching them become friends. I bet it is from your standpoint - wait a minute - do you EVER sleep? Yeah, but at odd times of the day oh and whenever you and Jane are you know ... let's just say that while "we" were at the beach, I caught up on my sleep. Dorian blushed at the conversation he was having with Daria. The conversation ended when Jane's hand hit his face when she turned around.
Deciding that was a sign to get up, Dorian stood and stretched. Quietly, he left the room to check on his parents. They had left a note on the kitchen table and some money for breakfast. A few minutes later, Jane entered the kitchen and saw Dorian reading a neatly written letter. Realizing that he was no longer alone, Dorian looked up at Jane.
"Mom and Dad are at the house meeting with the insurance adjuster. They left us money for breakfast or lunch. Is Quinn still asleep?"
"Yes, she said something about needing a least eight hours of beauty sleep to keep her pores small and cute. You must have been tired, you've never fallen asleep before me." Jane laughed.
"I had worked out with Mack and the three Js yesterday. When the fire happened, I was so exhausted that Daria had to wake us up. By the way, thanks for the pillow and blanket last night."
"How did you know it was me? Oh - wait ... Daria. Anytime. Look, after you fell asleep -Quinn and I talked for a long time. The fire really scared her and it really meant a lot to her that we let her hang out with us last night."
Dorian nodded as he thought about the mental talk he had with Daria earlier. "I'm going to take a quick shower to try to wake up a little more," he said as he got up and went upstairs.
"Slowly count to twenty before you step in the shower unless you think freezing to death will help your alertness level," Jane laughed as she headed back to her room.
Quinn woke up an hour later to see Jane sketching and Dorian talking to their parents on the phone. He hung up and sat down on Jane's bed.
"The house has some smoke damage, so for the next two weeks, we're going to be staying at a hotel. They are coming to pick us up in about an hour so that we can pack."
"You know - you could stay here," Jane said with a smirk on her face.
"I'll tell them that - in the meantime, it sounds like dad is going to call one of his clients to see if he can get a good deal on some rooms."
"I hope it ain't the Dutchman Inn. That giant clog is just sooo unfashionable," Quinn sighed.
"No - he said something about talking to the manager at Le Grand Hotel. Jane - you want to come with us so that we can still hang out after we get settled?"
"Sure - I've always wanted to see the inside of that place."
By the time Helen and Jake returned, Trent had woken up and joined everyone in the kitchen. Helen went up to Jane and Trent and gave them each a hug. "Thanks again for letting us stay here last night. I called Amy - she was a little upset that we didn't call her or go there until I told her about the two of you arriving while the fire truck was still there."
"Mom, can Jane come with us? The three of us had planned on spending the afternoon together," Dorian asked.
"If it's okay with Trent," Helen said. Trent nodded at her. "Let's get going. If you forget something, make a list and we'll go shopping tomorrow."
When they arrived back at Schloss Morgendorffer, they were met by Amy and Lillian. After everyone was packed and ready to go, Amy and Lillian followed them to the hotel. As a couple of bellhops surrounded their car, Dorian noticed one in particular staring at Quinn. Although he hadn't been a big brother for long, he made sure that he read the guy's nametag. Bobby, I will have to keep that in mind. Once they got checked in and situated, Amy offered to take them out to dinner. As they arrived at the restaurant, Jake looked over to his family.
"Remind me not to order coffee with dessert this time."
Helen and Jake headed towards their suite. Dorian and Jane spent the evening watching Puppet Master while Quinn was on a conference call with the rest of the Fashion Club. Dorian couldn't help but smirk as he listened to his little sister describe their suite in detail. Then, he heard her talk about that bellhop and it made him cringe. Watching the scene play out, Jane leaned towards Dorian.
"Are your big brother senses tingling?"
"I didn't like the way that Bobby dude looked at Quinn this afternoon. There is just something about him I don't trust," Dorian growled.
"Yeah - I kinda noticed it, too. Wait - she's your sister ... why am I getting all big-sisterly? I should be teasing her mercilessly like she does me."
"You're not acting big-sisterly. If you were, then you would be teasing the hell out of her. Just ask my Aunt Rita."
Jane gave him a kiss on the cheek. "The Morgendorffer logic comes through again."
A few minutes later, they heard Quinn hang up the phone. She sat down next to them and began rubbing her temples. Dorian looked over at her concerned.
"Quinn - is everything okay?"
"Sandi started running her mouth about the house fire and then I started thinking about it and I got upset all over again," Quinn sighed as her eyes started to water.
Dorian pulled his little sister into a hug. He felt her body begin to shake. "It's gonna be okay, Quinn. The important thing to remember is nobody got hurt," he whispered.
"We could have lost everything, Dorian - our things, our house, our lives," Quinn said between sobs.
"But we didn't. We're all together and we're safe."
Jane moved beside Quinn and placed her hand on the red-head's shoulder. "When Trent woke me up last night and told me about the fire truck heading down your street - I freaked. The closer I got - the more I panicked, but seeing that all of you were outside and unharmed made me feel better. Dorian's right - things could have been a lot worse, but they aren't."
Quinn pressed her head against Dorian's shoulder. "I know - it's just - I know that Daria is still part of you and I was really scared of losing you - both of you and mom and dad. I'm surprised that the fire didn't cause him to have another heart attack."
"Me too. Maybe two weeks here will calm him and mom down some. I'm glad she told Eric that she was going to use her vacation time and try to relax." The three sat silently for a few minutes until Dorian broke the silence. "I know we have school on Monday, but I want you to take tomorrow and have some fun, okay?"
Quinn nodded while she yawned. Before heading to her room, she gave her brother another hug. "Thanks, Dorian - good night."
"Good night to you too, sis."
As per the agreement that he made with his parents, Dorian slept on the couch while Jane and Quinn slept in the bedrooms. Despite the noises coming from the hallway, Dorian was sleeping soundly. It was around seven in the morning when Daria heard two voices talking awfully close to their suite's door.
"I'm telling you the girl that's staying in this suite, Quinn, is hot!" Daria recognized the person speaking as Bobby.
"Oh really - why haven't you tried to bring her up to the Presidential Suite yet?" The other voice asked.
"I want to get her warmed up first. Maybe I'll even invite her out to dinner."
"What are you going to do - ask her to eat at one of the restaurants here at the resort so that you can bill it to her parents?"
"Of course - then I'll hack into the system and take it right back off. Then I'll make sure Quinn thanks me for the meal. No problems at all," Bobby and whoever he was talking began to laugh as they walked away.
No problems huh? - That's what he ****ing thinks. Daria began to think up a way to take down Bobby the Bellboy.
The next morning, Dorian woke up to someone knocking on the door. He opened the door to see Bobby standing there with a room service cart.
"No one here ordered room service. I'm the only one up." Dorian closed the door in his face. I heard him and another bellboy talking this morning. He's gonna try to get Quinn to go out with him. We also need to keep an eye on anything he tries to bring Quinn. It seems he bills the stuff to mom and dad's room then hacks into the computer system and removes it. A look of anger came over Dorian's face.
An hour later, Jane woke up and found Dorian doing push-ups in front of the couch. At first, Jane was going to make a snide comment - until she saw the look on his face.
"Dorian - are you okay?"
Dorian's train of thought was broken by Jane's voice. "I am now. Just needed to burn off a little big brother fuel. Daria overheard Bobby and one of the other bellhops talking early this morning. Needless to say. neither of us are happy right now."
Jane nodded. "So - what is on our agenda for today?"
"Well - the Fashion Club is coming over today. Chances are they are going to want to sit around the pool. I say we lounge by the pool and make snide comments about the male employees trying to kill themselves to serve them."
Sandi and the rest of the Fashion Club arrived shortly before noon. They looked around the suite in approval. She noticed Dorian sitting out on the balcony reading the newspaper. Just as she was about to go out there to speak to him, Jane walked past her wearing a red bikini top and shorts with an Elvis beach towel wrapped around her waist and carrying a CD player. Sandi growled under her breath as she watched Jane take the seat next to Dorian. Quinn and Stacy entered the living room to see Sandi staring at Dorian and Jane.
Oblivious to what was going on behind them, Dorian and Jane were enjoying the music when they heard a tap on the balcony door. Dorian turned around to see Stacy standing behind them. He signaled her to join them.
"Thanks - It takes Sandi and Tiffany a while to get ready," Stacy said as she listened to the song playing from the little cd player. "What band is this? They are pretty good."
"Dave Matthews Band. If you want, I can burn you a couple of their CDs," Jane said.
"Would you? I can make you a couple of CDs of Metallica in exchange."
Jane began to choke. Dorian tried to fight off a laugh while patting his girlfriend's back. A few moments later, Jane was able to compose herself.
"I didn't hear you right - Metallica?"
Stacy nodded, "Yeah - I have all of their CDs. I also like the Rollins Band - although when he performed at the Grammys without his shoes on, I got a little miffed."
"Wow - I'm impressed Stacy. I would have never thought of you as a hidden hard rock fan. I can't say much though - I used to listen to a lot of hair bands. What about you Dorian - what kind of musical skeleton is in your closet?"
"Older country - Conway Twitty, Jim Reeves, George Jones," Dorian replied.
Jane and Stacy looked at him oddly for a moment. Then, Jane nudged Stacy and pointed at Dorian. "Just when you think you know a person."
Dorian rolled his eyes at Jane while Stacy tried to fight off the giggles. A few minutes later, the rest of the Fashion Club exited the bedrooms. Sandi was slightly annoyed when she saw Stacy talking with Dorian and Jane.
"Stacy - we're leaving now, unless you want to stay out here with those brains," Sandi whined. Quinn began to tense up behind her.
"You know Sandi, I just might. They are playing some pretty decent music or maybe they would like to join us down there. Dorian, Jane ... are you coming with?"
Dorian and Jane looked over at the members of the Fashion Club. One face had a look of horror, one of vacantness, while the other two had traces of hope. Turning to each other, Dorian and Jane just shrugged.
"Sure- we were going down there in a little while anyway," Dorian said as he saw a slight smile come over Quinn and Stacy's faces.
As they arrived at the pool, the fashion club headed for a row of chairs along the shallow end of the pool. Dorian and Jane picked a spot caddy-cornered from Quinn and Stacy. Dorian looked around and saw Bobby talking to some of the hotel's pool staff. He began making mental notes of all of the things the attendants started bringing to his sister and her friends.
A couple of hours later, Dorian excused himself and left the pool area. Let's see what kind of game Bobby is playing. Holding his room key card in his grip, he went up to the front desk. Handing his room key over to the clerk, he asked if he could have a print out of what the room bill was so far. The young woman swiped the key across the pad of her computer and turned around to grab the sheet of paper that printed out. Handing him both the paper and his card, the young woman asked if there was anything else he needed. Shaking his head, Dorian flashed her a warm smile and thanked her. He looked over the paper with a fine tooth comb.
Returning to the pool, he folded up the sheet of paper and slid it in his book. Jane opened her eyes and looked over at Dorian. A few minutes later, they both turned when they heard Helen and Jake laughing behind them. Jane stared at the pool for a moment before nudging Dorian. Standing up, she unwrapped the towel, took off her shorts, and headed towards the pool. Dorian took his shirt off and joined Jane as they began to swim laps. As they swam, they caught the attention of Sandi. A look jealousy came over her face.
After several laps, Dorian and Jane swam over to their parents and talked to them briefly before getting out of the pool. Going back to their seats, they gathered up their things. Jane was heading towards the pool's exit. Dorian walked over to where Quinn and Stacy were sitting.
"We're going to order a pizza and watch a movie," Dorian said.
"Tiffany's dad is picking her and Sandi up in about an hour and a half, so we'll be up there shortly," Quinn smirked.
Dorian just shook his head. By the time he had made it back to the room, Jane was already changing. Dorian quickly showered and got dressed. He showed her the bill that he had printed out. Jane let out a low whistle as she looked at the charges.
"Forty dollars for a pair of spa slippers? Fifty for the lobster platter? Wait - I don't remember seeing a breakfast sampler. When did he give her that?"
"He didn't - he tried to deliver one this morning, but I told him that no one ordered it," Dorian said as their conversation was stopped by the opening of the door.
"I can't believe that Bobby asked you to go out with him for dinner tomorrow night. He's cute, Quinn."
"Yeah, I wanted him to take me to Chez Pierre, but there is a restaurant here at the resort that is reservation only, so he is taking me to it instead."
Dorian's eyes enlarged and then squinted to two tiny slits. We have to stop that date from happening. It won't, but it will have to wait until after he's off duty to see if he does what he said he would this morning. Jane could see the wheels turning in Dorian's mind. After Sandi and Tiffany left, Quinn and Stacy joined Dorian and Jane in the living room. A couple of hours later, Bobby called to the room and told Quinn he would see her tomorrow night. After Quinn and Jane fell asleep, Daria got Dorian's attention. Let's go pay the front desk another visit. He asked for a second print-out of the room's bill. The only charge that was on it was the pizza he and Jane had ordered that afternoon. Get mom - that jerk's going down. Armed with both bills, Dorian called his parents room. Once his mother arrived, Dorian asked to speak to the manager-on-duty. Inside the office, Dorian explained what "he" had heard earlier that morning, and then showed the manager both copies of the bill. The manager thanked him and immediately called the police.
The computer expert for the Lawndale Sheriff's department was able to determine that the hotel's system had been hacked into. After taking Dorian's statement and copies of the bill, the detectives asked if they could talk to Jane and Quinn. Helen called up to the room and the two girls come down to the lobby. Quinn confirmed receiving everything on the bill except for the breakfast. Jane said that she witnessed Quinn getting these items. It was almost three in the morning before they were able to go back to the room. Helen told them to not worry about going to school that day.
As they headed towards the elevators, Helen pulled Dorian over to the side. "Thank you for looking out for Quinn."
Dorian leaned towards his mother, his voice barely above a whisper. "Thank Daria - she heard Bobby talking to another one of the bellhops about Quinn. The whole thing was a set-up to get her alone in the Presidential Suite tomorrow night. It was Daria's idea to get the print-outs and contact you and the manager. I wasn't going to tell you, because I want you and dad to relax and enjoy yourselves for once. I was just going to beat him to the ground," Dorian said as Quinn stared at him in shock.
"Well, then I guess that you both get a thank you." Helen gave him a hug as they entered the elevator.
When they walked into their room, Quinn pulled her older brother into a tight embrace. "I'm sorry for all the times I gave you a hard time, Daria. Thanks for watching out for me. I love you both," Quinn whispered.
"We love you, too sis. Now let's all try to get some sleep," Dorian said as Quinn started to walk away.
Before she left the living room, Quinn turned to Dorian. "You two work well together. I can't believe I almost went out with a computer geek."
Dorian spread out on the couch and grabbed the blanket. We did make a pretty good team, there. Yeah, I guess we do sometimes. Goodnight, Dorian. You too, Daria.