~ The beginning of Spring Break in Lawndale through the eyes of Jared Hunting. For those of you who don’t know my character, Jared is slightly shorter than Trent with Jamie’s hair and a few blonde spikes hanging down in the front, green eyes, a tad less built than Jesse, with two earrings in each ear and his left eyebrow pierced. He always wears a denim jacket over a white tank top and dark Tommy jeans, and (just to confuse you even more) one of those black neck-bands with the silver spikes on it. Jared is an artist, and my drummer for Mystic Spiral. Enjoy! ~

Spring Break chapter 1: Jared Hunting’s Pool
By: JadeGryphon

"The temperature in Lawndale today has reached a record-breaking 102 degrees--"

Trent switched off the small battery-powered radio next to him. Daria and crew were all sitting, wasted in the heat, on the Lane front porch. The AC had broken down in their house, so Jane, Trent and Jesse were all screwed, (Jesse was staying with them for the summer, which of course Jane didn’t mind at all.) The three sun-scorched friends turn to look at Daria.

Daria: No way, we can’t go to my house.

Jesse, Jane and Trent: Why not???

Daria: Think about it. My parents are home constantly. If we sit out in the open we’ll be interrogated. If we go up to my room, well, you do the math.

(The three stare blankly at her.)

Daria: Two teenage girls, and two guys in a room with the door closed. We’d only get away with it for five minutes until the ever- stalking eyes of Helen Morgindorffer bring us in for questioning.

The Three: Ooh.

Jesse: So that’s out. What are we gonna do?

(Just then A purple Jeep Cherokee drove up, with the stereo on full-blast, and Jared popped out of the top.)

Jared: Hey guys! Hot enough for ya? (All groan at his comment)

(He swings his legs over, and walks up the pathway towards them.)

Jared (mostly to Jane): My AC works, wanna go for a spin?

All: No thanks.

(Jared turns his back to them.)

Jared (under his breath): I guess I’ll have to swim in my folks’ new pool all by myself..

(Immediately, everyone’s head pops up. Jane gets up, grabs his shoulders and spins him around.)

Jane (mad from the heat): Jared Hunting, did you just say what I think you said????

Jared crosses his arms, and looks at her over his blue-tinted Okleys.

Jared: Yep. Goes up to 7 feet deep, with a diving board, stairs, the whole 9 yards. Wanna try it out, Jane? (Jesse glares at him)

Everyone (randomly): Could we? Cool! Really? Outta’ sight!

Jesse: Get your stuff and get in the car or I’m leavin’ without ya’!

(Jesse, Jane and Trent make a mad dash into the house, leaving Daria sitting on the stoop. Jared gives her a hand up.)

Jared: We’ll have to drive by your house so you can get your suit, huh Daria?

Daria (looks away from him): No that’s really okay Jared.

Jared: C’mon Daria, (gives her a playful punch in the arm) you do know how to swim, don’t ya?

Daria: Of course I know how to swim, Jared. (blushes, bites her lower lip) It’s just that-

Jane (cutting her off): Yo! Jared! Were ready!

(Daria turns to see Jane, Jesse and Trent with their clothes and a towel hung over one arm.)

Jesse (Running towards the car): Shotgun!

Trent (chases him): Hey! Jared: There’s not enough room for all of you!

Jesse: That’s okay, Jane can sit in my lap! (Jane smiles smugly and climbs in the shotgun seat with Jesse)

(Everyone climbs in the Jeep, Jared blasts the stereo, and they’re off.)

Jane (leaning forward): Turn right up here.

Daria: What are you doing?

Jane (Turning towards her): Showing the nice man the way to your house. You wanna get your swimsuit don’t you?

Daria (bites the nail of her index finger): Umm..well..

Jared (jumping in): She already told me she didn’t want to get it yet.

Daria: Yeah! That’s it! I just want to get it later. (Jane raises an eyebrow, crosses her arms, and decided to have a little ‘talk’ with Daria later.)

(They arrive at Jared’s house, a brown brick two-story, pull into the back, and park the Jeep in the garage next to the Tank. They all follow Jared into the backyard then stare in awe at the deep blue pool built into it.)

Jared (Opening a small sliding glass door): Okay, who wants to change first?

Jane: Dibs! (Rushes into the house, passing a tall red-headed girl who stops on her way to the kitchen. She takes off her headphones and sets her CD player on a coffee table, looks blankly at Jared, and then walks towards the three guys sitting in deck chairs.)

Girl: That was a rush, (looks back) who was that Jared?

Jesse and Trent are sitting in a trance, staring wide-eyed at the beautiful seventeen year-old. Daria was just surprised to see someone like THAT living with Jared. She was about an inch shorter than Jared with thick, burning red hair that hung partially on her shoulders, the rest hanging in the back. She had deep green eyes accented by her pink lipstick. She wore a black blazer that was open in the front, revealing a torn* Tommy Hilfiger sport bra (Torn as in a piece of the right strap hanging loose! What were YOU thinking?), she had the perfect figure (as far as Trent and Jesse were concerned) her metallic blue navel ring really stood out, and she ended in a pair of hip-hugging denim cut-off shorts and (hmm, let’s see) black combat boots (woah! Where’d THAT one come from). Jared smiled proudly seeing his friend’s reaction to his kid sister, stood up and introduced her to them.

Jared: Guys, meet my kid sister Billie.

Jesse (completely out of it): Hey.

Trent (him too): Hallo.

Daria: (Glares at Trent, then smiles) Hey Billie.

Billie: Hey guys….(looks at Trent and Jesse) and you two are?

Trent (Snapping out of his daze): I’m Trent Lane.

Jesse (Also coming to): Call me Jesse.

Daria: I’m known by police nationwide as Daria Morgindorrfer.

Jane (from behind her, voice only): And her partner in crime, Jane Lane. (Billie spins around, her wildfire following in a fluidic motion, and all attention is directed to Jane standing in the doorway) Tada! What’ya guys think?

Daria thinking: 3...2...1...(Jesse’s jaw hits the ground, Daria smiles)

Jane was wearing a tight black and red two-piece, with one of those tops that tie in the back, and a white towel tied around her waist. Billie walks up and introduces herself.

Billie: Hi Jane (shakes her hand) I’m Billie...(Trails off, her eyes her wide)

Jane: What?

Billie (screaming): GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!! (Billie dives into Jane knocking her out of the way just as a huge growling dog leaps through the doorway, pinning Billie to the ground and digging it’s teeth deep into her arm. Everybody jumps up.)

Billie: DAMMNIT THEO!!! (Puts her feet on the dog’s ribs, knocking him off of her. The dog sits up, bears a sharp set of silver teeth, then growls just as Jane is getting up.)

Billie shakes her arm, spraying blood onto the ground as she grabs the dog by the scruff of the neck.

Trent: What is that??

Billie (Sarcastically): Everyone, meet Theo. Our friendly neighborhood wolf hybrid. (Theo puts his ears back and whines)

Daria: Wow, what’s with his teeth?

Jared (chiming in): Theo’s teeth were very weak after his first few attacks, so we got him reinforcement.

Jesse: Are you okay? Should we get help?

Billie: Nah. I’ve survived through the first six years of his life, hell, I’m used to it.

Jane looks with fear at the dog, and Theo pulls away from Billie, growling, barking, and chasing paranoid Jane into the pool.

Jane: What the hell do you want from me?! (Jane yells at the large white and gray dog {Ever seen Balto? Picture the white wolf that Balto howls with only with a few grey patches} looming over her from the diving board. She looked back at him, and he was just staring at her, ears perky, almost smiling with his tongue hanging out. Jesse almost went for him, but Jared held him back)

Jared: It’s okay Jane! He just wants to apologize! Jane: How can you tell?

Billie: We own him, we know these things! Jared (To Jesse and Trent): C’mon, I’ll show you where you can change.

Jesse: Will Jane be okay with that thing? Jared: Billie has everything under control.

As the three boys exit, Jane cautiously gets out of the pool, with Theo obediently following Billie and Daria over to her. Billie offers her a dry towel, and Theo licks Jane’s hand.

Jane (thoughtfully): Someday I’ll look back at this and laugh.

Daria (Jumping in): We’re laughing now.

Jane (Glaring at Daria): Shut up. (Daria smiles and pats Theo’s head)

Billie (Smiling at Jane): Well, If you’re gonna have a pool party, can I join in?

Daria and Jane: Sure, what the hell, you live here.

Billie (Bending down, talking to Theo in a baby voice): Well then we’d better put killer back in the house huh? (Theo licks her face as she laughs)

Billie walks Theo towards the door, then turns and raises an eyebrow to Daria.

Billie: Say Daria, um, I hope you don’t mind me for asking, but..

Daria thinking: Here it comes…(Rolls her eyes)

Billie: You are going to swim aren’t you?

Daria (blushing): Well, um, I (Jane puts a hand on her shoulder)

Jane: Allow me to have a brief discussion with my collaborator.

Billie: Oh, of course.( Leads Theo Into the house and shuts the door, leaving Jane and Daria alone on the patio)

Jane: Daria? Remember: Trent’s oblivious. None of us are gonna care what your swimsuit looks like.

Daria: Have I become that damn predictable?

Jane: No, It’s just I had the same problem with my old boyfriend a few summers ago.

Daria: Really? Now THIS I have to hear.

Jane: Not now. (Points to the door, where the three boys are making their appearance. Jared has on green trunks and his white tank top, Trent has blue trunks and his normal shirt, while Jesse’s are dark purple trunks and no top at all. They walk over to where the girls are standing, Jesse looking quite proud of himself. Jane smiles smugly, and does that ‘Rrrr’ thing with her tongue that Upchuck always does while Trent, Daria, and Jared exchange looks of disgust.)

Billie (from behind them): All ready!! (Theo barks)

As the Darians look in her direction, Daria expects Jesse and Trent to zone out at the sight of her, but instead they stand calmly beside her, and surprisingly, Trent puts his hand on Daria’s shoulder. Billie stood proudly in a violet swimsuit, with one of those shiny, colorful wrap-around thingees (Not to descriptive am I? So sue me!) Theo stood next to her, then slowly walked toward Jane, who freaked once again and hung onto Jesse. (**Important, pay attention to the scenes with Theo and Jane. Their friendship will be extremely important in the sequels, or don’t and be confused out of your mind. Your call) Billie sat down in a deck chair, soon joined by Daria and Trent. Theo just stood there, his bushy tail waving slowly from side to side, staring at her with his head cocked to one side.

Jane (Whispering to Jared): What is he waiting for?

Jared: Call him. Jane (Still hanging onto Jesse): Here Theo! C’mere boy!

But the dog just stood there, staring at her invitingly.

Jesse: Let me try.( Jesse lets ahold of Jane, and bends down on one knee) Come Theo! Come here!

At that very moment when Jesse said his name, every hair on Theo’s back bristled, his ears plastered against his head, and his lips curled back showing his platinum-plated teeth, as he let out a deep growl. Everyone stood still, Billie and Jared ready to catch their dog before he ate Jesse’s face, and Jane and Jesse frozen in fear. He growled at everyone’s calls, released an array of barks, and followed Jesse’s every move like a hawk as he stood up, and wrapped his arms around Jane.

And that’s what triggered it.

Theo mad a mad dash for Jane and Jesse, so fast that Jared and Billie collided, and came to a dead halt in front of them. Trent and Daria sat up, and walked over behind Theo, almost ready to pounce on him when…

Billie: Wait! (Trent and Daria turned to them, but Jane and Jesse didn’t dare take there eyes off the vicious dog.)

Billie (Standing): I have an idea, Jesse let go of Jane and back away from her.

Jesse: Are you nuts?! Billie: Just do it!

Jesse: Oookay…(Lets go of a terrified Jane and backs away from her slowly, as Theo growls deeper and deeper with his every move, and moves forward as if stalking him. When Jesse is pressed against the yard fence and couldn’t go any farther, Theo turns slowly at first then so fast he could have snapped his spine, and slowly approaches Jane. His enraged face is instantly replaced by that of a cute, playful puppy, smiling with his tongue out licking Jane’s hand. He yips playfully and leaps up onto her, knocking her in to the pool.

Jared: What the hell? Jesse (to afraid to move): Is your !#$%ing dog in love with my girlfriend or something???

Once again, Jane is soaked, and climbs out of the pool with a wet dog. Theo shakes himself off, and runs over to Jared and Billie (who are rubbing their foreheads from colliding) yipping happily.

Jesse (still annoyed): Can I come back over without a death threat???

Theo puts his paws on Trent’s chest and starts licking his face.

Trent: He seems okay now. (Daria strokes his back, Jesse slowly comes over back onto the patio)

Jared: Well, if Theo’s attitude adjustment is complete, let’s get in! (Jared, Billie, Jane and Jesse jump into the pool, Theo sits patiently by Daria and Trent)

Daria (shyly): Um, Trent, aren’t you going to get in?

Trent (he’s shy too): Well, I though you’d like some company until you wanted to go get you’re suit.

Daria (blushes softly): Thanks…(Looks at Jane, who is at the edge of the pool, giving her one of those ‘aww, isn’t that sweet’ looks. Daria, in return, gives her one of those ‘I’m going to kill you’ looks. Jane returns to their game of Marco Polo.)

Daria (Looks at Trent): That’s really sweet, but I was kind of hoping Jared would drive me to get changed before he got in.

Trent (offering): I could take you. (To Jared) Jared! Can I take your Cherokee and take Daria to her house?

Jared (spits out water): The keys are on the dashboard! And don’t wreck it!

Trent leads Daria to the garage, with Theo at his heels.

Jane (mockingly): Byyyyeee Daria! I won’t send help!

Daria (narrows her eyes, thinking): Do you know how long it takes to drown, Jane? Shall I demonstrate?

Daria sits in shotgun next to Trent, who revs up the engine while Theo leaps into the backseat. He pulls out of the driveway, and in no time is in front of the Morgindorffer house.

Daria: I won’t take long. (Jumps out of the car, and since, thankfully, no one is home, she uses her housekey and blots upstairs.)

Daria (rummaging through the bottom of her closet): Where is it??

(Holds up a black swimsuit top with the words ‘Adacrombe and Fitch’ embroidered in white in small letters across the chest.)

Daria (cynically): Another one of Helen’s pathetic attempts to make me more like Quinn.(shudders at the thought, and soon finds the bottom that looks like a pair of really short bicycle shorts. She sighs, and knows she’s going to regret it but puts it on anyway. Daria looks in the mirror, quickly puts on her green blazer and black skirt over it, and high-tails it back to the car. Sure enough, Trent is asleep with Theo waiting patiently for her.)

Daria (shakes him): Trent! Trent wake up! (Trent stirs, but keeps his eyes closed, she looks at Theo, and remembers the dog she had in Highland)

Daria (Trying to act excited): Theo! (Theo barks in Trent’s ear, jolting him awake)

Trent: Officer it’s not even my car! Oh, hey Daria. Ready to go?

Daria (buckles herself in): Yep. (Trent starts the car, and as soon as the commercials on the radio end, they are back at Jared’s)

They look around, and things have died down quite a bit. Jane is next to Billie on the patio, who is treating the now bloody bite on her arm, Jesse is going off the diving board, and Jared is in the shallow end listing to the radio. As soon as they walk towards the patio, everyone jumps up to greet them. Theo lunges at Jesse again, growling but as soon as he knocks him to the ground he yips and licks his face.

Jesse (laughing): Does your dog ever make up his mind?

Billie: Nope. So Daria, ready to swim with us?

Daria: Yeah, I guess.

Jane (Goes and sits on the diving board): I’m surprised to see you back again so soon.

Daria thinking: I’ll fix you, Jane Lane. Mwhahaha.

Jane (continuing): So let’s see it. Daria: Oh, okay. Here goes.

(Daria unzips her blazer and takes off her skirt)

Daria (shyly): So, what do you think?

Billie: You look great! (Theo barks) Jared: Man, Daria. You’ve really outdone yourself.

Jesse: You really do like black don’t you? (Jane whaps him on the back of the head) What??

Trent: Daria, you look awesome! (Daria blushes slightly)

Jane (folds her arms proudly): We’ll I’ll be damned.

Daria: You like it?

Jane: Yep, I like it.

Daria (smiling slyly): You’ll love this

Daria jumps onto the diving board, shaking it and sending her dry friend careening headfirst down into the water, and everyone burst out laughing.

Jane: Oh, yeah? (Grabs Daria by the ankle and pulls her down into the water as well. Soon everyone is in the water and in the middle of a huge splash fight. Jane calls to Trent for backup, but he is no where to be seen.)

Jane: Has anyone seen Trent? (Everyone is giving her the same ‘your gonna get it’ look Daria had given her before) Am I missing something??

Daria: Look! Jesse’s on the diving board! (Jane immediately looks upward, but is soon shoved back under the surface. Trent had been laying on the board above her for a planned sabotage, then jumped into the water)

~ Later, after it had become too dark and everyone had become to tired to swim anymore, and Jared had to drive the Darians home. Of course all the male members of the club are already snoring loudly ~

Jane (whispering): Daria, did you see the look on Trent’s face when he saw you in your swimsuit?

Daria (whispering, annoyed): shut up.

Jane (whispering): No, seriously, you should really wear tight stuff around him more often.

Daria (whispering): And actually have to go to a heavily populated place like the mall?

Jane (whispering): Good point.

Daria (whispering): Did you see the look on Jared’s face when he saw you in your sacrificial bikini?

Jane (whispering, annoyed): Shut up.

The End