Despite the fact that Trixie is in the midst of planning an antique show to benefit UNICEF and also to prove to the school board that the Bob-Whites of the Glen should not be disbanded, and she is trying to track down a gang of thieves and vandals, our favorite moll dick takes time out of her humanitarian and sleuthing activities to attend Di’s Valentine party. The first part of the story is blatantly plagiarized from "Kathryn Kenny" (Chapter Thirteen of The Mysterious Code, "Moll Dick Goes Partying") right down to the hyphenated "living-room" and the lack of necessary punctuation. These introductory paragraphs are the copyright of Random House, and I don’t have permission to use them, natch. The ending of this revised chapter, however, takes place in an alternate reality where the clubhouse was not vandalized, allowing Trixie and Jim to spend the evening together…alone. I wanted to do something special in celebration of Jix’s Seventh Anniversary, and making a romantic alternate reality for Trixie and Jim set amongst book number seven, which gave us the famous orchid, seemed an appropriate celebration for a site that intertwines Trixie and Jim’s names. A warning: it’s short, self-edited, and sappy. Many thanks to everyone at Jix, from admin down to the last lurker, that makes Jix what it is—the best place on the ‘Net.
The day of Diana’s party a cellophane-topped box was delivered to Miss Trixie Belden.
"It’s an orchid!" she exclaimed. "A white one—see, Moms—on a red satin heart—who could have sent me an orchid?" Excitedly she took the little card out of the envelope and read:
Dear Moll Dick:
Is this your first orchid? I hope so. See you tonight.
Trixie blushed to the roots of her sandy hair. "Did you ever have an orchid in your life?" she asked her mother. "A beautiful white orchid from—of course you’ve had them from Daddy—but from a boy?"
"It was gardenias when I was your age," her mother said. "It will look pretty with your new white dress."
"Beautiful!" Trixie said, dancing around the room.
Later that evening, the record payer was playing softly when Trixie, with Brian on one side and Mart on the other, walked into the Lynches’ beautiful big living-room.
The ceiling an wall lights in the long room were covered with gay Japanese lanterns. In the dining-room bright red cellophane hearts dangled from the chandelier. The table, covered with Valentine paper cloth, held trays of Cokes, potato chips, popcorn, pickles, olives, and Valentine candies. On a cart a portable oven held hamburgers fresh from the kitchen—plenty of them were replaced just as fast as the hungry guests could eat them.
"Hi Cinderella!" Jim said when he caught sight of Trixie. "Some dress! You smell wonderful, too!"
"It’s Moms’ perfume," Trixie said, grinning. "The orchid is super, Jim. Thanks!"
"Trade it for a dance," Jim said and Trixie floated off on tiptoe, heels not even touching the floor, dancing on cloud nine.
After Trixie and Jim had danced several dances, with each other and with others, Jim brought Cokes and a hamburger for Trixie and himself.
"Why didn’t you tell me you could dance like a feather?" Jim asked Trixie.
"Mart didn’t think so when I was dancing with him," Trixie said, smiling. "He said I punctured his toes with my high heels."
"I feel so sorry for him," Jim said. "I’ll tell you this, I’d lots rather dance with you than I would with Mart. Say, Trixie, why don’t we take our food over on that divan that faces the window?"
Trixie followed Jim to the seat in front of the window. In front of them, through the window, the light from the full moon etched shadows of the bare trees on the glistening snow. There were millions of stars in the sky. They could see down the hill toward the Manor House. Back of them in the big living-room the record player played soft music.
Trixie finished her hamburger, then put her head against the couch. She looked up at Jim, who was smiling gently down at her. Without a word, he gently set their empty plates aside and moved closer to her on the couch.
"I’m glad you liked the orchid," he said, almost shyly. "I wasn’t…" His voice trailed off.
Trixie had never seen this side of Jim. Usually he was so outgoing and self-assured, but this Jim was quieter, more reserved, more…gentle. His handsome, freckled face clearly showed his nervousness, and Trixie was intrigued. She and Jim were practically best friends. What could he possibly have to say that would warrant this apprehension?
"You weren’t what, Jim?" Trixie asked softly, hoping that her interest would set him at ease.
"Well, I wanted to send you something that showed that…that…well, that you’re my special girl, Trixie." Jim carefully looked at Trixie, almost afraid to see her reaction to his words. To his relief, Trixie’s face glowed, and her smile lit up the room.
"The orchid was perfectly perfect," Trixie assured him. "I’ve never gotten a flower from a boy before, Jim. It was special."
Jim smiled, once again displaying the self-assured smile with which Trixie was familiar. "Good. A special flower for a special girl."
Trixie blushed and looked down. "I’m not really all that special, Jim," she mumbled, not at all used to accepting compliments.
Jim gently placed his thumb under her chin and lifted her face to look at his. His green eyes were earnest as he said, "Trixie Belden, you are unlike any other girl I have ever known. You’re smart, funny, full of life, generous, fearless. I could keep going, but let me just stop here and tell you how beautiful I think you are."
Trixie’s blue eyes widened. "You think I’m beautiful?" she whispered, barely daring to believe that the most wonderful boy in the world thought that she, Trixie Belden of the unruly sandy curls and freckled nose, was beautiful.
"Yes, I think you’re beautiful, Trixie Belden," Jim said in a husky whisper, his face leaning closer to Trixie’s.
He’s going to kiss me! Trixie’s brain screamed.
Suddenly, laughter rang out from across the room, and Jim and Trixie both abruptly remembered where they were—not in their own private oasis, but in a room full of people…a room with both of Trixie’s older, overprotective brothers.
By unspoken agreement, both Jim and Trixie turned, their eyes searching the room to determine the location of the Bob-Whites. Not surprisingly, Mart was standing near the food table. Diana and Tad stood with him, and he and Di were laughing at something Tad had just said. Brian and Honey were dancing, their eyes locked into each other’s, and it was obvious that, as far as they were concerned, there was no one else in the room with them.
Trixie and Jim looked at each other and grinned.
"Get your coat," Jim said. "I’ll meet you at the front door, right outside."
Outside, Jim held tight to Trixie’s hand, and Trixie reveled in the feel of Jim’s strong, warm hand wrapped around her own.
The various stone paths that circled the luxurious Lynch mansion had been cleared of snow, so the young couple languidly followed them throughout the property. Few words were spoken, the pair taking in the romantic moon and millions of stars above them, their light twinkling on the crisp, white snow below.
All worries of Bull Thompson, of the Bob-Whites being disbanded, of the stress of the antique show…all of it melted away as Jim pulled Trixie closer and put his arm around her shoulder.
"Cold, Trix?" he asked solicitously.
Trixie shook her head and smiled up at the redhead. "Never been warmer," she answered.
Soon, they were standing in the Lynch flower garden. The beds were nestled underneath a layer of snow, waiting for spring to arrive, but the large fountain in the middle of the garden was visible. No water flowed from its impressive stone tiers, but its very presence was still somehow romantic. The ice that had formed on it sparkled in the light of the full moon. Trixie and Jim stopped in front of it.
"I meant what I said inside the party, Trix," Jim said as he turned to face her, taking both of her hands in his. "You’re a really swell girl and so beautiful." He briefly let go of one of Trixie’s hands to gently tug at an errant curl that lay becomingly on Trixie’s forehead.
Again, Trixie blushed. "Thanks, Jim. I always think of Honey and Di being so beautiful, but it’s hard for me to think of myself that way. I mean, I look at Mart, who I am supposed to look so much like, and I certainly don’t think he’s pretty!"
Jim laughed at Trixie’s honesty and her blunt assessment of her "almost-twin." "Well, you and Mart don’t look very much alike to me at all, other than the blonde hair and blue eyes. I think, if you look like anyone, maybe you look like our mother." As he looked at Trixie, another thought occurred to him. "Or maybe even my mother."
"Really, Jim?" Trixie asked. She knew that Jim thought that the sun rose and set in Katie and Win Frayne, and any comparison to either one of them was a treasured thing.
Jim’s handsome face took on a softer, faraway look as memories of his mother flooded through his mind. "Yeah," he answered. "Her hair was lighter than yours, more blonde, but she always had a curl on her forehead that never seemed to mind her attempts to tame it. Just like you." Trixie grimaced at the mention of her unruly curls. Jim saw the look and shook his head. "No, it’s a good thing, Trixie. You’re always moaning about your hair, but I like it. It reminds me of you—untamed and bouncy and full of life."
"Well, I’m glad that someone likes it," Trixie said, unsure of what else to say in response to a compliment about her hated hair.
"I do," Jim assured her.
Trixie smiled. "You know, Jim, sometimes I think I’m too impetuous and too much of a tomboy for any boy to really like me, but…" Trixie wanted to tell Jim what it meant to her for someone as wonderful as Jim to say these things about her, but she was suddenly tongue-tied. Jim seemed to understand her nervousness. In response, he just smiled encouragingly at her and squeezed both of her hands in his.
Trixie felt Jim’s calming presence, and the love and caring that were flowing from his emerald green eyes, and suddenly, she had the courage to finish her sentence.
"But hearing them from you, Jim, means the world to me. I think…I think you’re the most wonderful boy in the world," she said in a rush of words.
At that, Jim pulled her close to him, leaning down toward her. Trixie barely had time to think, My first kiss! before Jim’s lips were pressed against hers. His lips were firm on her soft ones. The kiss was gentle and loving and sweet—everything a girl’s first kiss should be. And as one of Jim’s arms wrapped itself around her to pull her closer and his other hand wove its way through her curls, Trixie felt as though she had come home in Jim’s strong and loving embrace. And, as the kiss deepened, she knew that the most wonderful boy in the world was hers. Forever and always.
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Story (except introductory paragraphs as noted in author's notes above) and graphics copyright © GSDana