The Carlyles | Chapter 44 of 49

Author: Cecily von Ziegesar | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 3916 Views | Add a Review

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A’s Law—Whatever Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong

“So, I really like Owen Carlyle,” Jiffy Bennett remarked, half passed out on Hugh Moore’s lap in a reclining chair next to the pool. “But, you know, I’m open to anything tonight.” Hugh’s brown eyes widened in anticipation as Jiffy threw her thin arms around his bulky neck.

The party had been raging for the past four hours, and now, past 1 a.m., it was starting to really heat up. The pool was full of girls in La Perla bras and panties that left nothing to the imagination, especially in the water. The liquor cabinet had been completely ransacked, and Avery had spent the last hour enthusiastically hugging everyone she encountered and trying to remember their names.

Which is difficult when you’re so drunk you can’t even remember your own.

“Hey, you know that right now, if you do anything, it’s not consensual,” Sydney yelled up to Hugh as she climbed out of the pool, wearing a white tank top and boy shorts that had turned practically transparent. Hugh looked overwhelmed to have one girl climbing on top of him and another standing nearly nude in front of him. He was momentarily mesmerized by Sydney’s numerous piercings.

“Think about consent is all I’m saying.” Sydney glared at Hugh and stalked off.

Over in the solarium, Avery was sitting on the sofa, surrounded by dozens of new friends. Take that, Satchel, she thought drunkenly, thinking of the five-year-old who lived in Jack Laurent’s house. Grandmother Avery would be so proud of her. She was about to win that election—which would totally be in the bag once everyone picked up the gift bags on the way out. She’d had necklaces made at a darling custom-design shop on Prince Street. A = SLBO was written out in tiny, delicate script in white gold, so it looked ghetto-fabulous in a sort of downtown, cash-meets-trash way.

Hasn’t she ever heard of campaign buttons?

“I’m so glad we’re friends now,” Avery told Jack, enunciating each word carefully. The whole night, Jack had been at her side, getting her more drinks, suggesting everyone do shots, starting a game of Never Have I Ever in the pool, and keeping a steady playlist of great music blaring through the speakers. Avery hugged her new friend. Jack was awesome. She couldn’t believe how wrong she’d been about her.

“Me too, Ave,” Jack said, extracting herself from Avery’s tight grip. “I’ll be right back.”

She made her way out the town house’s front door and onto the stoop. It was quiet out here, except for the thumping of Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around Comes Around” behind her. Unlike Avery, she had only had a few drinks, and the cool September air completely did away with any residual buzz.

Jack pulled out her Treo and dialed 311, New York’s government information and complaint line. She listened to staticky Frank Sinatra hold music as she looked up at the blue-black sky.

“Hello, this is Marion, how may I help you?” a bored-sounding woman on the other end of the line finally answered.

“Hi, I need to make a noise complaint,” Jack said sweetly.

“Address?” the woman asked in a raspy voice.

Jack looked at the iron plate screwed onto the oak door of the building. “Sixty-four East Sixty-first Street.” She smiled as she heard the bass thumping through the door. By tomorrow, Avery Carlyle would be a complete nobody.

Hope she’s enjoying her last drink . . .

“Okay, ma’am, we’ll have someone investigate.” Marion hung up and Jack quickly scurried into the party, turning up Nas on the Bose dock as she collided with a nearly naked Sydney, wearing only boy shorts and a sheer tank top. She stalked over to the corner of the pool and yanked a semi-conscious Jiffy off Hugh Moore’s lap.

“We’ve got to go now,” she snapped.

“But Hugh and I were just getting to know each other!” Jiffy protested as Hugh smiled lasciviously, stroking his half beard.

“You don’t want to get to know him, trust me,” Jack said, still trying to yank Jiffy into a semi-standing position. Just then sirens wailed outside and there was an authoritative knock on the door.

Avery walked to the door, smiling and holding two bottles of rum. She looooved parties, especially when people were still coming this late. But as she yanked open the door, instead of cute St. Jude’s boys, she saw one short, squat woman and one super-tall, thin man, both clad in New York City Police Department uniforms. Ohmigod. Avery stood speechless.

And drunk.

“Noise complaint.” The short brunette officer held up a badge. Kids began streaming out the front door, eager to escape before their parents found out. The taller, male police officer shut the door and stood in front of it, causing a tide of people to rush back to the living room, where someone thoughtfully turned the music off and the lights on. Avery could see cups all over the floor and mysterious puddles in different areas. For a second, she imagined how trashed the upstairs must be and then snapped to attention. Obviously the cops weren’t here to see if the house was a mess.

“Whose party is this?” the female officer, whose tag read OFFICER BEECHER, asked, looking around. Without the music, people had gathered into groups of twos and threes. Hugh had taken Grandmother Avery’s rare edition of The Collected Works of Shakespeare off the shelf and was reading a monologue from Othello in a baritone voice. Officer Beecher raised an eyebrow at him, then looked back at Avery.

“We’re just having play rehearsal.” Hugh shrugged, trying to save Avery.

How sweet.

“It’s my party,” Avery said, trying to make her voice as authoritative as possible. She set the two bottles of rum down on the settee, hoping the officers hadn’t noticed. Owen came up behind her.

“Shit,” he whispered and put his arm around her protectively.

“Do you have ID?” Officer Beecher asked. Avery shook her head miserably. She could hear her heart pounding in her ears. They couldn’t arrest her, could they?

“Okay.” The male police officer frowned. “Do you have a party permit?”

“This is my grandmother’s house!” Avery said shrilly.

“Okay, well, we received a noise complaint. Where is your grandmother? Is she here?” Officer Beecher asked.

“She’s dead!” Avery wailed. Both officers rolled their eyes.

“Well, according to what we have here, the house is the property of a Meyers and Mooreland law firm. Unfortunately, until we speak with the owner of this house, we need to arrest you for trespassing. Put your hands behind your back.”

Avery’s heart flew into her throat. She wasn’t a criminal.

“Look, officer. I’m her brother . . .” Owen began, but neither of the officers seemed to hear him.

“It won’t hurt,” the male officer said as the cold metal snaked around Avery’s wrists and locked with a sickening clank.

“Okay, party’s over,” the female officer announced to the crowd. It wasn’t necessary. Everyone was already running in all directions.

“After party at my place!” Hugh yelled into the melee. Both officers led Avery out the door and into the back of the police cruiser. The red and blue lights cast an eerie glow over the deserted street. Avery heard her own desperate sniffles as she shuffled down the regal brownstone steps and toward the cruiser.

“You don’t really need to wear those.” The male officer gave Avery a sympathetic look as he unlocked the handcuffs and helped Avery into the backseat. Avery nodded gratefully, flexing her hands. She sat back in the police car, her head thumping numbly. She fingered the custom-made necklace she had worn under her dress for good luck. As the car came to a halt at a stoplight, she pulled it off to examine it.

The letters read A = SLOB in elegant cursive.

Avery stared at it, then broke into noisy, wracking sobs. She might as well get thrown in jail forever, because her life at Constance and the Upper East Side was absolutely and completely over.

“We’ve got a live one,” the male officer sighed.

Wait till she hurls all over them.

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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