“Mila, how long until Emma returns?” I asked just after stepping into my home with Alma.
“In just over two minutes, master.” she replied.
“Right. Is everyone on their way out here?” I inquired.
“Of course, master. Several of them are in the ballroom.” she informed me.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
“I had planned to switch dresses.” she explained. “This is hardly fitting for a birthday party.”
I smirked as I said, “I’m sure there are many who would disagree, but I would bet you can change and beat her inside.”
Alma nodded and rushed from the room.
“Oooh. How much would you bet!?” exclaimed Aaliyah appearing beside me.
“If you’re betting against her, nothing.” I replied.
“Oh, I would bet on her too. I was merely going to place my bet based off what you were to wager.” insisted Aaliyah.
“Which door do you think Emma will use?” I asked.
“The one on the left.” she replied.
“Mother had me lock the garage door earlier today. Emma seems distracted by her thoughts, so she probably won’t think to ask me to unlock it until she’s at least partway here.” explained Mila.
As she talked more of my friends joined us, taking places behind me.
“Are we going to yell surprise or something?” asked Jemal.
Kayla blew her party horn.
“Shhh… Not yet!” reprimanded Jemal.
“I’m using my prototype confetti gun.” stated Jarod with a grin.
“Could’ve made me one!” exclaimed Brandon as he aimed three confetti cannons between his fingers.
“He didn’t make us one either.” complained the twins in unison.
“Aim higher. You don’t want to shoot her in the face!” insisted Deyanira.
“Huh? Have you never used one of these things?” he asked.
“Brandon always aims for people’s heads.” complained Brenna as she shoved his arm up.
“Th-that’s not… n-nice.” mumbled Raine, suddenly appearing behind him.
Brandon and Deyanira both jumped.
“Geesh… I’ll aim higher, okay?” stated Brandon.
“Isn’t Marco coming out?” asked Portentia.
“He is working on dinner for the party. My other body is assisting him, but we’re not at a point where he’d be willing to stop.” explained Mila, walking into the room in a multi-colored maid outfit.
“Shhh… Sh-she’s coming.” whispered Raine.
“You can hear that!?” asked Deyanira in a loud whisper.
Raine nodded, and I got ready, hearing the first door open.
Opening the door, Emma jumped as the noisemakers merged with the shouts of “Surprise!” and “Happy birthday!”, but she grinned as she watched Jarod’s gun continue raining confetti over everything.
“I thought the party wasn’t starting for a couple hours!” she exclaimed.
“We wanted to surprise you!” exclaimed Kayla.
“Guests will be arriving over and an hour and a half earlier than I had previously told you.” warned Mila.
“You’re coming with us.” commanded Mai as she stepped over to Emma.
Right behind her, Ai said, “We call first present.”
“Mila got the first kiss today, so I think she won.” teased Emma, still smiling.
“The kisses don’t count.” they told her in unison as they started pulling her off to their wing.
“Can I come!?” asked Kayla.
The twins stopped, looked at her, looked at one another, and shrugged. Then continued on their way.
“Let’s go!” exclaimed Aaliyah, grabbing Kayla’s hand and chasing after them.
A gust of wind from a spell swept some of the confetti off the floor, sending it flying into Brandon and Deyanira.
Frowning, Brandon said, “I’m not the party girl.”
“But you make such a nice party girl.” teased Brenna with a grin.
He smiled and told her “It’s so on, sis.”
As he went to grab her, Deyanira pulled on his shirt and said, “What’s she mean?”
“Oh… uh…” replied Brandon, looking a bit panicked.
“Let me help you with that.” I told him, creating a spell to gather up the mess from the floor and Brandon.
“Imagine this.” ordered Cosette as she changed herself to look like a smaller version of Brandon.
Deyanira stared at her in shock for a few seconds before looking up at Brandon.
“No, I can’t change myself as much as she can.” he stated.
“You like cross-dressing?” she asked.
“I wouldn’t say that…” he told her.
Jemal was staring at everyone with wide eyes while looking a little uncomfortable with the conversation.
“Just tell her.” I suggested. “Brenna’s bound to show her pictures eventually.”
“What!?” exclaimed Brandon. He turned to his sister and asked “You have pictures?”
“Fess up.” stated Deyanira, putting her hands on her hips as she stared him down.
“Nothing big really. I’ve changed into a girl a few times.” he told her.
Her jaw literally dropped open as Brandon demonstrated, shrinking and changing.
“Dude! Your pants!” exclaimed Jemal.
“Sorry! You try turning into a girl and catching your pants at the same time. It’s not easy.” replied Brandon as he grabbed them.
“Then I suggest you never change like that in front of others.” stated Alma.
“Or just practice in your free time.” suggested Cosette with a smile.
“Come on… the shirt’s huge on me now, so it’s not like anyone saw anything.” argued Brandon.
“I certainly saw something. Why didn’t you tell me about this!?” asked Deyanira.
“You don’t feel it’s more of a month together type of thing?” he inquired.
“Just change back before people arrive.” I told him.
He nodded and changed, growing into his clothing while becoming more masculine.
“I just realized that you could borrow my outfits and not look weird. Just don’t look better than me in them.” stated Deyanira, still looking a bit shocked.
“Whoa. That’d be way too awkward.” argued Brandon.
“When aren’t you awkward?” teased Brenna.
“Ha ha.” he replied, sounding odd as his voice was transforming.
The teasing continued clear up until Mila notified us of the first guest reaching the gate. Emma had invited a number of her other friends, some of which were clients as well. None of them escaped Emma’s kiss everyone policy when she arrived, wearing a red, knee-length dress with sheer stripes across the bottom as well as her stomach.
We started off playing numerous party games while having a bit of light snacking, and then had a magnificent dinner. We ended up playing one quiz-based game, but only the one. Mila, Aaliyah, and Alma were deemed unbeatable with Jarod coming in shortly behind. I felt I held my own reasonably well, considering those four were opponents.
The cake was elegant and every bit as elaborate as I expected of Marco with a taste to match. Alma relit a couple of the candles as Emma tried blowing them out, but Emma seemed to be having fun with it.
Through the course of the evening I was surprised to find that a couple of the girls who came were Emma’s exes, but I was pleased to hear things hadn’t ended poorly with those two. Apparently there were more dramatic break ups as well.
Emma’s favorite movie was played in the theater room, and I was quite tempted to opt out, having seen it once. I didn’t keep count, but Jemal might’ve gone through more tissues than any of the girls. Never Let Me Go was that type of movie though. Even Brandon didn’t keep it together. I watched Alma more than the movie throughout it, and I could tell scenes got to her as well through the slight twitching of her eyes or mouth.
At the end, Emma demanded a group hug, so we all obliged her. With all said and done, I felt she was happy with her birthday.