A/N: For those of you whom noticed, my chapter titles have all been the Major Arcana cards from the Tarot. This chapter's title is the first of the Minor Arcana cards. From here on out, the titles may have numbers in them that are out of sequence, and that's so that the title and meaning of the card still reflect the theme of the chapter. Not expecting this to make any sense to anyone other than me, but if it gets confusing to you guys, let me know. Thanks!


Alice and Salali had run around the malls, getting in on the post Christmas sales that sprung up like acne on a teen's face. Malcolm was forced to try and mass grade the exams from his classes if he wanted to take a weekend off for his brother's wedding, or else Salali would have pulled him along too.

Salali had bluntly told Alice that if she was going to be spending a weekend with Malcolm in a flashy hotel with a casino, they needed to get her clothing so he wouldn't be able to keep his hands off of her. Alice had burned a vibrant shade of red at how casually Salali discussed her relationship with Malcolm. Eventually Salali confessed that she hadn't been 100% sure that they were together until they took the time apart for exams. Before that she figured there was mutual interest, but after seeing how being apart was affecting both of them, Sal had deduced that she had a pair of love struck fools on her hands.

So now that Salali had Alice to herself in a mall full of sales, the large Native woman was determined to discover the perfect dress for Alice to wear to the wedding, the perfect lingere she was to have underneath, even the accessories had to pass her seal of approval. It was like shopping with a whirlwind, yanked from one shop to the next, and forced into whatever Salali deemed appropriate to try on.

Alice slumped into a chair, bags beside her sore feet and marvelled that the table didn't collapse when Sal leaned her weight on it. "I am so very, very done with shopping Salali. Pointe shoes don't hurt me as much as shopping with you does." she confessed with a sigh, smile playing at her lips.

"You say such hurtful things." Salali mock moaned in heartbreak. Alice grinned at her friend and offered to buy lunch. Yummy mall court food, ick. Alice thought as she grabbed Roasty Jacks {A/N: I just made myself hungry writing that. Roasy Jacks does roast beef dip sandwiches that are uber yummy}

They were eating in peace as Salali and Alice plotted her outfits for the wedding when Alice saw a face she could have gone without. Lexi and her friends stopped next to their table, sneering down at Alice and Salali. "Now I know why a skank like you had to sell herself so often. You needed the money to afford youyr grandmothers eating habit." she insulted as her friends laughed.

Alice looked up at them, more amused than offended. She didn't even have to reply, Salali beat her to it. "Little white girl, I could break you and suck hte marrow out of your bones, do you really think insulting my friend here is going to endear you to me? Now run along before this stops being entertaining and I scalp you for bothering me." the large Native woman's voice was ever gruffer than usual as she purposefully made herself sound crazed and dangerous.

Lexi looked shocked at Salali, obviously not used to adults casually threatening her. "You're done here, door's that way." Alice told her schoolmates.

"You're pathetic." Lexi hissed at Alice and walked away, nose up in the air.

"Someday she's going to have to thank you and ask for forgiveness, and when that happens, I want to to remind her of today." Salali said sagely, finishing her meal.

"Won't do any good. I've told her repeatedly what the difference between a stripper and a hooker is but she just doesn't get it yet. She was actually worried I was going to infect the male populace with an STD that she would eventually catch." Alice shook her head, amazed at some people's willful ignorance.

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