Chapter 3: Alterations

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Peter wakes up the next day to the sound of ocean waves and seagulls. He isn't sure what time it is, but their room is filled with sunlight and the smell of the ocean and fresh Hawaiian air.

He sits up a little, rubbing his eyes. After being so jet lagged yesterday, it takes him longer than he cares to admit to even remember that he's not home in his apartment.

He turns to look at the other side of the bed when he remembers MJ is there next to him. She's still fast asleep; one of her arms curled beneath her head, the other laying flat against the sheet beneath her. Her lips are parted slightly as she breathes evenly, and he lays back down against the bed and yawns, trying not to wake her. He's actually pretty impressed that she's still asleep since she slept so much yesterday.

He turns and looks out the glass window, smiling at the beauty of it and the excitement of all the new things he's going to experience on this vacation. He can't remember the last time he woke up and felt this happy and carefree, and it almost feels surreal to be here right now.

So he clasps his hands together and puts them behind his head, his elbows pointed up as he tries to fully relax and enjoy all of his beautiful surroundings. He glances over at MJ again, savoring this rare moment where she doesn't have a scowl on her face and she's not mocking him. She's just there, her face and body relaxed, and she actually looks peaceful. It's sort of weird to see her like this.

He's still staring at her when there's a loud knock on the door, startling him. He lays down and closes his eyes then, pretending to be asleep.

"God," MJ groans loudly, pulling the pillow over her head.

"Michelle? Peter? We're having a family tennis game in twenty minutes! Open up!" Her aunt knocks on the door, and Peter shifts to his side, turning toward MJ.

"Get up and get the door," MJ kicks him beneath the blanket, dropping her arm over the pillow that's still on her head.

"No! She's your aunt—that's weird!" he insists, whispering so she can't hear him. "I'm not going to...to answer the door after she knows we just slept together!"

"Everyone here already thinks we're screwing, Peter!" MJ pulls the blanket and pillow from her head, very clearly annoyed. She squints her eyes, hair in her face as she stares at him.

"That doesn't make me feel any better," he replies, and then her aunt knocks on the door again.

"You're absolutely no help," she groans again in frustration, pulling the blanket off of herself and walking sleepily to the door. Peter sits up and fixes his hair, breathing in.

"Good morning!" Her aunt walks in, already having a cocktail in her hand, pushing her sunglasses to the top of her head with her other. "Sleepyhead's—it's already almost ten! Michelle you need to come to my room for a few minutes to put on your new outfit. Oh, and I brought a gift for you—something I think Peter might really like too if you know what I mean."

She pulls a decent-sized box from the beach bag hanging on her arm, the box wrapped in a pink bow.

"Oh, like a shared gift thing?" Peter smiles and stands up to look, unsure of what they're talking about. MJ just subtly shakes her head at him, sighing. He furrows his eyebrows in confusion, as MJ pulls the bow off, and opens the box.

Her aunt smiles and takes a sip of her drink, anxiously waiting for MJ to see what it is.

"Oh...yay," MJ forces a smile, pulling a black piece of fabric from the box. It's silk and lace and ninety-five percent see-through, and Peter gulps. Her family is so weird.

"I'm so glad you're grown enough now for me to be able to give you things like this," Kyra sighs, patting her on the back. "Do you like it?"

"Yeah, yeah, of course," MJ laughs, setting it back down and picking up the matching thong. There's practically nothing even there to hold up as her fingers hold the strings on either side. "Thanks, Aunt Kyra. Too bad we didn't have this last night, huh, Peter?"

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