Millionaire playboy Bruce Patman rose from his bed and walked to the window, stretching with the grace of a young lion. He smiled as he surveyed the grounds of the Patman estate. Life was good.
He was young (well, young-ish).
He was handsome.
He was rich.
The world was his oyster.
Bruce ran a tanned hand through his glossy dark hair and turned to his walk in closet. What would he wear today? What would suit the day’s activities? He ran over his schedule in his mind. He planned to drive around town in his Porsche for a while, before heading over to the Patman’s Canning Factory, the source of the family’s fortune. There he would spend some time in his state of the art office, with its glass and chrome furnishings - complete with an executive toy on the desk! Bruce sometimes spent hours on end gazing, enraptured, at the little silver balls going back and forth. And after work - well, that was when the real fun began. Bruce was the biggest party animal in California, and was never short of female companionship. When he pulled up in the Porsche outside LA’s hottest night clubs, he would be immediately surrounded by beautiful babes. But Bruce was fussy. He only liked women with golden tans, with eyes the colour of the Pacific ocean, with hair streaked blonde by the California sun.
He only liked women who reminded him of Jessica Wakefield.
Bruce’s smile faded as he thought of the Wakefield temptress. Jessica’s return to Sweet Valley had rekindled their long-dormant flames of passion, and the two had enjoyed a steamy affair. But after the defeat of Lila’s reign of terror, their romance had gone the same way as Boo Boo, Lila’s flying monkey. It was dead.
But somehow, Bruce could never get over it. He still found himself thinking of Jessica while he strutted on the dancefloor with women who were just pale imitations of the former SVH cheerleading captain. He sometimes even tried to recreate one of his and Jessica’s most dramatic moments together by picking up his dancing partners and spinning them over his head.
When he and Jessica had peformed those moves at the Sweet Valley High dance-off, it had been poetry in motion.
When he tried it with any other girl, the pair of them usually fell over and collapsed in a heap.
Bruce sighed as he pulled on a pale blue shirt and a pair of stylish chinos.
“Oh Jessica,” he said softly. “Will I ever see you again?”
Even as Bruce whispered those lonely words, the object of his affection was winging her way towards Sweet Valley. Jessica was seated in the pink satin lounger that was her favourite seat in her jet, the Hershey Bar.
“More champagne!” she cried, and a flunky, clad in the pink silk off-the-shoulder jumpsuit and wide silver belt that was the uniform of all of Jessica’s staff, ran forward to obey her command. Jessica popped another fresh strawberry between her perfectly-lined lips as she waited for her sparkling beverage. She found herself feeling quite excited about her return to Sweet Valley. She’d already started her novel, and was looking forward to holing herself up in the seclusion of her parents’ split-level ranch house and working on it. And then there was Lila.
And of course, Elizabeth. There had been differences between them in the past, but Jessica still felt a mysterious bond with her twin. Sometimes she felt an urge to write down snippets of hot celebrity gossip in Elizabeth’s distinctive style. She smiled. She couldn’t wait to see Elizabeth again. And the plane must be almost there by now. She turned to the flunky who had just presented her with a glass of bubbly.
“Hey,” she said. “What time is it?”
Jessica never wore a watch. It was actually pretty inconvenient, never knowing the time, but it was against her principles. After all, she reasoned, any party didn’t really start before she got there. Unfortunately, the filming of a big budget movie often did.
“Nearly four o’clock, Miss Wakefield,” said the minion. “We’ll be arriving in less than an hour.”
“Watch out, Sweet Valley,” she said, to her servant’s confusion. “I’m coming home!”