Welcome to another installment of Biff and Mary!
Today's episode is brought to you by alliteration, autonomous body parts, unnecessary descriptions and a few common phrases I seem to see in nearly every book I've read lately (if you know which ones I mean and find them in the chapter, let me know in the comments!)
Those of you who have read the previous chapters (just click the Biff and Mary tab, above, if you'd like to review) will recall that we last left our lovely couple in the doorway at Mary's house, with Mary embracing a strange man, leaving poor Biff stunned and stymied...
Chapter Fifteen: In Which Biff Becomes Excessively Envious
Biff stood silently behind Mary, in an uncomfortable quandary, wondering if he should interrupt her embrace of the unknown man or sustain his stoic nonchalant stance. As he frowned at the affectionate display in the doorway, a sparkle outside drew his attention and he gazed over Phillipe’s red Robert Graham garrison sport shirt-clad shoulder at the car parked at the end of the drive. It was a BMW 1 Series Sport Edition Convertible in Carbon Black metallic paint finish with 18” M light alloy V-spoke wheels, adaptive Xenon headlights, shiny chrome accents and tailpipe and polished black vertical bars in the distinctive kidney grille. The slowly setting sun caused the BMW’s shadow to hover ominously over Biff’s practical Prius, which – as he saw now – really needed to be washed, dried, and buffed to a proper shine, though it would likely never have the perfectly polished presence of Phillipe’s vehicle.
Biff sighed and his eyes moved away from the driveway drama, only to find that the Phillipe/Mary embrace disturbingly continued. Just as Biff was reaching out to poke a proprietary pinkie on Phillipe’s admirably clothed arm, Mary finally drew back and away, though her smile was wide and bright and not directed at Biff at all.
“Oh, Phillipe! I can’t believe you’re here! How did you ever know where to find me?” Mary bubbled as she ignored Biff.
Phillipe flipped his medium-length brown-with-reddish-highlights hair back out of his chocolate brown eyes and flashed Mary a stunningly spectacular grin.
“I stopped by your parents’ place, and your mother was very accommodating with your address, so I jumped in the Beamer and headed straight for Loversville!”
“But, but I thought you were in Paris until fall!”
Phillipe’s eyes rolled heavenward with exhausted ennui. “Paris simply bored me, Mary. One can take only so many parties and fashion shows and yachts, after all. So, here I am! Back to see my lovely Mary!” Phillipe grasped Mary’s lightly tanned and toned arms and pulled her in for yet another enthusiastic embrace.
His “lovely Mary”?? Biff’s eyes widened and his fists clenched in an unfamiliar way as he was filled with a new, incomprehensible emotion. He panicked as he felt his heartbeat increase to a disturbing cadence and the depth of his frown threatened to crease the Revlon Cover-me-Up in Fair Maiden Ivory concealer he’d applied to the stubborn behemoth of blemish on his forehead. His lungs filled and refilled with air at a much faster than normal pace and he began to feel rather faint as he stared ineffectually at his lovely Mary in this insolent intruder’s arms. He felt beads of moisture on his brow, and after thinking about it for a moment he realized it must be sweat – something he’d heard of but never experienced, of course, as sweating was simply not done in his circles. A sense of shame as well as fear began to join the other unknown emotion that caused his rapid breathing and clenched fists as he surreptitiously swiped his sleeve across his seriously sweaty brow.
Just when he felt he may explode in some inexplicable but likely meaningful way, Mary drew away from Phillipe once more. As her mouth opened to speak, a shrill series of yelps echoed from beyond the kitchen.
“Oh! Poor Poopsie!” Mary exclaimed, running toward the back door. “I’m coming, sweetiekins!”
For a swift but seemingly interminable moment, Biff was left staring at Phillipe, begrudgingly admiring the Robert Graham shirt and the beige Cutter & Buck twill pants as well as the hickory shade of his Ferragamo Sabatino driving shoes and the Versace sunglasses that hung haphazardly out of his shirt pocket. As his breathing began to return to normal, he looked up only to find Phillipe’s gaze on his own shoes.
The mutual assessment was interrupted by a rocketing ball of pink fur and tiny snapping maw, as Poopsie barreled into the room. Having been on the receiving end of Poopsie’s protective nature, Biff’s feet took an instinctive step backward.
Phillipe, meanwhile, stooped down and caught the ricocheting puffball in mid-bark.
“Hey! This can’t be little Poopsie, can it?” he said as he gathered the previously-problematic pup against his chest. “Last time I saw you, you had to be at least two ounces lighter and a lovely shade of lilac.” He turned to Mary. “You simply must tell me who her stylist is. They’ve done a wonderful job and I’ve been looking for a new one for my Lhasa, Lawrence.”
“Oh, I bring her to Penny at Paulette’s Pampered Pooch Emporium on the corner of Pearl and Pickwick. They let you pick from plenty of powdery pastels! Lawrence would look lovely in a light lilac, I’m sure!”
Momentarily ignoring the dog stylist discussion, Biff felt his mouth drop open in shock as Poopsie sniffed Phillipe delicately, and then her little pink tongue reached out and licked his hand, tail wagging in apparent friendly recognition. Biff looked down at his bandage-bearing thumb, which still throbbed slightly from Poopsie’s earlier attack, then felt his scowl deepen as he turned toward Mary.
Mary was smiling a blinding, larger than ever, dazzling Crest White Strips smile as she gazed adoringly at…at Phillipe!
“Oh Phillipe, it is SO wonderful to see you again!” she gushed, seeming to forget about Biff entirely.
Biff forced a polite but firm “ahem” from his throat, causing all three to turn their attention his way. Poopsie began growling menacingly.
“Oh good heavens!” Mary exclaimed. “How could I be so rude!” She took a step toward Biff and grasped his arm. “Phillipe, I’d like you to meet my beau, Biff!”
Phillipe gave Biff another assessing look before he shifted Poopsie in his arms and his free hand reached out in a seemingly friendly way. He grasped Biff’s hand firmly. “Good to meet you.”
“Same,” Biff said, unable to force himself to friendliness.
“Biff,” Mary addressed him – finally! “This is Phillipe Jean-Paul Boutonniere the Third, of the Boston Boutonnieres, so well-known for their baby bunting and bauble businesses in both Boston and Baltimore, of course. He and I were…er…good friends back home.”
Biff nodded, regaining enough composure to possessively place his hand over Mary’s as it rested on his arm. He smiled a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes and released the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding.
Phillipe carefully placed Poopsie on the floor and she sauntered off to her pillow in the living area, pausing along the way to glare and growl at Biff.
“Well, now that all that is out of the way,” he announced cheerfully, “we can get to business. Mary, I would love to take you to dinner this evening…what do you say?”
As Biff’s mouth dropped open once again at the audacity of the incessantly insolent interloper, wondering what he should do next as he’d never been in a position to purposely pound upon a person to possessively point out who, in fact, was in charge here, he felt Mary’s hand leave his arm as she walked toward Phillipe once more.
“Oh, Phillipe! That would be…”
Will Mary accept Phillipe’s offer?
Will Biff figure out how to confront Phillipe?
Will any boxes ever get unpacked?
Tune in next time! J