Duckling to Swan : The Bachelor, Hasslich Edition : Day One (Introductions)

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Notes for Day One : Introductions are initiated by me, but I will not cancel subsequent actions – this way the relationships will evolve more organically, and the conversation will end whenever the participants “choose.”  Also, when The Bachelor rolls his first whim for any of the girls, that girl will be deemed “safe” from the Round One elimination.


 

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Well, it’s finally time to get this show on the road, and Derek is so excited to meet the ladies that he practically sprints up to the front door.

Come on, dude, keep your cool, he whispers to himself, smoothing his shirt, Get it together.  He takes a deep breath and wraps his fingers around the door handle when a voice rings out, and interrupts his internal pep talk.

“Hello?!” sings a female voice from behind him.  “Yoohoo! Over here!  Yes you. You must be the bachelor.”  There’s an undeniably lascivious emphasis on the last word.

Derek turns, and finds himself face to face with Norah Churchill.

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“I’m Norah,” she intones.  There’s something in her voice that suggests a high degree of elegance.  This one comes from money, he realizes immediately.  “You’re perfectly enchanted to meet me, I’m sure.”

Derek stifles a grin.  “That I am,” he agrees.  “Have you had the chance to look around?”

“Oh, yes,” she says, sounding bored.  “It’s rather primitive, I’m afraid, but what can you expect on from low-budget reality television?”

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Derek laughs.  He’s not sure if she’s kidding (she must be kidding, right?) but he excuses himself to head inside.  There are nine ladies to meet tonight, and the sun is already beginning to set.

He makes his way inside the mansion, and as he heads down the hall, a flash of bright red hair catches his eye.

“You must be the bachelor!” Marissa smiles, before offering her name.

04-29-16_5-28-55 PM

“Derek,” he introduces himself in return.  “It’s very nice to meet you, Marissa.”

They sit down on a bench nearby, and Marissa gratefully lets him lead the conversation.  He’s good at small talk, she thinks, and she’s glad that at least one of them is.  If there’s one thing she’s good at, Marissa has learned, it’s putting her foot in her mouth.

04-29-16_5-30-00 PM

Marissa realizes she’s been so worried about saying the right thing, that she hasn’t said anything at all.  Or heard half of what he just said, for that matter.  Quick, think fast! she tells herself, Say something!  Anything!

“Rocket ship woohoo!” she blurts.  “Omigod, omigod.” She buries her face in her hands. “Excuse me, I need to use the bathroom.  I mean – NOT the bathroom!  I don’t go to the bathroom!  Not that I’m constipated or anything!  OMIGOD!”

Derek laughs as he watches her flee down the hall.  A little awkward, he thinks, but awkward can be endearing.

There’s noise coming from down the hall, and Derek follows the sound to the kitchen, where he finds Deven, completely immersed in photographing her Fruit Loops.

04-29-16_5-34-30 PM

“Not exactly gourmet,” he teases her, “but definitely colorful. I’m Derek – the uh… the bachelor.”

“Deven,” she replies curtly.  “I can do a lot better than Fruit Loops, you know.”

“I’ll bet.”  Derek grins, but Deven does not return the smile.  This one might be a tough nut to crack.

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But Deven surprises him.  She cocks and eyebrow and continues, “There was this TINY incident with some grilled cheese yesterday, okay?  Gourmet grilled cheese, obviously.  But, uh, I’m just keeping it simple until the producers stock us with some quality ingredients.”

“Right,” Derek tosses her a mischievous grin, hoping she’ll take the bait.  And luckily, she does.

04-29-16_5-36-40 PM

Deven lets out a genuine belly laugh, and Derek thinks that maybe – just maybe – she’s not such a tough cookie after all.

Later, Derek wanders the second floor halls, looking for the bedroom that will be his headquarters for the next few weeks, when he spots a dark-haired beauty with a sad look on her face.

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“Are you okay?” he asks, thinking maybe she’s homesick already.  “I’m Derek.”

Walburga sniffles and sighs heavily.  She isn’t homesick, she’s just feeling blue, which is not unfamiliar territory for her.

“I’m…. fine,” she says in a way that makes it clear she’s anything but.  “I’m Walburga Mortis.  You can call me Miss Mortis, I guess.” She frowns.

Derek’s mouth also turns down at the corners.  She’s very formal, this Miss Mortis.  He’s about to open his mouth to respond, when she bursts into tears, crying all over her plate and getting her hot dog soggy.

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“Just…just…leave me,” she wails.  And so he does.

Derek realizes now that he’s tired.  He’s only met four of the nine women, but it’s midnight already, according to his watch.  He needs his sleep – the other women will just have to wait until morning.

Derek drags himself into his temporary bedroom, and flops onto the bed.  He’s just about to kick off his shoes, when a pretty blonde bounces into the room – unannounced.

“Um… hi?” he greets the blonde with some hesitation.

“Hi!  I’m Lexie, and you must be Derek.  Word gets around fast in a house with nine women!”

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“Ya don’t say!” Derek mumbles groggily.  He is exhausted, but a second look at Lexie brings him back to life.  Not that it matters, because Lexie is chattering on animatedly with little to no encouragement, and before he knows it, she joins him on the bed.

“This whole thing is just so romantic!” she gushes.  “Have you seen the gardens in the backyard?  I mean, it’s JUST like my favorite book.  Have you ever been to Shang Simla?  Or Champs Les Sims?  I haven’t – not yet – but someday I will, and it will be the most romantic thing ever, don’t you think? I’ve always wanted to go somewhere exotic with my one true love!”

Derek shifts uncomfortably at the meaningful look she shoots him.

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“I’m sure it would be very romantic,” he agrees, as he ushers her out the door.  It’s been a long day, even for an outgoing guy like Derek, and it’s time for him to get some rest.


The next morning, Derek rolls out of bed and stumbles to the patio for some breakfast.  He’s feeling a bit tense, but that changes instantly when Priya joins him at the table.

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“Will you grace me with your presence, Your Highness?” she teases lightly.  Priya is not happy to have been overlooked last night, but she will never let Derek know that.  Feeding the male ego is not part of her strategy for this competition.

Derek has the decency to look guilty.  “Sorry about that,” he appeases her.  “It was just so late….”

“I understand!” she smiles brightly.  “But if you’ll excuse me, I have to complete my daily logic puzzles.  Gotta keep my mind sharp, you know!”

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Hard to get, as it turns out, is part of Priya’s strategy.  And Derek, predictably, is intrigued.

But with Priya gone, Derek wanders to the kitchen for a cup of coffee.  He’s sipping happily away when Cam walks in.  She’s in a world of her own, and she jumps when Derek says, “Good morning.”

Cam laughs at her own jumpiness, and cheerfully introduces herself.  She’s been up since the crack of dawn, and she’s excited to finally be meeting the bachelor.

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“I’m Camille,” she says, “but no one ever calls me that.  You can just call me Cam.”

Derek nods his head in agreement.  “Okay, Cam.  I like the sound of that.  It suits you.”

Cam knows how to talk to guys.  Or at least to her brothers, and before she can stop herself, she tells Derek her favorite gross joke – the one her brothers love.  She holds her breath briefly, waiting for Derek’s reaction (this is exactly the kind of thing Kira told her NOT to do), but Derek bursts out laughing.  And Cam decides then and there, that he’s her kind of guy.

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When Cam leaves the kitchen, Derek looks at his watch and realizes that there are still two more women he needs to meet.

He runs into Emmeline first, outside on the patio.  She greets him with a shimmy and a spin, and before she even offers her name, she says, “Why bother keeping these other girls around, Derek?  I mean, we already know I’ve got this in the bag.  I mean – look at me!  And look at them.” She cocks an eyebrow in apparent disgust.

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Derek isn’t quite sure what to make of her attitude – but he thinks she’s not wrong about her looks.

Emmeline joins him at the table and leans in close.

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“I’ll make this easy on you, Derek,” she whispers.  “I know you have to play this little game – rules and all, I get it.  But I’m not some jealous little twit, okay?  We both know who you’re coming home to at the end of all this.”

Derek’s eyes widen – he’s never met a woman as forward as Emmeline.  Part of him recoils at her advances – she hasn’t exactly been nice about the other women, after all – but there’s another part of him, he realizes, that’s drawn to her confidence.  He regards her, eyeing her up and down, because, MY PLUM, that dress! — when Cam approaches them at the table.

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Perhaps Cam isn’t quite as innocent or naive as everyone thinks.  Her presence breaks up their little rendezvous, and breaks Derek from Emmeline’s spell.

“Wow!” he says, looking at his watch, “I need to go make my last introduction.  It’s been nice talking to you, Emmeline.” He goes off in search of Eiline, leaving Cam and Emmeline alone.

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“Listen up, you little nitwit,” Emmeline spews, “I don’t know what you think you’re doing here, but you might as well just admit defeat now.  It’ll be easier on your fragile ego later on, when Derek sends your tomboy plum home.  He needs a real woman, which clearly, you are not.”

Cam doesn’t even blink.  She’s no stranger to smack talk, but she determines not to lower herself to this nonsense.  And so she only smiles, and turns her back on the venomous blonde.

Meanwhile, Derek has finally caught up with Eiline outside in the gardens, not far from Eiline’s favorite hiding spot.

“You must be Derek,” she says quietly, and Derek thinks he likes the softness of her voice.

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They chat amicably for awhile – Eilene shares her love of painting and Derek shares his love for books, and the two bond quickly over their mutual passion for the arts.  They have a lot in common, as it turns out.  Plus, Derek thinks, he likes the smell of her shampoo.

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But as the sun begins to set, Derek looks up at the sky and on a whim, realizes that what he wants most right now is to cloudgaze – with Priya Dewan.

He finds Priya inside, hanging out with Lexie in the party room.  This is a little awkward, he admits to himself, but then this is how this competition works, isn’t it?  He might as well get used to it now.

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Priya agrees to the cloudgazing, but by the time they make it outside, it’s already dusk, and more like stargazing.

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Not that it matters to Derek.  He hasn’t known Priya for long, but he knows he won’t be sending her home at Elimination.

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“Priya,” he says to her, “I have really enjoyed our time together tonight, and I want you to know that you are safe from Elimination.”


[PRIYA]

04-29-16_7-07-27 PM

Did you expect any less?  Of course I’m safe from elimination.  I’m a genius.  Like I said, it’s all about the strategy.


[DEREK]

04-29-16_7-14-11 PM

Well, at least I know I’m keeping Priya around.  She’s just so genuine and sweet.  Which isn’t to say I know who I’ll wind up sending home.  Far from it, actually.  The women are all so different, and I really haven’t had time to get to know them all yet.  But tomorrow’s another day – maybe The Welcome Party will bring some clarity…

 

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