Summary: Juliana never had time for boys or any kind of social activity and only knew how to eat, sleep and excel academically. Everything was running smoothly until Derek Wyatt popped up, courtesy of a bet. Life as she knew it, will never be the same again.

Disclaimer: Everything which isn't familiar is mine.

Artificial Lust

Written by Amirah K.

Chapter 6: Smooth Move

(Derek)

'You're joking right?' I whispered fiercely.

All Scott did was give me the thumbs up. He continued flipping through his textbook and smiled evilly to himself.

'You do know she hates my guts, right?' I continued in desperation.

'Yeah.'

'And that my history with her spectacles isn't exactly pleasant, right?'

'Yeah.'

'You also know that she hasn't been on a single date her entire life, right?'

'I'm already planning on what I'll be doing with the 100 bucks, Wyatt. You better start cracking,' Scott laughed to himself and leaned against his chair.

I groaned and buried my head in my hands. Judith Davidson was not going to be easy. In fact, she was going to be the total opposite. In our year, she's famous for all the Academic Excellence awards she received over the years, and the mere fact that she's never been on a single date her entire life.

Don't get me wrong - she isn't ugly or anything. If she had actually bothered to put in effort to make herself up every morning and got a wardrobe change, she might even be considered a cutie. One or two brave men have even asked her out at the beginning of Junior High but everyone stopped trying altogether because the whole world knew Judith Davidson didn't date. Might I add that her being a genius and everything amplified the intimidating factor by additional ten notches?

The last bell of the day went off as I shoved the books into my bag. I swung it over my shoulder and left Scott in the classroom as a little revenge. I scanned the quadrangle for any sight of Judith and as soon as I saw the raven-haired girl I ran to the student parking lot and hopped into the new Mustang dad got me for my last year of high school.

Awesome? I know.

But anyway, I didn't have time to lose because cookies like these were tough to crack. Besides, leaving Scott in school without a ride seemed like a pretty darn good idea.

I caught a glance of her talking to Amanda Parker, another senior in our year. Once they went their ways, I revved the engine before leaving the school compound. Following her closely behind, I tried my best not to look like I was stalking her.

Which wouldn't be a problem, because I wasn't in the first place. Stalking, I mean.

She took a shortcut and suddenly disappeared from sight and I knew I had to follow her.

Parking the car at the side of the road, I climbed out and carefully followed her trail. Finally, I found myself walking through an abandoned park. The playground was out of order, the sign was faded and no one seemed to be in plain sight... Except for Judith.

She looked as if she was taking a nap but I knew otherwise because her lips were moving, as if she was singing to herself. She looked so different lying on the grass, as if the Judith I had multiple run-ins with today was a totally different persona.

I took a few steps forward. For all I know, the tough act she puts on in school merely acts a façade. Maybe, deep, deep down inside she really is, normal?

My foot treaded the grass carefully, until I found myself standing directly above her head. I bent a little lower and prepared myself for the worst that could happen. Her eyebrows creased and I gulped.

'Ju?'

Judith's eyes flew open immediately and she let out a blood-curling scream.

That, I wasn't prepared for.

'What are you doing here, Wyatt!'

She caught me completely off-guard that when she ran right past me, I stayed rooted to the ground. Once I finally realized what a wuss I had looked like in front of her, I chased after the psycho and everything else that escaped my lips were word vomit.

'Look, I'll get you a year's worth of spectacles if they mean so much to you and I swear I'll never wreck another pair again... I mean if it's so fragile why don't you wear contact lenses? My sister wears them and she says their fantastic. They don't fall off so easily and you don't even have to worry about hygiene because they've come up with this device which applies contact lenses for you without actually –'

I couldn't tell that I was monologuing until I was cut off by a very, very, very bad version of Rihanna's Umbrella. I looked up to see her attempting to drown me out, very childishly I might add.

' – YOU CAN STAY UNDER MY UMBRELLA, ELLA ELLA ELLA ELLA ELLA – '

I shut my eyes tightly as I grinded my teeth. Cleaning my ears, I shook my head to shake off the horror that was before me. What the hell was she doing? Didn't she realize she was disrupting the peace of an enclosed neighbourhood?

I stood rooted to the spot as I watched her singing figure fade away into the distance. I was in for a ride, all right. Not bothering to catch up with her and risk an ear infection, I returned to the Mustang and started the engine. I rested my head on the steering wheel, letting the migraine sink in.

I finally came to my senses and decided to call it a day. As I turned a corner into another familiar street, I caught a glimpse of her again and I thought, why not? Might as well give it a shot. Hey, that rhymes.

Hah.

I followed her again, and I was allowed to shorten the distance that kept us apart because she had stopped exhausting her lungs by then. I caught up with her just in time because she was just about to enter her house. I took a good look at the house she stayed in and noticed the unusual number of carved gnomes strewn across her lawn. Scratching my head, I pressed the horn lightly to get her attention. She stood in her tracks for a moment, looking a little agitated, before resuming her walking speed.

I suppressed a growl. This psycho was nothing like the other girls and this frustrated me. I could never work out her next move and she was as unpredictable as weather. My hand carefully placed itself on the middle of the steering wheel again and pressed the honk – softly.

Nothing I did today seemed to work so I decided to use the only alternative I knew that actually bore results – the Wyatt sigh. The sigh that made girls fall to my feet, the sigh that captured everyone's attention in a crowd, and the sigh that made me the smooth heartbreaker I am today.

'Look, Judith,' Sigh. 'I'm sorry.'

I let a hand run through my hair just for the added effect and lowered my head. I observed her carefully from the corner of my eye as I watched the Wyatt magic come in to play. As I saw her footsteps pause, I cheered inwardly and couldn't help but grin triumphantly.

The charm was at it again – ding ding ding!

She turned ever so slowly and I finally had a good look of her face. The smile plastered on her face looked a little too cheerful at first, but then it suddenly morphed into something completely creepy - like something out of Alice in Wonderland. I skidded my brakes and gulped as she approached my car.

'Judith?' she whispered hoarsely. She took two steps closer. 'Judith?'

I leaned back against the chair and felt the leather burn into my skin. Now I know something's seriously wrong with this chick. She kept saying her name as if it was vermin.

The creepy smile stretched across her face again and she was only two inches away from my face now. If I had known that I was going to be in for an earful, I wouldn't have crept closer to her.

'MY NAME IS NOT JUDITH, YOU MORON!' she screamed.

What?

'AND DON'T – ' She leaned in to punch the car horn. ' – EVER –' Honk. ' – HONK – ' Honk. '- ME AGAIN!'

She didn't forget to hold the car horn for the last one, obviously. Oh nooo. Judi – well, whatever her name is – did not forget to let the last honk drag on for what seemed like eternity because every other resident in her neighbourhood hurried out of their houses to see what the commotion was about.

By the time they did, she had run off of course, leaving me (in my bright red Mustang, might I add) to endure deathly glares from each and every pair of beady eyes within the fifteen-meter radius. Have I also mentioned that my car was the only visible vehicle on the street?

I sunk into my seat and avoided any form of eye contact with the angry mob that looked capable of chasing me with pitchforks and torches. My head narrowly missed a slipper, which had been thrown in my direction as I sped away. The choral yelling and cursing didn't help my hearing, either, because I made a promise never to show myself in this part of town ever again.


'You got her name wrong?' Scott asked ludicrously.

I stretched my neck and cracked my knuckles. 'She's crazy, Scott. I swear on Zookie's grave.'

Zookie was my pet beagle who died of bone cancer when I was twelve. So, swearing on his grave was definitely saying something.

'I'd go ape shit on you too if you stalked me and got my name wrong,' Scott mumbled to himself, bouncing the baseball off my bedroom wall.

I glared at him and snatched the baseball away. 'One, I did not stalk her.'

I didn't. I was merely following her closely to analyze what I was getting myself into for the rest of the year. Clearly, I was going to be dealing with something dangerous.

'Whatever you say, dude. Sounds like stalking to –'

'Two,' I cut him off before he could say anything else. 'How the hell was I supposed to know her name wasn't Judith?'

'That's because her name's Juliana you idiot.'

I stared at him with my mouth wide open. 'Then why didn't you tell me this when I was going on and on about Judith, you bastard?'

'Because I want the hundred bucks, sucker!'

In three seconds, I had him pinned to the ground, begging for his life to be spared. If only the second part was true, of course.

'Lighten up, Der!' Scott coughed, trying to catch his breath. 'It's only the first day. Why are you making such a big deal out of this anyway? See her in school tomorrow and apologize. It's as simple as that.'

I choked on the can of coke I was drinking. 'You want me to apologize?'

He nodded.

'You're kidding me right? Have you even been listening to a single word I've been saying all day? She's mental!' I threw my hands in the air and paced around my bedroom.

'Look, the only reason you're being a baby about this is because she's the first person who doesn't respond to your Wyatt sigh –'

But how does he –

'And don't give me that look, Wyatt. Yes, I know about your Wyatt sigh. Don't think I haven't heard girls gushing about it –' At this point, he began imitating girls like Tiffany who responded accurately to it.

I smirked. Who hasn't?

'The point is,' Scott cleared his throat, realizing he was going off-topic and that I enjoyed every second of it. 'You've just made an ass of yourself in front of her, and I'm going to win my hundred bucks!'

He started laughing hysterically out loud and if it wasn't for the can of coke in my hand, I would have stuffed my pillow into his mouth. My Spidey Sense was tingling again and something told me that the bet was a lost cause and that I was only going to make a fool of myself.

I've always trusted my Spidey sense.

So why was it backfiring on me now?


Author's Note:

My DEEPEST apologies to all my readers. I've abandoned this story for three years and I really regret it... I'm in my final year of high school and my exams start in approximately four months. Nevertheless, I'm trying my best to update frequently.

To any old readers (though I doubt there will be any), I've changed a lot of details like their names and added scenes here and there. It's quite revamped, if I do say so myself, so I hope everyone enjoys it just as they did with the first draft. I hope this new chapter isn't disappointing because it's kinda rushed. Do review and tell me what's wrong and I will do my best to edit it.

I don't live in America but this story is set in a fictional town in the states so if there are any errors, don't hesitate.

I bet I've lost all the original readers so to the new ones – I hope you guys like it!

I don't have anything else to say, really, because I'm excited to publish this so, au revoir!

Amirah.