Heeey. Not as long of a wait this time hmm? Getting back on the ball haha. So, here we have the latest installment. Enjoy!

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Nicole smiled as she walked through the mall, though her arms were still deprived of shopping bags as of yet. It was Sunday, and all of the casting had been done nearly all of Saturday with Jordan. As was expected, many of the characters were a bit hard to cast for. She could imagine the initial surge of people when Jordan posted their little sheet of notebook paper outside the drama room on Monday.

She passed the Starbucks located at the center of the mall, heading down the next half, aware that she was headed straight towards the store she wanted to stay away from.

There was a red dress, as usual, shimmering gently in the store window. It was a bit slinky, though it covered all the right places and the angled bottom just reached the floor on one side. It seemed so elegant, something that Jennifer Lopez might wear, something that showed she took risks. This was her last year hoping to go to the semi-formal before Christmas, and there was no way she would be able to afford the $525 dress.

She sighed slightly, resisting the urge to walk inside and see if they had her size, just to try it on and see how it looked. However, if she were to try it on, she would probably never take it off.

How long she had been staring at it wistfully in the window, she did not know, but all she did know was that a tap on her shoulder interrupted her thoughts. She turned.

A ridiculously tall woman stood before her, her hair looking dry and deep smudges of blush on her cheeks. Because the woman's nametag was the first Nicole saw, she figured that her name was Rosie and she worked at Express, just across from her.

"Hi! You know, I've just kinda been watching you for awhile, stare at this red dress. It's a pity this place is so expensive, that dress is something I've seen many people have their eyes on," she commented, her penciled-in eyebrows rising slightly as she explained.

Nicole shrugged "I wish I had enough money. But I'm sure there's bound to be something like it around elsewhere."

The woman nodded "Perhaps. You should watch it though, it might go on sale. I heard them talking this morning while we were opening up and I think they're having a sale next weekend."

Her eyes lit up, though she still doubted the dress would be anymore affordable if it was put on sale "I hope so. Thanks!" Nicole smiled, taking another glance at the dress, and turning to continue on her way.

She was just walking past the store's entrance when her shoe caught on the hem of her long pants, and Nicole was sent sprawling onto the floor. The first person to come to her rescue was a woman from inside the store.

"Oh my dear, darling are you alright?" she asked, several wrinkles on her face showing worry.

Nicole fought off the urge to laugh, as she always seemed to find humor in her clumsy moments "Yeah, I'm fine thanks. Just tripped over myself."

The woman smiled, "You're welcome, hun. So, I happened to see you eyeing the red dress in the window."

Nicole sighed as she stood up, brushing imaginary dirt and dust from her body, "I was. It's beautiful."

She nodded, "You must be the first person I've seen staring at that dress that would look absolutely perfect in it," she leaned in closer, as though about to tell her confidential information "And it's going on sale next weekend for $350. Just some inside information for you, incase you were thinking about investing."

Nicole grinned at the price, even though it was still well over what her mother would want to pay for it. "I'll think about it. Thank you!"

On her way out, she was just passing the red dress once more, her eyes glued on it, when she ran right into someone else.

She was not surprised to find it was Will Perelli.

"Look at this, a pretty girl walking around in the mall with no bags. I am appalled. My view on women has been drastically changed," he said, placing his hand over his heart as though in shock.

Nicole rolled her eyes "I'm trying to save my money, for your information. Now I need to get away from this window, I've been stuck here for the past ten minutes and I can't take it anymore."

Will grinned, "Whoa whoa what's the problem?"

She sighed, nodding blankly to the window beside her, not wanting to look again "Really want that dress for the semi. It's over $500 and only going on sale next weekend for $350. And I'm not even close to being able to afford it."

He looked at it, seemingly surprised as well by it. "Holy shit. This would look great on you!"

Nicole smiled slightly at his comment, "Thanks, but, there's no way I'll be getting it."

He shrugged, starting to walk the opposite direction as she followed "You don't know that. Maybe Santa will bring it as an early gift."

She rolled her eyes "I highly doubt that."

"Hey you never know. So, you wanna get a bite to eat or something?" he asked.

"Yeah, I suppose I'm a bit hungry. Where should we eat?"

"I want pizza," he declared.

"No."

"Yes."

"Taco Bell is better," she challenged

"No."

"Yes."

"Stop walking like that Nicole, I can't stop staring at your ass."

She slapped him playfully on the arm "Don't get off the subject!"

He grinned innocently "Fine, Taco Bell."

"Woo!"

"And in return I get to stare at your ass."

"Just what is it with you and getting something in return all the time," she laughed at him, and he cowered behind a large, cardboard Ronald McDonald sign as they passed McDonald's.

"Plllleeeease don't punish me!" he wailed jokingly.

She grabbed him by the shirt, pulling him away and leading him to Taco Bell, both laughing together.

~*~

That morning, Nicole pulled into the student parking lot before anyone else, except a rusty Ford pickup she noticed parked in the vicinity of her spot. She grinned; they were ready to post the sheet.

There had been something about the day that made her feel like looking nice, so she wore her jean skirt, high black boots, and a cute vintage shirt with three-quarter length sleeves. Nicole had put extra gel in her hair that morning, just so that its usual straight texture would look a bit messier and sexier, cute silver hoops hanging from her ears. There was a bit of stumbling as she trudged quickly up the hill to school, seeing as it was so steep and the heels on her boots were tall. Finally, she made it to the school.

Nicole was always unnerved by walking down the hall with high heels and being able to hear the clunk of them on the dirty tiled floors. She took in the standard sight as she pulled open the heavy door: endless walls of blue lockers and the lone trophy cabinet displaying the school's state championship football trophy from last year. However, people were usually in the halls when she arrived.

She sighed, overlooking the clunk of her shoes on the floor as she passed the lockers and open classroom doors, headed straight for the drama room. Sure enough, she turned the corner and Jordan was leaning against the wall beside the room, looking over a paper in his hand.

He looked up at her with a grin on his face, though his eyes seemed to glaze over for a moment when she smiled at him, clumsily sprinting the last few stretches to get there. "Hey!" she exclaimed cheerfully, tossing her purse down and putting her hands on her hips.

For a few moments his vocal chords seemed not to be functioning, then he coughed and regained his composure "This sure is gonna be crazy once people arrive."

Nicole continued smiling, messing with her hair a bit to make it look still messier "I know. As far as I know we're the only people in the parking lot but the busses arrive in ten minutes and I'm sure more people are here by now."

Jordan nodded, "Yes, but I don't plan on posting this until 7:20."

"Ohhh come on! They'll be waiting forever!"

"That's the fun of it."

She slapped him playfully on the arm, scuffing her book against the floor a few times in boredom "So what are we gonna do for the next twenty minutes?"

"Chill here I guess. Enjoy everyone having a nervous breakdown."

"You know, you're just so nice," Nicole said sarcastically, continuing to grin and pacing back and forth a few times.

"I am, you're right," he replied, returning her sarcasm. She did not speak after that, merely shaking her head as though in shame and continuing to walk back and forth, looking around blankly. He watched her for a few minutes, unable to remember when she had worn an outfit so…so…nice? No, definitely a different word than nice. Jordan could never remember that kind of body being attributed to that girl, let alone the clothes she wore. Was it hot? No, better than hot.

She then bent to pick up her purse. Jordan's eyes widened like never before. When had she gotten so…so…

He realized, as she straightened herself again and rummaged around for a mirror, the exact word to describe her.

Nicole was sexy. Sexy in a way he had never before seen in his life.

And the effect it was having on him was certainly nothing to complain about.

Nicole placed the mirror back in her purse, looking at her watch and groaning, "Jooooordan it's only been three minutes! Can't we just put it up."

He grinned "No we can't. I want to see people have a breakdown."

She laughed, leaned her back against the wall and lifted one foot to rest against it as well "Hey look some people are here. Go torture them."

Jordan sighed, "You know, you have a lot of control over me," he turned, picking up the roll of tape from the floor and holding the sheet of paper against the wall.

Her face lit up "You're gonna post it! Woo you're my hero!"

He rolled his eyes and smirked, smoothing the paper onto the wall and taping the corners. They both stood back and admired it for a few moments, and then Nicole once more bent to pick up her purse, slinging it over her shoulder "Well, now that the dirty work has been done, I have some dirty work to do in physics. I'll catch ya later!"

Jordan called after her, "If anyone asks if it's posted yet tell them no!"

"Hell no!" she shouted back.

He laughed slightly, beginning to pick his things up from the floor as well. Jordan could not figure out what could have happened that had changed her so much since last year. Last year…he could remember t-shirts and jeans. Now…skirts and high heels. Something was definitely up.

~*~

Nicole groaned in exhaustion as she finished her physics, grateful for her seat in the back to hide from all of the frantic students wondering if they had gotten a part. She took a chance a few minutes before the bell rang to venture out into the hall to get a drink from the water fountain.

She peeked carefully out the door, and then stepped out, walking quickly to the fountain and bending to take a drink.

"NNNIIIIICCCCCOOOOOOOOLLLLLLEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!"

Her head shot up from the water fountain in surprise, looking in every direction for the person shouting her name.

She was answered as someone ran smack into her, throwing their arms around her and tossing her around in a circle in a wild expression of pure excitement.

When she was finally set down to stand on her own, her eyes still spinning as she held onto the water fountain for support she looked up into the bright eyes of Will Perelli.

"You gave me the part!!!!!!! I can't believe it!" he exclaimed.

She smiled faintly, waiting for her head to clear then grinning at him "You were easily the best one, we told you that already."

He shook his head "Naaw...it had to be because you like me, huh?"

A short "hah!" escaped her as she stared at him "Will, I chose you because of your talent, not because I like you."

"Oh! See you admit that you like me!" he grinned.

Her eyes widened "Hey! I never said that!"

"But you look soooo hot today I bet you're trying to get me to notice you."

She groaned, "No I'm not!"

He laughed, turning and skipping down the hall "Nicole Trumbler liiiiikes me!"

Nicole threw her hand up to her forehead, shaking her head but grinning. He might have her on that one.

She returned to her homeroom with a smile on her face.

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Once more I'll thank everyone patient enough to stick with it…these really aren't the greatest days of my life lately so, please bear with me! ^_^ You know I love you guys. Please R&R!

lamepunknbored : WOO I'm so happy someone's still around who reads this lol. Hehe you know what's funny when I write some of Will's parts I end up laughing too. ^_^ Thanks for the review!

A Marvich : When was the last time I told you you're the greatest person alive LOL. You better keep writing too, bud! And we'll help each other with chemistry! Woo!

Luv

~DoS