Chapter 1: Introduction
"That's Jessica Stein,
Professor Coolidge," Jessica said rolling her eyes at his mistake. She
knew she shouldn't have, but she hated having to get used to people
constantly mispronouncing her last name. And considering she had been
in Coolidge's class for two months already she would think he would
know her name by now.
"Yes, sorry Ms. Stein,"
Coolidge said in his usual monotone. "Here's your quiz, quite a tumble
from the last I must say. The real test will be next week, if you fail
that I would hate for you to be my student next semester."
Jessica glared at him and
snatched her quiz from his hand and walked out of the class. Once she
was out in the hallway, she finally looked at the grade written atop
her test paper. Dammit! Her parents were going to kill her when they
found out. Jessica shook her head, 22 years old and she was still
afraid of her parents. David and Anita expected their oldest daughter
to do well at law school and make exceptionally good grades so she
could take over the family law firm one day. It was Jessica's first
year of law school and already she had a C. She would have to tell her
parents, because knowing her parents they would find out anyway. And
Jessica didn't want to have liar on the list of everything against her
too. As Jessica walked out the building towards the parking lot all she
could think about was how she hated her life. Her parents never let her
think for herself ever. Even when Jessica finally moved out of the
Family estate a year ago her parents didn't support her moving and they
would drop by her apartment unannounced for a month to be sure she
could actually take care of herself.
David and Anita never trusted
their daughter to lead her own life so instead they had mapped it out
for Jessica her whole life. Jessica went to the college of
David's alma mater because it was expected, She couldn't take her dream
job of working at the popular teen club called Night Vision when she
was 17 because her Mom made her be a gopher at the family firm instead.
And worst of all, none of Jessica's boyfriends were acceptable to bring
in the infamous David and Anita's presence. If the guy didn't fit David
and Anita's crazy list of expectations they made sure their daughter
didn't go out with the kid. Needless to say when Jessica's prom came,
she hired Damien Roberts to pretend to be her date for a hundred and
fifty dollars (he's expensive) and then he took her to pick up her real
prom date after meeting the parents who absolutely loved Damien, as
expected of course. They would have never liked Drew, her real prom
date and then high school boyfriend. Who was all about bumpin' hiphop
and gangsta rap from his Escalade while driving high above the speed
limit and cutting off other cars. Though Drew had a death wish, he was
one of the sweetest guys Jessica had ever met and they were still
friends till this day. But you could never tell David and Anita that,
they only liked guys like Damien Roberts- perfect on the surface and
perfect on paper but a cocky spoiled prick in actuality.
Jessica started her Altima and
drove home feeling even more stressed than usual. She didn't think she
could handle law school anymore. Law was just something she had no
interest in whatsoever. Jessica obviously took it to please David and
Anita and get them off her back. Jessica didn't understand why she had
to be the one to handle the family law firm one day. Her way younger
siblings David Jr. and Leah at ten and twelve obviously had no clue
what they wanted to do with their lives since they weren't expected to
until they were at least sixteen but maybe one of them would want to
take over the family firm. Why did her parents force her to do it? At
times like this, Jessica hated her parents for never considering her
feelings. And she hated herself for never standing up to them.
When Jessica got to her
apartment, which was in the perfect neighborhood of course, her parents
wouldn't accept nothing less she called her best friend Elias Donovan.
It was Friday and she wanted to go dancing like she did every weekend.
Dance was the only time Jessica felt free, dancing always made her
forget the stress of her life. She always felt like the weights were
being lifted off her shoulders when she did a spin or a new move she
just invented. Jessica use to take dance classes when she was age ten
till she was about fifteen, but then her parents made her quit because
she was in high school now and she was expected to pay even more
attention to her studies and in-school extra curriculars that would
look good on her college applications. So the only time Jessica could
dance was at parties with her friends or Clubs. Dancing was way too fun
for her to give up doing completely just because her parents wanted her
"Hello," Elias picked up on
the first ring and Jessica smiled.
For some reason all Jessica's
friends were guys, it wasn't that she didn't get along with girls or
anything. It was just she was one of those girls who were considered to
be just one of the guys because she could do everything the guys could
or better. When she was kid she was always rough housing with the guys
and playing football or basketball. But her parents made her stop
because a lady wasn't suppose to act like that. So even though that
Jessica was now a girlie girl she still had her tomboy moments
and she stuck to having all guy friends. She felt more comfortable
around guys and attracting guys friends became second nature. Though it
sometimes had its bad moments, the guys girlfriends would always get
jealous and some of the girls even wanted to do damage to her like this
girl named Tracy- but that's another story.
"Picked up on the first ring?
mmm you must be bored," Jessica said. "How long have you been waiting
for me to call?"
Jessica could tell he was
rolling his eyes, "You flatter yourself way too much Jess. But you're
right I am bored out of my mind, so let me guess you want to go dancing
"Boy do you even need to ask?"
Jessica laughed lightly. "And besides I need to get my mind off my quiz
score. I got a C."
Elias felt her pain, he knew
how David and Anita Stein were, and for that reason he stayed away from
them completely. He always felt like they were judging him just because
his family didn't have as much money or because he went to a cooking
school instead of college. "A C isn't that bad."
"Are you kidding?" Jessica
said in disbelief. "My mom tripped because she found out I got a B
in one of my classes last quarter. It's straight A's
and nothing else is acceptable you know that."
Elias sighed, "Sweetie don't
stress about that, you know its impossible to live up to your parents
standards and its time you stopped trying."
"What do you mean?" Jessica
"Jess you know what I mean.
It's time you stand up to them, you're going to make yourself sick if
everything you do in your life is for them," Elias said matter of
factly. "When you're older you're going to regret not following your
dreams and I don't want to see you so unhappy going to a job you hate
everyday. And face it Jess, you'd never cut it out as a lawyer, you're
just too nice."
Jessica laughed, "I'm too nice
to be a lawyer? What does that mean?"
Elias knew she was choosing to
ignore everything he just told her so he let it slide that time, the
girl was already stressed enough. "Oh please, you can't even lie to
your parents without stuttering or getting remorseful. And you plain
suck at arguments, and when things get tough you tend to either run
away or fold instead of face it head on. How are you going to be a
Prosecuter if you can't even do those simple things?"
"Wow that was straight to the
point," Jessica said quietly, and she expected nothing less with Elias.
It was always no holds barred with him, Elias always told her the truth
because he wanted what's best for her but in a different way from her
parents and Jessica appreciated that.
Elias figured it was time for
a change of subject before Jessica shrinked further in her shell of
depression that she so desperately tried to hide from him, "So what
time are you picking me up tonight? My car's in the shop again, I wish
I had the money to get a new one."
"I'll pick you up at
say...seven? and don't worry, you can always call me for a ride,"
"Seven is good, so you want to
be my chaffeur now? Wow I knew it was a good idea to become friends
with you in Junior High," Elias said.
Jessica laughed, and her sour
mood lifted once again with Elias words. He always knew how to make her
laugh, he was a great best friend. "Damn right I'll be your chaffeur,
so tonight you'll address me as Ms. Stein and I'll expect a bonus by
the end of the night."
"You'd charge a struggling
chef?" Elias said in mock disappointment. "Maybe I should have listened
to Damien Roberts in high school when he called you evil."
"He did not! And if he did, it
was probably because I never wanted to date his spoiled ass," Jessica
said. "It's weird that you brought up Damien, I was just thinking of
him for some reason today."
"Why?" Elias asked surprised,
knowing how much Jessica despised the guy.
"Well whenever I think of my
senior prom, he comes up too. It's inevitable," Jessica said.
"Oh yeah, that was absolutely
hilarious!" Elias said, as the memory of his best friend's prom date or
dates came to him again. "I thought Drew would kill Damien because he
refused to leave you alone, even after you paid him he still acted like
he was your real prom date instead of Drew."
"I know, I would have at least
gave Damien a dance if he didn't charge me so much," Jessica said with
a laugh. "He brought it on himself."
"I think that was the only
time you never got caught by your parents," Elias said. "Thinking about
it, I think that was the only time you ever defied your parents also. A
little lies here and there, but it was the only time you didn't do
exactly what was expected of you. You did something for yourself. Where
is that girl again?"
Jessica rolled her eyes,
"You're talking to her."
"Really?" Elias said
skeptically. "Whatever you say sunshine..."
Later that night, Jessica was
dressed in her standard club clothes. A denim miniskirt with the frayed
edges at her thighs, skin tight black tank top that showed off her
belly button and the tatoo on her mid back that her parents nearly had
a heart attack about when they saw it by accident. It was of a chinese
character that stood for Freedom, something she still hadn't
experienced. To complete her look Jessica wore open toe tall heels that
made her already long legs go on for miles. Her black hair was curlier
than usual and she had a few new accessories to make herself look even
more beautiful- the silver chain belt, and the matching hoop earrings.
Elias was going to die when he saw her. He always took it upon himself
to be her protector, Elias was like the older brother she never had. He
hated when Jessica came out the house showing too much skin and so
would make her go change. But Jessica was doing the driving tonight and
picking Elias up, so there was no way he could talk her into changing.
Elias would just have to deal.
Jessica pulled up in front of
Elias's apartment five minutes after seven, she honked her horn and
seconds later a cuban/Irish hottie came out. He was looking handsome as
usual, his naturally curly hair was bringing even more attention to his
dark green eyes. He was gorgeous, but that never phased Jessica. To her
he was her bestfriend and brother rolled into one, who was always
trying to tell her what to do and make sure no one hurt her.
"You honked your horn? You're
such a guy," Elias was saying as he opened her car door. He stopped
immediately when saw what she was wearing. He hopped into the car and
tried to remain calm and Jessica started to drive off. He looked her
over again with a critical eye and Jessica caught it.
"What?" Jessica said annoyed,
knowing he wanted to criticize her outfit.
"That outfit is too drastic
for fall weather," he muttered under his breath before trying to shrug
nonchantly, "Nothing, I just never knew you could come outside
Jessica rolled her eyes,
"Please, if it was any girl but me wearing this you would be all over
"Damn right I would, I am a
guy of course," Elias said looking at her as if she was crazy. "But
thats beside the point. The point is you can't go to Quake looking like
that. You'd be a target for every drunk guy looking to get some!"
Jessica laughed, "No matter
what I wear I'm always a target for every drunk guy looking to get
some! So chill out Elias. And you're with me, so I know no guy will be
able to get within a inch of me with you as my personal bodyguard."
"Do you think I like going out
with you to be your personal bodyguard? I want to have fun too," Elias
sighed. "But how can I when I obviously have to keep a eye out for you."
Jessica was definitely beyond
annoyed now, "There's no rule that says you have to watch out for me.
I'm 22 years old Elias and I can take care of myself. I have a father
and I don't need another overbearing one!"
"Whatever," Elias said shaking
his head. He busied himself with putting in one of Jessica's mixed CDs.
He leaned back in relaxed in his seat as the music overtook him. It was
The Lostprophets 'Last Train Home' A song Jessica was currently in love
After a moment of silently
singing along to the music Jessica said, "So are you not talking to me
now? Elias!!!!!!!! You know I'll never leave you alone unless you talk.
You know you want to...you get so sad when we're not speaking."
"Gosh you're so annoying,"
Elias finally said. "No I'm not mad at you, now lets forget this. Well
actually I can't, all I have to do is look at what you're wearing and I
remember what we were just talking about."
"Elias!" Jessica said. "Jeez
you are too much. Now behave, we arrived."
The parking lot at Quake was
already full and Jessica instantly sent out a sigh of frustration. A
full parking lot meant she would have to park at least a block or two
away to get a space for her Altima. "This sucks, if I walk in these
heels my feet are going to be aching by time we get in Quake."
"What are those? Four
inches?dang girl are you trying to kill yourself?" Elias joked.
Jessica chuckled, glad Elias
was back to joking again, "You're a guy, you couldn't possibly
Luckily Jessica found a
parking space a half a block away from the club, so it wouldn't be too
much walking for her. But as she actually walked, Jessica had to admit
she was tempted to have Elias carry her on his back like when they were
kids. But then Elias would be all 'I told you so' and Jessica could not
The two friends walked into
quake to find the loudest party atmosphere that you could find in
Northern Chicago. Quake was the place to be on Friday and Saturday
nights. Anyone who was anyone was there and the place had a strict
dress code, so you had to be stylin' or you could not get in. One of
the reasons Jessica loved the place so much was because her parents
absolutely hated it, they were so convinced that it was a club used for
drug running. The ideas her parents had sometimes were just so out
there that all Jessica could do was shake her head and pretend she
wasn't related to the most unhip people in the world. Quake was
actually a upscale establishment mostly full of the older college kids
and mid to late twenties crowd. Never once has something of drugs come
up since Jessica started regularly going to the club when she turned
21. It's not like she was so naive to believe that type of stuff didn't
happen, but from what she seen of Quake over the year mostly everyone
was just looking to have fun more than anything.
Already Jessica felt eyes on
her, and she knew the guys were checking her out. She just hoped Elias
didn't notice or he'd go all big brother on her again. She loved Elias
but sometimes he needed to leave things alone. She had the body, she
was 5'10 and petite so why shouldn't she wear something that would
flatter her figure? If Elias had his way, she'd dress like her mother.
All conservative in nothing but khaki's and sweater sets. No way would
Jessica ever be that preppie. "Let's get a table so I can rest my feet
before I dance okay?"
"Why don't you get a table and
I'll get us some drinks," Elias said already head toward the bar.
"Sure," Jessica called, then
she turned and head in the other direction.
"Well look who's here," A
smooth male voice said from behind Jessica.
Jessica smiled as she
recognized it, she spinned on her heels to be met with Drew Cutler. Her
ex-boyfriend, but better friend. He was dressed in his usual club
apparel of baggy khaki's and a baggy Sean John T-Shirt to match, and
his hair was braided into perfect cornrolls. He looked hot! Much to the
annoyance of Jessica, their's was a relationship that could never work
but Jessica couldn't help but admire his attractive features anytime.
No girl wouldn't be able to ignore Drew, which was a pain in itself
when they were dating. "I should have known you'd be here. Where's the
"Lucky lady?" Drew feigned
"Well if you're not here with
any one, then you're most definitely came to chase skirts," Jessica
said with her hands on her hips.
"My my my Jess, you're looking
hot this evening," Drew said, slowing looking her up and down. "Are you
trying to make me wish we never broke up?"
Jessica rolled her eyes, "We
both know we make better friends, so that distraction technique isn't
going to work on me."
Drew laughed, "C'mon I set up
shop back here, come join me."
Jessica smiled as she followed
him to his table, he pulled her chair out for her like the perfect
gentlemen he was or was most of the time anyway.
"So I'm guessing you came with
your partner in crime?" Drew said as he sat across from her.
"Elias?" Jessica said as Drew
nodded. "Of course, you know Elias never lets me go out to clubs alone.
He's like a bulldog or something, trying to keep the guys away."
"Don't I know it," Drew said.
"You remember the hard time he gave me when we first went out the
summer before senior year?"
"Oh jeez," As the flood of
memories came back. "Let's not go there."
"Go where?" Elias finally
appeared, sliding two drinks on the table. He glanced at Drew and
smiled, "What's up man?"
Drew nodded at him, "We were
talking about how you wouldn't let me near Jessica with a ten foot pole
when we first started going out."
Elias laughed, "I don't think
anyone would blame me with how insane you drive, I doubted David and
Anita would have liked to have known the boyfriend of their daughter
they never met got her in a accident."
"Controversy!" Jessica said
ominously, then they all laughed. Jessica loved the song Controversy
by Prince way too much and she would always say that when a situation
applied. It was sort of a inside joke with all her friends.
"And its a good thing I never
met the infamous David and Anita face to face then," Drew said.
Jessica would have gotten
uncomfortable talking about her parents with Drew in the past, but they
were over it now. One of the reasons they broke up was because she had
to keep Drew hidden from her parents at all costs and he hated all the
secrets. Jessica didn't blame Drew for rethinking their relationship
and then they both decided their relationship was too crazy so they
just ended it.
"Well you guys have fun
talking, because I'm about to have some fun dancing," Jessica said
getting up from the table.
"Be careful out there," Elias
said, taking a sip of his drink.
"Don't worry so much Dad,"
Jessica grinned and Drew laughed.
"That girl has claws, don't
worry so much Elias," Drew said with a smirk.
"I don't even want to know how
you know that," Elias said with a mock shudder.
Jessica ignored them as she
walked off, muttering 'Guys' under her breath.
Once on the dance floor
Jessica let loose, when she danced she seemed like she didn't have a
care in the world. The only thing that was on her mind was the music
and what move would go with each beat. She moved flawlessly, breaking
out the moves that you hardly ever see every day... or at least at
Quake. You could tell that Jessica had choreographed the moves herself.
It wasn't like she went out of her way making up moves in her apartment
front room or anything, it was just every time she was at the club she
challenged herself to come up with something new. It was something
everyone around her appreciated, to see dances so fresh that it
constantly held your attention. Soon Jessica had the whole dance floors
attention and they all moved out of her way and surrounded her as she
danced, watching in awe. Jessica could see Drew and Elias rolling their
eyes at her antics because she had done it so many times before, but
cheering her own nonetheless, they knew the girl could dance and was
impressed each time at the funk she possessed.
"Go Jessica!" A few people
shouted. Since she was a regular at Quake, Jessica had quite a few
acquaintances at the club. And everyone at Quake loved the energy
Jessica would bring to the club each week she came. It was an event
just to see Jessica at what she simply called as 'Shaking her
booty' But it was more than that, and everyone was surprised that
Jessica couldn't see it, see how much natural talent she had.
Sitting in the far end corner
of the bar across the room, a young man who was once frowning looked up
curiously at the commotion that was coming from the dance floor. He was
dressed in basic black to blend in, so no one would approach him. He
wasn't in the mood to chat, he never was anymore. But he guessed it
didn't make since that he was in a club if he wasn't looking to be
social. But he had to get out of his hotel, his best friend and that
annoying sibling of his were driving him nuts. Trying to get him to
talk and open up, he wanted none of that. Quake wasn't too far from the
Hotel Wilshire and the young man had decided he really needed a drink.
Now he was pushing the glass of brandy away uninterestedly.
What could be the big deal
that everyone was just standing at the sides watching? He wondered.
Well he was never the type to sit around, so he slowly got up and
walked toward the dance floor where all the commotion was taking place.
He had to shuffle through a few unpleased people but he made it forward
and was met with what captivated the clubbers of Quake.
He knew a lot about the art of
dance at his young age, more than people knew and he could tell that
this girl came up with her own dance moves. And she moved all
right, he was practically entranced as she moved on beat exuding
sexiness he never seen from a girl. The girl dancers he always been
around moves sometimes bordered on skanky. This girl was a natural born
dancer, not a club dancer where you saw all the same splits and spins
in such repitiveness. Her dancing was a style he never seen. She was
perfect to take April Taylor's place. He had to get her. He wondered
who she was. Then he heard some of her friends say "Go Jessica!
It's your birthday! Go! Go!"
And he knew instantly Jessica
was the mystery dancer and he had to talk to her. He just hoped she
accepted his offer.
Jessica laughed in delight as
the song ended, "Thank you! Now if you'll excuse me people, I'm a
People laughed, and instantly
started dancing again as a hiphop song blared.
Jessica made it over back to
her table and took her drink in one gulp.
"Worked up a sweat Jess?" Drew
asked with a grin.
"You know it!" Jessica said
happily, everytime she danced she always had the biggest high.
"Glad you came back, now I can
leave, Elias is driving me crazy," Drew said standing up. "Now I can
see what the sexy ladies in this club have to offer."
"Too much information Drew,"
Jessica said with a laugh. "I'm still your ex-girlfriend."
Drew just laughed and too off
and Jessica turned to Elias.
"Ever think about getting back
with him?" Elias asked her.
Jessica looked at him
surprised, "You're kidding right? Drew and I were so wrong for each
other and we couldn't handle each other's life styles."
"I know, but he was a lot
better than some of your recent boy toys," Elias said.
"Uh you're so wrong, get away!
Go dance or something!" Jessica joked.
Elias rolled his eyes then
scanned the club, "Hmm, that chica over there is looking hot."
"Well go ask her to dance
stupid," Jessica said pushing him out of his chair practically.
"Don't have to push now, I'll
gladly go," Elias said with a smirk.
Jessica was a little bored sitting at the table by herself, especially since she was done with her drink so she got up and headed towards the bar. She took a seat on one of the empty stools, "A rum and coke please." She was about to pay, but a hand holding a twenty beat her to it. Jessica looked up to find herself staring into the most gorgeous hazel eyes she ever seen.
"Umm, you don't have to do
"But I want to," Hazel eyes
said in a enticing deep voice.
Jessica examined him closely
and shrugged. The guy was over six feet, and he was dressed too casual
for a club, suggesting that he either didn't care how he looked or
coming to Quake was a last minute decision. He had cut close black hair
that was lined up perfectly by a very good Barber perhaps. Even though
he was only wearing jeans and a regular T-shirt, everything about him
screamed expensive. Maybe it was the small diamond studded earring in
his right ear, the silver watch with small diamonds circling it's face,
and the obviously costly shoes. It was odd but Jessica's father bought
the same brand of shoes, and they equaled a months rent at her small
aparment. He looked like one of the blingy but not too blingy
rich kids she grew up with in her neighborhood. "Sure, I guess." At
least he wasn't going overboard with the jewelry and clothes like some
of the wannabe's Jessica knew of in Chicago.
She sipped her drink and
looked over at the guy who was now sitting on the stool next to her,
she noticed him giving her looks too. But it wasn't the type of looks
she usually got from guys. He didn't even seem to notice her short
skirt and midriff revealing top, okay maybe that wasn't exactly true,
his eyes did travel to her legs a couple of times.
Jessica looked at him
confused, "How did you know my name?"
He just smirked, "It's hard
not to, when you practically had the whole club screaming it when you
Jessica giggled, "Right."
"Right," He repeated. "You're
really talented you know that?"
Jessica shot him a weird look,
she always heard she was a good dancer but this was the first time she
heard the word talented, "Thanks I guess."
"You guess?" Hazel eyes said,
raising an eyebrow. "So what dance class do you take?"
Jessica looked lost in thought
for a moment, "Jeez, the last time I took a dance class I was about
Hazel eyes looked at her
shocked, "So when did you come up with your routine?"
"Routine?" Jessica laughed.
"That was just random dancing, it wasn't a big deal."
"Are you kidding?" Hazel eyes
asked. "I would have thought you choreographed every moved you did.
Your dancing was absolutely flawless, like you always knew what you're
next move was going to be."
"I just love to dance thats
all. So I never met a guy so interested in dancing before," Jessica
He shrugged, "I guess you
could say its what I do for a living."
Jessica nodded, growing a
little bored with their conversation. The guy was cute, but the
experience she had with club guys was not a good one, most of them just
wanted somebody in their bed by the end of the night, and she could
barely hear him anyway over the music, "Yeah, I think I'm going to go
find my friends, I'll see you later."
"Wait!" Hazel eyes said
grabbing her arms.
Jessica looked down at his
hands on her arms and he instantly let her go, "Sorry, its just I
wanted to ask-"
"Ask what?" Jessica asked
looking at him confused. This guy was acting really weird.
"What are you doing here?!" A
rude female voice interupted.
Jessica turned to see Tracy
Evans AKA Jessica's walking nightmare. She was also Elias's ex-
girlfriend and for some reason she blamed Jessica for their break up.
When in actuality Tracy was just jealous that Elias had a girl
bestfriend and she always tried to accuse Jessica of trying to steal
Elias from her. Elias couldn't take Tracy's outrageous behavior anymore
and dumped her.
"Tracy, how wonderful to see
you again?" Jessica said sarcastically. "It's hard to believe it's been
a month or so since I've seen you."
"Yeah and its your fault!"
Jessica rolled her eyes, "Look
Trace, I came here to have fun not get into a fight with you, so if
you'll excuse me."
"No you're not going anywhere,
first you steal my boyfriend-"