WARNING: A couple very explicit sexual, um, descriptions forthcoming. I've warned you, so don't be all grossed out and stuff. But I'm serious, it's so explicit that if my mother read it, she'd have a heart attack. No joke.

Chapter 8

Ever since we'd hightailed it out of Ryan's on Saturday, I had seen neither hide nor hair of any one of their "crew", even Ryan. They hadn't tried anything either- when I returned home, the chair was still wedged firmly under the doorknob and I'd double-checked to make sure that nothing had been touched.

Nothing had.

This hadn't relieved me, however; instead, I was kept busy trying to anticipate the next attack.

Perhaps this was their game plan—to drive us crazy waiting for a retort that wouldn't be coming. It seemed, however, rather cowardly.

So it was inevitable that we all felt a little… not nervous, exactly, but more like apprehensive on Monday, when we returned to school. The minute Kimrey and I stepped out of our respective cars and onto campus, the stares and whispers began.

"Amanda strikes again," I murmured to her as we strolled in. "Kind of a weak return, though. I'm a bit disappointed in her."

"Oh, I don't know about that," Kimrey protested. "Stigma's a very powerful tool."

True, I had to concede. "But rumors?"

She shrugged. "Maybe I'm pregnant."

"Or maybe I have STD's?" I suggested, as we began the trek down the main hallway, littered on either side by groups of students. One girl in particular was gaping, eyes bugged out. I smiled sweetly at her, amused as she looked startled and whirled around to whisper urgently to her friends.

We separated as the warning bell rang, heading to our own classes.

Much to my surprise, however, nobody had come up to me so far today, and so I still had no idea what they were whispering about. I couldn't, of course, ask someone directly.

Third period, however, as I walked into AP Bio, a girl rushed up to me. "Alina!" cried the girl. She was the one who'd… greeted me the first day; the one also from Wilmont.

"Hi," I said, at a loss for both words and names.

"Is it true?!" She demanded, searching my face with something like… was it awe that I saw?

"Is what true?" I asked casually, shrugging out of my cardigan and draping it on a chair.

Her eyes bugged out. "You haven't heard?!"

I glanced back at her. "That's a very unattractive look on your face. Please don't do that again."

She shut her mouth immediately. "Sorry, Alina. I-I didn't mean to offend you! It's just that… is it true that you, that you slept with… with…"

With…? Who would it be? Tyler? Ryan? The principal, for goodness sakes?

"With… Kimrey?"

"Kimrey?" I yelped, belatedly realizing that the room was morbidly silent, as everyone's gazes were directed at me. "Are you kidding?" I never thought that I'd have to defend my sexuality, of all things.

"Well, the rumor is," the girl continued, obviously relishing the attention that she was getting from both me and everyone else, "that you and Kimrey were walked in on, having a threesome with …" her voice hushed, "… with James Harcourt!"

I laughed. Loudly. But casually. Because, hey, that's how we roll. But, quick, quick! Think of something… "Oh, god, you mean at London's party?" I asked, buying some time to come up with something to refute it.

She frowned. "I heard it was at Tessa Hardy's party."

"Oh, rumors," I said with a chuckle, "So hard to believe what's true and what's not! Incidentally, you've got it mixed up…" Quick, what was her name? Janelle, Janet… "You've got it mixed up, Jen."

"Really? Have I?" She looked ravenous at the bone that I'd just tossed. "Then what was the truth? What really happened? You can tell me, Alina! You can trust me to keep my mouth shut!"


"Well…" I bit my lip, pretending to consider it but in reality, thinking madly. "All right, but this is just between the two of us!" I exclaimed confidingly.

She nodded eagerly.

If I'd tried, I couldn't have dreamt up a better scenario myself. Because of the confidential tone that my voice had taken, every ear in the room was cocked in our direction. Not to mention, from what I recalled from Wilmont, this girl Jennifer was the biggest gossip since Queen Elizabeth's time.

"Well, you've got the threesome part right," I started, my voice in a calculated whisper meant to reach the entirety of the room, "but it was me and Kimrey that were the ones who walked in on…" I hesitated.

"Oh, don't stop now!" She protested.

"On Amanda and Vivienne!" I finished triumphantly.

"Amanda and Vivienne?!" Jennifer squealed. "Are you serious? Do you realize what this information could do?"

I nodded. "But remember, this doesn't go beyond the two of us!"

"Of course, of course, Alina! Don't even worry. But just one more thing," she cast furtive looks around the room before asking, "Who was the guy?"

I didn't really want to incriminate any of the "guys" in this. Ryan was a nice kid, Seth was… god, I don't even know, and the other guy? I didn't even know him and he hadn't done anything to me. "Well, I really couldn't tell. After all, I'm absolutely new here, you know?"

She nodded. "Definitely. Don't worry. I'll be sure to clear your name, Alina!" She scurried off to her own corner of friends as the room burst out into chatter.

I sat comfortably down onto my seat. That was almost too easy.

Bam. And that, Amanda, is why you do not use rumors against us. I really hadn't lost my credibility yet. But truly, it was a nice try. However, my "counter-rumor" would be around the school in a matter of minutes, if the number of cell phones out and in the middle of text messaging was any sign of anything.

Bryce was sitting by me, with a huge grin on his face. "Threesome, eh?" He asked.

I shrugged. "What can I say? And by the way, who the hell is James Harcourt, anyhow?"

"James, James, James," Bryce sighed, "What to say about James?"

"That sounds remotely like something out of Shakespeare," I suggested. "Why not get to the point?"

"I could do that," he agreed, "but then, where's the fun in that?"

I liked this kid. He didn't let me bully him- not a common thing, truly. It was invigorating.

"Let's see," he continued, "He's not here, of course."

"Here?" I asked. "You mean, in this classroom?"

"Well, definitely not in this classroom, but probably not in school either. He's quite a delinquent." Bryce paused, thinking. "He's got the whole 'bad boy' image going, you know? Smokes, drinks, skips school a lot." He then grudgingly added, "A lot of girls find him ... tolerable."

Tolerable? "You mean, hot?" I corrected with a grin.

He shrugged. "Tomato, tomahto."

"At least my name wasn't linked with an ugly guy," I laughed, before wincing. "That sounds incredibly shallow, right?"

He nodded. "Very. You're a terrible person, Alina Wilmont. I don't know how you stand yourself."

My phone gave a beep and I pulled it out. "New text message," the screen read as I flipped it open.

New text message from: KIMREY

Hey, so apparently we went from a threesome to

Aman/Vivi? This was your doing, right, Allie?

Good job! Talk later. We'll do lunch.

Well, that was fast. Ah, don't ever underestimate the power of gossip in a high school setting.

Class was over and Bryce and I were walking out, chattering away when he stopped suddenly. I looked up in inquiry, but his head was turned away. He looked back at me, then, and pointed. "See that guy over there? He's in a navy shirt… some kind of band shirt…"

Yeah, I saw him. He was fucking delicious. Hair a gorgeous shade of chestnut brown, and on the tallish side, without being some kind of circus freak. And cut, from what I could see from my not-so-great vantage point.

"That's James Harcourt," Bryce explained.

"Just tolerable, hm?" I raised an eyebrow at him.

"Hey, you can't expect me, a straight, heterosexual-though-not-homophobic-but-don't-get-any-ideas male to make a judgment call on the so-called 'hotness' factor of another guy," Bryce grinned. "Besides, that's like, talking up the competition."


"And actually," he continued, "I'm really surprised to see him in school. His mother must be home."

"His mother? Jesus, what are you, Gossip Central?" I exclaimed. "Are you a man, Bryce?"

"I'm quite a man, Alina, would you like me to show you?" He waggled his eyebrows at me, before laughing and jumping back as I made to punch him. "I'm just kidding, baby. It's common knowledge, actually, because there was some huge public row about it once last year."

"Ooh. Do tell," I invited. At this point, we were walking to the lunch area in the quad. It was crowded as usual, and I saw that the number of gawking stares I was getting was… um, directly proportional to the … uh, something. Math class was a long time ago. Suffice to say that it was a lot—rumors definitely had had more than enough time to fly around the school. "My table?"

"Absolutely. Okay, so what happened was, James's mother died a while back, you know? And his dad was all like, 'Man I'm going to work my ass off!' and shit, and so he never really interacted with his kids and all, and they all grew up independent. Except, you know, they were all fucking loaded to start off with, so it was really unnecessary and I guess his kids resented that. And then out of nowhere, the guy marries some bitch, a 'trophy wife' who tries to go and rule the house. Except, the parents are never in and James probably only comes to school to shut up her complaining." Bryce finished.

"Wow, it's like a soap opera," I marveled. "Days of Our Lives or General Hospital or something."

"Except, you know, no mentions of a hospital or anything like that." Bryce added with a smirk.

"Clever, real clever."

Calls of "Alina!" and "Brycie baby!" greeted us as we got to what I now dubbed "our" table.

"It must have been a horrible moment to walk in on Amanda and Vivienne!" A girl I passed by squeaked to me.

I turned in surprise. "Well, it was definitely mind-scarring," I confirmed with a secret grin. "Excuse me, please, I think somebody's dying to talk to me."

That was just barely an exaggeration. Just barely managing to remain sitting on the table was Kimrey, waving frantically at me to join her.

"A threesome?" She rolled her eyes the minute I got there. "Good save, though. I bet she panicked, watching it backfire on her."

"This is between us and her," I agreed, nodding. "There was no need to involve the whole school in this, you know?"

Tyler, who was nearby, shrugged. "She made use of her resources. It was a nice attempt, really. And if it wasn't her that spread it, it really wouldn't have been such a big deal. But she—sorry, I keep saying she but I mean they, of course—they have such a hold over the entire student body."

"Reminds me of someone else…" I pretended to think, before grinning.

"Cocky, cocky," someone chastised.

"I speak nothing but the truth."

"Did you get it?" Kimrey whispered to Derek.

It was just before the last period of the day, and he'd just run into school, having left to drive home after lunch. We were sitting behind the science building, enjoying our last ten minutes of the second break before it was time to go run.

He grinned. "I got them- three of them! They were the most explicit ones that I could find…" He reached into his basketball duffel bag, and pulled out three dog-eared, wrinkled novels.

They were the smutty romance kind, the kinds with the pictures of half-naked women in the front, making out with a guy shirtless. The guy was, of course, built like a tank and the women all looked ready to faint.

"My housekeeper thinks I'm a klepto—either that, or a sex-deprived maniac, but so be it," he shrugged.

"Did you mark the smutty pages?" I asked with interest, taking one of the books and opening it randomly to the middle, where the pages fell naturally. "'He rode her slowly as she moaned, surrender finally hitting as he emptied himself inside her, her sheath gripping his hardness…'" I read out loud. "Oh, sick, this thing is like, porn for the older generation!"

"Your housekeeper reads this?" Kimrey asked with a grimace. "Gross."

Derek shrugged. "Here, fold down all the pages with the sex parts," he said, tossing her a book. I flipped through mine, pausing at all the places the book naturally fell open to, to fold the page down before continuing.

I finished and handed mine to Kimrey, who tucked the three books into her tote bag. "Come watch after practice," she suggested, grinning. "Things ought to be interesting by then."

Finally, it was after practice. I'd had to endure an hour of hard sprints, bleachers, and suicides and I was ready to collapse. Instead, I managed to stagger somehow to the football field where the cheerleaders were practicing on the sidelines. Luckily, I wouldn't stand out; a lot of the other sports were seated there, especially those that weren't in season currently.

Kimrey had just re-emerged from the pyramid. She saw me then and grinned, a signal that things were… in place, shall we say? And literally.

"All right girls, practice is over!" The cheer coach called out. Kimrey ran by the front of the bleachers, where other girls' cheer bags lay open. One in particular was half off the bench and this one she ran into, knocking it and its contents straight out and onto the ground.

"Oh, shit!" she said. "Sorry, whoever this is." As she bent down to pick up what she'd spilled, however, her own bag that was slung on a shoulder swung around to knock down the next couple bags as well.

A couple of the other cheerleaders walked over. "Don't worry," one said. "It's cool." The three bent down to lay out everything on the floor.

"Hey," one called, "some of the bags got knocked over and I don't know whose stuff is whose, so come and get it, yeah?"

Some of the other girls walked over to dump their things in their own bags. One picked up a duffel bag embroidered "Amanda" and began to toss some of her stuff in. "I've got your stuff, Amanda," she said.

Amanda, who was away conversing with the coach, threw a thanks over her shoulder.

The girl picked up one of the smutty novels. "Whose is this?" She asked, opening the front over. "It says Amanda," she read with a giggle at the cover. She tossed it in, picking up another one. "Wow, I never knew that Amanda was into this kind of stuff!"

"What stuff?" Another girl looked over, and laughed loudly, grabbing it from the other girl's hand. "A Sumptuous Lady?" She chortled and flipped through the book, stopping at one of the marked pages. "'He cried out, driving deep into her as he clamped down on his need. His hands roamed on her breasts.' Oh my god, sick!" She cried, cracking up all the while.

By this time, she had the attention of everyone around her, including the other guys on the bleachers. Kimrey and I exchanged glances, escaping unnoticed as word spread and books began to be handed around.

"How much do you want to bet, that she's ready to kill us?" I asked as we walked out to the parking lot.

"Well, she's now a promiscuous almost-lesbian who's been going around having sex with her best friend and reading almost-porn, so yeah, I'd say that she's pretty pissed at us right now," Kimrey mused. "That's just an inference, of course."

"Mm. How long before word gets around, do you think?" I wondered out loud. "I'm almost scared for what she's going to try next. I bet she's thinking that the Nair thing was a good idea after all."

Kimrey grimaced. "Maybe you should get a locksmith in or something?"

"Done," I said with a grin. "He's coming in today, thank god. I'm going to be living in fear if something happens and I don't get a lock on those doors."

"You know, I wonder why she hates us so much? I mean, I get the whole co-cap and being demoted and stuff of course, but, I mean, have a heart! It's not that big of a deal, you know?" Kimrey sighed. "I mean, I just don't get it. I'd be mad, but it's just like, get over it! You lost. Oh well."

"You know, I'm wondering if that's not just a part of it. Tip of the iceberg, you know? From what Ryan's told me, I'm guessing that she really resents our intrusion into what she thinks is 'her' territory. I mean, it's like if she and her group came to Wilmont and got all crazy and stuff. I think that we'd be pretty… annoyed? Weirded out?" I shrugged. "Who knows? She and those other people are probably the only ones who really get it."

Kimrey nodded slowly. "Yeah. You know, it's really a problem not knowing who exactly we're up against. Not that this is a 'formal' war or anything, but the only people I know of are Amanda and Vivienne, and then your roommate boy Ryan and that one jerky boy."

"His name is Seth," I snapped. "And he's not a jerk. Mostly."

She looked at me with some surprise. "Sorry, Al. I didn't know you liked him."

"I don't like him!" I protested. "I don't know why you'd say something like that."

She kept looking at me, sharply. "I guess that's a good thing, then. After all, he's in league with them."

"Don't worry. I'm not interested in him in that way." I reassured her. "Look, my car's that way. I'll see you later, okay?"

"Bye, Allie." She waved, before heading off to the right.

I continued walking straight down towards the back of the parking lot, where I'd had to park my car—thanks to my being a little late. A normal looking black car was parked by mine, looking out of place in the sea of Beemers and Benzes. The driver's side of the door was open and music was blearing out.

It was good music, though. As I got up close to just beside my car, I was able to see who was in that car.

"Hello," I said in some surprise. From what Bryce had told me, I would have expected this guy to be off campus long before.

He looked up at me, but didn't say anything.


"So I hear that we had a threesome last weekend," I continued, sliding into my own car and rolling down the windows.

He looked over again and just smirked. "Don't you wish?"

I looked him up and down deliberately before drawling, "I don't see anything I want, so no, not particularly."

He just laughed, as if he knew that what I'd said was complete bullshit.

Cocky guys. What a turn-off.

"Alina, right?" He said shortly.

"That's right. And you're James."

He smirked again, and I was starting to believe that that particular expression was forever etched on his face. "You don't want me, and yet, you go through the trouble of finding out who I am?"

"Don't flatter yourself. I'd have to be blind, deaf, and a complete idiot to not know who you were, what with all the whispering and all. And besides, I haven't not noticed that you know who I am as well," I countered.

He chuckled. "I've done my research. Call me sometime."

Call him? "No thanks. I don't call guys."

He laughed out loud. "Too cool for that? All right, then, we'll do this your way for a little bit. Keep Friday open. I'll get your number from my brother." He finished this as he gunned the ignition and drove off.

"Your brother?" I called after him, but to no avail. I really couldn't believe his high-handedness, and really had no idea what to say. Not that I'd had a chance to say anything, really. However, one thing was for certain—just for if he did call me, I'd have to inform him that quite unfortunately, my Fridays were booked.

So there, James Harcourt.

A/N: Sorry for introducing yet another character. I haven't quite gotten around to making that character list yet… but I will. Sometime. Points to anyone who can remember/and or figure out who James's brother is. You are just too cool. I'm working on updating regularly—I'm going to try to keep updates within two weeks of one another, and one week if I can help it.

Another thing: Would anyone be interested possibly in being a sort of beta-cum-consultant? Not a huge deal or responsibility; just something along the lines of "Hey, you haven't updated in a while" or "Man, that idea sucks" or "Why don't you try this?" or something like that. Drop a note in a review and I'll e-mail you, or you can definitely e-mail me directly at .

I'D JUST LIKE TO SAY, thank you so much to everyone who's reviewed. I really appreciate the feedback, and I'd love it if you had any ideas as to how I could improve this. Your reviews are truly aphrodisiacs (but not for sex. Just to write more. If that makes any sense at all? It might not, I don't know. It's late and I'm tired).

Review Responses, since I haven't done them in awhile. (From the last chapter)

FairyOfDeath: Ooh. I decided not to write about her reaction after seeing her car—I felt that I wouldn't be able to do it justice. There's only so far that words can stretch, after all. (Also, I was getting lazy, but that doesn't really matter, right? Haha).

Smittened By Marauders: Thanks!

Kira: Thanks. I think this was a lot sooner than I expected.

Ooies: Seriously, junior year SUCKS! I totally had to read up on the witch trials for SUMMER homework (which should really be illegal, if you ask me) in my US History class. Definitely super exciting stuff. I'm going to do an "other side" POV for sure, but I'm probably going to hold off on that, at least until I get a few more… interactions in. And sadly, I'm getting further and further behind in all my classes every night. Oh well, all in the name of love!

JdAshleyG: Thanks.

Shy-Lil-Dreamer: War? You've got that right! It'll get even bigger. As for the winner… who knows? Not even I do. We'll see.

Jmarit17: Oh, I'm so glad you picked up on that! Yes, Seth and Jason are related, somehow. Jason, however, doesn't know anything of that… yet. Hahaha. Thanks for reading!

Kat6528: Thanks.

Shyin: Seriously, if someone did that to my car, I'd die. Not that I have my car yet. I'm getting it the day after I get my license, though, and I think I'd cry if my car got vandalized like that. Yeah, they wanted Amanda to know that it was they who did all that.

MolestAPeanut: Yeah. I'd die if my hair fell out. No reactions to the car… yet… just the retaliation. But I'm getting there! I'm going to do an "other side" POV where I'm going to address all the "attacks" that Alina/Kimrey have pulled. Later, though. Luego.

Murky: Have I ever done that before? Well. Actually, that's confidential information. Let's just say, that I haven't been caught. HAHA. Bryce, okay. He's the kid in AP Bio with Alina, the one that tells her about Amanda and everyone else. Chapter… 2? 3? Something like that. Yes, Jason and Seth are both seniors and same age. YES, Seth's mom died. And then, Seth's dad having an affair with Jason's mom is SUPER CLOSE! You've probably got the gist of it from this chapter. The new story, well, I'm going to try and get this about half-way finished before I post up a new one. Too much work. Hahaha.

Crimson-Angel21: Thanks, thanks!

xxSilverMoonxx: I'm sorry I had to stop it there, it was getting a bit long and I have trouble keeping up with super long chapters from other writers. Thanks for those compliments, by the way. They make me feel all giddy and stuff, like I'm high. Except, not on contraband. Haha. I'd never do the Nair thing, too. Even if there was a girl as bad as Amanda. I actually don't know where the Nair thing came from, but I don't question it. Haha. Thanks again.

Blueangel87: Thanks!

Sammi13u: Revenge is DEFINITELY sweet.

TaurusGirl7: Thanks. :)

N3ssa: Wow, thanks. That's definitely a great thing for you to say.