A/N: This is the first story I decided to post here, and I hope you guys like it. All the characters belong to me, so don't go throwing a hissy fit if they sound like someone else. I based them off of my friends.
"Terri!" I groaned, pulling the pillow back over my head. "Terri, come on, get up!" I ignored my twin brother, who had burst into my room to wake me up.
"Go away." I muttered into my pillow. Suddenly the covers were pulled off my legs and cold air hit them. I mentally cursed the creator of sleep shorts, and my mother for buying them for me. Under the pillow my eyes widened and then narrowed again. He was going to pay for that. I heard my brother move next to the bed, and waited until the last possible second, tightening my grip on the edge of the pillow.
"Ter-" I suddenly sat straight up in my bed, socking him in the nose with my pillow. He lost his balance and fell to the floor with a cry.
"Ha!" I yelled triumphantly, hitting him again with the pillow.
"Terri!" I ignored his protests. He knew better than to wake me up early. "Terri!" I just laughed maniacally, until he caught the pillow that is. My blue-gray eyes widened then as the tables were turned. I was whacked in the face with a pillow so hard that I fell back onto my bed. My twin just laughed and dropped the pillow on my face. That was one big mistake. I grabbed it and began hitting him again. He let out an annoyed yell and took off out my door. I took chase and ran after him, nearly tripping at the top of the stairs. I managed to get to the bottom without falling on my face, then sprinted after my brother, who was heading for the kitchen.
"Carter Nigel Harris, get back here!" I shouted, skidding into the kitchen, the pillow still in my hand. He flashed a grin at me over his shoulder, then dove into the living room. I stepped in cautiously, ready for him to leap out at me at any second. My eyes shifted over toward the large L-shaped couch on the far side of the room. I was almost positive he was hiding behind that. He was my twin, and I knew him way too well. I padded silently over to the couch, preparing myself to jump out and start beating the living daylights out of him (with a pillow) when someone grabbed me around the waist from behind, lifting me up and throwing me down on the couch, then pinned me down.
"Hey Carter! I got her!" My eyes widened, locking gazes with the jade eyes of my brother's best friend, Taylor Matthews.
"Great." Out of the corner of my eye I saw Carter get up from behind the couch, and reach for the pillow that was still clutched in my fingers. "You know, you'd think she'd be happy to get up and come to morning detention with us today." With a flick of my wrists, I sent the pillow flying at my brother's head. He caught it, laughing.
"Aw, come on Terri. It's the only way you'll get to swim practice." I snorted, and turned my glare back to Taylor. Not that I didn't want to go to swim practice, but they woke me up at five thirty in the morning. Can anyone blame me for being mad at them? It was their own fault that they had morning detention.
"Fine, now lemme up so I can get dressed."
Taylor smirked. "Why? I'm sure the guys in detention would love to see you in those shorts." I managed to wriggle one of my hands free, and pushed him off.
"Get away from me." I snapped, heading upstairs. It wasn't that I didn't like my brother's best friend, because I did. . . Sometimes. Most of the time he was just annoying though. More annoying than my own brother even. I sighed, grabbing my duffel bag off the floor and shoving my swim team suit into it, along with my towel. I sighed, pulling on a pair of jeans, a red T-shirt and a hoodie. What? It was cold outside, especially at our school. Our high school was built right next to this gigantic lake, which was good for the crew team, but not for the fall weather. I sighed, slinging my bag over my shoulder and after grabbing my backpack, I headed down the stairs, minus the pillow this time.
"Morning sleepy-head." Carter said as I walked towards his car. Yes, his car. It was supposed to be our car, but since he never gave me the keys. . . Well you can probably guess that I never got to drive. It wasn't my fault that I crashed the car twice inside a week. Okay, maybe it was my fault, but the car had some problems too!
I tossed my bag in the back seat and climbed in the passenger seat. It was an understood fact with my brother and Taylor that I rode shotgun, no matter who was driving. I slammed the door and buckled my seat belt, still mad at my brother. He flashed me a grin that would have made any girl at our school swoon. Yes. Unfortunately my brother was one of those unbelievably popular guys. Had he not been my twin, I wouldn't have even decided to socialize with him. At all. Period. I would have hated his guts. Not that I didn't anyway.
"Aw, Carter, I think she's mad at us." I resisted the urge to hit Taylor and glared at the road in front of us instead of replying. Taylor just snickered and sat back in his seat. I closed my eyes, dozing off until we reached the school. As we pulled into the parking lot, my brother slammed on the gas, jerking me back into my seat. He slammed his foot on the brake a split second later, making the seat belt nearly strangle me. He then yanked the wheel to the right, and came to a short, hard, stop. I glared at my brother, getting out of the car and slamming the door. I stalked toward the school angrily, my bags over my shoulders. I could hear the two boys laughing as they too got out of the car, but I ignored them. The two of them only served to make my life miserable.
I sighed, slipping into the locker room to change. My best friend, Lily Tempest squealed when she saw me.
"Oh my god!" She screeched. I winced, rubbing my temple. Every single morning I saw her I was amazed at how incredibly peppy she could be. "Did you hear about Steve West's party Friday night?" I shook my head. The most I heard was that my brother stumbled into our house at four in the morning, completely wasted.
"Oh my god! You didn't?" I shook my head again, shoving my school bag into my sports locker on top of my gym clothes. I was so very, very thankful that our school has its own pool, so I didn't have to get up even earlier for morning practices.
"Okay, so what happened?" I asked, stepping into one of the stalls to change into my suit. I knew if I didn't ask, she'd tell me anyway, and then be upset that I didn't care.
"Oh my gawd! This new guy got in a fight with one of the football players!" She exclaimed as I stepped out of the stall, adjusting the straps of my suit. I raised an eyebrow at her.
"A fight?" I asked incredulously. This was what she was so worked up over?
"I know! It was so totally awesome! The new guys kicked Henderson's ass!" I stopped dead in my tracks.
"Henderson, as in Nick Henderson?" She nodded vigorously.
"Yes!" Okay. Now I was impressed. Nick Henderson was built like a mountain. Stocky, heavily muscled -- everything. For someone to have beaten him in a fight was unheard of. Not untried, and the last kid who did try ended up in the hospital for three weeks. Internal bleeding I think.
I shook my head in disbelief as we headed for the pool. "So, how'd it get started?"
Lily eyed me thoughtfully. "I think the new guy was in his seat." I rolled my eyes. Typical Henderson right there.
"Lily! Did you hear about the fight at West's party?" Our other friend, Joyce Fredricks ran up to us.
"Fredricks! No running in the pool area! How many times do I have to tell you?" Our coach bellowed. I winced. Why did everyone have to be so goddamn loud this morning.
"Sorry!" Joyce called back.
"Oh I so did!" Lily screeched as the three of us headed for our lanes. "My cousin told me all about it!" Oh, did I not mention that Lily is Taylor's cousin? Okay, So I didn't. Sue me. But they are, and unfortunately for me, they're close. Almost sibling-like close. It's scary if you ask me. I mean, my twin and I aren't even that close. I shook my head as we made our way to the starting blocks. (Which, by the way, for all you non-swimmers out there are the little board-things you dive off of to start a race).
"I was so there." Joyce said proudly, as though it made her the queen of the world. I sighed, pulling on my goggles. She shot me a death glare. "What, you don't care?" My eyes widened behind the goggles. It was so not a good idea to piss Joyce off. I'd done it once, and she'd made my life a living hell. For an entire month. I sighed. It was so much better to have her as a friend.
"What? Are you kidding?" I asked, climbing up on the block and accepting a swim cap from Lily. "Of course I care." Joyce grinned, climbing up on the other side of Lily. She obviously missed the sarcasm.
"Take your marks!" Our coach shouted. The three of us looked over at the other three swimmers. They were ready, cap and goggles on. I groaned, pulling my cap on. They'd made me late, once again. "Go!" I managed to get down in position a split second before the coach bellowed out again. I shoved off with my feet, flinging my body out in a perfect streamlined position, hitting the water. I grinned, beginning my flutter kick after reaching a count of six. I surfaced, taking a breath as I began the crawl stroke. Inwardly I was doing a happy dance. I loved the water. When I was swimming, it seemed as though all of my problems just dissolved. Including any thoughts of my brother and his idiot friend.
After we were done with our laps, Joyce resumed her rant about the fight at the party.
"Okay. So Nick Henderson walks over to this new kid, who just so happens to be Steve West's best friend from that private elementary school he went to, and goes 'you're in my seat.' So then the new kid, goes 'I don't see your name on it anywhere.' And then Nick grabs him by the shirt and hauls him up out of the chair." She was jumping up and down with excitement by this time. "And then, BOOM!" She threw a punch at the air in front of her. "Nick socks him in the jaw." Lily's eyes widened.
"Are you serious?" She gasped. I raised an eyebrow. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. My best friends just happened to be the ditziest girl in the senior class. I sighed, shaking my head. But I really did want to hear what happened. It wasn't every day that
"And then, and then!" Joyce said, waving her hands in front of herself dramatically, as though we had started talking. Except we hadn't. "And then, the next thing anyone knows Nick is on the floor, holding his stomach and a bloody nose." Her perfect blue eyes widened. And by perfect blue eyes I mean crystal blue, almost a clear color. Mine are more gray-blue, like a stormy sea, according to my brother. I sighed. This new guy sounded just like all the rest of the guys at our school. Stupid, hormonal and just looking for a reason to hit someone. Usually they found a reason. Personally, I think that Nick Henderson is the worst one of all. And of course, he made it his personally hobby to piss of my brother and Taylor in any way conceivably possible. Which usually meant hitting on me. I listened to Joyce gush about the new boy, claiming that he was, and I quote, 'the hottest piece of ass ever!' As I showered, and changed back into my clothes.
"Guys?" They looked at me as though they'd forgotten I was there. They were sitting on the bench between the rows of lockers and still talking about the new guy. "I've got to go to my locker before homeroom." Lily nodded, her brown eyes bright.
"'K." She said. "I'll see you." She said, then went back to gossiping with Joyce. I sighed. Yup. She was my best friend, when no one else was around.
This was me. While my twin brother ruled the school, I was stuck in the mud under his shoes. My best friend, or rather, my closest friend since third grade was one of the most popular girl in the school, and barely had time for me anymore. Other than that, I didn't have friends, and pretty much kept to myself. Kind of a loner you could say. I sighed, spinning in the combination for my locker.
"Excuse me." An unfamiliar male voice said. I looked up to see who it was, and found myself looking into a pair of worried hazel eyes. I froze, my eyes roaming over his features. He was really nice-looking. He had hazel eyes and soft, curly brown hair. I raised an eyebrow at him, since he'd been silent the entire time I was. . . Okay, so I was checking him out. I'm a seventeen year old girl, can you really blame me?
"Oh. Sorry." My eyes slipped down to the fading bruise on his jaw. "Could you tell me where this main office is?" He asked. I shrugged, pointing back the way he'd come from.
"Right behind you smart one." I said sarcastically. He raised an eyebrow at me.
"Well, aren't we sarcastic." He said with a grin. I sighed.
"You're the guy that got into a fight at Steven West's party on Friday." He nodded cautiously. "Congratulations on taking down Henderson." I said with a shrug.
"Ah. Um, how'd you know about that? Were you at the party?" I laughed, shutting my locker. He was still looking at me cautiously.
"Sorry." I managed to stop laughing. "I just never go to those kinds of parties." He raised an eyebrow.
"What kind of parties?"
"The kind where my brother comes home drunk from." I replied simply. "The office is behind you." I pointed to the sign that clearly said Main Office on it, then turned, heading off to my first period class. I shook my head as I walked in to find Lily flirting with one of the guys on our swim team. Lucky guys. I thought. They don't have to be at school at six in the morning for practice. Of course not, because they get to practice after school this week. I snorted, pulling a book out of my backpack. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is how I spend my free time. I was always at swim practice, or reading because the other alternative is to feel like a third wheel to Lily, and I didn't want to do that. She'd been my best friend since third grade, but last year, things began to change. She started going out with this guy, James, and he completely took up all her time. Then, after they broke up, who did she come running to? The one person she'd completely ignored for five months. And what did I do? Did I throw her out of my life? Did I tell her she was a horrible friend? That she'd thrown our friendship out the window and me along with it? No. I just comforted her. For a week I thought things were back to normal, but then she made the spring cheer leading squad, leaving me to find something else to do after school. Which is when I discovered the wonders of the public library. I found out that I could escape reality as long as I remained there. Hence, the reading in class.
"The Huntress?" A voice asked in my ear. I jumped, banging my knee on the desk and dropping my book into my lap. I turned to see Taylor behind me. He scooped up the book and scanned the back cover.
"What do you want Matthews?" I asked. He raised an eyebrow, flashing me a grin.
"Nothing." He dropped his bag into the seat next to me and sat down. "Other than to express my undying love and eternal gratitude for your existence." I rolled my eyes, trying to snatch my book back.
"What'd you do this time?" I asked. He always said that when he did something unbelievably stupid and needed my help for it. A slight blush tinged his cheeks.
"Uh. . ." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I think I gave Joyce Fredricks the impression that I like her." My eyes snapped open as wide as they could go, and I snorted, trying to keep from laughing. It didn't work. Before I could get too loud though, Taylor clamped his hand over my mouth. I finally looked him in the face and found that he looked so completely serious that I just dissolved into giggles again, falling out of my chair and away from Taylor's hand. He leaned over my desk to look at me, his dark hair falling into his eyes.
"This is not funny!" I didn't even try to get up. Not that I could, I was just laughing too damn hard. "Terri. . ." He whined, and gave me the puppy-dog look that he had perfected over the twelve years I'd known him.
Yes. Twelve. It was that fateful day in kindergarten when Taylor had stood up to the bullies that had been trying to make my older brother eat sand.
I groaned, my laughter dying in my throat. Joyce Fredricks was the most popular girl in the senior class, and I believe she'd had thirteen boyfriends already this year, and it wasn't even the end of October. "Fine." He ginned, and held out his hand to help me up. I rolled my eyes, ignoring it and getting to my feet on my own. Honestly, had the boy learned nothing about me? "What'd you want me to do?"
His grin widened. "Go out with me." He said, I paused, halfway to my feet, and just stared at him.
"What?!" He laughed.
"Sorry. I said go out with me. To Kelly's party tonight."
"Taylor, it's Monday."
"I have swim practice tomorrow."
"I can't go to a party tonight!"
"Yes you can."
"No, I can't!"
"Yes you can."
"Do you have any idea what Carter would do to you if you brought me to Kelly Ford's party tonight?" Taylor's face fell. I smirked, he obviously hadn't thought that part of the plan through.
"Oh. Right." He groaned, hitting his head on the desk.
"So what'd you do that's got Joyce so sure you like her?"
"I don't know."
"Taylor. . ." I could tell he was lying, and that was rare.
"I told her I liked her hair." I bit my lip to keep from laughing.
"Was that the exact phrase you used?" He nodded, his head still on the desk. "You said, 'I like your hair' to Joyce Fredricks?!" Okay, so I was rubbing it in. So what? I deserve to gloat.
"Well, since you can't take me to the party, I suggest you-"
"Refrain from talking to her?" He asked hopefully, raising his head off the desk. I shook my head.
"That'll only convince her that you like her, even more. It'll seem like you were avoiding her because you like her." He hit his head on the desk again.
"No, my advice would be for you to act normal." I said, snatching my book back. "Completely normal. Don't avoid her, and don't try to flatter her, at all." Taylor flashed me a grin.
"Thanks." I rolled my eyes, opening my book again and picking up where I'd left off. "Terri, I'm serious. I don't know what Carter and I'd do with out you." I smirked.
"Crash and burn Taylor." I replied. "You'd crash and burn."
"Class, I'd like you to welcome a new student." Taylor stopped trying to get me to talk to him, thank God. I sighed, looking up to the front of the room to find the boy who'd asked me where the office was before school.
"This is Alex Walker." The teacher swept his eyes across the classroom, and spotted the empty seat on the other side of me. "Ah. Mr. Walker, there a seat right next to Miss Harris. The one with the purple shirt on." I glanced down and sure enough, I was wearing purple. Alex made his way through the rows of seats, dropping into the seat next to me. He flashed me a grin.
I ignored him, shutting my book and stashing it in my bag, then looked straight ahead at Mr. Jacobs. I heard Taylor sigh in relief next to me. A small smile crept onto my face. He and Carter had made it their personal mission to beat any guy that got within three feet of me senseless. I didn't see why though, it's not like I was one of the prettiest girls in school. I wasn't even close.
"So, how boring is this class?" Alex asked. I turned and raised an eyebrow.
"With or without you in it?" I asked. I was Taylor smirk out of the corner of my eye. Alex flinched.
"Okay, um, ouch?" He said. I returned her gaze to the front of the classroom where Mr. Jacobs had started writing notes on the board. "Look, sorry if I came off with the wrong impression-"
"You mean like the impression you gave when asking where an office you'd just passed was?" I asked, not looking up from my notes. If there was one thing I could handle, it was the more flirtatious men.
Alex rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "Right. Sorry about that, I was just nervous. And the signs in my old school were on the doors, not above them. I wasn't looking there." I felt my shoulders relax. If it'll get him to shut up long enough for class to be over. . .
"Fine. But could you at least shut up so I can take notes?"
"Miss Harris. Since you're paying such close attention, could you answer my question?" I hesitated for a moment, then shrugged. I knew what he'd been talking about. See my brain functions in such a way that I can pay half-attention to two things at once. Cool, huh?
"Sure. A malapropism is an intentional misuse of words by an author in an attempt to add humor to a story." Mr. Jacobs raised an eyebrow, and I felt my face take on a pink tinge. "It was also used a lot in Shakespeare's works, most often used by the commoners, to show that they weren't as well educated." Mr. Jacobs frowned at ,y, then coughed into his hand. I couldn't help a smirk. Even if I was sleeping in class, I was never at a lost for an answer. No one could seem to understand how I did it. I just shook my head and continued doodling on my paper. It actually looked to the teacher that I was taking notes. I also noticed with satisfaction that Alex didn't try to talk to me again for the entire period.
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