So.. it's a new year, new decade.. i'm feeling wonderful! i may have finally finished a story so i'm gonna go have a party. and Maybe.. hmmm Write another NEW story! YEEHAWWW! (sorry that's the texan in me)

I really hope you enjoy...

Now hereeeeee's johnny!

Paula was shocked.

She actually looked pretty. To herself, at least, which was a huge improvement.

Gazing at her made-up reflection, she made a few silly faces and threw up devil horns on her head. Cocking her head back in laughter she successfully "Muhaha'ed" and frightened some of the other Debutantes in the dressing room.

All, save for one.

"Wow. You look pretty." Paula froze in surprise at the voice she never thought she'd hear utter those words, "I mean, for a demon…" Brittany added, taking a seat beside her on the vanity.

Paula was speechless.

She was confused because Brittany was the one who looked pretty. Perfect, actually, with her blonde curls pinned up like an ode to Marie Antoinette. Her make-up was flawless, and her smoky eyes made her sky-blue orbs intense. Her corset dress pushed her up in the right places, and sucked her in, giving her a waist that would be every girl's envy that evening. And even her seemingly glass slippers reminded Paula of a fairy-tale Princess.

"Uh, you look like Cinderella." Paula finally muscled out. It was really all she could say, it wasn't friendly, it wasn't enemy, it was just… a comment. And Paula didn't know how to address her seemingly reformed nemesis. Brittany let out her famous golden giggle,

"Oh, Paula, you'll never change… except for that huge change you made… Like, whatever happened to you? You started acting all, goth… punk… I don't know…"

Paula found it strange that Brittany was bringing up the past, so suddenly and so randomly. And she finally figured that maybe Brittany, perfect Brittany was nervous. Did the golden girl have something to tell her? Was this a ramble?

Paula shrugged, but armed with her new revelation, she breathed casting her eyes to the ground,

"You changed too. Why was that? Couldn't handle being a brunette anymore? Didn't like fitting in? Ya know, I'm not the only one that changed in life… Emo music helped me during a period of time I felt no one else could… I hurt myself because I couldn't hurt others. I was alone… And you were completely encircled by girls and guys that were just like you. Rich, beautiful… And then you changed that, you put yourself on this pedestal that no one else would dare compete with. You set the bar so high to be Queen that everyone else decided to give you full reign."

"You chose to be alone, like me, except on the opposite end of the spectrum. And I never understood that." She paused, "Honestly, I never cared to understand. I was so busy hating it, and you. But now, I realize that we were and are just the same, Summers—I mean, Brittany. And, I'm done being like that. Like you.. I don't want to isolate myself anymore. It hurts too much. I've moved on, and here's hoping you've moved on too…"

She finally snuck a glance at Brittany, who carried the most peculiar expression on her face. It was one of complete self-excavation, like Paula had dug a hole straight to her inner-self and left it wide open for all to see. Brittany was, in that moment, vulnerable. And, surprisingly, she didn't try to conceal it.

"Paula… you're right."

Those three words: uttered by the Queen of self-righteousness. Paula didn't know how to process that. But she appreciated it, whole-heartedly.

"I'm totally not the same girl I was a few months ago… I've seen so many ugly angles of me and… well, what I'm trying to say, and have been trying to say since I came over here is…" she looked at Paula, who seemed so interested in her next words,

"I'm so over it, Paula." Brittany sighed, heaving her shoulders and nearly crumpling in her chair. "Really, really, over it. I mean, hate was so last year."

Paula held back a laugh, but not a smile and said,

"Consider this my resignation."

Like I've said before, there's nothing better than wearing a beautiful dress and having the world adore you.

But I was wrong. Something trumps that feeling by a landslide.

There's nothing better than getting a load off of your chest that's been sitting there for-seemingly-ever. After talking with Paula, I felt one zillion times better. All the glitz and glamour in the world couldn't outdo the feeling of relief.

I could return to life again. I wanted to jump up and down, but I had to walk—nay—glide down the stage and be introduced into society.

And it was totally appropriate.

I mean, I was changed, different, and shiny and new!

All of these self-improvement tactics and tears and anger finally paid off.

I was Brittany Sarah Summers; reformed.

So, as I strode down the walkway built on the edge of the stage, I smiled at my friends and family that came to applaud my induction to society. My mother and father, looking absolutely ravishing in matching gray Dolce suits, my brother Brad with his semi-celebrity girlfriend draped around him like a sash, little Susie and her friends dressed too much like Hannah Montana doppelgangers. Then I saw my uncle Mike, large and jolly, sitting beside my mother and looking like a million bucks. I loved my family dearly, and I blew a little kiss.

Way behind them sat Jenny Kirkland, still frail, but glowing in a dress my mother bought her. It wasn't nearly the compensation my mother had in store for her, but it was a start. She threw me a little wave, and I smiled back at her; we had always had our little relationship, despite all things.

I blew past the Philips family that also decided to come. I was totally flattered by their support, but it also reminded me of the family that wasn't there. I strolled down to meet my 'escort', when a familiar voice filled the room,


No. Effing. Way!

I leapt off of the stage and nearly tackled Angela Emam, looking as stunning as ever, even with her long, curly locks transformed into tiny braids crashing past her shoulders.

"ANGIEEEEEE!" I squealed, much to the chagrin of the onlookers, "I could kiss you! Like, on the mouth!" Angela beamed, her green eyes sparkling,

"What the hell, Britt? Get back on stage, we can makeout later…" she cast her cat-eyes on stage, "your man is waiting…" she whispered with a wink.

My face flushed.

I gave her one last squeeze and as gracefully as I could, approached the stage to basically straddle it. But before I could lift one 'lady-like' leg, two hands gripped my waist and hoisted me back up...

...Up into the arms of Darren Berges.

"Way to go, Princess… You've proved your Debutante status with the whole room." His whispered words trickled from my ear and down my spine causing a slight shiver,

"You know you like it." I whispered back, securing our distance and adjusting my dress. Shooting an apologetic glance at the crowd, I curtsied and took Darren's arm as Mrs. Margaret scoffed out the rest of my announcements,

"A-and Miss Summers is being escorted by Mister Darren Berges. She is accompanied tonight by…"

Yadda, yadda, the rest was drowned out by Darren's soft conversation,

"Now that your friend is back, how do you plan to celebrate?" I saw through that,

"Are you trying to ask me what my plans are this evening?" Darren scoffed,

"Try, for once to take it for face value."

"Well—" I stretched out the word, trying to kill him with suspense, "I'm supposed to be having dinner with the family… but think I can disappear.. for once."

Darren smiled, and said nothing.

It was over. All over.

I was super relieved.

I just wanted to take that air-restricting corset off and pull those painful pins out of my hair.

As I finally managed to slip on some jeans and a blouse and successfully extracted pin number 6,492 from my head, my phone sprang to life, vibrating in my lap,

"Hey mom." I answered, massaging my scalp.

"Oh, Baby!!!" she purred, "I'm so proud of you! Your father had to keep me from bawling all over myself! We're waiting in the car, for you… we can have someone pick your car up." I smiled, typical mom,

"No, it's totally cool, mom… I can drive home."

"Alright, sweetie. Cocktails at 9."

We hung up and I breathed a sigh of relief. That means I had two hours of…

Wait. Where was Darren?

I stood and surveyed the rapidly thinning dressing room. Debs were going home to their families and friends, and boyfriends… and I was stuck, alone.

Even Paula bailed.

I scooped my duffle bag around my shoulders and exited the building, heading for my Camaro and shuffling for my cell phone.

How dare Darren totally invite me out and disappear?

Ok, well, maybe he didn't exactly invite me anywhere… but he made the gesture..


I shoved my phone back into my pocket, dejected… and rejected.

Just as I threw my duffel bag in the passenger seat, I heard a familiar argument.

"Dammit, Lozaro! I know it was rude, but… she basically wants to enslave me in this Deb business.. I'm not doing it any-fucking-more. 'Kay?"

It was Darren.

And he did not seem happy. I remained nosy…

"Darren, you don't understand how she feels about you. She just wants the best for you, like I do."

I saw him standing beside his truck, arms folded and looking down at Mrs. Lozaro.

"Hmm. Advice, taken. Me doing this shit ever again? No." he looked around, seemingly like he was looking for someone, "I'm waiting on someone… so, I'll see you at school, Teach?" the smaller woman smiled and nodded,

"Yep, see you at school." Lozaro spun on her heel and sauntered away, leaving Darren to spin about once she was out of sight. I saw him slide his cell phone from his back pocket and dial a number…

My hip vibrated. Yes!

Wanting to scare him, I left my phone unanswered and found a hidden route to his car. After my phone stopped vibrating, he sighed, hung up and reached in his back pocket once more for what seemed to be a pack of cigarettes.

As he lifted a stick to his lips, I appeared,

"Is it my mom's fault again?"

Darren grinned widely, his green eyes dancing in the darkness. "How did I not hear?" I fished out my cell, wagging it in his face,

"Vibrate." I chirped. Darren, tepidly put his cigarette back in the box and stowed it away on his body.


We stared at each other for a moment…

Ok, a long moment.

I was just so in love with every detail of his face.

Woah. The 'L' word?

I shook my head and broke the preggo silence,

"So, why did you call?" Darren shrugged half-heartedly,

"Ah, it was a courtesy call. Just checking to see if you were alive after stage diving…" I nudged him, leaning close to his warm frame,

"Yeah, well, you were there… you saved me from flashing the whole room."

"Interesting. So you're saying you were going to flash the whole room?" I leaned even closer, my shoulders nearly brushing his chest,

"Well, yeah…" he smiled, leaning down to meet me,

"Shouldn't have stopped ya."

By this time our lips were nearly touching, and my body wanted so badly to squish itself against his. My hands found the courage to grab his tuxedo shirt, which was currently unbuttoned, and tug gently urging him closer.

My eyelids fluttered close, waiting for him to meet me halfway… when…

Sigh, "Brittany. Stop."


I blinked from my reverie and dropped his shirt like it was made of fire. I felt, frustrated, rejected, ugly, dumb… I felt so alien.

I was fed up with Darren Berges teasing me!

I was fed up with him being so desirable yet so far away, and so annoyingly hypnotic. I wanted to distance myself from him forever, because I didn't want to be around him if it meant not to be with him, and to not kiss him incessantly.

And that was not being selfish, ok?!

That was being human.

I spun on my heel and walked away.

He said nothing to stop me.


Why couldn't he follow through?

Darren stomped angrily at an un-smoked cigarette, and burst into his house, slamming the door in his frustrations.

There was something so forbidden about Brittany Summers. He didn't want to ruin anything between them, whatever that 'thing' was…

What was between them?

Were they friends? They had so much physical attraction… he literally felt her desire radiating off of her, and yet he stopped her.

Any other guy would've kissed her senseless.

What was wrong with—


Fucking woman…

Was it enough that she ignited an argument with him in front of everyone? Was it enough that she forbade him to go to an out-of-state college so she could use him for her stupid-ass Balls? Wasn't it enough that she tortured him everyday of his life since he moved in with his uncle?

"What, THE FUCK?" he roared, standing at the threshold of the kitchen. There was Margaret, clinging barely onto a glass of wine. Her lips were parted in shock, and her eyebrows nearly flew into her curled bangs.

"I just wanted to say…" her words died on her lips as Darren shifted in the doorway, she couldn't possibly be afraid; they dueled many times before… She was about to say something earnest… and he waited,

"Well?" he offered.

"I'm sorry." She gulped her glass empty, "Really, I am Darren… I've been a bit overbearing—"

"A bit?" he chuckled,

"Ok, I've been really overbearing, and it's only because I care, Lamb. I want you to be a success, and I don't have any children… so if I screw up on you, then, I'm a screw-up." She paused, "Pardon my French," she added as an after-thought.

Darren nodded in understanding,

"Then you smoke, you're a delinquent, you never date the right girls… you're just—"

"Like his mother." Darren's Uncle John stepped in, grinning a lot like his nephew when he's made a point. "Darren you are your mother's son… crazy as ever and yet, you know how to obtain your success." John cast a glance at Margaret, "We did a good job, Maggie… And Darren's going to be fine. Lighten up and let him do what he wants."

Then, after shocking the hell out of Darren for actually speaking up, he winked at his nephew and strolled out of the room. Margaret cleared her throat,

"I suppose you can go to that horrid school on the east coast… you'll just be out of my hands, and that's going to drive me crazy."

Darren stood for awhile observing his Aunt in a new light… She cared about him? That's why she was such a controlling witch?

It didn't add up.

But at the same time, it made perfect sense, he sympathized with her. And that was a first for Darren. He shifted his weight, licked his lips, and smiled at his Aunt.

Love was a crazy thing.

And suddenly not only did he sympathize with her, he could relate.

Both of them had to lose the control.

"'Night, Aunt Margaret." He murmured, backing out and hopping up the stairs.

Margaret blinked in confusion and poured herself another glass of wine,

"Well, Margaret is a far cry better than 'Woman'…"

Paula hugged her mother for the millionth time that evening. She stripped from her gown hours ago, and was currently sprawled across her mom's torso on the living room couch. They celebrated her induction into society with a pizza delivery and a movie.

The Summers' invited them over for cocktails. But they politely declined.

After all of the drama of the previous night, they needed their 'alone' time.

"Mom. Everything worked out… I can go to any school I want now, you don't have to work so hard." She squeezed Jenny's tiny frame, "I'm gonna make sure you don't have to lift a finger! Just gimmie 4 years… 5 tops."

"I'm proud of you, baby." She chuckled, twirling a finger in her daughters' red hair, "you've made huge improvements this year. And your boyfriend…" she let out a low whistle, "what a dream-boat."

Paula blushed,

"Oh… that guy? Geeze ma he's not my boyfriend… he's like my—uh… you know—puppy." Jenny burst into giggles,

"Aww, so we kiss puppies like that now? Maybe I shouldn't get you that dog then," Paula was flustered,


She loved Chris. He was definitely not her puppy.

He was there the entire time during the Debutant Ball, holding her hand and giving her encouraging little butterfly kisses.

He was that perfect guy that everyone thought he was.

Only better.

He even took the edge off of Brittany Summers, which was quite a challenge… Well, the old Brittany Summers… this new girl was someone she definitely could get used to.

Well, then again, this new Paula was someone she could get used to as well.

Breathing deep into her mother's shoulder, she sighed and let the pizza send her to sleep. All was well and good.

I was semi-excited for the first day of school since the winter break.

I put on a happy face and a skirt, shirt, heels trio. My hair was still in curls from lack of Chi'ing, and as I walked into school, the color of the walls reminded me of him.

I growled.

"BRITTANY SARAH SUMMERS!!! COME HERE BEEYOTCH!" it was Angie, with a radiant Carrie in-tow, sporting a hot short-cropped hair style that reminded me of Victoria Beckham. I hugged my girls tightly, feeling the sadness of rejection melt away.

"I missed you guys so much!" I squealed, holding back tears, "I mean, the both of you together, here in school… it seems like it was eons ago when we were all together like this!" Carrie and Angie agreed and we walked shoulder-to-shoulder down the hall,

I waved at my friends that greeted me, but my attention was directed to a guy that didn't wave or say hello… he just stood by his locker, sort of averting his gaze from mine.

It was my friend from the flower shop.


I bounced up to him and waved, "Hey Jon!"

Jonathon Sykes looked truly surprised,

"Hey Brittany, I didn't think you'd remember me." I laughed and gave him a playful shove,

"No way, dude. And thanks again for the flowers and putting up with my 'tude." Jon blushed,

"My pleasure, Brittany."

As I walked away Angela took my arm suspiciously,

"Who's that? You boinkin' him?" before she could answer, she was scooped up by Randy's strong arms,

"Why d'you care who she's boinkin'?" he joked, and before she could answer, her lips were smothered by his.

Ah, true love.

Carrie and I looked on with large dreamy eyes, Chris, who had appeared with Randy, just sighed,

"Get a room!" he joked,

We continued, as a group, to our hangout spot and took our places,

"Ok, we have all got to get lunch together today… I don't care what your practice or work-out regime is." Angela crooned, mussing Randy's hair,

"But—" Chris invaded,

"I. Don't. Give. A. Fuck." Angel enforced, giving Chris dangerous green eyes. Chris challenged her stare,

"Did you say 'fuck'?" he queried suggestively, causing Angie to slap him playfully, and Randy to growl...

Cue the Randy Angie make-out sesh…

"I love your hair by the way…" Randy murmured between kisses.

We were also joined by the rest of our clique and Lonnie 'cozy-ed' up to Carrie almost immediately. It was a cesspool of PDA all around me and it was killing me. I gave Chris a nearly tearful glance, but he was too busy staring off in the distance, I followed his state to find Paula basically hiding from us. But not from Chris.

"Be right back," he murmured to me. I didn't believe a word of it.

I escaped from the clique and as the bell rang, and as everyone headed to class, I decided to break the rules and step outside.

I was so happy that everyone was happy… but it was killing me that I couldn't figure Darren out. He was maddening…

I just needed some air, some space, some—

"Stalking again?"

Darren. Berges.

It's like the day was out to get me.

I cut my eyes towards his gorgeous form, leaning against the side of the building… He was chewing again…

"What's up with you and gum?" I asked, walking towards him. It was like he had a magnet…

Wait, we already covered that.

"Nicorette." he replied, "'Kinda works."

"I'm impressed. A conscious effort to quit, not just winging it." I was still walking towards him… what am I doing?

I stopped dead in my tracks.

"What the heck am I doing?" I thought out loud, throwing my hands up and turning to walk back into the school. I was only hurting myself… I didn't deserve this sadomasochism.

Last time I walked away, Darren said nothing… this time,

"Wait." He grabbed my wrist, twirling me around nearly crashing into his arms. "Woah… didn't expect that." He seemed winded and flustered, staring down at me with intense green eyes.

My stomach dropped and butterflies fluttered crazily within its' depth. I'm sure my breathing increased like I was climbing Mt. Everest, and my hair spilled wildly about my face. I licked my lips impatiently,

"What? What Darren? Care to tease me some more?" I tried to pull away again, but he placed his strong grip around the small of my back, nearly sending me into cardiac arrest.

"No." he uttered, low and raspy.

"Then what do you want?" Darren's eyelids drooped a bit,

"I-I don't know…" he bit his lip; I rolled my eyes.

"Nice! Freaking nice, Darren. You have me in your stupid arms and you don't know what you want?!… I know what I want! It's been the same thing since you showed me your world, your beach, and your smile. It's always been the same and you just can't get past your hard-ass exterior to see that!"

Suddenly, he laughed.

"What?!" I cried, terribly upset.

"Nothin' you're just such a potty mouth when you're upset…" I fought back my smile,

"What the hell are you gonna do about it?" I challenged, glaring up at him, "Feed me soap? Spank me?" Darren licked his lips, and suddenly the confusion that clouded his eyes evaporated,

Suddenly, he looked like a man who knew exactly what he wanted.

"Close…" he murmured, and then, I exploded.

His lips found mine like they had been searching for them their whole lives.

His hand, which was gently on my wrist traveled up my arm and into my hair, massaging my curls and sending me into a frenzy. I wrapped my leg around him, deepening the kiss, mingling our tongues and savoring his minty flavor.

Something told me I would need to learn how to circular breathe when dealing with Darren.

I never wanted to come up for air…

Our lips, depressed, finally parted, and we probed each other hungrily, so unsatisfied, and yet, so finally fulfilled.

Darren smiled, "Now the spanking…" I laughed,

"Just kiss me again… I think I love it."

Darren looked totally ok with that, and pulled me in for another mind shattering kiss, his hands found my hair again, and I suddenly wondered how long he'd wanted to do that.

"I think I love you." He murmured, kissing me deeper. I laughed the best I could through lips,

Then, I knew: a loooong time.

So is this the end?

I know that this chapter came naturally and in one day... well actually 15 minutes ago... so don't sue me if there's mistakes.

thanks to EVERYONE that read and reviewed and favorite'ed and did all of those things that are cool. Yall ROCK my SOCKS!

Hmm.. so if you do review, don't kill me for taking forever...