"What's going on with you and Caleb Johnson?" Lindsay Ryder asked, slinking up beside me on my way to class. I glanced at her from the corner of my eye. Was she serious about walking with me right now?

"Nothing at all."

"Then why is he suddenly following you around?"

"Funny cause I don't see him anywhere."

"You don't have to be a bitch about it." She growled, flicking her long blonde hair behind her shoulder.

"Lindsay, when have you ever felt the need to walk me to lunch? Ever? Just go away." I said, and I don't think I even sounded that mean. However, she gave me the look of a wounded puppy before slouching off, mostly to tell her collagen friends of my 'way harshness'.

"Ella, I've been thinking about a name for the song all morning."

I rolled my eyes, and tried to ignore Greg as he practically chased me down the hallway.

"What do you think about… Coming back to you?"


There was silence for a few seconds; I didn't bother giving myself a victorious pat on the back however, because I knew there was more coming.

"What about…A journey back to you?"


"What?! I thought I for sure had that one!"

"What about…"

"Greg, what about worrying about your already existing material that you're going to need this weekend for your gig?" I suggested. "We'll worry about this later."

Greg looked pensive for a few moments. "Yea, I suppose we can discuss this after the gig. By the way, you inviting anyone?" he asked, bouncing his eyebrows up and down.

"You ask that every time, and when have I ever?"

"Hey, I'm trying to give you encouragement. We can't have you…"

"Maybe I'll ask Caleb." I fibbed, and fully ignored the fast beating of my pulse at the mere thought.

"CALEB? That boy doesn't even like Rock music!" he said looking scandalized.

"How do you know? Do you talk to him?"

"I talked to him today, remember."

I snorted. "You talked to him for like 5 whole minutes."

"What are you two douche bags exclaiming over?" my brother asked, shoving his way through us so he could walk in the middle.

"You're sister wants to invite…"

"Heyyyy!! Whoa there space cowboy! I never said I wanted to so shut your hole!"

"Ohhh someone's getting feisty," Greg grinned at me around my brother's middle.

"Am I missing something here?" Eric asked, looking down at me.

"No, just that your sister…"

"GREGARY HAROLD FITZWILLIAM….SO HELP ME…" I became like a wild cat, clawing past my brother to scratch out Greg's eyes.

Greg gasped. "How dare you break out the middle name," he said, safe and sound on the other side of Eric.

"I'll do it again if I have to." I said angrily now, being restrained by my super strong twin brother. "Jesus, Eric, are you cracking raw eggs into your mouth for breakfast?"

"That is my secret…now why are you two yelling at each other?" he asked, releasing my shoulders.

"No reason," I said innocently, shouldering the door to the cafeteria opened. "What the hell?" my sight fell on something horrid and just plain wrong. On the ground was a girl in a black green day t-shirt and form fitting jeans. Her long black hair, streaked with electric blue was pulled away from her face and she was screeching at the table of jocks that looked as though they were having the time of their lives.

I stormed over to the girl and bent down to help her into standing position. "Are you alright?" I asked.

"Yea, I'm fine, just these assholes dropped a pudding snack on the floor and didn't clean it up, so I slipped." She stood scowling at the boys and rubbing her bum, as the boys gaffed at the poor girl.

"Hey Redford! Shut the fuck up and mind your own business." Had that just escaped my mouth? Well, it was too late to take it back…

"What was that Conrad?" a large brown haired brown eyed boy stood up, cracking his knuckles.

"Oh Rodger, Don't pretend like you're intimidating us by cracking your impressive knuckles. My brother eats raw eggs for breakfast."

I heard Greg chuckle behind my back.

"Say that to my face," Rodger Redford shouted turning on me.

" I just did!" I shouted back.

Eric suddenly was blocking the hulking boy from me and swinging his arm with all his might. Rodger went down with a groan. "You ok?" he turned back to ask the girl, who just gazed up at him and nodded dazedly.

"Eric, watch out!" I shouted, spotting the fist coming at the back of his head. Only he turned around in time to get it in the eye.

"Holy shit, dude!" Greg shouted, jumping into the fray.

"Greg! Eric! Stop this!" I shouted, trying to sound angry. "Eric! Mom and Dad are sooo gonna kill you!"

"What should we do?" the girl asked me hopelessly.

"I'll tell you what I'm going to do! Those pricks hit my brother!" I screeched, enraged to point of insanity. I lunged at the fray.

"Wait! What are you doing!" May yelled, most likely watching the most stunning spectacle of her life unfold right before her eyes.

I was kicking and punching at the bodies below the one was currently lying on top of, whom of which, by the look of the back of his head, I was guessing was my brother. I pulled and pulled and heaved at his shoulder, trying to get him to stand up, but only got an elbow in the eye for my effort.

"Ow!!! You morons!!! Get off of him! Get off! You have to stop this!" Then I was punched in the stomach and got the wind knocked out of me. Oh now it was on. I began kicking and punching at anything that was soft. After a few moments of biting and scratching I felt someone pull me away from the fray. It took me a minute to realize that I was being held up right and against another person's chest and immediately stopped kicking, punching, and screaming.


I knew that voice…that was a melodious voice. I was so embarrassed. I looked to the stunned girl for assistance. I noticed my bother now standing, his lip bleeding, glaring at me while running a hand through his hair. Greg stood by the table, a black eye, yet he was grinning and Brendan had apparently entered the fray because he was currently bitching about his messed up hair.

"Ella, what were you thinking, jumping into that fight like that?"

I jerked away from the arms that held me close against someone's body and looked up at my captor. Caleb Johnson.

"I thought you were in gym."

"I was, but I was coming out of the gym to get a drink of water when I saw the fight. I just wanted to see what was going on when I saw that you were mixed in with the fighters."

"I just wanted to prove a point?" I shrugged, running a hand through my matted hair.

"You are so dead." My brother finally found it necessary to come up to me, and heave me over his shoulder before stomping out of the cafeteria like God-freaking-zilla. I punched at his back, knowing that not only his, but also my reputation was at stake here. "Instead of a normal person and getting a teacher, you jump in yourself? With a bunch of guys!?"

Now I was boiling. "I'm just as capable as you guys to fight!" I found myself wheezing, and pushing myself up so he would drop me to my feet.

"Really, that's why you have a cut on your cheek, a bruise on your eye, and your hands are bleeding."

"Consequences of the game."

"This isn't a game!" Eric shouted, plopping me down in front of him once we reached the outside hallway. "We're going to the nurse," he yelled and grabbed onto my upper arm.

I jerked my arm away from him. "I'm fine! I don't need to go to the nurse!" I spat.

"You put your life on the line for a girl you didn't know!" he shouted grabbing my arm again and dragging me down the hall.

"So did you!"

"I'm a guy! I can hold up better!"

"No you're just a dick!" I pulled roughly away again, and bounded in the opposite direction and into the girl's restroom.



"Ella…" he said quietly, trying to sound soothing. I wasn't born yesterday, there was no way I'd fall for his classic come hither voice. I stayed rooted to the sink. "Fine! I'm going to class." Also a ploy; I stayed where I was.

I waited, for how long, I'm not sure, all I know was that classes had already started up again. I sulked from the restroom and made my way toward to my locker.

"How you feeling my little tiger?" Brendan asked, who had been leaning against my locker, probably all afternoon.

"Sore. Were we found out?"

"Oh yes, you should be getting a call down to the office…"

"Ariella Conrad, can you please come down to the office. Ariella Conrad."

"Right about now." He grinned at me.

I couldn't help but smile. "I guess I should get this over with."

He nodded mournfully. "Look on the bright side, I'm pretty sure we're all suspended for the same days isn't that nice?"

"Yea, great vacation."

Brendan chuckled and kissed my sore cheek. "I'll see you after school."

"No you won't!" I shouted back.

"What?" he asked, spinning around. "You're not coming to practice today?"

"Caleb. English."

"Oh that's righhhttt; your knight in shinning armor." He wiggled his eyebrows.

"Shut it," I said, turning my back on him and heading toward the office.

"Use protection!" he called at my retreating back. I loved that kid.