Chapter 7

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

The past week has been pretty decent, except for the few challenges with Jayden. It wasn't that bad or anything, but it was still irritating to have to spend most of my time with him.

Apparently, Jayden had won my family over. My dad was quite impressed with that fact that his family has a remarkable business going on. Hmm, no wonder Jayden's parents were able to afford such an expensive looking car for him. My mom, however, wasn't all that interested in business, like my dad. She was fascinated at how well Jayden does in school. Sure, I was able to get into almost the same classes as him even though I'm a junior, but she was willing to hear about his grades and future success.

Besides school and business, they had a great time discussing football and laugh about jokes that I didn't get. Weird, huh? I was mostly just there, listening, or trying to listen, to their conversations.

Okay, so you're probably questioning about what happened after the little confrontation between Megan and me. After she left the kitchen to possibly flirt with Jayden, I instantly took the tray of drinks and brought it to the living room. Every member of my family was there, including my little sister, Maddie, who was playing peek-a-boo with Jayden. Hey, I actually thought that was pretty cute, to be honest.

Once I set the tray of drinks down, Maddie immediately skipped over to me and tugged on my shirt. I smiled down at her and picked her up.

Her cheeks were blushing with redness as she asked me, "Mel, is Jayden yow boyfwend?"

Jayden nearly choked on his drink, but luckily, my mom was there to lend him a tissue.

Maddie didn't forget her question, so she stared at me until I answered, "No, Maddie. He's not."

"Why not?" She pouted. "I like him!"

"Because we're just friends." I stressed out the word just.

Wow, everyone seems to always be sure that Jayden Evans is the perfect boyfriend. Even my little sister! Hmm, So much for winning the last bet of the night. Oh, well. There'll be more challenges coming up, so I guess it's okay that he won. I'll just be sure to think of the best challenges that I'll be sure to win.

Jayden: 3 Melanie: 0

Wow, I really am failing miserably.

"Well, I think he's cute." Maddie smiled cheekily and looked over at Jayden, who was watching and listening well to our conversation.

I set her down carefully and watched as she continued to play around with him. Not knowing what to do next, I sat down on the sofa and pretended to watch football. Yeah, I'm not a big fan of it either.

After a few more minutes of pretending to watch, I looked around the room and spotted Megan throwing herself and Jayden. I wasn't surprised.

"Hi, I'm Jayden." Jayden smiled seductively, as he reached out his hand.

"Hi, I'm single." Megan returned the smile, as she urgently took his hand into hers.

"Meet my whore of a sister, Megan." I muttered to him, as I took a People magazine off the coffee table and opened it to the first page.

Jamie-Lynn Spears is pregnant? Okay, well that's old news. This must be an old magazine.

"Melanie Elizabeth Rose!" Mom shouted at me. "Be nice to your sister."

"Watch it." Megan sneered, as she continued flirting.

Jayden seemed somewhat interested in my sister. They were both laughing and flirting, and Maddie was complaining to Megan about how she stole Jayden away from her.

After more small talk, Jayden suggested that he leave. Before he left the door, he winked at me and said, "By the way, give this to your sister." He handed me a small piece of paper with numbers on it.

I placed it in my jacket pocket and said, "Goodnight, Evans."

And I heard his car leave the driveway.

I just realized that before he left, we mentioned nothing about the fact that he had won this challenge.

Later that night, I was lying down on my bed, reading a book. As I was about to flip the page, my cell phone rang.

I closed my book and checked who the caller was.

Jayden. Hmm, I don't even remember giving him my number.


"How's that for charming your family?"

"That's your sister?" Nicole said, looking astonished. She had barely started eating her salad after I explained to her why she wasn't here for the first few weeks of school.

Everyone at our usual lunch table turned to face the same direction as Nicole. Their eyes were totally fixed on Megan, who was wearing similar clothing to Kayla. Seriously, I have no idea how they both manage to wear short skirts in such cold weather. No one ever said that New York City was the hottest place in the world. Why they do it is beyond my understanding.

Since my friends didn't bother listening to what I had to say next, I decided to follow their eyes to my sister. I finally realized why they were so interested in what they were doing.

Oh my gosh, Megan was invited to sit with Kayla and the other little bimbos? Great. Life just keeps getting better and better. First there's Megan, who annoys the crap out of me at home, and then Kayla, who bitches at me every time I'm at school. And now they've probably decided to both team up and make my life a living hell. Am I exaggerating too much? Maybe, but it can happen. You'll never know.

"How's my favorite girl doing?" A low voice chuckled and interrupted my thoughts. I felt an arm slowly slither around my shoulders. It took me a second to realize who it was.

"I was totally fine. And then you came, Jayden." I answered, as I rolled my eyes and shrugged his arm off my shoulders. In the corner of my eyes, I was able to see that Kayla and Megan were sending unnecessary glares towards my table.

Well, at least I can irritate them before they can irritate me . . . together.

Jayden didn't stay to sit down after our exchange of words. As I was about to take a helping bite of my apple, I looked up to see my friends staring at me in amazement. Geez, a girl can't even eat her own lunch?

"What?" I asked, as I gradually placed my apple back onto the table.

"What really happened after you guys left the theme park?" Tricia asked, eyeing me. Her shimmering green eyes were focused in my direction, and from what I think, she won't be looking anywhere else until I give her a straight up answer to her question.

Geez, I swear everyone is out to get me.

I let out a light sigh. "Nothing, I'm serious." I finally took a bite of my apple and chewed slowly since everyone's eyes were still on me.

"She's lying." Nicole confirmed. "There was obviously something else that happened right after. I mean, come on, Mel. You and I both know that you're a horrible liar even if you tried."

The rest of our lunch table nodded their heads in agreement.

"He just gave me a ride home and talked to my family a little bit. Nothing major or any of your liking." I eyed her, knowing she was thinking that we were doing something else, if you catch my drift.

"Spill." Abbey, another acquaintance of my lunch table insisted, enough for me to actually give them the scoop on the conversation with Jayden and Chris in the car. Yeah, she's gets pretty engrossed in a discussion that has to deal with the latest gossip, especially if it has something to do with the new girl and a supposedly sexy quarterback. And from what I've heard, Abbey can do some crazy things to get each and every detail.

Oh, what's the use? I'm going to have to tell them, eventually. I mean, yeah, the whole school is going to find out sooner or later. Unless… Jayden hasn't spread the word to anyone just yet. Yeah, I doubt that.

"Fine." I grumbled. "So after a few minutes of being in the car with Jayden and Chris, we talked about the bet's strategy. You know, like how many challenges we're willing to take on, and what happens when the bet's over. You with me?"

No one decided to speak, but just nodded their heads and waited for me to continue.

"We decided to play fair, obviously. But with a twist to this whole charade." I explained, taking my time with this conversation.

"Twist?" Nicole questioned. Her eyebrow raised and crossed her arms, clearly interested in the bet.

"Go on." Tricia urged, throwing her hand up to shush Nicole, as she was eager to hear what's going to happen next.

"Well, while we're doing the bet, there are certain conditions. The challenges can't be dangerous or impossible to do. You know, like jump off a cliff and see who lives. That sort of thing." I said, as I gave an example. "Jayden and I are also going to take turns choosing each challenge."

"And how long will this bet last?" Abbey questioned, looking as if she was a news reporter.

"We both decided to make it last about three months. Most likely once we get back to school from Winter break." I answered without uncertainty in my voice.

"And since it's October, the second month after school started…" Abbey trailed off her sentence. "You have about all the time in the world to be with Jayden." She smiled seductively then bit her lower lip.

"Precisely." Tricia agreed. "I mean, if I had my way with Jayden…"

"Then I'd make use of this precious time of yours." Abbey finished, as she looked at me.

I ignored their impossible comments and stared blankly at Nicole, wondering if she has any other questions left to ask me before the bell rings.

She read my mind and asked, "What'll happen after the bet's over? No catch?"

"Actually… Yeah, there's one." I nodded my head and looked up to see what time it was. About five minutes left before the bell rings, which means enough time to explain the rest.

"It's for World History." I gulped and felt the lump on my throat move. "You see, there's this assignment due in late January, enough time after the bet ends. Mr. Reese said it's going to be an essay on who our hero is, like someone we look up to, and why they bring meaning and value to our life. It's supposed to be like someone who is memorable to us like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. He's giving us these three months to really think about who it is."

"Okay… So what does that have to do with what happens after the bet?" Nicole asked, looking confused as ever.

"Simple. Loser writes their essay about the winner. You know, talk about how great the winner is in front of the class." I clarified.

"Gotcha." Nicole gave me two thumbs up and beamed a pleased grin across her face.

I smiled back.

"One more teeny weensy question, Mel." Tricia said, holding up her thumb and index finger for emphasis.

"Shoot." I encouraged her.

"What's your next bet, challenge thingy?" She asked, as she took a bite into her newly polished apple.

That is a good question. I really don't know. It has to be something that he can't do. Something that I'm sure he'll lose too. But what? I'll figure something out. Then I'll have to discuss it with him afterwards.

"Honestly, I don't really know. Got any ideas?" I asked stupidly.

Before I could listen to anyone's requests, the bell rang, which indicated I needed to get going to my next class.

"Ugh, lunch is over already? Well, I got to get to Math before Mr. Jones beats my ass. Bye, hun." Nicole said, as she blew me a kiss, grabbed her stuff quickly and rushed out the cafeteria door. I, on the other hand, took my time getting all my things together since I have chemistry next. And do you remember who my Chemistry partner is?

Hint, hint. It's Jayden.

On my way to Chemistry, someone shoved my right shoulder, which made me drop all my books. When I glanced upward up to see who it was, my luck just got better.

It was Jayden. And he was once again, as usual, always irritating me.

And he just keeps walking. Jerk!

"Sorry about that. He always teases the pretty ones." I heard Chris say behind me.

"I don't think he thinks I'm pretty, but I know he likes teasing me." I smiled while Chris was helping me pick up my books from the ground.

Hmm, De ja vu. This was exactly like how we first met.

"Well, I got to go to Calculus now. I'll see you later?" Chris asked me, while walking backwards, nearly bumping right into the people behind him.

"Yeah, sure." I said, grinning back at him. Gosh, he's such a gentleman, helping me with my books and all. I honestly can't believe him and Jayden are friends. It's like ...impossible.

I walk straight into the classroom just before the bell rings.

Ms. Anderson, once again, looking as dazzling as ever, smiled at me for being right on time and motioned for me to take my seat next to Jayden.

"Well, thank you, Mr. Smooth for tripping me before class." I remarked, as I brought myself back up from tripping over Jayden's foot.

"No problem, sweetie." He winked, as he turned around to face the front of the room.

Once the bell rang, our teacher started talking about ions, H+ and something else. I tried to pay attention to Ms. Anderson, I really did! Well, you know how boring lectures get.

I guess I was beginning to fall asleep since Jayden started throwing crumpled up pieces of binder paper to my face. At first, I thought that this was just a dream, so I started shooing the papers away with my hand. Then I realized that he was throwing them at me.

"What are you doing?" I whispered in a harsh tone. It was hard for me to keep my eyes open, but I tried anyway.

"Well, if I let you sleep any longer, you'd start snoring." He answered with a smile.

"Ha, your so funny. I don't snore." I said, while rolling my eyes.

"Okay then, so more partner lab work." Ms. Anderson announced. "Who's ready to blow up substances?" She continued.

The class cheered. Ms. Anderson took a pair of goggles off of the counter, and put them on. After, she shuffled through a cabinet and got out enough test tubes for everyone in the class.

She began to demonstrate the directions. "Fill your test tubes up to the line with water. Slowly add a little less than a teaspoon in, and add the metal sodium in. Then-" Bubbles formed and overflowed the test tube. "You may Begin."

I despise having Jayden as a partner. He might blow up the bubbles in my face.

"You ready to blow up stuff?" Jayden asked, with an annoyed tone.

I groaned in response.

"I guess I'll take that as a yes." He muttered, as he prepared the experimental tools.

"So, I was thinking…" I said. "What do you want the next challenge to be?"

"Anything you want baby, 'cause we all know I'm going to win." He winked my way while following Ms. Anderson's experiment directions.

"You keep telling yourself that. Just do the experiment."

"Yeah, I know." I moaned annoyingly at Nicole.

"No, Mel. You don't." She sighed. "This bet is that big a deal. If you haven't noticed, people are starting to talk. Not that it's a bad thing or anything, but you have to be careful with Jayden."

Apparently, I'm just lying down on my bed, phone in hand, while listening to Nicole chatter on and on about Jayden. Don't get me wrong, I'm actually happy to have her as a close friend in this type of situation. It's just that I know how Jayden has a shitload of admirers at school, and being worried about him not treating me the same way is going to make me act like one of them.

"That's true. Thanks. But it's not like he will like me. He's just like every other guy out there, you know."

"Mel, every guy has different purposes in life. Take Jayden, for example. He's every girl's dream date and every guy's best friend. Since you're the only one at school that I know of who doesn't appreciate him the way everyone else does, he thinks of you as a challenge."

I thought about Nicole had just told me. She's right. Most of the school's population worship and adore Jayden Evans. Why don't I?

Before I could respond to Nicole, she said, "Look. I'm not telling you this just to make you feel guilty or anything, but just be careful, all right?"

I nodded my head even though she couldn't see that and replied, "Will do."

After saying our goodbyes, we hung up.

Nicole's words were racing through my mind. I mean, what exactly did she mean when she told me to be careful with Jayden? It's just a three month bet. What's the worse that can happen?

With my mind thinking about this, I needed to talk to someone. I haven't gotten the chance to ask for Tricia, Jen, or Abbey's number during lunch, and the only other person I had left to call was Jayden. He was basically my last resort at the moment.

The phone was still in my hand after talking with Nicole, so I dialed Jayden's cell and waited patiently until he answered.

"Hey, Mel."

"Yeah, hey."

Why did I decide to call him again? Wow, I called the last person on my list, and I don't even know what the hell I'm supposed to say to him.

"Any certain reason you decided to call me?"

"Can't a girl call a friend once in a while?"

"Oh, so you consider us friends, now?"

This guy is unbelievable.

"Okay, okay. I just called because I've finally chosen what to do for our next challenge."

"All right. Tell me."

"Okay…so, uh…I was just wondering if… you could maybe… well, teach me how to play football. You know, seeing that you're the star player and everything."

Jayden laughed, but it mostly sounded like it surprised him.

"Well, you know, we don't have to do this. But since I highly suck at sports, I was thinking that maybe you could teach me the basics. And throw in a few pointers here and there."

Wow, this is embarrassing to ask. What am I getting myself into? Asking Jayden to help me with football? Geez, next thing you know, I'll be asking him to help me be popular.

I'm joking.

"No, no. It's fine. I'm just stunned, that's all. But hey, how do we declare the winner?"

"I don't know. You're the football player. You decide."

It took him a second to think before he finally answered.

"Okay, I got it. But I won't tell you until we begin the challenge, okay?"

"What?! Oh, you're such an ass. "

"Thanks for noticing."

I knew he was smiling.

"Yeah, well, anything you can do, I can do better."

"You keep telling yourself that." He mocked the way I said that line to him today in Chemistry.

"Anyway, I was thinking this Friday at around eight at night? Meet up at the football field? Sound good? 'Cause I know you have a game in the afternoon and stuff."

"It's a date."

I knew he was kidding, but I felt my cheeks redden at his words.

"Before you hang up the phone, you should go to my game. And yes, I'm inviting you to come watch. Bring Nicole, if you'd like."

"We'll see."

"Great, see you there."

"Hey, I didn't say-"

He hung up his phone before I could protest.

I put the phone down on my nightstand next to my bed and sighed heavily. I was about to fall asleep peacefully with my body scrunched up in my blanket, when an irritating high-pitched voice filled my room.

"Were you just talking to Jayden on the phone?" Megan asked, as she continued walking to the center of my room.

"Ever hear of knocking?" I replied, rudely. I stood up straight on my bed and stared vacantly at my older sister.

"That's above my point, little sister." She snapped, as she stepped closer to my direction. "What's this thing you guys are up to? And don't even think about telling me that it's nothing."

"Surely you've heard the rumors going on at school on your first day as a senior." I crossed my arms, as I answered coolly.

"So the rumors are true? You're doing a stupid bet with Jayden Evans? That should be interesting." Megan said. "But just so you know, I'm not rooting for you. My vote is all on Jayden's, babe."

I heaved a sigh while I stood up to face her fully. "Look, this is just a bet to show people that Jayden isn't as-to-die-for. Yeah, it may be stupid, but do you really think it would make a difference if you're rooting for him? I think not."

"That's fine." She was walking out my door with her hips swaying left to right, but stopped to look back at me. "By the way, I know your history with Kayla Laughtner. It's amazing how she invited me to her lunch table. Ironic, huh?" Megan's smile immediately turned into a scowl.

With that, she walked out and closed my bedroom door.

A/N: Yay! Chapter 7 is finally up. Thanks to everyone who has been supportive of this story, and please continue reviewing!

Don't forget to check for new chapter and author updates! Chapters might take a longer time to update since Winter break is over & school is back in. But we'll try our best to balance both school and this story. Please, forgive us!

By the way, Happy 2009 to everyone out there who is reading this! :)

There are probably questions regarding where this story takes place. To answer that, it takes place in a typical suburb town in New York City. Well, except for Jayden, of course. He lives in one of the wealthiest suburbs in New York. Hope that answers your question! :)

Also, if any of you readers have noticed, starting from chapter 4 & on, the chapter titles will be song titles.

P.S. We don't normally read or own any 'People' magazines, but we do read it every now & then.

- lost until now