Thank you to all who reviewed! But a very special thanks to ninjakiddo for being the very first to review my story! I bow to you.

And now, onto the much longer second(?) chapter! Huzzah!

1-A School Full of Horn-Dogs

Marissa was still fuming when she got to her first class.

Physical Education.

Grimacing, she changed into the mandatory tight, cotton, short shorts and loose t-shirt.

She was willing to bet it was the stupid president's idea that all the girls wear such degrading things.

"What a disgusting son-of-a-"

"You're new." a high, husky voice broke in.

Marissa turned around and looked down. The girl looked to be about 5'4" next to Marissa's 5'9". She was exquisitely pretty with a tiny angular face. Her eyes were a pale, icy blue smudged with a dark green. They were so unusual that they stood out against her sun-kissed skin and dark hair.

"I am." Marissa spoke slowly.

"Yeah, I would've noticed you before if you attended our school." the wiry girl spoke bluntly. "I'm Veneta Leonard."

Marissa nodded.

"Etiquette requires you to introduce yourself." Veneta seemed mildly amused.

"Marissa Vandertrooy." she felt slightly embarrassed.

"Sounds like Vandertramp." the other girl noted.

Her voice wasn't malicious nor snide. It was straight-forward and nonchalant, that Marissa almost nodded in agreement.

Instead, she just frowned. "Should I be flattered?"

"No, I guess not." Veneta shrugged. "You're Dutch, aren't you."

It wasn't really a question, but Marissa nodded anyways.

"You nod a lot too."

Marissa almost nodded, then caught herself. She was starting to feel like a stereotypically dumb blonde.

"Is there a point to this conversation?" she'd always preferred being a bitch above all stereotypes.

"Kind of." Veneta smiled. Marissa blinked at how much prettier it made her already lovely face. "And it's been covered."

"Feeding the gossip mills?" the blonde asked.

"No. Just my own curiosity." Veneta started to walk away. Then, she stopped. "Come eat lunch with us."

Before Marissa could even blink, Veneta had walked away, grabbed a soccer ball, and started running around with it.

Odd. She mused. But she liked Veneta's straight-forward attitude, without being too in your face. Plus, the girl was gorgeous.

Marissa liked to think herself immune to petty charms like money and looks, but even she had to admit that she, on some level, judged people based on appearances too.

"Whatever." she muttered. She'd figure this out later.

Right now, all she wanted to do was just stretch her limbs and run around.

Second period was English and the class was full of girls with skirts that flapped around their butts and boys who tried to reach under and grab those butts.

Disgusting pigs. Marissa screwed her face up in disgust. Ugh, and her mother always wondered why she didn't want a boyfriend. For Pete's sake, all you had to do was look at a guy and you'd get why boys were so repulsive.

As she walked in regally, head held high, people stopped monkeying around, one by one. They turned to stare at her silently. Marissa barely spared them a haughty glance. All attempts of being friendly, at this point, were moot. Especially after trying with the student council president! If a dog like that ran the school, imagine his royal subjects. Whores and bastards. In came the bitch façade she usually didn't like resorting to, but self-preservation came first, and by God, she'd remain self-preserved, even if she had to be a bitch to do it.

It was how she had survived an all-girls' school. She'd have to do it again, to survive a co-ed school. Funny how things didn't change much. Maybe there wouldn't be much difference between her old school and her new one.

She took a window seat in the front row, knowing very well that she might get hassled at the back. Just because she'd gone to an all-girls' school did not mean she was clueless and delusional. Guys were harassers to the first degree and leashes needed to be bound around them.

Marissa softened a bit. So Bradley wasn't that bad, but he was an innocent guy whom puberty hadn't hit yet. At least not in the way that made them perverts. But her mother's 'ex-husband' (she would not refer to scum as her father...despite the fact that she never really knew him) had been a crazy fanatic of women. How many times had she heard her mother crying her eyes out during another lonely night? Too many to count. How many times had she had to comfort a "friend" (a bitch reduced to a pitiful puddle of tears) because her bastard of a boyfriend could not keep the fucking curse in his goddamn pants? On more than one occasion.

She could not deny that the majority of young, teenage boys, more so the good-looking teenage bunch were users and liars. They used girls (sometimes guys) for their own pleasure, then they hurt them, broke them, and moved on. Sure, some girls did that too, but Marissa never chose to associate with people like that, boy or girl.

She knew there were good guys out there; she wouldn't categorize every guy as a leech. She even had quite a few good guy friends (okay, so they were mainly her relatives...), but to conclude it all, men were scum. Enough men, that, she chose not to socialize with them in general. Of course, that Ezra boy had seemed like Bradley's friend, so she had been willing to make an exception, but he had looked at her in such a way made her feel dirty. She couldn't even define the way he'd looked at her. With such confidence and...a predatory desire? No, that didn't make sense. Why the heck would he be a looking at her with something akin to want? But whether it was or not, it did not make her feel good to see that look in his eyes. She'd avoid him and other boys from now on.

Marissa found herself frowning as she took out her things. Yes, that would be for the best. Self-preservation. She would not be corrupted by St. Jude's Catholic Secondary School.

Ezra found himself watching her. She was too pretty not to. He stared as she absentmindedly ran a hand over her cropped golden hair. He usually preferred girls with long hair, but the girl looked too good with it, showing off a long creamy white neck, to find himself judging. Plus, it wasn't a boy-cut. It just looked to have been hacked off straight at the chin with a dull knife, judging from its crude carelessness and the slightly uneven length. What was the style called again? A bob? No, but the word did not suit such unruly, uneven almost looked wild.

His eyes followed the slim white hand that lowered to tug, almost subconsciously, at the hem of the red plaid skirt. It grazed the pale flesh of her upper thighs. He wondered if anyone had ever bitten or kissed the soft-looking flesh. He doubted it as he remembered the flash in her eyes when she had seen him blatantly checking her out. Appreciating her, for someone of her appearance could only be appreciated. She had looked angry, but bewildered too, as if she did not understand his appreciation.

Had no one looked at her with desire before?

Ezra found that hard to believe...and yet, her innocence had not been faked.

Oh, this was going to be so much fun. He licked his lips, teeth grazing his lower one, as he watched her smooth out the front of her skirt, fingers lingering to fiddle with the short hem. Unbeknownest to her, those innocent little actions drew thoughts and attention to what lay behind the short little piece of fabric. The area which he would've loved to lick, nip, suck, and taste.

Oh, yes. So much fun.

Marissa nearly had a heart attack when someone whispered into her ear, "Your underwear's showing."

Clamping her legs shut tight, she snapped, "No, it's not."

Turning around, she came face to torso with a boy, of all the things out of creation she could have come face to torso with. A boy!

"Oh, for Christ's sake." Marissa swore as she tilted her head up to look at an attractive (boy, she had to remind herself) with shaggy, dirty blonde hair that tumbled over his forehead into honeycomb eyes. He wasn't that handsome, in an objective light, and Marissa was smug for that, but his very blinking exuded a limitless charm. His eyes were raking over her body shamelessly.

"What?" she demanded flatly, cheeks warming.

"I'm Spencer Lennox." he introduced. His voice was a smooth, drawling tenor, very different from the rough, husky bass of Ezra what's-his-name. Either way, she did not trust him for a minute.

"Marissa Vandertrooy." she replied automatically.

"Sounds like Vandertramp." he smiled disarmingly, and Marissa almost found herself nodding.

"What?" she demanded. That, coming from Veneta, was one thing. Coming from Spencer, it was just downright degrading, though, his tone had not meant to insult.

Wait. She frowned.

"Do you, by any chance, happen to know a Veneta Leonard?" she asked.

Spencer lost his charm for a beat. "Yeah, we're friends. Why?" He almost sounded cautious. Defensive?

Marissa burst out into disarmingly bright, innocent laughter. Of course. It was all so very cliché. Otherworldly beautiful girl with cynical, artless charm and attractive boy with in-your-face allure and charisma. Who ever said opposites don't attract?

She claimed to despise coupledom, knowing a crash-and-burn finish waited for each pair, but Marissa always could appreciate unconventional romances. And a real-life cliché was unconventional indeed. Veneta was conserved. Spencer was in the centre spotlight. Even from first impressions, Marissa could see that Veneta was like water, almost cold enough to be icy, while Spencer was like a wildfire. Yet his caution in a conversation about her was almost priceless. Even a dimwit could see Veneta was the blonde boy's weakness.

Then again, Marissa might have been reading too much into his response and their characters...but it was nice to laugh.

"What?" Spencer whined at her continuing guffaws.

"Are you two dating?" she asked. She wanted to know if her instincts were correct.

A flash of something akin to surprise before a sly look came into his eyes.

"Why? Interested?" he sat down beside her, shifting the chair and desk closer.

Marissa didn't even bother to hold in a snort.

"Well, no. We're not. Actually, it's your lucky day." Spencer suddenly grinned. "I'm single at the moment and you can just about change that-ow!"

The blonde yelped as a hand smacked him upside the head.

"The fuck?!" he snapped, looking up. He froze. "Oh."

"Yes, 'oh'." Ms. Webster rolled her eyes. "Don't you think you've caused enough trouble for the past three years, Mr. Lennox? Pardon my language, but for Christ's cake, at least try to pretend you'd like to learn."

"Yes, Auntie Bunny."

"That's 'ma'am' to you, in school, Spencer." she snapped.

"Yes, ma'am." he mumbled, rubbing his head with a sheepish smile.

Lunch made her jittery, as much as Marissa would've liked to say "I don't give a shit," she really did. Sitting by herself in a social, crowded cafeteria or hiding out in a restroom stall, did not appeal to her. At all.

Marissa had no choice. Heaving a sigh, her eyes searched for a short girl with sleek, dark hair. Even at her height, it was difficult.

"Looking for someone?" a familiarly raspy voice drew out slowly. Turning around, Marissa was unpleasantly surprised to see herself staring at Ezra's Adam's apple.

"How tall are you?" she blurted out in a demand. She was usually at eye level, or so, with the tallest guys.

"6'4"." he answered, a hint of mirth in his whispery, hoarse voice.

Marissa's jaw dropped. She liked to use her 5'9" (almost 5'10") height to her advantage, but it looked like this wouldn't be one element she'd be able to use to tell the boy to piss off.

"What do you want?" she hissed. She was not feeling too friendly after their encounter this morning.

"Want to sit with us?" he asked in a friendly tone, though, with a voice like his, it might as well have been "want to sleep with me?"

The question was innocent enough, but Marissa did not trust him. Why the sudden change in attitude?

"Why the sudden change in attitude?" she was suspicious and didn't bother trying to hide it.

"You looked lost." he replied honestly. "Besides," he decided to exaggerate a bit here, "Brad wanted me to look after you. Being younger, he does have a different lunch from us seniors."

"Really?" Marissa didn't even notice herself soften. "He told you to look after me?"

"Yeah," he smiled, as much as the action strained him, it came a bit easier than one usually did, "Sit with us."

Marissa bit her lip, scanned the tables and crowd for Veneta, failed, and agreed. She followed Ezra to a large table beside the floor length windows. A glass door was wide open, leading into the large courtyard. St. Jude's really was a richly built, beautifully architectured school. Instead of sitting down at the table by the windows, Ezra continued to lead Marissa out into the courtyard. A round table was placed expertly under a spreading willow tree. Marissa was surprised to see a familiar dark-haired beauty and a recognizably mischievous blonde boy. Three unfamiliar girls were seated at the table as well. They were fawning over Spencer at the moment, tousling his dark blonde waves, fiddling with his earring, sliding a hand over his arm, leg, and chest.

Marissa tried to hold back a sneer. There was a time and place for being a bitch. Now was not the time nor the place.

"Marissa," Veneta's bored eyes flickered up to hers and brightened in recognition. Spencer looked up as well, and gave her an appreciative stare.

"Beautiful as always, Vandertramp." he drawled. The three girls glowered at her.

Veneta blinked at him. Glanced back at Marissa.

"How long have you two known each other?" Marissa replied dryly.

"Since the sixth grade." Veneta replied, calm eyes flickering slightly with confusion.

"Actually, our families have been business partners for a century now." Spencer added. His hand squeezed a girl's hip. She giggled and leaned in closer.

"Do you usually think alike?" Marissa asked.

"No." they both replied simultaneously. A peal of laughter erupted from Veneta's throat. It made her look almost ethereal.

"Not all the time." Spencer chuckled, eyes flickering to Veneta.

"Interesting how I've been identified as 'Vandertramp' by the both of you now." Marissa heaved a sigh as she plopped down across from empty space, which she assumed would be Ezra's seat, and beside Veneta.

"You're joking." Veneta's extraordinary eyes danced alight with humour. They glanced at Spencer. "You're corrupting me."

"I think it's the other way around, my dear." Spencer shot back.

"I'm the virgin here." Veneta defended.

"You're usually not so proud of such a feat, Vie." Spencer mocked.

"I know." Veneta sighed. "I'll remain a dried-up virgin for the rest of my uptight life."

"Stop being so melodramatic, Vie. You're looser than a screw." Ezra replied, seating himself across from Marissa. As soon as he sat down, Marissa noted, the girls flocked around him.

"Gee, thanks." Veneta replied. Though her sarcasm wasn't heavy, it fit the surprisingly, light-hearted girl.

A dusky-eyed brunette with a stunning coffee-and-cream complexion stroked Ezra's face.

"Baby, how've you been?" she crooned, practically arching into him. It didn't help that all the buttons on her polo were unbuttoned and her skirt was hitched up higher than it should have been.

Ezra's stormy eyes were on Marissa, as his hand stroked the girl's back.

"Good." he murmured.

Marissa frowned at him, a flash of disgust in her dark eyes. She turned away to look at Spencer. He did not seem the least bit bothered that he'd been ditched. The three girls; the coffee-skinned girl, a redhead, and another brunette pawed at Ezra until Veneta finally snapped.

"Ezra, if you're going to mess around with the three slutty stooges, go do it somewhere else. We've got company." she sounded both annoyed and revolted.

Marissa thought he would go and do just that, but instead, to the surprise of everyone, not just her own, he shrugged off the indignant girls.

"Sorry ladies," he spoke, not sounding the least bit sorry at all, "Veneta, here, wants my company all to herself, and you know what they say: Veneta always has a vendetta."

The girls left with a huff.

"Satisfied, oh Virgin Vie?" he asked.

Veneta rolled her eyes, but her full lips quirked up.

"Cheesy line, MacGregor." she said instead.

MacGregor. So, that was his last name. Ezra MacGregor. Marissa let the information sink in.

"The cheesier, the better." he looked mildly amused. His hand came up and shoved a lock of wavy dark hair out of his eyes.

"So they say." Spencer chuckled. "Though, I didn't expect you to dismiss the girls so easily."

Ezra shrugged. "Like Vie said. We've got company."

Marissa raised a skeptical brow, having a feeling that that would not have stopped him before.

"Besides, they were starting to get old." he continued.

"And there it goes." Spencer announced. "So, who's the lucky girl?"

"What are you talking about?" Ezra quirked a dark eyebrow, but amusement was dancing in his eyes.

"You only get tired of girls when you've got a specific girl in mind to fuck." Spencer rolled his eyes like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"That's not true," but Ezra looked like he wanted to laugh.

"Yeah right, asshole. So who's the girl? She hot?" Spencer grinned.

Veneta rolled her eyes. "Don't break her heart."

Ezra feigned a look of hurt. "Now, why would I do that?"

"Because you're a bastard." It came out of Marissa's mouth before she could even think. Not that it wasn't the truth or anything.

Ezra looked surprised by the outburst, but it smoothed out into cool interest. "Do I look like a heart-breaking bastard to you?"

"You look like scum to me. Heart-breaker falls under that category." Marissa calmly explained.

"What if I'm a different kind of scum?" Ezra challenged, eyebrows rising.

"And what do you consider yourself exactly?" she raised her eyebrows back at him.

"The kind that you'd find charming and fall madly in love with." he smiled wolfishly.

"I highly doubt that." Marissa replied, lips almost pulling back into a snarl. Guys like him disgusted her. So damn full of it. " I don't find scum li-charming." She'd almost said "scum like you", but she knew better than to let things get personal. It created unnecessary drama.

"You're not wrong about the 'scum' part, Riss. This guy's broken more hearts than I have hairs on my head." Veneta replied. "Especially for his little games of seduction and sex."

Ezra smirked, but a flicker of annoyance crossed his face.

"They knew what they were getting into when they dated me, Vie. Not all the blame's on this scum." he replied coolly.

"Your charm sort of deflects the warnings, 'Zra." Veneta's voice was just as cool. "The least you could have done was tell them all you cared about was the sex. At least Spencer, here, doesn't make any promises other than sex."

Marissa raised her eyebrows at Spencer.

He shrugged sheepishly. "I'm a man-whore."

Marissa would've been amused had Ezra not spoken up lowly.

"Neither do I, Veneta. And you know that. I don't make declarations of love nor do I make promises. Because I know I can't keep them. Whatever the girls assume about me, are just that. Assumptions. So, drop it, Leonard. Like you said, we've got company."

Veneta looked angry enough to give him a piece of her mind, but she stopped, clamping her mouth shut. She heaved out a sigh.

"Sorry." she directed at Marissa. "Let's go."

She snatched up the blonde's arm and strode off, leaving the two males behind.

Ezra could feel girls watching their table, wondering if they should come over to keep desirable Ezra MacGregor and notorious Spencer Lennox company.

"Let's go somewhere else. I feel like supermarket meat." Ezra sighed.

Spencer mumbled something and stood up. Ezra stood up as well. Spencer was slightly shorter than him at 6'1".

As they started walking away, Spencer sighed.

"Give Vie a break, 'Zra."

"Ezra simply raised an eyebrow. "As I recall, it wasn't me that started the nag."

"She hates it when you use and discard."

"I figured." Ezra mumbled.

"You know she used to like you, right?" Spencer seemed to be having a hard time saying the words.

"I know."

"She never did anything about it."

"I know that too."

They remained silent as they exited the cafeteria. The two girls were no where to be found.

"I never encouraged her, Spence. You know that." Ezra sighed.

"I do." the blonde nodded, "But I also know you never discouraged her either."

"Spencer." Ezra stopped moving. He was getting sick of being lectured. It was an old, tiring activity listening and, he was sure, actually talking. "What the hell do you think would've happened if I went out with her? Or rejected her?" His gaze bore into Spencer's dark golden eyes. He had stopped walking as well.

"Do you honestly believe we'd have remained friends? It was easier pretending that I didn't notice. Veneta and I, we wouldn't have worked out. No matter how you look at it." Ezra sighed, giving a faint smile. "Besides, I'm sure you would've killed me if I even lay a hand on our little Virgin Vie."

"What?" Spencer frowned, stiffening.

"Didn't you have a little crush on our European beauty?" Ezra blinked innocently.

Spencer gaped. Ezra waited, fascinated as his friend's cheeks darkened the slightest bit. Spencer shoved his hands into the black trouser pockets.

"I don't know what you're talking about, Ezra." he muttered as he started striding away, his stance a little tense.

Ezra sighed. Despite Spencer's light humour and charm, he was calculating and smooth, concealing his emotions and thoughts with ease. Yet, when it came to a certain cat-eyed, dark-haired beauty, he could hide nothing.

"He's going to need to control that." Ezra mumbled, as he jogged to catch up with his childhood friend.

"He's always been like that!" Veneta hissed.

Marissa's methods of trying to soothe the wild-eyed beauty was coming to moot. For one, she did not screech or wail. Veneta hissed and spat. Whispering and cursing through clenched teeth.

It was a sign of a usually controlled, calm person and Marissa, with her screeches and shrieking temper tantrums, was not sure how to handle a furious girl with quiet ice in her husky voice.

Marissa was fire. She tried to avoid ice as much as possible. Despite her shame over her physical violence and screaming banshee-like curses, she'd always been a passionate person when provoked. Even at the age of three, her melodrama had been enough to be banned from Tiny Tots for a week. That had profoundly embarrassed her mother. However, as Marissa had gotten older, she had reduced her five tantrums a day (give or take) to one a month (usually around her period). Still, the substance of her fits had not changed much, except for the time-outs afterwards. Yet, this girl seemed unwilling to release her anger the way Marissa would have.

As the bell rang, Marissa helplessly left Veneta, going to her next class.


ninjakiddo; people. are. strange.; Masquerade hide your face; somuchformyhappyending; atreyu love; Annalisa; happy. endings; Anonymous; Michelle; Jas

-Thank you all so much for your reviews! You have no idea how happy I was when I got them (reaction: "Huh? I actually got reviews...OH MY GOD, I got REVIEWS!squeal)

Right. And that was quite an embarrassing confession, but thank you for your encouragement, and please continue reading and leave your words behind, if you can, too!

Chapter 2/3(?)'s up next week!

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