Chapter 2

My day didn't get any better. Really. After fleeing Mal's presence, Ivy and I had the great good luck to run right into Blake herself coming out of the ladies room we were trying to escape into. I'd really been hoping to avoid that.

"Findlay!" Blake squealed in hypothetical delight, except for the malicious gleam in her eye and the way she "accidentally" dug her fingernails into my back as she threw her arms around me in a supposed hug. "How's my favorite pet project?"

You want to know what really makes me sick about Blake? All the lies and smiles meant to cover up how desperate she is for attention. The truth is the only reason she has ever been nice to me at all is that she wants me to say good things about her to my brother and his friends when she's not around. Yeah right.

"I'm not your pet project, Blake," I corrected, shaking off Blake's hands. Her friends snickered behind her. Cute and well-dressed, every one of them, with their makeup exactly perfect.

"My, my, you're wound up," Blake pouted, "We should get you a girlfriend." Beside me, Ivy hiccupped, Blake's appearance having frightened her sobs to a standstill.

"Doesn't she know you're a girl?" my friend whispered in my ear naively. Seriously, I love Ivy, but when she's being an emotional her IQ drops several points. Unfortunately, Blake heard her.

"Oh!" the cheerleader queen faked a gasp, "I forgot again. It's just those clothes…" To emphasize her point, Blake tugged at the hem of my sweatshirt then glanced down at my black converse. She tapped a finger against her lower lip in feigned concern. "They make you look so masculine; I keep thinking you're a boy or at least a lesbian. But I should have known better since you were spying on my boyfriend yesterday." I scowled.

"It was Taylor you were ogling with the binoculars, right?" she continued, in an overacted voice of compassion, "Because I really am not into girls and I wouldn't want to break your heart. We're such good friends after all, wouldn't want to lose that."

"Don't worry, I couldn't be attracted to you even if I tried," I smiled sweetly. Her expression flickered, but I held her gaze. Ivy squeezed my hand nervously.

"Anyway!" Blake said brightly, ignoring me, "I guess we'll just have to make your makeover my first priority next time I come over to your house, yeah? See you later!" And with that, Blake and Company flounced down the hallway while Ivy and I gratefully ducked into the bathroom.

Okay, so maybe Mal is right: Blake totally deserves it. But, of course, that's not what the teachers will see. Oh no, what the faculty will see is that some mean little girl (me, apparently), in a fit of jealousy, decided to try and publicly humiliate the school darling. Blake will become a martyr and I'll be the one in trouble. And you know what? That's what makes me so pissed at Mal. He was so busy laughing and 

playing pranks that it didn't even occur to him that I might have to pay for this and that it would make things better for Blake, not worse. In fact, the only person this would screw with is me. And maybe Ivy. But that paper was written in my handwriting and there was no way I was going to turn in Ivy when all she'd done was give me the idea in the first place; and not even on purpose, I might add.

"This SUCKS!" I yelled. Ivy just sniffled despondently then walked into a stall for some paper to blow her nose.


I ate dinner in my room (pizza because mom & dad were pressed for time and had somewhere to be tonight). I was avoiding my brother and his friends. Fortunately, there were no girls tonight, the guys were hanging out in the den "studying" (read: playing on the Wii) because it was a school night. That meant that, while I could hear them yelling and grunting like the morons they were, they were too preoccupied to notice anyone else was even in the house.

About halfway through my favorite novel (I finished my homework early, thank you very much) I ran out of Dr. Pepper. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but for me it constituted a minor crisis. Dr. Pepper and chocolate are necessary to my very existence. Normally, the solution to this dilemma would be simple: go downstairs to the kitchen and get more soda. Right? Not so. You forget that my house is currently infested with hot, smart-mouthed jocks.

It took about fifteen minutes before I caved and found myself sneaking down the stairs and peering round the wall into the kitchen to make sure the coast was clear. Having established that now was my window of opportunity, I made a bee-line for the fridge. Popping open a can, I brought the drink to my lips and savored the heavenly nectar.


I shrieked at the voice suddenly whispering in my ear, at the same time that someone poked me from behind and I spilled Dr. Pepper all down my shirt and on the floor.

"Taylor!" I snapped angrily as I whipped around to face the hot specimen of manliness towering over me, "Don't do that!" Taylor laughed, his white teeth standing out against his dark-tanned skin. Taylor is pretty amazing looking: he's six foot tall easy, totally toned bod, and his father is half-black so he has this beautiful latte colored skin but he somehow ended up with his mother's light brown hair and blue eyes. Yeah. Hot. I mean, not that I would ever admit that but I suppose that objectively speaking one would have to describe him using such a word.

"How's my favorite Fin?" Taylor asked when he'd finally stopped laughing at me. He opened the fridge to retrieve his own can of pop as I grabbed a handful of papertowels and tried to mop up the mess on the floor with them. I glowered at his question.

"What no Fin the Freak?" I asked sarcastically, "How about Fin the Fat? Fin the Ferret? Fin the Fascist! Or my personal favorite: Fin the Fart. That and the one about me being fat; I like those two the best." Taylor slid into a stool at the kitchen counter facing me and smiled in amusement as he sipped his drink.

"Those were pretty funny, weren't they?" he asked, his voice laced with nostalgia.

"Sure. Hilarious. Loved 'em. Ha. Ha," I retorted. I really wasn't in a mood to deal with Taylor tonight. I was still upset about the essay and Mal. Gawd, why did he have to be such a trouble maker? Malachi and I were supposed to be friends, how could he do something like that? I turned on the sink and grabbed another towel with the intention of dabbing some of the soda out of my shirt.

"You're right, it's time I came up with some new ones," Taylor mused, "How about Fin the Fuc—" He didn't get to finish because I grabbed the sink hose with the spray nozzle and gave him a face full of water. Sputtering, he dove across the kitchen at me in retaliation, but not before I'd gotten him pretty good. We wrestled for the hose for a few minutes, soaking ourselves in the process before he pinned me to the sink, overpowering me with his sheer mass.

"Let me go, asswipe!" I ordered as he twisted my arms behind my back, the hose left running in the sink basin. Taylor sneered down at me, his now wet hair falling into his eyes in damp, sexy clumps.

"Why do you always pick fights, Findlay?" he demanded, "I'm just trying to joke around and be friendly."

"If this is how you treat your friends then I would rather shoot myself than be your friend, even if you were the last human being on earth," I snarled. I saw it then, something unidentifiable flash in those blue eyes of his that should have been the warning of what would come next.

"Is that so?" he asked quietly, menacingly. And the next thing I knew, his lips were crushing mine.

a/n: Sorry this chapter is so short. Thanks all reviewers!