"Are you sure it's not too much?" Dannie whimpered, turning his head from side to side and examining it in a compact. We had just spent hours in a salon while Dannie got his hair dyed a brilliant maroon. He'd requested it to be the exact color of a can of Dr. Pepper, and from what I could tell, they'd done a really good job. Dannie, as usual, was not happy with it.

"It looks great, Dannie, really," I insisted.

"Yeah, kid, you look like a supermodel," Tripp snapped. "Can we move on? I really want to check out Hot Topic." I gasped in shock.

"Really? You in Hot Topic? I never would've guessed." Rolled my eyes in the best imitation of Dannie that I possibly could and probably really deserved that punch in the arm. Ouch. Okay, maybe I didn't entirely deserve that. Tripp punches awfully hard.

"Don't stereotype me," Tripp warned in her serious voice. I whimpered. Nodded obediently. You don't screw with Tripp when she uses her serious voice.

"Are you sure, Xan? It doesn't look phony?" Dannie wailed.

God, do I ever have my hands full.

No, no. Don't hold me to that. They're great people. Best friends you could ask for. But still, would it hurt to give me a break every once in a while?

"Dannie, I am being completely and totally honest when I say it looks great on you."

"Are you sure that's not just because you're used to seeing me with these…sort of bizarre hair colors? I really think this one went a bit far. Would you get it?"

"Yes! If my parents would ever even consider it, that is." My parents are total hard-asses when it comes to me. My sister, on the other hand, was given a double bed last month for no other reason than that her full bed didn't seem big enough to accommodate both her and her girlfriend.

Considering Tripp is now her girlfriend, that's a little bit scary to me.

"If you're sure," Dannie decided. "And it does go great with my eyes. Alright, Tripp, you wanted to go to Hot Topic?"

"So people do listen to me," Tripp cheerfully grinned and Dannie and I squirmed a little bit. Angry Tripp is frightening. Cheerful Tripp is downright terrifying, considering the things she gets cheerful over usually involve sex or the macabre.

"I want a pretzel when we get the chance," I piped up.

"Oh, are you sure? We just shared French fries. Do you want all that salt?" Dannie queried. I groaned under my breath. I watch my weight just like every girl I know, but Dannie seems to care much more about it than I do.

"I was planning on getting a cinnamon sugar one," I assured him. Dannie grinned and nodded like an approving bobblehead and I laughed. That kid is damn cute. Despite the fact that he's a little bit taller than I am, everyone thinks he's a middle school kid. He's skinny as a twig and has the sweetest, most effeminate face I've ever seen on a guy with sky blue eyes big enough for him to be an anime character. Not to mention a dusting of light brown freckles across his nose that would make him a shoo-in to play a child protagonist in a B movie.

"Alright, Dannie, stop being all cutesy and let's go," Tripp grumbled, grabbing him by the wrist and tugging him up off the large circular couch we were sitting on, then reaching for my hand. I shooed her black nailed hands away from my own purple nailed ones and got up off the couch myself. Tripp looked moderately peeved but left me be.

We were walking to Hot Topic when a few guys walked by and catcalled at Tripp. Tripp, who despite being a lesbian loves the attention, lifted her short black miniskirt up a few inches, revealing a few inches of pale skin above her thigh-high fishnets. The boys fanned themselves and pretended to faint. Several other people were staring at us. Tripp is too damn good looking for her own good. Unlike Dannie, she doesn't dye her hair, so she's still got that head of smooth, silky red hair fit for a shampoo commercial and features that are both delicate and hot at the same time. Full lips painted red adorn her face along with eyes the color of the sky at midnight. Most of us sophomores just look like slightly larger freshmen, but Tripp looks like a woman. Too much like a woman for her immature sixteen-year-old mind, in my opinion.

As for Dannie and I, we rolled our eyes at each other and walked past Tripp. When she got bored with the boys, she'd flip them off, inform them of her sexuality, if they couldn't guess that by the rainbow triangle tattoo on her exposed hip, and find us. Until then, Dannie and I would be in Hot Topic.

Tripp joined us after about five minutes, claiming she'd gotten distracted by the Victoria's Secret posters. She is such a liar. Such a tease. If she wasn't actually such a sweetheart I wouldn't bother with her, but she is, so I do.

"Xander, look, they've got Lady Gaga shirts for guys!" Dannie squealed. Yes, he actually squealed in the middle of Hot Topic. If he were any gayer he wouldn't be able to function. I don't say that to be mean. He'd probably take that as a compliment, to be honest. He adores his sexuality. On the sexuality spectrum, he's a definite ten. Same with Tripp. As for me, I'm somewhere around a four or a five. I used to think I was a one, totally straight, until I met Tripp. Well, and a few other girls. Tripp's hot, but not quite hot enough to turn a straight girl gay. But you get the picture, it all happened pretty abruptly for me.

"There you guys are!" I whirled around to see my sister standing there. Her name's Anna Molly and she's a year older than Dannie. She's graduating this year and she's already been accepted to the six colleges she applied for. Most people would be annoyed with someone that, well, perfect, but Anna Molly and I get along all right. Most people mistake us for twins even though I personally think Anna Molly is much prettier than I am. We've got the same features – same white-blonde hair and bright kelly green eyes, same ghost-pale skin, same childlike face – but she's much more athletically built than me, and she wears her hair longer than me and curls it while I have mine in a million razor-cut layers.

"A.M.!" Tripp exclaimed, throwing her arms around her and giving her a kiss on the cheek. Even though they weren't really even doing anything, a guy looking at posters catcalled. What is with guys and catcalling? Two times in twenty minutes? Really?

"Fucker!" Tripp yelled, flipping him off. It was all for Anna Molly's sake. Tripp loved the attention, as I said before.

"Give a free show, expect people to come," the guy stupidly retorted. After a few minutes of Tripp glaring at him, he scurried away blushing.

"What are you doing here?" I queried.

"Had nothing better to do. So what do you say we head on over to the campus for some pizza?" Anna Molly suggested.

"Sounds great!" Tripp agreed. So much for my cinnamon-sugar pretzel. I turned to complain.

My breath caught in my throat mid-turn and I froze.

Everything else fell away. Suddenly it was just he and I, standing alone in the store. The music was silenced. The people disappeared. The walls disappeared. The floor vanished, but we did not fall. We were floating.

He was beautiful.

His face was not too effeminate, and not too masculine. It was simply perfect, like that of a china doll. Slightly tan was his skin, and so smooth, so flawless. Lips like full rose petals were slightly parted as he took in the store, took in me. A hand, small-palmed with long, elegant fingers, reached up and swept a few locks of long, almost shoulder-length, light blonde hair out of his eyes, dark green like nothing I'd ever seen in my life with hints of gold here and there. He adjusted the bright green jacket he wore; unzipping it to reveal a thin white V-neck t-shirt that clung to his masculine curves perfectly.

"Oh my god," I breathed, and my three friends glanced at me. Dannie followed my gaze and smiled.

"Oh, him? That's Indigo Xae," he explained.

"Indigo," I whispered. Indigo. I rolled it around in my head like a marble. Indigo, Indigo, Indigo.

"Yeah. He just moved here from California. He's off the market, though," Dannie sighed.

"Oh," I sighed, more than disappointed.

"For me. Not you. He's straight, Xander," Dannie grinned. "And therefore all yours."

"All mine? You mean he doesn't have, like, a million girls after him?"

"Nah. Most girls find him just a bit too pretty."

"Got that right. He's so pretty I'd almost date him," Tripp scoffed. "Oh, but don't let that deter you. He's definitely your type, Xander."

"My type? Tripp, since when do I have a type? I've never dated anyone for more than a month," I grumbled. Truth was, other than one girl, I'd never dated anyone for more than a week or two, but that wasn't something I was announcing.

"I know you. You always drool over those gorgeous rock-star types," Tripp remarked.

"He looks like a younger, prettier Kurt Cobain with that hair," Anna Molly interjected. Yeah, I could see that.

"Shh, guys, he's coming over here," Dannie whispered. My heart skipped a beat as I realized that this was indeed true.

"Dannie," Indigo smiled. Oh my god. He had the most gorgeous voice. I don't even know how to describe it except that it made me think of cerise silk.

"Hi, Indigo. I didn't expect to see you here," Dannie grinned. "Oh, this is Tripp Ripple, Anna Molly Lex-Griey, and her sister Xander."

"It's great to meet you all," Indigo stated. He looked at me the whole time. Why was he looking at me? Had he caught me staring? Was I just being paranoid? All right, calm down, Xander, it probably doesn't mean anything. You are, after all, the most brightly colored of the group. Tripp's all in black and Anna Molly's wearing a white t-shirt and pale denim cutoffs with beat-up white running shoes. Shit, she actually came to the mall in that? Does she even care…oh, well, that doesn't matter. Dannie looks, as usual, very good but very gay in a grey t-shirt with a symbol he designed himself with an olive green Aeropostale zip-up hoodie and a pair of destroyed Hollister jeans. Cute jeans. I wonder if they're guys' or girls'. Okay, back to the subject at hand. What am I wearing? Bleached jeans and a thin pale purple American Eagle hoodie. Good, I look decent.

"It's great to meet you, too," I smiled. Ugh, I hope there isn't food in my teeth. That would be the absolute worst. "Dannie says you're from California." Shit, why did I say that? Now he'll know we've been talking about him and he'll wonder why and he'll figure it out and know I was staring and…

Okay, Xander, calm down. Listen to what he says.

"Yeah, spent my whole life there. It's hard to believe you guys don't have anywhere to surf. I guess I'll have to take up skateboarding or something," Indigo laughed. I smiled.

"I've always wanted to surf," Anna Molly piped up. Oh, god, A.M., you have a girlfriend. You're not even bi. Why are you using your flirty voice on him? Oh, right, that's just her regular voice. Why don't I have a gorgeous regular voice like that?

"Surfing is amazing. I'll have to take you guys to California sometime and teach you. But anyway, what do you guys do around here for fun?" Indigo queried.

"Honestly? You're doing it. The only thing around here is the mall," Dannie laughed. "And if you're interested in doing that, you should talk to Xander. She's the queen of the mall. She practically lives here."

Dannie, have I ever told you how much I love you? You are so getting those Doc Martens for Christmas, I don't care if it costs me my allowance for the next six months.

"Really? Wow, I'll definitely start having to hang around you, then," Indigo grinned. He had a gorgeous smile and the whitest teeth I'd ever seen.

"Any time you want to hang out, just call," I offered. Wow, that actually sounded pretty good. Relatively flirty, even.

"Well, I'll need your number, then." He reached into his pocket and handed me his shiny silver Blackberry. I sheepishly tugged out my old Rumor and handed it over. I'd heard of putting your number in your crush's phone and tagging yourself as 'Girlfriend' or 'Hot Girl' or something along those lines, but I was too afraid so I just tagged myself as 'Xander L.G.' and handed it back. I glanced down and saw that he'd tagged himself as 'Indigo X' in my phone so I assumed I'd done the right thing.

"Well, unfortunately, I've got to go. I promised my mom I'd be home in an hour so we could go out to dinner," Indigo admitted.

"Hey, that's cool. Nice seeing you," Dannie grinned.

"Yeah, nice meeting you," I agreed. Anna Molly and Tripp nodded.

"Definitely. You guys all go to C.H.S., right?" Indigo queried.

"Yep," Anna Molly grinned. Somehow she'd ended up tangled up in Tripp's arms and had her head resting on Tripp's shoulder. For some reason that made me feel like a million bucks, like they had just purposely made it obvious I was the only available girl there.

"Awesome, so I'll see you guys there," Indigo grinned. We said goodbye and he left.

"He was wearing those jeans I want from American Eagle. Did you see?" Dannie asked.

"No," I replied.

"God, Dannie, what'd you do, check out his ass as he walked away?" Tripp cackled.

"No, I just know what those jeans look like!" Dannie insisted. His blush made me a bit uneasy, but I wrote it off as nothing.

I spent the whole car ride to the pizza place thinking about Indigo. As we walked into the pizza place I realized that I forgot the cinnamon-sugar pretzel completely.

Sorry, delicious cinnamon-sugar pretzel. Indigo officially tops you.