Chapter 20


The first week after Spring Break was utter torture.

To start with, she missed the damp, yet roasting heat from Cancun, and hated the sudden bad weather that had hit New Haven pretty badly.

Secondly, having classes right after an entire week of partying simply didn't work.

Thirdly, she was sick.

And last but not least, she was heading for disaster, and she had no idea how to get off the collision route.

It was four in the afternoon, and where was she? At Sean's house, in his bed, huddled under countless blankets that surely weren't meant to make her sweat as if she'd just run the frigging marathon, as one might say. Still, the prick had insisted.

My house, my rules, he'd said with that wicked grin, which immediately set her temper on fire.

It's your fault only, Alana heard inside her head. You decided to come, and you knew the rules of letting him taking care of you. Oh yes, she'd been the idiot. Instead of refusing to give him permission to take care of her, no, she'd done the exact opposite. She'd allowed him to tend to her as if she was her freaking girlfriend. They might treat each other like a couple, but they were not a real one.

We never will be, she thought insensitively, but her thoughts refused to be in tune with her heart, especially whenever Sean came around and cuddled with her or made sure she had everything she wanted. His obsessive attention was addictive, and even though she loathed it, Alana didn't want it to change.

It'd been his fault as well.

"I believe that, the only reason that would stop us from knowing if we'd fallen for each other, would be the fact that we believe religiously that it is impossible and can't happen when, in fact, it might've already."

How could he have said that?

Alana pretended she didn't remember, since she had the honest excuse of being drunk, but... Hell, she remembered it. And she damned well preferred she didn't, because those thoughts had rocked her world.

But she would never let him know that. Never. Besides, he hadn't brought up that matter between them anyway, so maybe, just maybe, he'd regretted it. But if so, why did she feel a twinge of fury if that was the case? She should be glad if he'd indeed forgotten about what he'd said or simply didn't want to talk about it because he'd lied. That way it'd only add more to her hate for him that would help her win the bet!

Instead, she hated herself for hating him for not wanting to talk about it because he regretted it! Even that reasoning made her head throb. Putting it in plain words, she wanted him to admit he'd indeed said those words.

But how would she deal with it, anyway?

And how could he know that... he might've fallen for her? He's a fucking player, what does he know about falling in love?

No more than you do, that voice pulsed inside her head. Oh yes, you're definitely heading for disaster.

As of now, there was only one way Alana could deal with that situation – ignore it, and pretend it never happened.

Downright sick of being in bed, the red haired hauled herself up, and crept out of the prick's room, with a blanket wrapped around her body. With that dire weather, she didn't want to get sicker than she already was. In addition to that, she definitely didn't want any of Sean's friends to see her in her pyjamas.

The living room was occupied by a couple of Sean's friends, so she set off to the kitchen. It smelled good. Awfully good, actually.

"What are you baking?" She spoke, and the green-eyed monster looked at her.

He smiled that tight-lipped smile, so captivating and alluring. "Me? Nothing, but if you're so interested, someone's baking muffins."

She sat at the table, her eyes set on the oven. "Sean brought muffins to our first date. They tasted so good. Did he ask someone to bake them? I thought he'd bought them."

Ryan's answer only added to the mystery. "No, he didn't buy them."

"I baked them, actually." The prick responded himself, and Alana's head immediately turned to watch him walking in the kitchen.

"You don't come out as the type of guy who bakes,"

"But I do,"

She frowned and gazed into his brown eyes. Was that a lie, or was he telling the truth? She knew guys who baked and cooked better than most people, but Sean definitely didn't look like that kind of guy. Well, perhaps because she had this unchanging image of him in her head, regardless of everything he'd done to prove he wasn't like she'd imagined him to be.

"So... are you saying that the food I've been eating, you cooked it?" He nodded as he walked up to the oven and checked on the muffins. "I praised the food more times than I can count."

"I felt flattered, redhead."

"Why didn't you say something?"

"You wouldn't have believed him," Ryan said plainly. Maybe, she thought. But he could've easily proved it was him.

"What more do I not know about you?"

"A few things," He replied, and she saw the way he glanced at Ryan. What didn't she know that Sean had revealed with just that one glance?

"Why won't you tell me, then?" She said casually.

When he placed the muffins over the kitchen counter, he cornered her. "Why won't you tell me why you were transferred to New Haven?"

Obviously there was no answer to that.

They gazed into each other's eyes, measuring their strength of will, wondering who'd throw in the towel and give in first. None of them moved or said something.

Ryan's chuckle broke their daze, just like the door bell did, but they didn't look away from each other. "I'll get it," He said, "Otherwise I'll get sick if I stay here watching the two of you looking so... couple-ish."

When he left the kitchen, Sean finally spoke, but it had nothing to do with what Alana wanted to talk about. "Spring Ball's next Saturday."

The Masquerade Ball immediately assaulted her mind. "So?"

"You need to get better," He said plainly, "Because you're my date."

Alana rolled her eyes, and replied with her sarcastic side on. "I was your date last time as well and look how that went."

The pricked sighed, but decided to ignore her remark. Well, she was right anyway, he'd been an ass, and he knew it. And there was nothing he could say or do which would change what he did to her that night.

"We've changed," He said slowly, his eyes set on the muffins. He didn't even have the audacity to look at her. What interpretation was she supposed to get from that reaction? "Our relationship... We're different."

"We're different how, Sean?" She insisted impatiently, more unconsciously than consciously. She knew what she really wanted to hear, but at the same time... "I still hate you,"

"You still annoy me," He immediately attacked her.

Resentful, Alana moved on to yell, "You're a fucking asshole, not to mention a playboy!"

"And you're a fucking bitch, one quite impossible to put up with!"

"But you like each other all the same, and that's what makes it so fucking entertaining and worth it, isn't it?"

The both of them immediately glared at Ryan. Words like those were certainly the last thing both of them needed to hear in a quarrel like that!

However, Ryan didn't appear to be hot and bothered by their blazing glares, and proceeded to speak again about a different matter whilst his enthralling green eyes set on Alana in a both mysterious and curious way. Alana's stomach twisted with the uncomfortable sensation that seeped deep bone. "So, you have a visit, Alana."

Her brow creased in confusion. She wasn't waiting for anyone. "I do?"

"Yes," He responded, and then he stepped aside, and allowed a red haired girl to walk into the kitchen.

Alana's world fell apart right there. "Fuck,"

The girl, only one year younger than her, laughed. "Is that how you welcome your sister, Alana?"

Sean's eyes bulged. Ryan gaped at her younger sister. Alana, however, only glared at her. "What are you doing here, Vae?"

With a dazzling smile, her sister was a beauty.

They were quite alike, actually, but her sister had always known how to charm people. It wasn't that hard either, because Alana's temper was her trait, not Vae's. A couple of inches taller than her, and with an equal hourglass figure, Vae's hair was red too, but whereas Alana's was a fiery shade, Vae's was more of a copper colour and much longer. Her eyes weren't as dry as her older sister's and she had a much defined jaw, which gave her a more oval-shaped face. She was also pale-skinned, which she hated even more than Alana did, and had more freckles than she could keep track of. Alana was the only one who was aware that she tried her hardest to hide the freckles – and actually succeeded.

Regardless of all the charm and appeal, almost no one knew Vae was the least girly of them, but if they thought Alana was quite wild, Vae could be even worse.

"I just wanted to surprise you,"

Sean chuckled, and tried to hide it, but Alana glowered at him over her shoulder. The prick knew how bad she hated surprises, just like her annoying little sister. "Just tell me why you came here, Vae."

Her sister didn't reply. Instead, she regarded Sean, and then gazed at Ryan, only to go back looking at Sean again through narrowed eyes, but with an ill-behaved smile shaping her lips. "So, are you two dating?"

"No," Alana replied.

"Yes," Sean said.

Both of them stared at each other, both set of eyes ablaze by their still-too-fresh-and-unsolved quarrel.



Vae laughed loudly. "Okay, I get it. I can already imagine your Facebook Status – in a relationship and it's complicated."

"This isn't funny," Alana snarled.

"For you, but for me, it is quite funny." Vae sauntered up to Sean, and although she looked oblivious to the way Ryan was watching her, she was pretty well-aware of the challenge in those green eyes. "So, how do you manage my sister's temper?"

"I don't," He retorted.

"He does," Ryan uttered behind her. "It's just that they had a fight."

"Arguing with my sister can be ugly,"

"I know," The prick replied, "She's already proven that to me right when we first met." He alluded to the first time they met, and Alana could only think that she just felt like doing the same thing – kick him in the balls and watch him suffer.

Ignoring him, she looked at her younger sister, and asked, "How did you get here?"

"I was at your dorm, and someone saw me, and explained me you weren't there. I asked where you were, and they gave me directions on how to get here." Alana would have to discover who'd been the asshole. Dealing with her sister while she was sick and had an on-going bet with the prick was undoubtedly the last thing she wanted to do.

Vae had only been there for not even five minutes, and Alana was already feeling her head pounding. If it was the flu or her sister's suddenly annoying voice, Alana didn't really know, but she had an idea.

"The person who indicated me this house, also mentioned a challenge you have going on."

Hell no.

Ryan grinned mischievously, but his eyes shone with lust when he gazed at her sister. "That's actually a very interesting question, with a much more interesting answer."

Massaging her temples, Alana didn't want to talk about that. And neither did Sean, because she heard him say, "Is Vae your real name?"


"No, it isn't." Alana immediately said, knowing her sister was lying. She didn't bother to stop her massages when she added, "But she won't tell you her name. She hates it."

"Well, Vae, as you can see, your sister's sick. She came to my house for a few days until she got better, which was why you couldn't find her at her dorm." Sean explained nicely, and Alana saw him moving towards her. He put his hands on her shoulders, and continued, "Having said that, I think it's better if I take her upstairs for a while, until she feels better and decides to... enlighten you on the whole challenge thing you heard about us."

And that was why she found it so hard to hate him once in a while.

Before her sister could answer, though, Vince came storming inside the kitchen, and threw something at her. Sean grabbed it first, and Alana noted it was the New Hell's newspaper. Judging by Vince's grimace, she was about to read something about her and Sean.

"They did it again, didn't they?"

"Yes," He nodded, a few golden locks falling to the sides of his attractive face. He ran a hand through his blonde hair, and added, "And it's illustrated with a picture. Not to mention they actually talk about me and Ryan in that piece of shit."

Alana sighed, and got up, wanting to take a look at the new article. Sean didn't let her. Instead, he said, "Let's read it in my room."

"But I..." She trailed off when she watched Vince realizing there was actually an unknown person to him in the kitchen.

That wasn't what shocked her. It was the way Vince spotted her sister, and simply couldn't take his eyes off her. Ryan had been discreet, though Alana had seen it, but Vince... it was evident. And her sister looked equally and utterly captivated. Both looked mesmerized, unaware they were not alone.

"Vince," Alana snapped, "That is my sister."

"I..." He stammered, wanting to look at her, but evidently unable to take his blue eyes off her sister. "Uh, it's... a pleasure to meet you."

"The pleasure is all mine," Vae replied, tilting her head to the side, curiosity stamped all over her face. "I'm Vae... and the pleasure is all mine."

Alana wanted to slap the both of them. No way would her best friend and her sister get involved. Yes, Vince didn't have that obvious and disgusting look of lust like Ryan had, but that didn't mean he wasn't less a playboy! Because he was, and like Sean had mentioned on their first date, he was the worst of them! And her sister! Alana definitely had to tell her Vince was the worst sort of guy she could get involved with, even if just for a few days. Hell no, she wouldn't let her little sister make out – or worse, have sex! – with Vince, even though he was her best friend! When it came to wanting to screw her younger sister, Vince was everything but that!

She motioned to reach Vince, but a headache hit her so bad that she almost lost her balance. She felt hot.

Sean pulled her closer, and jerked his head towards her sister. "Would one of you please show Vae around the house?"

Ryan this time said nothing, in spite of that lustful look on his face. He nicely allowed Vince to step forward."I'll do it."

"You don't mind talking to your sister in a few moments, do you?" Sean asked Vae. "As you can see, she's not feeling very well."

Her sister only nodded. So much for wanting to see me, uh?

After that, Sean urged her to leave the kitchen, but not before she warned the other playboy. "Vince, if you get too near my sister, I swear to God I'll rip your balls off your loins."

No one answered. The only ones who actually showed some sign that they'd heard her were Ryan and the prick. Ryan left the kitchen laughing, whereas Sean, accompanying her upstairs, commented, "Don't worry about them."

She immediately hissed, "Don't tell me that, Sean, you saw the way they were looking at each other!"

"Vince appeared to be interested in your sister, so what? Your sister was just as interested."

Yes, and that was what worried her! "She's interested in a fucking player!"

"So now your best friend is a fucking player?" Sean rolled his eyes, not even arguing like Alana wanted him to. What part of her sister's interested in a player didn't he understand? "Cut him some slack, redhead. I'm sure Vince's pretty well aware that she's your sister."

"Vince seemed everything but aware that she was my sister."

Sean heaved a sigh and didn't keep arguing. Instead, he helped her lying down and joined her in bed. As if they'd done it countless times already, Alana leaned on him and covered them both. It simply wasn't strange anymore, which was just another reason to why she was heading for disaster.

Once they were settled, Sean leafed through the pages until he found the article.

None of them was surprised to see which picture they'd imprinted. "I knew they'd use this," Sean commented, "It was so fucking obvious."

She agreed with him, of course, but she stayed put, and resumed reading the article.

"Spring Break was a blast!" That was how most of New Haven's population described their Spring Break. From arriving and instantly meeting not only a ton of American students, but Mexican heartthrobs that surely had just as much fun as we certainly had with them, to the last raving and delirious party on Mexican soil that blew each and every mind of a NHU student.

That was the first paragraph and Alana agreed with it. After a few sentences, however, they found themselves reading about Ryan and Vince.

Speaking of celebrities – NHU celebrities – it is a fact that the famous Ryan Smith and Vince Meyers had plenty of fun, not only with NHU students, but with other American and Mexican beauties. Let's start with the gorgeous Mr. Smith, whose green eyes are a treacherous feature that attracts poor girls, only to brutally break their hearts after allowing them to believe that he had fallen for them. Word of Mouth told us that he had been involved with a fresher – Roxy Oliver, soon after the first semester started. Rumours continued until that semester ended and throughout the second semester. Those rumours proved to be true when the NHU hockey player was seen with a different girl halfway through Spring Break, and NHU population once more witnessed a heated argument between Ryan and a girl, this time Roxy. The girl didn't seem pleased when she observed him with another one, and didn't bother to wait until they were in a much safer environment (meaning, a place with no one to watch them) to discuss what had happened. That, my friends, is why we love our celebrities so much - because they entertain us quite well with their novellas.

It is impossible to speak of Ryan Smith, and not mention NHU most handsome student – Vince Meyers. Whereas there is the tiniest chance to get to Smith's heart since that has happened, we all know it is impossible to see a hint of some sort of feeling in that attractive face. Having said that, it doesn't surprise anyone when Word of Mouth says the NHU football player had his fun in Cancun. From NHU students, to other American girls and Mexican ones, we all know Meyers had the best time of his life, just like last time. We can't help but to wonder if, in fact, the playboy has a heart. Even in sex, sources tell us, the playboy is just as cold as he appears to be, though our sources cannot help but to tell us that he excels in bed. But the question is, will we ever see the NHU football captain fall in love? Will we ever eyewitness him with a possible girlfriend, instead of stumbling upon him making out with a girl he probably met not even half an hour ago? Maybe he has a sexual compulsivity or perhaps he's just gay, regardless of having sex with women. Nevertheless, we have two additional years to find out. Can a girl appear in that amount of time and finally break the ice around NHU heartthrob?

Alana felt bad when she laughed by the end of part regarding Vince. "They had to write something really bad about him, otherwise he wouldn't have acted so pissed off earlier." Sexual compulsivity? Gay? How could she not laugh? And how could Vince stay calm after reading something like that? Still at least it'd be helpful to Alana. "I have to show this to Vae."

"Yes, but the best part's yet to come." Sean remarked, ignoring her comment on Vince and her sister. "Our part."

Last but not least, it is not possible to write an article about Spring Break and not mention our New Haven superstars – NHU Swimmer, Sean Mathews, and the newcomer that arrived to stir up New Haven, Alana Hartley. As we're sure you all keep track of the time remaining to end the challenge started by the explosive Miss Hartley, we don't need to go into details regarding the fact that Miss Hartley has about a month to make our beloved celebrity Sean Mathews fall for her. We know for a fact that they spent half the week avoiding each other, while the other half they couldn't be seen without the other. It also doesn't surprise us to know that they had quite the argument towards the end of the fabulous week. Sources confirm us that, to no one's shock, Miss Hartley happened to drink too much. Now that isn't such a bombshell, but we do know that she was seen on the rooftop of the hotel, clearly wasted, accompanied by Ryan Smith. What was the topic of their short conversation, you ask? Trust. As to why they would have trust issues, we unfortunately cannot tell you. Do they still not trust each other? Or does one trusts too much? Has one broken the other's trust? We delve into this matter; we cannot stop but to deliberate about the bet that has been going on for about two months. I'm sure we all wonder, is it working? As any of them began feeling something? To illustrate what we think of it, we offer you a photograph of the couple, kissing passionately, during the day, caring not about any wanderers in the hotel halls. Can it be interpreted as a sign that something has finally changed? But, more importantly, who has changed? Who is the fool and who is the player? Is Mr. Mathews about to show us that he truly is the unbreakable playboy he claims to be, or is the newcomer about to provide evidence that she is the one that can break the jock's heart? New Haven wonders, ponders, imagines and wagers. However, few have considered one option. What if... they have both developed feelings? How would that affect the bet and their weapons to win? Although Alana Hartley does look as if she simply can't feel a simple emotion, she never stated she didn't have a heart. As for Sean, we all know he has a heart. Didn't we all hear the rumours about his involvement with Taylor Bell? That is not the point, however. The point is that Mr. Mathews can indeed have a heart, and our question is, will it break or will Alana occupy the empty space?

Should we consider those possible realities?

Alana didn't know what to react. She didn't know whether she should curse the twins, or herself for being so freaking obvious. They'd seen it. And how could they know about the conversation she'd had with Ryan at the rooftop? How did they freaking know about all of it?

Anger roiled within her, which didn't surprise Sean. "I fucking hate those bitches,"

"I know, but... there's nothing we can do that will make them stop writing about us. You should stop caring about it." He told her, shifting so he could better look at her, as if he hadn't read the same article she had.

She scowled at him. "How the fuck am I supposed to not care if their life purpose is to probe into our lives and talk about the bet over and over?"

"You should've have thought of this before you challenged me."

His sentence made her hark back to the day she met the Asian Twins, and told Sean about it. His reaction had been so easy-going, just like now, and he'd surprised her. She thought he wouldn't care when in fact he let her know he'd help her dealing with them if she ever needed. And he'd complied, hadn't he? "You told me that the first time I told you the twins had approached me,"

"And look at us now." He smiled faintly. "You might not want to admit, but we've come a long way. Almost two months. Look at us then and compare."

No, I don't want to compare. "We... We're not so different..."

"You hated me, redhead." He pointed out. She looked away, but he carefully framed one side of her face so he'd make her look at him again.

"I still do,"

He chuckled. "Not as much," Maybe.

"You still think of me as a bitch,"

"And maybe that's why I haven't gotten sick of you." He suddenly said, sighing. How could he not be over her? She was a bitch, her temper was awful, almost everyone hated her! He had every reason to not like her, so how could... how could he declare they were different? "Maybe, like Ryan's put it, that's why this is so entertaining and... worth it."

Her heart skipped a beat. Worth it?

He shifted again. When he spoke, he leaned over her, so close, so... tempting. "I miss those few hours in Cancun, you know." He whispered slowly, fondling her lips with his fingers, and moving up to her head, getting tangled in her flaming red hair, as he always did. Those movements, the way he spoke, the way he looked at her, so tenderly, so wanting her... It was agonizing. "When I could kiss you without having to ask for your permission and consider the consequences of it."

She knew what he was yearning for. It was so plain in his face, perhaps because it mirrored hers.

I can't, she thought. She couldn't kiss him; she couldn't give in to that excruciating desire that was like an inferno devastatingly ablaze inside her. It was mayhem inside her. On one side, she wanted to pull him down and get lost in that poisoning taste of him, but on the other side, the word bet clung to her mind in a way she couldn't shake it off. No, not after Sean disclosed they might've already fallen for each other.

He didn't make a move on her. "What are you thinking?"

"That... I hate being sick."

He chuckled. He knew she was lying. He always did, didn't he? Could he tell that she wanted him just as bad as he seemed to want her in that moment, then? "Will you be my date for Spring Ball?"

How could Alana say no when he was asking that question in such a tender tone of voice? "I will,"

"Good," He smiled again. How could he get her all riled up and then tame her in such an easier way, sometimes? Who was he to have all of those effects on her?

The one you've fallen for. The tension was excruciating. Kiss him, her conscious egged her on. You know you want it.

I don't want it, she lied to herself. I can't.

You've kissed him several times before... one more kiss won't make a difference. In fact, it'll only help you winning.

"You're burning," He suddenly pointed out.

"I know," And maybe it's not just because of the fever...

He began pulling away, "I should get the thermometer to-"

"No," She said swiftly, gripping the hem of his shirt so he wouldn't go. Not yet. Not before...

"Why?" He asked, his voice wavering.

She swallowed wryly. She couldn't tell him why. He'd get the best of her, he... he'd also kiss her. "Because..."

He regarded her intently, making the eagerness in his golden brown eyes so plain to her. "Do you want... Do you need something else?"

Yes, I do. Really bad. "I..." She stammered, torn between what her mind was telling her, and what her heart made her feel like, especially with Sean so close, so enticing... No. I won't give in!


She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. All the walls went up all around her, and looking straight into his eyes, the red haired said stiffly, "No, I... I don't need anything else."

He turned away before she could see a trace of... something.

If he was hurt, he didn't show it. If he was only playing her and was displeased that he hadn't been able to carry out that move on her, he also didn't show any trace of irritation. Not knowing how he felt was even worse.

Sean came back with the thermometer and gave it to her. He didn't look her in the eyes nor did he come back to bed. How surprising, she'd ruined the moment between them again. Well, she'd consciously ruined it, so why did she feel guilty, anyway? She'd been the one who'd decided she wouldn't kiss him, even though she longed to meet his lips!

A knock on the door was heard when Alana was done checking her fever. She was hot indeed, but her fever wasn't high.

"Come in," Sean said.

The door opened, and Vae walked in. "Are you feeling better, sister dear?"

"Yes," No, she wasn't. Her stomach twisted with lust every time she glanced at Sean. "So, did you have fun with Vince?"

"I did!" She stated with a grin. "He's really nice, actually."

Alana scowled at her sister obvious interest in her friend. "Yes, he does have that effect on girls." She paused, and threw the newspaper at her. "Read the paragraph that mentions the name Vince Meyers or NHU football captain."

Sean shook his head in disapproval. It was her sister, and she wanted to protect her from guys like him! However, the prick wasn't about to make it easier for her. "Don't read it, Vae. Your sister just wants you to read shit about Vince just because you two seemed interested in each other."

"We just met not even half an hour ago,"

"I met him," She jerked her head towards Sean, "And looked how we ended up."

"What's that supposed to do with Vince and I?"

"They're the same,"

Sean chucked, but also shook his head, letting her know he completely disagreed with what she was trying to do. "She means we're playboys."

"I see. So you're dating a playboy, and I can't even show interest in one who's actually your friend?"

The red haired in the bed was straight. "No, you can't."

"Fuck you, Alana." Vae retorted, frowning. "I'm not your baby sister anymore."

What the hell? She was trying to prevent her from getting hurt, and that reaction was what she got? "You're still younger than me and my sister,"

"For God's sake, Lana, I'm only staying here for a freaking week, what do you think that can possibly happen between your friend and I?"

Sean gave the impression to want to screw her. "Exactly, but your sister doesn't see that."

Alana, however, completely ignored his remarks, and said, "I have no idea of what might happen, and that's what scares me. I never know what you're going to do next."

"If she did," Sean said, "It'd mean you'd be pretty boring."

"Agreed," Vae smiled at him, but when she tossed the newspaper back at her, she was frowning. "Anyway, I came here for two reasons. I haven't seen you in ages, and... dad wanted me to talk to you."

That didn't surprise her. Her father had been trying to talk to her ever since she'd been transferred. "I don't have to hear what he has to say,"

"I... I've forgiven him." Her sister said slowly. Now that was something that stunned her, and it was impossible to hide the look of disgust, which hurt her sister. Vae looked away, suddenly ashamed.

"I can't believe you-"

"He's getting better, Lana, he-"

"He always gets better until he fucking does it again!" Alana yelled, and her sister winced at her tone. A movement in the corner of the room caught her attention. Sean was still there, curious and quiet, listening carefully.

"Lana, please-"

"This isn't the right time... or the place to speak about this." And she definitely needed time to cope with the fact that her sister had forgiven her father before they spoke of that matter again. After what he'd done... How could Vae forgive him? It was a revolting truth.

The prick got up. "If you want, I can go so you two can talk in private." His voice was ice. The fact that Alana still didn't trust was a stabbing fact.

She bit her lip. "No, I... I just don't want to talk about it."

"You also don't want me to hear it." He pointed out coldly; gazing right into her green eyes, but no warmth reached the other end. "Admit it, you simply don't trust me, redhead."

There was nothing she could say. She couldn't lie. He didn't deserve that.

An awkward silence settled until Vae cleared her throat, and changed the topic of their conversation before it got any more awkward. "How long have you two been dating?"

As if that wasn't any worse than we'd been speaking seconds ago, Alana thought wryly. Talking about the bet was almost just as bad as mentioning her family crisis. "Almost two months,"

"And you haven't told him about dad?" She shook her head. Alana hadn't told anyone about her father and her family problems. That was the major reason to why she'd decided to come to New Hell – because people didn't know about it. "I can't possibly believe you haven't talked about it with someone... How... How have you been doing?" Better than she thought... and it was thanks to the prick, wasn't it? There's no way to go around that.

"Vae," Alana sighed. Her sister thought she was really dating the prick when... it was nothing but a result of a way to win a challenge. "We aren't exactly dating."

Her sister waited for more, but nothing showed on her face.

"You sister challenged me," Sean revealed. Vae's eyebrow arched up, definitely not understand a damn thing. "I... kind of made of fun of her when she came here, and she decided to make a bet with me. Seeing that, as you very well know now, I'm a player, she decided she had everything it took to make me fall for her and... break my heart."

"And he thought he could make me fall for him, which, of course, it happens only in his head."

Sean glanced at her, and Alana could almost swear she saw him smiling. "We were given three months, which means we have about a month or so to... put an end to the bet."

"So, basically, you have to make the other fall for you without you falling in love?" They nodded. "And you didn't like each other in the beginning?"

"I hated him," Alana stated.

"And she annoyed me with that temper of hers."

Vae smirked and rolled her eyes. "Lana annoys everyone with that disgusting temper of hers. I'm surprised to actually find out you've been with her for about... two months? That's a long time putting up with my sister."

The prick threw his hands up in the air, as if he'd stumbled on some sort of salvation. "Finally someone who understands me!"

"Quite well, if I may add." Unfortunately, to Sean and Alana's horror, the younger red headed asked something, "So what happens if the two of you fall for each other?"

The question hung in the air, as neither of them had the guts to say a word about it. Vae looked back and forth, waiting, looking curious and baffled. If only she knew about the complete drama...

Lucky them, they were free from answering or commenting Vae's words when another knock on the door was heard. It was Vince. When he walked in, he restrained from looking at her sister, but Alana noticed the mesmerized glance he threw at her. Worthless to say her sister didn't take her green eyes off him.

"What am I missing?"

"My sister getting quite embarrassed, which is a rare sight." Vae immediately responded. Alana just wanted to strangle her.

Vince chuckled, acknowledging the probably motive to why Alana had gotten embarrassed. "That sometimes happens when Sean's around and you say something she definitely doesn't want to even think of when she's near him."

"You seem to know her well,"

"I do," He replied, "We get along just fine."

"I'm glad to hear that. My sister needs a friend which she can talk to whenever she needs to just talk about something that's on her mind twenty-four-seven." Vae commented. How could Alana try to make her sister feel welcome, when she said everything she wasn't supposed to say near any of the three amigos?

Still, she knew what her sister was referring to. And she definitely wasn't even considering telling Vince, or even Sean, about their family problems.

"I'm that friend, and she knows she can count on me, don't you, Lana?" He looked at her, and she was forced to nod, only out of respect for their friendship, because in that moment, she didn't feel like concurring with him. "Which is why I want to ask if you two could give us a moment."

"Oh, sure!" Vae grinned. "Besides, I want a few moments alone with my sister's boyfriend." Before Sean knew it, her sister had tightly gripped his arm and had dragged him out of his own room.

When the door was closed, Alana hissed a second later, "That's my sister, Vince. My younger sister."

"I know,"

"You better remember that while she's here."

He walked up to the bed, and sat next to her. "Don't worry, I'm serious. I know that she's your sister. She's... attractive, and... Don't look at me like that!" It was impossible not to glare at him when he was referring to her sister as attractive.

"Vae doesn't need to deal with more problems." Their family problems were enough!

"Are you saying I'm-"

"Well, you are a player, Vince, you can't deny it." And she hadn't forgotten about the way he'd referred to the girls he'd made out with during Spring Break. "Anyway, why did you want to talk to me in private?"

He obviously didn't want to annoy her regarding her sister, because he easily let go of that issue, and went straight to the point. "I talked to Ryan."

Oh, great! Her gaze never faltered, nevertheless. "So?"

"He told me about the conversation at the rooftop." Vince promptly disclosed. That ass, Alana mused. That was why she didn't really trust Ryan. Why did she talk with Ryan, anyway?

"A moment to forget," And she wasn't lying. That moment with Ryan at the hotel rooftop was definitely one she wanted to erase off her mind.

Alas, Vince didn't let it go. He locked her green eyes with his, and pointed out, "You wanted to trust Sean."

What the fuck have I done to put up with these three guys? She uttered a sigh. Talking about trusting Sean wasn't stated anywhere in her priority list. "What do you want me to say? I did want to trust Sean, but he also understood why I can't just... trust him! I do have reasons to trust him, but I also have reasons not to! The biggest of them all is the bet!"

"Which you totally ignored while you were in Cancun,"

Her temper flared at that. "It was just for a few days, Vince!"

"A month ago, you would have laughed at Sean's idea and said no without even consider the advantages it'd give you."

Although he hadn't said it plainly, Alana knew the exact meaning of his words in those clear blue eyes. And that was not good.

"If you want to say I'm on my way to lose the bet, just fucking say it." She flipped, rage flashing through her dry green eyes.

"I'm not saying you'll lose the bet, I'm just saying you're giving in too much, you... you like him, Lana!"

"So?" She asked, trying to look indifferent to his words, especially when he mentioned her feelings for Sean.

"What happened to the woman that hated Sean more than anything in the world?"

"Well, she realized he actually cared about her!" When she said those words, she immediately regretted it. It was bad enough she had to live with that fact, she didn't need to tell other people about it! Still, she pulled herself together, and stated assertively, "Unless you're trying to tell me he was playing me, which, in that case, I thank you for warning me, I really don't want to argue about this now. I know I have a bet going on, Vince, I haven't forgotten that. And I will win. I will break his heart."

That would be the end to their story. Sure, they had feelings for each other, but... it was just that. They didn't love each other, and regardless of what Sean had said about... them falling for each other, Alana wouldn't lose to him. She wouldn't fall for him. She wouldn't.

The bet won't end any other way, she mused. I will break Sean's heart.

Vince, however, wasn't convinced, and when he spoke, he seemed unsure about the outcome of the bet. "I have a feeling that, when that time comes, you'll break your heart yourself."

AUTHOR'S NOTE: What, has it been a... year or so? I can only apologise for the delay, if any of my old readers still follow me here on FP, you know I was never the type to be more than two months without updating.

I can tell you that my life has changed for the past year and a half since I've come to England for my last year at college. I was supposed to go back to my home country about in June last year but then I got a job, then I got a boyfriend, then I decided to stay here for the time being. It's still very hard sometimes, not having my family around or my long-time friends but I guess you've got to grow up at some point, as I'm sure you'll agree.

Anyway, this chapter has been completed since July 2010 (I know!), I've just never had the chance to go over it and update it since... you know, my life changed drastically.

I know my English has got better (you won't see much difference as this was written prior to my coming here, but maybe with new stories...) however my writing has got worse since I out of writing for so, so long. I even stopped reading as well, which is shocking! I'm trying to go back to these two hobbies of mine so maybe there is still hope for me at the end of the tunnel and I'll go back to reading, writing and updating regularly like before.

Please be patient with me?

Nevertheless, I hope you've enjoyed this chapter. I have two more which I'd previously written so it gives me some time to write new chapters for OUB whilst updating at the same time, I guess. I'm also in the process of writing a new story but I don't know how good it is yet. Will know for sure in about ten chapters, I hope!

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed and please let me know how you've all been doing and if you've enjoyed reading this long, overdue chapter! :)

I will also get back to review replies with the next chapter so I apologise for no replies this time! (I'm actually at work... Ups!)