Cameron Russo wasn't one for parties. Or drinking. Or even kissing. So why, on a Friday night in late August, did she find herself at a party, drunk, and kissing the most desired guy their school had to offer, who she also happened to loath with a passion? Yeah, she didn't know either.
It all started the Wednesday morning just before. She was in the middle of having a peaceful sleep, when suddenly something heavy came flying through her open floor-to-ceiling window, landing solidly on her head. It was so hot, she didnt even bother closing the window or even keeping a screen on it. Instead, she just wore bug spray whenever she went to bed.
Her head instantly shot up with a shout. She stormily stood up, picking up the poisonous object and studying it. It was a small paperweight, in the shape of a rock, with words scrawled across it in a familiar handwriting and it read: Cammie, wake up.
She frowned and turned, glaring out the window to find its source. She saw Kristopher Nobel nonchalantly picking up his backpack through an identical window to hers, less than ten feet away. If they both stood on the miniscule balconies attached to their windows and reached out, they could literally touch each other. She continued to stand just within her view, then disappear from sight, pretending the entire time to not have noticed her.
She fumed silently, attempting to control her building anger. That two-faced, no good, son of a bitch bast-
Suddenly, her eyes caught sight of the clock. She had less than twenty minutes to get ready. Wait, did he just…
She groaned pushing the thought away, ripping open one of the drawers of her dresser. There was no way Kristopher Noble would ever even think of doing something that would benefit her. Grabbing a pair of soffe shorts and pulling them on after pulling off her puppy dog pajama pants, she went searching through her drawers for a suitable shirt, coming up empty handed. She groaned, sorting through her clothes basket for something that wasn't too dirty… She eventually pulled out a bright green tank top and slipped it on over her yellow camisole.
She grabbed up her backpack, running for the door, taking a second to glance in the mirror and take sight of her disheveled looking hair. It had been in a bun on top of her head last night, but had shrunk down and was now on the lower left side of her head. She sighed, dropping her backpack and fiddling with her hair for several moments. After several moments of messing with it though, she simply piled it onto her head in a somewhat neater, yet still messy bun and ran downstairs.
Her mother, Laurel, was in the kitchen, flipping eggs in a frying pan. She plopped it onto a plate on the island counter and Cam sat down, shoveling it into her mouth without even waiting for it to cool. Laurel was tall and had the same bronze Italian skin as her daughter, but her hair was darker, a shade of brown that almost, in the right light, resembled black. She shared the same grey eyes as her daughter though, and the same lean figure.
"You're a bit late this morning," she noted without really sounding upset. She kept her eyes intent on her frying pan, flipping yet another egg.
Just as Cam opened her mouth to ask who it was for, Cecil, her stepbrother, bounded down the stairs. He was the same age as Cam, although the two looked nothing alike. While Cam had dark brown hair, he had black hair. Cecil had light, fair skin, while Cam had golden Italian skin. While he had bright green eyes, she had stormy grey eyes. And while his features were rounded and friendly, hers were sharp and angled. And despite the differences, they might as well have been twins. They were inseparable.
Laurel set Cecil's egg on another plate, sliding it over to him. "Thanks Laurel," he muttered, before digging in.
"Both of you," she chided, but really sounding rather indifferent. "Don't you have alarms?"
Neither of the two bothered to respond as they continued to shovel food into their mouths.
Suddenly, the door bell rang. Laurel put down her spatula to go open the door. Moments later, the last person Cam wanted to see walked in.
"Good morning, Kristopher," Laurel chirped. She had loved Kris like a son since he and Cecil grew so close.
He smiled politely back at her. "Morning, Mrs. B," he said, using the initial that was Cecil's dad's last name.
Kris was an odd looking person. Not to everyone at school, because they all found him gorgeous. But to Cam, he was.
He must've been thrown at a wall as a child, she thought.
His skin was a light olive color, but browned from being in the sun so much. His hair was a blackish brown color, and the shaggy mess was always falling into his eyes… Speaking of which, his big eyes were slanted down, almost reminding Cam of a puppy, and they were a shade of brown so dark, they were almost black. If you took a single glance at them, you would swear they were just deep black holes in his face. But every now and then, if you looked closely, you could see flints of gold mixed into the darkness of the irises …
Cam shook her head, removing the thoughts from her mind.
Kris then turned to Cecil and patted him lightly on the shoulder blade. "Hey man," he said confidently, taking the third and last island seat next to him. He didn't even bother saying anything to Cam.
Cecil managed to grunt a response between swallows of egg and toast. Laurel rolled her eyes at the children, then went into the living room and flipped on the T.V.
Kris then proceeded to grab a fork form the drawer on the other side of the counter and steal bites of Cecil's food. Cecil didn't seem to notice or care. They had been like brothers since Cam's mom had married Cecil's dad when they were six, much to Cam's luck. Kris had already been living next door to them for about two years before that happened, though. And the closeness of the two hadn't really started bothering her until about five years ago.
Cam shook her head, taking her plate over to the sink and rinsing it off. There were about three minutes till they had to leave. Where was Lilly?
"Hey, Ceci, you done with your plate?" she asked him, using his childhood nickname. He rolled his eyes in mild irritation.
He looked down at the remaining food. "Yeah," he said with a shrug.
"No," Kris responded at the same time. She ignored him, picking up the plate and taking it over, rinsing it like she had hers.
"Well, would you look at that," Kris grumbled, "A woman doing her job."
Cam spun on him. "Shut that poisonous vile you call a mouth, Noble, before I shut it for you," she snarled.
"Oh, I apologize, you're right. You're not a woman, you're a man," he stated, false sincerity laced into his words.
She narrowed his eyes at him, a sarcastic smile scrunched across her face. "Heh, very funny, douche bag," she responded, spitting the last word venomously at him as the smile fell of her face like a dead animal.
He rolled his eyes, when suddenly, Cam's phone beeped and a red camero pulled into the drive way.
Cam dropped the dishes immediately, grabbing her backpack and heading out the door.
"Have a good day!" Laurel called from the couch to the three of them as they headed out the door.
Not likely, thought Cam, dashing across the lawn to the driveway. She saw the light brunette head of her best friend sitting in the driver's seat.
She pulled open the passenger's side door and sat in, buckling the seatbelt across her chest.
"Cam!" she cried, attacking her with a hug. Lilly's parent usually took her on cruises over summer break, so Cam and Lilly didn't often see each other for the three months between school.
Cam was a little shocked from the enormous racket Lilly had made, but quickly brushed it aside with a smile. "Hey Lil," she responded. Then, with a sudden flick to the back of Lilly's head, she muttered, "Now get off me."
Lillian Baker drew back, an eyebrow raised sarcastically, but she couldn't keep the smile from tugging at the corners of her lips. "What's happenin' Senior?" she cried, her old crazy self again, ecstatically calling her by their new title. The full attention of her bright blue eyes was on Cam.
That is, of course, until Kris crawled into the back seat behind her.
Cam watched in disgust as Lilly's eyes glazed over, as if she was a five-year-old watching through the window of a candy shop. He sent a quick wink to Lilly, making sure to pretend that Cam wasn't even there. Lilly's eyes widened as if she couldn't believe that Kristopher Noble, the Kristopher Noble, had just actually winked at her with his actual eye in her actual car. She waved a few delicate fingers at him faintly. Cam just wrinkled her nose in disgust, hoping she wasn't about to have a heart attack. It would make it terribly difficult to drive.
"You're pathetic," she stated plainly at her friend, who simply returned to her previous visage of a skeptically raised eyebrow.
"Yeah, hell if I know why you're not. I mean, look at him," she urged in a whisper as Cecil crawled into the car and the two boys began their own conversation. Cam cast a look over her shoulder to look at Kris as he carried on his conversation with Cecil, waving his hands around to express whatever it was he was saying.
She watched him for a couple minutes before turning back to her friend. "What?"
Lilly sighed. "You can keep pretending you don't see it, but I know you think he's hot."
Cam rolled her eyes. "Whatever."
"Who's hot?" both of the boys asked in unison. It was odd, their voices almost sounded… concerned.
"Nobody," Cam called. She didn't even bother asking why Kris cared.
Lilly rolled her eyes at Cam. It was silent for a few moments to make sure the boys had gone back to talking before Lilly asked, "So, are you going to the party Friday?"
Cam paused to think for a moment. She was about to ask what party when she remembered about a week ago Kris and Cecil had been talking in their kitchen. Cam had just walked in on their conversation.
"Yeah, man it's going to be sweet." Kris said from the other side of the island, leaning on the counter. "You should totally come. Everyone's invited," Kris stated convincingly.
"Including her?" Cecil asked, pointing to Cam from his position on one of the stools. "You know I won't go without her."
Kris turned to find her standing there, looking confused, and his face fell, as if someone had just rained on his little lacrosse parade. "Yeah, whatever you can bring her too," he grumbled.
Cecil laughed. "Wow, Kris, I'm proud oof you. You two will just have to be kept out of the same room the entire time."
Kris laughed. "Are you kidding? She's just lucky she's allowed to be in the same house as me," he ended.
"Yeah, right. You're lucky if I'll even want to be in the same house as you," Cam retorted.
Kris simply scoffed and returned talking to Cecil.
Oh, that party.
Cam took a moment and pretended to think, when she finally shook her head. "Nope, don't think so."
"Aw, come on, Cam. It'll be so much fun! I mean, we actually get to be inside Kristopher Noble's house!" she squealed in a whisper.
"What about my house?" Kris called form the back.
They both ignored him as Cam rolled her eyes. "I wish it would be my first time," she grumbled. But looking at her friend, she knew she really had no choice. She was going to the party.
Half an hour later, everyone was in homeroom, receiving this year's schedules. Cam received hers almost last, considering she was under her father's last name and not Cecil's, whose last name was Brown. She was relieved when she found Lilly in her homeroom and Kyle, one of her best friends and future husband (he just didn't know it yet), there too. He was the only guy that still talked to her, outside of Cecil and Kris. She was also equally relieved that the latter was nowhere to be seen.
But, of course, by the end of the day, she found she had five of her seven classes with him because she was just that lucky. And still of course, he pretended she didn't exist other than to poke condescending words at her conscience.
At lunch, Cam, Lilly and Kyle sat together at a table.
"So, Kyle, you going to that party Friday?" Cam asked. If she was being forced to go, she at least wanted a reason to. Her stomach twisted into a knot while she anticipated the answer.
Kyle raised his light brown eyebrows, amused. "Yeah, but are you?" he asked. "You hate parties."
Cam rolled her eyes. "Yeah, well thanks to that one," she said, jabbing a thumb at Lilly, "I have no choice."
He laughed, his smile reaching his dark blue eyes, making Cam blush slightly. "Well, alright then. Look forward to seeing you there."
Suddenly, Kris swept by the table, sitting down next to her. Like, right next to her.
"Oh, Cammie," he stated loudly, "I just wanted to give these back to you. You left them over at my house last Friday." He handed her a brown plastic bag, making sure there was a thirsty audience. She expected him to then get up and bravado off, but he didn't.
He remained seated next to her though, giving Kyle this odd look. It was halfway between daggers and a warning. But Cam didn't notice. She was too busy wondering what the hell was in the bag he had just showed everyone he was giving her and being annoyed by his presence at the table. Moments later, she put two hands on one his shoulder and shoved him off the bench. He got up and stalked away, turning back to give Kyle one last look, before returning to his seat across from Cecil as it melted into a smug smile.
"What the fuck was that?" Cecil asked, craning his neck to look over at his sister.
Kris had a smug smile splayed across his face. "Oh she'll find out soon enough. Don't worry, dude, I'm helping you out."
Cecil raised an eyebrow, but said nothing more.
Everyone was still crowded around her table. As soon as they had finished watching Kris walk away, they returned their attention back to Cam. Even Kyle and Lilly were sitting wide eyed, as if anticipating.
"Well go on, open it," urged Lilly.
"No way in hell! For all I know, he could've put condoms in here," Cam seethed, pointing poisonous eye daggers over her shoulder at Kris.
Lilly rolled her eyes, grabbing the bag and shook it. "Nope, it is definitely not condoms."
Cam rolled her eyes, attempting to snatch the bag back, but Lilly held it away from her, starting to untie it. She peered in, and brought her head out, her mouth in a round "o" shape. She then stuck a finger in and pulled out a pair of black and red striped underwear.
They were Cam's.
Cam's jaw dropped as she snatched them and the bag out of Lilly's hand, who immediately began to giggle uncontrollably. The entire crowd that surrounded them either looked completely amused or totally furious that Kris had her underwear and not theirs.
Cam shook her head, as if to say it wasn't what it looked like. Kris and Cecil and her had gone swimming last Friday and she must've left them at his house.
"Whoa, there, Cam, we don't need to know about your sex life, alright?" Lilly stopped her, still attempting and failing miserably to hold back her laughter. Kyle was already cracking up where he sat.
Great, it was only Cam's first day. And it already looked like she had slept with the biggest man-slut on the face of the earth.
Happy Senior year, Cam, she thought to herself.
After school, Cam was walking with Lilly to her car, when suddenly, Cecil grabbed her by the shoulder.
"Hey, either of you guys seen Kris?" he asked.
"Hell if I know," Cam responded indifferently.
"Not recently," Lilly said at the same time. Cecil was almost like another brother, adding onto the three she already had.
He scrunched his nose in frustration. "Bastard," he muttered.
Cam's brow furrowed. "What?"
Cecil looked up. "Oh, nothing. It's not important," he said, turning and heading back for the school at a rather fast pace.
"You want us to wait for you?" Lilly called.
He paused. "Nah, it's okay, we'll catch the bus or something," he replied.
Lilly shrugged. "Alright." She started to turn back to the car, when Cam started heading for her brother.
"Wait, Cam!" she cried. "Aw, come on," she groaned, heading after her.
"What's going on?" Cam asked.
"What? Oh, no, uh he… got himself into a little trouble."
"What? What kind of trouble?" Lilly asked, concerned.
"On the first day?" Cam demanded at the same time.
"Uh, yeah. He…well he picked a fight with Julius Demarco. You guys know him?"
"You mean that senior who's six foot five and is, like, the star quarter back of the football team?" Lilly asked, not sure she really wanted to know the answer.
"Yeah, that senior," Cecil responded grimly. "Way to go, Kris. Pick on the one living, breathing person who isn't totally in love with you," he muttered to himself, sarcasm dripping heavily from his words.
"Oh, he's definitely in trouble, then," Cam said, not really sure she cared that much. She was about to stop when Cecil turned to her and raised an eyebrow.
"Could you forget that stupid grudge you've been holding since forever against him and just help me, Cammie? Don't do it for Kris, alright? Do it for me."
Cam's mind wandered back to this morning. The rock that was still sitting on her desk from when she picked it up off the floor.
Cam looked at him for a moment before sighing. "Fine. But I'm not doing a single fraction of this for him. It's all for you."
He nodded. "Thank you."
They turned and continued down the hallway, when suddenly, Kris came bounding around the corner, running like the hellhounds were after him.
He paused for a moment when he saw them. He was panting heavily and out of breath. He only had one thing to say.
"I would run if I were you," he gasped, when suddenly, Julius came running around the corner.
"Noble!" He bellowed, before charging. Without a second thought, all four of them turned and started running like bats out of hell to the front door. It was just their luck he was part of the football team.
There was an instance when Cam was running beside Kris. "What the hell did you do?" she demanded.
He shot her a look. "Apparently using the fact that you slept with a guy's sister as a comeback isn't the smartest thing to do," he muttered.
Cam gaped at him, disbelief drowning her face.
He shrugged, and for a moment, only a moment, he looked like the old Kris. "Whatever. He may be big, but I'm fast. That's all that matters."
"What about tomorrow?" she asked skeptically.
He rolled his eyes. "The stupid cow will probably forget by tomorrow."
"And if he remembers?"
He shrugged. "Hey, I'm captain of the track team. He can't murder me if he can't catch me."
"…And if he does catch you?"
Kris looked away, and when he looked back, the old Kris was gone, the confident smirk returning to his lips. "Then I'll be having a heck of a lot of fun with the nurses at the hospital."
Cam rolled her eyes in disgust, reaching the doors and throwing them open before launching herself out them and into the school parking lot. Almost everyone was gone except for the last couple of people who were always waiting for someone to come pick them up.
They made a beeline for Lilly's car. Cam reached it second to Kris, racing to the driver's side to find that it was locked.
She groaned. "Lillian Isabella Baker, open the car before we all die!" she commanded.
Lilly's eyes widened as she dug in her pocket for her keys. She pulled them out, letting them jingle in the air as she closed the space between her and the car. She immediately dug the keys into the key hole and wrenched the door open before jumping in, unlocking the others as she did. They all dove into the car like rabbits into a burrow, slamming the doors immediately after them. Lilly wasted no time before hitting the gas pedal in reverse, backing out of the parking space, and speeding out of the parking lot as fast as the sleek red car could go, leaving Julius to turn the air blue with curses.
Suddenly, Kris and Cecil burst out laughing from the back seat of the car, giving each other high-fives.
"Was that awesome or what?" Kris demanded.
"Hell yeah, it was!" Cecil responded excitedly.
Both the girls rolled their eyes. "Boys are so dumb," Lilly mused.
Cam nodded in agreement. "No kidding."