Chapter 26

Monday - Kyle's POV

Gerbils. That's what we were. Those little rodents or whatever that run around nipping on the first thing they can get their pegs of teeth sunk into. The ones that are prone and bound to cause trouble. "Babe," I called to Kathryn as we left from our afterschool activities. Me from basketball practice and her from the National Honor Society meeting.

"Yeah?" She stopped and waited for me to catch up with her.

"I wanted to ask you something."

"Go on," Kate said, nodding her head.

"Prom is on Saturday at the Merriam Hotel and I want you to go with me…as my date." She visibly blushed and smiled cutely.

"I'd like that."

"Fantastic. I would pick you up, but that would be too obvious. That being said, meet me in the gazebo in the garden at ten. We can dance, and there's something I need to tell you."

Her features and the tone in her voice showed she was worried. Her lips went from a mile wide grin to a northward arc I didn't like to see on her. "Is everything okay?"

"Oh, yeah. I just…um," I choked a little bit, "I just need to get something off my chest. It's between you and me."

Still a bit apprehensive, she finished the conversation, "Okay," she started, stressing the a, "I love you."

I smiled weakly, "I love you, too. Let me drive you home."

Naomi's POV

I liked the blue one on me. I scrutinized myself in the mirror of the store Kathryn, Veronica, and I occupied at the mall. "Blue," Veronica stated.

"Blue," Kathryn agreed. My new prom dress was a royal blue, off-the-shoulder that was fitted in the torso. I paired it with some silver heels and simple jewelry. They held theirs in their hands and waited for me to come back out of the dressing room for us to go up to the cash register to pay. Veronica was buying a sleek, strapless cocktail dress; just I had expected her to. Kathryn went for a long white one with spaghetti straps. It had a white lacing and was very girly and innocent.

As we left the store, the sun was just starting to set.

Earlier that day, Leo finally asked me what I'd wanted to hear for so long.

"Nay, can you come here a sec?" he asked me while we were on our way to homeroom. I drifted over to him. "Do you want to be my mental prom date?"

"Your what?" I asked, dumbfounded.

"My mental prom date. In our heads we're going to prom together. And maybe just maybe, we can find some secret coven at the hotel to have that dance."

"Sure. Do you have an idea of where that coven is?"

"How about the gazebo in the garden at about ten?" I nodded. " 'Kay. Great!" He smiled cheerful and proceeded to class.

That made the rest of my day…

Leo's POV

I was sent on a mission that I promised I would fulfill. I didn't have a good feeling about how Saturday would turn out, but I guess it would be whatever it turns out to be. Kyle clearly didn't want to break up with Kathryn, and we both knew that if this worked out the way it was planned, I would lose Naomi, too. But I told him, "Sometimes, you have to think of your benefit before the ones you love." This is now the point in our twisted game of cat and mouse where it's every man (or woman) for themselves.

Kyle sent me to make sure that N.I.C. gets to the gazebo. Naomi: check. Kathryn: check. Now, to kill multiple birds with one stone. I waited for Naomi's friend, Kyle's ex, Veronica. I sat waiting on her porch. Finally, she pulled up and when she stepped out with a garment bag, she raised an eyebrow. "A) What are you doing here, and B) how do you know where I live?"

"That doesn't matter," I rushed quickly, "I want you to bring N.I.C. to the gazebo at the Merriam on Saturday. Naomi already knows, but she told me that she'll be there if she decides to be. When I said that she needs to show up one way or another, she replied with 'Stop pestering me about it.' Therefore, you were the next person I could go to. But if I were you, I wouldn't say anything to her. I don't want you to piss her off."

"What do you want with us? I know you have strong ties to Kyle. Plus, I've known him a lot longer than you have."

This was getting on my nerves. "My friendship with Kyle is none of your business. Just be where I need you all to be at 10:10 sharp." I didn't want to drag the conversation any further and slid into my truck without once looking back at her.

Matthew's POV

"He said that we needed to be in the garden at 10:10 and to not discuss it with Naomi." That was quite peculiar, but I thought I knew what was going to happen…

"Something smells fishy, doesn't it?" I reclined back in my dad's chair.

"It does. Even though this one of Kyle's less conceited friends, that still doesn't give us a reason to take him for his word."

"Vera, for the time being, we should just play along. Don't you know the life lesson that if a robber comes up to you, give them what they want? That's what we need to do here. Ameliorate the situation, or at least try and ease it as best we can. Really, they're not worth it anymore. It's obvious Kyle's not gonna change, and Leo probably isn't either." I guess you could say I was beating around the bush. I was told not to say that Kyle is messing around with Kathryn, but in all actuality, I'm just giving some helpful advice…if you want to put it that way.