Hi everyone! I hope you like this new story. I just wanted to say it's rated for language and some...mature content? I don't know. If you read my last story (All of a Sudden), this one has a lot more inappropriate scenes and bad language, so just be warned if you don't like that kind of stuff. Anyways, the first chapter is mainly and intro, so please do not give up on it! I promise it gets better from here. Please review and tell me what you think.
Also, for those of you following All of a Sudden, I'm hoping to get the epilogue up soon (maybe today), and the one-shot sequel sometime in the near future. I decided to go with prom for the epilogue, so be excited!
Alright, now on to the story!
Chapter One: The New Girl
"Hey, new girl," a cheery voice said from behind me. I turned away from my locker and smiled. It was the first day of school…a new school. I had been standing in front of my locker helplessly trying to open it. The locker I had at my old school had a different kind of lock, and no one told me how to use this one.
I sighed. "Hi, I'm Carly Tanner," I greeted the girl, sticking my hand out to shake hers. Instead of grasping my hand, the perky, strawberry blonde lunged forward and engulfed me in a bear hug. Although I was a little taken aback, I laughed and hugged her back. She was about my height, which was average, and she had bright blue eyes and flawless skin.
"I'm Natalie Pierce," she chirped, releasing me from her arms, "But you can call me Nat. I'm kind of like the unofficial welcoming committee here – committee of one, that is. Ever since freshman year I've been running around hugging all the new kids. You are a junior right? I am, too. Maybe we have some classes together. Where's your schedule?" For such a petite, sweet-looking girl, she had quite the big mouth. When I realized what she had asked, I whipped out my schedule and handed it over to her. She examined it closely before shoving it back into my hand.
"We have gym, English, and History together," she announced with a wide grin. "Since History is first period, I can take you there."
"Perfect," I replied, matching her bubbly tone, "But, uh, do you think you could show me how to open my locker first?" I looked down sheepishly, but she immediately complied.
"Of course! What's your combo?" I pulled out another slip of paper that had my combination on it.
"41-29-39," I recited robotically. That wasn't too hard to memorize.
"Okay, first, I always spin it around like ten times to the right just to be safe before I put in the first number. Then, you spin it to the left and pass the first number before you hit the second. After that, you go right to the third number, and you don't have to pass the second number first," she babbled, and then looked at me expectantly. "Did that make any sense at all?"
I chuckled, "I think I can figure it out." Thankfully, Nat had demonstrated it as she instructed me, so the locker was already open. I stacked the books I didn't need inside and taped a picture to the door.
"Who's that?" Nat inquired, noticing my photo. I gazed longingly at the picture.
"It's me and my old friends at the zoo," I laughed, "There's May, Andrea, and Logan," I paused for a moment, "Logan was my boyfriend." Nat frowned and put her arm around me. I was beginning to question her awareness of boundaries.
"Let me guess," she said, "He didn't think it would work long distance." Sadly, she was dead on.
I nodded, "Well, we were both thinking it when we found out I was moving, but he said it first." It was a horrible break up, and he wanted it just as much as I did – meaning not at all. We had been dating since freshman year. Logan was my best friend and the person I could talk to about everything. We had the perfect relationship, without any jealousy, lying, or even a thought about cheating. I missed him more than anything else I left behind.
"Well he's a jerk then," Nat joked, obviously trying to make me feel better. I shook my head fervently.
"No, he's really not," I defended him, "He's…perfect. Neither of us wanted to break up, but we thought it would be for the best; so no one got hurt later."
"I'm sorry, I was totally kidding," she quickly jumped in, "I understand completely!"
"It's okay," I said with a chuckle, "Now, which way to class?" Natalie beamed and linked her arm with mine as we headed down the hall. Surprisingly, many other students stopped to say hi or waved as I went by. My old school definitely was not this welcoming.
When we got to class, Nat and I took two seats on the far side of the room next to the windows. "I always sit next to the windows," she told me, "You know, in case I get bored during class."
Someone sat down in front of me and turned around to introduce herself. "I'm Isa." The girl had flawless, caramel-colored skin, dark brown hair, and deep brown eyes to match. Judging from her accent, I guessed she was from somewhere in South America.
"I'm Carly," I replied with a smile, "It's nice to meet you." Isa smiled back, but she seemed overall indifferent towards me. But, hey, she was nice enough to talk to me, right? Isa turned back to her desk abruptly and didn't say another word.
"She's Isa Merz," Natalie whispered to me, "She moved here from Argentina last year. Let's just say she was not as appreciative of my greeting as you were." I raised my eyebrows. I guess Natalie wasn't joking when she said she was the one-woman welcoming committee. Before I could respond, three tall, muscular, obnoxiously loud guys came bursting into the room.
"Who are they?" I muttered jokingly to Nat. Despite my clear lack of interest, Natalie's eyes lit up as she began giving me all the details.
"Football players," she squealed quietly, "The two walking behind are Josh White and Matt Overcash. Sorry, sweetie, but they're both taken." I rolled my eyes at her and glanced at the jocks again. "And he," she continued, "Is Hunter Donovan." I couldn't help but stare at him. Hunter Donovan was the most delicious piece of eye candy I had ever seen. He was your archetypical tall, dark, and handsome bad boy. He had the dark, tousled hair, incredible biceps, and probably washboard abs to match. He wore a plain black t-shirt and dark wash jeans. The one trait that didn't seem to fit was his eyes – innocent-looking baby blues. Pretty cliché if you asked me.
"I know what you're thinking," Nat whispered, "Logan who? But just warning you, he's kind of bad news." I grinned mischievously.
"Sounds fun," I said back, causing her to giggle childishly.
"You haven't scared her away yet, Pierce?" a deep, alluring voice said from behind me. Natalie stopped laughing immediately and spun around in her chair.
"Excuse me?" she muttered, sounding uncharacteristically bitter. I turned to see who she was talking to, and I met two, striking blue eyes. Hunter Donovan.
"Why hello there," he said to me from a couple of desks back, "I don't believe we've met. I'm Hunter Donovan." Hunter flashed me a dazzling smile that nearly made me swoon.
I grinned and replied coolly, "Carly Tanner." Hunter smirked as he so obviously checked me out.
"Ahem," Natalie said, clearly vexed.
"Is someone jealous?" Hunter said shrewdly, looking back at Nat. She scoffed in frustration.
"Please," she spat, turning away from him, and began to whisper, "Hunter and I used to date. But don't worry, I dumped him. He's all yours, kiddo. I won't mind." My cheeks reddened when Hunter winked at me. Clearly Nat didn't lower her voice enough. I looked at him, still flushed.
"For you, honey," he said, dragging his eyes up and down my body once again, "Anytime." Then I whipped back around, kicking Natalie in the process.
"Oh, he was bound to hit on you eventually," Nat said, "You're fresh meat."
"You used to date him?" I uttered, dumbfounded.
"Trust me, it's not like that," she said, reapplying her lip gloss, "Hunter has dated practically everyone. Hate to be a downer, but don't take his little smooth talks personally. He's a man-whore. I would not go down that path if I were you."
"I heard that, Pierce," Hunter spoke up, eavesdropping again.
"Will you get out of our conversation?!" Natalie chided, exasperated, "Thank you!" Hunter chuckled, but I didn't turn around.
"So," I hesitated as Nat and I made our way to lunch, "Is he a junior?"
She furrowed her eyebrows, but didn't look up from her phone. "Who, Hunter? No, he's a senior. Since our History is an AP class, there's a mix of juniors and seniors," she informed me. I nodded, feeling shameful about my sudden sensation of curiosity about him.
"A senior hitting on juniors, huh?" I quipped with a smirk.
"I know right? It's disgusting. I dated him as a sophomore, but I don't think he'd go after anyone more than a year younger. Now he's too cool to be seen with underclassmen," she scoffed sarcastically, rolling her eyes as we entered the cafeteria.
"So where do you usually sit?" I asked, suddenly becoming overwhelmed by the myriad amount of tables. Nat shifted nervously, finally meeting my eyes.
"About that," she began. Was she really going to tell me that I couldn't sit with her? "Listen, as a member of the Cheer Squad, I usually sit with the other girls…unfortunately they aren't normally open to having people who aren't on the squad sitting at their table – boyfriends being the only exception. But, under the circumstances, I can probably convince them to let you join us for a little while, but I can't promise they'll let you stay forever." There's always a catch.
"It's no biggie," I chimed in when she finally took a breath, "I mean, it's only my first day. I'll make other friends eventually." Nat's face lit up.
"Oh, I just know you will! And when you do, I'll definitely sit with you when I can," Nat began to ramble again, "I mean, I really don't like to sit with the Squad – they're kind of bitchy, you know? But, as a member and a sister to them, it's an obligation. Really, if it wasn't for Isa…"
"Isa is a cheerleader?" I interjected, truly shocked. Isa seemed pretty rigid and closed off in my encounter with her; not exactly the cheerleader type.
"Yep, the team captain to be specific." I followed Nat as we wove our way through the crowds. I glanced at people's trays as they passed and smelled the tempting pizza, but I decided against it. I didn't want my first impression to be the girl with pizza sauce all over her face.
"Isa," Nat called tentatively to the girl sitting at the head of the table. All day, Natalie hadn't seemed intimidated by anyone more than she was by Isa. Isa looked at her detachedly and waited for her to continue. "Uh, you remember Carly…well, she doesn't really have anywhere else to sit, being her first day and all, so I was wondering if she could sit here for a little while; just until she finds somewhere else to eat."
Isa looked me up and down, as did most of the other girls, then huffed, "Fine." Nat turned to me with a huge grin and led me to two free seats.
"The worst is over, kiddo," she muttered quietly to me, "Now the games begin." I looked at her, confused, but someone interrupted.
"So who are you?" I turned and saw yet another blonde – the dominant hair color at the table. With my bright blond hair, I supposed I fit right in.
"Carly Tanner," I said, offering a friendly smile, "I just moved here." The girl stared at me blankly.
"Are you going to try out?" she droned, not really seeming interested. Me, a cheerleader? If my friends back home heard that I even considered it for a second they would have slapped me and doubled over with laughter.
"Um, I don't know yet," I lied, "I might try out for soccer."
"Soccer?" the girl sitting next to her sneered, jumping right into our conversation. I opened my mouth to say something, but quickly shut it and laughed in my head. The thought of wearing mesh shorts probably gave these girls nightmares. But I didn't really care what they thought.
"Yeah, I've been playing since kindergarten," I said when no one else spoke up.
"We have a fabulous soccer program here," Nat threw in, trying to save me from their ridicule.
"Isn't soccer a boys' sport?" Blonde #1 said.
"Um, no, there are girls' teams, too," I replied slowly so they could understand. Trying to change the subject, I said, "I'm sorry, but I didn't catch your names."
"Jessica Olsen," the first stated dryly, not even smiling.
"Brianne Saltzman," her clone said in the same, bored voice. I nodded and exchanged a 'seriously?' look with Nat. The next few minutes dragged on in the same manner, and I was beginning to think that these girls were robots. I had never seen such a drab cheerleading squad.
"Phew, sorry I'm late girls!" Another girl exclaimed as she arrived at the table. I looked up at her; a brunette at last! She, unlike the others, actually seemed perky and had a huge grin plastered on her face when she saw me. "Hey there! What's your name?"
"I'm Carly Tanner," I answered happily. The tall, thin girl plopped down in a chair across from me and pulled a sandwich out of her bag.
"That looks like a lot of carbs," a sharp voice spoke up from the other end. Isa stood at her seat with her arms crossed and glared at the girl. The girl just smirked and took a massive bite.
"Calm down, Cap'n," she mumbled in between bites, "I walked to school today." I smiled; I liked this girl already. "Mm, by the way," she muffled to me, "I'm Serena." Then she stuck out her hand and vivaciously shook mine. When her attention was drawn away from us, Nat began whispering to me again.
"Isa and Serena are both seniors, so it's their last year on the squad," she said in a hushed voice, "Serena was the first sophomore to ever become captain, but when Isa came last year, she stole the title. Ever since, they've been feuding – indirectly of course – over who's actually better. Everyone's dying to find out who will be named queen of the squad this year. Personally, I hope it's Serena. When Isa became captain, everything became stricter – the diet, the practices, the tryouts. Luckily, I was able to make it on the team, but there were a ton of cuts."
Who knew cheerleading could be so intense?
The last bell finally rung, signalizing the end of my first day. I wandered aimlessly away from my last class, hoping that I would magically end up in front of my locker. I started to zone out, and suddenly I had no clue where I was.
"Are you lost?" someone asked me. I turned to see a smiling face with sparkling, golden eyes to go with it.
"Uh, yeah, I guess I am," I admitted embarrassedly.
"Well, where are you headed?" he asked.
"My locker, actually," I said, "It's my first day here."
"Ah, that makes sense," he chuckled, "I was wondering why I hadn't seen you before. Well, I'm Cole, Cole Grant." He pulled a hand out of his pocket and extended it to me. I took it and squeezed it warmly.
"Carly Tanner," I told him, "It's nice to meet you."
"The pleasure is mine," he replied charmingly. Cole was pretty handsome; he had light brown, wavy hair, golden eyes, and a chiseled jaw line. As for his body, from what I could see, it seemed yummy. "So…your locker." I quickly snapped out of my daydream and hoped I wasn't drooling.
"Oh, uh, yeah," I stuttered, "I'm pretty sure it's somewhere on this level." Cole hung his head and exhaled loudly. I bit my lip. I was horrible with directions.
"Sorry, it's a big school." I tried to apologize, but he shook his head and chuckled.
"That it is. It's no problem," he said, "I can help you find it." Cole and I wandered through the halls until we finally located my locker. By that time, the upstairs hallways seemed to have cleared out. I turned to him and smiled shamefacedly, hugging a textbook to my chest.
"Thank you so much," I said as I twisted the lock. Now all I had to do was open my locker on the first try so I didn't embarrass myself even more.
"Anytime," he replied. My locker opened. Victory!
"I promise I won't bother you ever again."
"Seriously though, I'm happy to help," he stopped me. After I got all the books I needed, Cole and I began to head for the front door.
"Well it was very kind of you to help a damsel in distress, like me," I joked as we neared the entrance. He turned to me before exiting and smiled again.
"Hey, it's really no problem. And I know the cafeteria can be a bit hectic at times, so if you ever need a place to sit, come find me," he offered. Praise the Lord! No more brainless, cheerleader clones for me!
"That would be great," I sighed.
"And if you accomplished nothing else today, you made at least one friend."