Chapter One

One year later.

"I'm telling you, Mr. Duvall is not doing that appearance! Or photo shoot! We want America to fall in love with the personality of Trey Duvall, not his butt of how big his package is!" shrieked, Taylor Shapiro, into the phone and then clicked off before the other group could respond. Mr. Shapiro ran his hands angrily through his hair, making it look very disheveled, before he opened up his schedule book and made a note to block the caller from his office. " I swear, if they call again, I will." he paused and glanced up to see, Trey Duvall had arrived in his office.

" Don't tell me," Trey chuckled, shedding his white jacket, " Playgirl called again."

" My big-star, Trey," Mr. Shapiro beamed, smiling at his "employer." " Didn't think you'd get back from that " Twenty-one" interview so fast," his manager said, checking his schedule.

" That's probably because I don't have an interview today," the handsome brun chuckled. " I'm off to shoot my new show, first thing, Monday morning. Till then, I'm technically on vacation."

" But it says," Mr. Shapiro stammered. Trey walked up to his desk and held out his hand.

" May I?"

Mr. Shapiro handed the huge scheduler to Trey who grinned when he saw the page. " Shappy! You were on the wrong year," Trey announced, giving it back to his manager and pointed to the date. " You were in, 1995, we are in," he flipped to the present year. " 2002."

Mr. Shapiro shook his head. " My, my Trey. You've grown into such an in-demand that I don't even have time to keep your schedule straight," he sighed, a happy smile on his face.

" I'm glad I've made you proud," Trey told him sincerely, flashing the disarming smile that had made him television's newest darling.

" Indeed you have," his manager nodded, putting his book away. " But are you sure you want to do this?"

" Do what?" Trey inquired, raising an eyebrow. His smile only grew bigger when Mr. Shapiro flashed him the paperwork that had confirmed his role as High school teacher, Mr. Kyle Manderson in his new show. " Shappy, I told you that I'm doing it. I signed the dotted line. It's a sealed deal."

" I just don't' know if it was a smart career move to reject the Richmond film, " Zesty You." You have yet to break it on the big screen," Mr. Shapiro reminded his bright talent, wearing a half-grin.

" How many times do I have to tell you, Mr. Shapiro," Trey sighed, getting up from his seat, and gazed out the window. " It's not the fame or the money that I do this for."

" It's the fans," Mr. Shapiro finished for him.

" Exactly!" Trey stated proudly. " Without them, I'd be nothing. It's about them. If they're pleased with what I do, it's good work. If I can take some pain out of their daily life, then my job for the day is done. Winning awards is a collateral bonus."

" And you're sure they'd rather see you as a High school teacher as opposed to a hopeless romantic?" Mr. Shapiro asked then.

Trey nodded. " I read all my fan mail and I've come to the conclusion that most of my fans . I would love to be someone they could relate to. Maybe they'll like going to school more each day if they realize teachers work hard to do what they do. If my viewers can get that from me, if I can pull it off, then, it'd be sweet."

" You are the only person I know who's always about the fans."

" I think some people take them for granted," Trey shrugged, gazing up into the skyscraper filled sky. " I know I mean a lot to them and so it's natural they'd mean a lot to me."

" Just turn off the charm will you and let's get some work done," his manager suggested. Trey went straight into business mode and pulled a seat up to his desk. " Everything is pretty much set to start shooting "Higher School," the manager informed him. " We just don't have location yet. Thanks to that, " Help me choose my school," contest."

" I think it's respect to give my fans the chance to voice their opinions. They put up with my not-so-great storylines like they do for my great ones. They're supportive of everything I do," Trey declared brightly. " I don't get to say thank you except in my letters so this is my way of giving back to the people who have been so giving."

" Well then, let's give them a great show and choose a location so you can start relating," he suggest wryly and pulled out the pictures of a few schools. Trey groaned.

" Mr. Shapiro, you already showed me those last week."

" But we can't have just any school," he protested. " These are the best-looking campuses."

" First off," Trey mumbled, picking up a photo. " This school was used in WB's " Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

" Yes, it was."

" And this, what would I do teaching in a school like this?" Trey pointed out, gesturing to a photo of Harvard Prep. " That I teach blue bloods? Hell of a relating technique."

" Okay, so that's ."

" Definite no, and then this," Trey laughed, looking at a picture of a Christian Academy. " I'm not teaching Bible Study, need I say more?"

These were the same replies that Trey had shot his manager the previous week and it was looking like there was no progress.

" Trey."

" Sorry, Mr. Shapiro," Trey apologized, " but those school don't speak to me."

" Well, you've got one day to figure out what school that speaks to you so you can fly in to see it," his manager repeated for the tenth time that week. " We have to get the paperwork to the school on Friday and you get to get a feel for it on Monday."

" I know and I will make a decision," Trey brightened. " I promise. Have I let you down yet?"

Mr. Shapiro saw Trey's innocent but determined expression and shook his head. " No you haven't Mr. Duvall."

Trey smiled.

" Just get a city at least, all right, Trey? Think you can handle that?"

" Yeah, no problem," he assured disarmingly.

" Mr. Shapiro, your lunch guest has arrived," a female voice blared out of his intercom.

" Ooh," Trey grinned approvingly, while his manager answered that he was on his way down. " Can you be double-booking me or is this possibly a real date?"

" Trey, you just worry about location, location, location," Mr. Shapiro instructed him and trey rolled his sparkling green peepers.

" You've got it," Trey told him.

" Oh and your lunch will arrive in a moment."

There was a punctual knock on the door. Mr. Shapiro went up to answer it.

" Papa John's!"

" Oh wonderful, I'll take that, thank you," Mr. Shapiro said taking the carton of pizza. " Trey, you mind tipping the nice gentleman?"

" I've got it," Trey replied and then asnwered the door and handed the young man a ten dollar bill " Here you go, bud."

" Um, Mr. Duvall," the delivery boy said then.

" Please, I'm just, Trey."

" Um, okay, Trey, sir. I was just wondering if you would give my eight female employees an autograph," he said then.

" Eight employees huh?" Trey smiled.

" If that's not possible then well, if you'll just sign at least one and maybe they can draw straws or something," the delivery boy said, pulling his cap off in a mournful way, wondering what he was going to tell his fellow workers who had become his best friends.

" And make you come here seven more times?" Trey inquired, raising an eyebrow at him. " Nonsense, I'll be right back."

And with that Trey got eight pictures that he usually had a stack of and returned to the door. " Now you by my witness that these autographs are genuine."

" Um, okay," the delivery boy muttered and watched as the sought- after celebrity carefully put his John Hancock on each photo.

" I usually save these for my fans who take the time to write me but then, so are you guys," Trey laughed and handed the signed stack to the delivery boy who took them and left with a big smile. Trey closed the door, feeling very good about himself.

" Oh, Shappy, you're still here."

" I won't be in a minute," Mr. Shapiro told him. " But here's what I want you to do while I'm away. I want you to finish that pizza and choose your school."

" You sure you want me eating something this fattening," Trey asked him, eyeing his lunch, his pizza was glistening because it was so greasy.

" I'm not worried," Mr. Shapiro shrugged, heading to the door. " You can enjoy your Wendy's salads on your own time."

" Right."

" Well, I'm off to lunch. If you want to spend lunch in here, it's fine with me. I'll be back in an hour or two," the manager informed him.

" Cool, have fun," Trey told him.

" Will do."

Mr. Shapiro disappeared out of sight. Trey gave one look at the food and almost gagged. He picked up a slice and then dabbed it with a napkin to soak up the grease. He could at least do that much if he was being forced to eat the thing.

" Well, well, let's see what I can do about this school thing," Trey told himself as he settled into his manager's executive chair, munching on his pizza and gazed at the three schools. But nothing clicked or made him change his mind. He did like the campuses, they were the best the nation had to offer. But he knew his fans didn't come from those schools. Okay, maybe 2% but he couldn't just go there and risk disappointing the other 98% could he? He'd gone through his fan mail for the contest and had been clearly disappointed. He had cancelled out all the private schools that had been thrown his way. He'd appreciated the effort of his fans wanting him in a super famous school, but he couldn't believe his fans were being honest with him. He wanted to teach on a realistic campus. He was sure that was essential to portraying a realistic educator.

A knock on the door interrupted those thoughts.

" Yeah, I'm coming," Trey said as he gulped down his food and took a swig of soda. He answered the door with a smile. " Hi, Shapiro's not in right now."

" No problem. I actually came to see you," the mail woman announced sweetly.

" Oh, I see, well, how may I help you?" he asked in a mock-seductive way.

" Actually I came with your daily bag of fan mail," she said then, wondering if she was blushing.

" Great, give it to me. I need a break," Trey told her and took hold of the bag. " Thanks."

" What time do you want me to come and pick up your replied?" she asked then, pulling out a pad and pen.

" Hmm." Trey thought, looking at the bag and then thinking of the time he might need to spend on research. " The usual time. I wouldn't wan to mess up your schedule," he finally replied.

" Mr. Duvall, it's no problem for me, but four o'clock, I will be back," she chirruped and then left the area.

Trey dragged the heavy bag into the room and set it down next to his chair. He pulled open the bag after taking another bite and then slid the rest of his lunch into the trashcan.

" Hello guys," he greeted, gazing wide-eyed at his pile of letters as though they were an old friend. He pulled out a stack of picture post- cards from the desk drawer and then tore open the first envelope. It was a good sized letter written with a very shaky hand on pretty stationary. It read.

" Dear, Mr. Trey Duvall, I keep hearing that you're one celebrity that will answer a letter no matter how plain it is or how late you receive it and I know that alone makes me a fan or yours."

And the next few paragraphs continued with how wonderful she thought he was and how she'd converted her school in Duvallettes. Trey smiled mildly as he finished the letter.

" You're great as the doctor on " Medical Heroes." Imagine how lucky the world will be if you were really a doctor. You'd probably be one of the best just like you're one of the best actors of our generation. Welll, I think I've wasted enough of your time. I'll be going now. We love you, Trey.


Trey was very flattered, as he always was when a fan had taken the time to write him. He pulled out a post card, set it before him and uncapped his pen." Well, let's see what I can do for you today," and he began to write.

" Hi Mimi! Thanks for the kind letter! But don't think you have to go overboard for me. I'm just Trey and you are as special as every one of my fans. So don't be so nervous, give me another holler and I will answer you just the same. Love ya lots, thanks for the support.

Trey Duvall."

He then proceeded onto putting the important address information onto the envelope, slipped the card in and advanced onto the rest of his mail. He found himself answering mail from twenty veteran writers, ( fans he heard from frequently), two-hundred other letters and even made three girls happy by calling them up to say, " Happy Birthday!" He looked into his bag, only one letter left. Trey pulled out the last postcard and then reached for the last envelope. It was an entry for his "help me pick a school," contest.

" Oh this is a helluva time to send this in," Trey sighed, but after a thought, ripped the envelope open. " All right, give it to me," he thought tiredly.. " What prep school are you from?"

He pulled out the letter and picture enclosed in the parcel. He laid the pictures aside and unfolded the letter. It was from a Yolanda Signer.

" Hello Trey Duvall,

I am Yolanda Signer and I am a fan of yours, but I'm writing on the behalf of my best friend who has made you the center of your world since seeing you in a magazine ad. She is a very special fan, Trey, and I just couldn't let her go on without making this contest."

" Good thing you did that," Trey said with a smile as he read on, feeling as though her were being sucked into this letter. He was having a feeling this could be different from the 5,000 sugar-coated entries he'd received.

".so, let's get to it, shall we. Me and my best friend are students at Victorice High School in Victorice. Provincial huh? Can't get much more duller than that, I know and that's why she didn't want to enter this. She's not proud of her school and so she thinks it's impossible that you could find a liking in it. But I just had to, because I know she would have wanted to."

Trey had to stop himself to keep from getting choked up. He was amazed at how close friend were, even in a world full of hatred and vanity and he was touched by how this best friend of hers liked him so much and honestly was saying she didn't really care for her school. This was the kind of letter he'd wanted. He'd continued on to examining the fact sheet that had come to him as well. He was liking the school even more. It was a provincial school, with a population of 5,000, a winning football team, their school colors green and silver, it was perfect. The typical high school campus. But there was something that made the school stand out. On Wednesdays only, the school taught Bible study and the students wore uniforms and because of this interesting curriculum, they had a nation renowed choir.

Trey gazed up at the ceiling and offered his gratitude to the Higher Being. " Thank you, God. You always come through for me." He brushed away all the other collateral and spread out the photos he'd received. The school was huge. And he was shocked at why this school hadn't made it to his manager's desk. It was beautiful, with it's own church, huge stadium, and large theater. There was a Greek feel to the architecture. He smiled, becoming more confident in making this school his decision. One picture however really caught his eye. It was a picture of two girls. One was fair- skinned with dark hair, wearing a confident grin. She was labeled, " Yolanda." The one next to her made his heart stop. She was beautiful, with brown hair gracing her shoulders, a pair of huge amber eyes hidden behind a fringe of bangs, her smile was perfect and her skin was flushed. She was labeled, " Faith."

" Faith," Trey breathed. " Could that really be her name?" Then it would make sense that the last entry would be the one, sent from above. He couldn't get his eyes to look away and he was still gazing at the picture when Mr. Shapiro returned in a haste.

" Oh hello, Trey! Sorry for being so late and all. I know I always yell at you for being late and here I am, but, you have to understand, that lunch was a lunch!" Mr. Shapiro had started rambling on, and realized Trey wasn't listening to a word he'd been saying. " Um, Trey?"

" Tell me, Mr. Shapiro, have you ever heard of Faith?" Trey sighed, dreamily.

" Faith?" Mr. Shapiro repeated. " Sure, the girl who sings that "Breathe" song."

" No! No! Not Faith Hill!" Trey cried out in alarm and then cut himself short.

" Trey? You feeling all right?"

" Um, of course!" Trey beamed.

" So, who's this Faith then? If it's not Faith Hill?"

" Never mind," Trey cut in.

" I only hope that you've at least given a thought to the discussion we had earlier if you had the time to develop a crush on a fan of yours," he said wryly.

" I've done better than that," Trey said with a superior grin. Mr. Shapiro looked at Trey steadily, trying to figure out if he was fibbing.

" You're serious," the manages said, finally.

Trey nodded, and gestured to his desk. Mr. Shapiro didn't look too happy when he saw that the school Trey had chosen wasn't one of the ones he'd suggested.

" Trey," Mr. Shapiro tried to reason.

" I know you wanted me to choose from those schools but, this, really, before you say anything, give it a chance, Shappy. I did."

Mr. Shapiro sighed but looked down at the photos. He was surprised how much he liked what he saw.

" You like it, don't' you Shappy?" Trey smiled, seeing the grin on Mr. Shapiro's face.

" Where did you find this place?"

" I was reading an entry for my contest."

" Now?" Mr. Shapiro asked him, raising an eyebrow. " Our deadline was five months ago."

" This one must have been overlooked," Trey confided. " But I'm glad it came through, just in the nick of time."

" Yeah," Mr. Shapiro said dryly. " But it doesn't surprise me. You've had more than your share of luck. Look at your career."

Trey agreed. He had been very blessed.

" So, what's the name of this wonderful school?" his manager asked then.

" You ready for this?" he mused. He handed his manager the letter from Yolanda Signer.

" Victorice High School in the city of Victorice?" Mr. Shapiro chuckled, staring at the letter.

" Can't get more provincial than that," Trey prattled, pleased that his manager was starting to see things his way.

" Okay," Mr. Shapiro grumbled then, holding his hand out to Trey, who was looking at him confused. " Don't give me that I don't know what you're doing crap, Trey. Hand it over."

" Hand over what?"

" The picture of this Faith you were infatuating over," Mr. Shapiro said firmly. " The one you were staring at when I came into this room."

" But, oh, come on. It's my fan mail," Trey whined, pulling it out. " I don't even know who she is, and it's not like I'm going to ," he paused, staring stunned at the picture.

" Thank you," Mr. Shapiro said, pulling the picture out of Trey's hand before he could re-examine it. Trey didn't say anything. " Hey, Trey," his manager said after a moment. " Where is this Faith you're talking about?"

" She's not there," Trey sighed, sort of relieved that he hadn't been seeing things, but not comfortable that he'd been seeing things in the first place.

" No, there's only a girl named, Yolanda. The one who sent you this letter," Mr. Shapiro confirmed.

" But, she was there," Trey protested, now looking at the photo that pictured only the dark-haired Yolanda. She was positioned in the center. There was no sign of the brunette with the intense eyes.

" Trey, you sure you weren't dreaming?" Mr. Shapiro said sympathetically when he saw how disappointed Trey was looking.

" I." he looked back at the picture. " Maybe I was dreaming."

" Hey, Trey, cheer up," Mr. Shapiro urged him. " You said so yourself, you don't know her and that you're never going to see her."

" Yeah, I did."

" Oh come on, you'll probably get a photo of another fan who'll look just like her, and this time, maybe she'll stick around," he teased.

" I doubt it," he muttered under his breath. " But."

And that conversation came to an end.

" So, then, with this girl out of the picture, let's be reasonable and take a look at the other schools," Mr. Shapiro suggested, getting back onto track.

" No!" Trey exclaimed immediately, shaking his head, and put his hand down. " I've made up my mind. I am going to fly into Victorice High. I didn't choose the school because of the girl.I chose it because this is the location of my dreams. I feel it," he breathed, getting into sync with his inner energy. " I can pull of Mr. Kyle Manderson on this campus," Trey declared firmly.

" Well, I sure hope so," Mr. Shapiro said with a heavy sigh.

Trey looked at his manager who was writing down onto a form. " Mr. Shapiro, what are you doing?"

" You're flying in to see the school aren't you? Well, you might be Trey Duvall but you need a reason, a certified reason to go onto a campus. We can't have you getting arrested."

Trey nodded. After the 9/11 attacks, it was a given that security would be up everywhere across the nation.

" Then, there's crowd control," he added as an after thought.

" Crowd control? Man, I don't need crowd control," Trey guffawed. " I'm not Nsync."

" Yeah, modest Trey. You're bigger than N'sync," Mr. Shapiro corrected, looking very proud. " And we need to make sure our big star doesn't get trampled by the girl fans."

" I suppose you're right," Trey said then, getting up from his seat. " You can handle the paperwork?"

" Yeah," Mr. Shapiro assured him, punching in a fax number and then sent the paperwork through. " Voila! Victorice High will get this in the morning. They'll be ready to welcome you Monday morning. I'll go and give the producer a call. I'm sure they'll be happy to know we can finally get this show on the road."

" I don't doubt that," Trey agreed, pulled on his jacket and waved as he reached the door. " Well, I'm off. I got a friend in L.A. who's throwing a dinner party for me. I should go there."

" All right, Trey," Mr. Shapiro replied. " Have fun. Good work, by the way. I didn't think we'd get this right. But what can I say, Trey. You're one of a kind."

" Thanks," Trey replied with a grin. " So, I hope I'll see you before I go off. Since, you gave me the rest of this week, off."

" I wouldn't miss seeing you embark on your next project for the world," his manager assured him. " Go do your thing, take it easy this weekend with the partying. I'll take care of all the legal business."

" All right, later," Trey waved and then left the office.

Mr. Shapiro smiled as he wheeled around in his chair. Things were always turning out right for the boy.

" Mr. Shapiro, call on line one," came an announcement through his intercom.

" Thanks, Jade," Mr. Shapiro replied and then grabbed the phone. " Taylor Shapiro."

It was the producer of " Higher School."

" Carrie, yes, hi! I was just going to call you. Yes, Trey did made a decision, sorry, he just left. But I got all the paperwork handled. The school, yeah, it's Victorice High in the City of Victorice. Provinical. I know, but you know Trey, likes to keep things real. He will be off to fly in Monday morning. I trust you will handle the flight arrangements. Yes, okay, keep in touch, all right, thank you, buh bye."

" Victorice High," Mr. Shapiro sang as he put the receiver down. " Here we come."