Chapter 1

Helping a friend

Okay, something was going terribly wrong.

I knew that the moment Cassie let her long blond hair fall over her shoulders and cover her beautiful face.

The tall Adonis in front of her crossed his arms self-confidently over his chest while staring down at her – one of his dumb cronies clinging to him and obviously going at Cassie.

This much I could see from my hiding place in a bush nearby. It was not a pretty sight.

Anger overtook me as I watched Cassie's hands begin to tremble.

Seeing Cassie this self-conscious and shy was a rare sight. Seeing her hurt was simply abnormal due to the fact that she always was in a good and cheery mood, unlike… me.

I had to do something. But what?

Frantically I looked around the court, cursing under my breath the masses of students watching the scene from afar like hungry wolves.

I snorted and looked at the place near the parking lot. I smirked, target finally found.

Jumping to my feet, I stalked over to a couple of boys, skateboarding down some stairs.

"Hey," I tipped the boy with greenish hair on his shoulder to get his attention.

He turned around and looked at me curiously.

"Could I borrow your skateboard?" I asked sweetly, twirling a strand of black hair around my finger. As expected, a lazy smile crept onto his features, making up for the tons of pimples that covered his face.

Man, boys in puberty were so predictable…

A few minutes later I drove shakily and clumsily and very slowly across the place, vaguely aiming Cassie's direction.

"Not so shy, love!"

Yikes! Did he just call me 'love'? Before I could drown myself in self-pity, green-boy positioned himself directly behind me and gave me a hard shove, sending me racing directly to the group around Cassie.

I figured it was way too late for a last prayer so I squeezed my eyes shut and waited for the inevitable to happen.

The crash was somehow harder than I had thought it would be and the next second I was thrown unceremoniously onto the ground.

Blindly I made a quick check if all of my body parts were functional, luckily they were. I sighed in relief and opened my eyes happily.

Only to lock eyes with a group of stunned people staring wide-eyed at me. I took a deep breath to prepare myself for the next step in 'rescuing Cassie from airheads number 1 and 2'.

Here it comes, number one actress Patricia Hamilton.

"Cassie! Man, I searched everywhere for you!" I tried to get up for emphasis, but my bottom hurt a little too much, so I remained sitting on the hard, pebbly ground a little bit longer. Hey, it was really not that bad… okay, maybe it was.

My friend blinked confusedly a few times and I noticed the red framing around her dull looking brown eyes.

Has she been crying? Unbelievable!

My eyes snapped sharply to Adonis who stood to my right now and sent him a death glare. Why hadn't he stopped his stupid groupies from humiliating my friend? He probably even enjoyed having girls fighting over him. How disgusting!

Adonis was unfortunately busy watching my friend, so I turned my attention away from him and towards a shocked looking guy sitting two feet in front of me. A small 'oh' formed itself on my lips as I realised that I had accidentally bumped into none other than Adoni's best friend, Greek God.

Way to go, Pat, now you're on the number one death list of all the jocks of the school. Yikes.

Greek God got up, his eyes narrowed and focused on me. I couldn't help but swallow hard. He looked a little bit angry….but just a little bit.

I swallowed again.

Keep following the master plan, I reminded myself.

Cassie still looked upset, so I decided to break the uncomfortable silence.

"I guess, I found a new hobby, you know? Skateboarding seems to be pretty much fun! All right, I kinda had no control over this beast of a board and I certainly suck at making a stop, but still, it was fun!"

I patted the board excitedly and beamed at Cassie, whose eyes began to gleam in its old way.

Good. First success.

"Excuse me, but what are you doing here?" A petite blonde walked over to me, flipping her long hair over her shoulder and appraising me with open revulsion.

I tipped my chin, pretending to be deep in thoughts. "Well, duh, I obviously came here to talk to my friend." I answered slowly as if talking to a little child. She glared at me.

"Yeah, then take your little friend and get the hell away, you clumsy nerd!"

I rolled my eyes. Wow, how creative and… unfitting.

I simply turned my attention back to Cassie. "How about you try it, too? Green-boy didn't say he wanted it back any time soon, so I guess we could take some time for practise."

Cassie looked confused. "Green-boy?"

I pointed to the boy who currently crashed into the headmaster below the stairs.

"Uh-oh, well, that looked pretty like…ouch," I remarked sympathetically.

Cassie smirked. "But his green hair is nice. Looks a little like ET."

I chuckled. "Well, but he certainly doesn't want to call home, if you know what I mean." I wriggled my eyebrows suggestively and she began to laugh.

"Don't tell me he hit on you!"

I jerked my chin upwards arrogantly. "Sure thing he did."

She laughed even harder.

Pouting, I watched her with puppy-dog eyes. "Don't you think I'm pretty?"

"Pat, he's practically still in diapers!"

I put my best sweet look on and replied in a fake high-pitched voice, "Like, yeah, like, but he's like so cute, and just like raced Greystone over and he, like, gave me his board and he's like sooo cute!"

By now she doubled over of laughter and seemingly had forgotten about our unwelcome company.

I took a sideways glance at Greek God who was still watching me. The others simply looked stunned that we obviously didn't care about their presence, or more precisely that I just popped up and didn't care about them.

Airhead number 2 had emerged in front of Greek God a while ago and kept asking him if he was all right. I raised my eyebrows at them and graced them with a disgusted stare of my own.

Greek God seemed to be getting really angry.

"Don't you think an apology would be appropriate?" Airhead number 1 asked, hands on hips, still glaring at me.

I was surprised this hadn't come sooner. Obviously the jocks and their stupid airhead club truly had been way too overwhelmed by my appearance that they hadn't been able to interject in their usual I'm-above-the-world manner yet.

Not that I could blame them, but still, this had to be a first for them.

I cocked my head to the side. "No."

Her pretty face darkened as she spat, "You bitch! Who do you think you are? Get your shitty friend and fuck off!"

Wow, so much swearing in so little sentences….rich girls really did receive good education!

Fortunately Cassie seemed to finally awake from her self-conscious slumber and went into full talk-back-mood. "Don't you dare talk to her or about me like that, you fucking airhead bitch!"

Airhead number 1 looked ready for a fight.

Well, since I wasn't much into cat fights, I got up to my feet carefully and fetched the board. "Let's go, Cassie. Pretty boys and their airheads are way under our standards for challenging fights, aren't they?"

Cassie grinned at me and together we simply walked away, leaving a ranting airhead number 1.

Silence settled between us as we crossed the loan and sat down on a bench.

"Thank you," Cassie said softly, head held down.

I waved it off. "For what? I was merely helping a friend."

She smiled at me. "Exactly."

I grinned back at her and massaged my sour butt. "So, how did it go with you and Adonis?"

She sighed heavily, running a hand through her curly hair. "Well, it went pretty fine until Sandy West appeared to defend her territory."

I stole a glance back at airhead number 1 who less subtle gave Adonis a good view of her breasts.

"Eww!"

Cassie looked back, too, and her eyes saddened visibly. "I guess, I have to forget about him. How could I even think a guy like Todd Gambler could like me?"

You see, my friend Cassie and I aren't part of the cool crowd. Though, we are not exactly misfits either. We are pretty popular, actually. We have a lot of friends, attend a lot of parties, get good marks and have a lot of guys drooling over us – which is a real ego-boost, as you may understand.

Nonetheless, Cassie just happened to fall in love with the king of the kings, the god of the gods, the…incomparable one.

Really a shame, because the cool kids don't socialise with anybody except the cool kids.

You must think it's stupid to have several stages of popularity, but well, that's how it is at our school. A rather small chosen group of jocks and their girls were the crème de la crème. Everybody admired them, loved them and built up shrines for them.

Then there was a second crowd of popular kids, like Cassie and me. The mass loved us, people greeted us everywhere we went, we were invited to all upcoming parties. There was only one difference: We didn't usually mind socialising with nerds or outcasts or what they are all called. You could say that we simply looked out for fun and were much more open-minded than the Great Ones.

The jocks tolerated us at their parties, but didn't chat with us in normal situations like for example at school. That was an unspoken taboo everybody accepted.

Cassie sort of crossed the line now. Intentionally.

Did I mention Cassie could be stubborn? Well, she just didn't want to give up – and unlucky me, this crush lasted already a year.

Now, curtly before the summer holidays started she got the courage to talk to him – something I never truly expected her to do.

"Maybe I should wait for him after football practise and then try to talk to him again," she pondered whilst I rolled my eyes seeing as it was against all the rules this school society valued and that people who tried to get near the jocks usually regretted it badly afterwards – a well-known fact since a few people had already been stupid enough to try it out.

"Cassie, his little fan club will be there too. Do you really want to put up with them again? I mean, it's fine by me when you want to have that experience twice in your life, but I certainly wouldn't want to reduce myself to a creature unable of speaking in the presence of a stupid jock, only to fail and be the biggest joke of the whole school for the rest of the next school year."

She eyed me thoughtfully for a moment and my hopes went up that she finally would forget about her little crush. "You're right."

I furrowed my brow sceptically at the light tone in her voice. "Am I?"

She grinned broadly and hugged me. "I'm going to find out where he's going to be over the summer holidays and we will follow him, so I can meet him maybe alone for once without any of his cronies!"

I sighed in defeat. Did I mention that she recently had an attitude like a stalker?