Dedication- This story is dedicated to my friend Emily, the aspiring matchmaker, for her brithday. Also to Kat and Ilona, who would prefer to remain anonymous in this dedication.


The Matchmaker

Story By StormDancer

Chapter 1


Emma
It's always gratifying to walk through the halls of North High and see the happy couples everywhere: in broom closets, dotting the hallways, staring soulfully into each other's eyes. You really can't escape them. Especially now, in the beginning of the year, where everyone's still in the rosy haze left over from glorious summers. All that is a tribute to my skill, talent that allows 90 of my couples to end up happy, or at least in an amicable break up. And the few times they do break up, it's basically always because they request someone completely wrong for them. Yeah, I take requests. Not often, because people don't often tell the Matchmaker how to do their job. The people trust the Matchmaker's judgment more then their own, which is good, because I usually know what they want better then they do. And it shows, because the people I pair them up with are much better suited then those they would have chosen for themselves.

"You."

I payed no attention to the voice addressing me as I bent down to open my locker.

"Book girl."

The voice was deep and masculine, refined but icy cold. I forced myself not to respond to the commanding tone and continued placing books in my locker.

"Are you ignoring me?" his incredulity was touched with more then a hint of rage, and I had to contain my laughter. Poor kid, thwarted by a nerd. I rose lazily to face him.

"I'm sorry," I drawled as I stood, "I wasn't aware you were speaking to me."

My eyes traveled up a well built body clothed in designer labels, much taller then my own petite frame, before stopping to meet inscrutable dark grey eyes. The words nearly stuck in my throat as I saw who I was addressing. If it had been a 19th century novel, I would have fainted.

"I addressed you quite clearly," Darien McGavern stated. In anyone else, I would have labeled his remark a retort, but he didn't stoop to those levels. Everyone knew that. Retorts implied he had done something to defend, and everyone knew that simply wasn't possible. Not for Darien McGavern, Ice Prince, richest kid in school, the one nobody stood up to. When he said jump, everyone else fought for the chance to ask how high.

'No, you addressed someone called 'book girl'. As far as I know, that isn't my name or a title bestowed on me."

Everyone except me.

"Then you obviously aren't well informed," he scoffed, "Where is locker 420?"

At that, my hidden smirk nearly broke its bindings. Only intense self control and the fact that it was Darien McGavern I was speaking to held it in. With it being Darien, the smirk was incapable of appearing on my face. People say he's intimidating, and if anything, I think that's an understatement. I simply refuse to dance to his piping. Or that's what I had always resolved to do in the unforeseeable case that he would actually speak to me. I was pleased with myself that I had kept my oath.

"You have business with the matchmaker?" I asked, making my eyes as innocent as possible while concealing my laughter. This would be a fun assignment. Darien McGavern!

"Of a sort," he scowled. On anyone else, that expression would have looked hideous. On him, it worked. "Now, Emma Laycha, where is the damn locker?"

Cowed at last, I wordlessly gestured to the locker directly above my own. I couldn't quite see what he slipped in, as his long, lanky body obscured my sight, but something definitely went into the Matchmaker's locker. He spun and scowled at me once more, then stalked away without even a nod of thanks.

I tried to be mad about it, I really did. I attempted to work myself into a rage, speculating on all the other things he could have done to show his thanks without compromising his dignity. But no matter how hard I tried, there was only one refrain in my mind, one that cancelled out al the anger.

'He knows who I am!' I thought, trying not to sound giddy even to myself, 'He knew my name!'


Darien
Of all the- I couldn't think clearly. That girl. She actually thought she could defy me! She, who barely came up to my chin, who I could probably break in half without hardly trying, stand up to me! Me, Darien McGavern, the heir to the McGavern fortune, millionaire in my own right.

My scowl grew as I turned my back on her and stalked away, contemplating her insolence. To presume to retort to me, to correct me, to tease e even! Well, I had of course set her back on track. No mere girl can tell me how to talk to her!

I stole a subtle peek back at her. She saw me and grinned. I yanked my head back around. So maybe she wasn't as set back on course. Oh well, she was a nobody. No one worth dwelling on.

If only she hadn't been laughing when I snapped at her! I really could have convinced myself to ignore her otherwise. But those damned huge emerald eyes were laughing, smirking even beneath the glasses.

Dangerous bitch now, because she had seen me put the note in the Matchmaker's locker. Now when the matchmaker found the note, it could easily be traced back to me. Damn. Damn that girl to the poor hells where she belongs, with her thrift store clothes and dime store jewl-no, she didn't wear any jewelry. Even cheaper. Maybe, if I'm lucky, her parents will work for mine, like most do in this damn school, and I'll get her thrown out. That would be a blast.

'Hey, D-money!"

Yea. Brock. My s called best friend, in reality just the only person I can stand for any length of time. True, he's not quite as rich as me, but then again, only the Lexingtons are. But he's easy going, doesn't argue, and is easily dominated. By me, of course. He always goes by what I said. Except that one timeā€¦

"Hello, Brock," I responded indifferently.

"Dude, hear of any parties this week?" he asked, trotting easily beside me. My legs may be longer as I am taller, but he's more athletic then I am. Sure I work out, and I'm no weakling, but Brock's the football quarterback. I don't need the athletics to help me, though. My native good looks and money get me all the girls I could ever want. Well, perhaps not all, but all in the conceivable future. I don't need a mythological matchmaker to help me find love. Hell, I don't even need love.

"Because I need some encouragement after the big game," Brock was still chattering, "we'll probably win, but a back up plan to get wasted is always necessary!"

That's Brock for you, always enthusiastic. Far too enthusiastic. And talkative. I was forced to cut him off as he continued to ramble.

"Saturday. Lexington's."

It always shuts hum up for at least a minute when I use that tone.

"Dude, that's awesome! Lex throws awesome parties!"

Usually, at least. But he was right in this case. Lex's parties were nearly as good as mine.

"It's just a party, Brock. We go to one almost everyday," I chided him abruptly. A flock of freshmen sauntered by. I scowled, and they fled.

"But maybe this time, that new step-sister of Lex's will show. I haven't seen her before, and she must be hot."

'Lex has a sister?" I really hated to ask Brock anything, he's so stupid, but in this case it was called for. New girls are always good. More and more are getting paired up, thanks to this damn Matchmaker. A new unattached girl could prove a good distraction.

"You going to show?" Brock queried. He always asked, and I consistently answered the same thing. Another example of his all prevailing idiocy.

"Of course. Don't I always?" I flashed a passing sophomore my patented not even a smirk, and she backed hurriedly away, facing me with an awestruck expression fro as long as she could before she ran into the wall and, blushing, fled. My smirk grew into a sneer.