a/n: Thank you to those who reviewed. This chapter gives a little more character descriptions. For now, chapters will be short in an attempt to update daily...or regularly, at least. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter Two:

"Nicole Marie Thornton, if you don't get your butt down here right now, I'm leaving!" Shelby yelled to her sister from the bottom of the stairs. "I can't believe this! The first day of school and we're going to be late," she groaned in a quieter voice. "Why couldn't Mike take her?"

"He had to go in early. As the student-body president, he has to welcome any new students and help them find their way around. I think he was also going to do a small speech for the freshman orientation," Shelby's other sister, Emily announced as she picked up her bag and walked to the front door.

"Are you getting a ride with Elliot?" Shelby asked her.

Emily nodded. "Yeah, he should be here any moment."

Shelby nodded. Elliot had been Emily's boyfriend for a year now. The first two years of high school, he used to harass her and drive her completely crazy, but at the start of their junior year, he confessed he had a major crush on her, and they've been together since.

Emily and Mike were the most alike in personalities. Emily was the smallest of the sextuplets, only standing at a whopping 5 ft 3 in. She had dark blonde hair and wore black framed glasses when she didn't use her contacts. She was dedicated to studying, and spent most of her spare time reading. She was most-likely going to be the valedictorian, though the spot wouldn't be confirmed until the end of the first semester.

Mike was also very dedicated to school. Though, he didn't spend all of his time studying. He was the school's all-star baseball player and had been on the student council since freshman year, being voted in as Student Body President at the end of last year. Mike was the tallest of the sextuplets, standing at 6 ft. even. He had the same auburn-colored hair as Shelby. It was straight and thick, just like hers, and always tended to be more brown in the winter and more red in the summer.

"Nicole!" Shelby yelled again, this time hearing the footsteps of her sister finally come out of her bedroom.

"I'm coming, I'm coming," Nicole whined, stepping down the stairs. Nicole was the most fashion-conscious of them. She had the same blonde hair as Emily and Paul, but she used chemical dyes to lighten it. It was long and straight, and Shelby considered Nicole the prettiest of all of them, followed closely by the quiet Emily.

Although Shelby was the tallest of the girls, standing at the same height as Paul at 5ft. 9in., she thought of herself as the ugly duckling of the group. She wasn't blessed with the blonde hair and blue eyes of her sisters, but was left with the auburn hair and hazel eyes that no one really knew where they came from. Her mother had blonde hair and her father had black hair, but both Shelby and Mike had ended up with a mutated form of reddish-brown hair.

Shelby was thin, but not as thin as Nicole, who started a new diet every other week. Shelby, on the other hand, ate whatever she felt like, and never considered herself fat. She wore size five jeans and was physically fit and athletic. She had always felt more comfortable with the boys, and was the resident tom-boy of the neighborhood. She was always surprised when a boy asked her out, and the low self-esteem side of her always assumed they were just using her to get to her sisters.

Flinging her hair over her shoulder, Nicole scanned the jean shorts and green tank top her sister was wearing. "Is that what you're wearing?" she asked Shelby.

Shelby smiled sardonically at her sister. "Yup, now let's go."

Nicole huffed, but followed her sister out of the door. "Where's Paul and Justin?"

"They got a ride with Stone."

"Oh," Nicole replied, and then squealed, "Oh, I'm so excited! We're seniors!"

The morning went on as usual. Shelby had several classes with Emily, Mike, and Justin. None with Nicole, and was looking forward to her afternoon art class with Paul. After throwing her books in her locker, she headed down to the cafeteria for lunch.

The normal group of popular kids took up the long table in the center of the cafeteria. Shelby glanced at the table, noticing many of her friends, including Nicole, and Nicole's best friend, Claire Jones. Shelby got along with almost everyone at the school, she could easily fit in at just about any table, but she opted for the skater table, where she knew she would find Paul and Justin.

Paul was the normal, stereotypical skater. He had blonde hair that was somehow longer in the front and frequently fell in his face. He wore clothes that were a good two sizes too big, and he used the word, 'Dude,' way more than necessary. His friends were all varying similarities to him, and Shelby loved them all. Such a colorful group of individuals, they were.

Justin, on the other hand, didn't quite fit in with the skaters. He had short black hair and greatly resembled Shelby's dad and older brother, Adam. He generally wore plain clothes that fit his frame perfectly, and he wasn't extreme at anything. He was almost always quiet, taking everything in. The most he ever talked was when he was alone with only Paul and Shelby. He was born with a heart defect, and had to have several surgeries when they were young. He was better now, but he was forbidden to play any sports, and spent most of his childhood reading. Unknown to most people, Justin was indeed the smartest of the Thornton Sextuplets. He didn't brag, and he rarely ever spoke in class, but his grades and the fact that he never spent hours studying like Emily and Mike only proved the fact.

When the principal approached him last year and told him he would more than likely be the valedictorian, he skipped a whole marking period of gym so his teacher would fail him and drop his GPA. All because he didn't want to give the graduation speech and he knew that Emily had her heart set on being valedictorian.

He and Paul had always been incredibly close. It was Paul who always dragged Justin out of his bedroom and made him play with them. It was very rare to ever see one without the other.

Shelby plopped down at the table in between her two brothers and opened the brown paper bag she had clutched in her hands. "What's up?" she asked to no one in particular.

"Oh, let's see," Paul started in his usual amused tone. "Whitley cursed and turned beet-red the moment I walked into his class. It was great! I think I might actually drive him over the edge this year."

"Be nice," Shelby chastised in her best motherly voice.

Paul continued. "Erica Reynolds was eyeballing Justin all morning. She definitely has a crush on him."

Shelby looked at her shy brother. "Awww, that is so cute. Do you want me to set you two up?"

"Drop it, Shelby," Justin hissed, his face already turning a light shade of pink.

Shelby smiled mischievously and took a bite of her sandwich.

"Nicole and Claire are all excited over some new guy this year. Haven't seen him yet, but according to them, he is SO HOT!"

Shelby giggled. "Fresh meat. They'll be bouncing around for weeks."

Justin and Paul chuckled.

"Oh, and Elliot and Emily are the number one prospects for Prom King and Queen."

"Prom's in May!" Shelby exclaimed in astonishment.

Paul shrugged. "Apparently it's never too soon to plan for prom."

"You've had a lot of morning classes with Nicole, haven't you?"

Paul dropped his head to the table. "Yes," he whined. "And Claire too! Those two can fry a guy's brain in two minutes flat, I swear."

Shelby giggled and patted him on the back.

"Christian! Over here, sit with us!" Shelby heard Claire's voice shout out from across the room. She glanced up at Claire, who was looking at the entrance to the cafeteria and waving. Shelby followed her gaze. She saw Mike standing there, a relaxed look on his face as he stood there talking to someone.

Mike shifted, and the person he was talking to came into Shelby's view. She gasped. 'No freakin' way!' she thought, desperately trying to swallow the lump of food that was trying to crawl back up her throat.

It couldn't be!

There was just no way!

God could not be that cruel!


"Christian!" Claire's voice shouted again, and Mike and the boy walked towards the popular table.

'Oh. My. God!' Shelby thought as her blood pumped ferociously through her veins. This could not be happening! How could this have happened? She was never supposed to see him again! He was wearing a Westwood Prep jacket, for crying out loud! How is it possible that the guy she kissed was now walking in her school with her brother, and approaching a table full of her fellow classmates and friends.


"Kill me now," she mumbled, lowering her gaze to the table and supporting her head with her hand. "Why is it always me?"

"What are you talking about?" Paul asked in amusement.

"Nothing," Shelby moaned, keeping her head down.

Even with her head down, Shelby could easily pick up Claire's flirtatious voice and the deep, throaty voice of the stranger. Even Mike's laughter and soft voice was easily carrying over to Shelby's table.

"Here comes Mike," Justin acknowledged in his low voice.

Shelby shot her head up. Sure enough, her brother and the stranger had visited with the popular table and were now heading their way. She wanted to bolt, but something was holding her there. Her pride, maybe. She watched them approach, her heart beating faster and faster with each step they took.

"And these are the rest of the Thornton Sextuplets," Mike announced before they even reached the table.

Paul smiled up at Mike and the stranger, but as soon as he saw the guy with Mike, his smile dropped, "Hey, isn't that, OUUUUCH!"

Shelby grabbed his leg and squeezed as hard as she could to get him to shut-up. Paul grabbed his leg in misery, cursing up a storm and clutching his leg where Shelby had wounded him.

Mike gave them a funny look. "The one crying is Paul, and this is my sister, Shelby, and brother, Justin. Guys, this is Christian Bradford. He just transferred to our school from Westwood Prep."

Christian's eyes hadn't left Shelby's since the moment they landed on her. He openly stared at her, his eyes alight with humor and his lips curved up into a knowing grin. "So, your name is Shelby," he said in his husky voice that seemed to always send tingles down Shelby's spine.

"You know my sister?" Mike asked.

"Uh, actually," Christian started, but was immediately interrupted by both Shelby and Paul.

"No, they've never met!"

"It's not what you think!" Shelby squawked.

Christian's grin grew while Mike only frowned at his two most eccentric siblings. "What's going on?" he asked in suspicion.

"We sort of met yesterday," Shelby stuttered out, her eyes still locked on Christian. "Uh, at the mall. We, uh, bumped into each other."

"Yes," Christian confirmed. "But, she ran off before I got her name." His eyes bore into hers. "Shelby is beautiful. A beautiful name for a beautiful girl."

Shelby snorted. "Oh please, spare me the lines!"

Christian looked perplexed, but now it was Mike's turn to laugh. "Give up while you're ahead, you're better off going after my sister Nicole or her friend, Claire. Shelby has sworn off men. Isn't that right, Shell?"

Shelby nodded. "Damn straight!" she confirmed.

"Is that so?" Christian asked in amusement.

"Yes it is," she told him, and then stood up from her seat. "I need to go…talk to someone…..over there… in the bathroom." And with that, Shelby once again, fled the scene.