Author's Note: Thank you Cici and Mae for testing the chapter out before I posted. :)

This is mainly an introductory to Honey chapter. Adam doesn't appear. I have a tendency to rush relationships, so I want Honey and Adam's to be slow and special. Bear with me. Your support through chapter one really blew me away. :D It made me finish chapter 2 in less than a day. And actually... chapter 3 is done, too. Lol. But unedited. Acknowledgements are at the end of the chapter.

Thank you again. :)

PS. There's a piece of info in this chapter that, well, I won't say. But it showed up in chapter 1. I just wonder if anyone will notice and realize its implications. :D It's actually a crucial plot detail that will be revealed later. Lol.

PPS. Technically, this is unbeta-ed. Proceed at your own discretion.

.


"Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness?" – Artemus Ward (1834 - 1867)


CHAPTER TWO

.

It was just her luck. She counted twenty-eight days, checked and double checked, but it had come on the twenty-sixth day. The one day she decided not to carry any extras with her.

Twenty-six days. Murphy would be proud.

She was never early. Never. She took care of her ovaries. She didn't eat foods that were too salty, too fried, too MSGed. She was good to her vagina, too; never left a tampon in for over 3 hours, always kept it clean, and changed her panties once a day, sometimes even twice a day.

So why, why did her ovaries hate her so?

How cruel life was sometimes. And the darn bloody school was no help either. One would think that, being as rich as they were, they would make the WOMEN and MEN signs on the bathrooms a little bit bigger. With a school the size of the Forbidden City, surely, it couldn't have cost them that much more to switch to a bigger font size.

She hadn't walked into the wrong washroom since she was six. And at age six, there was really nothing to look at. A vagina with a pinky. That's what she thought it looked like when she saw Billy McCain doing his business back in first grade.

But seventeen was a whole different number from six. And she didn't have to see one to know that the male genitalia were no longer deformed versions of the female ones. It was so much easier being six. Really.

Fortunately, the Fates had mercy on her. After all, they had to keep her alive if they wished to keep toying with her in the future. When she had made a beeline to the washroom, only to discover that it was the wrong one, there was no one there. Thank you, God, she had said in her head.

She had also prided herself on such a stealthy exit.

The satisfaction was short-lived though. There was still a stain on her pink Victoria's Secret panties, the most expensive of her collection. She wondered if she could be like the guy on that old Mentos commercial, where he accidentally sat on a freshly-painted bench, ruining his dark suit. But after popping a Mentos, ingeniously decided to roll around on the entire bench to make the suit pinstriped.

It probably wouldn't work with blood splotches. Anyhow, it was already lunch time. Only 4 hours before school was out. She'd just have to suck it up.

Honey tugged firmly on the back of her skirt. She would have bet her entire cell phone charm collection on it that a man designed the school uniforms. The skirts, although undeniably stylish, took the word short to a new level. Redefined it, really. Whoever the man was, he was probably a hero among the male student body, and, no doubt, had his creation immortalized to commemorate such a worldly achievement.

"Honey…"

"Yes?" she answered reflexively, turning toward the voice.

The couple tucked away in a dark corner of the lockers turned to look at her. The girl had both her hands fisted in her guy's dark brown hair. The guy had both his hands up her skirt.

Oh, dear.

"Sorry, sorry," she managed to get out. "Continue." She made a motion with her hands. Then realizing what she was implying, her initial chagrin turned into complete mortification. "I mean—don't. No, sorry, do. It's just that I'm Honey, too. And uh—I, uh—that's it really. See you around!"

Honey turned back in the direction she came from and walked like she never walked before.

I'm Honey, too. See you around. I'm Honey, too. See you around. Of all the things she could have said. I'm Honey, too. See you around.

It was times like this that she really hated her name. Occasionally, it was nice to hear 'honey' on the lips of her teachers, her friends, her crushes, strangers especially. Even when they were angry, it sounded like an endearment. And it was exactly for that reason that it caused her so much embarrassment. For a smart girl, she always answered without thinking. Yes, it was times like this that she desperately wished she had been named Michelle, or Emily, something that was a name and a name only.

No, it had to be Honey. Her mother had named her to spite her father. He was allergic to honey.

Slowing down as she turned the corner, she heaved a great big defeated sigh. The red EXIT sign at the end of the hall beckoned her. It was exactly what she needed. Fresh air.

.

Honey smooshed her slow-roasted chicken sandwich between her hands, palm to palm. Her mouth was so small that she often found herself compressing everything in order to fit anything in at all. Which was why she would rather take a bullet than sit in the dentist's chair. Dr. Shaik could never get more than two fingers in at one time.

But it was really too nice of a day to be wasted thinking about the dentist. Honey sat on the grassy hill overlooking the football field. Well, to be technical, it was football field A. There were two more on the other side of the school.

The west coast did have its charm. The air was warm, but not humid, and the slight wind that passed up from the ocean was incredibly soothing.

She closed her eyes, tilting her face up toward the sun. It felt so good. She hadn't felt this relaxed or this at peace since… well, she couldn't remember when.

It had been her choice to come to South Merritt Academy by herself. While she loved her family very much, she wanted to get away, if only for a little while. She wanted to stop worrying about whether the bills were going to be paid or whether her dad was going to be laid off or whether her mom would enter another episode of depression. For one year, she just wanted to live her life free of all that.

Finding a homestay had been easy. She wasn't independent enough to live by herself yet, nor did she have any way to finance it. And she liked her homestay family. They were rich, but chose to live in a modest house in a nice urban neighborhood. Mr. and Mrs. St. Jude. They were an elderly couple with two children already off to university. Neither were home very often. They had been generous enough to offer her the entire basement of their house, saying that the living room, kitchen, game room, and small home theatre all came with the one bedroom she wanted, at no extra cost, and that she either took everything or nothing at all. She wasn't about to point out their faulty logic, so she accepted.

And here she was, at one of the most prestigious secondary academies in the country. She hadn't even applied. One day, a letter had come offering her admission and an insanely large quantity of money. A merit-based scholarship, they had written. She thought it was a joke.

It hadn't been though, of course.

Just another one of life's little surprises. And she would make the most it. She promised herself that. She would do all the things every teenager did; go to parties, get drunk, get laid. In that order, too.

Honey smiled to herself. No, it wasn't going to happen. It just wasn't in her nature to be like that. But it pleased her to think about it sometimes, just to amuse herself.

When she had come to South Merritt, she knew that she would somehow manage to be simultaneously a sore thumb and invisible. There was simply no way to outshine the students here. They had an air of confidence about them that made her both frightened and jealous. Frightened because of the power they possessed. Jealous because she had always wanted to be like that, commanding respect and admiration without meaning to.

For the most part though, the day hadn't been that bad. She had been pleasantly surprised. These people, wealthy and highborn as they were, did not ostracize her. They introduced themselves, spoke to her like an equal, and were genuinely nice to her. Although, by tomorrow, she would forget all their names. She could go through an entire Spanish or Calculus textbook in two nights and remember everything, but she couldn't remember names for the life of her.

She stuck her lower lip out and blew on her bangs. Since bangs were so in right now, she had decided to get a haircut when she came here. New school, new life, new eighty-dollar haircut, right? Having not had bangs since third grade, they took a while to get used to. She had shown the hairstylist, Davido, a picture of Reese Witherspoon she had found in a magazine. Reese's hair was willowy, wispy, and beautiful, and with the added touch of softly swept bangs, it was no wonder she was America's sweetheart. Honey had wanted the cut the moment she laid her eyes on it. And while the bangs irritated her, she was secretly very pleased with how the haircut turned out. It made her feel feminine and pretty.

She stretched her legs out beneath her, the grass feeling cool against her skin. Yes, it was a good day indeed.

Honey poked her right knee. It was squishy. This made her frown. She hadn't realized that she had so much knee fat. Using her index fingers and thumbs, she pinched it into a roll at the base closest to her. Hmm. Then using her middle fingers, she made two dents above the roll. Why, it looked like a happy face. Or maybe a seal. Yes, especially with the roundness of her knee, it definitely looked like the head of a seal.

A short throat-clearing ahem sounded from behind her.

She turned and looked up, right into the face of an angel.

"Hi," she said. Or maybe she thought she said it. She wasn't sure.

"Hi," he returned, walking to where she was sitting. "I don't want to interrupt…"

He had the voice of an angel, too. Deep, sweet, melodic.

"Oh?" was all she could manage. Then, realizing that he had made a small nod toward her makeshift seal, "Oh." She quickly removed her fingers, leaving red nail marks against her pale skin. She gave one of those heh heh nervous laughs as she rubbed a hand over her knee. "I, uh—"

There was no use explaining.

"Please, sit."

And he did. In one smooth motion, he was beside her on the grass. She was tongue-tied. Heaven forbid she say or do anything more to embarrass herself.

"You don't remember me," he said after a moment of silence.

This piqued her interest. She wasn't good with names, but it wasn't likely that she would forget a gorgeous blond-haired blue-eyed male if she saw one, especially not this one. "We've met?"

He looked at her, and even though she was sitting, she felt her knees quiver.

"This morning, by your locker. We exchanged names, but I, ah, believe you were in a hurry."

And suddenly, she did remember. When she felt that familiar trickle between her legs. Dear God. She had almost completely ignored him this morning. But before she could begin to feel horrified over the incident again, he held out his hand.

"Teddy." He smiled. "Again."

"Honey." She took his hand, and much to her dismay, shook it like a sissy. It wasn't at all like how a firm, confident handshake should be. Hardening her grip, she gave his hand a solid shake. She ignored the fact that it turned into a jerky up and down yank. And if he noticed the difference, he got brownie points in her book for not saying so.

Honey quickly extracted her hand, leaving his suspended halfway in the air. She made a mental note to work on those handshakes when she got home. Who knew it was so hard to find a medium between floppy and bone-fracturing.

"How are you liking the school?" he asked when she failed to come up with a conversation topic.

"I've only been here for five hours. But, ah… it's really… big," she finished lamely. "I take it you've been here a while."

She wasn't sure if she sensed the slight twinkle in his eye or if it was just the light.

"For as long as I can remember."

"I figured as much." She twiddled her fingers, just like how it was done on TV, but her thumbs kept colliding into each other. She didn't want to ask, for fear that it might come out wrong—as it often did—but she was just so curious. "So… what are you doing out here?"

"I enjoy the sun."

"Oh. Me, too." She couldn't keep the disappointment out of her voice. Was it really that conceited to think that maybe, just maybe he came for a completely different reason? Surely not every acre of the school was taken such that he had to come to her five square feet patch of grass for a little sunshine.

"Do you have a pen and paper?" he asked, startling her.

"I don't know," she answered, saying the first thing that came to mind as she reached for her purse.

It was a nice bag she splurged on at a GUESS store while visiting her cousins in Montreal. She wasn't sure if she should try to hide it because it wasn't Gucci or Versace. The gold chains still made it a bit more bling than what she was normally used to though. It had been a spur of the moment purchase, and the twenty-two percent of her that secretly wished to be a diva really liked it.

Rummaging through the few items that were in there, she picked out a new pad of multi-colored Post-it notes, handing it to him, along with a pen. "Here."

He took them, but didn't write.

"I," he began, coughed, then started over. "I don't know if I can write with this."

She looked over at him.

In his hand, he was holding a Tampax Pearl.

A little bit of Honey died right then. Her inner child had, with abandon, jumped off a cliff.

She tried to laugh off her mistake. "Oh, oops. Ha ha. Wrong pen. Ha." It didn't come out as natural as it sounded in her head though. Each 'ha' was a little too desperate, a little too loud, and all too forceful.

Reaching into her bag, she took out the pen that she thought she had initially taken out and meekly held it out to him.

He gave a sort of half-smile of understanding and sympathy, and exchanged the tampon for the pen. To his credit, he didn't laugh at all. Not once.

Maybe he didn't know what it was, Honey thought with a last ray of hope, as she watched him write. He seemed completely unfazed. And although it was probably an inappropriate time to notice, he had a beautiful profile.

"What are you writing?" she asked, becoming aware that her curiosity outweighed her humiliation.

"A rain check." He ripped off the top two neon-green Post-its, handing one to her and keeping one for himself.

Lunch

- Teddy

She felt slow for asking. "Why?"

"It seems I've interrupted your meal. Let me make it up to you. You can pick the date. I'll take you out for lunch."

Honey looked at her watch, but didn't tell him that there were still forty-five minutes left—an ample amount of time to eat a measly sandwich. She had an inkling that he knew exactly what time it was.

"What does yours say?" she asked, pointing to the other note.

He smiled at this and showed it to her.

1 hour 15 minutes

- Honey

"In case you don't follow up on yours," he explained, a little sheepish.

She wanted to tease and say "An hour of my time is a lot to give" but she could only grin, as wide as her little mouth would let her.

Honey didn't understand why or how any of this was happening. She didn't understand why a guy like him could possibly want to spend time with a girl like her, didn't understand why he was being so nice, didn't understand why he cared, didn't understand why it made her feel so warm inside.

She looked at the boyish grin that graced his Abercrombie-worthy face.

Okay, so maybe she did understand why his attention made her feel like puddling onto the floor.

She returned his smile and offered up the only two words she knew how to say without tripping over her tongue.

"Thank you."

.


Yeah, I know. No cliffhanger. Lol. But I'm hoping you'll still want to read on without one. :D Please, don't hesitate to tell me what you loved/hated.


.

sweetest summer – I do thank you for being the first to review the chapter. :D It was such a relief on my part. I was so afraid the chapter would be a dud.

Cayenne Peppers – I tried to make the beginning as unpredictable as possible. I'm afraid its mysteriousness might wan as the story continues. Lol. I really don't know how some authors do it. Increase at an increasing rate, that is. :D

Snowbabykoala – I get 4 alerts from FP and when I go check, they're all from you. ((heart)) I really don't think I deserve all this so soon. Lol, let me earn it with a few more chapters. But hey, who am I to complain? XD

Mae – I still feel the pain from your whipping. ;) You're a slave driver, you. You know, I think I'm too in love with Jesse to write about Adam. XD

Miss Sadistic – Writer's block is a horrible disease. I'll keep my fingers crossed, too. But I have most of the story written out in my head… So it should be okay. That aside, I'm really, really glad you like it.

Jeex – Dear God, woman (I'm going to assume you're female). You made my night. But you also scared the living bejeezuz daylights out of me. How in the name of heck do I live up to that praise? I'm so afraid this chapter is going to be a disappointment for you. And your excitement will fade as each chapter is posted. Lol. I probably had nightmares about this. I'll do my best to keep the characters 3D. But I'll warn you, the writing was more narrative/story-like in the beginning because the first few chapters are rather introductory. I'm known to lapse into clichédness. But I'm sure you'll tell me if I do. I'm going to aim to finish this before school starts in September. All seriousness aside, I think I'm in love with all 5 guys, too. :D Why have 1 when you can have 5?