Kale McAdams sighed as he slumped into the chair beside his best friend Zach Carver, in the university's game room. Across the room his girlfriend Kristine was playing pool with Susannah, the un-official leader of their little group.
"So, how's your stepsister?" Kale asked, boredom evident in his tone of voice.
Kale rolled his eyes, "You told me about her a few weeks ago. Said she was coming to live with you, your dad, and her mom."
"Right…I did say that didn't I?" He got this look in his eye. "I don't really want to talk to about it."
"Is she hot?" Kale asked, completely ignoring Zach's previous statement.
"Dude, you have a girlfriend."
"You can still answer my question."
"No my stepsister is not hot! She's…how do I say this?" He pretended to ponder it. "She's not exactly plain, but she's not beautiful either. She's in the middle, more towards the plain side though."
Kale snickered, "So she's attractive?"
"Zach, if you're trying to downplay it in hopes that I don't go after her then your completely out your mind."
Zach smirked, "You have a girlfriend and she's a bit too naïve even for you."
"Whoa, are you saying you're going to break up with Kristine?"
"Not quite; I think she's going to break up with me. Something odd as been going on with her. She's starting to freak me out."
"What exactly is she doing that's odd to you?"
Kale leaned forward, "She's been talking about weddings. For crying out loud we're in college. That's a bit too young for me to even think about something like that."
"Well, as I'm sure you've noticed, Kristine is female. After a few months of steady dating women tend to start thinking about marriage. You should know this by now. I may never have had a steady girlfriend, but I've been around my sister's for far too long."
"Does your stepsister—what is her name anyway?—has she ever had a boyfriend?"
Zach shrugged, "How should I know? Up until a week ago she was living full time in Andorra. I rarely got to see her and when I did her mother monopolized her time. If she has or had a boyfriend then I don't know about it."
Kale sighed and sat back in the seat. "Your hiding something from me."
"Why won't you tell me what your sister's name is?"
"Annabelle, you idiot. You know that already."
"The only idiot is you." Kale scowled. "I meant your stepsister."
A smirk appeared on Zach's face. "Beat me in a game of pool and I'll tell you."
"Not fair. I'll never beat you in a game of pool. Since I taught you how to play years ago, I've never been able to win against you."
"Then I guess you're never going to find out my stepsister's name."
"You're going to let it slip at some point and when it does I'll be a happy man."
"Kale! Stop talking about her like you want to sleep with her. For Christ's sake, she's my stepsister."
"Okay," Ethan pointed in the direction of the pool table. "The guy with the spiky brown hair is Kale McAdams, the blond with him is Zach Carver."
Olivia nodded. "And Kale is the one dating Kristine, right? The girl from our business class?"
"Exactly. She's over there with Susannah Phillips, Jason's twin sister," he pointed towards the other side of the pool table. "I'd try to get on Zach's good side. He's pretty nice and when he gets mad, he gets really mad; he would be in the perfect position to make sure nothing really bad happens to you."
"That isn't going to happen," she revealed, "I already told him to stay out of it as much as possible."
He blinked and looked at her as he spoke, "You've already met him?"
"Zach," she looked around for any eavesdroppers and when she didn't see any she continued, "is my stepbrother."
"You have got to be kidding me." He seemed incredulous. "And they don't know?"
"I agree, but it's a bit funny as well." She smiled. "They know Zach has a stepsister, but they don't know anything about her."
"You're having fun with this."
"Of course I am. Is there a reason why I shouldn't be?"
"Ethan! Olivia!" The shouts came from down the hall towards the main doors of the building.
Olivia smiled, "Ah. If it isn't the lovely Chloe. The true bane of my existence." The sarcasm in her words was shown by the twinkle in her eyes.
"Oh you. Just because I try to get you to dress more fashionably and to get a boyfriend doesn't mean-" Chloe was cut off by Ethan.
"She was being sarcastic, sweets."
"Oh…sorry." She tucked a strand of her copper-red hair behind an ear. "So, what are we doing over here?"
"Ethan," Olivia patted him on the shoulder, "the amazing man that he is, is pointing out the popular students so I know who to watch out for. And he just found out that Zach Carver is my stepbrother."
"Did I know this?" Chloe asked a frown marring her forehead.
"Yes, you did," Olivia muttered under her breath. "You're the only person I told."
"Oh! Right. Sorry, it totally slipped my mind," Chloe gave a sheepish grin. "So, do you two have class or do you want to grab lunch?"
Ethan smirked. "Definitely lunch. I won't be able to function in my business theory class if I don't have food in me. Are we going to hit up the dining hall or head to the café?"
"Café?" Olivia asked.
"It's right off campus; walking distance," Ethan told her.
"They have some pretty good food," Chloe added.
She pretended to think about it. "Let's go there then. I could do with a different location. The whispers and pointing figures are starting to get annoying and its only been a day."
Olivia glanced around the small café and had to smile. The place reminded her of her favorite bookstore in Andorra's capital city. She settled back in the plush arm chair in the little nook Chloe had led them too. Around the café sat people taking a lunch break from work and students from the university. She could definitely see herself coming here a lot.
"So I have a question."
Olivia looked over at Chloe. "A question? Well go ahead, just ask it."
"What are you going to do when they find out you aren't a scholarship student, that your Zack Carver's stepsister, and that you're the bloody Princess of Andorra?"
"Laugh in their faces," she answered with a straight face, but after a moment she answered truthfully, "I actually have no idea what I'll do. Probably just tell them they can't tell a book by its cover or something like that."
"You would really say that to them?" Ethan asked. "You can't judge a book its cover. That's all you could come up with?"
Olivia glared at him. "I already said I don't know what to say to them. I'm sure it will come to me at some point, most likely the day they find out, but that's better than nothing."
"Well, well, well. What do we have here?" Susannah Phillips made her way over to their table. "The scholarship student and two losers. I should have realized you'd become friends with them."
"Can I help you?" Olivia asked as Chloe blushed and moved closer to Ethan.
"You can get out of our seats," that came from Susannah's twin Jason.
Olivia smirked, "Your seats? I don't see anything of yours, or your names, to show that this table and these chairs belong to you."
"Well they are and we'd really love it if you losers left," Kale said as he dropped a hand onto Olivia's shoulder. "Don't make us ask again."
"If you think that's asking," Ethan hissed, "then you are far more idiotic then I thought you were."
"What did you say?"
Ethan stood, "Maybe you should get your hearing checked if you're having problems with hearing, Kale."
"Maybe we should-"
"No, we were here first and we're not leaving just because they seem to think that this table belongs to them," Olivia said cutting Chloe off.
"Guys," Zach spoke up, "just let them have the table. I'd rather not sit near the front doors anyway; the cold air from outside will make my headache worse."
"You have a headache?" Kristine asked. "Why didn't you say something before? Here," she fished a bottle of Tylenol out of her purse, "have a few." She turned to Olivia and the others. "Be warned, this is our table and the next time we come here you had better not be sitting there."
Olivia shot Zach a glare. "I don't think so. If you want to keep using this table I suggest you get here before we do next time or else you'll just have to find somewhere else to sit."
"What is your problem?" Kale's hand tightened on her shoulder and she glanced up at him.
"Would you like me to break your hand?" She asked sweetly. "I have no qualms about doing that and if you continue to leave your hand on my shoulder than I will break every single bone in it."
"And I'll have you arrested."
Olivia didn't bother to mention that she had diplomatic immunity and said instead: "That won't stop me; besides why would they arrest me when technically your assaulting me first by squeezing my shoulder in a way that could break a bone."
Kale's hand moved from Olivia's shoulder and she decided then, that if she didn't dislike him due to his stupidity in the situation, she would probably have been able to become very good friends with him. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Ethan sit back down and watched as Chloe's hand grabbed his. After a last comment from James, the group left the tables and went to the other side of the café.
"You okay?" Ethan asked her.
"You know," she spoke her previous thoughts out loud, "if he wasn't friends with them I could probably have been able to become good friends with him."
"Who?" Chloe asked.
"Jason?" Ethan wondered.
She smiled at the two of them, "No. Kale. He and Zach are very good friends, have been since middle school before they even met the rest of the group. Even though he appears to be an idiot like the rest of them, I highly doubt that he is."
"Please don't tell me that your developing a crush on him."
"I've only known the guy a few days and while I've heard a lot about him from Zach, he isn't the type of guy I would go for."
Chloe smiled. "What type of guy do you like?"
"In an effort not to be set up on any more blind dates, there is no way in hell that I am going to answer that question."
"Aww, come on."
"Chloe, she said no. Leave her alone this time."
She glared at her boyfriend. "Don't tell me what to do."
"He's not," Olivia defended. "Just please Chloe, I'd rather choice a guy for me on my own and by myself. Only I know what I really want in a guy and while I trust your judgment, there is no way in hell I want to end up with a guy like Jason."
"Well you know, he probably isn't half bad either," Chloe said with a wink.
Ethan groaned and placed his head into his hands, "Don't even say something like that. He's an ass through and through."
"I was only joking."
"You had better be."
Olivia shook her head. The two of them were definitely perfect for each other. They balanced each other out. That's something she wanted, a man who she could have a relationship with and it would all be balanced out. A man who had things in common with her, but was different in other ways. Soon, maybe she would find someone.
Thanks for reading. Please review and let me know what you think.
Also, something I should mention. While Andorra is a real country (it's a principality of both France and Spain) in my story Andorra—while location and most things are the same—is not a parliamentary democracy like it is in real life, but a constitutional monarchy, for purposes of the story. I was too lazy to come up with a name of a country and information about it, so I decided to use a real country and change it bit so I didn't have to make up too much stuff. All I really changed was the government; everything else is pretty much the same.