Chapter 1

"Come on now! Let's do it! Make that pass, kick that - - -! Layup right, keep it tight!" Strut Spera shook her lime green and plum purple pom-poms, feeling the sweat cascade down her body.

"One more cheer and I swear my arms are going to fall off." A wistful look came over Lacy Arenad's face as she said, "Maybe a rib will cave in. The pain will be excruciating but I think I can deal with that."

"Are you serious? Being a cheerleader..." Strut decidedly tuned out the yammering of their stick-up-her-butt head cheerleader Ashley Smitt as one of the opposing team members caught her eye and smiled.

"Again?" Lacy murmured jokingly beside her.


Every game-home or away- one of the opposite players would try to get with her. They liked the spark they saw in her unusually flamingo pink eyes and the complicated but sophisticated hairstyles that graced her head, her gray hair glistening even in the dim gym room lights. The guys, no matter how many times they saw her, weren't used to her exotic looks, or even the sharp contrast between her amber colored skin and the rest of her. What made the attraction even worst was that her body was perfect in every sense of the word. She wasn't too skinny and she wasn't too thick. Her 5'9'' figure was wanted by every guy and girl she encountered. Unfortunately, that meant that she was constantly asked out and asked what she did to keep her body. She said no 97% of the time and just responded "Live." to those asking how she kept her body. She was flattered and annoyed all at once.

"You make us look bad." Strut's comrade, C.C. Darinetti said with laughter in her voice. She, too, was bothered due to her white chocolate skin, midnight blue hair, (surprisingly all natural) and her striking ice blue eyes.

"If I could, I would die my hair brown and wear brown colored contacts, plain and simple." She nearly laughed. She would never be plain and simple.

"Yes!" A collective yell came from the bleachers as Pixell High's basketball scored the game point.

Strut yelled and shook her pom-poms again, a grin splitting her face in half. Her heart pounded like a beast in heat in anticipation of their new routine comprised by her. It was a familiar

feeling. She was excited that she, once again, had created something classy, unique, and sexy. Everyone loved it.

"Strut!" A voice yelled to her. She immediately rolled her eyes as a pair of arms enveloped her from behind.

"Krypton." She said sarcastically to her idiot, Krypton Blackwell.

"Hey baby." He sucked on her neck, letting his tongue touch her.

"Boy!" She yelled elbowing him in his chest. "You nasty little negro!"

"Love you too." Krypton turned and gave a peck to his girlfriend.

She turned to Strut. "He harassing you again?"

"As always. I think he gave me a disease." Strut felt her forehead as if checking for a fever.

Krypton laughed. "I have that effect on women. Especially corny ones." His hazel eyes twinkled with mischief.

"Pig." Arian laughed at their banter and hugged the jerk.

Strut admired the simplicity of their happiness. Krypton (so named because of his mother's obsessive love of Superman but she was too doped up to think of naming him Clark) and Arian were not the stereotypical "everything" couple despite their popularity, and they didn't try to be. They were an open couple, happy to be tied down and yet not, but still happy. Krypton's milky skin was emasculated on him and seemed to perfectly match Arian's caramel colored skin. They were nothing alike in color but were twins in their vibrant, friendly, and flirtatious personas. Neither wanted to settle down with anyone but had been in an open relationship for almost three years now. Talk about complicated.

"Strut! Arian! Let's go!" Miss Stick-up-her-butt yelled for their routine.

With a farewell to Krypton, Strut and Arian ran and took their positions amongst their group. Strut's heart resumed its hard, rapid beating and she felt her body vibrate with excitement. She saw Lacy and Ashley lift their heads and grin. The music began with a symphony of rainforest sounds. Birds were chirping harmonically even as monkeys and snakes joined together. Strut could hear the confusion of the crowd; feel the hatred pouring into her from an unknown source. She ignored it and began to sway on her feet. She knew what was going on but she fought it. Putting up her mental force field she, as well as four other girls, stepped forward and moved their hips to the now energetic music. She still felt the hatred, but she didn't care. It wasn't a problem.