Well, I finally updated. I was supposed to update about two weeks ago, but anyways. Enjoy!

"No way." My voice sounded oddly distant- it took a moment for me to realize that I had spoken those words.

"Anoushka, we have no choice. Your grandparents obviously can't come here, it's too far. We couldn't possibly take you, what with your school and everything, and only Anisha is required for this trip, we promise we'll take you during the summer-"

Tears had started to well up in my eyes. "Lee's house? L-Lee's house? Anywhere but there, please-"
"Anoush, look, it's-it's finalized and everything, you have to go. And Lee's parents are really nice-", pleaded mum.

"But what about Lee?" Tears were streaming down my face now, too many to count.

"Anoushka, please cooperate," said Anisha softly.

Two weeks. Two weeks in Lee Michael's house. Two whole weeks.

"But Ma, he's a... He's a boy!" Come on, come to your senses, lady, your darling little daughter is going to be sent to a boy's house to sleep- "Well, we've thought about that. We believe you're old enough to behave responsibly. Lee's mother is always in the house anyways, she works from home, so you'll have no reason to worry. You'll be provided a separate bedroom," mum said determinedly.

Now is not the time to play the "You're responsible enough not to sleep with your host' card. What happened to perverts in movie halls? What happened to the whole 'safe sex' thing?

"But dad-" I tried to reason with them – I had to reason with them. Lee's house? Seriously?

"Anoushka, the matter is closed. We are leaving next week, and so are you." Dad was an extremely stubborn man.

"But Dad, I'll miss Christmas with you! And – and New Year's! You want me to be in a stranger's house for New Year's? That's how I'm supposed to start a new year?"

Christmas was actually fun in my family. I usually got some friends over to help me decorate, and the tree always looked brilliant. Mum cooked this huge dinner and dessert would always include –apple pie with whipped cream and ice cream on the side, my favourite. And New Year – even better.

Mum and dad sighed. "We can't help it Anoushka. We have to go. You have to go. To Lee's. We can't help it." As far as they were concerned, the matter was closed.

I dashed to my room and slammed the door shut, and flopped onto my bed, my tears staining the pillows. Then the usual round of 'Let me be nice and explain everything to you sitting on your bed and patting your head like a six year old' started by knocking on the door gently, which slowly evolving to banging, and threats from mum stating that if I 'don't open the door right now, I'll leave you at Mrs. Khanna's house. Mrs Khanna was this scary, old, evil-smelling neighbour we had in India. She always made over-cooked channa and burnt chappati for dinner whenever I was there. She was like Mrs. Figg from Harry Potter, whose house Harry would be left in whenever the Dursleys went out -only Mrs. Figg turned out to be nice, didn't she? Then she'd go on in Hindi about how she would cook herself and wash clothes and do the dishes in her days, and if she didn't do it properly, ek thappad, one tight slap across the face. My parents used to leave me there whenever they went out, when I was a kid. Their excuse-'You're too young to stay alone!' My translation – 'Maybe you'll learn how to make overcooked channa and burnt chappati, and wash dishes and clothes with her. It'll be fun!'

School the next day was tiring. I had a Biology paper due, and Miss. Wakefield nearly refused to accept it when she found out that I had exceeded the word limit – er, by a page, but hey, it was brilliant writing about The Intestinal Juices and their Different Types and Functions. I was supposed to read it out. The way I wrote it, stated Anisha, the class would be in tears by the end of the section about the ever so tragic functions of Enterokinase. She got a stiletto in the stomach for that.

The only nice part was P.E. – it was a class I had with Adrian and not with Lee, and we had basketball. I got into my shorts and grabbed a bottle of water. The court was large and indoors. Half the girls were sitting in the bleacher, checking their hair, makeup, and whatever. I looked around and there was only one other girl on the court, and she had a ball. Best of all, Adrian was playing too – oh my god, he looked so freaking hot in jersey...

Well, certainly hotter than Lee. Why did I like Adrian Cook so much, when he had used me, when he had kissed me just to break up with his girlfriend, I had no idea. He was just – awesome.

Anyways, the one other girl had short, red hair and green eyes. She was very pretty. She also played basketball extremely well. I watched as she effortlessly dribbled the ball, slowly turned it into something more fast-paced, turn-tabled and pushed the ball in with a left-handed lay-up. Pretty good... Had I seen this girl around? A new girl maybe? She continued shooting and dribbling, sometimes practising fancy tricks between her legs. I looked around – and Adrian was watching her with a keen interest.

Okay, Anoush. Show off your skills, go be awesome!

I looked around, and tried to catch Adrian's eye. After a couple of minutes, he looked over at me, and smiled. Smiled. He threw the ball to one of his friends, stepped out of the court and decided to watch me play.

I ran at the girl from behind and tried to tap the ball. She just dribbled it between her legs, looked around to see who it was. She smirked, and did an easy layup, despite me zoning her.

Man, am I really that bad?

I looked over at Adrian, and shrugged. He smirked and returned to his game. So much for that.

The girl came back with the ball in her hands, smiling apologetically. Her 'apologetic' smile just annoyed me. A lot. I could play basketball as well as her, perhaps even better. Just because I wasn't in form...

"Hi! Sorry if I kinda showed off a bit – I tend to do that when it comes to something I'm actually good at."

Showed off? You think? She was British. I loved British people and her accent was- well, I would go to study in Britain just to get that accent.

"Yeah, if you're all impressed by my British accent, I only lived there for a bit. Not so long. In London. I have a brother, who's in college, his accent's way better. Anyways, how long have you playing basketball? I've been playing for a pretty long time, I was on the team in London. We had a court kind of bigger and cooler than this, but somehow I like this one better. Well, you seem pretty good yourself, only you should try to-"

"Hi, I'm Anoushka Sinha. What's your name?" God, freaking talkative, I'm-so-cool chick.

"Oh. I'm Juniper Marshals. But I hate Juniper, so Juno should do."

We ran around the court a couple of times to warm up. "You're from India? India is so cool! Aren't there super hot guys there?" I smirked. "Not really...It depends, I guess." I thought of Nikhil sadly.

"Yeah... Cool. I'm into basketball, hot guys and pencils."

I looked at her, and she explained to me that she collected pencils from all over the world and all times.

"Er... Cool." I couldn't have been more surprised if she told me that she collected slugs.

Soon, before we even got to play a match, we had to leave for AP World History –At least I did until I realised she was in my class too.

Oh no.

I walked to class only to find her tagging behind me.


"Juno. Why don't people ever call me Juno? Juniper Juniper Juniper, I sound like a tree. In fact I think Juniper is a tree, isn't it? Is it? Psh, and I thought you were all smart-"

"Hey, look, I've gotta go..." I had just seen Adrian look around furtively and walk into an empty storage room. Adrian Cook, the Storage Room Spy.

So hot.

Well, me being me, I decided to follow him. Just as I was outside the room (having lied to Juniper Bloody Marshalls that I had to go to the bathroom), someone placed their hand on my shoulder.

"Shit – Lee, you arsehole-"Behind me the door slammed shut. What was Adrian doing inside a storage room?

"No swearing, sweet heart." He placed a finger on my lips. I swatted his hand away, and looked at him. Then I realized how uncomfortably close we were.

"Well? Sexy enough for you?" He asked, trying to flex his biceps. He slowly tucked a strand of hair behind my ear.

"Michaels, go away, seriously-"

"Michaels? What happened to Lee? You're on a backward track, sweet-"

I pushed him away roughly. "I told you, to fuck off."

He looked at me for a long minute, green eyes to hazel, and then said, quietly, "All right then, Anoush. But you'll be staying at my place for a while. I'll talk to you then – nice, and cosy and private."

I stalked off. Only at the end of the corridor did I glance back at him, and I saw him- incredible, that jerk- snogging a rather ugly looking girl with zits. He broke away, looked up, saw me, and winked.

I gave him the finger and walked to class. Mr. Livingston wasn't really happy with me being so late.

"Anoushka Sinha, your excuse? I generally do not permit students to be tardy in my class-"

"But, sir, please excuse her, she was in the storage room! I saw her. Maybe she was trying to get you a broom for Christmas, I mean, it is in a fortnight or two and you are a really good teacher. But Anoushka, I don't think a broom would be my choice of a Christmas present – you would do better by giving out candy. But still, pretty nice of her, right?" Mr. Livingston, the class and I all turned to stare and Juno, who looked smug and gave me a small wink.

That's how I ended up in the Principal's office, explaining to him that I did not want a broom to give to Mr. Livingston, but that I was trying to get –

"Adrian? Adrian Cook?" Ironic, how Adrian and Mr. James Cook had the same last names.

"Yeah... I was, er, getting my history textbook back."

"In a storage cupboard? Why not during lunch?"

"I-er – forgot."

"Anoushka, detention, I'm afraid..." He looked quite stern as he wrote out the details on a sheet of paper. My first detention. Awesome. I walked out of the office with a resigned, irritated look on my face, and guess who was waiting for me outside?

"Juno, you are a complete arsehole."

"You know, maybe you really should give him a broom – I've heard he never cleans his house, and everything including his bed's really, really messy and has cheese stains all over it-"

"How would you know about Livingston's bed?" I asked her coyly. That's all it took to shut Miss Marshalls up.

Anyways, at the end of the day, I was outside, ready to cross the road opposite Campbell when Adrian brushed past me.

Okay, say something witty, something cool, like...hi. . H-I. Like, hey, how're you doing? Not, for god's sake, hey, oh my god I love you, you are so cool.

"Hey, A-Adrian." Hmm, not bad. Why are you so nervous? You're outspoken, you're bursting with confidence, you threw ice cream at Lee Michaels, one of the most wanted guys in the school! What is with you? "Hey, Anoushka."

We talked for a few minutes about classes, the usual. I managed to plough through three point four two minutes of conversation without wanting desperately to move to a monastery/convent.

Not bad, pretty good improvement in fact.

"So...Wanna go for a coffee? I mean, you know. You've had a pretty exhausting day..."

"Sure." Smiling, I could just imagine Campbell High school gasping, clutching each other for support, some of the girls bursting into tears, Valentina Rodriguez falling to the floor in despair once more.

We walked to Starbucks in silence and sat down at the first table we crossed.

Sane Anoush: So the weather's quite nice. Talk about the weather.

The Adrian-crazy Anoush: Are you mental? Weather? Really? I might as well be talking about the colour of my underpants. How about... Valentina?

Sane Anoush: Valentina? Wonderful way to start a conversation, asking him about his ex.

The Adrian-crazy Anoush: But don't you want to know about her? How she is right now? If she wants him back or not? You'll be able to plan your next move!

Sane Anoush: No, you don't. That's stupid. Now don't be an arse and go-

"Myunderpant'sValentina." Oh, shit. Settled for something in between then. Beautiful. "Er, what?" Adrian had been staring at the menu as though trying to incinerate it with his dark blue gaze. He looked up at me like I was slightly mental-which I considered myself to be at the moment.

"How's... How's Valentina?"

"Oh...Yeah, she's... Okay, I guess. She cornered me after class and screamed. A lot."

I tried to look concerned, though I was dancing the conga on the inside. "Oh. Sorry. Anyways..."

The waiter came up to us. I got a Frappe and Adrian ordered a cappuccino. He likes cappuccinos – okay, so when you plan a romantic cruise in the Bahamas, get lots of them. Cappuccinos.

"Well? How about you? You're from India, right?" He leaned in, his elbows on the table.

"Yeah... We got transferred. I lived in Bangalore. It was awesome..."

"Cool. Man, India's exotic. I'm from Atlanta – pretty boring, right?"

"Nah. It must be nice, I haven't been there, though."

Awkward silence. The waiter brought us our drinks. He was still leaning in.

"Hey, you know, after you smashed your nose in front of everyone – sorry about that, by the way. Why were you all... Yeah. You know?" I smiled at him. "Oh. About that. I'm... not exactly a sociable person. My nose in particular is kind of a sensitive point- I broke it when I was five – it healed up pretty well, but whenever something smashes into it hurts like shit. Yeah, I know, Adrian Cook, blah blah blah, but... yeah. I'm just good on the court, and good with the girls." Good with the girls. Seductive, smart, sexy... Oh, man, he is so cool. "Sorry about that, though." Aww, he was so sweet! He reached across the table and –

Grabbed my hand.

Interlaced his fingers with mine.

Looked up into my eyes and smiled.

If there were a heaven, if there was a cloud nine, if there was a feather of happiness I could float upon forever, I would be there.

He squeezed my hand, and the more he touched it, the more I blushed. And giggled. Weirdly.

Anoush, are you okay? Blushing and giggling isn't exactly what you normally do when a hot guy holds your hand. What about Nikhil? And Lee – okay, chuck Lee, he's a jerk- but did you really like Nikhil? Or do you really like Adrian?

Adrian simply smirked. He leaned in further to whisper to me. We were so close I could see every speck of sea green in his brilliant turquoise eyes. "You know, I'm free this Saturday and there's a party at my place– do you wanna hang out? Come over... Maybe around seven? Cue happiest-teenager-in-the-world music. "Then the inevitable – it had been too good to be true, really – two things happened that would join my List of Most Embarrassing Moments.

Number One: My elbow slipped off the table, knocking my coffee all over the granite surface, all over my lap, and all over his. Number Two: Lee Michaels arrived at Starbucks.

Can I run away and hide now? I was mortified – we were both covered in coffee and ice-cream and Lee Michaels was right next to me, now. I looked up at him. There was an amused smirk on his face, but he had a rather odd gleam in his eyes – was he actually angry?

"Hi, Anoush. You here with Adrian? Well, I might as well tell you right now, he's invited every girl he's ever gone out with over to his at seven on a Saturday- you know, casual sex-"

Yeah, now I was furious. Adrian was staring at me and offering me napkins on one side, and Lee was making snide comments about him on the other. Really? People were even starting to stare now. But didn't weird scenes like this always happen in coffee chops. In Starbucks? Well, it did in the movies, and books and stuff that I'd seen or read. They should be used to this by now.

Sane Anoush: Talk it out. Calm, cool, collected.


"Yeah? Well I intend to have some casual sex then, with Adrian. Or are you just jealous?" Really? Anoush, that's your awesome comeback?

"Of who, you or Ade? Why, Adrian, would you like to join me in bed tonight-" Lee smirked.

I pulled Adrian to his feet and stalked out of the shop. Brilliantly executed exit. I even forgot to pay – so Lee Michaels had to dish out $10.99.

Adrian walked me home. "Sorry..." I muttered. He smiled and put his arm around me. He turned me to face him and put his fingers under my chin to push my face toward his.

"It's okay. Believe me; I probably know Lee's a jerk more than anyone in Campbell – so no sweat. He leaned in, kissed me on the cheek, say goodbye, and left.

Leaving me near my house, soaking in coffee, enormously excited that Adrian Cook had KISSED ME and with a brilliantly hurt ego.

I got home and changed, ignoring irritating questions from my mother about my spoilt clothes and where I was. Just then, my phone rang.


"Anoush –" Lee. Of course. But I wasn't going to buy his 'I'm sorry' shit. I was furious. So, naturally, I swore at him. In Hindi, of course. An amazing way to keep up a dignified rep.


"Uh... Anoush? Look-"

"You. Are such an insensitive jerk. Why do you care whom I go out with and what I do with them? I'm never going to be going out with you anyway, so that ought to kill your 'hopes' or whatever-"

"Anoushka. Listen to me." His voice had changed – dramatically. It sounded like it was made of steel. It hit me like a slap in the face.

"Adrian...Isn't who you think he is."

"Yeah? Yeah, of course, he's the king of England and I'm his queen – we live together. I can't believe he told you, and then you went and invited him to bed-"

"Anoush, I'm dead serious. Just listen to me."

I sighed. "Yeah, whatever, listening.

"Anoush. He's a drug dealer."

I slammed the phone down, not wanting to hear more, constantly swearing at him in hindi in my head. He just wants to get to you, Anoush, just wants to get you to go out with him-

The phone rang again. I didn't pick up.

The next day at school was horrible- Juno was in most of my classes, Lee kept giving me cold stares and I walked into him snogging different girls at least thrice.

Soon, in was lunch, and I sat down next at my usual table – Alicia, Rhiannon, Renee, Ashwood, Lee, and Adrian. It was almost amusing, because none of us were speaking with each other at the moment..

Adrian got up and left soon, muttering something about basketball. I concentrated on my sandwich, trying desperately to admire the whiteness of the bread, involve myself in its taste-

"Anoush. Listen." Alicia. We hadn't talked ever since the drug incident.

I looked up. "Okay, what is it? If it's about Ade and his drugs-"

"He was the one w-who sold them to me. I wasn't in a right state, I was drunk, and he got me into them. He's a drug dealer, Anoush. Please-"

"Then why wasn't he expelled? Why aren't you expelled for that matter?"

Ashwood made to get up – he looked like he was going to pummel me, but Lee pushed him down, and leaned across the table, his eyes like chips of granite.

"He wasn't expelled for two reasons, Anoushka. Firstly, Adrian's father is James Cook – the principal of Campbell High School. And second, I blackmailed him – I told him that if he didn't stop, and if he expelled Alicia for something he did, for something he started, I would tell the police. James Cook was into the deal as well. That's why Alicia, Rhiannon and Renee weren't expelled."

Alicia had tears pouring down her face now. I was in shock.

Adrian Cook. A drug dealer.

Adrian had a game going on- many, actually. Basketball was only one of them. As he dribbled the ball expertly and passed to one of his friends, he thought about Anoushka. She was charming, sweet, very pretty, and cool. The moment he saw her, even in complete pain because of his nose, he admired everything about her – her hazel eyes, her long, beautiful hair...Even better, she was Indian. Getting her to return his feelings was simple – Valentina was the perfect victim, and she arrived at the perfect time – exactly when Adrian knew she would. But if she found out about his past...

Just the word past brought a flurry of images – his mother inhaling white powder, giggling and talking manically; sending her to a rehab center, only to find her hacking it up the moment she got back; finally, Tara Cook lying in the hospital, taking her last breath... Adrian couldn't bear what had happened, trying to save his mother, trying to keep her alive, even if he had to sell the very things that killed her – drugs. But now, now the situation was different. He couldn't live with his smart ass father all his life. As soon as he was eighteen, he would move.

Only two more years...

Alicia was his first victim – she was too easy, it was simply a matter of luring her in while she was vulnerable – when she was drunk. Rhiannon and Renee were even easier. And the other girls –

Adrian smirked. He ran to the three pointer line, urging his friends to pass to him. He caught the ball, raised it-


Well, anyway. The bell rang. Adrian grabbed his bag, quickly checked his watch and started to run. He was already late, having spent a lot of time playing. He ran past people, pushing and elbowing his way through the crowd. But the corridors emptied quickly.

Thank God.

Finally he reached the storage room. The janitor too bought drugs from Adrian. It was as easy as pie. Being extremely handsome worked to his advantage too.


Adrian whipped around. Anoushka. He relaxed.

"Hey. Just searching for my textbook..."

He looked at her, only to meet tear filled, hazel eyes.

In that moment, his life shattered.

"They told you."

Adrian grabbed her arm and began to run, pulling a sobbing Anoushka beside him, out of the school, onto the road.

He did not notice Lee behind him.

"What did they tell you, who told you?"

"Why would you care? You sold them drugs you bastard-"

Adrian felt his vision going blurry.

"You don't understand, Anoush-"

She was shaking with anger now.

"You're right, I don't, because, Ade, no sane person on earth would sell and encourage the use of the very thing that killed his mother. No wonder she died, I know how, they told me-"

Adrian reached out to her, trying to wrap his arms around her. She couldn't possibly be able to understand –

Anoushka reached out and slapped him, straight across the face. Adrian reeled backward, shocked. Did she just...slap him? Adrian turned around and began to run, away from Anoushka. Only when he was far away did he look back, to see her sink to the floor. Sobbing.

He couldn't look at her beautiful hazel eyes anymore – he ran.

Very dramatic ending, right? Oh, and thank you to all of my awesome reviewers! FIFTY REVIEWS! Thank you so much. And if I've forgotten to repay a review or reply (which I haven't done for most of you, I think) I'm really sorry. I've been pretty busy!
Special thanks to mandysoccer for her brilliant editing and being the last reviewer of the year ;D ; sophiesix for brightening up my day;.. for encouraging me so much– and all the others of course, for helping me so much.

I love you guys. Yeah, you're probably bored by now (I sound like I've won an Oscar or something xD)but KEEP READING AND DON'T FORGET TO REVEIW!