Chapter 1

" And today there is promise of sunshine. The wind will be clear of dust and there will be no clouds. So good morning California..." The weatherman went on and groaning Alice reached out a hand and hit the stop button on her radio alarm clock. It showed 7:45.

Late as usual, she thought as she staggered out of bed and went to the washroom.

While showering she put on some opera music. All the caterwauling cleared the fog from her brain. She put on her favorite comfy jeans and her green turtle-neck . Her mom hollered up the stairs, "Alice, are you coming down or what? "

" Coming, mom!" she shouted back as she tied her hair with one hand, struggling with her bag with the other. Grabbing her wallet from the floor she ran downstairs and dashed down a glass of orange juice on her way to the door. She yelled goodbye as she ran outside and skidded to a halt by the bus stop, out of breath. There he was, handsome as ever, dark eyes smiling, his thick black hair ruffled looking as if he'd just woke up. He probably had she thought as she greeted him, " Morning Jason, what did you do to your hair?"

" Morning Alice I'd ask the same of yours? Did your mom literally drag you out of bed by pulling it?" he smirked. " Mine? Puhh-lease ! At least they're a little tame. Yours look like you just fucked a wild woman who couldn't keep her hands out of your hair."

Just as mine are itching to do, she added in her mind. He raised his eyebrows, " Maybe I did. Why , jealous or something ? "

She was still sputtering and blushing as a pretty redhead came running up, her dark blue eyes shining, " Hi Alice. Morning Jason. Guess what? My mom's allowed me to ask you guys over for a sleepover this weekend." " Hey Amber. Tha.." Alice cut in, " Wait, are you telling me today's the awesomest of days ,the one and only Friday?"

"Yeah," said Jason rolling his eyes as the bus stopped in front of them.

"Alice, wake up." Amber whispered insistently shaking her shoulder but she was too late. " Ms. Carlton, would you at least pretend to be awake in my class," said Mrs. Givenchy ,"and where may I ask is your homework?"

By now Alice was wide awake and remembered it was the last period before freedom.

" Sorry, uh here's the assignment." She handed it to the teacher running a hand through her unmanageable mane of long brown hair.

"Please stay awake this time." Mrs. Givenchy returned to the front. "Watch this," said Jason as there came a shriek from the front," Get it away from me, get it away from me."

Wide-eyed, Alice turned to look at Jason, "What did you do?" " Me? Nothing." then seeing her skeptical look he said, "OK, I did accidentally drop a spider on the teacher's table. I mean who wants to be stuck with Chemistry?" As if to accentuate his point the bell rang as Mike, Amber's twin and Jason's best friend, congratulated Jason.

" Dude, you're on a roll today. First you asked Amber out, then you do this." , said Mike as they all walked out of the building. Her stomach sinking to the floor she looked first at Amber then at Jason to confirm what she had heard. Taking in Amber's red face, she mentally banged her head against a wall as she smiled at her, " Well, finally Jason's found someone worth him and you too." As she said this Amber sighed with relief at her acceptance, " So you approve?"

" You were waiting to see if she approved?" asked Jason. " Yeah," replied Amber. "Of course I approve," Alice said. As her heart broke inside her at their happiness with each other she laughed," Seriously what is there to not approve? I'm so happy for you two." Amber hugged her, " Thanks, I knew you would be." As she returned the hug, she thought miserably, of course. There's just one tiny problem. The fact is I love your boyfriend and have done so since I was eight. What is there to not be happy for?!