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Drive Me Insane

Guest Jen

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Type of story: Long fiction

Rating: T

Main Characters: Belle & Drew

Genre: Romance

Warnings: SC, L

Is Story being proof read: No

Spoilers?: No

Summary: He drives her crazy. She constantly ignores him. So what happens when they are both landed in detention? A bet is made – and that is where all the trouble starts.

Drive Me Insane

Chapter 1 – In the Firing Line

I know he’s watching me. He always does. Why doesn’t he go and stalk someone else for a change? And because I’m ignoring him, he’ll continue to watch. If I turn around and tell him to get a life, it means I admit that this arrogant, egotistical, immature bully actually has some influence on my life – which he doesn’t. If I continue to pretend as though he doesn’t exist, he will continue to stare, with his black, overgrown locks dangling in front of his eyes, as though he has just been cruising in an expensive sports car, no doubt his mum owns.


I continued to watch Miss Fletcher scribble notes on the board. I stared as her hand moved and words flowed across in front of my eyes, but I had long ago stopped reading them.


Rolling my eyes, I attempted to copy down the notes. Why did he have to choose me, of all people, to be his sole target? I glanced over to my right where Cassie sat. She too had given up copying down the notes and had begun to graffiti the top corner of her page. She looked up and gave me a quick smile before returning to her artwork.

I glanced down at my page again, attempting to recommence my work when I felt a dull thud on the back of my head. I looked down, and sitting on the floor by the right leg of my chair was a scrunched up piece of paper. I raised my hand and rubbed the spot where it had hit, before bending over and picking it up off the floor. My fist contained the ball easily and I looked up to see that Miss Fletcher was absent-mindedly still droning on about the day’s lesson. Slowly and as quietly as was possible, I began to unscrunch the paper. I glanced down to see that it was in fact, still blank. Turning it over, I examined the back, just to make sure. Nope, definitely still blank. I shook my head to myself and placed the empty note on the top corner of my desk.

Moments later there was another dull thud in approximately the same spot as before followed by another “Psst!”. Wouldn’t he just give up already? Groaning inwardly I reluctantly bent over again and scooped up the paper snowball into my hand. Despite the logical part of my brain telling me the paper would be blank I still unfolded the ball. I had assumed correctly. The piece of paper that had been used as ammunition against my head didn’t have a mark on it.

I sighed and placed the second unravelled sphere next to the other one, perched accurately on the edge of my desk. I looked over at Cassie again, but this time she didn’t look up. She was too engrossed in her own doodling on her page. She had moved on from the corner and was now making large swirls in the left hand margin. Very little work was being done all round. I stared at my own page. Across the top I had managed to write ‘The importance of the soliloquy in Shakespeare’ but hadn’t got any further.

I blinked twice and tried to refocus. I picked up my pen and prepared to copy down the notes on the board when there was a soft tapping on my left shoulder. I stopped. Could he be any more immature? My own stubbornness kicked in. He wants me to turn around. Well, I’m not going to give him the satisfaction. What will facing him achieve? I have nothing to prove. As far as I’m concerned he doesn’t exist, so therefore this shouldn’t annoy me, because he isn’t really there. I exist in a superior and alternative universe to Mr Jerk sitting behind me, using that innocent piece of stationary to purposefully **** me off. Why doesn’t he just get his own life and stop trying to stick his ruler into mine!

I spun around in my chair so fast that the classroom around me became a momentary blur. It came to an abrupt halt with his gorgeous brown eyes peering through his matt of black hair staring straight at me. Drew Curtis didn’t seem at all flustered to have my face suddenly glaring at him square on. His mouth was twisted into a smirk but he did not move. I realised that we were so close that I was almost touching his noise. He had to be leaning forward, surely no one had that much of a presence.

“Cut that out” I hissed.

“Cut what out?” he blinked innocently back.

“That annoying tapping,” I replied. “Just because you can get by in life having your rich mother pay for your education and no doubt for anything you want, does not mean you have any right to disturb everyone else!”

“Everything all right back there?”

It suddenly occurred to me that the rest of class had gone silent and I was shouting. I quickly snapped back around to face the front. Miss Fletcher had stopped writing and was now standing, weight over one foot, chalk poised.

“Yes, Miss,” I replied in unison with him.

“Belle, was just asking for a piece of paper,” Drew continued.

Miss Fletcher raised her eyebrows and glanced at the corner of my desk where the two half-scrunched balls sat. I knew it must look odd. I opened her mouth to retaliate, but Miss Fletcher spoke.

“Well, since you both seem so enthralled in your own discussion, you can continue it after school, in detention.”

“What?” I spluttered, “But I didn’t - ”

Miss Fletcher cut me off,

“This is not up for discussion Belle. Come to my office at 4pm today,” and she turned around to the board once more.

I slumped in my chair and slid down so low that my chin was almost at my chest. I wished with all my might that the floor would open up and swallow me whole.

* * * * *

A/N: So, that’s the first chapter over. Love it? Hate it? Have no idea what’s happening? Tell me!

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Chapter 2 – No Sympathy

“It won’t be that bad,” Cassie replied.

“Not that bad?” I argued, “I have to spend an entire afternoon with one Mr Curtis parading around in front of me like he thinks he’s the hottest creature that even landed on earth!”

“Dramatic much,” Cassie said, rolling her eyes.

I slammed my locker shut, with a satisfyingly loud crash, imaging that Drew’s fingers had been caught in the middle. The thought of him squealing like a girl in pain was quite therapeutic. Following my outburst in class, the entire year 12 English class had stared at me like I was off my rocker; for it wasn’t customary for students to start yelling in the middle of class due to a couple of paper balls flying amiss around the room. Except, they weren’t just innocently bypassing looking at the scenery, those balls had a mission and they succeeded.

I walked with Cassie along the hallway, the constant muttering of the rest of the student body filled the corridors with noise.

“I guess that means you won’t be coming over tonight then,” Cassie said as we slid past a couple of year 8’s.

“Sorry,” I replied, “Look’s like I’m being forcibly detained this afternoon.”

There was a loud expelling of laughter and I groaned. That loud chortle could only belong to one person, and that particular sub-human being made my blood boil.


Who did she think she was? Pretending that she was so much better than me. Well, one afternoon detention with me should sort her out. She’ll be crumbly in no time. Serves her right for not turning around. If she had turned around the first time I asked, then none of this would have happened. So actually it’s her fault I’m in detention this afternoon, not mine. Actually I’m pretty sure I got detention in maths this morning anyway. Either way, it’s still more fun when there’s company. And she’s going to hate that, which makes it even better.

I was standing by my locker, with Lucas leaning beside me. I just had burst out laughing when I saw Taylor walking past, arm in arm with Cassie Turner.

“Nice job in landing detention, man” Lucas said, nodding appropriately in the girl’s direction, as they walked past.

“What’s new, eh?” I replied, my eyes focusing on the tuft of straight, brown hair forcibly held back in a ponytail parading in front of me, “I’ve got a feeling this afternoon is going to be very interesting indeed.”

My eyes wandered across to Cassie who was being pulled along behind her friend. She looked up from her main carriage in front just long enough to lock eyes with me. I winked back and she smiled, before burying her head again as she was yanked out of the corridor and in another direction. My eyes lingered for a moment longer where she had disappeared at the end of the hall. Cassie was cute sure, but she wasn’t really a challenge. None of the girls at Summer Bay High were.

Except Belle Taylor.

“Come on man, as if she’s actually going to fall for that?” Lucas said, as if he had just read my mind. The ricochet-flirt; a classic Curtis move.

“What?” I retaliated, “You don’t reckon I could land a chick like Belle Taylor?”

“No, I just don’t reckon you could land Belle Taylor,” Lucas replied with a smirk even I was impressed with. The thing that worried me about Lucas was that he was smart. Really smart. If that nerdy mind of his were put to use in scheming of some sort, then he would be indestructible.

“Wanna bet?” I replied, my mind working over time. Who’s to say a girl like Taylor wouldn’t want a guy like me? I can get any chick I want. All the more fun if there’s a challenge involved.

“Ok,” Luc replied, “You get Belle Taylor to go out with you, and I’ll do your homework for the next week.”

I scoffed, “Dude, you’ve gotta do better than that. Two hundred bucks says I can get Taylor to go to the school formal with me.”

I held out my hand in front of Lucas. He locked eyes with mine. It was like staring down the barrel of a gun; he was forcing me not to blink.

“You’re on,” Lucas replied, before holding out his own hand.

Moments before our hands met to seal the deal, I added quickly, “As my girlfriend.”

* * * * *

A/N: Duh dum! The plot thickens, slightly. I wasn't planning to update yet, but the first few chapters are relatively short. They do get longer, I promise.

Thank you for the reviews so far; Laurzy, Lily-G and Zoe

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Chapter 3 - King of the Castle

Standing in Miss Fletcher's office I found myself staring at my feet. It seemed to always work better when you avoided eye contact. Whenever I was in trouble, which wasn't a regular occurrence I would like to point out, you could always manage to get out with minimal humiliation and punishment if you avoided eye contact and agreed with whatever the person said. Tell them you had learned your lesson and they were normally happy to let you go. That was my plan anyway.

My shoes were completely scuffed, and I had only just found a matching pair of socks as I was getting ready this morning. I glanced across without looking up, to his shoes beside me. They were spotless. Black and shiny, with the laces tied into two perfect bows. I looked back at my own laces; one was only just holding together in a loose bow, while the other was flowing to floor completely untied.

How dare he stand there, tall and straight like he hasn't done anything wrong. It's all his fault I'm here in the first place. I had plans tonight, and instead I'm here, having to watch him stand beside me as though he's not in the least bit bothered to be giving up his afternoon. Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if he has never experienced a free afternoon all semester.

I never understood how someone who got into trouble so much, could still act like a hero. It was like an afternoon detention was a badge of honour, and if you were bad enough to get a whole Saturday you were practically the king.

The door slammed as Miss Fletcher entered her office. I saw her red heels dart past my eyes as she rounded her desk and sat in her large office chair. Still looking at the ground, she began to speak, her tone tired and unimpressed.

"I don't know what the problem is with you two," she began, "but you can sort it out at lunchtime, not during my class."

I nodded, with as much sincerity as I could muster. I couldn't even tell if Drew was sorry. I certainly wasn't going to admit that any of this was my fault.

Miss Fletcher sounded defeated; her statement was almost begging us not to give her a reason to punish us. I took this as a positive sign, so I turned and began to make my way back towards the door.


At the sound of my name I stopped and turned around. Forgetting I was supposed to be avoiding eye contact I looked over my shoulder to see that Miss Fletcher was now on her feet and staring at me, seemingly unimpressed with my attempt at slipping away unnoticed. I glanced over and saw Drew sniggering silently to himself, his shoulders curling slightly as he tried to contain his amusement. She cleared her throat and darted her eyes from me to the spot where I was previously standing.

I reluctantly moved back to my original position, next to one thoroughly amused Curtis. He was no longer internally laughing at my humiliation, but still had his notorious famous smirk plastered across his face. Miss Fletcher was still staring at me, her eyebrows slightly raised as if she was waiting for some sort of reply.

"Sorry, Miss" I said, to fill the silence that contained the office.

"Well, you either need to sort out your differences, or learn to put up with each other."

I glanced across at Drew again, who casually ran his right hand through his matt of curly hair revealing his deep brown eyes that had landed me in this trouble in the first place. Typical, now he chooses to ignore me. Why couldn't he ignore me in class, or while I'm getting my books from my locker? Instead he chooses to pelt paper balls at me, so I end up next to him in the principal's office. I really should develop my self-restraint. Maybe meditation could help with that?

Miss Fletcher sighed,

"Since you feel that it is appropriate to litter my classroom, you will spend the afternoon cleaning it up."

"But Miss," I tried to reason with her, but she cut me off.

"No arguments, Belle. I want that room spotless by the time I come back to check on you," she said as she came out from behind her desk and proceeded to open the office door. This time it was appropriate for me to take my leave. I slowly walked away, my feet dragging as I headed towards my doom. I didn't even bother to check that Drew had followed.

* * * * *

A/N: Thanks for the reviews Lily-G, Julie and Laurzy!

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Chapter 4 – Relationships and Underpants

The door clicked shut behind us as Miss Fletcher left the room. It was now just the two of us – completely alone. It was – strange. Now that I thought about it, I don’t think I had ever spent this much time alone with Master Curtis. Lucas, some other guy mate, always surrounded him or he had some ditzy blonde draped all over him. To make sure our “quality time” together didn’t become a regular occurrence I set to work straight away.

“If you take that side of the room and I take this one, then we’ll get this done twice as fast,” I said abruptly, grabbing one of the buckets and proceeding to the far side of the room.

“Yes, ma’am,” replied Drew and mockingly saluted in my direction.

I sighed heavily, turning my back on him and pulled a sopping wet sponge from the bucket. I squeezed it out, letting the foam overflow in my hands before I slopped it down on the desk in front of me. I scrubbed furiously as I saw the multitude of blue pen and pencil drawings disappear. A penguin, some unidentifiable scribble, “Mr Bartlett is boring!”, and a perfectly drawn love heart all slowly melted away. As I watched my sponge hover above the heart, something caught my eye. In the middle of the drawing were the letters C.T. 4 L.H..

I stopped, letting the bubbles and water dribble down the side of my hand.

Who did Cassie have a crush on? She certainly never told me that she liked anyone and she tells me everything. Whoever this “L.H.” was I wonder if he knew that my best friend was crushing on him – probably completely smitten by his dashing good looks, outstanding wit, fabulous sense of humour and superior intellect. What sort of girl wouldn’t want a guy who could be all of that? Who was I kidding, there were no guys at Summer Bay High like that.

I glanced over my shoulder to see that Drew had taken up occupancy on a chair and had propped his feet up on the desk in front.

Typical. We both get detention and I’m the one who ends up doing all the work. I don’t know how Lucas puts up with him – Wait! Lucas, as in Lucas Holden, initials L.H. Oh my gosh! Cassie has a crush on Lucas Holden! How could she possibly like him? Sure, he’s smart, but his best mates with Curtis – and let’s face it, that’s nothing to be proud of. More importantly, why didn’t she tell me?

I could feel my disappointment growing. I let the sponge drop heavily and heard it squelch as it hit the desk, drowning Cassie’s declaration.

There was a snigger behind me. I turned around to see Drew, still feet up on the desk, smiling to himself as he read a no doubt “highly amusing” text message on his mobile phone.

“Aren’t you going to do something?” I spluttered at him.

“I am,” he replied simply, a stupid grin on his face.

“I meant pick up a bucket and do your side, because I am not going to be stuck here with you any longer than is necessary!” I vented.

“Gee, no wonder you don’t have a boyfriend,” he replied, shaking his head and stowing his phone away in his pocket.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“All this agro. It’s not healthy, you know.”

“Well, thank you Dr Phil,” I replied sarcastically.

“I’m only trying to help,” he said.

“I don’t need your help,” My frustration seeping into my tone, “And besides, how do you know I don’t have a boyfriend?”

Drew scoffed at my poor retaliation.

“I’ve seen you and Turner with your little “girls club”. No guys come within ten feet of you.”

Drew was now closing the gap between us ever so slowing as he casually wandered across the room, pretending to inspect each desk thoroughly while still holding the conversation with me. It was unbelievable how calm he seemed about the whole scenario; meanwhile I had backed myself into a corner and was praying that Miss Fletcher would come back and rescue me.

“Like I care what you think of me anyways,” I wasn’t sure whether I said this for Drew’s benefit or my own.

“Oh, I think you do,” Drew said more quietly than before.

“As if!” It was my turn to scoff. I moved away from the desk, this time closing the space between us of my own accord. I certainly wasn’t going to stand here and be given relationship advice by the same guy who goes through girls at the same rate as he changes his underwear. I hope that is regularly. And why am I imagining Drew Curtis in his underwear? Eww!

“Let’s face it,” Drew said. I hadn’t realised how close Drew had got. He was standing across from me, only one desk separating us. He continued,

“The only reason you yelled at me in class today is because you wanted me to notice you. Now it’s just you and me.”

“You are so full of it,” I replied glaring at him, “You were the one who was throwing things at me during class!”

“If you had turned around when I wanted you to, then neither of us would be here right now.”

“Could you be any more obnoxious? This isn’t my fault. I don’t need to listen to this,” I said and walked around the desk, straight past him and headed towards the door. “I’m out of here.”

Just as I was about to put my hand on the doorknob, it opened for me and Miss Fletcher was again before me with an unimpressed expression on her face.

“Are you finished?” she asked, still standing in the doorway.

I looked over my shoulder; Drew was casually leaning back on a desk, his arms folded across his chest. His bucket sat, still completely full, at the front of the room. I turned back to Miss Fletcher wondering whether it was worth trying to explain what had happened.

“Since you are so determined to keep spending time together you can come back and finish this tomorrow. And we will keep going until you two decide that it is time to put all this petty nonsense behind you.”

Petty? I wasn’t the one who hadn’t done anything all afternoon.

Curtis continued to stand there, completely unfazed by the situation while I was forced to nod before sidling past and running down the hall.

* * * * *

A/N: Thankies for the nice comments Lily-G, Laurzy, Lise and Zoe. Hope you like the chapter.

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Chapter 5 – Take Two

“You are though, aren’t you?”

“I was not being petty!” I exclaimed.

I had told Cassie what had happened during detention the previous afternoon. She had decided to side with Miss Fletcher regarding my attitude towards The Curtis Boy.

We were walking to school, letting the fresh sea air fill our lungs before we were forced into being cooped up inside for the remainder of the day. For me, it was longer till I would have a chance to be free again. Another afternoon with Curtis awaited me at the end of the day.

“You could always try being nice to him,” Cassie suggested smiling as she readjusted her bag over her shoulder.

“Ha!” I replied, “You have got to be joking.”

“No,” she replied sincerely, “I mean it.”

The day I am openly pleasant with Drew Curtis is the day I should be locked up.

“What’s he done anyway?” she asked.

“Where do I start? He’s rude, totally self-centred, thinks he practically owns the school and all the girls in it. He thinks “just looking cool” is a productive way to spend his time. Not to mention the way he runs his hand through his hair!” I declared.

“Ok, I get the picture,” Cassie cut me off, although I still had plenty more ammunition where that came from. I had been putting up with Drew with no less than 4 years, so I was well informed on all his annoyances.

We walked along for a few minutes in silence, letting the dust settle on the Drew subject. It was like an automatic reflex. You dare to speak his name and you needed to be prepared to listen to my rant about all the reasons why I couldn’t stand him.

Miss Fletcher interrupting one such incident yesterday had momentarily distracted me from the one topic that I was eager to discuss with Cass. However, it wasn’t forgotten, just pushed aside as I looked for the right moment to bring it up.

“So,” I said.

Cassie pulled her eyes away from the rolling ocean to stare at me blankly as she waited for me to continue.

“What?” she asked.

“Well, we all know how much I love Drew Curtis,” Cassie giggled and I rolled my eyes, “But what about you?”

“What about me?”

“Do you like anyone?”

There. I had asked it. All she had to do was admit that she had the hots for Holden and we could giggle merrily and get on with it.

“Me? No.” she replied plainly and continued walking, as if I hadn’t brought up the most important guy in her life at the moment.

I stopped dead in my tracks.


Cassie stopped and turned back as I remained rooted to the spot.

“So, no one?” I asked again, raising my voice as a torrent of wind blustered past.

“That’s what I said,” she replied, “Now come on.”

“I know there’s not many guys in Summer Bay that are worthy of your affections, but seriously there isn’t anyone you have your eye on? Even as a distant, distant possibility.”

Cassie shook her head as I jogged up to reach her side once again.

“It’s just,” Oh no, I had to keep going. I couldn’t just keep my mouth shut and let her wait until she was ready to tell me. I had to go and push things.

“Just what?’ Cassie asked, eyeing me suspiciously.

“Well,” I began, linking my arm in hers, “I just found something very interesting during detention yesterday.”

Cass raised her eyebrows, as she waited for me to continue.

“I was cleaning this one desk and I saw someone had drawn a love heart,” I paused, unsure if I should continue. There must have been a good reason for Cassie not telling me about Lucas. So maybe I shouldn’t push it. But I had already come this far, I couldn’t really back out now.

“And-it-had-your-name-4-Lucas-and-I-thought-you-would-have-told-me-if-you-liked-him-and-not-leave-me-to-find-out-like-this,” I said extremely quickly. Cassie stared back at me blankly.

“Belle,” she began. Here it goes. She’s going to tell me to keep my nose out of her business. Then she’ll storm off and our friendship will be over. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but she obviously doesn’t trust me as a friend if she wasn’t going to tell me at all.

A smile began to creep over Cassie’s face. She must have seen my look of panic and giggled slightly, while shaking her head.

“What desk were you cleaning?” she asked.

“Why does that matter?” I replied sharply.

“Well, where do I sit in English?”

“Towards the middle, with me.”

“And where were you cleaning?”

“At the –“ It all slowly started to make sense, “At the back,” I finished.

“I wrote that like, two years ago,” she said smiling brightly. “I was so young and naïve back then.”

“But why didn’t you tell me?” I exclaimed.

“Because, we weren’t really friends back then.”

I thought about this. Cassie was right. It was only really in the past year that we had begun to become closer. I guess you could really say that this year was the year we had become best friends. It was quite scary to think about a time when I hadn’t been friends with Cassie. But, things change, and people change. And now she was laughing at me!

“It’s not funny!” I replied as I shoved her playfully.

“Hey! Did you actually think that I would be crushing on a guy and not tell you?”

I smiled back and shook my head.

We had almost reached the school gates. Many figures streamed past us as they flowed into the institution.

“But seriously,” I said, “Lucas?”

“What?” Cassie laughed.

“What was it about him?” Cassie opened her mouth, “Wait, let me guess! You liked the way he got 96% on a maths test. No wait, it was his project on volcanoes that got you. Or better yet, the way he smiled at you when he handed back the pencil you had dropped.”

“Stop!” Cassie exclaimed amongst a fit of giggles.

“So you don’t think he’s cute, not even a little bit?” I probed, as Cassie ferociously shook her head in reply.

“I knew you couldn’t stop thinking about me,” A deep voice echoed from behind, and I immediately shifted my pose so I was weighted on one foot and turned around to face the direction of the noise.

* * * * *

A/N: I really liked this chapter, and found it relatively easy to write. I think the parts from Belle’s P.O.V. turn out slightly better than Drew’s, because hey, I’m not a guy! But still, I think the fic needs both sides of the story.

And thank you Julie and Laurzy.

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Chapter 6 – Best Laid Plans

I saw Cassie and Taylor talking and giggling rapidly as I entered the gates.

I headed directly for them, not wanting to waste any time in trying to make a move on Taylor.

“So you don’t think he’s cute, not even a little bit?” I heard Taylor say to Cassie as I approached.

“I knew you couldn’t stop thinking about me,” I said smiling brightly as Taylor rapidly turned around to face me. The smile wiped from her face, and the agro of yesterday returning.

“You wish,” she replied.

I laughed as I strolled past in my usually cool way.

“See you this arvo,” I said happily, grinning as broadly as I could.

I heard Belle groan as I continued into the hallways. I spied Lucas standing to one side, loading up books for the day’s classes.

“Hey man,” I said as I reached him.

“Hey,” he replied without looking away from peering into his locker.

“You alright?” I asked, noticing Lucas’ distant expression.

“Yeah,” he replied finally looking over at me and nodding. “So how was detention?”

“Eventful,” I said thoughtfully.

“Care to elaborate?” he asked, closing his locker and looking quizzically in my direction.

“Well, let’s just say that Taylor and I will be getting even closer this afternoon,” I smirked.

“So, basically you are in even more trouble and she still doesn’t want to have anything to do with you?” he asked, smiling.

“Whatever you reckon, Luc. It’s all part of the plan.”

“Oh, so now there’s a plan?” he said as we wandered away from his locker and down the hallway.

“There’s always been a plan,” I replied casually as I nodded in the direction of a group of girls, sending them into a fit of giggles and hushed laughter. Okay, so maybe there wasn’t a “plan” as such, but any sort of progress is good, right? The fact was that I didn’t have two hundred dollars, and if I did lose, then Lucas would never let me forget it. And that is something that is I didn’t want to pay for.

Lucas and I made our way away from the girls, and the staring eyes of the rest of the student body.

“Do you wanna go to the Surf Club after school?” Lucas asked.

“Can’t,” I replied, “Got another detention.”

“Again? You’d better be careful, anyone would think that you’re actually enjoying spending all this time with Belle.”

“As if,” I scoffed, “This is all part of the bet. There is nothing else to it. I just don’t want to give you ammunition to pay out on me for the rest of my life.”

As we came to the end of the corridor and had to go our separate ways I glanced over my shoulder. At the end of a long line of heads and bodies was one in particular that stood out. She was still in deep conversation with Turner and appeared totally disconnected from everyone else around her. Her mouth was moving rapidly as I tried to read her lips and the words that were coming out. It was impossible, amid the noise and distraction to decipher any of the conversation. Reluctantly, I tore my eyes away from her, waved goodbye to Luc and turned into the nearest classroom. For some reason I felt slightly uneasy as I sidled into my usual seat at the back of the room, and was left alone with my own thoughts as Mr Bartlett entered the room.


Cassie and I picked out a table in the Diner close to the window and sat opposite each other. I had never seen the Diner so busy for ages, but still it was obviously good for business, although I think I preferred it a little less frantic. Irene squeezed past the array of chairs on the floor and made her way over to our table, waving vigorously as she reached us.

“Sorry darl, it’s slightly hectic here today,” she said.

“No worries, Irene,” I replied as she turned and delivered a steaming hot cup of coffee to a nearby table.

“What can I get for you?” she asked, pulling out her notebook from the front pocket of her apron.

“I’ll just have a salad sandwich and an OJ thanks,” I said, without needing to glance at the menu. You knew you were a member of the Summer Bay community when you knew the Diner menu off by heart.

“Me too,” Cassie added.

“Won’t be long,” Irene said as she jotted down our orders and fought her way back through the crowd and into the kitchen.

I looked back at Cassie. It seemed that our conversation this morning was completely forgotten. She didn’t seem upset that I had previously accused her of lying to me, for which I was grateful. I was however wrong on one account, she had not forgotten our little chat completely. That became apparent when she spoke next,

“So, you and Drew –“ she began.

“You stop right there Cassie Turner,” I said abruptly, cutting her off before she could even get started.

“But Belle,” she said seriously, “Maybe if you could just give him a chance.”

“No way,” I replied defiantly, folding my arms across my chest and slumping back into my chair, like a child about to begin a tantrum in the middle of the shopping centre. It wasn’t my most mature move, but still it got the point across.

Cassie gave me a ‘stop-being-so-immature’ look across the table. She stared at me as I glared back. I certainly wasn’t going to be broken down, especially by someone who had just suggested that I cross the path less travelled and make amends with a guy who I despised for most of my high school existence. It was like you suggested to Harry Potter to give Voldemort “a chance” because he might be less evil if he got to know him. I tried to convey this to Cassie by pouting slightly and refusing to speak. Besides, why should I have to make the first move? If Wonder-Curtis wanted to try to form any sort of civility between us, he would have to be the one to put aside his excessively large head and make the first move.

“Okay, fine,” she said reluctantly, throwing her hands up in defeat.

I smiled back, suddenly regaining my perky nature.

Irene came over to our table again, this time armed with two plates of food and our drinks. She placed one of each in front of us, gave us a tired smile before disappearing again.

“I knew you’d see reason,” I replied, folding my hands diplomatically on the table. I lifted up my drink and took a large sip. Again, reasoning and logic had prevailed and all was right with the world. At least I thought so, until Cass opened her mouth again.

“You just couldn’t do it,” she said cynically.

“WHAT?!” I exclaimed, extremely loudly, still with a mouthful of juice. The abruptness of my response was so sudden that juice sprayed out of my mouth and all over the table. I quickly put down my glass to avoid any more accidents, but my mouth remained hanging open as Cassie sat back comfortably in her chair, increasing the distance between us. I was forced to lean forward to avoid all the strange looks fellow Diner patrons were giving me, and slowly mop up my mess. Having so much unwanted attention seemed to be becoming a regular occurrence. First, Miss Fletcher’s class which landed me detention, and now I was using a mountain of napkins to wipe up an ocean of orange juice that had spread all over the table. Life was cruel sometimes.

I refuse to talk to her while everyone is still staring. How dare she suggest that I wouldn’t be able to be civil towards the Curtis creature? It’s not that I couldn’t do it, I am perfectly capable of acting polite when necessary. I just shouldn’t have to suck up to him. I would rather shoot milk out my nose in public. Wait, that pretty much has already happened. Still, Drew Curtis wouldn’t know what niceness was, even if it came up and punched him in the nose.

The crowd was now dissipating as the lunchtime rush slowly came to an end. People were no longer staring – much.

“Now, listen here Cassie Turner,” I said in a hushed voice, “I am perfectly capable of being nice to him.”

“Oh yeah?” Was she mocking me?

“Yes,” I replied, “I just shouldn’t have to try to befriend someone who only communicates on the level of chimpanzee.”

Cassie had a pleased smirk on her face. She was certainly getting a level of enjoyment out of tormenting me like this.

“Prove it,” she said simply.

“I’m sorry?” I hope she isn’t suggesting what I think she’s suggesting.

“Be nice to Drew,” she said simply. My mouth gaped for the second time. “Obviously, if you’re not up to it I completely understand –“

“Hey, I can do it,” I said, the determination seeping into my voice. “In fact, let’s make things official.”

“Official, how?” she asked, leaning into the table as though she was about to close an important deal.

“If I can be civilised to,” I grimaced for effect, “Drew Curtis, then I get to tell Lucas that you had a crush on him.” Cassie sat back, alarmed. I smiled to myself. That will teach you for messing with me.

I could see her thinking about my offer. It was like she was playing internal ping-pong; the pros and cons being battered to and fro inside her head. Finally, she spoke,

“Ok. But, if you lose, then you have to kiss him.”

“Fine.” I said, sitting back in my chair and folding my arms across my chest, hoping that my face wasn’t showing my internal struggle to kick myself.

What had I done?

* * * * *

A/N: I had to get a Harry Potter reference in there somewhere. And thank you Lise and Laura for the reviews.

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Chapter 7 – Where There’s Smoke

I saw him before he knew I had arrived. He was standing outside the closed door, aimlessly running the toe of his shoe across the vinyl floor. His hair characteristically drooped down over his eyes, his shoulders slouched as he seemed to mark time. I felt a sharp nudge in my rib and I hissed,

“I know.”

The halls were empty, as all the sensible students had gone home. I hushed my voice so that he wouldn’t hear me. Cassie had kindly escorted me to my doom, but I think she was making sure that I didn’t completely bail out and do a runner.

“If you want to back out –“ Cassie began quietly in my ear.

“No,” I replied defiantly and took two steps forward towards him.

I looked back over my shoulder to see Cassie give me a grin before disappearing from sight. I was at last left alone, just me and him. Again.

I slowly walked up behind him my shoes making a soft tapping on the floor, but the empty hallways magnified the sound so that I’m sure it sounded like an elephant stampede. He turned around.


I had arrived early, which was a first for me. My style was to always arrive casually late, but on this occasion I had decided to ditch tradition in order to have first dibs on Taylor. This whole situation hinged on the fact that I needed her not to hate me – or at least, hate me a little bit less. Since the direct approach last time seemed to get me nowhere, I had now been forced to opt into “gentleman” mode – which so wasn’t my style.

I was waiting outside the door looking like a complete moron, because Lucas had ditched me earlier to help his dad at the gym. So I was standing there awkwardly waiting for Taylor to turn up. In order to keep my mind wandering off into wonderful dream world of fast cars and lovely ladies I attempted to practice how I was going to try to mend the giant crevice between Taylor’s and my own world. The truth was, she existed on a completely different side of the schoolyard. She saw me as some kind of “jock”, who was only interested in sports and girls, and I guess I wasn’t exactly objecting to this title. She, on the other hand, was a cool outsider who hung out with her posse underneath the solitary tree on the opposite side of the grounds so that she shunned me completely. Until, that is, I managed to fire her up. When she got mad, all hell broke loose. Take the situation that got us here in the first place as an example. She was sitting there all “cool”, and my ruler just happened to be lying on my desk practically begging to be picked up. It was a recipe for disaster, so much so that she practically screamed her lungs out at me in the middle of class. It was actually quite satisfying. I was like a match, and she was a field of unmown grass on a warm day. All it would take was a single spark.

So, Taylor. How are you?

Are you kidding me? She’ll eat me alive. Ok, so what’s the alternative – Hey Taylor, do you come here often? Not likely. It was like taunting a bull with a red handkerchief. Not a smart move. I couldn’t just openly start being polite, that would immediately make her suspicious, not to mention would be so bad for my reputation. But how was a supposed to make her like me, when she had already pigeonholed me as an arrogant prick.

She would walk up behind me and I would have to come up with some witty one liner that would win her over, without letting down my guard. This whole scenario was purely professional after all. It was all about the bet. Feelings had nothing to do with it. It didn’t matter what I thought of her – the fact that she was totally obnoxious and it gave me great pleasure to taunt her, especially in a public forum – couldn’t come into it.

I heard the slow tapping of footsteps approaching from behind me. I turned around, trying to quickly clear my mind of all ideas to somehow ridicule or provoke her for simply being there. The first thing that entered my mind and came out of my mouth was,

“Hi, Belle.”

“Hello,” she replied, eyeing me up and down suspiciously.

She stood in front of me, but glanced awkwardly over her shoulder. I looked up too, but the hallways were empty.

“I guess we have to wait for Miss Fletcher,” I said to fill the silence.

“Why?” she asked, shooting me a look that questioned my motives.

“The door’s locked,” I shrugged towards the door.

“Did you try it?” she asked.

She took a couple of steps forwards so we were now side by side in front of it. She leant forward and clasped her hand around the doorknob.

“Of course,” I replied.

She rattled the door handle, twisting it as she tried to open the door.

“See,” I smirked.

“Well, you could have made a mistake.”

“I know how to work a door handle.” I replied.

“Oh, really? Congratulations. I thought you were still working on how to work a light switch,” Taylor replied, feigning surprise.

“Hey! That’s not very nice,” I replied and I saw her face change. Although I was smiling, acknowledging the joke, Taylor’s face morphed from sarcastic to solemn in the space of seconds. She quickly shifted her line of sight from me, back to the door handle.

I watched her study it closely. What I wouldn’t give to be able to read her mind right now. Her eyes were darting around, unable to settle; her face expressionless, as though she was suddenly thinking about how the world was going to end.

There was another set of footsteps, this time rapid. We both looked around and saw Miss Fletcher hurrying towards us carrying a large pile of manila folders with papers protruding from them in all directions.

“Sorry I’m late,” she said breathlessly, “Well, don’t just stand there.”

I opened my mouth to ask how we were supposed to go in if the door was locked, but then there was a fierce metallic rattle and I saw a set of keys jangling from the end of Miss Fletcher’s finger. She eyed me directly, and I grabbed the keys from her and shoved the largest of them into the lock. I twisted the handle and the door swung open easily.

Taylor and I were still standing side by side in the doorframe. Without thinking I stood back and said,

“After you.”

And to my surprise she replied,

“Thanks,” and walked casually into the room.

* * * * *

A/N: Thank you for the comments Lise and Laura :)

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Chapter 8 – Elbow Grease

You could have knocked him over with a feather. The look on Drew’s face when I didn’t retaliate, not even a snide comment on the side, as I walked into the now unlocked classroom – Priceless! I had to try and contain my broad grin from creeping onto my face and giving the whole game away. Maybe being nice to Curtis wasn’t so difficult after all. Well, I almost slipped up with the doorhandle comment, but still he totally didn’t see that coming.

I looked casually over my shoulder to see Curtis still standing in the doorway, his mouth gaping slightly. I raised my eyebrows at him, as he locked eyes with me, a definite ‘What just happened?’ expression plastered over his face.

“Drew!” Miss Fletcher snapped. Drew blinked and realised that he was still standing in her way. He quickly entered the room, shuffling his feet to get out of her way. I propped myself next to a desk as Miss Fletcher addressed both of us.

“Now, same deal as before. I want this classroom spotless, top and bottom by the time I return. Got it?”

I nodded and so did Drew. She then turned quickly, her pile of papers almost tumbling out of her grip as she scuttled off down the hallway.

This time it was Drew’s turn to grab a bucket and sponge first.

“Decided to actually work this time?” I asked. No Belle, be nice.

“Well, I don’t really want to be here anymore than you do,” he replied, before adding, “In detention, I mean.” He quickly turned away from me, staring intently at his bucket on the floor. Boy, he really was rattled.

I had never seen Drew like this before. He was, sort of, different. Whether it was just my wonderful manners that had affected him so or something else, I couldn’t tell. He was now rapidly sponging down the first desk in the row, before dragging his bucket along the floor to the second one. I decided to follow suit but started on the opposite side of the room.

We had our backs to each other but I could hear his sponge swishing about and the occasional grunt as a stubborn stain required some extra elbow grease. Come on Belle, say something. He’s not going to bite. Much. Although, the deal was that I had to be nice to Curtis, and the nicest thing I could do would be to leave him alone. That way the temptation to do what comes naturally would be eliminated.

“I’ve never understood why chicks always travel in packs.”

“Huh?” Everything was going so well. Why did you have to talk and ruin it all?

“Well, it’s just, you always seem to be with Cassie Turner. So I never really see you by yourself.” Drew stopped. I had turned around so fast, sponge still in hand, at Drew’s most random comment that bubbles had sprayed across the floor in front of me.

“She’s my friend,” I replied, trying to remain diplomatic.

“Yeah, I know,” he replied, “It’s just anyone would think you were joined by the hip.”

“Well, I’m here by myself now, aren’t I?” I retaliated.

“Yeah, sure,” Drew said sheepishly, “Never mind,” and he turned his back to me once more and continued scrubbing.

As I slowly worked along the next row of desks I remained puzzled by Drew’s sudden outburst.

Was he deliberately trying to **** me off? Maybe he knew about the bet and was trying to make me lose? That is the sort of low thing Drew Curtis would be involved in. But how would he have found out? Only Cassie and I were the ones who knew about the bet. Cassie! Would she really have told? Well, if she didn’t want the entire school to know she had a crush on Lucas, then she might have. She could be pretty devious when she wanted to. That’s exactly how I ended up in this position in the first place, Cassie’s devious mind. Then again we were in the Diner. It was pretty much a public forum, any number of other students could have walked in while we were arguing. All they needed to hear was the bet laid down and it would have spread like wild fire through the school. It wouldn’t have taken much for Curtis to find out. Yes, that had to be it. Someone heard us, told him, and now he was deliberately trying to sabotage my attempts to be nice. Well, I’m not going to crack.

I must have been contemplating Drew’s motives for quite some time because my thoughts were only interrupted when I felt a bump. I looked up to see that both Drew and I had reached the same desk. Both our sponges had locked and our elbows knocked. Now we were both just standing there.

“Sorry,” I said, quickly pulling my sponge away.

“No worries,” he replied, rubbing his sponge over the top of the desk, before dropping it back in the bucket. When he was finished he looked around the room and commented,

“Looks like we’re done.”

I nodded in approval.

“Seems like we make a pretty good team,” he added, “When you’re not biting my head off, that is.”

“Hey,” I said, pouting, “That’s not very nice.”

“It’s the truth,” he replied, nonchalantly. He was daring me to lose it. It was like dangling a red cloth in front of a bull.

“In case you hadn’t noticed, I have been nothing but pleasant this entire afternoon.”

“Oh yeah, Taylor. I didn’t think you had it in you.” His eyes sparkled as he stared me down.

“You really don’t want to get me started,” I said, staring back at him, willing myself to just bite my tongue.

Drew smirked back, seemingly amused by my comment.

“Oh really?” he asked.

“Yep,” I said, nodding defiantly and folding my arms across my chest.

“So…” he began slowly, “What would happen if I did this?” As soon as the words had left his mouth he had lunged into his bucket pulling out his dripping wet sponge and thrown it directly at me. The sponge hit me square in the face, suds and water spraying everywhere. My hair was soaked, and I stood there, rooted to the floor. My mouth gaping open.

Drew looked slightly worried. He was quickly evaluating my reaction, eyes darting all over the place. Was I going to start yelling again? Crying? I did what came naturally. I retaliated. I quickly reached down and pulled my own sponge out of the bucket and threw it at him. Water splashed all over the floor and although my shot didn’t have the precision of his, it still managed to wet his already untamed locks.

“That’s it,” he said, again reaching for the bucket.

I squealed and reached for my own. This was war.

Water splashed and mountains of bubbles sprayed all over the newly cleaned classroom as Drew and I continued to attempt to drown each other. Except things were no longer tense, we were both laughing uncontrollably as I picked up my almost empty bucket and threw it at Drew, ensuring that he was absolutely drenched from head to toe.

“You’ve asked for it now, Taylor!”

Drew lunged at me, picking me up by the legs and throwing me over his shoulders and began running around the room.

“Hey! Let me down!” I yelled at him.

I was dangling upside down and could see Drew’s bucket slowly approaching me from above. I was now dangling directly over it, noticing the murky water still in the bottom.

“No way!” I shrieked. I began to pound my fists against his back, willing him to put me down.

“You ready to apologise?” Drew asked, dangling me over the pool of water. Even hanging upside down I could tell he was smiling.

I shook my head and tried to contain my giggles as they erupted again as he bent his knees, drawing me ever closer to the water. There is no way my head is going in there!

“Okay, I’m sorry!” I spluttered, as my head was mere inches above the rim of the bucket.

Drew promptly flipped me right side up and placed me back on the floor. I was still laughing, and he was panting rapidly, a goofy smile across his face. He was just standing there. No posse, no attitude. Just a guy. His brown eyes lit up and filled with adrenalin. The room was now extremely quiet, compared with the shouting and screeching that had occupied it moments earlier. I was surprised that we hadn’t caused every staff member still in the building to come running. He was still staring at me. It was a little unnerving. No guy had ever looked at me like this. He seemed so … alive.

“I guess we had better clean this up,” I finally said, breaking the stare and gazing around the room. It could have been snowing for the amount of bubbles that covered every surface.

* * * * *

A/N: Yay! More readers and commenters. Thank you so much Red Ranger 1, Laura, Lise and Bethany_Paige.

Ok, you can’t have buckets and sponges without some sort of water fight. Maybe slightly cheesy, but I needed something that would grab both their attentions. Hope you liked.

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Chapter 9 – The Fairies Made Me Do It

She was still trying to ignore me. Yet failing miserably. Things went a lot better than expected in Detention: Round 2, so now Taylor was trying with all her might not to keep turning around and staring at me. But she kept doing it anyway. And every time I would be staring back. She would blush and frantically turn back around.

We were back in the classroom where it had all began. I was sitting in my usual spot at the back, casually leaning back in my chair. But I had no intention in paying attention to what the lesson was actually about, not when Taylor was sitting there, trying her best not to keep get my attention. But it was no use.

We had frantically cleaned up the classroom, after we had soaked it down again, so that when Miss Fletcher had returned she was none the wiser. We did make a good team. In any normal circumstances I would have completely forgotten that afternoon, but somehow I kept coming back to the same thing. I had lifted her over my shoulder and threatened to dunk her head in a bucket of soapy water. But the look in her eyes when I had placed her back on solid ground; it was … captivating. There was no other word for it.

Dude, get a grip. She’s just a chick. There’s no need to go overboard with all the soppy stuff. This was all part of the bet. Get her to trust you, nothing more to it than that. But that’s the problem - she wasn’t just a chick. I had never felt a rush like it. We were just standing there, no awkward tension, no nothing. We were just laughing and panting, but she was just staring up at me. Her cheeks were flushed and her hair matted to her forehead, but I didn’t care. For that instant that we were there, I was looking into her eyes and seeing a girl that I wanted to get to know, to have fun with, but she had broken the stance. Now we were back to the awkward tension, as she kept glancing over her shoulder at me.

Again she turned around and smiled cheekily at me. I winked back.

The bell rang and I quickly snapped my book shut and headed towards the door. Taylor, being in the front row was out the door before I could reach her. Instead, Luc bounded up beside me.

“Hey man,” he said, “do you wanna go to the Diner for lunch?”

“Um, yeah, sure,” I replied absent-mindedly trying to keep my eyes following Taylor disappearing down the hallway.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m sorry, what?” I replied to Lucas’ voice in my ear. I glanced down blankly at him, to see him raising his eyebrows curiously in my direction.

“Are you right? You’ve been off with the fairies all day.”

“Dude, there is seriously no fairies,” I replied casually as he walked slowly down the hall towards our lockers.

“Oh, so there wouldn’t be a particular fairy that has got you all hot under the collar?” he asked in a probing voice.

“If you’re talking about Taylor, there is nothing going on there,” I said stubbornly.

I opened my locker and Luc did the same to his next door. I tossed my books in casually as Luc said,

“So you just haven’t been able to take your eyes off her all morning, because you still can’t stand her.”

I slammed my locker shut and replied in a hushed voice,

“You know as well as I do that this is just about the bet. Nothing more. I need her to think that I’m actually interested otherwise I’m going to have to fork over a substantial amount of cash to you.”

“Okay,” he replied in an unconvincing tone and we walked slowly out of the halls.


I couldn’t have planned a better scenario. She was sitting alone in a classroom, books spread all over the desk and her head buried in a mountain of loose pages. I wandered through the doorway, casually leaning on the doorframe.

“So,” I said, startling Taylor out of her books.

She looked up with an air of anticipation, but her face fell as she saw that I was the one who have interrupted her study.

“What do you want?” she asked coldly.

“Sorry for trying to be friendly,” I replied, in a mock hurt voice.

Taylor didn’t reply, she instead chose her usual tactic of starting to ignore me by picking up her pen and beginning to scrawl notes over a sheet of paper. Not being deterred I wandered into the classroom, dragged a single chair over and sat myself down beside her. I could see her eyes dart across her page and look up at me before instantly going back to her page. I just sat there not saying a word.

She’s not going to be able to stand it. Me just sitting, watching. It’ll drive her insane. Ok, admittedly, this may not be the smartest move, but hey, I can still have a bit of fun while still improving my chances of gaining two hundred bucks. It’s a win-win situation.

Taylor’s eyes had stopped scanning the page and remained focused on a single spot. I couldn’t help but snigger as Belle tried with all her might to remain composed. All I had to do was just stay sitting here…

“Are you just going to sit there?” she finally exploded, slamming down her pen and glaring at me.

I smiled pleasantly in reply and said,

“I’ve got nothing better to do.”

“Well, why don’t you go do nothing somewhere else,” she continued to glare.

“But where would the fun be in that. You didn’t seem to mind my company yesterday,” I said.

I watched her face slightly relax, but she still remained suspicious.

“I was temporarily insane. Must have been all the fumes I’d been inhaling.”

“You can blame the cleaning products as much as you want, Taylor. But you know as well as I do that you ended up having fun.”

“Well, it certainly was more entertaining than watching mould grow,” Taylor admitted.

“Yes!” I replied excitedly, pumping my fist, “I am officially more exciting than mould!”

Taylor’s face finally weakened as she let out a little giggle. That was enough for me.

“So,” I began nervously. All of a sudden there was a knot forming in my stomach, and I’m pretty sure it’s not from the two burgers I ate for lunch. Why is this becoming so difficult? I’ve asked tons of girls out before, and even some I didn’t really like, but they were cute. So this really shouldn’t be that hard. Now she’s looking at me weirdly. Well, weirder than normal. You started a sentence and suddenly stopped to contemplate your feelings in your head, of course the girl is going to think you are nuts! Drew, snap out of it and say something!

“So,” I said again.

“You’ve already said that,” Belle replied.

“Well, short of us both getting detention again, I don’t suppose you would want to hang out?” I said cautiously, before adding quickly, “As friends of course.”

“You consider us friends?” she asked, eyeing me up and down.

“Well, I don’t think you hate me as much as you used to. You’ve stopped yelling at me at any given opportunity. That’s got to be a good sign”

Belle smiled. That smile.

“So what did you have in mind?” she asked.

“In mind for what?”

“For hanging out,” she said.

“Oh, right.” Drew, get a grip! “How about getting something to eat at the Diner after school?” Yeah, right. As if Taylor’s going to want to go and watch you stuff your face.


Wait. What did she say? She said “Ok”. I definitely heard an “Ok.” You wouldn’t miss hear something like that.

“Ok, great.” I replied, still in shock at her answer.

Easiest two hundred bucks I ever made.

* * * * *

A/N: Thank you so much my wonderful readers! Laura, I was totally thinking of that scene when I wrote that chapter. It was just too cute! Thank you for all the feedback, and Bethany_Paige I miss Drelle too!

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Chapter 10 – We know that He knows

I was sitting in a booth at the Diner, Cassie sitting opposite me, smiling ferociously.

I wish she would stop enjoying all this torment. I knew it was a mistake to tell her that I was meeting Curtis. She went from curious-best-friend to matchmaker in the space of 5 seconds flat. Now she is thoroughly enjoying herself by sitting there innocently, while I continually look over to the door to see if he’s arrived.

“I’m not nervous, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“I never said you were,” Cassie replied, her smile changing into a smirk.

“Yeah, but you were thinking it,” I said quickly.

“I just can’t believe that you agreed to meet with him. Outside school. When you both weren’t being forced to exist in the same room.”

“Yeah, what a crazy turn of events this has turned out to be,” I replied. I saw the outline of a male school uniform out of the corner of my eye. I quickly flicked my eyes over towards the door once more. It wasn’t Drew. My stomach relaxed for a moment as I went back to Cassie.

“You should have seen the look on his face when I agreed to meet him,” I said with glee, “Absolutely priceless.”

Cassie giggled as I continued,

“He was either thinking that all his Christmases had come at once, or I was planning to knock him out of his socks.”

“Which you kind of are,” Cassie said seriously, “All this manipulation.”

“Speaking of manipulation,” I said suspiciously, “You wouldn’t have told anyone about our little wager, would you?”

“Who me? Why would you have thought I would tell anyone?” Cassie replied, clearly taken aback by my question.

“Not you specifically,” I added quickly, trying to diffuse the hurt that was appearing on Cassie’s face “It’s just…” I lowered my tone to nothing more than a whisper and leaned in to the table. Cassie followed suit, leaning in closely to me.

“I think he knows.”

“He knows?!” Cassie exclaimed. Several of the patrons turned around at Cassie’s sudden explosion.

“Sshhhh!!” I hushed Cassie quickly. Note to self: Never try to have private conversations in the Diner.

I gestured rapidly, calling Cassie back into the low huddle, before I continued.

“Well, I’m not sure. That’s why I agreed to meet with him today. I need to suss out how much he knows.”

“What makes you think he does, though?” she asked seriously.

“Well, take detention for instance. He seemed very curious about my relationship with you. Asking about why we always hung out and stuff.” Cassie nodded, the smile completely removed from her face. “He also kept talking to me. Like he was deliberately trying to make me yell at him or something. Something that might make me lose.”

“There’s nothing for it then,” Cassie replied suddenly, breaking up our quiet huddle. Fortunately, most of the customers who were staring previously had been served and had left the premises. “It’s us against him. You cannot lose.”

“What are you talking about? The bet was between us, not you, me and him.”

“I know, but since you’ve proved yourself worthy of sustaining a conversation with Mr Drew Curtis without self destructing, I think it’s time we reviewed tactics.”

I was watching Cassie intently. Her eyes were focused directly on me. I felt slightly uncomfortable, so took a quick moment to glance over my shoulder again. Still no sign of him. I looked back at Cassie. She was sitting quite comfortable, probably because she wasn’t the one who would have to go through with this whole dare-bet-revenge-tactic – I don’t even know what it is anymore. I sighed,

“What did you have in mind?” I asked, reluctantly.

Cassie clapped her hands merrily before saying,

“You need to make Drew think you are genuinely interested in him.”

“But what will that prove? Drew wants me to lose it in front of him, not snuggle up like we’re best buddies,” I finished sarcastically.

“So, what would drive you insane more than anything else?” Cassie prompted.

“If Drew was actually nice in return,” I said, without even thinking.

Cassie nodded and raising her eyebrows egged me to keep going.

“So,” I began slowly, “Drew will think he has me over a barrel because he’ll think he’s driving me insane, when in fact I’ll be the one messing with his head,” I concluded.

“Exactly,” Cassie said proudly.

“Cassie Turner, your mind is one interesting place,” I said smugly.

Cassie just shrugged and I once again looked over my shoulder, however this time I was forced to quickly overt my eyes away. The moment I looked up, he walked in the door and looked casually around the Diner. Before he could make eye contact I was pulling Cassie in and beginning a fake conversation.

“… so I was like, ‘yeah’, and she was all ‘Um, I don’t think so’.” Cassie was giving me extremely weird looks, so I quickly darted my eyes across to where Drew was now standing, over by the register and hoped that she would catch on.

“Oh, yeah,” she replied uncertainly, then smiling added, “I always thought she was a bit weird.”

“Hello, ladies.”

Cassie and I both looked up at the same time, as Drew stood by the side of our table, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he may have interrupted a private conversation.

I forced a smile towards him and Cassie leant over and gave my hand a squeeze before sliding out of the booth.

“Here, Drew. You take my seat,” she said a little too enthusiastically. She practically grabbed his hand and shoved him into the seat that she previously occupied. “I have to go now anyway. Have fun you two,” and with a quick wave she walked quickly out the door.

“That is one strange girl,” Drew said in disbelief as he readjusted his seating position.

He slid down into the seat, stretching his legs out under the table. He then casually placed his arm over the back of the bench. I shook my head to myself, and couldn’t help wondering what I had got myself into.

It would give me the greatest pleasure to see that smirk wiped off Mr Curtis’ face for good. I’m sick and tired of him thinking that he can get every girl he looks at. Well, I’m not just any girl and I am certainly not going to fall for his charm, pathetic wit and substandard one-liners. As long as he never knows that we know that he knows, then everything should go according to plan.

“Belle, are you ok?”

I looked up at the sound of my name and found myself staring directly into his deeply brown eyes. All of a sudden there was a knot in my throat and I found myself forcing a small nod in reply. What was happening?

* * * * *

A/N: I found this chapter a little more difficult to write. I actually didn’t intend to change the bet-dare scenario but I think it works better this way. Now it’s girls vs. guys. Let me know what you think.

Thank you for the feedback everyone. It's so nice that you think I got Drew's POV, because I wasn't so sure to begin with :P.

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