Authors: Anna Howard
Copyright © 2013 by Anna Howard
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Matchmaker Extraordinaire
"Oh Ari, you'll never understand how grateful I am! OMG he's just
perfect! You're like, the best!" An annoying girl, Stacey McDonald gushed to me one afternoon at lunch. I smiled and pretended like I cared so she would run off to be with her new boyfriend, Ashton Witherton.
I set them up of course, and of course they won't last. It always works that way, but they have such a great time together (or at least I convince them that they do) that everyone thinks it
be true love and that they'll last forever. Morons.
It's not that I necessarily
watching people get their hearts broken, or that I would ever actually admit to liking it. The thing is, I kind of find a sadistic pleasure in watching people cry over boys, only because it's so pathetic. But I'm not a total bitch, I promise. And I don't have a boyfriend myself, not some loser kid in high school anyway. Sure, I go out all the time, but only with college guys. Boys my age are immature and annoying. Apparently the girls at my school don't see that. They're unfortunately stupid enough to think that he must be perfect because he brought her roses, or whatever. Like I said before: morons.
"Yo, Luke, you free Saturday?" Some loser asked me. He obviously thought he has a chance with me. Ariana Luke. Hot, popular, and matchmaker extraordinaire. I didn't even know his name.
though, (but who doesn't?)
I sighed and leaned forward to face him. He was actually pretty attractive, albeit a little cocky. His short brown hair was spiked and his brown eyes were huge and puppy dog-like. I've always been a sucker for brown eyes, and his were especially attractive. I almost forget my witty retort. Almost.
"No," I drawled, "I'm freaking expensive. And you can't afford me, so get lost." His eyes looked a little hurt, but I didn't know this guy, and I wouldn't have gone out with him even if I did. He wasn't any different than the other guys in this school.
"You don't know what you're missing out on, kid," he winked at me with one of his gorgeous eyes and walked away like I hadn't just totally rejected him. Whatever.
From beside me I heard a girly laugh, and I would've almost said it was flirtatious if I hadn't known any better. Alyssa Malcolm, one of my best friends, is a cheerleader, and her laugh is just naturally like that. I guess it's in the job description. Her flavor of the week is sitting beside her, holding her hand and looking at her like she was some goddess. Poor kid, he doesn't even realize she barely notices him and that he'll just be replaced in a week or two. "You totally just rejected him! In front of his friends, too!" She giggled and leaned into What's-His-Name who wrapped his arms around her possessively.
Of course I know I just rejected him,
, I was there. Sometimes she can be such a ditz, but I'm used to it.
"Well, did he honestly expect me to say yes? I mean, think about it Lyssa, how often do I say yes to moronic high school boys?" I looked at her arm candy. "No offense, uh…"
"Right, Gordon." I rolled my eyes. "No offense."
"None taken," he hardly even noticed that I was talking to him, because he was so engrossed in staring at Alyssa. Point proven.
"But come on, he was so cute! And he like, totally digs you! Plus, he had such
brown eyes!" she waggled her eyebrows at me, oblivious of Gordon's jealous stare.
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean he isn't an idiot. Besides, you know I have a boyfriend." That got What's-His-Name's attention, he must've been one of those kids that loves to spread juicy gossip. Not that it's really juicy gossip. I mean, yes, I am one of the most popular girls here, even though I'm only a junior, but it's not like any of these people will know (or really care) who my new boyfriend was anyway.
"Oh yeah, I forgot! What's his name again? Jimmy? Wait, no, James?" Like I said, Alyssa's an airhead.
"His name is Collin, remember? I introduced you." I tried to be patient with her, but she did this every time.
Her eyes lit up. "Oh yeah, I remember him! OMG he's like, totally cute! You guys are soooo cute together! Ooh, wanna go on a double date? We could like, go to, like, the movies or something, and hold hands! Well, not with each other, but with our man! You know what I mean." She giggled. "Do you wanna, babe?" She turned back to her flavor of the week who nodded eagerly, practically drooling on her.
"Oh, Lyssa, I don't know, I gotta study for this test…" I tried to think of an excuse but she's not buying it. Why couldn't she choose a time like this to be more opaque?
"Oh please, like you ever study!" She scoffs, "You'll probably ace the stupid test anyway you braniac. Come on, please?"
Just then my other best friend, Amber Kale, walked up to the table I was laying on with her boyfriend, Drew in tow, who she'd been going steady with since freshman year. Ariana, Alyssa, Amber, we're known as the Triple A. Or if you're scared of us it's Triple Threat. "Hey, Amber!" I said a little too perkily.
She smiled her sweetest smile and sat down, Drew followed obediently.
"OMG, Amber, you can like, totally join us! It can be a
date!" Alyssa was literally bouncing up and down in her seat now. Shit, I was hoping Amber would've distracted her. "Okay, so I had this totally brilliant plan to go on a double—now triple—date with Ari and her
hot boy toy, and we can go to the movies, and share popcorn, and hold hands, and make out, and
piss off the people in the rows behind us! Wanna come? Please,
say yes!" I really hoped Amber would say no, but she'd never been good at refusing Alyssa for whatever strange reason.
She looked like she was about to say no, and I seriously hoped she would, but then her face fell in surrender and she looked at Drew pleadingly, hoping for an escape. I really wasn't interested in watching them ogle each other, so I closed my eyes and stretched out on the table a little more. My shirt rode up a little on my stomach, but I left it, not caring at all if people could see a little of my toned abs. The hot Arizona sun was shining down blindingly and warmed my skin from my toes to my eyelids.
"Yeah, sure, let's do it!" Drew said suddenly, apparently not taking Amber's hint. He can be such an idiot sometimes. His booming voice startled a couple girls at the next table over, but we were all used to it by now. He was the captain of the basketball team, and one of the biggest partiers I knew, strange that he and Amber have been together for so long, but I guess the saying "opposites attract" isn't for nothing. Anyway, Drew is one of the few guys here I can actually stand.
"Yay!" Alyssa exclaimed and shook my shoulder. "Now you
to come! It'll be so fun! What do you think, Ari?" I caught Amber's eye across the table, practically begging me to go so she wouldn't have to be alone with Alyssa. I sighed.
"Fine," I conceded. "But only because I'm freaking awesome, and I love you," I smirked at her and closed my eyes again. The bell rings, disrupting my peace once again. Everyone groaned and I hopped off the table and got my flip flops from where I'd left them on the ground. A note had been left taped to one of them.
"Oo-ooh, Ari's got a secret admirer!" Alyssa giggled and picked it up before I could. "
To The Lovely Ariana,
" she reads out loud in an overly dramatic voice, "
Thy beauty surpasses that of every rose on this Earth. Thy hair is as a fountain of fire, thy body sculpted by an angel
, my thoughts commented sarcastically. "
My heart soars just thinking of thee, though I know a princess like yourself would never notice a worm like me. And so I contend myself by writing to thee about thy beauty. From, a simple boy without a chance.
' OMG Ari, this is like, totally adorable! I wonder who this kid is? He must know you love Shakespeare, and that you're totally trying out for Romeo and Juliet. You are trying out, right? OMG it's just so romantic! And look at the writing! Isn't it just awesome?" She gushed, handing me the note delicately.
"Of course I'm not trying out, I gave up on that a while ago. Besides, Romeo and Juliet? In a high school? That's almost as cheesy as that stupid note." I grinned at her and took the note deftly. The writing was a pretty cool looking calligraphy, and I would've said it was typed, but I could clearly see it was written in pen and even smudged a little in a few places. I stuffed the note in my pocket, planning to inspect it more closely when there were fewer prying eyes to see. "And fine, I'll go on this date." I rolled my eyes.
"This is going to be
!" I dabbed on a little lip gloss, only half-listening to Alyssa's never ending chatter.
I slipped out my phone in math while the teacher wasn't looking. Miss Carmandy was a plump lady who wore entirely too much make-up and hated everyone under the age of 22. It's no wonder she wasn't married.
Hey babe, you wanna go on a date with the girls?
I texted Collin, scowling as my perfectly manicured fingers slid off the little buttons.
Do we have to?
Came the reply.
Only if you're up to it. But, if you do, we can even hang out after ...if you want.
I smirked, knowing that would convince him, because I know that he knows exactly what I mean.
The answer was almost immediate. I smiled in spite of myself. Boys are so easy to please.
"Miss Luke, do you have something you'd like to share?" Miss Carmandy demands, hands on her huge hips, as she glared at me through her hideous glasses.
"No, ma'am," I smiled sweetly at her and blinked my eyes innocently. She grunted and continued with the lesson I wasn't paying attention to. I probably should have been though, because there was a test or something coming up. I sighed and put my phone away, ignoring the look I got from the girl next to me.
The boy sitting in front of me must have been new, because nobody ever sat in the seat in front of me. I immediately wondered if he was worth hating for taking my coveted footrest. His hair was jet black and he scribbled furiously in a little notebook during the entire lesson. I wondered idly if he was attractive as I twirled my pink pen and pretended to listen to Miss C. But I didn't get a chance to see, because he skipped out of class the second the bell rang.
The day passed by slowly, but finally it ended and I could jump into my sleek red convertible Mustang GT with Alyssa and Amber and drive home. We blasted Avril Lavigne and put our hair down, letting the wind blow it all over the place. Lyssa's long blonde hair whipped around her face and all over the seat, but she didn't seem to mind, laughing with glee and singing along. Amber's short black hair was the least crazy, mostly just blowing back and exposing her cute, pixie face. My hair was somewhere in the middle, not crazy long like Lyssa's but not so short as Amber's. It was a deep amber color, with a few golden highlights. I like to tell myself that it's pretty.
Once we were at my house, we whipped out the nail polish and junk food. We put in
and got busy doing each other's toe nails and trying not to cry. After the movie was over and our toes had dried, we snooped in my father's room until we found his credit card. I know he wouldn't even notice, he was hardly ever home anyway.
We drove to the mall and ran straight for Buckle. Alyssa got a strapless pink mini dress with silver pumps, Amber got ballet flats that perfectly match her adorable deep blue dress that brings out her eyes, and I got a black leather mini skirt and a sparkly tank top. I figure I'll just wear it with my black 5-inch heels. Then we headed to Bath and Body Works and got some new perfume. We weren't concerned about how much money we spent, because if you can't tell from my car, house, clothes, and random credit cards I've borrowed from my dad, I'm pretty stinking rich. My dad was a lawyer, and between him working as much as possible and my mother sending money in every so often, you could say we got by.