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Authors: Melanie Marks

So Hot For You

BOOK: So Hot For You
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By Melanie Marks




Copyright 2011 Melanie Marks



All Rights Reserved.


Cover Image ©




Table of Contents



The Wish

Death’s Escort

The One




Krista trudged across the classroom to the seat beside Cooper, but didn’t actually sit. Instead, she just stood there, unsure what she should do.

Cooper glanced up from the note he was scribbling,
did a double-take. “Hi,” he murmured, staring up at Krista, curious-like. Like,
what are you doing standing here?

Krista rolled her eyes. “I’m going to have Mrs. French switch us to different partners.”

Cooper nodded, “Okay.” Then he kept looking at Krista while she waited for Mrs. French to notice her standing there, looking unhappy.

Finally Mrs. French came over. “Is there a problem Miss Turner?”

“Yeah,” Krista said tentatively, unsure how to proceed, since Mrs. French had said she wouldn’t switch partners. “Um … Cooper and I—we don’t get along.”

Mrs. French looked at Cooper. “Is there a problem I should know about?”

Cooper shrugged, like he didn’t know what it was. Great.

Krista groaned. “We. Don’t. Get. Along. His girlfriend hated me.”

“His girlfriend? Aspen
, who
?” Mrs. French asked, sounding like how-dare-you-bring-up-that-sweet-dead-girl-to-get-a-new-lab-partner? She smirked. “I don’t think that will be a problem.”

“No, but he—he,” Krista gestured to Cooper, who was looking all wide-eyed and innocent and waiting for her to go on. “He hates me too.”

Cooper shook his head and gave a little laugh. “No I don’t.”

“Yes he does. He’s just saying that to torment me.”

Mrs. French smirked again. Krista had never noticed how evil and nasty her science teacher’s smirk actually was, until today. But now she noticed. Big time. It was
evil. And nasty. And she did it a lot.
Way too much.
“It seems to me, you are the tormentor here Miss Turner. Why don’t you cut the guy some slack and sit down? He said he doesn’t hate you. He said there’s no problem, and I said there will be no reassigning of lab partners.”

“But he wrote *#@# on my locker last year!” Krista hadn’t meant to say that so loud. Everyone turned and looked at her. They smirked too. Everyone was smirking today.

Mrs. French looked at Cooper questioningly. He shook his head, first at her, then at Krista. “I didn’t write it.” He raised his eyebrows, staring into Krista’s eyes. “I didn’t. I swear. Aspen did—I told you that.”

Krista huffed, so tired of his denials.
“I saw you with the paint.”

“Yeah, because I was taking it away from Aspen. I was trying to stop her.”

“Good enough for me,” Mrs. French said. “I know Cooper pretty well. I believe him. Sit down and get to work, Krista. And maybe show a little compassion.”

Compassion? Compassion! I’m the one that needs compassion
, Krista thought irritably. But she didn’t say that aloud. She didn’t say anything. She simply took her seat, feeling picked on and grumpy.





Three weeks had gone by with Cooper as Krista’s science partner. She noticed his eyes on her a lot in class. She couldn’t help the way his glances made her feel—light-headed and tingly. It was his eyes. They were so warm and brown. They seemed to caress her at times, as though she were something he cherished. But that was crazy. He hated her—or at least he used to. She had to admit, they were getting along pretty well together as lab partners. He was smart, maybe as smart as her. In any case, they were doing the best in class—far better than anyone else. With other partners, Krista had done all the work, always. That wasn’t the case with Cooper. He actually took initiative and tried to match her vision on assignments. It was nice. He was nice … maybe … it seemed.

Still, when Cooper reached out, grasping her arm after class one day as she was getting ready to leave, Krista jumped.

“Sorry.” Cooper quickly let go of her arm. “I was just wondering if you want to get together after school today to work on our project?”

Krista bit her lip, not sure what to say. The project wasn’t due anytime soon, and they were making great progress in class. They didn’t really need to get together. Maybe it was a trick. Maybe all this was—his glances at her full of longing, his attempts to get her to converse with him at length. Maybe it was his way of avenging Aspen—tormenting the girl his girlfriend had openly hated. Maybe it was some sort of mean trap—like he wanted to get Krista alone so he could do something cruel to her. Maybe all this was just a way to gain her trust.


Krista wasn’t sure what to think. She had almost come to consider Cooper as a nice guy. She almost felt sorry for him. She knew he had loved Aspen with all of his heart and that he missed her terribly. One day he had fallen asleep in the school library, during lunch. Krista had heard him cry out “Aspen” in his sleep. Actually, she had even heard him say, “I miss you.”

And he wandered around school looking all lost and lonely…. Yes, he was easy to feel sorry for. Only, Krista still wasn’t sure she could trust him. Because, he and Aspen had done mean things to her over and over again last year. It seemed to be their goal in life—to make Krista miserable.

Krista narrowed her eyes. “No, I don’t want to get together after school. The project isn’t even due until next month.”

Cooper nodded, furrowing his brow at her narrowed eyes. “Yeah, I know. It was just an excuse…. Today’s my birthday.”

Krista swallowed, for a moment waning, but only a moment. Then she remembered his last birthday. The week before it, Aspen had started being nice to Krista again, acting like maybe they were going to be friends again—they had been, before Cooper breezed into Aspen’s life. Before that, Aspen had been a close friend, but then Cooper came along, and for some reason, Aspen turned on Krista, started doing mean things to her and saying horrible things about her. Krista suspected Cooper had had something to do with Aspen’s sudden hatred for her. She just didn’t know what it was. But then, last year, Aspen had hand-delivered Krista an invitation to Cooper’s birthday party. Krista had gone, even though she was scheduled to work that night at Pizza Haven. (She had to close for the next three Saturdays just to get someone to take her shift.) But then, when she got to the hotel where the invitation said the party was, it wasn’t a birthday party for Cooper, it was a Bar Mitzvah for a thirteen-year-old stranger—a Ben
. Aspen had purposely sent Krista on a wild goose chase, to the wrong address. Aspen did stuff like that to her all the time … and Krista was pretty sure Cooper was behind it all.

Krista backed away now, not offering Cooper a birthday greeting.
Or an explanation.
“No, I don’t want to get together,” she growled.




In the school parking lot after classes, Krista was getting into her car but stopped and gasped. All of her tires had been slashed.

“It looks like someone took a knife to them.”
, her best friend, furrowed her brow. “I’d blame it on Aspen only …”

Krista sighed.
didn’t need to finish the sentence. Krista knew what she was going to say, of course. Aspen was dead. It couldn’t be her. But it was the kind of stuff Aspen had done to Krista all year. So, of course that’s where their thoughts led—Aspen.

Just then, Cooper drove by. He rolled down his window. “Do you need help?”

Krista scowled at him, gritting her teeth. “I need you to leave me alone.”

Cooper tilted his head, looking bewildered.
did too. She gave her friend a questioning look, then raised her eyebrows, glancing back at Cooper. “Did you do this to Krista’s car?”

Cooper blinked. “Of course not.” Then he looked at Krista. “Do you think I did this?”

“Yes! That’s exactly what I think.”

Cooper paled, looking at her as though she was nuts. “Why would I do it?”

“Because I didn’t go along with whatever plan you had for me after school today? Maybe. I don’t know. Why did you and Aspen do any of the mean things you did to me?”

Cooper bit his lip,
shook his head. “I don’t know. I don’t know why Aspen did any of that stuff. But
didn’t do anything mean to you, Krista—ever.”

Krista crossed her arms, not even slightly convinced. “You can’t blame it on Aspen anymore. She’s not here.”

Cooper looked as though he had been punched in the stomach. Finally, he said softly, “Believe me, I know she’s not here.” Then he drove away.

Krista watched him go, feeling torn. He’d seemed sad. But of course it was an act. It had to be.
Aspen wasn’t around for him to blame this on, not this time,
but this was exactly the kind of thing Aspen had done to Krista all year. It was typical Aspen. Well, make that typical Aspen
Cooper. Though now, apparently, it was just Cooper.

What a freak!




Later that night, while Krista was at work, cleaning the toilets at Pizza Haven, her head was shoved into the toilet. Literally, shoved. Hard. Then it was held there, under the water. Krista reached back, fighting at the hand that held her head down. She scratched and pushed and fought, but it was no use. She was getting weaker and weaker, unable to breathe. She was drowning.

Finally, she heard girls’ voices coming into the bathroom. “Krista!”

It was Maya, her co-worker, and another girl from school. They ran to Krista as she crumbled to the bathroom floor, wet and gasping for breath.

“What happened?” they asked.

But Krista didn’t know. She shook her head. “Someone tried to kill me,” she cried.

Both girls swore they didn’t see anyone else in the bathroom when they came in.
No one besides Krista.

“Look though,” Maya said, pointing to the bathroom mirror. Scrawled in lipstick, it said, “I’m back! A.”

“Aspen!” Krista gasped, feeling queasy and sick. She was suddenly shaking all over.

She’s back?
From the dead?




Krista left work early—as soon as she could move, actually. But on her way home, she realized she was being toyed with. Of course it wasn’t Aspen that had done that to her.
Of course not.
Aspen was dead. Not a zombie, just dead. Dead, dead. She had been dead for almost four months now. She died in a car accident. A truck had spun out of control on an icy-patch of road and driven head-on into Aspen’s car. Aspen had died on impact.

No, it wasn’t Aspen that tried to kill her. It was Cooper—somehow. But no. She doubted he was actually trying to kill her. The Freak! Only scare her. Punish her or something.
In the name of Aspen.
He was obviously nuts, flipping-out on his birthday due to grief or something. Crazy!

But that’s why he had been looking at her so oddly in class lately. It wasn’t longing or love, like she had imagined. No!
Of course not.
That was just romantic, wishful thinking on her part. No, he had been looking at her with mal-intent on his mind. Ugh!

BOOK: So Hot For You
11.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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