A/N: Hey lovelies! :) So, if you're reading this, once again, kudos to you and thank you so much! I won't have time to update everyone till sunday, so please bear with me. Anyway, here's the lighter, happier bit of my novel, before it takes a turn for the worse once more. In this chapter, I'd like to introduce to you guys the more sociable, chattier traits of Grady! Plus, a little bit of my old character, Shane, and another totally new character: *Drumroll please* Evan von Detton, from Katie's lovely novel, Do You Love Me, Do You Love Me Not! :) Hope you like it, and thank you so much for reading! xoxo Noelle
Entry #88: Cinderella finally had something to smile about.
~ The Cinderella Deception by Juliette Harving
"I'm not even going to ask," Callie says, with a droll sigh, when I walk towards my locker - which is next to hers - on Monday morning, sporting a relatively obvious hickey on my neck.
"Then don't," I say, light-heartedly. And then I pull her into a hug. "Thanks for caring, Cal."
Grady had told me that when Callie found out I was missing, she immediately went to find him, and yelled all kinds of abusive words at him. It would have made even a big lion burst into tears, but Grady, being Grady, didn't turn a hair of course - though it made him sufficiently worried to search for me.
He continued to tell me about how Callie had searched all the local food joints, the mall and all the places I've been with her, but to no avail. She hadn't slept the whole night.
Callie returns the hug tightly. "Don't you ever pull a Houdini on me again, Jules. You freaked me out like hell."
I smile and pull away, and start taking books out of my locker.
"But I'm glad you've sorted things out. Well, more than sorted, anyway," She adds, with a pointed glance at the bruised mark on my neck.
My cheeks flame and I look into my locker, pretending to be very absorbed in it. "Is it obvious?" I ask, at last, my voice muffled.
"Very." She says, immediately. "Even the world's best concealer wouldn't hide it. It's too obvious for words. What is Grady, anyway, a vampire?"
No, just an excellent kisser and his lips on my neck is one hell of a turn-on, I want to say, but stop myself just in time.
I get my books out of my locker, and hug them to my chest. But I jump when a familiar voice purrs in my ear sexily.
"Hey, Harving, what's up?" Grady's breath on my ears sends whispers down my spine.
I clutch my books even tighter, for fear I might drop them and embarrass myself in front of everybody.
I'm well aware of everyone's eyes on me. Some guys are giving me the 'Are you fucking insane?' looks, while the girls are looking on, insanely jealous that the hottest guy in the school actually likes me.
Just at that moment, Isabelle Hawkins sashays by, and stops to stare at me. Her eyes almost fall out at the sight of Grady's hands lightly grasping my waist. She then looks up and glares at me with such malice that I'm shocked.
I mean, we all know that she's got a crush on Grady since Elementary school, but the way she looks at me…well! I'm surprised I'm not crumpled up on the floor, taking my last breath away right now.
"What a slut," She says, loudly.
I raise my eyebrows, but Grady instantly stiffens behind me. Not wanting him to get into any trouble again, I reach for his hand, and lace my fingers through his. He relaxes, and I heave a sigh of relief. It just wouldn't do for Grady to antagonise Isabelle.
Callie starts humming to the tune of the song 'Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer'.
Isabelle gasps loudly, and covers the offending feature on her nose. Everyone knows that she's been sporting a ginormous red pimple on the very tip of her nose, and has been extremely self-conscious of it ever since.
"How dare you?!" She gasps again, in horror, especially since the people around us are all sniggering. Callie's a very popular member in the school, and everyone looks up to her.
Callie doesn't turn a hair. "Had a very shiny nose…" She sings, lightly. "And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows!"
"ERARGHHH!" Isabelle lets out a curious, explosive noise of rage and walks away quickly.
Callie immediately copies it to perfection, and the students around us explode into laughter. Even Grady lets out a rich, deep chuckle, and I can't help but smile. I know it's so wrong of Callie to do this…but sometimes, Isabelle does deserve it.
I turn to look at Grady, grinning widely, and he smiles back. It's wonderful to see the change in Grady and I.
Before, we were both such different people. We hated life in general. I was sick of my routine life, and Grady was just starting out on a new job, and hating the fact that no one could ever understand him.
Well, like Grady said before: There was nothing much to smile about anyway.
Now there is.
At lunch, Callie and I are sitting together, but now we're joined by Grady. I know that Callie's a cheerleader and all, and cheerleaders are meant to sit at that table in the centre over there, but we've been sitting alone together for years, and that's not going to change any time soon.
Grady swings himself onto the bench, and presses a swift kiss on my cheek. I blush. I can't help it. This guy has such an effect on me.
"Urgh, you two are so in love it's disgusting. But I warn you, no PDA at our table!" Callie says, pointing at us dangerously with her fork.
Grady simply smirks, not caring the least about her remark.
There's something about him that I've come to realise. He doesn't speak much in front of other people, but he definitely does make his presence known. Who can help not noticing such a hottie, anyway?
But when he's with me, it's a different story altogether. Grady's really talkative, and open and funny. He's not closed-up anymore, and I love that side of him.
"Oh, don't try to charm me with that smirk of yours, Grady," Callie says, scowling at him. "I'm completely immune to it. She isn't," She continues, pointing at me. "So go smirk at her for all I care."
"With pleasure." He says, immediately.
I spoke too soon. Grady's only closed-up when people don't antagonise or argue with him.
"You're irrepressible, Grady Sullivan."
"Thank you, Callie Miller." He answers, quite pleasantly.
"Of course, you would take that as a compliment, wouldn't you, Sullivan?" I tease, loving the sight of the two of them bickering, but feeling the need to side with Callie. "Nothing can actually get through to you, can it?"
"Actually, there's only one thing that can get through to me, and I think you know what that is, don't you, Harving?" His voice takes on a suggestive edge to it, something I've never quite heard before.
"Oh my goodness, he's horrible." Callie gapes openly. "Jules, what kind of a monster are you dating?"
"What?" Grady says, in an injured tone. "I was going to say chocolate. Only chocolate can get through to me. I adore chocolate and only chocolate can make me happy."
"In that case," I say, grinning widely. "Why don't you go fuck chocolate?"
"Harving, I do sense some jealousy coming from you. Are you jealous of chocolate and were you thinking of us getting it on? You naughty girl…" Grady starts, but I stuff a french-fry into his mouth.
"Eat," I say, shaking my head in exasperation. But I'm laughing all the same. "Feed him, Callie. That's the only way he'll ever shut up."
Callie and I are laughing, when someone speaks. "Well! It seems like you all are having fun! Mind if I join?"
We all glance up quickly, and stare in surprise when we see Shane Corelli hovering near our table. What's he doing here? He doesn't go here anymore.
To my surprise, Grady is not at all hostile. He gives a casual nod, and says, "What's up, man?"
Shane nods back and grins. Callie grins and jumps up to hug him. Shane hugs her back, and then leans down to hug me as well. And then, he settles down on the bench opposite me.
The cafeteria's unusually quiet. Everyone obviously feels the presence of the Shane Corelli, who used to be the hottest and most popular boy at West High.
"Anything you want to tell us, Shane?" Callie asks, grinning from ear to ear. She's been really happy since Shane returned.
The two of them are great friends, and she treats him like an annoying, older brother, teasing him whenever she finds it necessary and scolding him when he acts too much like a jerk. She helped him and Beverly get together, and I don't think the two of them has ever stopped being grateful to her for her help.
"Well," He says, stealing a fry from her and earning a hard punch in return. "How would you guys like to visit our little friend - the one who caused all the drama out there on the soccer field?"
His words make us sit up.
I stare at him in astonishment. "You mean the guy who called me a whore and made Grady beat him up?" I say, in disbelief.
I hear Grady mutter something under his breath that sounds like "That fucker," but I ignore him.
"Surely you aren't suggesting that we take revenge on him now, do you?" I ask, raising my eyebrows questioningly.
Shane gapes. "Of course I'm not suggesting that! What kind of a role-model would I be?" He says, indignantly.
We all smile. Shane, as previous prom-king, is one of the most adored alumni and he prides himself on being a good influence on the current students. That's what he claims, anyway. I rather think that he leads us all down the highway to hell.
Actually, scratch that. The guy sitting beside me has already dragged me to hell.
"I'm just saying that it might be nice to pay Desmond Gregory - that's the guy's name - a little visit to say hello and how-do-you-do." Shane finishes, his tone mischievous.
Callie giggles in excitement, and I have to smile at Shane's weak attempt to play the innocent card.
"What do you have in mind?" Grady asks, his eyes gleaming. He's been lying low for a while now, but Grady Sullivan can never be all good. He's bound to do something bad sooner or later.
"Well," Shane says, grinning. "The kids at Bonita Vista high are having a party this Friday night. The party's host is some guy called Evan von Detten, and Beverly and I know him because Bevvy's Mom made some jewellery for his girlfriend."
"So?" Callie asks, not seeing where this leads to. I don't see how this will enable us to take revenge on Desmond Gregory either.
"Don't you see?" Shane says, impatiently. "Evan's the most popular guy in his school. Everyone will be at his house - well, everyone that matters and who's on the social radar anyway. Especially Desmond, who's some kind of royalty there since he's on the soccer team."
"So what you're saying is that if we crash Evan's party, we'll pull some prank on Desmond which will forever humiliate him and make everyone hate him?" Callie says, her eyes wide and excited.
Shane nods and says, "Bingo."
I smile at him. "Why are you so keen on getting back at Desmond, anyway?"
"Well, I'm still pretty mad at the fact that our team had to forfeit," Shane says, and glances at Grady. "Plus, I think a good soccer player should never have to pay for something he didn't do."
Grady grins. I think even he now thinks that Shane Corelli is a pretty awesome guy. Well, there's no denying that, really.
"But how're we going to crash?" I ask, worriedly. I know I'm being such a kill-joy, but crashing has never appealed to me. Don't crashers get carried off to jail sometimes?
Shane sobers up and frowns slightly.
"Yeah, that's no problem. See, Bevvy and I can easily get into Evan's house. We sort of know him anyway. We'll just come up with some sort of excuse. But the real problem is how you all are going to come into his house. And he's probably got about a zillion hidden cameras all round the place so it's going to be quite difficult."
"That's no problem," Grady says, smirking. "It's up my forte, remember? Just leave everything to me."
We hear the self-assured and confident tone in Grady's voice, and somehow, we feel at ease. It's like we know that Grady will think of something, and we'll all pull through somehow.
I mean, everyone knows that Grady Sullivan can do anything.
Shane grins, and drums his fingers on the tabletop. "Alright then. Roll on Friday."