Chapter 6

The next two days were a little awkward as I still sat with the 'it' gang and was still not used to the stares that I received. Hunter refused to even look at me Ray pretended that I was just another background character who sat beside him. Thomas and Dylan spoke to me normally and I was thankful that there were at least two guys who liked me for who I was. They kept pampering me for no reason and somehow, that made me happy.

"So, about that book you were talking in the class," Thomas recollected. "I have it at home. Do you wanna borrow it?"

"Can I?" I looked at him as if I was a little girl who was about to receive the biggest chocolate in the lot.

He laughed at my expression. "Yeah, why not? You can come over to my place and on the way we can get some ice cream too."

"Perfect!" I squealed. "Let's do this!"

But then, I realised too late that I didn't ask about Ray's plans. He was glaring at me and I cowered a little under that gaze. Sorry, I mouthed and he sighed.

"Ice cream sounds perfect," Ray said and stood up. "I guess I'll tag along as well. Meet you guys in the evening," with that he left.

"Well, now that even he is coming, should I invite my sister as well? She's been drilling my head to meet up with all you guys," Dylan said and Hunter looked like he was going to be sick. Thomas hesitantly nodded and I just sat back, not really understanding anything. "Well, then I'll leave early to pick up my sister," he said and left.

Well, I understood what the problem was when we met at the parking lot.

"Dylan is getting his sister?" Ray groaned. "Why did you let him?"

"Well, I couldn't really offend him by saying a no," Thomas shrugged.

"Like in hell he would be offended," Ray exclaimed. "Hunter, you are all blunt talk! You could have stopped him!"

"I didn't feel like interrupting then," he said and got into his car. "Tom, are you coming?"

"Yeah, I am," he said and got into the driver's seat. "We can't do anything about it, Ray. If you could have sat with us till the end, you would have stopped this. But now, let's deal with this."

Ray grudgingly got into his car and I hurriedly tagged along. I didn't wanna be in Hunter's car for now. At least after all that had happened, I'd pick Ray's annoyance over Hunter's assumptions.

After a few minutes of tense silence, Ray spoke, "Be careful with Dylan's sister, okay? She is somewhat of a stuck up person."

"Really?" I asked. I could never imagine sisters as stuck ups. They were usually a little annoying, whiny, but over all cute. But I wondered what was the matter with all the guys thinking about her that way. What could possibly go wrong over meeting a friend's little sister in an ice cream parlor?

If you thought that way, then here are the things that could possibly go wrong.

Instead of a small ice cream parlor, you could end up in a place which looks like a freaking castle.

You could feel terribly out of place in between all the handsome guys.

Your dress could be the most inappropriate thing in that place filled with prim and proper looking people.

And last but not the least, the little sister which you have been planning on meeting, could be a gorgeous looking person who was slightly elder to us.

I sat and gaped at Dylan and his sister who were making their way towards us. They looked like a couple to be frank, but that would be incestuous. His sister was taller than me by an inch and wore a three inch heel just to make sure that her legs looked long enough, and so long that they went on forever. She had all the right curves at all the right places and the right amount of hip sway to let people take a double turn. She had sandy blonde hair and honey colored eyes with a sharp nose and plump lips painted red, and an elegant dress to boot. She was beautiful, no doubt about it, but somewhere along the lines, she looked a little intimidating. Nothing my little heart cannot handle.

I sat cowering beside Ray and in front of me were the brothers, Hunter and Thomas. Thomas had a forced smile on his face and Hunter didn't even try to smile. He was being his usual sulky self and was playing with the spoons on the table. Ray had a resigned look on his face while Dylan's sister looked thrilled to see the guys.

"Oh my God! I missed you boys! How are you all?" She half smiled and half smirked. It looked so evil that I shuddered. They all mumbled greetings, or so they made it look and got silent after that. "So, I see there's a new face here?" She looked at me with pure disgust and I internally cringed. Yep, she did not like me.

"Ah, I'm sorry about intruding. I am Angela Juliet Marlow, Thomas' friend," I introduced myself.

"The sorry is unnecessary when you have already intruded, isn't it?" She rolled her eyes while faking a smile and sat down. Well, to be honest, she was pissing me off.

"You are right," I forced a smile, "Instead, I should have probed you for your introduction that you have kindly forgotten."

Her smile disappeared in an instant and all the guys looked up at me. Seeing their surprised faces, I could guess that they did not expect that from me.

"Aw, my bad. I am Johanna Whitfield," she forced another of her sickly sweet smiles at me, "Forgive me that I can't seem to remember any of my manners after seeing someone so ghastly," she gave me a once over and Thomas and Dylan looked at me apologetically. What is with these rich snobs and dressing sense? Didn't they appreciate comfort?

I smiled genuinely. They were a little funny being stuck up in their own world of fantasies. "I've read that a few people's brains don't develop so fast as to register things in front of them and respond quickly. It seems that they take a longer time to adapt to such circumstances. It is okay. You'll be fine soon. In fact, how about I help you by dressing like this everyday and coming to meet you? I'm sure that it'll help!"

For the first time after Johanna came, the guys snickered. Dylan was no exception. He seemed to be enjoying our conversation just as much as Thomas did. It shocked me that even Ray and Hunter seemed interested in our conversation.

"Thanks, but no thanks," Johanna sneered at everyone and they covered up their chuckles into coughs. "Where did you pick this one up?" She turned towards Thomas looking all authoritative and intimidating.

"Uh, she is my classmate and a really good person. She transferred recently because of some family issues. I just became good friends with her and so did the others," he said and there were no other seconding nods other than Dylan's. I sighed for the amount of support that Thomas received for his statement.

"Family issues? I'm sure that they have send you away to let their eyes have a rest," Johanna laughed alone. I just looked at her straight in the eye. This wasn't funny anymore. She turned towards Thomas, "how come you know that she is a good person? How do you know that she isn't a gold digger? Do you think that she can even pay for her own share here? I mean look at her appearance!" She said and looked at me, "oops, no offence intended!"

"None taken," I smiled. Ray looked stiff and even though he didn't show it on his face, I knew that he was sorry for all the things which were happening right then. "But then, Johanna, I am sure that you haven't heard of the old saying which is somewhat written for people like you. It says, 'never judge a book by its cover,' which means, I can pay for my own share, thank you very much. I really appreciate your concern."

Hunter smiled as he fiddled around with the napkin. "Oh, well. Thanks for telling me that you can afford it," she sneered once again. "I have to leave now. I can't waste my precious time here while I have other appointments," she stood up.

"What about your ice cream?" I asked, "I will pay for you as well, if you want to."

"I am on a diet," she growled and pulled up Dylan by the sheer intensity of her voice, "Dylan, let's go."

"I'll meet you guys when you go home," Dylan said and smiled apologetically and walked away with her sister.

As soon as she left, I slumped back into the seat and shoved a big spoonful of chocolate ice cream into my mouth. That was relaxing. I looked around and saw the three guys stare at me. I sat right awkwardly and looked at them. "What happened?"

"What was that?" Thomas laughed. "That was so brilliant!"

"What do you mean?" I looked at his surprised. Even Ray and Hunter looked at me smiling and that was a rare case.

"You were probably the first person to take her head on and actually win it! Kudos to you, girl!" Thomas said.

"It wasn't so bad," I shrugged. "I've seen meaner girls than that, back home."

"Good lord! I thought that you were gonna get bashed by her insults today. I almost regretting not saying a 'no' to Dylan's dimwitted idea of getting his sister to meet you," he sighed. "But you did well."

"Let me celebrate this day by paying for us all," Hunter said. "That is the most I can do!"

"You are going to pay?" I looked at him dumbfounded. "Are you sure about that?"

"Don't make me change my mind by asking lame questions," He rolled his eyes. Ray kept looking at me, yet not saying anything. He somehow looked a lot more relaxed than he was always when he was with me.

We were there at Thomas' place and Dylan made it there almost at the same time as us. He apologized so much that I felt guilty about being there. I forgave him the first time he said sorry, but he made sure that he was forgiven by asking it another thousand times. As it was soon annoying, Ray shut him up. Soon enough, after I was done taking the book from Thomas, Ray insisted forcefully that he would drop me instead of Thomas and drove me away.

"Thanks for tagging along. I'm so sorry that I didn't ask for your permission first," I apologized to Ray the first thing in the car. "I promise you that this won't happen again."

"That's okay. It happens sometimes," he shrugged it off. "But then, are you sure that you are okay?" He asked.


"Johanna, she wasn't really easy on her nasty comments, was she? She acted exactly like the stuck up person as she is. I just wanna know if she hurt you."

"About that, it is okay. I'm a little thick skinned, so things like this don't get to me so easily." He poked me on the arm. "What happened?" I pulled away my hand.

"You are thick skinned," he smirked. "Literally." And after that we fought a crazy lot, which ended up with us not talking to each other and an awkward silence at the dining table that night.

Few weeks later, I got nicely acquainted to the new place and was even friends with the lot. People didn't seem all that mean. Even though a few carried an ulterior motive to get along with the guys, it didn't really bother me. A few were so nice that they often asked me to accompany them to lunch and I very often didn't go with the guys. That went on until one day when my stars thought that the happy time I spent was too much and more misfortune should be thrown my way.

"You are coming with me," Thomas stomped his foot. "I don't care who feels bad. You have not been hanging out with us lately and that is making me feel bad. You are coming today."

He looked like a little kid throwing a tantrum, but I figured that comment wouldn't be taken so easily by him at the moment. I finally agreed to accompany him and he walked away happily. Sighing to myself, I walked on and found myself being pulled to a side my Hunter.

"Hunter! What are you doing?" I yelled. "Let me go!"

"Shut up! I am not gonna do anything!" He hushed me and I swallowed a scream.

"Then why did you pull me into a room?"

"Why do you always have those ideas? Are you a pervert?" Hunter asked backing off a little.

"Pervert? Me?" I widened my eyes. "Look who's talking!"

"About that day," Hunter sighed, "I'm sorry that I assumed things like that. I was confronted with many situations wherein girls really toyed around with Thomas' kindheartedness just to get closer to me. I know that he thinks that it is okay, but I know that deep inside, he feels hurt. That is why I had to come off rude to you so that he would avoid another situation like that." He looked at me with an unsure look. "I hope you understand."

I nodded, not because I wanted to. It was because I wanted to avoid the sight of my drool spilling all over the floor when I opened my mouth to talk.

"Aren't you going to say something?" He asked stepping up to me.

I nodded a no and took a step back. This guy was too handsome to look at.

"Well then. I am sorry about all the things that have happened so far and I would like to stop being like that to you. Also, in return to that, would you hang out with us today? I see that you have disappeared and have been avoiding sitting with us."

"I figured that I wasn't really good enough to be with you guys," I looked away. "Anyway, you guys didn't like me sitting along."

"That was back then," Hunter said, "when we thought that you were just like the other girls," Hunter let out a smile which almost took my breath away. "Come on now. If not for us, at least for Thomas. I don't want to be a bad brother to him by not letting his friend be with him."

I smiled back. Maybe Hunter wasn't all that bad either. He was just being his protective self because of his little brother. Now that I think of it, there were a lot of girls who were friendly with Thomas just to get a chance with Hunter. Poor Thomas, although I felt bad about him, I felt that he should be more confident in not entertaining people for their own reasons. He should really have the nerve to say no as well.

"What about Ray? I don't think he likes me all that much. In fact, he would be happy if I was not in his sight," I shrugged.

"That idiot," Hunter smirked. "Let's see how he can avoid you and be happy. Just come with me," he dragged me out. I only wished that nothing nasty happened and no one would figure out our relationship.

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