Tempting Trouble.

For disclaimers see chapter 1.

 Hey everyone. Sorry that this chapter has taken so long to put together, but RL kinda intruded and I've been having technical problems with the comp. But at long last I've finally completed this chapter....I know, I know. About bloody time, right? <g> Oh well, on with the show!

  - This one is for my Baby. LJ sweetheart, through your eyes the world is magic once more. To hold you, to be with you, to love you....these are the greatest girfts I've ever been given by anyone. I love you. The world is beautiful because of you...and I've STILL got one hell of a <SG> on my face...all because of you Baby. I love you, I love you, I love you. All yours Baby. Forever. X X X X X

 - I'd also like to thank a coupla friends, Sue, Gail, Mary and Em. I hope you all realise how much happiness each of you brings into my life. I couldn't ask for better frinds. <smile> And I'd also like to thank Lena, Ali and Mutt...for making me smile. Thankyou.

Feedback....feedback is MUCH appriciated! <g> Snap_0101@hotmail.com

Chapter 19

 " Pass me the pepper will you Stacy dear?" Joan Mayfair said softly as she indicated to the elegantly crafted pepper dispenser that sat humbly on the top of the hugely intimidating dark oak dining room table. Stacy smiled politely and passed her best friend's mother the requested item.

Nicky gazed morosely around the elaborately dressed table to the equally over dressed people surrounding it. Everything about it seemed to be out to impress....it was all too artificial for Nicky's liking. You'd think we were expecting royalty or something the way Mom and Dad are all dressed up to the nines. Nicky scowled briefly at her over bearing father who had been constantly nagging her for the last half hour or so. The blonde girl stabbed in frustration at the unidentifiable but never the less delicious creamy mushy substance that occupied the space on her posh decorated plate.

 " Nicole! Be careful girl!" Daniel Mayfair barked at his youngest daughter, sending the unrepentant girl, who continued to blithely stab her plate, a disapproving frown. " This is VERY expensive china that you're attempting to bloody jab to death!"

  Nicky stared at her father with barely disguised loathing and winced. There's that throbbing red vein pulsing away again like a hysterical goat on acid. Yup, it was throbbing away in the centre of his big, ugly, MEAN forehead. Nicky placed her fork down on the table, having had enough of trying to actually eat in this dining room-come-battle arena.

  The blonde girl sighed heavily, ignoring the sympathetic glances she was receiving from both her mother and Monica. Nicky pushed her silky hair to the side so that she could hide behind it for a moment. Please, God, give me strength, she silently pleaded. Nicky was trying desperately not to lose her temper and say something she knew she would regret. But obviously her father wasn't bothered about saying anything that might hurt anyone else. In fact, Nicky wouldn't put it past him to purposefully set out to make someone else miserable...that 'someone' being her.

 " Daniel...lay off her for a moment ......please?" Joan said quietly, her timid voice holding a speck of uncertainty. Nicky was a good girl, she could be a bit boisterous sometimes, but she knew that her daughter had a heart of pure gold. Anyone who met Nicky knew that the girl had something...special. Something that drew people to her and made them open up to the young cheerleader.

 " What did you say?" Daniel grunted with disapproval, placing his own cutlery down on the white table cloth that covered the large table. " Don't you think that I have the right to prevent my china plates from being destroyed by this little bitch!? Plates that were bought with MY money, money that was earned by MY hard labour as I slaved away for hours and hours in that goddamn office down town...."

  Nicky ground her teeth together and tried valiantly to calm herself down. Here we go again, she silently fumed, trying her best to supress the urge to pick up the fork and jab HIM in the eye....a couple of hundred times or so would do nicely, she thought as she glared at her dear Papa.

 " I think that I've got every single damned right to yell at MY daughter Joan!" Joan winced and her shoulders stooped as her husband continued to have his say. Oh dear, things are getting worse between these two, she realised glumly. Joan sighed and looked over at the bravely stormy face of her youngest daughter, a slight flush was settling over the girl's tender face, brought on no doubt by a bout of infuriated anger. She really didn't understand why Daniel tended to....dislike Nicky so much. Joan loved all of her children equally, but even as a loving mother to all three of her offspring, Joan knew that her Nicky....had something more than the other two.

 " Well!?" Daniel spat out, slamming his knife and fork down once again on the pristine table surface, just to emphasise his point of course. " Do you think that I'm right Joan? Well??? I'm waiting! Do you or do you not think that I have the right to be annoyed with that spoilt little brat?"

  Stacy shrank down in her chair and wished to high heaven that she'd never accepted Mrs.Mayfair's invitation to stay for dinner. The embarrassed red head sneaked a glance over at her deeply unhappy friend and saw barely hidden anger written across Nicky's pretty face. Uh oh! Looks like a volcano is about to erupt, Stacy guessed.

 " She's MY daughter and so..." Nicky didn't allow her father to even finish the obnoxious statement. She could handle her dad being mean to her, but when he started on her timid mother or anyone else, Nicky just couldn't hack it. It was either get out of there or go stark raving mad!

 " Well I wish I bloody well wasn't!" Nicky shouted, pushing her chair back and valiantly standing up as a sudden rush of fury swept through her." Just stop it Daddy! I'm sorry I get on your nerves, that I seem to continuously shame you, I'm sorry that I frigging scraped the goddamn china sodding plate. I'll just....I...Oh sod it!" Nicky threw her hands up in the air in exasperation and stormed away from the table.

Daniel stared on in shock, not used to having Nicky talk back at him like that. So much for keeping her in her place, huh Daniel? She's your daughter and you still can't control her. " Get back here now Nicole!"

 " No!" Nicky shouted loudly, her fists clenched as she walked away and opened the large dining room door.

 " Nicky sweetheart, come back and..." Joan pleaded, a hint of fear etched on the middle aged woman's face, her soft voice eventually fading out as she realised the young girl wasn't taking any notice. Worry lined the attractive woman's face as she glanced helplessly down the table at her eldest daughter. Monica simply turned her face away, unwilling to get embroiled in yet another family spat. her fiancÈ, Rob, ducked his head down in shallow attempt to simply disappear into he background around this volatile atmosphere.

 " No Mom, I'm going out. I'll see you later, Ok?" The blonde girl said in her mother's direction. Nicky turned to her friend with an apologetic grimace on her face." C'mon Stace. Lets get outta here before I'm sick."

Stacy nodded hurriedly and quickly sprung out of her chair, eager to be away from the epitome of indignant anger that sat curdling like sour milk at the end of the table. Mr.Mayfair was not a happy man.


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 " What'ya doin' Rae babe?" Phil slurred slightly as he pulled his long frame along the side walk with unsteady feet. He was trying his very best to appear unfazed by his earlier consumption...and was failing miserably.

Raven screwed her beautiful features up comically and smirked at her friend as she dipped her hands beneath the waist band of her tight jeans. " I'm searching ma pants..." Huff...... groan....wriggling fingers. Phil watched the girl with intense clinical interest. "...Fer...errr...... some money. Gotta get some more money for the fun wagon." Raven smirked confidently at her friend and pulled out a ten dollar bill." That'll be gettin' us a coupla more beers, huh Philly?"

 " Yup, yup. Sure thing Rae mi amigo." Phil muttered while scratching his chin in deep philosophical thought....his mind had wondered else where once again, settling on a very important matter indeed. " Do you think that I should marry Penny?" Phil asked out of the blue as the dark haired girl continued to crow victoriously over finding some money in her pockets.

Rae looked over at her friend in surprise, a small grin etching it's way onto her striking and somewhat dazed face. " Well now, so you've gots yerself a crush on lil' Penny do ya now?" Raven stood up tall and patted her best buddy on his back, almost knocking the already unsteady boy onto his ass. Raven let the grin encompass the whole of her face, happy that her Phil had found a girl that he actually had a chance of gettin it on with. " Just remember that I've gotta be yer best man...err....best woman....err...or whatever!"

 " Yeah?" Phil mumbled in a daze, barely missing walking into a fire hydrant as he stumbled awkwardly over his large feet. " Ok, you can be my best woman....but maybe I should you know....ask Penny out on a date....and maybe even get to know her first a'fore I ask her ta be the future Mrs.Rogers, huh?" Raven nodded in a serious gesture, agreeing with that sound statement. Phil's face adopted a goofy grin at the thought of being able to give cute little Penny a kiss. " She's sure a cute lil' thing, doncha think?"

Raven closed her eyes slightly and draped one arm around her friend, to steady herself more than anything else. The word 'cute' just culminated images of a certain chirpy beautiful cheerleader who she was desperately trying to forget, at least for the time being. " Yeah," Rae whispered, putting her money in her back pocket, then dragging her fingers through her thoroughly mussed hair." She certainly is cute."

  Phil turned his head and stared at his dear friend. he rubbed his tired eyes with one fist and sighed." Don't worry Rae...you and Nicky will make a great couple when....."

Raven snatched her arm away and glared at Phil." No!" She huffed, shoving her trembling hands in her jeans." She doesn't want me Phil.....she doesn't want me."

 " Huh?" Phil screwed his animated face up and scratched his chin thoughtfully once more as he wondered how he could help his best pal. Now he had to decided to get married, it was only natural that his best pal got the woman of her dreams as well. " Whaddya mean Ravie?"

 " Nothin'" Raven grunted, walking faster to distance herself from her friend. Stop being a wuss Rae, be strong...you can do it...Ok? Once she had finished berating herself, Rae glanced back at her obviously drunk friend and urged him onwards." C'mon, the liquor store is just another couple of blocks away..and my throat's gettin' dry. So lets be gettin' a move on!"


 " Yes Ma'am!" Phil smirked, saluting his authoritative friend." Times a-wasting!"

Raven watched Phil as he skipped on in front of her, wishing that she could be that care free. " Yea," Raven muttered, sighing heavily. She watched, running a hand through her long black locks as dark clouds loomed over head, promising a down pour of rain." Time's a-wastin'...."


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 " I'm sorry about that Stace." Nicky buried her blonde head in her small hands, hoping to hide from the mortification and resentment that was slowly eating away at her. Everything is getting so screwed up here! Hummph! I just wish that....urggh! I wish that someone could take me away from all of this. Another image of the dark haired girl lounging naked in a hot tub, her breasts unbound, begging to be caressed drifted through Nicky's tortured head. Arggh! Straight...straight! THINK STRAIGHT! Can you imagine the field day daddy would have if he ever found out that you're lusting after another girl? Shit, it'd just be proving him that there is something wrong with you.

  Stacy regarded her friend with sympathetic brown eyes." Don't worry about it Nik. Sweetie, you know that you can stay over at mine whenever you need to...right?"

Nicky's jade green eyes slowly opened and peered hopefully at the red haired girl.

 " Could I maybe stay at yours over the weekend? I just REALLY don't want to have to go back home to...that." Nicky sighed." To...him." No, instead you want to run into the arms of a literally naked wet Raven, hmmm? No! No! Forget that! It just won't work....Nicky sucked in a deep breath, feeling her lungs expand as her heart beat increased ten-fold picturing herself with another woman...with Raven. Shit! I want her! What the hell are you gonna do about this Nicky girl? She asked herself.

Stacey dusted her behind off before sitting down on the street curb next to Nicky. She placed a protective arm around the troubled cheerleader's sturdy shoulders with much affection. " Yeah, you know my Mom loves having you over. I think she wishes that you were her daughter rather than me sometimes!"

  Nicky graced Stacy with a pretty smile and nudged the red head with her shoulder playfully." Ummmm right. You know your Mom adores you Stace.....an rightly so. You're her little clone, remember?"

Stacy shared a happy smile with her friend as she thought of her mother." Hmmm, Mom can be cool. It's neat that me and Mom are the same dress size and stuff. I can't tell you how much fun I have stealing her clothes right from underneath her very nose."

  Nicky giggled as she watched her friend's eyes sparkle with mischief. " Yeah, like as if she doesn't know that you've been nabbing her new designer outfits. She just lets you think that she's oblivious to the fact that her perfect daughter just happens to be wearing her new rags."

 " C'mon then. Stop mopping around. Lets just get our butts over to the Diner to get some chow, alright?" Stacy stood up and held her hand out to her dearest friend." I'm absolutely starving!"

  " Tell me about it." Nicky chuckled. On cue her stomach rumbled angrily. Both girls looked at each other in surprise and burst out laughing. It's nice to see that some things never change, Nicky thought as she wrapped an arm around her best friend's waist. It's just a shame that new things seem so damned scary at times.


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 " What'll it be?" The shop assistant glared suspiciously at Phil, who with his youthfully naive appearance was obviously under age. But apparently that could be over looked so long as the boy was going to be putting money in the owner's pockets." Well?"

Phil blushed and gaze pleadingly over at Raven who was expertly picking up a brand named six-pack of beer. Wish I had the confidence to just do stuff like that, Phil thought as he watched Raven stride purposefully towards the cash machine.

  " We'll 'ave these." Raven said confidently, slamming the ten dollar bill down on the dirty counter top. The shop assistant grumbled loudly, scanning the goods through and placing them in a paper bag. " You sure you're of legal age?" he questioned the dangerous looking youngster. Raven glared evilly at the sleazy slim ball who was eyeing her up and down.

 " Whadda you think?" She huffed gruffly, raising one dark eyebrow with a hint of superiority in her tone of voice. The little slimball took a good long look at the beauty before him and gulped. She sure was bossy...had a lil' too much attitude too fer his liking....but she sure was damn gorgeous! Well worth the scratches he was sure to get from a tumble in the hay with her.

 " Whatever..." he muttered coolly, passing some change over to the girl. he tried to remain as calm and collected as Raven and failed miserably in comparison as he practically drooled over the annoyed girl's cleavage.

 " Jeez...what a dickhead!" Raven said to Phil after she had grabbed the bag off of the little twit behind the counter. The two teenagers turned around and strode purposefully towards the exit of the store, pleased to have successfully restocked their alcohol booty.

 " I thought he was going to drown in all that way gross drool that was seeping outta his mouth Rae!" Phil snickered, nudging Rae in her side and swiping the beer out of her hands. Raven let her friend take the beer and shoved her hands in her pocket. A frown replaced the smile on her beautiful face when the door slammed open and a hefty figure knocked right into her, jarring her shoulder painfully.

 " Watch where the fuck you're goin'!" A rough, aggravated voice snapped at her. Raven took a hesitant step back to steady herself and scowled at the man....who, oh joy of joys!, just happened to be her Uncle Charles. It was easy to see that he also appeared to be drunker than an Irish Catholic priest on St.Patricks Day. Oh shit! Raven's gaze went directly to Phil who was gazing uncomfortably back at her. Raven indicated with her head for Phil to quickly leave the store while the doorway was still clear.

 " Who the fuck do ya think ya are to be runnin' into me like..." Chas stopped mid sentence as he squinted his eyes and recognised his sister's only child stare back at him dead in the eye.     " Raven!" he bellowed, his loud voice causing a couple of other innocent consumers of that glorious liquid called alcohol to stop and stare.

It was ridiculously obvious that Chas was drunk. His sweat stained shirt was half open, leaving the unpleasant sight of his hairy bloated chest exposed to all who dared to look. Chas grunted angrily in Raven's direction as he stumbled his way towards Raven, who had begun to curl her hands together to form a strong fist. " Where you been gal? Ain't seen hide nor hair of you fer days ya lil' bitch! The trailer's a mess cos you 'aven't even been back ta clean it up!"

  Raven growled intimidatingly at her uncle." Clean it up yourself you scruffy pig!" Raven sneered at the smaller man, hatred coursing through her veins, more potent than any alcohol she had ever consumed. " I am NOT your friggin' slave...in fact, as far as I'm concerned, I ain't your anything!"

Bewildered, Chas stared at his niece. She was supposed to look after him, to cook fer him, to do as she was told....to be his fucking bed slave if he fuckin' wanted her to be fer Christ's-sake! Where had it all gone wrong? Chas leered at the Raven's beautiful defiant face, anger landing on him like a ton of bricks. " Who the hell do ya think yer are Raven Vlade?!" He shouted, torn between wanting to kiss the gorgeous creature in front of him or pulverising her into a bloody pulp fer her disobedience." You'll do as yer told Raven. Just like yer whore of a mother before ya! At least she knew her rightful place! Down on her bloody knees infront of a man!"

  Raven felt her shoulders shake with wrath as she clenched her jaw until her teeth ached with the pressure. " Don't talk about her like that!" Raven wasn't particularly close to her mother, in fact the woman had treated her daughter abysmally, but something inside of Raven just couldn't stand to hear such slanderous shit being heaped on her mother...especially by her own brother. " Take that back!" Raven growled stepping menacingly towards the ugly man that claimed to be her 'loving' uncle.

Charles scoffed at the girl, his alcohol addled brain not able to remember the danger he had put himself in last time he had tried to raise a hand to this troubled girl. " I's only tellin' the truth Raven." Chas mocked, snorting through his blocked nose and pulling his face into a revolting sneer. " Should be like mother like daughter, huh?" Chas grunted in pleasure as he cupped his groin with one stubby hand, giving his 'manhood' a good old shake as though he actually had something there to be proud of.

  Raven saw red. She ignored the shop assistant's pleading for them to get out of his precious shop. She didn't care less about the loud whispering going on, created by the other worried shoppers. She was even too pissed off to listen to Phil's voice of reason that was begging her to leave with him before she got hurt. With her shoulders hunched, the dismally unhappy girl let loose, her fist flying through the air and coming to land squarely on Charles' stubbled chin.

 " Fuck'n'hell!" Charles screamed in pure agony as he flew backwards into a pyramid of beer cans. " Argggh!" Chas bellowed as he felt the hard cans dig into his back and sharply stab his flabby flesh. Shaking his greasy head a couple of times, Chas pushed himself up off the floor. hearing people laugh at his expense and seeing the satisfied look that blazed in Raven's crystal blue eyes drove Chas wild. The stupid man lunged for raven, who quickly side stepped the cumbersome man, causing him to miss the girl and instead run directly into the seedy shop keeper. " Get's outta ma way you fat bastard!" Charles snarled in fury, swinging his fist until it slammed into the unsuspecting shop keeper's podgy face.

 Raven and Phil watched on in grim disbelief as Charles continued to beat up on the other man, who in turn, vainly attempted to fight back with his sweat slicked paws.

 " Jeez-us! Your uncle is gonna kill him Rae! Do sumthin'!" Raven looked over at Phil with a dazed fog surrounding her eyes. Turning her head to the side and shaking her dark mane of hair, the powerful girl stepped forward and was just about to intervene when the store door smashed open violently once more.

 " Freeze!" Halt! No one better fuckin' move one friggin' muscle!" Three armed police cops paraded into the small shop and quickly launched themselves onto the two struggling assailants that were presently wrestling on the floor like pigs in heat. " I said freeze ass hole!" Yelled a particularly gruff authoritative voice. Raven turned around and viewed tha big burly officer with respect. he stood at least 6ft 9" in height with arms as thick as tree trunks. " Ok folks, just back away. We'll sort these two idiots out."

Shoppers quickly stepped backwards out of the large cop's way. Raven and Phil followed suit, too wrapped up in what the officers were doing to react in any other way, apart from obeying the muscular cop's order.

 " Shit Rae!" Phil whispered heatedly, his mud brown eyes widening as the other two officers tore Charles and the shop keeper away from one another, each cop cuffing one of the flailing men. Raven nodded and tried to hold back a smug grin as Chas glanced over in her direction and bellowed in rage at her smirking countenance.

 " Hey!" The burly officer said, while roughly nudging Chas forwards." None of that shit, ya hear me Charles?" Chas continued to babble incoherently and Raven had to seriously control her urge to stick a mischievous tongue out at her repulsive uncle. Behave yourself Rae, she silently berated herself, feeling rather pleased that her uncle was now getting some of what he deserved. Just be glad it wasn't you gettin' your arse thrown into the slammer Rae! Raven shook her head again and was helpless to hide the grin that spread over her face like wild fire. She happened to glance over at Phil who, now that imminent danger was out of the way, was struggling to appear not quite so young....or quite so drunk. She watched as Phil gulped loudly when the large officer turned to look at the pair of them suspiciously.

 " Oh-oh." Raven and Phil muttered simultaneously as the tall cop strode over towards them.   " Don't look now, but here comes trouble Rae." Phil squeaked nervously, stooping his shoulders in a vain attempt to disappear into thin air.

 " Ahhh...awwwwe, holy shit." Raven grumbled, quickly grabbing the pack of beer from Phil's fearfully twitching hands and hiding their treasure, ever so successfully, behind her back.

 " Good evein' kids." Officer Garrett nodded at Raven and a guilty looking Phil. " Sorry about the disruption....seems as though that last customer didn't know how to handle his booze very well, huh?" Garrett smiled genuinely at the two adolescents that so should NOT have been in this type of store, especially not at their tender age. He watched as the young boy's lips trembled nervously and had to supress the urge to bark out a fit of laughter. The young fellow looked as though he was just about to confess his every last sin since the age of 3 years old.

 " That's all right officer." Raven said calmly, her polka face indicating nothing of the worry that was eating away at her at this precise moment. The very last thing she needed right now was to be caught consuming substances for which she was blatantly underage. Then there was also the fact that the shit would really hit the fan if this nosy cop found out that she was actually related to the creep who he and his other cop buddies had just carted off for drunken disorder.

  Garrett turned to assess the beautiful girl who was holding herself very stiffly. If it wasn't for the occasional blink of her dark sooty lashes, Garrett would have assumed that this girl was a bloody statue, so still was she standing, almost like a glorious fallen angel frozen forever in ultimate untouchable perfection...... A lone memory from long ago teased the back of the gruff officer's mind before it slipped away out of his grasp. Raven scowled at the officer's continued interest and sniffed her disdain at the authoritative figure. Garrett snapped out of his daze and smiled in amusement at the obviously annoyed girl.

 " So kiddies, " He drawled in a teasing tone as he nodded at his companions to take the two brawling men to the station. Garrett smiled kindly and scratched behind his ear thoughtfully. He continued to stare at the squirming Phil and belligerent Raven. She's got balls has this one, he thought with admiration." What brings you here to the land of grown-ups?"

 " Whaddya mean?" Raven said defensively, almost bringing both her hands out infront of her to wave them intimidatingly at this annoying man who seemed to be enjoying toying with her and Phil. Luckily enough, her somewhat blurry brain still managed to recall that her hands were presently occupied....busy hiding the beer that they had so proudly purchased from the sleaze bag who owned this scruffy looking establishment.

 " What I mean young lady is..." Garrett quickly extended his longer arm and neatly snatched the six-pack of Bud from Raven's grasp. Raven's mouth dropped open as the muscular man dangled the trophy infront of the uncomfortably wriggling teenagers.

 " Fuck-it...busted." Raven muttered, scowling more heavily at the great bear of a man that stood smugly infront of her.

 " Both you and I know that neither of you should be in here....and you friggin' shouldn't be even considering drinking this stuff." Phil gulped as officer Garrett frowned in disapproval at both him and Rae. Shifting with discomfort, Phil winced as he felt all the booze he had guzzled coming back to repeat on him. Oh God! Oh God! Phil chanted silently, crossing his legs as fear ran rough shod through his scrawny frame. Please, pleeeease don't let me pee my pants..pleeease God!

  Garrett glanced over at the gangly boy who was currently dancing from foot to foot. Ahhh, I know how ya feel son, Garrett smiled in amusement once more, remembering a time when he himself had been on a drinking binge and found it hard to control the plumbing system. These two really are just too much, the cop thought to himself, struggling to contain his hearty laughter, especially when the defiant dark haired girl pouted at him with a cute sulky expression on her healthy tanned face at being caught red handed.

 " Boy." Garrett said lock sternly, looking over at the still madly hopping Phil. Phil practically jumped out of his skin as the officer addressed him personally.

 " Hummph?" The slender teenager squeaked, causing Raven to crack a sly grin at her squirming friend. She was just dying to start make a watery 'pssssssss' sound and motion trickling movements with her fingers, just to see Phil squirm a little bit more.  

 " Just go to tha john, will ya?" Garrett stated calmly his deep voice issuing no room for argument and Phil was beyond the point of arguing as his poor bladder was insistently informing him. A brief nod from Phil and off he went, quickly, if not gracefully, jumping behind the shop counter in search for a toilet.

 " So Missy, I just wanted to say....." Garrett started to say, but was promptly interrupted by the still thoroughly sulking girl. Raven eyed the officer up with petulant anger, offended by the name he had just used to address her with.

 " Don't 'Missy' me." Raven grumbled, crossing her arms across her chest in a rebellious fashion, while scuffing her dirty tennis shoes on the cracked tiled of the floor. Garrett was a bit taken a-back by the girl's directness, but he wasn't about to let her know that. Raven watched the big cop carefully, not trusting him one little bit.

 " Listen Mister, have you got a problem or sumthin'?" Raven said cautiously as she made herself lessened her glare at the authoritative man. Perhaps it wouldn't be so wise for her to rile this strong looking officer of the law. But then again, since when do I ever listen to the voice of reason? Screw reason, it's never done me any good in the past...... Then again, it's never done me any wrong either...because I never use it. Raven let a small beguiling smile slide over her face." So whaddya wanna say to me, huh?"

Garrett scratched at the day old whiskers on his handsome face and grinned at this tall girl's cocky attitude. Women, huh, who'd ever figure them out? " I was just wondering..."

 " Wondering what exactly?" Raven interjected, her interest piqued as the officer continued to search her face questioningly with his black eyes.

 " I was wondering why it is that the phone call we received specifically described one of the two fighting trouble makers to be a tall dark haired teenaged girl.....and why it is that when me and my work mates appeared on scene that it was actually two middles aged men scraping like alley cats in mating season.....And also why it is that the alleged trouble maker was standing by with her little chum idly watching the interaction between the two men instead of part-taking, which is what the witness originally described as what was happening?"

  Raven gulped inaudibly, immediately trying to hide her discomfort as she shuffled her feet slightly from side to side, scuffing her boots on the dirty floor. Bloody bastardy big bollocks! Raven cursed mentally as she glared grumpily at the charmingly grinning officer. Crossing her arms and performing her best intimidating scowl, Raven decided to go with the innocent act and simply shrugged her broad shoulders in a careless gesture of boredom.

 " I dunno...." Raven muttered while avoiding officer Garrett's knowing gaze. Raven began to shift uncomfortably once more under the police man's close scrutiny. Arrggghh!, he better stop eye balling me like that or I'll poke his bloody eyes out....with a very sharp pointy stick if I hav'ta! Hummph! " What?! " Raven growled, her voice growing deep as the low sound vibrated in her chest. She screwed her face up and frowned at the annoying man.         " What're ya lookin' at? Do ya want a picture or sumthing?" Raven shuffled a few feet backwards as the officer crept forward slowly. Her mischievous side was just dying to just push the big cop away and watch in abject satisfaction as his body sailed right into another pyramid of stacked bottles. Better not Rae, the dark girl thought to herself while staring back dubiously at the large man. You'll probably get yerself into even deeper shit if ya do that, and you soooo do not need to add any more fuel onto the fire right now.

 Oh, what a little cocky shit this chick is, Garrett thought in absolute glee to himself, impressed with Raven's audacity and bad assed attitude. She kinda reminds me of.....Garrett took a closer look at the girl standing defiantly infront of him. Under this light, he could have sworn that she looked just like.....Garrett blinked twice as Raven's face was suddenly thrusted straight into his. " What the....? What are you doing girl?"

 " What's it look like Officer?" Raven said, her throaty voice growling with aggravation." You wanted a better look right? So here ya go? Feeling better now you perv? Get a close enough look?"

 Garrett cleared his throat and blushed guiltily. He hadn't meant to seem so....creepy. The large man stepped back quickly and scratched the back of his neck as it flushed a bright pink with embarrassment. The kid had gotten him flustered alright.

 " Listen Kiddo," He mumbled, glancing back up at the young defensive girl infront of him. Seems like she don't like people gettin' into her personal space, Garrett mused thoughtfully. I can understand that. Shrugging his own shoulders in a similar fashion to that of the girl's, the officer immediately decided to just caution the girl and the dorky boy who was stumbling his way over to them while simultaneously attempting to close his fly buttons." I know that you and Sparky there have been guzzling beer and God knows what else..."

 " But...we...haven't...!" Phil exclaimed, his eyes pleading innocence as his voice ended in a squeak. Shit, shite and holy sugar! If my Mom finds out about this, I'm in deep doggy doo-da. Save me God! Save me!!!!! Phil gulped and looked over at his cool co-conspirator who was standing all tall, gorgeous and defiant as usual. Garrett gave Phil a disbelieving look and crossed his arms over his broad chest. Uh-oh! Whenever in trouble, switch automatically to suck-up mode! " We really didn't officer! I swear we didn't! We...errr.....I'm sure such an intelligent cop as you can see that...erm..."

 " Do you think I'm still wet behind the ears or sumthin' young-un? Stop bull-shittin' me." Garrett let a small smile pass across his face." Jesus, I coulda smelt that booze offa the both of you twenty miles away. What've y'all been doin'? Bathing in the stuff?" Garrett watched as the dark haired girl remained silent and simply raised one of her perfectly arched eyebrows.

 With a more serious tone, the officer turned to look both teenagers in the eye. They seemed to be good kids...if a little too rebellious. But then again Garret, remember what you were like at their age. A confident smirk covered the big man's handsome face. Yeah, I was a bit of a hellraiser too. Garrett smiled at the two waiting kids who were fidgeting like they had an army of ants doing the macarena in their pants. The big cop calmly ran a hand over the front of his shirt, looking for his sunglasses." You to just lay off that stuff and I'll say no more about it...Ok?"

Raven scowled darkly at officer Garrett. No one was gonna be telling her what and what not to do. Yeah, like I'm really gonna listen to what.....

 " Sure! Absolutely! Yup! Definitely! Whatever you say Officer." Phil automatically agreed, his fluffy haired head bobbing up and down like a hyperactive puppet on a string.

Raven glared at her friend in dismay. " Why doncha just bow down to him Philly boy and praise him on yer knees?" Raven growled softly. So much for making a stand. Raven felt the cop's eyes on her, waiting for an answer." Bloody hell...." Raven muttered. She let her sharp glare penetrate the officer's gaze for a minute or so before she begrudgingly gave one lone nod of her dark glossy head. He's a fool if he thinks I'm gonna kiss ass like Philly, Raven silently huffed, a small frown settling on her smooth brow due to the current pride bashing she was going through.

  Garrett shoved his glasses over the bridge of his nose as he nodded his head. " That'll do then kids. Now go on...be off wid ya before I go changing my mind and throw the pair of you into a cell for the rest of the week."

 " Yes Sir, right away Sir!" Phil answered. Raven grabbed hold of Phil's arm roughly before the daft boy saluted the thoroughly amused officer." Hey! Oww! Get offa me Rae! That bloody hurts!" Raven dragged her friend towards the store door which was being cleared from debris from Charles' little spat with the shop owner.

  Raven quickly scanned around for the six pack she had just bought. Raven was about to skirt on over to her lost prize when she felt hot eyes burn into her shoulder blades. Oh bugger it! Raven glanced over her shoulder only to see Officer Garrett shake his head.

 " Don't even think about it Kiddo." Raven let a small growl escape her parted lips, frustration seeping through her body as Phil continued to simper rather pathetically under the officer's watchful gaze.

 " Ahhhh! Sod it!" Raven muttered deeply as she yanked her friend out of the door before the teenaged boy began to leave a rash on officer Garrett's arse from so much butt kissing.

 Garrett just shook his head and let a bawdy laugh escape his mouth as the sound of the dark girl's continued grumbling as she tugged her bumbling friend along behind her reached officer's keen ears. " What a gal." Garrett chuckled to himself." What a gal."


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" Kiss my ass you ugly mother fucker!" Charles snarled viciously at his jailer as he was shoved none too gently into the vacant cell." You evil bastard!" The rotund middle aged man cursed as he heard the cops snicker at his loud ranting. He swivelled around and looked about for anything to take his anger out on. THERE! Lying on the floor seeming oh so very innocent! Charles hefted is foot back and kicked the empty Coke can that had been laying placidly on the floor minding it's own business. Sod that fucking bitch of niece! I should never have let her stay at mine in the first place! Charles pictured Raven's beautiful face with glee as he whacked the can once more, grunting in satisfaction as the metallic object clattered helplessly in the corner of the dingy cell." I'm gonna kill that fuckin' blue eyed, black haired bitch!"

 " Hey now, watch the language Winton!" Threatened a balding Officer by the name of Gaundy. The hefty cop sat down heavily on the swivel chair that was strategically placed behind the desk infront of the open bar cells. Peering over his half moon spectacles, Gaundy sniffed disdainfully at Charles Winton. Always was a lousy lay about, he was. He squinted at the ranting man who looked as though he was going to give birth to kittens any minute the way he was carrying on." Quiet down will ya?"

 " Fuck you Gaundy!" Chas hissed, spittle flying over his own bristly face as his red rimmed eyes glared at the porky man." Just go and choke on a shitting doughnut will ya, you ugly fat git ya!" Chas yelled belligerently at Gaundy through the rusting metal bars.

 Gaundy picked up a heavily sugar coated doughnut and licked his lips greedily while ignoring the hungry hollers coming from some of the occupants of the other jail cells. " Hmm, think I might just do that Winton, better way to go than frigging drinking myself ta death likes you're doin' you old fool."

  Charles sneered menacingly at the chubby man placed behind the desk, then grunted and turned his back on the disgusting sight of dribble and jam squirt out of the obese man's gaping mouth. Sitting down on the bare wooden bench that hung precariously from the side of the filthy mould encrusted wall, Chas ran a hand over his jaw and winced as a twinge of pain made itself known. Sucking in one hard breath, the drunken man clenched his fist and ground it into the already shaky wooden surface that he sat on, one thought running persistently through his cloudy brain.

 " I'm gonna kill that fuckin' bitch....." He cursed loudly once more.

 " Kill who?" Came a raspy voice. Chas glanced up through his alcohol dazed state and saw a young man stare intently at him. Ugly son of a bitch, he thought to himself, noting the prominent scarring on the other man's face. What's with all the friggin' tattoos? Maybe tryin' ta cover up that ugly mug of his! Heh, heh.

 " What's it worth to you shit head?" Chas growled, curling his cracked lip up at his cell mate. He watched as the other man walked over to the bars that separated them and leaned in close.

 " It might be worth sumthin' dickhead." Chas frowned as an evil grin appeared on the ugly bastard's smirking face." It jus' might be worth sumthin' fer the both of us....."


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 " I can't believe you bloody kissed ass like that Phil!" Raven exclaimed, letting go of Phil's shirt as soon as they were out in the cool night air once more. Raven stuffed her cold hands back in her jean pockets trying to keep her frozen fingers warm, trying to hold in a grin as she glanced over at the sheepish looking Phil. She didn't know whether to laugh or frown at her dopey looking friend.

 " It wasn't as if I wus that obvious Rae." Phil stated, trying in vain to defend his mega time arse sucking and regain some sort of reputation other than that of a little kiss-ass. Raven snorted in disbelief. Phil poked his bottom lip out and pouted at his best friend. " Come on! I wasn't THAT bad...was I?"

 " See! You can't even convince yerself Philly Boy!" Raven answered, swatting Phil over the back of the head. Phil tried to duck, but wasn't quick enough to avoid the dark girl's agile hand.

 " Ouch! Pack that in you...you...you girl you!" Phil blundered, starting to feel somewhat offended as Rae started to actually...laugh at him! How dare she! Phil watched a beautiful, radiant smile encompass Raven's face. Her blue eyes sparkled and glinted as they passed a street lamp, reflecting the girl's apparent amusement at Phil's panicked reaction to the large police officer that had questioned them.

 " Ohhh! Now I'm really offended Phil. What a brilliantly original come back that was Philly." Raven snickered softly, teasing her high strung friend as she continued to swat playfully at his messy hair.

Yup, Rae would dare to laugh....and I'm glad that she seems happier than she was before. Phil sighed as he felt his heart lurch at the wonderful sight of Raven's momentary happiness. I really wish her all the happiness in the world Phil mused silently as he wobbled unsteadily over to his friend and swatted back at her rather unsuccessfully.....not that he let that stop him from trying though.

  Raven just laughed harder as she pictured Phil's miserably worried face when Officer Garrett had given them their marching orders and continued to easily side step Phil's blundering attempts at getting back at her.

 " You were terrible and you know it Philly Boy...I was sure I wus gonna puke up if I had to stay and listen to you garble on like a love struck idiot afor another minute." Raven snickered once more as she recalled the last half hour.

 " Hey! You needn't talk, you're the love sick one remember!" Phil blurted out playfully, circling Raven like an over eager puppy as they walked down a deserted side street. Raven stopped walking and her head slumped downwards, long jet black locks obscuring her face as she starred intently at the dusty ground beneath her boots and turned Phil's words over in her head. Phil stopped his mad circling when he realised that his friend had taken his words the wrong way. Uh-oh! Phil thought guiltily. He hadn't meant to touch a sore point, which obviously the little blonde cheerleader was.

 " Rae...are you Ok?" Phil whispered, cautiously moving one hand to Raven's strong arm. He could feel the tense muscles clench under his fingertips. One good thing though, Phil thought absent mindedly, she hasn't batted me off like she usually does in situations like this....that's gotta be a good sign, doesn't it?

 " I....I don't know Phil." Raven lifted her head up to stare at her friend." I really don't know. I dunno what to do....I don't know what I'm feeling....or what to do about it."

Phil took a hold of Raven's soft hand and pulled her over to small grassy knoll, away from the dimly lit street lights. Sitting down on the softly blanketed ground of foliage, Phil simply drew his gangly up to his chest and leaned his weary head against his knees. The still woozy boy yawned slightly and placed one hand over his mouth. Pursing his lips, he remained steadily silent. He knew by now that Raven, who was usually vague at best, would only reveal what she wanted to in her own time. Maybe now just isn't the time, the boy mused thoughtfully, turning his pondering brown eyes to the peaceful beauty beside him.

  Raven sighed heavily and slumped down against the surface of the soft ground, her head cushioned by a few wild flowers the surrounded the pretty terrain that they rested in. I can't get her outta my head. She reached up and covered an arm over her face, hiding her eyes from view. Squeezing her blur orbs shut, Raven shook her head and huffed in annoyance when the image of the cheerleader straddling her body refused to get out of her head.             " Dammit!" Raven cursed helplessly, flinging her arm away from her face.

Phil turned his gaze up towards the skies, watching as the bright moon pierced through the feathery clouds that hovered above in the eerily silent darkness.

 " Raven.....tell me. Just tell me what's wrong." Phil whispered, his voice breaking slightly as the lump of emotion in his throat threatened to choke him. Clasping his hands infront of him for want of anything better to do, the lanky teenager squirmed slightly. Raven had tensed up slightly, her shoulders held rigid. Jeez, the stress flowing from her body is enough to give a turtle on laxatives constipation! Phil smiled slightly at this image and Raven turned her soulful eyes in his direction.

 " I can't tell you what's....what's wrong." Raven murmured, her deep voice turning throaty as she attempted to keep her emotions in check. Dammit, why the hell am I acting like a menopausal moo? Christ! I'm pathetic. Urggh! Getta grip Rae! Another image of a decidedly naked cheerleader sashayed through her misbehaving mind. Oh yeah? Getta hold of what? Nicky's nekkid ass?

 " Huh?" Phil propped himself up on one boney elbow so that he could watch Rae more closely. She really was so very beautiful, especially with the moonlight gently caressing her flawless skin, causing shadows to cast a mysterious glint over the girl's exotic beauty. " Why....why can't you tell me what's goin' on?"

Raven glared at Phil for a moment before dropping her gaze. " Because I really don't know what's going on Phil....I really don't know what's happening, here....." Raven pressed one hand to her heart. She could feel it beating, thundering so heavily in her chest and it ached, it ached so much for something she wasn't sure she wanted to have. " It hurts here Phil and it won't go away.....I've tried and it won't, it just won't and it's driving me crazy."

  Phil stared at the long fingered hand that rested over raven's breast bone, understanding flooding his large features. " Oh man Rae." Phil whispered loudly, scratching his chin thoughtfully, trying desperately to think of something useful to say. How do you inform your best friend that she's in love when she blatantly refuses to admit it even to herself? " Why don't you just do something about it Rae? Doncha think that maybe, just maybe she feels the same? I remember the look in her eyes as she gazed at you when we were all in the library. There's definitely something there Rae." Phil shifted his ass around on the ground, searching for a more comfortable position. Why is it that everytime I seem to lie on the floor that every rock, stone and bloody pebble decides to emigrate under my arse? Hummph!

  Raven remained silent, considering her friend's words. Nah...it couldn't be true? Could it? Raven's heart leapt in her chest at the prospect of Nicky actually loving her.

 " But's she's with that prick, Brad!" A dark scowl crossed over Raven's face." I mean, is she just fucking with my mind?!" Raven's breathing increased at the same heightening rate of her agitation. " Shit Phil, I even felt like a goddamn sicko or something after the two of us started making out in the locker room...." Raven stopped, realising what she was saying.

 " YOU WHAT!!??" Phil squeaked as he lunged up from his semi reclined position, knocking his spectacles askew. " When? What? Why...WHEN the fuck did this happen Rae??????" Phil pushed himself to his feet, almost tripping over in the process. he stared down at Raven with something akin to disbelief. Raven just lounged on the ground, her body seemed calm, but a small tick at the corner of her eye was a dead give away to the stress and lack of sleep the girl had been going through." Have I been on another planet or somethin'? Or did you just decide to not inform me of this... this ...this thing!? Huh?" Raven watched Phil pace back and forward, walking in a somewhat wobbly line.

 " Is it any of your business anyways?" Raven growled, her defences rising quickly to block any possible grief she may receive from her wrought friend. Phil's brown eyes bugged out of his lean face as he regarded Raven.

 " You've got to be kidding, yeah?" He ran one trembling hand through his thick head of hair. Raven and Nicky making out? Wow! Phil let one stray glance run over Raven's body. Oh God, what he wouldn't give to have front row tickets for THAT show! Ahh, ahh! Behave yourself Phil. Phil smirked and brought his gaze back up to another beautiful pair of orbs that were a part of Raven's glorious charisma. " You're my best pal! Of course it's got sumthin' ta do wid me Rae! I mean, if I had been making out with Penny..... or... erm...someone," Phil blushed as Raven lifted one dark eyebrow when the cute little brunette's name was mentioned." You know what I mean Rae, c'mon, give a guy a break."

 " Jeez Phil," Raven muttered, rubbing the back of her neck in a perturbed manner." You're worse than your friggin' mother. Gossip mongers, the both of you." Raven grabbed Phil's wrist as he wobbled by and yanked him down onto the grass once more." Pack in that pacing, yer givin' me a headache Philly." Phil grunted and sat down crossed legged, anxiously waiting for Rae to divulge eagerly anticipated information.

 " Well?" Phil urged, blinking excitedly about this hotter than hot gossip." Do tell!"

 Raven graced the boy with a scathing glance before telling him about her and....the cheerleader. Taking a deep breath Raven prepared to perform the ultimate privacy sacrifice and spill her guts...somewhat reluctantly.

 " I don't know how it happened Phil. I was in the shower room.."

  Phil nodded as he pictured the scene." A very suitable place to perform a lesbian rife scene."

Raven sent her friend a scowl, a small pout hovering on her lips. " Hmmm. Well anyways, we were in the shower stalls in the locker room and we were just talkin'....."

 " Just talkin'?"

 " Well, to begin with." Raven sighed." She seemed real....nervous all of a sudden."

 " That's perfectly acceptable when treading into uncharted territory." Phil nodded sagely, drawing his knees back up to his scrawny chest so he could rest his cheek on them. A thoughtful look flitted over the gawky boy's face." You know what, she was lookin' fer you the other day. You know, when Coach Redburn held you back after physical ed. She was in quite a flummox trying to find you, she sure was, rushing around really frantically."

 " Really?" Raven grinned as this snippet of information took root. A flutter of hope spiralled around inside of the young brunette's heart, but she didn't dare let that hope bloom. Knowing her luck Fate would just cruelly snatch away anything that she longed for with this much intensity.

 " Yeah, really." Phil grinned back at the girl as a cute little smile edged it's way onto her face. She's just a big softie, she really is.

 " Well....yeah." Raven tried to prevent herself from blushing, but her blood was boiling as she remembered the touch of the little blonde's fingers running over her, Nicky's sweet breath fanning over her flushed skin." Oh Gods Phil....it just happened. Nicky slipped and I tried to catch her. We both fell and......"

 " You tried to play hero again?" Phil questioned. Yeah, that was something that he'd learned Rae was prone to do. Even though she regarded herself as a bad-ass, she would go out of her way to try and save someone in dire straights, she really would.

 " You know, you're really gonna have to stop scowling Rae. You're gonna end up with lines and wrinkles before your time." Phil said, chuckling as Raven reached a couple of fingers to her forehead to wipe away the modest worry lines there.

 " Whatever." Raven murmured, slightly resenting the fact that Phil could read her so well. When was the last time you ever let anyone this close to you to let them discover who you are, what you're like? Never. She's never wanted to before. But now there was good old reliable Phil....and then there was Nicky. Gorgeous, beautiful, brilliant, fabulous, intoxicating Nicky. Sexy Nicky. Raven smirked, recalling the fiery little cheerleader's hot lithe body straddling her.

 " Well?" Phil said expectantly, gesturing for Raven to continue." What happened next?"

 " She....er.....we...err...." Raven took a deep breath trying to calm her trembling that threatened to wrack through her body. " She thought I'd hurt myself and she was checking me out to see if everything was Ok."

 " And by the look on your face she did a thorough check out, huh Ravie? Was everything in working order?" Phil snickered, patting his friend on the back. " I can't believe that you never told me any of this!"

 " Yeah, well...there was no point in tellin' you was there?" Raven shifted uncomfortably and drew herself up. Her neck was stiff from laying down on the cold ground in one position for too long. Trying to work out the kinks in her neck, Raven looked up at Phil through her thoroughly mused bangs of hair, her sapphire eyes peeking out at Phil in an adorable manner, like a little kid not yet sure of her surroundings. " I mean, it's not as if she's gonna be breakin' up with lover boy any time soon...and there's the fact that she ran off like a scared rabbit once things started gettin'.....heated. I felt like such a shit just sitting there on the shower room floor, calling after her."

 " She just left you there after you two made out?" Phil asked in surprise. Nicky was not usually the one to run away from anything. The blonde girl had one hell of an impressive reputation for fronting many debates and other social events. She just wasn't the type of person to easily be frightened or subdued. Then again, under these circumstances, he could understand why she the popular girl was so scared. She had ALOT to lose if anyone ever found out about her and his dark dangerous friend getting all touchy feely in the literal sense.    " Raven, you've got no reason to feel like a shit, it's not like you accosted her anything, right?"

 " Of course I didn't!" Raven huffed, offended that Phil even voiced that option. Ahhh, but Rae, it's not like you haven't ever thought about it though, about taking Nicky over and over again until she begged you to love her for all eternity. " Arrrgh! I just don't know what to do Phil! It's driving me crazy...She's driving me crazy. I can't handle this Phil, I really can't. I-I really can't control myself around her Phil. I just want to grab hold of her and never let her go....." She let out a huge sigh and slumped back down to the ground, burying her face into the crook of her elbow. " I'm just getting fed up. With her weird behaviour towards me...and the way I always react to her, the way my body reacts to her. I don't want to want her. Gods, she's the last girl I'd want to.... to feel anything for. Look at her for Christ-sake, Miss.Popular Cheerleader. She's got a good background, a well off family, parents that have major social standing in this community...and fucking worst of all, a goddamn sodding boyfriend who is the fucking star quater back and who just happens to piss me off mega time! Urggh!"

 Phil looked on in amazement, his mouth gaping open like a gasping fish. Christ! That was the longest sentence he'd EVER heard come out of Raven's mouth! Placing one hand over the back of Raven's head, Phil rested his soothing fingers over the silky texture of the girl's dark, glossy hair.

 " Rae, it'll be Ok." Phil whispered, his brow wrinkling in consternation. Raven rolled back over and shook Phil's hand off. She wasn't about to let her guard down totally, not even with Phil.

 " Yeah, sure it will." She sneered, not directly at Phil, but enough to make the lanky boy back off slightly. " We all know that people like me always get happy endings, right?"

 " What's wrong with someone like you getting a happy ending Rae?" Phil asked softly, shoving his hands in his corduroy pockets. " You deserve happiness just as much as anyone....if not more." Raven glanced the boy with an unconvinced look.

 " Face it Philly, I'd never be good enough for her." Raven picked at the ground beneath her, uprooting some strand of tough grass. " And it's not like she's gonna dump Brad anytime soon...I mean, I'm not exactly going to be seen as acceptable material for the Home Coming Queen's other half, now am I?" Phil remained silent, not knowing what to say to his best friend. Obviously there were not words that were going to soothe Raven right now.

 " Ok. So maybe Nicky won't be dumping Brad any time soon and perhaps not everyone would be pleased if you and Nicky got it on together." Raven snorted in derision, her head tilting to the side as she flicked strands of grass from her fingers back onto the ground.           " BUT! That doesn't explain why Nicky, the girl who I've known for years, would purposefully seek you out again and again. It seems to me as though a certain head cheerleader can't get enough of you either Rae."

Raven paused and thought about it. Pursing her lips in contemplation, Raven recalled all the times the little blonde had backed her up, had supported her, had wanted to spend time with her. It had been her, not Nicky that was keeping the distance between them. Why the hell have I been pushing her away? Raven's sculpted features took on a look of bemusement as she pondered this question. I know I want her, Gods do I want Nicky.....but, then why have I been closing myself off from her. Shouldn't I have been chasing her...seeking her out as well? Confused with her own thoughts, Raven shook her head and moaned as she felt a headache creep onwards in her skull, as unstoppable as a big brass band on rampage.

 " Sod this...it's making me damned depressed. I just do NOT need the hassle right now." Raven growled lowly. " Can we just forget about this? Just lets....not talk about it."

 " But...?"

 " Please?" Raven stared at Phil, her eyes flashing in the moonlight." Just....not now. Ok?"

  Phil sniffed and chewed on his bottom lip, contemplating Raven's request. He knew for a fact that Raven wouldn't be bringing this subject up again any time soon. " If that's what you really want Rae...sure thing." Phil shivered slightly as the cool night air crept into his veins and sent a chill skittering up the boy's spine. " C'mon Rae, lets get movin'."

Raven blinked, her long eyelashes blanketing her eyes, shadowing any emotions she was feeling. " Sure thing." Raven rose from the ground, wiping dirt from the seat of her pants.        " Lets make tracks Philly Boy." Raven forced a smile to her face. Life goes on. Looping one strong arms around Phil's lanky shoulders, Raven directed her friend towards the bright lights that shone from the town centre." I don't know about you, but I'm still thirsty." Raven let an evil grin spread over her face as she buried her chaotic thoughts once more beneath a mask of nonchalance.

 " Like I said Rae," Phil repeated, bringing one hand up and mussing Raven's dark hair, much to the girl's annoyance. " Whatever you say goes....I'll follow your lead."

Raven turned briefly to gaze into Phil's trusting puppy dog brown eyes. I know you will my friend, Raven silently murmured. Unable to voice her thanks out loud, the tall girl simply bestowed her best friend with the most beautiful smile he'd ever seen. Phil sighed in contentment and grinned back at Rae. Things could get difficult from here on out, he thought worriedly, regarding his troubled friend with unblinking eyes. Lets just hope that I can help in some way when Rae really needs me. Sighing once more Phil tugged playfully on a strand of Raven's inky black hair. Hearing her yelp slightly, Phil snickered loudly and began to run away......quickly.

 " Urggh!" Raven bellowed, letting a smirk encompass her features. Now this was a role she could handle, one that she was familiar with. Being a first class brat. " Come back here Philly Boy!" She yelled with glee, feeling the effects of Jack Daniels begin to stir to life inside of her veins once more. " When I catch you I'm gonna...!" Raven continued to merrily issue threats as she sped after the gawky boy, a genuine smile lifting her heart for the first time that day.



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