"W-w-what do you mean?" she asks nervously.

"He's on the trip."

"With you?"


"Why? How? Where has he been? Is he okay?" she asks, panic laced in her voice. "Okay, that's so weird. I really called you because I wanted to talk about Caleb and I didn't know who else to call besides you. How did you end up on the same trip as my brother?

"I don't know how it happened, exactly. I think he's been living in Chicago since he left town. He's changed, though. He's not the same." I don't tell her my goal is to get Caleb back to Paradise to work things out. Leah needs him. His family needs him. I thought I needed him, but now we're too different. I can't be emotionally involved with someone who resents the world and wants to push everyone away.

I hear hesitation in Leah's voice as she says, "I always used to think an ESP thing between twins was something people made up. But I couldn't sleep the past few nights, Maggie. I swear Caleb is in trouble, or really unhappy. I feel his pain as if it's my own. That's stupid, isn't it?"

"No, it's not stupid," I tell her. I believe anything is possible. It's probably because I'm an over-emotional person. It's one of my flaws.

"Do me a favor, will you?"

"What is it?" I ask.

"Take care of him, Maggie. Promise me you'll watch out for my brother," she says almost desperately.

Watch out for him? Caleb is strong enough, if not emotionally than definitely physically, to take care of himself.

"Don't worry, Leah," I tell her. I swallow a lump in my throat and temporarily push away my newfound resolve to let go of Caleb once and for all. "I'll make sure he stays out of trouble."



ou're a great dancer," Brandi says as we walk outside after we unload a beer bong in the kitchen. This girl is no stranger to beer bongs, I'll tell you that much. She's a damn pro.

I mumble, "Thanks."

She holds on to my elbow to steady herself and looks up at me with big brown eyes. "You know what they say about good dancers, don't you?"

Sure I know, but I want to hear the explanation come through Brandi's little lips ... so I've got to ask. "What do they say?"

She gives me a wicked smile and giggles. "Good dancers are good in bed."

Brandi's words make me feel like a rock star. She definitely feeds my bruised ego.

"Wanna test that theory?" I ask. Okay, I'm officially drunk.

She bites her bottom lip, assessing me like a car. I wonder if she thinks I'm a Chevy or a Rolls Royce. She leans in and whispers in my ear, "I'm a good dancer, too."

I pull this sexy girl close. Her arms wrap around my neck and she presses against me. It's a hint of more to come. I'm gonna let myself enjoy Brandi. She's a surefire solution to this pity party I've been throwing myself for way too long. No doubt she's gonna make me forget about Maggie and everything else.

I don't know how much alcohol I have in my system, but it's enough to make my head swim and make me believe the only girl I'm interested in is the one pressing her hot body against mine, which is good. Very good.

"Let's go to your place," I tell her. I don't think Maggie or Damon would be too appreciative if they came back and caught me gettin' it on with a girl. And if Lenny found us ... hell, the guy might be demented enough to ask to join in the fun.

She leads me down the quad, tripping a couple of times. I steady her and she calls me her hero. Yeah, right. We stagger past the place I played football earlier, but she stops when we get to Dixon Hall.

"You live here?" I ask her as I fight the sobering thought that we might get caught by the Re-START posse.

"Yeah. Don't worry, though. My roommate is out for the night."

She leads me up the stairs to the second floor. Damn. Her room is just down the hall from ours. Brandi doesn't have a suite like the one I'm in-hers is just a small dorm room with two single beds.

I watch with lazy eyes as she stumbles over to the bed and unbuttons her shirt. She watches me with raised eyebrows as she pushes the material aside like curtains being opened to let in the daylight sun, revealing a lacy black bra that doesn't hide much. I like easy girls who don't expect me to be one of the good guys. If they wear lacy black bras, all the better. I whip my shirt off and walk toward her.

"Your tattoo is so sexy," she purrs as we lie on the bed together. "It's like black fire." I got my tattoo in Chicago as a symbol of my rebellion.

Being here with Brandi is a symbol of my rebellion, too.

We haven't kissed yet. I'm not sure I even want to kiss her. And while that thought should be alarming me, I don't think about it too hard because (1) it's damn difficult to think straight when you're drunk, and (2) she maneuvers around to straddle me and my mind goes blank.

She traces the tattoo on my biceps with her fingers. "Wanna see mine?"


She kneels above me, turns around, and pulls down the back of her pants. Sure enough, she's got a tattoo of a red unicorn with rainbow wings right above her ass crack.

"Nice," I say, but I'm starting to feel anxious so I add, "Show me what else you've got." We'd better get this party started because I should go back to my own room soon. I better not be missing when Damon and the rest of the crew comes back.

Brandi licks her heart-shaped lips as she twists back around and unbuttons her low-slung pants. "I like a guy who knows what he wants. What do you want, Caleb?"

"I'm up for anything and everything."

"Me too," she says, raking her nails down my chest and moving lower. And lower. It hurts, and I think she's scratching off a layer or two of my skin. She slithers down my body, and I decide I don't care.

I lie back, welcoming what I know will come next. As her expert hands unsnap and unzip my jeans, then free me from confinement, I watch, my head spinning. She's having no problem focusing, even though she's as wasted as me. Everything she does is so well orchestrated; this girl is a total pro at more than just beer bongs. I close my eyes and tell my lower region to enjoy the attention.

I am definitely into this.

Way into this.

To say I'm turned on right now is an understatement of mega proportions. I'm just not sure if it's a problem that behind my eyelids I'm imagining a girl who limps and hates me...


"What did you just say?"

Huh? "What?" I open my eyes and look down at Brandi, poised above my unzipped pants.

"Did you just call me Maggie?" she asks accusingly.

"No." Whether I did or didn't, Brandi is definitely not Maggie. "Sorry," I add lamely.

She shrugs. "That's okay."

Without hesitation, she reaches into her side table drawer and pulls out a little plastic bag. She picks out a yellow pill with a smiley face on it, pops it in her mouth, and breathes in slowly as she savors the taste. "Here, take an Adam," she says, holding another one out to me.

I look at the pill. "What's an Adam?"

"You know, Ecstasy. Take it and put it under your tongue. I promise you won't think about anything else but having a good time with me."

Sounds great. I sit up and take the pill from her. If taking this little thing can make me forget everything except having a good time, I'm all for it.

But as I'm about to pop it into my mouth, I think about my mom. My mom is a prescription drug addict. Getting shitfaced drunk is bad enough, but taking pills ...


Ingesting pills takes this thing to an entirely different level. I hand the pill back to her. "I can't do this."

"Do what?" she asks hesitantly.

I move out from under her and pull up my jeans. "I don't know. I need a minute."

"For what?" she asks, now completely confused.

Good question. I look Brandi up and down. She's totally got it goin' on. She's beautiful and has a rockin' bod ... but she's not Maggie. And while I don't want Maggie, or can't have Maggie, or whatever the hell it is that I can't put into a coherent thought because I'm drunk, this isn't gonna work unless I can pull it together.

"Where's the bathroom?" I ask.

"Down the hall. You okay? If you're thinking about buying protection out of the bathroom dispensers, you don't have to worry. I've got some."

I head out the door and mumble, "I'll be right back."

I stumble over to the guys' bathroom and lean over one of the sinks. This sucks. I should be enjoying my night off. Instead, I'm a moody drunk. I look into the mirror in front of me, and it makes me feel worse. I run my hand through my messed-up hair and wonder if I should shave it all off like they did in juvie, 'cause right now I'm not just a moody drunk ... I'm a moody drunk who looks like shit.

What's worse is I feel as bad as I look.

I splash water on my face to help bring me out of this mood, but it's no use. Brandi was turning me on, but it wasn't Brandi making me hard. It was thoughts of Maggie. Twisted, I know. There's no way I can go through with this thing with a girl who's just a stand-in.

I head back toward her room. She's probably tripping by now and ready for some serious action. I hope she's not too pissed I'm skipping out on her XTC party early.

In the hallway, just as I've got my hand on Brandi's doorknob, I hear Maggie's voice from behind me say, "That's not our suite, Caleb."

I look toward the girl who's been haunting my nights ever since I was locked up in jail. The girl who just ruined my sexual escapade with Brandi without even knowing it. She's got hazel eyes that change with her mood, so different from the girl I was lying in bed with a few minutes ago. And while Maggie looks damn hot to me, I doubt she has any unicorn tats above her ass or wears lacy black bras. I'd like to find out, though.

"I know," I say.

Maggie limps over to me, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "Then what are you doing out in the hall without a shirt on?" She looks me up and down. "And why are your, um, pants unbuttoned ... and unzipped?"

The door to Brandi's room opens and Brandi appears. Her hair is mussed, her pants are undone and hanging loosely on her hips, and she's got her shirt clenched against the front of her bra. I'm screwed.

"Oh," Maggie mumbles, obviously getting her answer without me having to say a word.

"There you are," Brandi says with a smile, then looks over at Maggie. "Who are you?"

"His gir friend," Maggie answers with a stern, straight face.

Brandi looks from Maggie to me, then back to Maggie. "You're kidding, right?"



he girl with her barely there shirt clutched in front of her is waiting for an answer. Obviously she doesn't believe that a girl who looks like me could be dating a boy who looks like Caleb.

My insides clench in disgust. Caleb isn't my boyfriend and technically never was, but it still hurts to see him standing here in the hallway, his shirt off and pants unzipped, obviously ready to get it on with this girl.

I don't wait for him to tell the girl that the last person on earth he'd call his girlfriend would be me. Whether it hurts or not, I promised Leah that I would look after Caleb. She senses he's in trouble. Leah's twin-ESP senses were right on.

I skipped the movie tonight after the youth group dinner because I was tired and my leg started to ache. Little did I know I'd find Caleb here, like this, with another girl.