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We’re sitting in Derek’s grandmother’s basement eating some gourmet food that she ordered in for us. She has no clue that me, Derek, Trey, and Jet are plotting something epic.

“We could TP their houses,” Trey chimes in as he gets a text, then busily starts typing away on his cell.

Derek fake yawns. “Been there, done that.”

Jet isn’t impressed either. “We need something original, something that’s never been done before.”

I’ve been trying to come up with a prank that doesn’t involve us going to jail.

“What about dyeing their jerseys Fremont High gold or black?” Derek says.

Seeing our rivals wearing our colors would be hella funny. “How are we gonna get hold of their jerseys?” I ask.

Derek, with his cocky attitude and Texas-sized confidence, grins wide. “Trust me. I can break into a maximum-security prison if I have to.”

“Seems like we could do somethin’ easier,” I say. An idea pops into my head. “How about spray painting REBELS on their field?”

We look at each other. Derek has the skills to help us do this. Trey has the brains. Jet is ready for anything having to do with entertaining himself. And me? I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, and while art isn’t my thing, I’m not a stranger to a spray-paint can.

“I’m in,” Jet says.

“Me too.” Derek stands. I can tell the wheels are turning. “I’m excited for this. It’ll be epic.”

We all look at Trey, who’s busy texting.

“Trey, put your fucking phone down,” Jet says, trying to snatch it away from him.

I toss a pillow at Trey. “Come on. Let’s do this.”

Trey looks so preoccupied I don’t know if he’s heard a word of our plan. “Yeah,” he says, glancing up. “Whatever you guys want to do is fine.”

Suddenly Mrs. Wentworth, Derek’s grandmother, appears. She just moved here from Texas to be closer to him since his mom died and his dad is deployed. She’s standing at the bottom of the basement stairs with a ridiculously big red hat perched on her head.

Jet rushes up to her with his arms open wide. “Granny Wentworth!” he cries out before enveloping her in a huge, overenthusiastic bear hug.

Mrs. Wentworth politely pats Jet on the back. “Jacob, my dear,” she says, calling him by his real first name instead of his initials like everyone else. “Please don’t call me Granny. Mrs. Wentworth is quite sufficient.”

Jet laughs. “You sure? Mrs. Wentworth sounds so… formal.”

“It’s called manners, Jacob. Maybe you’ve heard of them?” The old lady clears her throat and adjusts her hat that’s now cocked sideways due to Jet’s hug.

When Mrs. Wentworth eyes me, I say, “Thanks for the food, Mrs. Wentworth.”

She smiles. “It’s my pleasure, Victor.” She raises a brow at the lone piece of bread on the floor. “What are you scoundrels up to tonight? It is a school night, you know.”

Derek holds up a hand. “You don’t want to know what we were doing, Grams. Guy stuff.”

“Y’all have fun… but not too much fun,” she adds with a wagging finger directed at all of us. “And don’t do anything illegal, you hear me?”

She leaves us, but not before Jet declares her a hot grandma worthy of a young buck like him. The woman is close to eighty years old, which makes us all laugh. I’m not even sure if Jet is kidding or not. He’s a guy who gets off on breaking social norms. My friends have not been known to live inside society’s rules, that’s for damn sure.

“Let’s meet at Jet’s on Thursday at midnight,” I tell the guys. “The epicness is about to begin.”

Trey glances up. “There is no such word as epicness, Vic.”

“Yo, Trey.” I smile wide and hold my arms out wide. “Ask me if I give a fuck.”

Chapter Eight

MONIKA

At night when my body starts to give out and I’m exhausted, I usually just lie in bed and stare up at the ceiling and think.

Tonight my thoughts are inundated with Zara and finding out who this mystery girl is.

I go online to see if I can find her. She doesn’t go to my school, that’s for sure. I start looking at students who attend Fairfield High, our rival. I start at the page of Fairfield High’s biggest jerk, Matthew Bonk, because he’s popular and knows just about everyone.

I check out his profile, feeling like a spy. He posts a lot of pictures of his abs. The dude is definitely an egomaniac, wanting people to worship him. I scan all of his four thousand friends, searching for a girl named Zara.

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