Angela's all over me the next day in class, wanting to know what's going on with Mase and me. I tell her the truth: that I don't know.

I know he has sweet kisses and a fantastic tongue. I know he's a strong texter and only uses acronyms when absolutely necessary.

I know I like him. A lot.

I don't share any of this with her, of course. Our friendship's still too new, and I haven't figured out who I can and can't trust at this school. I'm not sure who my real friends are. Half the time I'm not even sure where the bathroom is.

After deflecting her questions for most of the block, my curiosity finally gets the best of me and I nose around a bit.

"So your friends seem cool," I say casually.

She thinks about it for second and then agrees. "Yeah, they mostly are."

"Katie's nice."


"And Ben."


"And let's see, there's Leah…"


"And Mase—"

"I knew it!" She points an accusing finger at me. "You want info on Mase." Before I can lie and deny, she throws her foot up on the desk and kicks back. "Go ahead." She grins. "Hit me."

"Uh…" I'm sort of panicked that she figured me out. "No, it's nothing. Just…like, you know. Is he a good guy or whatever?" Embarrassed, I study my nails.

"Mase?" She looks at me like I'm crazy. "Yeah, he's the best."

She doesn't waste any time telling me about his past. There's a junior—Lauren or whatever—that he spent most of last year with. Angela says she's cute and nice and that they're still friends, which seems kind of rare. I mean…I don't hate Jake or anything, but I'd be totally fine if he stopped existing.

I don't press her much beyond that, for fear of being that girl, but Angela tells me there's not really any drama to report. He and the junior hooked up, stayed together for a few months, and then called it quits. Simple as that.


"I've known him since elementary school." She suddenly gets serious, leveling me with an intense glare. "He's seriously great."

"Why're you—" I wave my finger toward her face. "You look kinda scary."

She shrugs. "I'm just protective of him, that's all."

"God, Angela." I roll my eyes. "It's not like I'm trying to steal his virtue."

It was supposed to be a joke, but she doesn't laugh. She just stares.

"Right?" I squeak.

She cracks up. "I'm totally fucking with you, Bella. You couldn't steal Mase's virtue if you tried."

I don't think I want to know what that means, so I don't ask. "Well, thanks for the help." I furrow my brows. "I guess."

"In all seriousness," she says, pulling her feet from her desk and sitting forward. "You seem like a cool girl, and I love Mase like a brother. You could both do a lot worse."

I blush. "Thanks, Ange."