Chapter 2

Disclaimer: I don't own Beauty and the Beast. I'm just borrowing. Only the story belongs to me.

Note: Previously, in "Reading Between the Lines," Tess tells Catherine she is concerned about her. Meanwhile, Vincent meets JT in the principal's office and offers to become his bodyguard.

Hey, guys! I know I haven't touched this story in a while (the last time being November 13, the day it was posted), but inspiration wasn't easy to come by and I wanted to be sure the idea I had sounded as good written out as it did in my head. I think I can update now.

Later that Day…

For the most part, Vincent was able to have the same classes as JT, which made his job as his bodyguard easy and the jocks who had been harassing his new friend hadn't tried anything. Although this was a good thing, Vincent had the feeling they were only giving them a false sense of security, and that they were planning something.

Lunch time came and the two boys walked into the cafeteria, looking to see if there were any tables available. They found one in the front of the room, across from the vending machine. They were just getting seated when they were approached by a girl dressed in black.

"Oh my God, JT, are you okay? I heard about what those idiots did to you."

"I'm fine, Tori," he said. "A little shaken, but I think I'll live." He saw that Vincent was looking at them curiously. "Oh, Tori Windsor, this is my new friend and bodyguard, Vincent Keller. He's new here. Vincent, this is my ex-girlfriend, Tori."

The girl, named Tori, smiled at Vincent. "Hi."

Vincent nodded. "Hi. So, you once dated my friend here?"

"Yeah, but my dad was a super ass about it," said Tori. "He thought he wasn't good enough for me. We tried to keep it together, but then we decided it wasn't worth the bullshit from my dad, so we broke up. We're still friends, though."

"That's good," said Vincent. "At least I'm not the only friend JT has."

Tori nodded. "I've got a new boyfriend now. His name is Liam Cullen and he's a senior. Dad doesn't approve, but I don't give a shit. I can't be Daddy's Little Girl forever, you know."

Vincent nodded again and excused himself to go get some food because he had some money. While he was on his way to the lunch line, he saw a girl slip on something that had spilled on the floor. Quickly, he caught her before she fell, ignoring the looks from the other people. He wondered if the stuff on the floor was dropped by accident or on purpose. Either way, at least he was able to prevent another accident from happening.

"Are you okay?"

The girl he saved looked at him and nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine. I guess I wasn't watching where I was going." She cleared her throat and straightened herself out. "Thank you for the save."

"You're welcome," said Vincent. "By the way, I'm Vincent Keller. I'm new here."

"Catherine Chandler."

"It was a privilege to meet you, Catherine," said Vincent. "Can I buy you lunch? It's the least I can do after making sure you weren't hurt."

Catherine shook her head. "No, I actually brought lunch from home. The reason I was up here was because I forgot to bring napkins and wanted to get some from the counter." She cleared her throat. "Would you like to sit with me and my friends?"

"I'd like to, but I already have a table," said Vincent. "Maybe another time?"

"Okay," said Catherine. "Well, it was nice to meet you, Vincent, and thank you for helping me. Not many people around here would go out of their way to help those who are in need."

She walked back to where she was sitting and Vincent watched her as she left. This was turning out to be a rather interesting day for him. First, he had offered to be JT's bodyguard and now he was saving girls like Catherine from landing on the floor due to a slip and fall. He sighed and went to buy his lunch, after which he returned to his table, where he noticed JT and Tori looking at him.

"What?"

"Dude, that was awesome," said JT. "Tori and I saw how you swooped in and prevented that girl from falling."

"And one of the popular girls at that," said Tori.

"Catherine Chandler is one of the popular girls?" said Vincent. "But, she didn't give off a 'popular girl' vibe as I was talking to her. She seemed to be normal. I may not know her very well because we just met, but..."

"Oh, she's popular all right," said Tori. "In fact, JT has a crush on her friend, Tess Vargas."

JT gave his ex a surprised look. "Tori!"

"What? It's true, isn't it?" said Tori. "I've seen the way you look at her."

"But, I can never hope to be with a girl like Tess," said JT. "I'm a nerd. She'd never go for a guy like me. She's a goddess and I'm a lowly peasant."

"Oh, come on," said Vincent. "You're not giving yourself enough credit, man."

"I'm serious," said JT. "I stand as much of a chance with Tess as you do with Catherine. I get you want me to feel better, and I appreciate it, but I doubt it'll change the fact that I'm going to spend the rest of my life alone."

Vincent shook his head, not sure why his friend was feeling this way about himself. He wasn't about to let this go, that was for certain. He made a silent promise that he'd help JT get up the courage to ask Tess out. If he could get a girl like Tori Windsor to go out with him, how hard could getting Tess Vargas to go out with him? For that matter, how did JT ask Tori out? He looked at Tori.

"Tori, can I ask you something?"

"Sure," she said. "What is it?"

"How did JT get you to go out with him?"

"To be honest, I don't know," said Tori. "One day, he came up to me and asked me if I wanted to see a movie with him. We're in the AV Club together, so we saw each other every day. Anyway, we dated for a year before we broke up. I know I'm telling you this after the fact, but..."

"No, it's okay, I was just curious," said Vincent. "Though, I am going to need your help. You've known JT longer than I have, so if I'm going to help him with his Tess situation, I'll need an expert."

"No problem," said Tori. "I may not be his girlfriend anymore, but I'd be happy to help you out as a friend."

Note: Yeah, this chapter was kicking my ass. Thankfully, I got it done. Just hope it's as good written out as it was in my head. Stay tuned.

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