Disclaimer: I don't own the Drews, the Hardys, or any of their assorted friends and associates. You'll just have to trust me on that one.

A/N- La Muerta, South Carolina, is a fictional place. (At least I think I made it up.) Then again, you won't find Bayport or River Heights on any map, either.

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Nancy sat up on her beach towel and glanced around. Bess Marvin, one of her best friends, was flirting with a blonde lifeguard. How typical. She spotted her other best friend, George Fayne, playing a heated game of beach volleyball with Joe Hardy, his girlfriend Vanessa Bender, and Frank's girlfriend Callie Shaw. She sighed. "I love summer!" she said to no one in particular.

"You said it!" Frank Hardy exclaimed, coming up behind her. He tossed her a soda and sat down next to her.

"Thanks." Nancy's heart rate tripled, something that sometimes happened around Frank. Stop it, she told herself. You have a boyfriend, who is coming here tonight. He has a girlfriend. Who is standing less than thirty feet away!

She must have looked lost in thought, because Frank raised an eyebrow at Nancy. "Are you okay?" he asked.

"No, no, I'm great!" She replied, embarrassed. She stood up quickly and said, "Race you to the water!" Then she took off at a run.

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Callie served the ball over the net. A movement to her left caught her eye. It was Nancy. And Frank. Her boyfriend. Together. A feeling of annoyance spread over her. She couldn't stand Nancy Drew, mainly because of her relationship with Frank. Okay, ALL because of her relationship with Frank. Frank always told her that he was just friends with Nancy, but Callie knew better. Of course she trusted him, but how could she not be worried? They could practically read each other's minds, and they did. Frequently. That was another thing about Nancy. She was so...like Frank.

She was jolted out of her reverie when George's shoulder connected with her thigh. "Ow, that would have been your ball." George grumbled.

Vanessa and Joe slapped hands. "Our serve!" Vanessa called. Callie picked up the ball from where it had fallen inches from her feet and tossed it to Joe. Joe was also watching Frank and Nancy. He felt bad for Callie, but he couldn't deny that Nan and Frank would make a great couple. Not that it would ever happen.

Callie didn't want to look at Nancy and Frank, but she couldn't help it. They were in the ocean treading water, and both were laughing. Callie couldn't stand it. To the others, she said, "Hey, listen, I'm ready for a break. I'll be up in the room." She picked up her towel and flip flops and stalked off the beach, her good mood gone.

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Ned pulled up to La Casa Verde motel in his car. As its name implied, the motel was green. Ned got out of the car and walked up the pastel- green stairs until he reached his room, number 221. It was empty. He dropped his duffel bag on the bed and knocked on the door next to his. He knew that his friends had rented adjacent rooms. There was nobody there, but he was early, he realized. He knocked on the next door. A voice yelled harshly, "Who's that?"

Ned opened the door to see Callie lying on the bed reading a book. He had met Callie during a case Nancy had solved with the Hardys. He liked her immensely. She reminded him of himself in a way. He could see she wasn't happy. "Something wrong?" he asked.

She looked up and smiled. "Hi, Ned. Good to see you." She paused and sighed, but her smile disappeared. "No, nothing's wrong."

Ned was suddenly suspicious. "Where are Nancy and Frank?" he asked, with a slight edge to his voice. He hated himself for not trusting Nancy, but...

"They're at the beach." Her words came out with such force that she was practically spitting.

Ned was alarmed. She was really upset. "Did something happen?" he queried anxiously. They both knew what he was talking about.

Callie sighed again. "No, nothing really. It's just..." she trailed off and looked at Ned. He could see that her eyes were bloodshot, as if she'd been crying. His heart went out to her. After all, they were in the same position.

He sat next to her on the bed. "I think I know what you mean." he soothed. "It's like they have some kind of connection and they flirt with each other even when they don't intend to." Callie nodded miserably and laid her head on his shoulder. Ned put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her into a half-hug. His other hand stroked her long blonde hair. Ned smiled down at her slightly. "Maybe we have a connection, too." He hugged Callie with nothing more than a friendly attempt to comfort her. Then the door swung open, and the person who stepped inside didn't know what to think.