Double Life - Chapter 1

The insides of Beverly Hills High School were crowded with students walking to class, jamming things in or trying to yank things out of over-stuffed lockers, or fraternizing with each other in the hall way. As usual, three particular females paraded down the hall way together while making idle conversation about one subject or another.

As if on cue, a raven haired girl stopped in front of them.

She pointed a finger at the blonde one, Clover. "Nice dress, Skankerella. Which dead person at the morgue did you steal it from?"

"Nice hair, Mandy. What do you use as conditioner? Motor oil?" she spat back viciously.

"Hmph!" As tradition, the dark haired girl put her chin up and walked past them.

"Will she ever give up?" Sam, the one with the long, red hair, asked. "I mean really."

"Not as long as she has a mouth." Alex, the third, darker, shorter haired friend, answered.

Clover quipped, "Maybe we should freeze it off with the Ice-Queen Perfume."

"Clover!" Sam thought her friend had gone a bit over the line with that one.

bring!

"Never mind that, we're going be tardy again!" Clover said as the bell sounded off. They all hurriedly ran down the hall and through the door to their science class. Luckily for them, the teacher was too busy writing notes on the black-board to care about them being slightly tardy. He finished his writing and turned around to face the class.

He started talking in a monotone drawl. "Before I give today's lecture, I want to alert you all that I am assigning everyone a project to be due in one week. Each of you will have to hand in a paper and give a short presentation on a subject concerning Earth sciences."

An audible "ugh" could be heard from numerous students within the class room.

"This assignment is to be completed outside of class. However, you may be glad to hear that you will not be completing it alone. I have paired everyone off with a partner."

The old man put on his glasses and picked up a piece of paper. "Group one will consist of Clover Ewing and Chad Hardy. Your project will be on black holes."

Clover let out an audible "Yay" as she swooned with stars in her eyes. Chad was one she hadn't hunted down yet. The blonde-headed Chad looked back at her from his seat and grinned with pearl white teeth.

"Group two will be composed of Arnold Jackson and Alexandria Vasquez. Your project will be on the composition of the ocean floor." Arnold smiled at the news and pushed his glasses up the ridge of his nose with his finger. Alex knew he had a crush on her which she wanted no part of, but she was happy to be paired up with someone who knew a lot about science.

The teacher droned off more names for several minutes. Sam sat patiently in her seat waiting to hear who she would be paired up with.

"And lastly for group 12. Samantha Simpson, your partner will be Amanda Delaroyale. Your project is on the shifting of tectonic plates."

Sam suddenly felt ill at the thought of working with Mandy. Her week had been ruined for sure.

The elderly teacher then went forward with his lecture which seemed to last forever. What subject it was on was really irrelevant since almost everyone in the class was either sleeping or day-dreaming about being somewhere else. The only people who were alert and paying close attention were Sam and Arnold. Finally, the bell rang and a mass of bodies rushed towards the door like their lives depended on it. Before Sam got up though, Mandy stopped in front of her desk.

"How about you come over to my house at six? You know so we can work on the project."

"I guess so." She really didn't want to, but felt she may as well get it over with as quick as possible.

"See you then." Mandy gave her a slight smirk and walked off. Sam found that look somewhat puzzling, but didn't give it much more thought.

As habit, Sam met back up with Clover and Alex outside the door.

"Sorry about you being paired up with Mandy, Sam." Alex said consolingly.

Sam replied in a seriously agitated tone, "Of all the people in the class it had to be Mandy! What are the odds of that?"

"What are the odds of me being paired up with Chad Hardy! What a hunkalicious hottie!" Clover started drooling with a far-away look in her eyes. Sam and Alex just looked annoyed. Snapping out of her trance she said, "Although, yeah, I feel sorry for you Sam. I'd rather spend time behind bars then work on a project with her. Good luck."

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Sam stood in front of Mandy's door with a backpack full of library books on plate tectonics. She had been standing there for a few seconds fighting over whether or not she wanted to go through with this. Reluctantly she pointed her index finger forward and pressed the door-bell.

Shortly, Mandy's fair-skinned face and head of long, black hair appeared on the other side of the glass. She opened the door. A naturally, nasal voice greeted her, "Well, hi there Sam. Why don't you come in?" Mandy smiled as she moved aside to let her in.

Sam walked in, not saying anything, still feeling quite apprehensive.

"Just follow me," Mandy said. Mandy guided her and Sam followed behind. Sam was quite impressed. The house, or more like mansion, was lavish and spacey. She marveled at the architecture and the art that adorned its walls. Although they did extremely well by any standards, this home dwarfed anything Alex, Clover, or Sam had lived in. Finally, they stopped at a room with several leather couches, surrounding a long, short, glass table.

"Please sit down. Make yourself comfy." Sam took off her backpack and sat down on the couch. She then unzipped her bag and started digging through the books inside.

"Would you like some espresso?" Mandy asked.

"Sure." Mandy had some brewing on the table behind them. She returned with two cups and handed one to Sam.

"Thank you." It tasted good. Mandy definitely knew her coffee.

Mandy sat down next to her. "So what is our project on again?"

"Tectonic plates. Do you know anything about them?"

"Not really. Is the world made out of them or something?"

"Yes, actually, that's pretty much right."

"Could you tell me more about them?"

Sam started verbalizing her knowledge of plate tectonics. Mandy listened intently, and asked questions when there was something she didn't understand. Sam would then explain it to her until she understood.

"So these plates are like a rubber band. And when it stretches too thin, it like breaks making these seismic waves."

"Yes, that's exactly right. You're smarter than I thought, Mandy."

"Well, I'm not as smart as you are, Sam."

"I don't think I'm smarter than anyone else. I just do a lot of studying. That's all."

"Well, you're still really smart to me."

"Thank you."

They started working on the paper. Mandy was extremely cooperative and was seemingly trying to help as much as she could. They were actually pretty close to finishing it. Eventually, Sam realized what time it was.

"It's getting late. I think I should go home now."

Mandy guided her back to the front door. "Can we work on it again tomorrow?"

"Sure."

"Same time?"

"That'll work."

"Ok, see you then. Good night, Sammy."

"Good night, Mandy." Sam walked out the door and down the street back to the house she shared with Clover and Alex. She was actually in a quite pleasant mood. It was the complete opposite of what she expected to be earlier that day. She walked through the door and down into the living room. Alex and Clover were sprawled out on the couch, Clover in her nightie and Alex in her pajamas, watching a movie on their big-screen tv. When they saw Sam had entered the room, they both looked at her piteously.

"So how'd it go?" Alex asked very curiously.

"Actually, a lot smoother than I expected."

"Did you duct-tape her mouth shut?" Clover asked.

"No, Mandy was actually, umm…" She tried thinking of the best word to describe how Mandy had acted, but she could only come up with one. "… nice."

"What!"

"No way!"

"I was surprised too. She also worked really hard on the project with me."

"I'd watch out, Sam. The only reason she would be nice to anyone, would be so she can stab ya in the back!" Clover stated matter of factly with prejudice.

Alex's reaction was different. "I think it's nice they got along. We should they be enemies? You know Sam, I don't think she hated you in particular. Maybe it was because you hang out with Clover."

Clover looked absolutely pissed.

"Come on, you know I didn't mean anything by it," Alex said trying to calm her down.

"Traitors." Clover huffed.

Sam thought about what they told her. Both Clover and Alex's explanations seemed likely. She wondered which one was really true.

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ding dong

"Hi."

"Welcome back, Sammy."

They went back to the same room as before and resumed work on their science project. Mandy was as friendly and co-operative as she was the night before.

Eventually, Sam's curiosity got the better of her. "Mandy, why are you being so nice?"

Mandy smirked. "Why, do you want me to be mean to you again?"

Sam was slightly embarrassed. "Umm, no. Its just you weren't like this before."

"Well, maybe you didn't know me that well before."

"What don't I know?"

"Well, where do you want me to start? The beginning?"

"Sure, if you want."

Mandy began telling the story of her life. She thought she had a great child-hood up until the age of seven. That's when her father left her and her mother. She assumed it was because of some other woman, but she didn't know for sure. She never saw him again.

"I guess maybe it was a good thing he left. I think that's what motivated my mom to make her fortune."

"Is your mom at work now?"

"Probably, I'm not sure."

"What do you mean?"

"She's in New York right now. That's where her company is. She only lives here part of the year."

"So you're living here all by yourself?"

"Yeah."

That fact was shocking to Sam. She always had Alex and Clover's company at her house, and before that she had the company of her mom and dad. She couldn't imagine living in an empty home.

"Don't you get lonely?"

"Well… yes. But I'm not lonely now."

Mandy then went on and talked about first moving to Beverly Hills and how awkward it was at first. She decided to avoid mentioning the beginnings of her war with Clover. Sam felt the need to reciprocate, and began talking about her life. She talked about how she was really shy as a child, and didn't have many friends until she met up with Clover and Alex. The two kept talking and eventually the conversation switched to lighter fare. Sam told some funny stories about stupid things Clover and Alex had done. Mandy told Sam about a number of the pranks she had pulled on Clover over the years. Clover hadn't told her about many of them, and she found them all highly amusing. One story involved Mandy sneaking into her locker during gym class and putting itching powder in Clover's panties.

"I remember that! Me and Alex were wondering what the hek was wrong with her." They both go a good laugh out of it.

The two kept talking. Tectonic plates had been forgotten hours ago.

"So, Sam, can I give you something?"

"Sure, what is it?"

Mandy moved her head in towards Sam's, and planted a kiss on her lips. Sam was really surprised at first but soon accepted it, and their lips slid into each other. It lingered for a while, until Mandy eventually broke it off.

"So, did you like it?"

Sam's heart was doing somersaults, and she was blushing wildly. "Yes." Her answer was spontaneous, but it was also a completely honest one.

Mandy smiled. "Oh, I knew you would." Mandy took her hand and placed it against Sam's cheek. She then ran it against her skin until she reached the back of her neck. She then ran her fingers the length of her long, red hair.

Just then, the ramifications of what had occurred came over Sam. She suddenly stood up.

"I'm sorry, Mandy. I have to go."

"But, I thought you said you liked it?"

"It's not that, I just… I just can't." Sam then hurried through her house, and back out the door.

Sam was used to being able to analyze everything logically. However, now she was just really confused. She really liked the time she had shared with Mandy and the kiss too, but for some reason she couldn't help but think she was betraying Clover and Alex. She didn't know what they would think about her being with a girl like that, let alone someone who had caused them as much grief as Mandy.

To Be Continued