Karie took off to the college; she was driving her red Camaro, which her parents had bought her for graduation. So when she pulled up in the parking lot at the college she attracted quite a bit of attention. Red head in a red car. As she walked up to the admissions office, she had a nice looking guy walk up to her.

"Hello, my name is Mark, it is my duty to welcome you to the University of California at San Pueblo." He said taking her arm and leading her towards the admissions office.

Karie laughed, "Well, this is something that they need to do at the University of Texas, where I am from. Makes you feel down right welcome." She carefully extracted her arm from his, and stuck out her hand to him, "Hello, yourself, my name is Karie, and you're nice but I really have to go talk to the guidance counselors now."

"How about I meet you in a little while for coffee over at the cafeteria. I'd really like to hear about the college you came from." He told her.

"Really? Are you thinking of transferring over to Texas?" she asked.

"No, just want to hear you talk." Mark told her truthfully.

"Is there a shortage of girls here in San Pueblo?" Karie asked him.

"Why do you ask that?" he asked curiously.

"Because I get hit on everywhere I go." She answered.

"I'm surprised that I get to be the one to tell you this, but in case you didn't notice in the mirror this morning, you are very beautiful." He answered smiling at her.

"So are about a million other girls here in California. But thank you for the compliment. I've really got to go, it was nice meeting you, Mark, maybe I'll see you around on campus."

Karie couldn't understand why she wasn't attracted to Mark, he was kind of forward, but that can be a good thing sometimes. She didn't know why, she'd think about it later, right now she needed to keep other things on her mind, like checking into this college before it was too late for admissions. Luckily someone had cancelled their appointment so she got to go straight in to see the counselor. Karie talked to the counselor for about an hour, going over the courses she had already taken in Texas, to see if they were transferable. Which luckily they were. So after about three hours and most of that was waiting for the Texas College to transfer her records…she was a student of the University of California at San Pueblo. well she was registered. Now all she had to do was get an apartment then figure out her feelings for Keith, oh yeah, that was all…easy…right!

When Karie got back to her car, there stood Mark, leaning against her Camaro. Now this was getting aggravating. She just ignored him and got in her car. Then he got in on the passenger side.

"And where are you going?" she asked him.

"Well, I thought that since you were new here I would offer to show you the sights." He replied.

"Mark, that is very nice of you but I'm going to have to say no, you see I'm not looking for anyone to hang with right now. I have a guy that I'm sort of seeing right now." She told him.

"You shouldn't tie yourself down to just one guy, Karie, you should go out with several until you decide who's the best, like me." He laughed.

"Mark, you are incorrigible. I tell you what. If you leave me alone now, I'll meet you for lunch tomorrow, here at the cafeteria." She bargained with him.

"Oh alright, if that's how you want it. I'll be here tomorrow at noon, I'm trusting you to be here." He got out of the car and stood on the sidewalk watching her drive off.

Karie's next stop was the corner store to pick up a newspaper, she then stopped at the McDonalds and while she ate her meal, she looked through the paper. She circled several and went to the payphone to call. She did find one that had several listings close to the college but not too close and in the price range that she wanted to pay.

Karie really didn't have to worry about money; her grandmother had left her about $500,000 when she died. Karie's father was an investor and had invested her money wisely and she was now a very rich young woman. Karie had spent three years living and taking care of her grandmother. Everyone else just kept saying they didn't have the time, but Karie put her life on hold for her grandmother. Naturally she left her the money; this was another reason for Carol's anger towards Karie. All Carol got when the grandmother died was the house that her and her mother now lived in and $20,000 in a trust fund.

By the end of the day, she was tired and she had decided on one apartment, but told him that she would sign the papers tomorrow, it was kind of weird but the apartment complex she ended up picking was just a couple of blocks from the Partridge Family house.

She pulled into her aunt's driveway about 6pm. All she wanted to do was take a bath and go to sleep. Tomorrow was going to be another long day, what with signing for the apartment, then she'd have to pick out furniture. She'd enjoy doing that.

As she got out of her car she noticed a car in front of the house. She wondered who was visiting her aunt. She went in through the back door so as not to disturb them. But obviously, her aunt was listening for her.

"Karie? Is that you?" her aunt hollered.

Karie grimaced, she really didn't feel like meeting someone right now, she was tired and wanted her bath. But she answered her aunt anyway.

"Yes, Aunt Betty, it's me."

"Come see who is in our living room." Her aunt invited.

She slowly dragged herself to the living room…just dreading meeting some relative or other and having to sit for hours talking about old times. Usually she loved visiting but…when she reached the doorway she looked up and there sat Keith. He got up as she came in the room and hugged her and gave her a light kiss on the cheek.

"Keith, what are you doing here?" she asked.

"Ouch! That hurt. I came over to see you. Aren't you happy to see me?" he pouted.

"Oh Keith, yes I'm happy to see you, I'm just so tired, I've been running around all day and I guess you just met the grumpy Karie." She explained.

"If that is as bad as you get, it'll be great. Now come over and sit by me and tell me about your day." He invited.

Karie's aunt got up and started heading for the kitchen.

"Keith, she does have a temper, it builds slow but it is mean when it gets there." She laughed. "I'll go get you two something to drink, what'll it be? Coke or Sweet tea?"

"Tea." Both answered.

Keith turned to Karie.

"So you have a temper? I was wondering how you could escape not having one with that hair." He said.

" 'THAT' hair doesn't necessarily make me have a temper you know, but I'll make an exception for you, if you like." She spouted at him.

"Whoa, come sit down. Poor baby, what did you do today that wore you out so much?" he said trying not to laugh at her.

"Well, I went out to the college and enrolled and then went out to look at apartments, I found one that I liked…"

Before she could finish her sentence, Keith jumped up grabbed her and twirled her around.

"Keith, put me down!" she yelled. He did.

"So this means you won't be leaving in a few months?" he asked.

"No, I decided to go to school here, I had been thinking about it since I got here. You think you'll be able to stand me being here for a while longer?" she hinted.

"Karie, you couldn't have made me happier." Keith told her. He sat back down and pulled her down next to him. "What will you be studying? Where's your apartment? Why didn't you ask me to go with you?"

"Whoa, one question at a time," she said laughing. "First, I am studying to be a teacher, kindergarten or first grade. Second, my apartment is on Woodlake drive which is only a couple of blocks from your house, and third, I can't concentrate around you so I wouldn't have got anything done."

"Oh really?" he said moving closer to her on the couch.

"Keith, what are you doing?" she giggled as he pressed even closer.

"Trying to see just how distracting I am to you." He answered.

"Keith, quit it." She laughed. "I was right not to take you with me, though you being with me would have made Mark leave me alone." She said sobering at the thought of Mark today.

Keith sat up at that. "Who's Mark?"

"This guy I met at the college, he kept following me around until I promised to meet him for lunch tomorrow at the college." She admitted.

"Really? Maybe I should go to lunch with you, too." He threatened.

"Keith! You wouldn't dare." She exclaimed.

He just laughed at her.

"Keith, I can handle a guy flirting with me." She said defensively.

"Oh, now he's flirting with you?" Keith questioned.

"Let's just drop this…what did you do today?" she tried to change the subject.

"Wait for you.' He answered.

"That's all?" she asked.

"What do you mean? 'That's all'. No one would tell me where you were. So I had to keep coming back to check if you were home yet." He told her.

"Yes, he's been here five times today." This from Karie's aunt who came in carrying two glasses of iced tea.

"How sweet." Karie told Keith.

"There you go again with the sweet guy thing." He teased.

"Keith, would you like to stay for dinner?" Karie's aunt asked.

"No thanks, Karie is tired and grumpy, (Karie elbowed him in the ribs) so I am going to leave so she can get some rest, as we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow." Then he whispered in her ear, "Unless you want me to stay and help you relax?"

"Keith, I think I can manage. Thank you very much." She said, laughing at his serious face, making her forget to question the 'we have a big day' statement, which was his idea.

Keith left to go home. Karie then left the room to go take her bath, as soon as she had left Carol came into the house.

"Mom, who was that leaving just now?" she asked.

"Karie's friend, Keith." Her mom answered.

"You know, mom, he looks very familiar." She walked over to her mom and put her arm around her waist. "Mom, I'm sorry I have been such a pain. It's just so much has been going on, and it seems like everything always goes right for Karie and never for me." She moaned.

"Carol, things will turn out alright for you, just be patient, and Karie deserves some happiness, so be happy for her, I love you and know you will get happiness too." Her mom comforted her daughter.

"Thanks, mom." Carol said trying to sound happy to her mom.

Karie came out of the bathroom and saw the two of them actually talking so she quickly went to her room so as not to disturb them. She was very happy to go to bed, even though it was still early.

Meanwhile at the taco stand, Keith was sitting with his friends at a table up front. Keith was talking and had all their attention.

"You mean she said this guy followed her around 'til she agreed to have lunch just so he'd leave her alone?" Keith's friend Nick sounded incredulous that such a thing would happen.

"That's what she let slip while we were talking just a minutes ago." Keith told all his friends.

"So what are we going to do about it?" Skizzy demanded.

"We?" Keith asked.

"Hey, you like this girl, right? Then that makes her our friend, too." This from Brian, who had been sitting quietly, just listening.

"Well, we can't all just go over there and demand to go to lunch to get rid of this guy, can we? Boy, Karie would really be mad, but I was thinking, she rented an apartment, and it's right down the street from our house. Anyway we could volunteer to help pick out furniture, which I know is one of the things she said she was to do tomorrow, and then we just don't let her out of our sight" Keith looked really proud of himself.

"And just how are you going to keep her from going to lunch without us?" Nick wanted to know.

"I'm going to get up early and pick her up in my car." Keith told them.

There were four stunned faces staring back at him.

"What's wrong with that idea?" he asked them.

Gordy pretended to fall to the ground in a fake heart attack.

"Did he really say he was getting up early?" Gordy said. Keith got up and kicked Gordy in the bottom.

"Get up you fool." Keith told him.

The rest of the guys burst into laughter.

"All right you jokesters, what are we going to do then?" Keith asked.

"Your idea about picking up Karie was a good one, but not all of us can go, I think she'd get suspicious." Skizzy told Keith. "So we need to decide who gets to go, I think Gordy and I should go. At least we'll be awake, which we don't know if we can say about you." Still teasing his friend.

"Now that all that is settled, I have to go home and get some sleep." Keith told all of them, getting up from the table.

"Keith why don't you sleep over at my house? Just call your mom and tell her that you're staying the night. If you wake up early in the morning over there you're liable to kill her from the shock." Gordy teased Keith.

"Very funny, Gordy, but I will stay over, better go call my mom." He got up to walk over to the payphone.

As soon as he walked away, Gordy turned to the other guys and said. "Keith has it bad, doesn't he?"

"Yeah, real bad, but I don't think we have to worry about it too much, because I think Karie is in the same fix." Skizzy replied.

"They make a cute couple." Nick said

Everyone threw their leftover hotdogs at Nick.

"You know he hasn't told her yet that he is the lead singer in their band." Gordy told them.

"What?!" Skizzy exclaimed. "We need to talk to him. Karie is going to be real upset with him if she finds out from someone else before he tells her."

Next morning she woke up refreshed and eager to go sign for her apartment and go furniture hunting. She took a quick shower, got dressed, and was all ready to go, walked out into the living room and stopped.

"Keith! What did you do sleep on the porch?" Karie asked him.

"No!" he said laughing. "I just decided that you weren't leaving me again today, so I sacrificed and got up early."

"Sacrificed, huh?" Karie replied.

"You'll never believe how big a sacrifice." Gordy said.

Karie spun around to see Gordy and. Skizzy coming into the living with her aunt trailing behind them.

"All of you?" she squeaked.

Gordy turned to Skizzy. "You know, I don't feel any love in this room."

"I just wasn't expecting…" she turned to Keith. "Keith, what are you doing?" she accused him. He jumped guiltily.

"What?!"

"Don't go acting innocent on me, Keith, what are you three up too?"

Gordy walked over to her and put his arm around her shoulders, "Karie, is it so wrong that we want to help Keith's new friend with her apartment?"

"No…but I thought…well, Gordy, it is nice that you want to help, this will make the day fun." She replied smiling, still suspicious.

Gordy felt a twinge of guilt, but after all it was in her best interest to help this guy find someone else to stalk. Keith came over to the two of them and carefully removed Gordy's arm, took her hand and started to pull her towards the front door.

"Keith, quit pulling on me, you're going to pull my arm right out of its socket." She complained.

"I was just trying to get us out of here before the rest of my friends show up." He explained.

"What?!" now she grabs his hand, and starts pulling him towards the front door, turning to look at Gordy and Skizzy, "come on, guys, before we have to get a bus." She told them.

"Plu-eeze, not a bus." Gordy said. Skizzy hits him on the arm and motions toward Karie, but she didn't notice she was too busy trying to get Keith through the door, while he was holding onto the door frame.

"I didn't get any coffee." He moaned to her.

"You don't drink coffee." She told him.

He let go of the doorframe so fast that Karie fell against him, He grabbed hold of her and looked down into her eyes.

"How did you know that?" he asked her accusingly.

"Because, Einstein, you didn't have coffee breath when you came close to me." She answered.

He leaned down and kissed her and then turned to his friends and smiled, "Let's go get some furniture."

"Don't you think we should let her go sign for the apartment first?" Skizzy asked.

The first stop of course, was the apartment complex. She walked into the managers' office alone, the guys had wanted to go in with her but Karie said they would ask for too big of a deposit for her having so many pets. So they waited in the car. As soon as she got into the building Skizzy leaned on the back of the front seat so that he could talk better to Keith.

"Keith we've got to talk, no you've got to talk…to Karie. You have to tell her who you are. You know it will just get harder for all of us, we will have to keep watching what we say, just this morning Gordy slipped and moaned about the bus. It is not fair for her or us. Surely you can see by now that she likes you just for you." Skizzy tried to convince him

"I just can't understand what she sees in Keith, when I'm right here." Gordy said from the back seat.

"No joking, Gordy, this has to be done, before it goes too far. What? You've only known her for a week?" Skizzy asked.

"Try two days." Keith said leaning his head on the steering wheel. "I know I have to tell her but the opportunity never seems to come up."

"Try taking her to a record store and handing her one of your records." Gordy said.

"Gordy, are you really trying to help?" Keith asked him.

"Yeah." He replied, confused.

"Well, quit. Don't worry I'll tell her." Keith told his friends.

"Let's hope so, it looks like both of you get along pretty well, but Karie seems like the kind of person who wants to be trusted, I don't think she's going to take the news very well that you didn't." Skizzy said.

"Here comes Karie now." Gordy had been watching the door for her to reappear.

As Karie got back in the car, Gordy reached from the back seat and put his hands over her eyes.

"Quick, Keith, leave before she finds out who she's with." Leaving it wide open for Keith to explain that he was Keith Partridge: celebrity.

"Oh, and just who am I with?" she asked. "The three stooges, I bet." Both Gordy and Skizzy looked at Keith.

"Right." Keith chickened out. Shrugging when he could see Gordy and Skizzy glaring at him in the rearview mirror.

"Skizzy and I are here in the back seat but chickenman is driving." Gordy said as removed his hands.

"Chickenman? I thought he was Keith?" she asked confused.

"Not today." Gordy said.

The drive over to the furniture store was quiet and when they got out of the car Karie went over to Keith an gave him a hug, then turned and put one of her hands on Gordy's chest and the other on Skippy's chest, halting them in their tracks.

"Now, children, don't embarrass me in the store."

Gordy turned to Skizzy.

"You notice she didn't say anything to Keith, is that prejudice or what?"

"No, Keith, I'll lock in his trunk, I already took his keys so that I could." She informed them

Keith reached into his coat pocket to check for the keys he had just dropped into his pocket a minute ago or at least he thought he had, but of course they weren't there anymore.

"How did you get the keys?" he asked her.

"Distractions. Hugs are real nice aren't' they?" she told him.

"And here I thought you were feeling sorry for me because they were picking on me, and instead I find out that you are a pickpocket." He said.

She started walking towards the door, "Okay, boys, lets be nice and keep in mind that I like nice shades of browns, reds, cool colors…nothing weird or wild colors like purple or fuchsia." She told them.

"What no yellow?" Gordy asked.

"Alright, we can let the kitchen be yellow, Gordy." She told him.

They walked into the store and Gordy promptly fell onto a yellow and brown patterned couch.

"No! Gordy, this is not the color I want in my living room." She told him.

"Come on, everytime I come over I'd have a favorite place to sit." He replied.

"No Gordy." Karie was trying to stand firm, but she had to admit the couch was pretty. She turned to look at Keith and Skizzy. "What do you think?"

"It's your choice." Keith said.

"Chicken." Gordy accused him for the second time that day.

"I'll tell you what Gordy, I'll keep this one in mind and if I don't find one I absolutely love we'll come back for this one."

They wandered around the store looking at the rest of the furniture, with Gordy trailing real close by Karie. Everytime she'd go to look at a couch, he'd either catch hold of her hand and turn her around or put his hands over her eyes. Keith and Skizzy didn't help, just kept laughing at the two of them. Finally Karie turned to Gordy.

"Alright, you win, we'll get the couch, so now help me find other furniture to go with it. And Gordy…not all yellow!"

All together they picked out the couch, a loveseat, two overstuffed chairs, a coffee table and mostly in shades of brown except for 'Gordy's couch', as it became known.

"Alright, I'm going to pick out my bedroom furniture, so you three can go look at kitchen stuff if you want." She told them.

"But this is what I've been waiting for all day." Keith told her

"No way, Keith, with you three helping me, I'd probably end up with mirrors on the ceiling and some weird shaped bed." She said.

"How did she know about your dream bedroom?" Gordy asked him.

"Have you two been talking bedroom furniture already?" Skizzy teased her.

"You three are going to drive me crazy. Look, I'll make a deal with you, I'll let you three pick all my kitchen items, your choice, heaven help me, if you'll leave me alone long enough to pick out what I want for my bedroom."

"Come on, guys, let's go have some fun with Karie's kitchen." Keith said, taking off towards the kitchen area

"Please be nice to me." She pleaded to deaf ears, because they were already gone. "What have I done?" she asked herself.

-+