Scarlet

Scarlet didn't hate animals, really. She just seriously didn't like them. Small phobia. Of course, if Paul Walker suddenly shifts into a giant wolf while they're doing the deed, well... that seriously doesn't help.

...

"one of us
won't last the night
between you and me this is no surprise
there's two of us
both can't be right
neither will move till its over"

...

So, maybe ten's not that bad after all. Just ten guys.

Really. I know people who've slept with about fifteen.

They're all at least eighteen, though...

I'm not sure why it's so unacceptable for a girl to be easy.

Men are, and they're usually more attractive for it.

Take Paul.

Seriously.

It's sexist.

I'm starting a revolution, man.

Well, the sexual revolution started awhile ago, but I'm starting the feminist revolution.

I think that happened too.

Shit, man.

This sucks.

...

"Scarlet, go to school," Maria sighs, probably rubbing her face. I bet she just smudged her eyeliner.

Ha.

"No," I say stubbornly.

"Scarlet, get out of my bathroom."

"No."

"Scarlet, come on..."

"I am not ever moving from this room, Maria. You will have to burn this building to get rid of my decomposing body's smell, because I am never leaving."

"Halloway-"

"He'll eat me."

"Paul Walker is not a wolf, and he will not eat you."

"You don't know that."

"Yes I do. Now get the fuck out of my bathroom--I need to reapply this shit."

"I'm not leaving."

"Scarlet, Paul will come looking for you. And he will find you in my bathroom. Is that really where you'd like to be eaten?"

No. Preferably, I'd like to be eaten in the future, when I'm getting removed from my body and into Catherine Zeta-Jones'. But only with her hair styled like in Zorro. That, man, was EPIC.

Deal or no deal, dude.

"Maria, I am not leaving. Quiet."

"Scarlet, you know I have a screwdriver in this room somewhere. And I shall open the door with it and shank you. There will be blood, Halloway."

"You'll never find that screwdriver."

"I bloody well will, sunshine. Now open the door."

Messy as Maria's room was, she does have a photographic memory for where her stuff is.

I suppose I should surrender now and avoid all that damned blood. I unlock the door, and Maria pushes past me with a remarkable smear of liquid eyeliner down her cheek, all the way to her chin and up to her bottom lip.

Jesus Christ.

I linger by the door, waiting for her to free the eyeliner from her devil-woman's grasp. When she finishes, I slide past and snatch the small bottle.

She makes a 'humph' sound but proceeds to take control of that mass tangle of hair and tame it to something that vaguely resembles a bun.

I apply the eyeliner (managing to stick myself in the eye about three times) and proceed to spread on my lip gloss.

(I'm fascinating, aren't I?)

Done with my morning ritual, I sit on Maria's bed and wait for her to finish her primping. Helping myself to a can of Coke from her mini-fridge (self-sufficient Maria has everything in her room--she only ever wanders out to use the front door. And she does have a window, so she rarely ever uses that.)

I feel I've responded pretty well to the whole Paul-thing. I haven't had a mass freak out, except for when he first transformed. And there's a part of me believing it was a dream anyways. My count is still at nine, which is alright with me.

I've been pretty good about this, don't you think?

As Maria exits the room, I hop up and hand her the Coke, which she immediately drains. Throwing it in the trash, she flips up her car keys and turns to me, her hair already falling out of her bun.

"I'm ready," she says. I bop my head, and we tromp out the door.

After the initial shock of her parents realizing I spent the night, a long lecture to Maria about how this is their house and she should reach out more, we are out the house.

"Mar-ri-a, we are your parents. Talk to us, we miss you, we never see you anymore," she mocks in a comical voice that sounded nothing like her beautiful British mother but more one of those little green people from Mars. She's driving the car and all her loose hair is flying in my face.

She then switches to a gruff, low voice that's remarkably similar to what I imagine a Great Dane would sound like if it could speak. "Well, Maria, you know we love you, and we love Scarlet. But we like to know about the creatures that are inhabiting our house. Talk to us more, will you, girlie?"

I giggle.

"Jesus, do I hate those two," she sighs. "I can't wait until we turn eighteen and I can get the fuck out of here."

I'm taking care of the drip that my lip gloss has created running down my chin. "I thought you liked your house."

"Yeah, but I hate those people. I'm thinking about filing for emancipation."

"Yeah, so you've told me. Alot."

Maria scowls at me, and frees her hair from the catastrophic bun at a stop sign.

"I bet it was just a dream, or a very strange hallucination," I say randomly. I begin to see exactly why the two of us are best friends, and soul-twins as she responds,

"Yeah, it probably was," Maria says, sending me a smirk. When her hair is flying free and messy, she rolls the car away.

She can read my mind.

I wonder what would happen if Paul really was a wolf.

He'd have some bad hygiene issues. Can wolves shower?

"Oh dear God, Scarlet, you're such a twat. The legends are floating somewhere in your head--yes, it's that weird potato shaped thing that sticks out above your neck--remember them. Seriously, it's not that hard."

I sniff in an affronted way, but I leave all alone as I enter the school. Maria bids me goodbye at the gym, and I continue down to Chemistry.

...

I wonder. What's up with my house? And if I dreamed that dream about Paul, who were the people burglarizing my house? Breaking and entering?

Bastards!

Aw shit, I hope my parents aren't home. They said they were supposed to be up with Hawaii until the fourth, but it's already the second and you never know, right?

Fuck.

I suppose Paul might even be a werewolf. It would explain his disturbing absences and freaky growth spurt, though I suppose steroids would do the same. Probably went on like, some drug binge or something with his cult leader Uley.

Fuck. I hope he's not in school. Effing wolf would effing eat me.

I should just shank him. Silver knife--that works, right? The legends never mention silver, but it wouldn't hurt to try.

I hope.

I swear angrily, kicking over the conveniently placed trashcan in front of me and promptly slipping on a candy wrapper. I regain my balance but still hit my head on the wall.

Paul's such a bitch. I probably got freak-alcohol poisoning from the wine coolers. He brought the wine coolers. He should have checked the label!

I'm going to kill that bastard!

I glare at the wall until I realize that I should probably get to class.

...

After my short relapse in front of the gym, I start off to Chem, determined to wreak my revenge upon the Paul Walker, the bastard. I fling open the door dramatically, but this plan backfires as it SLAMs off the opposite wall and unfortunately notifies the teacher of my 'arrival'. I think Maria would say it was more of an assault.

"Hell-o!" A short, quirky-looking man in a Hawaiian shirt and khaki pants (unattractive legs, man.) "You know, I understand why you might be late, Miss... okay, whatever, doesn't matter, I'll ask someone else--maybe your locker was jammed, or your car wouldn't start, but you should call in, you know--actually, have your parents call in, I don't think the school excuses minors. Are you under eighteen?"

Um.

"No?" I say.

He immediately turns tyrant. "Is that a question or a statement? I would think someone of your age would at least have learned to speak by now."

"It's a... statement." I chance a glance at the class--Lilies In The Sky Pennch, (yes, that is her real name) an unfortunately-dubbed biracial offspring of two particularity creative parents, is smirking at me, amused. Beside her Samantha Grey is glaring at me hatefully--she's always despised me. I suppose maybe because three of the ten guys I've screwed have been her boyfriends.

However, Nate Crisshall is looking at me sympathetically, and Amber Gates is simply looking unaffected. Not much gets through that wall of blonde hair she sports, to be perfectly honest.

The sub rolls his eyes, twisting away. "Go sit down." he orders. I saunter to the seat beside Nate, swinging my hair jauntily.

"Hey, Scarlet," he smiles. Nate does have nice eyes. So do I. In fact, I've had my eye on him since last month, but Sam Grey clings like a bitch. I hate needy girlfriends.

In fact, it's odd she's not sitting beside him. I sneak a glance at Pennch and Samantha and discover Sky has red-rimmed eyes, and an irritated nose.

No... don't tell me.

Wade broke up with her already?

Ha! I so knew this would happen. I told her. Too bad ya didn't listen to me, Lilies. I suppose sixth grade friendships don't build enough trust?

"It's sad, isn't it?" Nate murmurs, following my eyes. "She seemed so into him."

"Yeah," I said, breaking contact. I turn to him, noticing the space between us, or rather, lack of. "But I guess some guys just don't find clingy girls attractive," I lower my eyes sadly, purposefully fixing my eyes on the inexplicably-fizzing sodium chloride. I subtly chance a glance beside me to Glo Rider and Seth Clearwater, chatting amiably whilst their beaker swings around hazardously in Rider's hand. I frown at my fizzing substance and quickly discover that my alcohol lamp is alight.

Nate is quiet, and his hand flicks above me to switch it off. I look at him and his smile is, if I daresay, slightly grim. His eyes wander above my head and land on Samantha and Sky, who are seated behind us, one desk to our left.

"I know Samy's a little needy," he admits, frowning. "But she's so amazing, and gorgeous, and--have you noticed how generous she is? I mean, how many girls would give up their trip to Hawaii just because their best friend needed them? Really, Samy is just..." he trails off, his eyes turning alight with some far-away admiration.

"Amazing," I finish for him, feeling an odd sinking in my stomach. I didn't know Grey was set to go to Hawaii. Fuck, I didn't know Grey was so committed to Pennch, either.

Slightly unvoluntarily, I wander around with a unsettled stomach the rest of the day.

Would Maria do that for me? Or rather, would I do that for Maria?

And really, why did (do) I keep screwing Samantha's guys?

...

No question about it, Samantha Grey is most popular girl in the rez. True to her name, her eyes are greyer than our overcast skies, and her hair is blacker than the caves by the shore. She's also very nice, and with her geeky bestest friend, Lilies In The Sky, her skyrocket to popularity had been assured ever since she stepped foot in here from middle school.

I slump at my grey, vomit-inducing, white-spotted lunch table, managing to undoubtably look remarkably pathetic, soul-searching. My head lays on my outstreched right arm while my left hand picks unenthusiastically at my mysterious native cafeteria 'food'.

A paper bag slams onto the seat on the opposite side of the circular table. Maria's been brown-bagging it everyday since our hazing days in freshman year. A couple of more mean-spirited upperclassmen force-fed her the cafeteria's infamous pork pie. Maria got a small bout of food poisoning, though she was fine. But she still claims the smell of meat still makes her puke, so my independent friend crafts her own sandwiches everyday.

"Hey, didja hear? Wade Merker broke up with Sky Pennch. It's kinda sad--they seemed so good together, though her geekiness is kind of a turnoff. Plus, his cool factor was obviouslyway out of her league, and... hey, Scarlet, you alright?" Maria's faux-anxious face come into veiw as she levels her head with my sulky position.

"Maria," I begin in a depressed tone. "Do you hate me?"

She answers without hesitation. "More than you will ever know, Halloway. What's up?" She waves her hand in front of my eyes in a bogus attempt to make me laugh.

I swat her hand away, and bring my hand to touch it to my temple, massaging it in an effort to make it a little more dramatic. "It just kind of seems we just hang around each other because nobody else wants to, and..." I wave my off-balance hand around the cafeteria, towards the geeks who sit at the professional rectangular, folding tables, to the stoners who sit on the windowsills, to the cool kids who laugh around and sit on the ground, to the odd not-quite-completely-stereotyped pairs sitting at those type of picnic tables that have a hole in the middle to hold umbrellas. We ran out of normal tables. "...and I really just feel kind of put off by it. I mean, yeah, you know?" I practically roll my eyes out of their sockets in an effort to look at the wild-haired Amazon.

"Scarlet," Maria speaks to me slowly, patronizingly. "We do just hang around each other because no one else wants to. I mean, Scarlet, we were besties in sixth grade, and it worked... when you were super-shy and I still had a British accent. And now, seriously, why do you think we're still friends? I mean, Scarlet, you're a slut with dyed hair, and I'm a--"

"Prude."

"--virgin with a--"

"Superiority complex."

"--an attitude far beyond her high-school stereotype," Maria continues, an oxymoron in the truest form.

I stay silent, contemplating and picking my brain for a cure to this inexplicable aliment.

My stomach rolls.

"And plus," Maria adds thoughtfully. "You're newly updated to crazy. I mean, Paul Walker? A wolf? Seriously, Halloway?"

"I swear to God!" I cry, bolting upright and scaring the jizz out of a particuraly frisky couple at the table adjacent to us. I lower my voice, and Maria, with the glint of a co-conspirator in her eye, leans forward warily. "Maria, you've gotta believe me. I swear--"

"Scarlet, please," Maria interuppts, leaning back in her seat and flipping up her reduced calories yogurt. "Make up your mind. Either you are crazy, believe you aren't, or you aren't crazy, and believe you are. You're giving me whiplash. Please, pick one."

She spoons a bite into her mouth and my mind wistfully jumps to the memory of a fourteen-year-old Maria upchucking in a trash bin.

"Maria, I swear on my mother's grave, Paul Walker is a wolf."

"Your mother isn't dead."

"No, but I wish she was, and you know how serious that is."

"Yeah," she admits reluctantly. She bites off another spoonful of yogurt.

"Maria--"

"Scarlet, get this straight. Paul Walker is a normal, God-I-wish-he-would-fuck-me-senseless teenage boy who needs therapy for his steroid addiction." She swirls around her spoon, and preps herself for yet another less-calorie assault. She raises it to her mouth, and I burst out in frustration.

"Maria, PAUL WALKER is a WOLF." Maria immediately chokes on her yogurt, spitting out her spoon in a very similar fashion to two years ago, and for a second, I believe I've gotten to her. But I see her eyes are fixed somewhere behind me, and, dreading the sight I know will be confronting me, I turn around.

Paul Walker, his eyes more serious than I've ever seen them, softly swings his legs into my umbrella table.

"Scarlet," he says, and I just can't help noticing he is shirtless. "We need to talk."

...

"all by myself
i'm so much better on my own
and way out there
is the same old place that it always has been
i'm
the center of attention and the wall's inside my head
and
no one will never know it if i keep my mouth shut tight
tight
tight"

...

(AN:)

This
was a very long chapter. Probably the longest I've ever published as not a stand-alone. And FF is being a butt so it won't let me mess with my bold and italics switches anymore. Jeez.

Right now is... five minutes to Febuary eighteenth.

I had a massive freak-out today. Finished watching the Ring, and then my bestie very kindly picked that moment to call me. I mean, the movie was mainly just bizarre, but... wow.

So, yeah. Review. And tell me whatcha think.

As for the questions about whether or not Paul imprinted on Scarlet...no. He's just horny. And she's easy.

I apologize for the typos.

~C