A/N: Yay! I'm finally updating this! I owe Spirit of the Phoenix, for giving me the drive to finally come back to this story! Now, in the previous chapter, I said that the story was inspired by Sleater-Kinney songs. Well, the chapters that involve Hattie and Ella will be inspired by Tori Amos songs. The darker mood fits Hattie/Ella. They're not a very happy pairing, are they? Haha. Now, then, on to the chapter two!

cigarettes and glitter kisses

Hattie and Ella, playing games with cold hearts…

It was much colder out than I had anticipated. The wind was harsh, whipping my face and sending tendrils of my jet-black hair everywhere. It was ridiculous that I should have to resort to locking myself outside my dormitory just to think. Really, all I wanted to do was ponder. It sounded so wonderfully philosophical when I said it; Arieda, I'm going outside to be alone with my thoughts. Her response was always so delightful; Attempt to decode the stars for me, would you? Of course, I had more important things on my mind than stars and planets. No, what I was thinking about would take more than astrological wherewithal to understand. It would take everything that I had not to give up on it. Because God knows I would rather do anything but attempt to wrap my thoughts around her.

Hattie.

It was common knowledge at Madame Edith's School for Girl's that Hattie and I loathed each other with the fiery intensity of a thousand hells. It was oh-so obvious, in the way we looked at each other, in the way we spoke to one another. We were cold and curt towards each other, and that was the way I was sure it would stay.

But lately…

During lunch, my personal favorite period of the day (not because of the food, but because of the front-row seat I had to Olive and Cecelia's exploits), Hattie had done what I thought I would never see her do.

She abandon her usual table with Blossom and Delicia, and sat with Arieda and I. This was so out-of-character for her that I was sure I was dreaming. She hadn't spoken to us, hadn't even eaten, she only peeked at me every so often; looking up from the novel that she was reading to casually study my face. It was disconcerting, and ever since then, I couldn't tolerate her. When she taunted me, when I was so sure that she hated me, being around her was sinfully easy. But when she showed a polite interest in me…

…well, let's just say that I wanted to sink through the floor and never resurface. I had tried, numerous tines, to figure out her reasons for wanting to be near me. The bitch usually didn't come within an inch of me if she had the choice.

"Ugh!" I groaned, exasperated, throwing my hands up in the air in a (comical) gesture of annoyance. This was ridiculous! Losing sleep over her! I shouldn't even care. It's silly, worrying myself to near-insanity over her sudden interest in my eating habits. I stared ahead of me, admiring the way the moon hit the lake that surrounded the school. It was a full moon, too.

"Ah-ha, there you are." That voice! Nasally and syrupy, just like her mother. I whip around, indignant, and glare at her. She's standing outside, her back to the French window, honey-colored hair shining slightly in the moonlight. I can see Areida on the other side of the windows, looking both shocked and sympathetic. Apparently, she hadn't been able to distract the rabbit with carrots. At least you tried, Arieda.

"Why are you here? Shouldn't you be asleep?"

"Shouldn't you?" She retorts, and in spite of myself, I mumble "touché."

"I have a perfectly good reason for being out here, unlike you." I say, crossing my arms. She merely smirks, and I'm suddenly overcome with the urge to hit her in the face.

"Of course you do. Arieda says that you're…thinking. Pray tell, what is so important?" She inquires, raising one of her perfectly arched eyebrows.

"It's none of your business," I snap, turning away from her, back to the moon.

"My, my, aren't you cranky tonight." She advances towards me; I can hear the rhythmic clicking of her high-heeled boots on the granite ground.

And now, of course, she's standing beside me, staring, just like she did during lunch that day.

"You are persistent," I mumble, looking at her reluctantly. "I'm still not going to talk to you about my personal problems."

"And what makes you think I would want to hear them? Haven't you ever heard of indifferent curiosity?" She's smiling now, and again, I feel the urge to hit her. Bitch slap her, pimp slap her, whatever.

"Ahem, Ella, aren't you cold?" She inquires, catching a strand of my wind-swept hair between her fingers. "It's not that cold," I say, uncomfortble with her touching me.

Oh, dear God, the bitch is touching me! Well, alright, only my hair, but regardless. I glance at her, prepared to pick at her lack of clothes, but I stop when I see the black pea coat she's wearing. Always fashionable, even at one o'clock in the morning. Her skirt is being whipped around my the wind, and I can't help stare, because really; someone who wears boots as tall as her's…

"Ella," she begins, biting her bottom lip, apparently at a loss for words, "Hattie, really, just go back to your dorm." I'm exasperated now. I just want her to go. The mutual loathing that floated around us was suffocating.

"I have never met anyone who is so put-off by my presence," she says, her syrupy tone suddenly congealing. I choose to remain silent, staring at the moon.

"Well, if that's the way you want it," she continues, still looking at me, though I refuse to return the gaze. "Oh, for God's sake, Ella!" She suddenly hisses, throwing her hands in the air, just as I had done only moments before. "What are you hissing about?" I demand, turning to her.

And oh-so suddenly, she grabs a fistful of my hair, and pulls me towards her, crushing her lips against mine. I'm reminded of all the times I'd seen Olive and Cecelia lock lips, and the sweet passion that I had imagined them having was absent in the way Hattie's lips move against mine.

They're insistent and greedy and lustful; demanding, forcing a response out of me when I want anything but to kiss her back. She doesn't love me. I don't love her. She hates me. I hate her. But she wants me, and in a way, I want her. Lust in love don't keep the same company, I know, we'll never be in love, but in lust is just perfect…

…damn my soul straight to hell! I find myself kissing her back, just as greedily; and a moan escapes her lips, and I swallow her gust of breath. This is wonderful and horrible and so right and so fucked up…

…somehow, I find the strength to pull away. Breathless, we stare at each other, my green eyes locking with her light blue ones. "Arieda…" I pant, but she only shakes her head. Without another word, she walks away, high-heels clicking, and all I can do it stare at her, trying to ignore the look on Arieda's face.

A/N: Whoot! Chapter two! I hope you all enjoyed it! I quite like it; I love what I did with Ella's narrative; she's confused and snaky and…oh! Love it! I can't wait to hear your thoughts!