Disclaimer: I own nothing.

"Michael." Mia Thermopolis walked up to Michael Moscovitz and found a seat on the bench near him.

"Princess." he greeted her, smiling. What was she so happy about? He hoped it was Saturday night.

"You will never believe what Josh Bryant just asked me."

"Can I borrow a comb?" Michael teased.

"No." Mia smiled even wider. "He asked me to go to the Baker Beach Party with him." Her eyes widened in a "Who knew?" kind of way. Her words stopped Michael from opening his mouth. He wondered if she had forgotten about their plans.

"That's this Saturday, right?" he asked, hoping she realized her error.

"Well, yeah." Mia acknowledged. "So I was thinking that I could come by the garage next week and hear your band play then, all right?"

Michael was about to nod and agree, but something gave him pause. If Mia went to the beach party with Josh, there was no way Michael had a shot with her. Once the social set got its claws into wonderfully independent Mia, the slow but sure change would inevitably result in Mia becoming one of them.

"No." he said flatly.


"No." he repeated firmly. "This is a one time offer."

"Michael." she entreated him, but it wasn't going to work.

"I don't get it. Why do you want to be like Josh and his friends?"

"Why not?" she asked.

"Just ask yourself why at the beach party. I'm out of here." he shrugged, stood, and walked away.

Mia wasn't sure why, but she felt somehow like she had just lost a best friend.