Disclaimer: Princess Protection Program and its characters belong to the Disney Channel and are borrowed here for the purposes of free entertainment. (May 2010)

A/N: Whenever I'm working on a longer story, short story ideas inevitably pop into my head. This story is written in a different style, told from Brooke's POV, and fills in some scenes I left out of All the King's Men.


"There's no room for me," Carter complained.

"Sure there is." Donny grinned. "Climb in."

"No, she's right," Chelsea said from the front seat. "Brooke's already wrinkling my after lunch outfit."

"Am not!" I cried. Chelsea is very picky about her clothes. I scooted as far away from the aforementioned item as I could.

Yes, aforementioned is a word. I have a great grade in English. It's just the other languages I'm not so good at. Chelsea always copies my work when she can and I've written a few papers for her. Sometimes, she is too busy ruling to the school to actually have time for homework.

At least, that's how she explained it to me.

Anyways, that loser Carter was hanging outside of Donny's car like she was actually cool enough to ride with us to school. Chelsea quickly vetoed that idea. If we wanted to maintain our popularity, we couldn't be seen fraternizing with nobodies like Carter. It would seriously ruin our rep.

As soon as Chelsea got wind that Donny would be picking Carter up for school, she'd decided that certain measures had to be taken. Thus, our presence here in Donny's car as it's parked outside the icky bait shop owned by Carter's father. Donny loves fishing, but Chelsea and I think its disgusting. There are far better sports that don't involve touching slimy worms and smelly fish.

Chelsea's new car is in the shop getting a custom paint job and it's not like her father wouldn't let her borrow one of the other seven cars he owns, but Donny doesn't know that fact.

Even if Donny knew that fact he wouldn't turn down the chance to give Chelsea a ride to school. He likes hanging out with girls like us. He likes hanging with girls period. It's probably why he agreed to pick up Carter for school in the first place. And why he strings her along even though, according to Chelsea, Carter has no chance with him. He enjoys having admirers.

Carter has an oh-so-obvious crush on Donny. And if even it wasn't, I'd know about it because she told me so herself. But that's ancient history. You know, it's kinda like that song on Veronica Mars.

Carter and I used to be friends a long time ago. That was before Chelsea came along. A lot of things have changed since then.

Carter looked at the backseat occupied by Chelsea's outfit and I could tell that she totally wasn't happy. She even had the nerve to tell Chelsea, "Chelsea. This is high school. Not Vegas. You don't need a costume change."

Carter made a pretty good point. Not about the costume change, 'cause believe me, Chelsea lives for clothes. She has to change during the day. She says it's what people expect her to do. And if you want to be popular, you have to do things people like, right? Still I couldn't help wonder why Chelsea couldn't just move her clothes. What I mean is it's not like Chelsea couldn't have brought along a garment bag and put her stuff in the trunk. Still, I could imagine the scream Chelsea would let out if her precious clothes were moved to the trunk. My ears hurt just thinking about it.

While my mind was wandering, Chelsea said something to Carter, but I missed most of it. I think it had something to do with Carter's clothes. I giggled appreciatively just to be on the safe side.

It was Donny's car. He could have had the last word on who rode in it, but he sided with Chelsea. Everybody sides with Chelsea if they know what's good for them. "I'm sorry, Carter. Hey, thanks for the bait," Donny tossed the remark over his shoulder, grinned as if that made everything okay, and pressed on the gas pedal.

Carter's cheeks flushed hotly, but she didn't say a word.

"Bye." I shrugged my shoulders as the car started to move and smirked.

I looked back at Carter as the car pulled away.

Carter's face was frozen in a frown.

I quickly faced forward again, trying to focus on the conversation Chelsea had started with Donny. Chelsea hinted that she still was waiting to be asked to the homecoming dance.

Chelsea's plan had worked exactly the way she wanted it to, but I couldn't help feeling an uncomfortable twinge.

Like maybe I wished it hadn't.