Chapter 9~ Snowball? Really?


My first thought when I pulled into the school parking lot for the fifth time was, Ugh, I'm gonna die. I was dead tired from last night, having stayed up 'til past midnight to study for three tests. Ironically, the late-night studying was probably what was going to cause me to fail the tests anyways.

Izzy met me in the parking lot and instantly started freaking out about how much homework she had last night, but despite the looks that might convince people otherwise, she was one of the smartest people I knew. Thinking that, it made me wonder why we didn't just get together and study last night. It would have gone a lot faster and I probably wouldn't be in this situation right now. A situation that definitely wasn't good.

I was tired enough that I was falling asleep against my locker door even through the incredible noise of high school hallways, and here I was facing three tests in my worst subjects on a Friday. You would think that Fridays would be days that teachers would lighten up a bit in the prospect of an inviting weekend, but no. instead they crammed the day chock-full of tests, quizzes, and due dates. Ahh hell. Welcome to high school.

I faced my first test in English, which was bearable and surprisingly easy. Of course, the fact that Isabelle was sitting right next to me with answers in plain view didn't hurt anything, but hey, when you only got five hours of sleep, you take all the help you can get.

Math wasn't so easy. I struggled through an hour of Calculus problems swimming before my eyes, wanting nothing more than to fall asleep right then and there. My pencil moved slower than I thought possible, and I had a sneaking suspicion that I had already failed the test.

In a moment of weakness, I risked it and laid my head down on my desk for just a few seconds. But a few seconds is all it takes for one very "special" person to attack.

"What, did my extremely buff abs give you some brain damage, Cherrytop?" Jace whisper-teased from a few seats behind me.

It took me a few seconds to process that he was referring to the night I rammed into him in the mall. Remembering how hard and flat his stomach was, I thought it actually might be possible. But I wasn't about to tell him that. "You wish, Blondie. If anyone has brain damage here, it would be you. How's that pole of yours treating your head?" I gave him a mischievous grin.

"Fray, Wayland, do you have something you wish to share with the rest of the class?" My eyes whipped back to the front of the classroom to see Mrs. Lanning glaring at the two of us like we had blown up a bus or something.

"No ma'am," I responded meekly, cheeks staining red.

Jace just smirked.

"Then I suggest you don't continue you flirting behind my back and complete your test before class ends." She turned around and continued with her computer work. My cheeks now resembled a wildfire, but thankfully no one made a big deal out of it. Most of the class had fallen victim to Mrs. Lanning's criticism at one time or another.

I went back to my test, which only had two problems left, and tried to ignore the smirk that I could feel covering a certain face behind me. Suddenly, something light hit the back of my head and landed on my desk. A paper snowball. Wow, real mature, Jace. Without turning around, I opened the crinkled paper to reveal a note.

By the way, I do find Barbies attractive. They're so petite and delicate. Especially when they're redheads.


Blushing in embarrassment, I quickly scribbled a response.

You would be the only one to find plastic sexy. What do you like about them? The fact that you can undress them so easily? Perv.


I quickly threw it over my shoulder, hoping to hit him in the face. No such luck. Instead I missed entirely, and the note landed in the middle of the aisle. He smirked and raised one pale blond eyebrow, reaching down to pick it up.

Mrs. Lanning whipped around in her desk. I swear, that woman has eyes in the back of her head. "FRAY! WAYLAND! Detention, my office, tonight! Be here at 5:00, and bring your textbooks!" Crap. My first ever detention. And on a Friday night, too. If my mom ever found out about this, I was so dead.

And let's not forget who's fault this all really was… I turned around in my seat and gave Jace my best death glare, but he just smirked. That's what you get for associating with the one and only Jace Wayland. I wasn't sure why he was even paying so much attention to me in the first place. The obvious answer would be that he liked me. But I couldn't shake the feeling that I was just another one of his games, another challenge for him to conquer and the pass up like it was nothing.

It was all so confusing. I wasn't used to putting this much thought into a single guy's actions. But then again, guys had never really paid that much attention to me before this, so…

Whatever. It couldn't be that big of a deal, right? After all, it's not like he had actually asked me out, or even expressed any real interest in me. There were just the subtle clues, like how real he seemed when he was alone with me, the look in his eyes when I drove away that night after track, and the flash of jealousy that I may have imagined at the mall the other day.

I had completely zoned out thinking about Jace, and before I knew it the bell had rung, springing us from yet another class. I had no idea what to do about Jace. Maybe I was just blowing everything out of proportion, and he did this with every new girl in school. Maybe I was just imagining the slight connection I felt towards him ever since I saw him, broken, in that park. Maybe he knew how fragile I was, after everything that had happened with my father, and he was trying to get me to break. Maybe…

But what if none of that was true, and Jace actually had feelings for me?

Gah. The more I thought about it, the more frustrating it became. Resigning myself to the ridiculous thunderstorm of thoughts and feelings that surrounded Jace, I walked out of the classroom, hoping that things would work themselves out and Jace would just leave me alone.

The rare Seattle sun shone down on my back as I walked across the field on my way to track practice with Kayla. Over the past week, I had gotten to know her and a couple other girls from track, and they were all really sweet and friendly.

I felt comfortable talking with them, and as we reached the locker rooms and they jumped up in greeting, I smiled to myself. They were so carefree and happy, and I couldn't help but loosen up when I was with them.

I changed into a red sports bra and green shorts, laughing along with the others as we recounted the many misfortunes of our lives.

"Wow, Clary. You look like a watermelon," Kayla laughed as she glanced at my outfit.

"Thanks, Kayla. It means a lot to me that you take the time to compare me to a fruit. And I do NOT look like a watermelon."

She grinned. "Just stating an opinion."

"One that no one else shares, by the way." I shook my head and grabbed her hand, tugging her towards the door. "Come on, we're gonna be late."