Well, here we are - another chapter. I hope this one's good. Next one is sure to crop up soon. Enjoy! ^^

The morning light swam in the room and a soft breeze blew. Charisma stood in front of the mirror, perfecting her hair then applying her usual amount of heavy make-up, batting her eyes and smooching to make sure it was okay. She then ran her fingers through her hair once more before walking to Calley's bedroom door. She rapped on the wood four clear times.

"Hey Calley, wake up, girl."

No response. Charisma knocked again, bemused.


Again, nothing. Charisma shrugged; she knew Calley could be a heavy sleeper at times. As she strode to the top of the stairs, she saw the opened airing cupboard and a couple of blankets which had corners pulled out. That made her mind tick: had Calley run off again? Panicking, Charisma darted down the stairs and out the door.

"Calley? Calley, where are you?"

Charisma's eyes zipped here and there. Finally she turned and saw the Beetle. Calley couldn't have run off without taking the Bug, surely... Charisma headed towards the car, hoping that Calley would be inside.

Herbie had been startled a little bit by the front door banging open; he opened a headlight and saw Charisma calling. A twinge of anger flared in him as he'd remembered what she'd called him and hadn't forgiven her but he'd guessed that she was in charge of Calley's safety and, considering what she'd said to him last night, he'd better wake her up. Herbie rocked smoothly, stirring Calley as gently as he could. Then, he stood stock still.

The teen grumbled and stretched with a yawn and sat up in the driver's seat to see Charisma walking over. She rubbed her eyes and felt for the door handle. Herbie opened the door for her but Calley had no time to thank him before Charisma pulled her out and kicked the door shut. Herbie winced, then growled – he didn't like this one at all. Not one bit.

"Oh my god, Calley, are you okay?"

"Charisma, I'm – "

"Why d'you run out here? You got me all panicked that you'd, like, run off or something."

"Charis, I'm okay. Calm down, okay? Just chill."

"You sure?"

"Yeah, sure."

The two faced each other for a moment. Calley stared at Charisma, who scrutinised her with a piercing look that would probably scare a small child back home. Calley flicked an eyebrow at her and Charisma sighed.

"Okay. Just don't do that again, 'kay?"


Charisma pulled Calley into a hug, squeezing her so tightly that Calley thought her head would pop off like a champagne cork. She stood patiently and rolled her eyes as Charisma set about fussing over her, throwing the blanket on the gravel and patting her down as if she were covered in dust. This went on for 5 minutes before Charisma finally said:

"You hungry?"

Calley folded her arms and gave a smirk. "Gee, you think?"

"Well, come on doll! Don't just stand there, let's go in," Charisma turned and led Calley inside, who just had time to shrug at Herbie in apology before the door clunked shut. Herbie pulled his front tyres out in a shrug before sighing and sagging to the ground again. He thought it would be tough to be Calley; he was only glad he wasn't the one who was being berated then instantly molly-coddled at every glance. But then again, he did feel sorry for her somewhat.

After some breakfast, fresh clothes and a clear head, Calley felt a bit more positive. She then headed back outside to see Herbie, who perked up when he saw her. Calley gave a contented sigh and set herself on Herbie's hood, tracing the 53 with her finger. Her thoughts suddenly went back to something: how did Herbie win over JJ's Sedan? It still seemed so crazy to her. She turned back to the car.

"How, Herbie? How'd you win over that Sedan?"

Herbie looked up and squeaked at her.

"Oh boy, this is going to be difficult..." Calley commented in a long sigh. "I've been thinking, see... I'm not doubting you or anything, but how can a car that has trouble doing 60 whoop something that does twice that and more? It doesn't make sense."

Herbie revved his engine in indignation and Calley patted his fender.

"Hey easy, Herbie! I'm not insulting you, I just said that." Calley crouched down in front of him. "Look, it just seems... I dunno... unheard of. It's the sort of trick a one-of-a-kind car would pull. But then again, you are a one-of-a-kind car."

Herbie wriggled in happiness at the compliment. Calley smiled then sat on his hood again, feeling the wind flick her hair back and hearing it rustle through the trees. She felt more than contented, now that she thought about it – she felt satisfied. Satisfied that this was the most peaceful she'd felt for over a month. Maybe things would look up after all...

Harsh tyre squealing shattered her peaceful thinking as both Calley and Herbie saw a bright red Triumph Spitfire Mk. 4 charge along the roads and shudder to a stop on the gravel. 'What's going on?' Calley wondered as she stepped off of Herbie to find CJ jump out, slam the Spitfire's door and march towards her.

"Calley Stancheck! You've got some explaining to do!"

Calley felt her heart and stomach plummet. Herbie went cold.

"What have you done to that car?"

"What are you talking about?"

"There's no way – absolutely NO way at all - that a Volkswagen Bug has the performance or the horsepower to smoke a BMW M3 Sedan. Now, I don't know what you've done to this car, but I'm gonna find out. So, you mind giving me some answers?"

"CJ, I haven't done anything to this car. What happened yesterday was crazy, I'll admit it, but I had no part in it, apart from racing."

"Likely story," CJ fumed. "No, you've meddled with this car and tarnished our reputation of being the fastest drivers at Western Medley High. I'm gonna find out what you've done to this car even if I have to tear it apart!"

"Aww, who has an ego problem? And if you so much as lay a finger on my car -"

"Hey, what's going on?"

Both teens turned to see Charisma walk out to see what the commotion was all about.

"You get back in the house, lady – this doesn't concern you," CJ snarled.

Charisma chuckled. "C'mon, sport – why don't you join me?"

"Nice try, but I have other things to worry about."

"Aww, c'mon – don't give a girl the cold shoulder, babe."

CJ stormed over to Charisma and hissed right in her face.

"Listen girl, I ain't interested in your prissy advances, okay? In any case, you need some work. Besides, I wanna figure out how that Bug works, so you just back off, got it? Or is that failing to get through your thick head?"

"Ooh..." Calley sucked air in through her teeth at that remark – this was gonna end in tears.

Next thing she knew, CJ was writhing on the gravel with a pouring nosebleed and Charisma stood over him with her fist raised to slug him again. She glared at him.

"Get off my property, punk. NOW!"

CJ scrabbled to his feet and drove off before you could make yourself an espresso. Charisma stomped after him.

"Yeah, get outta here! And swivel on it!" she yelled, flipping one off at him before coming back to Calley, huffing in anger.

"Go Charisma!" Calley remarked in approval.

"I need a shower now."

Calley burst into hysterics at that point. She collapsed onto Herbie's hood and lay there laughing for a minute or so. Herbie giggled underneath her, his frames shaking and his engine purring. Calley finally stood up and took a few breaths to calm her down.

"Oh boy, that was fun... We'll go on a drive later, okay Herbie?"

Herbie nodded, showing his approval by bouncing on his tyres and wriggling. Calley tittered and went back inside, leaving Herbie to settle himself down then drift off into a doze.

"Don't you see it? She's a freak and so is that car!"

"Chill out, CJ – you don't want that nosebleed to come back, do you?"

CJ grumbled, leaning against the wall of his garage with JJ standing in front of him. CJ also held a large wad of tissue paper against his nose with his head down. He'd been trying to make JJ see that Calley and Herbie had cheated in that race somehow and that revenge was needed. That or they could steal Herbie and tear him apart to see how he worked. Whilst JJ was curious about how Herbie had managed to win, he didn't want to go as far as cutting him up or stealing him at all. To make CJ even more riled, JJ wasn't even concerned that their reputation had been tarnished – it was almost like he wanted Calley to beat him.

"I thought so," JJ said flatly when CJ didn't answer.

"Your problem is you ain't got pride."

"Really? Is this what it comes down to? A sense of pride?" JJ couldn't quite get it. "What is it about that car that winds you up so much? It's nothing, okay? So what if we got beaten by a VW Bug, so what? Just let it go, okay?"

CJ felt his skin flush with anger. "Let it go. 'Let it go?' You are asking me – to let it go?"

"Yeah – no point crying over spilt milk."

"The damn milk wasn't meant to be damn spilt! The damn car shouldn't have beat you – why can you not see that? Are you thick or something?"

"No... I'm just not an attention hog like you."

"You're calling me an attention hog?"


CJ stood still for a moment, trying to make sense over what his brother was saying. He finally managed to grumble out:

"Don't you enjoy it – the thrill, the drama – heh, the chicks – don't you enjoy that?"

"No – I'm in it for the passion. You've gotta love driving if you want to race – you've gotta feel the power behind the wheel You gotta feel the energy in the car."

"Oh please, don't make me laugh."

"You have. Otherwise you're no better than an amateur." JJ then strode over to the Sedan, got in and turned the engine over. CJ looked round.

"Where're you going?"

"Outta here." JJ looked up with deadly seriousness clear in his eyes. "I'm not going to be driving with you if you just want attention, that's not how I roll."

"You what? C'mon JJ, you aren't serious -"

"I am. I've had enough. All this time, we've been soaking up the limelight, craving attention from girls and fans. And I can't stand the way you rub your face in it. That car made me realize something: either drive for love or don't drive at all. I've made up my mind, what about yours?"

CJ watched as JJ drove the Sedan away into the street to line up with the house before calling back to him:

"And by the way – it ain't JJ Falcon anymore, it's Jeremy Falcon, like it ought to be!"

With that said, the Sedan powered away, tyres screaming and engine roaring into the distance. CJ stood dumbfounded for a second before growling to himself as he stomped back to the garage. 'Well, fine!' he thought. 'If JJ's gonna go then he can just as well go – I don't need that loser! I can do just fine without him. And I'll get that car too. ...Yeah. I'll get it. Somehow. Watch out, Calley Stancheck. You'll pay for this... in more ways than one...'

Okay, seems like CJ is a butthurt crybaby... There's a reference to 'Herbie Goes Bananas' in there too. Comedy on Charisma's part too - I loved writing that! XD Am I getting Herbie's mannerisms okay? I ask as I want him to be a mix of, in Michelle Lee's words: the kid who wants to be adopted and, in my own: proud of who he is. Not smug, just modestly proud. How'd you like that oxymoron? XD Please keep reviewing so I can make Chapter 4 even better - thanks for reading! :)