Joe stood in the kitchen, pouring a glass of red wine for Mel. He looked around the room and took a small sip of it, laughing to himself, and poured some more. He brought the glass out to Mel in the living room who was talking to Stephanie. "Hi, Joe," Stephanie said in the creepiest voice Joe thought he had ever heard.

Joe smiled and nodded his head at her, saying in reply, "Stephanie." He started to walk back in the kitchen when Mel stopped him.

"Hey, Joe. Will you tell Stephanie that I'm right and that if the press saw me with Lennox and Ryder that it might help with parents voting for me? They would think I was a good guardian. Right?" Mel smiled in a way that said 'say-what-I-want-you-to-or-I'll-hurt-you.'

Joe chuckled and looked at Mel, then switched his gaze to the girl behind her. "Stephanie," he said again and walked back towards the kitchen.


"What!" Joe turned around and looked at Ryder running down the stairs.

"I was just gunna ask you a question." Ryder sighed and started going back up the steps.

"Wait man. Come back down." Ryder turned and walked past Joe, into the kitchen. "So what's going on?"

"OK. So there's this girl," he began.

"Holly," Joe cut in.

"No. Monica."

"What happened to Holly?" Joe walked to the fridge and grabbed a beer.

"Will you let me finish? OK. So there's this girl Monica. She's in my Spanish class and she asked me if I could help her and I said yeah and then Holly saw me talking to her and freaked out and then Monica went off on her, saying that I could do what I wanted and that I wasn't her bitch."

"Language," Joe said, pointing at him.

"Sorry. Well, then Holly was offended because some one stood up to her and told me to go with her and I did and then Monica said she would get someone else to help her, but I wanted to help her."

"Why? What's so special about this 'Monica'?"

"She's a sophomore and she's hot." Ryder shrugged and pointed to Joe's beer. "I could use one of those."

"No." Joe took a water bottle from the fridge and placed it in front of Ryder. "You can have that." Ryder sighed and took a sip of his water. "OK. So what's the problem?"

"Were you not listening?"

"Look. If all you're going to do is tutor her then what does Holly have to be mad about?"

Ryder thought about it, and smiled to himself, nodding his head. "Yeah. Good point." Ryder started to walk towards the living room, then turned and grabbed his water, walking back to his room. "Thanks Joe!" he yelled.

"It's what I live for."