Chapter Two, Apple Pie

A/N: Hey, sorry for not updating earlier. I will try to update faster next time, but I have exams and assignments, so no promises. I will try to finish this story so I don't become one of those people who leave you on a cliffhanger and never updates. Anyway, Enjoy!

We almost blew our covers today, when we went to classes, the teachers would call us by our first names. We told 'Melissa' that we prefer to be called by our middle names by teachers, as it makes us get into trouble less (I didn't come up with that, Owen did. I'm still trying to work out what he meant).

Before we left school today, we had gotten to know Melissa better. She's really nice and sweet, but I don't really trust her still. She's also one of those people who seems to know everything about people who should become boyfriend and girlfriend. In our history class where it's just us two from our group, we had this massive talk about Santiago, well, Connor.

"I reckon he likes you," Melissa teased. We were looking out the window were Santiago was playing football in PE. I could feel my face turn red.

"He does not. We're just-umm really close," I said, trying to remain calm, so she won't suspect anything.

"Friends with benefits?" she joked.

"No!"I said, my voice about 3 octaves higher than normal.

Melissa nodded, "Sure, sure, but still, you'd make such a cute couple," she said, tapping her blue feather pen on her cheek.

"Oh god, not you too. Everyone says that," I said, rolling my eyes. Okay so maybe I really, really want something more from Santiago, but for now. I guess. We're just friends.

"Maybe you should listen to them," Melissa shrugged.

I looked outside again where Santiago had just kicked a goal in soccer. He's really good at it, almost as good as he is at science, but luckily he doesn't brag about it. Santiago. My best friend. My totally hot best friend. The greatest, sweetest best friend anyone could ask for.

My dream boyfriend.

"She's not that bad," Santiago said as we were walking to town centre together. Santiago's parents travel a lot, so he's often over at my house to stay until his parents come home.

"Yeah, but for now, we can't take chances, she could be back to defeat us," I said as the wind picked up. I pulled my hoodie around me tighter. Santiago put his hands in his pockets casually.

"What if it isn't Milica?" Santiago said.

"That's the best possible outcome," I said.

We decided to go to a movie together, Owen and Leslie have to work on an assignment and I just got my allowance for this week. Even though we were gonna meet up to discuss this 'Melissa' business, we decided that we'll meet up tomorrow afternoon. It might also help us if we spend more time with her.

I'm kinda happy that its just Santiago and I today. Its pretty lucky, we never get anytime by ourselves anymore. And when we do, LapTrap comes and joins us (for a robot, he's pretty sensitive and he's really over protective) or Owen or Leslie come around to my house.

We bought two tickets to 'Ted', that one about the talking Teddy bear. Not as funny as the reviews say it is, but still funny.

After the movie we went back to my house, where Santiago's staying for another week or two.

Santiago's basically one of the family because he's over so often. I guess that's also why we're so close. Our parents are friends (they went to college together), and we're best friends. As kids we spent heaps of time together, that's how we came up with the ClueFinders in the first place.

To begin with, we just solved little school mysteries until we were asked to be helpers at the police station. That's how we met Owen and Leslie. They were doing the same thing at their school. They put us in a group and gave us cases, to solve. And before we knew it, we were famous. I think it was thanks to uncle Horace because he told everyone he knew about us.

We walked into the house, "I got an essay to write, mum'll be home around 7-8ish and we'll have dinner then," I said as we walked up to our rooms, right next door to each other.

"Okay," Santiago smiled. I hugged him. I don't know why. I just did. He squeezed me back. He let go, walked back into his room and shut the door.

"I love you," I said to the door.

I shut my laptop. No more work. My brain'll fry if I do any more school work today. I turned to my book shelves. Even though I'm an adventurous person, I do enjoy a good book every now and then. One of the books jumped out at me. My scrapbook. I haven't looked in it in ages. I took it over to my bed and placed it in my lap. The thick book was bursting at the seems. The cover was slightly worn at the edges and my name was written on the cover in fancy cursive writing.

My fingers wandered over the cover a little longer before I opened the scrapbook. It was all of us as kids, after our mysteries, with anything we collected. Stuck inside was a lava rock, a little sneeze berry juice stain, a cariogliph and key. There was also a bunch of pictures, from adventures and at other times of our friendship, our first day working together, us and Socrates, one of us at Ultimate Toys and one of us with uncle Horace and LapTrap, when we first got given LapTrap. There was also a bunch of drawings and handwritten quotes. Oh the memories. We were the coolest kids at school, and we'd have the best times together. Even when we weren't on missions, we would still hang out and be normal kids.

Socrates pawed at my hand for me to give his head a scratch. I turned the page, it was full of more recent pictures, after our last adventure. I looked at the picture of Santiago, Socrates and I, at a fancy dress party from our early teens (We're 16 now). I think we were about 14 or something. The theme was fairy tales. I came as Dorothy, Socrates came as Toto (he got a lot of love that night) and Santiago as the Scarecrow. Our arms in the picture were linked. I was wearing the full on outfit, including the blue and white farm girl dress and red, glitter, high heel shoes. Santiago had straw coming out of him all over, overalls and boots. On the next page was a picture of Leslie and Owen, dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf. That was a fun party. I think it was an end of school party at Katie's (a girl in my grade) house.

On the next page was pictures of the summer holidays. Santiago and I in LA, I had my arm around his waist and he had his arm around my neck. One of us at the beach, playing in the water, one of the occasions when I had my hair out. And one of us playing frisbee in the backyard. Santiago was over for almost the entire summer this year, which is why there are so many pictures of us.

I jumped and let out a little squeal, when Santiago knocked on my door. He opened the door, his hand over his eyes. "Are you naked?" he joked.

"Don't get your hopes up," I said as he took his hand off his eyes.

"I don't want to seem like a perv," he laughed. He eyed the scrapbook.

"Is that what I think it is?" he said, picking up the book from my lap. He sat down next to me on my bed.

I nodded, "Yeah, remember this? You wrote in it a one point."

"Got a pen?" he asked.

"Yeah...Why?" I asked, handing him a purple pen from my bedside table slowly.

"I want to write something," he said, sneaky.

I handed Santiago the pen. "I'm going downstairs, want anything to eat?" I said, walking towards the door.

"Ummm," Santiago began, "Could you get me a slice of the apple pie your mum made?"

I smiled. "Sure."

I walked back in the room, two hot slices of apple pie (on plates) and walked back into my room. Santiago was still on my bed, writing. He looked up and covered what he was writing.

"Put the pie on the desk, and go," he said.

"Hey!" I said, putting the plate down. "This is my room!"

"I'm not done, come on, give me 5 minutes, go snoop in my room for a bit," he said, defensively.

"Okay, you've got five minutes," I said, backing out of my room and going into his bedroom (Well, the guest room but in my eyes its always gonna be Santiago's).

For a boy's room it's pretty clean, (except for the messy corner where all his tools are). The room has crisp, white walls, with a double bed. On one wall there's a two door wardrobe with drawers inside and on the opposite side is a set of stained, wooden bookshelves that reach the ceiling and a honey coloured desk. On the wall next to the door, there's a small sofa and little table next to it.

On the desk, Santiago had his textbooks and laptop open. Maybe I'll look at some funny pictures on the Internet while I wait.

I opened a new window, but something stopped me from going further. A document window called, 'To The Beautiful You'.

I looked around. No one else here. No one will see me looking. Should I?

I don't know.

Oh look, the mouse clicked it open. I began reading the text on the page.

To The Beautiful You,

Well, I don't know if this'll ever get to you. But here's my feelings on a sleeve.

I love you...

Tears filled my eyes. I blinked them out of my eyes. My heart dropped as I came to terms. He loves someone else. I'll never be good enough for Santiago. I'm just his best friend and that's all I'll ever be.

Santiago walked in. "Yep you can go back in your room now." he saw me at his laptop while I was still crying. He came over to me. "Hey, Joni, what's wrong?" he asked, before I can come up with an excuse. Santiago leaned over my shoulder looking at his laptop screen, his head on my shoulder. His dark brown eyes widened. "You weren't suppose to see that."

I didn't want to look at him, "Sorry," I mumbled.

"It's yours," Santiago said, softly. Huh? I tilted my head to the side and looked up to Santiago. "What do you mean?" I asked, wiping away my tears, I mentally prepared myself for the worst.

"That letter. It's for you," he said.


"I love you Joni Savage," he said.

I turned my head to meet his lips. And we kissed. Soft and sweet.

To be honest. Santiago isn't my first kiss. Another guy at school was. But we were playing spin the bottle at the time, but it wasn't as nice as what I'm getting now. It was an awful experience, so I'm not gonna talk about it.

We slowly pulled away. I stared into his deep, dark eyes. "I never knew you thought of me like that," I said.

"I could say that same for you Joni," he whispered he leaned in to kiss again. This time more passionate. The taste of sweet apple on my lips.

"How long have you wanted to do this for?" I said when we pulled away.

"Since we were about 12," he said, reaching in for a hug. I feel safe, happy and warm. Santiago handed me my book, the one he wrote in.

Dearest Joni,

I can't believe we've been friends for so long! You're the best person in the world to be around. You don't mind getting muddy, you know when to stop (most of the time). I just want you to know that I love you and willl do anything for you. If anything ever makes you feel down, let me know and I'll make it all better.

I love you Joni.

From, Santiago.

Tears formed in my eyes, fogging my glasses. "Thank you," I whispered in his ear.

He kissed me again, "No problem Joni."

This is the best day ever.