Brenda walked up to the edgy looking gent who smiled at her as she approached him. He looked at least 25 and had some tribal looking tats on his arm.

"Who are you?"

He just reached out to brush a loose tendril out of her face.

"I'm Cyrano Buick," he said, "I own this gallery…or I'm a partner in it anyway."

Brenda felt so impressed by that. She had just arrived about ten minutes ago and she'd already bumped into the gallery's owner.

"Wow…that's so impressive," she said, "I'd give anything to show some art here."

He looked at his well manicured nails.

"You paint, do sculpture or you into more expressive art?"

Brenda drew a blank.


"What do you do that's artistic?"

She realized what he meant.

"Oh…I paint…well kind of," she said, "I took some art classes at summer school."

He pressed his palms together.

"I see…what kind of painting?"

"Huh…just painting…you know with brushes…"

"You use canvas?"

Brenda felt she was struggling with the curve here. She'd never gave it much thought what she did, just that when she felt undone by her alienation from the rest of her peer group, in between breakups with Dylan or just caught in the throes of PMS she turned to her paint kit. She'd tried using her walls as a canvas but her mom had balked at that.

"I use paper…does that make sense?"

He cast her an ironic look.

"Barely…it's crude but it'll do for a beginner."

She suddenly felt irate.

"Hey I'm not a beginner," she said, "I always wanted to be a painter and do landscapes in the South of France or from the top of the Eiffel Tower."

Cyrano didn't look impressed. In fact he looked bored with her already and only five minutes had passed. Damn him, damn them all for not fully appreciating her talents. Brenda felt like going to the bar and getting herself a wine cooler even though she wasn't legal. She could always fake it and try to blend in with the artsy crowd.

She had to find a crowd that would adopt her. It's not like she fit in with any of the registered cliques at West Beverly. That would leave her with Andrea and a handful of nerds, gothics and trashy chicks. No, rather than doom herself to that fate, she'd take her chances here.

Blue Oyster Pearl walked up to them.

"You found Cyrano," she said, "Don't you think he's a genius?"

Brenda drew another blank.

"I just met him…"

Blue Oyster Pearl grabbed Cyrano's arm but he quickly shook her off. She just rolled her eyes at him and wandered back to the bar. Brenda just looked at him.

"You don't seem very nice," she said, "Don't you like anyone else here?"

He shrugged.

"No…they are all posers using me to make a name for themselves."

That shocked her when he told her that.


"Wannabes…pretenders…people without talent willing to prostitute themselves in many different ways…"

Brenda just listened to him. He clearly knew what he was talking about but he wasn't very nice…which just made her like him all the more. Dylan posed at being a bad boy, a tortured soul but was Cyrano the real thing?

She didn't know but she wanted to find out.

Brandon wished Andrea would stop following him down into the bowels of the main building at West Beverly. People might think that they were an item and it wouldn't be good for his image being Bran the Man.

Besides she totally wasn't his type. For one thing, she wasn't bleached blonde or at least honey shaded brunette. She didn't have a curvy figure with at least C cup breasts and a wasp like waist. She was too short and her hair too curly and the glasses…god she just would have to lose them.

So not cool and in line with his image but if anyone ever accused him of being biased, he'd just tell her how delusional she was acting. Brandon knew he was never wrong about anything. The rest of the world would just have to get used to it.

"Brandon wait up…"

Andrea panted along behind him. Never having embraced athletics or even exercise, she could barely keep up to him. But he had to hurry, he had to get the story and if necessary, he had to save a life.

"Damn I lost track of the cops," Brandon said, as he stopped holding his side.

It'd been a while since he'd gone undercover to expose any steroid abusers among the school's athletes or any out of district ringers who out dribbled him, out maneuvered, out ran and outscored him on the court or fiend.

"There they are…"

Andrea took off and this time somehow she left him in the dust.

"I think they're going to the labs."

Brandon remembered hearing from an anonymous source that some illegal drugs were being cooked in the chemistry lab but he just refused to believe it. Andrea would be more cynical but then she believed the worst about everyone anyway.

The two of them ran towards the chemistry and soon enough they saw some SWAT team members followed by what looked like the bomb squad and was that Mrs. Teasley overseeing the operation? Oh, Brandon knew he didn't want to be seen by her right now. He was on her naughty list because of his expose on grade fixing by the algebra teacher. But she'd just have to get over it.

Andrea just looked at Brandon. Her eyes wide behind her glasses.

"What's going on here," she said, "Another scandal in our midst? Why am I not surprised?"

He threw her a warning look.

"Shh…Mrs. Teasley will see us."

Andrea folded her arms.

"She's mad at you not me," she said, "I'll just go over there and interview her."

"Oh no you won't," Brandon said, "She'll know you're with me and give me a detention."

Andrea shrugged.

"Okay then you can do an expose on the rigors of going through study hall…it'll be a great page 3 story."

Brandon just looked at her, as if he were going to do any of that. They went to take a closer look and saw some cops dusting for prints while others tossed furniture about. The teacher wasn't inside the room.

Andrea started getting all excited.

"I knew there was an illegal drug operation going on in the labs," she said, "I just knew it."

Brandon sighed.

"Now Andrea we don't know that for sure…"

She looked so excited she could barely contain herself.

"Oh I do…I do… we know it's true and we'll write all about it."

Brandon shot a look over at Mrs. Teasley who sternly barked orders to the cops. He wasn't too sure about that.

Kelly roused Dylan after they evacuated the school and hundreds of stylishly dressed students came rushing out while calling and texting on their phones.

"God, what is going on here?"

David dropped on the grass next to her. She moved a couple more inches away from him.

"The school's been evacuated, probably a bomb threat."

Kelly looked annoyed.

"A bomb threat…how lame is that," she said, "Wait didn't Emily Valentine threaten to do that when she was writing all those sick letters?"

David slicked back his hair with a hand.

"She didn't mean it. She was insane. No, this is something else," he said, "My dad has a patient who's a big shot police commander. Maybe I can find out from him what this is all about."

Kelly mused, thinking Mel was just the lamest geek ever. She just couldn't believe Jackie liked him so much.

"That's doubtful…he's not very smart."

David's smile dimmed.

"He's the smartest dentist in Beverly Hills," he said, "and he knows all its secrets."

Kelly didn't doubt that a dentist wouldn't know a few of them but all of them? Where all the bodies were buried, she thought hardly. She looked into the crowd of students and she saw him.

The strange looking man just watched all of them before disappearing into the crowd again.