Disclaimer: Everything belongs to its rightful owners.

In this story, Sebastian is not dead. He was hit by the car, healed, and left for a while. Kathryn still got the good busting she deserved. She has since been reaccepted into Manchester Prep. Annette and Sebastian have forgiven each other, but are still broken up for not only their well-being, but others' as well. Though, they are still very much in love with each other. This is Sebastian's return to Manhattan…

The only time I have taken a bus was before I left my mother's home to come live with my father and Anna, my stepmother. The public bus dropped me off at a stop fifteen blocks from the mansion. Couldn't it have gotten any closer? I hailed down a cab, threw my bags in the trunk, and slid in. "Where ya going, son?" I gave the driver my address and he drove briskly.

I reminisced on the past six months as I toured the world. The Eiffel Tower in Paris; Macchu Pichu in Peru; Barcelona; London; Tokyo; Moscow; Berlin; The Amazon; and so much more…I had celebrated my eighteenth birthday, December 17th, in a pub in Dublin. I smiled fondly at the memory. Now, here I was, back in New York to finish my Senior year. I was able to keep up with my studies via tutor, but it was back to everyday life…with a few exceptions. I was going to try to improve myself. Keyword: try. I wasn't promising anything, but I'd make an attempt.

I paid the driver and carried my bags inside. For once, Anna and Dad were sitting in the living room together. I set my bags in the doorway and the maid came and took them to my bedroom. They hurried up to me. "Sebastian!" Anna chimed as she kissed both of my cheeks. My father patted me on my back.

"It's great to have you back," he said.

"Do you want something to eat?" Anna asked.

"No, thank you. I ate on the plane. I'd like to go to school, though."

"Are you sure?"


"Okay. Well, your uniform is on your bed. I'll get a limousine to take you."

"Thank you, Anna." I went to my room for the first time in half a year and dressed. It was still quite early. Only 7:45. School didn't start until 8:30. I had plenty of time. I put on a new pair of my favorite type of sunglasses. I had already been given my locker assignment and schedule. They mailed it to the house when they heard of my return.

The limo pulled up to the front of the building. Luckily the windows were tinted. The chauffeur opened the door and I became the center of attention. Everybody, males and females, turned and stared. Suddenly, whispers of, "Is that Sebastian Valmont?" spread throughout the grounds. I smirked and clipped my glasses to the chest pocket on my blazer. "It is him."

When I opened the door to the building, I got the same reactions inside as I did outside. I headed for my new locker, but instead ended up on the wall with my lips on someone else's. I pushed that person away with great force when I realized that it was Kathryn. "No. The only relationship you and I will ever have is a brother-sister one and that is final." I continued walking and people stared some more; especially when I stopped mid-step because I saw her. The blonde beauty that had screwed me up so much, it became intolerable.

This is not going to affect me.

Just look away.

Don't think about it.

All were things I tried to tell myself in a useless mantra. I resorted to the second phrase. The first and third were futile as I denied what would have been of great help. She sat directly in front of me, her golden locks staring me down. "You will have a short poetry assignment to do. I will pair you up and give you a poem to read. You analyze it amongst each other and present your conclusions to the class." This was my least favorite class. I never understood when I would need to know old English literature. Students dispersed one by on and soon she and I were the only ones left. "Annette, Sebastian, you two happen to be the only ones left. Therefore, you'll be partners. Your assignment is Shakespeare's Sonnet 145." The teacher pushed a paper with the poem on it in front of me and I skimmed over it. When she walked away, I looked up at Annette.

"Of all the poems in the goddamn world, we had to get the one about forbidden, troubled love."

She pulled it from me and looked over it. "Well let's take it from the beginning. Those lips that Love's own hand did make, means that Shakespeare's mistress is about to speak. The capital 'Love' being a reference to Aphrodite or Venus, the goddess of love."

I nodded my head in agreement, though in reality I didn't get any of it.

"Then he's said that she started by saying the words 'I hate,' and it scared him to death. After hesitation, she said 'I hate not you' or 'I don't hate you' and he was fine again. Therefore, the poem is not about forbidden love, but rather the feeling of being on edge in what you think is a desperate situation, but in truth, is nothing but a misunderstanding and impatience before full analysis."

"Now I see why your grades are so good." She smiled and cocked her head to one side.

"I'm not smart, I just, I'm pushed because of my dad."

"Speaking of, how is he?"

"He's doing well, but he warned me to stay away from you at all costs." I eased into a crooked half-smile.

"Well then I guess he'd be quite pissed if I were to…" I leant forward to kiss her and she reluctantly pulled back.

"Sebastian…I don't want a repeat of this summer. The last person I want to deal with is your sister."

"Kathryn? You think Kathryn's a threat? Fuck her – and I don't mean that literally. I couldn't give the slightest shit about her anymore."

"What about Cecile?"

"Annette, seriously?" I sighed, irritated.

"I'm sorry. I just don't want to drag myself into getting hurt again."

"Okay. It's time to get started with the presentations," the teacher clapped her hands. Everyone returned to their seats. She went through the list of students, saving Annette and I for last.

"Don't worry. I'll speak. We had Shakespeare's Sonnet 145. The poem is about Shakespeare's mistress frightening him with the idea of her not having mutual feelings. When she adds the words 'not you' to the end of 'I hate,' he's relieved." The bell signaled the end of class.

"Sebastian, can we talk?" I nodded and I held her hand out to the courtyard.

We sat on a bench of cement between two pillars, looking out at the people walking around. "What is it?" I asked.

Annette immediately smashed her lips against mine. I was caught off guard to say the least, but I didn't protest and kissed her back just as hard. We were soon in the midst of a sudden make out session. Kissing her for the first time in this long felt amazing. One kiss couldn't make up for six months. God, was I whipped. "I was wondering if you'd like to have dinner with me and my family tonight."

"I'd like that."

"Great. 1584 Morrison Drive. 7 p.m.?"

"Sounds good. But what about your father?"

"Well I guess this is a chance to show him that you've improved."

"I guess so."

"Sebastian!" It was Kathryn. Dammit. "People are expecting you and I to walk into lunch together," she looked at me, then scrutinized Annette, "Blondie."

"Crackhead." This wasn't good. "I'll see you tonight, Sebastian."

"You, too," I bid, and Kathryn pulled me away...