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Subject: How does this sound?
Author: Alison   (Authenticated as Myth Writer Dreamer)
Date: September 25, 2012 at 1:10:08 PM
I was cautious. I had to be. If what Lunette had told me was true, then I needed to be on my guard at all times with these two. These two sick monsters.

"Hello." He had a deep voice. It was surprising with his considerably small structure---for a boy, of course. "My name's Cory. You must be Spirit Hope."

"Just call me Hope," I whispered, barely audible. I preferred to be called Hope after all the year of people making fun of my name. Of course, I always let Lunette call me Spirit, but that was it. No one else has earned my trust like she has.

"There's no need for shyness with me, Hope," he purred my name. It was such a sultry sound when he said it that I shuddered, disgusted. Who did he think I was?

I nodded, though, biting my tongue and letting him wrap his arm around my waist.

Lunette's boyfriend showed up a moment later. He smiled at Lunette and pecked her cheek before walking toward the hostess.

"Table for Sinclair and Smith," Kyle, her boyfriend, said.

Smith. It was such a generic last name. I couldn't believe I was going on a date with a boy whose last name was Smith.

Lunette, my best friend, had begged me to accompany her on this date. Lunette and I typically didn't fall for the same type of boys, and that was my argument when I tried to politely decline the offer. She begged some more, and I had finally caved. Hence why I'm here.

"Hope," Kyle said, smiling at me for show, "thank you for joining us this evening."

I smiled politely. "It's an honor. All I've heard from Lunette is how wonderful you are to her." Lies. Every single word in that sentence.

He beamed, obviously buying it. "Yes, I take great care of Lunette."

Luna, my special nickname for her, looked at me with gratitude.

We were seated at a table quickly, and the boys played the gentleman card by pulling out our chairs for us. We sat down without any shown hesitation beside each other.

"So, Hope, what are some of your hobbies?" Cory asked.

I thought over this question, calculating my answer carefully. "I like cheerleading. Go bears!" I said, plastering on a smile. I did play cheerleading, but that was only because my mother made me. I truly preferred my track. Running was my passion. But Cory didn't need to know that.

Cory nodded in approval. "Anything else?"

"Makeovers," I replied immediately, as if it came second nature to me. "I love transforming Lunette."

Lunette smiled at hearing her name mentioned, politely looking over at us.

"What are some things that you like to do, Cory? What are your hobbies?" I asked casually, desperate to turn the attention away from myself.

"Oh, I like football."

I did, too. "Football's a good sport."

He grinned. "A good sport? It's amazing."

I smiled back politely. "I guess it's because I don't much about it that it makes it harder for me to appreciate it." Total bull. Football was my favorite sport, next to track, and I loved it to bits and pieces.

"Perhaps," he said, obviously intrigued by my answer. "What do you cheer for?"

"Basketball," I said as if this made me sadly. "Apparently, I wasn't good enough to cheer for football."

He nodded as though this answer pleased him. "We could work on it."

I doubted when he said 'we,' he meant it. It would most likely be me.

"Do you like anything else, Cory?"

"Baseball," he said.

"My brother plays baseball," I said before I could stop myself and make sure that this was what I was supposed to say.

He looked surprised but not angry with me. "Does he? Where?"

I thought about my reply a bit longer. "In college. He got a scholarship."

Cory seemed greatly impressed. "Cool. What position does he play?"

I shrugged, though I secretly knew the answer.

"Oh," he said, defeated. "That's too bad. I'm pitcher, and I was hoping that maybe he could have given me some pointers."

"He is a pitcher." I winced as I said it, seeing the contained anger in his eyes that I knew wouldn't stay that way.

"Oh, is he now?"

Just by the tone of his voice, I knew I was in trouble.

♥ ♪ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♥

He played nice for the rest of dinner. We barely chatted. I could tell that I had made him angry by lying about my brother.

We walked out of the restaurant, and they grasped our arms firmly. They, Cory and Kyle, led us to a narrow, dimly lit alleyway beside the restaurant.

The first blow was to me. Cory backhanded me, sending me flying into the wall. I felt tears prick at my eyes, but refused to allow them passage to fall.

"That was for lying to me," Cory growled. I couldn't see Luna anymore as Kyle led her further down.

He hit my stomach, and I grasped it, convulsing in on myself. I spat up a tiny amount of blood, but it was just enough to send my mind into a full-fledged panic.

He kept on beating me probably fifteen minutes. Every part of my body hurt when he finally quit, and I was certain that at least three of my fingers were broken from trying to fight him off.

Luna and her boyfriend finally came back, and she looked twice as bad as I felt.

Then they hopped in their cars and left us there, stranded.

I looked at Lunette. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, Spirit."

"No, you're not. Look at yourself!"

"I'd rather not," she murmured, more to herself than to me.

We forced smiles for the other's sake. "You look like you got hit by a train," I said to lighten the mood as we walked back home.

"You look like you got hit by an airplane," Luna said back.

We giggled.

The rest of the walk we spent trying to beat each other on who looked worse. Lunette won, of course, because she was seriously just that great at comebacks.

"You look like you just pooped yourself," I said pitifully.

Luna giggled at my weak attempt. "I win, Spirit."

I sighed through my nose. Luna always beat me at stuff like this. Of course, when it came to bronze instead of brains, that's when I had my chance to shine.

♥ ♪ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♪ ♥

The next day, Luna and I decided to go to the mall to get more makeup to cover our healing bruises. I used what little I had left and covered up my wounds with that. I left my hair down incase anybody got a closer look at me, but had a ponytail holder on my wrist. I then grabbed my wallet and call phone and stuffed them into my pocket.

Luna came over, and we hopped into my beaten up, over used car.

"You look better," Luna commented.

"The magic of cosmetics," I said, grinning. It was forced, as we both knew. "You look good, too," I said, trying to distract her. "I love your top. Is it new?"

She nodded, smiling a genuine smile at me. "Yeah. I got it at Geneva's."

"Are you serious?"

She nodded again as I drove down the street. "Yeah, and it was on sale, too!"

"Amazing. Freaking amazing."

Geneva's was a wonderful store, but it was horribly expensive, and they hardly ever had anything good on sale.

"So, I guess you want to stop at Bradley's, don't you?" Luna asked teasingly.

I grinned and nodded. Bradley's was my favorite store. It was a little on the punk side, but it was totally epic. "Of course," I said, faking insult.

She rolled her eyes at my dramatics. "So, when do you start swimming?"

"Tomorrow, I think."

"Epic. Practice or compete?"

"Practice."

We continued the drive discussing meaningless things to distract us from the horrors of last night.

Once we finally arrived at the Washington mall, there was chaos. We stared at the crowd of screaming girls with a look of bewilderment decorating our faces.

"What's going on?" Luna asked me.

"I have no idea," I yelled over the mob.

We pushed through the pack of fan girls. They were probably swooning over some not-as-cute-as-they-think boy. Like Justin Bieber.

"One Direction! One Direction!" they chanted.

"Hey, where do you two think you're going?" a buff guy asked with an Irish accent.

"Oh, we're---" Luna began.

"Employees," I finished.

Luna looked at me funny.

"Really?" the Irish guy asked skeptically.

"Yeah, we're new. Just starting today," I said, smiling warmly at him. "My name's Hope, and this is Luna."

He stared at us for a couple of minutes, then he stepped aside. I smiled as I grabbed Luna's elbow and pulled her inside of the mall.

"I can't believe you lied to him," Luna said once he was out of earshot. "He's gonna find out and come after us, Spirit."

I grinned. "Then I hope you've practiced running."

We walked straight to Bradley's, and I started bouncing in excitement as we approached it.

"We're going to Bradley's, we're going to Bradley's, we're going to Bradley's---"

I started twirling around in random circles. While I was spinning, I bumped into someone.

* * *
I try to always do right. Even if I sometimes fail.
* * *

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