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Summer's Bliss, Spring's Kiss Part One

Little green buds were growing all along the skinny branches of the trees on Hart Street. I trudged along the sidewalk, followed by James Woodsen and my little brother Henry. I could hear James' giant feet sloshing into the wet snow and Henry's lithe paces making the least noise as possible.

Henry tugged on my tartan pea coat. I had to peer up at the fourteen year old, but he still acted like a child imprisoned in a seventeen year old's body. His sly smile didn't set me off as much when he sneered, "Where are we taking the mutt?" He started to laugh the horse laugh he loved to haunt people with but he soon stopped when I punched him. His eyes narrowed as he gave me a dirty look, "Ow! Val!" Henry started to rub his arm tenderly. I was surprised that he wasn't wearing a coat, let alone a sweater. He only wore a long sleeved cashmere sweater that matched his bright green eyes. I grinned a bit, I gave that to him for Christmas.

By mutt, Henry meant James, my best friend. Henry often loves to criticize James because he considers him as the big brother he never had. I'm glad James returned the favour by hanging out with Henry from time to time and giving him a good punch in the arms.

Glancing at James, he looked unaffected by Henry's snide comment. What I didn't understand was that he actually seemed to have enjoyed the title given to him. To prove my theory, he gave a wide childish grin, his amber eyes lit up, "You two could bring me anywhere, just as long as I get my bone-- I'm good." James kicked a bit of snow off his large hiking boots and messed up Henry's brown hair. By some miracle, he managed to be taller than Henry-- which no boy I ever knew managed to do. My parents say that Henry's just an early bloomer, but I believe that he's probably some changeling from a family of giants.

"Try to act like civilized people for once, " I muttered. I was about to drone on about what we could do in such a boring afternoon when I got a sudden twinge. I always got this weird feeling that almost clicks in my mind for about one second when I know that someone in particular is coming.

Walking down the sidewalk towards us was the Cleftons. They were the local enigmas in our high school. These people were beyond anyone's reach. As I saw these three girls walking down the sidewalk, they always struck me as the type of people that were too gorgeous to be human. So was their cousin, who was walking down with them. No one could actually say, without sounding stupid, that the Cleftons were unattractive. They all wore trench coats believe it or not.

We must have stopped walking down the sidewalk at one point because Noel Clefton's thin eyebrows furrowed as he gave us a certain look. He whispered something into Felicity's straight burgundy hair.

Her pale face lit up as she started to grin. She cupped her mouth as she pointed at Henry and let out a smooth laugh. I heard Henry take in a sharp breath.

I glanced at James, who was probably looking straight at Cadence.

Beside Cadence was Emile, who was taking her time walking daintily. Being the smallest of the Clefton bunch gave her the advantage of looking innocent, which was apparently attractive to some of the guys at Westmount. Especially with her big brown eyes and long curly black hair, she looked like a Victorian era porcelain doll. Her and Cadence would have fit in lavishly in an old Eaton's catalogue. Their sister Felicity looked more like the doll buyer in the Eaton's catalogue.

Noel's eyes were ridiculous. It's a shame he doesn't take an interest in anyone except for his studies and his artwork. I think that makes him more desirable.

"James, Valerie... Valerie's brother...?"

Henry fumbled to step forward, "Henry Klaus. You are...?" Henry was a terrible liar. Telling from the glint of jealousy in my little brother's pale green eyes, he is probably as jealous as I am over Noel's unrealistic features.

Henry let out a laugh before Noel could say anything. "Oh yes! You're Noel Clefton... Ahaha. Yes, I forgot about you..."

Noel didn't seem to hear the little edge in Henry's voice. He just smiled and nodded, his jet black hair grazed his forehead making a strong contrast. "Yes, I am. I'm always forgettable, aren't I?" He flashed a smile at me, which made me shift my weight from foot to foot, uneasily. My stomach had the reverse effect of a sinking feeling.

Felicity, who was leaning one arm on Noel's shoulder, let out a hearty laugh. Whenever Felicity laughed, it became contagious. As we all started to laugh, we seemed obliged to do it. Her eyes crinkled at just the right places when she smirked, "Don't say that Noel, you always have to be too modest."

Cadence shook her head while swinging her white shoulder bag with a constant rhythm, "At least somebody is modest." She gave a crooked smile then glanced at James, "Enjoyed school?"

James, apparently lost in Cadence's wide deer like eyes started to stammer. I grimaced and ran my hand through my chestnut coloured hair, James always had something to say. Now he was rendered speechless by some fairy like nymphet. It was almost sickening to watch. At what seemed like forever, he finally spat out, "Good. Good." I'm sure that 'Good, good' will make any woman be swept off her feet.

We all started to laugh. I tried joining in, trying my best not to sound pained. I wanted to get home already-- not waste my time with a pack of beautiful people. The matter was, there was too many of them here. Not the regular ones. Just the ridiculously lovely ones. What peeved me is that they all acted like the Cleftons-- enigmatic, aloof, too cool for thou. One person in particular that seemed too cool for anyone was Reed Rosedale. He was usually the one to sit alone in the corner and mind his own business. You might think that he would have plenty of people trying to get his attention, but his quiet and moody demeanour often drove people away. I usually find myself staring at the back of his rusty caramel coloured hair in Art Class wondering how unique one person could look in such a uniformed town like this.

From his lightly tanned skin, almost orange hair, and cold stone gray eyes, Reed was the most fascinating person to look at. He's the type of guy that people would just stare at from across the room and not be embarrassed about it. Well, I was once-- he turned around in his seat and I jumped up. The look on his heart shaped face read suspicion when he made his lips form a tight frown. I remembered blushing red for the rest of that day.

Reed, even though he was the 'lone wolf' type, sometimes talked to the Cleftons. Well, the Cleftons would mostly approach him. What they talked about, I don't know, since they talked in a language I never heard before. I know quite a few languages since my father is a linguist and insist for me and Henry to learn many languages as possible. It sounds like they're speaking some form of Gaelic, but it is hard to guess.

He also talks to the other two people. These were the ones that peeved me the most for some strange reason. The Ruckmeres. I know the least about them-- besides Reed-- they don't look like sisters yet they claim they are. They're like night and day. I don't question that, but I don't care about it either-- I don't want to at least. They all share the same innocent doe eyes though.
The only other person that Reed tolerates is Afton Fletcher, another one of them.

We all stood there on our invisible sides of the sidewalks, as if whoever crossed the line would face a terrible end to their valued life. That was another thing too add-- The Cleftons, Ruckmeres, Afton, and especially Reed try to avoid body contact anyway possible. I actually saw Helen Ruckmeres, the more rambunctious of the two, actually put on her gloves before shaking a person's hand. Maybe that doesn't say much, but it could be strange enough to question.

Cadence tucked her straight hair behind one ear and smiled cheerfully, "Well then..." She glanced around us, as if we had something to say.

"Yup..." Henry induced the awkward moment.

I looked at the bemused faces of Felicity, Cadence, Emile, and Noel, they seemed to be poking some fun at this. Out of instinct, I grabbed my little brother's arm and tugged. I looked at each one of them, "I just remembered, we had some work to do--"

"--What are you talking about, Valerie?" James gave me a confused and almost annoyed look. I believe he is upset since I'm making him depart with his beloved Cadence. I rolled my eyes, I knew I should have left with Mallory to go shopping with her. Besides James Woodsen being one of my best friends, Mallory Bogart was my only female friend.

James' amber eyes found that little giveaway in my naive face. He gnawed at his lip and mouthed, "Don't even try to lie to me."

Feeling a bit insulted, I tugged some more on Henry's stick thin arm, "We're leaving now...So...Bye." I forced my brother down the sidewalk. If James wanted to flirt with the robots he could. I had no problem with that. Seriously.

Henry leaned down to whisper, "What do you think you're doing?"

I whipped my head around and hissed, "Being your sister, now let's go!"



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