Series: Baby Doll #1
Publication date: November 1st 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
The only thing that 17 year old Barbie Starr wants to do is graduate high school so she and her little brother, Everett, can get out of Alabama. She doesn’t care about the rumors that are spread around about her like wild fire. Rumors are nothing new to her. Sure, maybe she could change her reputation, but why bother. She is leaving Alabama as soon as she can. That is, if she can pass algebra and graduate.
The only thing Dylan Knight would like to do is go through high school unnoticed; he has had enough of the drama that is high school. He took the whole of last summer to bulk-up: finally he is not being called names or being shoved into lockers. He wants to remain on the outside of the circle of constant rumors that surround the so-called popular kids who get all the attention. He would not, however, mind if his long time crush Katie took notice of him.
But it is Barbie who notices Dylan and she offers him a deal he can’t pass up: if he helps her pass algebra, she’ll help him get the girl of his dreams. Dylan agrees, but, as it turns out, nothing is simple when it comes to Barbie. Somehow, she can’t help but draw attention to herself — and to him. Soon Dylan finds himself tossed into the whirlwind of rumors that seem to follow Barbie everywhere. Can he save his reputation and still get the girl of his dreams? Or will Barbie be the one to break through his carefully-built facade?
Her words are an arrow shot straight at my heart. It’s as if she is speaking only to me, even though I am sitting in a crowded auditorium and she speaks to all of us. I love each note; I love each piece of red hair sending tiny dancing rainbows into the crowd as the light hits it. I love the way the corner of her mouth tilts up in a slight smile. I love everything about her.
I am supposed to be calling lighting cues up to Third, but I am stunned by the words that she sings, they ring around me. Magical. Her song is like tiny birds serenading me.
The first time I saw Katie she had just moved to Phenix City. Walking into class, like a scene right out of one of those sappy teen romance movies. Violins were playing behind her as she floated in. Her red hair pulled in a low bun, an escaped strand blowing gently across her porcelain skin. As she was introduced to the class she looked right at me her light green eyes pinning me in my seat. I could not breathe, my heart stopped beating. I had never seen someone so beautiful before. I have been in love with her ever since.
With each passing day that drones on, I fall more for her, she is smart, beautiful, and funny, at least I assume she is. When I watch her passing by in the hall all her friends are laughing, and Katie is smiling like she has a joke on her lips. Every day that I watch her, I ache to touch her, to talk to her, to be part of the joke. Every day I find another reason to fall more in love with her. I sound like a stalker, but I can’t help it she is the perfect girl for me. And one day soon I am going to tell her exactly how I feel. But for now I have barely managed to pluck up the courage to say a few words to her, “Can I barrow a pen?” or “Good luck on the test,” but by the end of this year I am determined to take things further. More than a few empty words.
“Hello, earth to Dylan! Stop checking out Katie Bloom’s ass and read me the cues. Should I go brighter?” Third blinds the stage with a bright light. Shouts erupt around the stage, “Knock it off man just put the rose-colored light on Katie.” The stage softens in a pink glow, but the glare coming from Katie is bright white.
Laughter fills my ear piece, “Dude she thinks you’re an asshole,” Third snorts. “Now you ain’t ever getting in her pants.”
Third, my best friend, and the most obnoxious person I know. He goes through phases like he changes his underwear. Now he is in his street phase, down to the fake diamond chain, saggy pants, and his occasional street terms he got off the Jersey Shore. No matter how hard he tries he will always be the overweight kid who gets shoved into the locker on a regular basis. Even so we have been best friends ever since he tried stopping the eighth-grade wrestling team from shoving my scrawny sixth-grade body in the dumpster. That only resulted to both of us spending the rest of the third period in the dumpster behind the cafeteria. He has had my back since; no matter how annoying he is, he is still my best friend. We have been pushed into lockers, threatened to have our asses kicked and called loser and other endearing names together.
“Shut up. You have no clue what you’re talking about, besides Katie is not that type of girl. You don’t just get into her pants.” She is perfect. She is perfect for me.
“Katie might not be that type of girl, but here comes someone that is, and me want in those pants.” The caveman version of him begins to rear its ugly head. I look to were Third had the light pointed. Bathed in a bright white light making her look otherworldly; stood Barbie Starr in all her glory. She has posed with her hands on her hips, black combat boots tapping. She is searching the room for her next victim. And she found him, her eyes narrow as she hones in on me.
I slide down in my chair trying to avoid eye contact. “Damn that girl is hot.”
I can practically hear the drool falling from Third’s mouth. “What do you think she wants?” I groan.
Wherever Barbie is you can guarantee trouble is not far behind her, she is the most screwed-up girl at Lee County. “Probably looking for a place to get high,” I mumble into my headpiece. Barbie is known for two things around Central, partying and hooking up.
“Send her up in the box with me man. I’ll take care of her,” Third begs.
The cast begins to stumble over their words as they glance nervously toward Barbie. Even Ms. Rita can’t help but glance in her direction. She is like a car accident you don’t want to look, but you can’t help but assess the damage.
Barbie starts to walk in my direction; her green, plaid mini skirt is so short that I am not even sure it can be still classified as a skirt. She has on a tight, black tank top that exposes a gold belly button ring, torn fishnet stockings with knee-high combat boots completes her look. That cannot be dress code. Her big, freaky blue eyes are lined in heavy black liner, and they are looking right at me. I am frozen in my seat. A predator holding its prey, and I am the prey. Crap. She walks up the aisle in front of me, flipping her long, bleached blond hair with one hot pink strip over her shoulder. “Dylan Knight?” her voice is a knife cutting through me. I nod too stunned to talk.
“Dude she knows your name! Get her number and you are my hero,” Third chirps in my ear.
“Umm…yeah…that’s me,” I choke out. My heart felt like it was about to take flight leaving a gaping hole in my chest as I watched her with an anxious stare.
She smiles at me, but that smile reads more like she is the Greek goddess Ishtar. She is either going to step over the seat and start making out with me or strangle me. I hope for the second and make it quick. “Well today is your lucky day,” she leans over and grips the back of the chair with her black-chipped finger nails, giving me a full view of her cleavage.
“Dude this is so hot, I have a movie that starts out like this. If she steps over that chair and rips off your clothes I am going to film it.” Third is defiantly drooling; actually the whole theater has fallen silent. I don’t look but I know all eyes are on us or maybe they are on Barbie’s ass.
“You can totally see down her shirt, what color is her bra?” Third begs.
“Red,” I say.
She glares at me. “What?”
I shake my head clearing my thoughts and make eye contact with her again. “Why is today my lucky day?” I change the subject crossing my arms across my chest glaring back at her.
“You get to tutor me in Math,” she holds out her arms like she has just given me the best gift ever.
“Holy crow dude, you got to do it. For all things virgin you got to do it. She totally is going to screw your brains out; and you have to videotape it for me.” I shake my head trying to rid Third’s annoying voice in my head.
“No,” I say with more conviction then I feel.
“No?” her eyes narrow into tiny slits.
“Dylan bro you are killing me,” Third groans. “Listen man you are not thinking with the right head. Listen to the little man down below, you have to tutor her, and report every dirty detail back to me.” Third is back to begging.
“Well are you a tutor or not?” she snaps. The room is so silent that you can hear a pin drop. I glance at the stage, big mistake, Katie is sending death rays in my direction or maybe they are meant for Barbie. I cannot tell. Could she be jealous? We don’t speak much even though we are in all the same classes together. Girls, I never will get them.
“Yes I am…but I am not taking any more clients.” Actually I have not tutored anyone in a while. I am sure as hell not tutoring crazy.
“Idiot! Do you get what could happen with your reputation if you let her de-virgin you.” Third says to me. Yeah she can ruin whatever little social life I happen to have. “Katie might finally know your name,” Third says. Katie knew my name. Right? I glance back at the stage to where Katie is talking to that douche bag Tyler.
“Fine I will tutor you.” I know I will end up regretting this, but if there is a chance that Katie will recognize me. Her face softens and her freaky alien eyes go back to their normal size. I rip out a piece of the cue paper and jot down my address and phone number on it.
“Thanks, hot stuff.” She takes the paper out of my hand and folds it in a messy square before stuffing it into her bra. She stands straight and looks up at the box and says, “It is red with black hearts.” She winks and saunters out of the auditorium.
There is silence, the whole room in a state of shock. I think Third might have keeled over and died.
“Dylan read the cues,” Mrs. Rita snaps. She is wearing the same look of astonishment on her face that I feel. I cannot read the cues because they are in Barbie’s red bra with black hearts. What just happened? Did I just agree to tutor Barbie?
“Man what you are going to do?” Third stuffs a whole Twinkie in his mouth. That is impressive.
“I don’t know she is freaking crazy,” I groan, running my hand through my hair.
“Yeah, but she is like the hottest girl in school,” Third points out.
“She is not the hottest girl in school, she is the easiest girl in school,” I correct him.
Third takes out another Twinkie from the plastic wrapper. “Name one girl hotter than Barbie? And not the sweet girl-next-door look, like Katie, I mean hot! Like dripping sex hot!” He says before devouring another Twinkie.
“Okay so Barbie is hot in a stripper kind of way,” I agree with him. She has that long, bleached blond hair, and big blue eyes, and these pouty lips that make you wonder if they are as soft as they look. Third grabs a cheese burger off his plate.
“Her boobs are freaking huge,” Third groans.
“Yeah I noticed.” I am a guy, how could I not notice. I shake my head trying to clear the images in my head. How could I not notice she practically shoved them in my face.
“You got to bang her,” Third points a greasy finger in my direction.
“Bang her, who freaking talks like that?” I throw one of his Twinkies at him.
“Hey my mom packed those.” He scoops up the rest of his stash protectively.
“Hey boys,” Barbie’s voice cuts in it has a low and sexy quality to it. How long has she been behind us? She pulls up a chair next to me. She locks eyes with me and stares making me uncomfortable, but I will not be the first to look away. I swallow the lump in my throat and stare back. “Look we need to figure out the terms of this tutoring thing,” she says flicking her long hair over her shoulder.
More uncomfortable staring. Damn, does she ever blink? She has these weird, intense blue eyes that are huge, almost like one of those plastic dolls Emmy is always trying to talk Mom into getting her.
Reaching over the table she picks up a burger off Third’s tray and takes a bite, which puts him to shame. “I can’t pay you,” she says over a mouth full of food.
“I charge ten dollars an hour, but I am sure we can work out a deal,” I shoot back. I usually charge ten bucks an hour but I have done it before for five dollars, of course she was in first grade and not a raging loon.
“So what, you want me to like show you my boobs or something?” I choke on my chocolate milk. Third is shaking his head “yes” fiercely. “Or make out with you?” she points the burger at me. Her eyes still remain unblinking.
“I know, how about I pretend I am your girlfriend, boost your popularity.” What? She continues, “How about I say we did it, that you rocked my world, you know…” She leans back in her chair and kicks up her long booted legs onto the table.
“No!” I get my voice back, and looking away I blink. “I don’t want you to ‘pretend’ to be my girlfriend.” I make air quotes around pretend.
She smiles, “I am not really going to be your girlfriend.” She laughs like being my girlfriend is incongruous.
“This is a cafeteria. Do you mind?” I glance at her feet; she is starting to grate on my last nerve.
“Not at all,” She smiles at me.
“What does pretending to be his girlfriend entitle him to? Just out of curiosity,” Third inserts himself into the conversation. I can practically see the perverted wheels of his mind turning.
“Look, I don’t want you to pretend that you are my girlfriend or pretend to do ‘it’ with me,” I say before she can answer his question. This girl is trouble, she is probably higher than a kite right now, and I do not want to get more involved than I already am.
“I am not really going to do it with you.” She rolls her eyes. “I tell you what, how about I let you feel me up,” she gives me a wink.
Holy crap. Third is really drooling. “Marry me,” Third in his comatose state says dreamy-eyed. If anyone knows how to get attention it is Barbie. She swings her legs down and perches her chin in her hands ignoring the puddle of drool that is forming under Third.
“Remember the time you made me eat that roly-poly?” she looks at me innocently.
“What? No.” Of course I do, it was the first and only time I was in the Principal’s office.
We were in kindergarten; her hair was not blonde like it is now, but a mousey brown that she wore down her back in two long braids. I always had this weird desire to yank on them to see what would happen, to see if she would smile and laugh, or just punch me. She was known for beating up the boys, but she never did touch me. I was jealous. I didn’t know any better I was six.
Every day during recess I would chase her; she never let me catch her. None of the other girls let me chase them like she did; she was always faster than me, flittering just out of reach. I wanted to catch her so bad.
Then one day I got the flu, a week later when I got back to school Billy Nichols was chasing her, pulling on her braids and she was laughing. I had to do something drastic! So I found a roly-poly and hid in the slide popping out when she ran by. I caught her and stuffed the little bug in her mouth. It was the first and last time I caught her. So I didn’t say it was a smart choice but I needed something drastic and I was like six. When I got off her she finally punched me, right in the nose so hard that I saw stars. To make it worse she tattled on me, getting me in trouble. I was the only boy she ever told on.
I rub at the bump on my nose; I swear it was from her. “Why did you stop chasing me?” She is looking at me with those alien eyes.
“What? I… it was…I… Billy…you punched me, and I got in trouble…what does this have to do with tutoring?” My checks are burning.
“I know, Katie Bloom,” Third says throwing his hands in the air like he just scored a touchdown.
“What?” We both look at him.
“What does this have to do with Katie Bloom?” I say irritated.
“Ahhh, Katie Bloom, goodie two shoes straight as with a freak underneath. You’re in love with her.” She points at me an all-knowing smile on her face. “And I can help you get her,” she says nonchalantly like we are talking about the weather and not the girl of my dreams.
“What…no I am not in love with her,” I protest. “And she is not a freak; she is a lady, unlike some people.”
She looks at me like she is trying to read something that is not there. “Katie Bloom is little bit of a psycho,” her voice raises an octave, my face is on fire.
“Will you keep it down, she is sitting right over there and can here every word you are saying,” I hiss.
I steal a glance nervously in Katie’s direction. She is not even paying attention to our table; she is too busy laughing at Tyler. Douche bag. I should be the one making her laugh. “You don’t even know her, she is smart, and kind, and pretty,” I say in a hushed tone. I am filled with images of Katie gliding past me, always with text books in her hand, a halo around her auburn head. I love her. I love her. I love her.
Barbie throws her hands in the air, “Okay lover boy don’t say I didn’t warn you. You get me a passing grade on the next test in Gregor’s class, and I will help you get Katie Bloom’s pants.”
Even though it feels like I am making a deal with the devil, I agree.
“How exactly are you going to do that?” I lean over to her. Her blue eyes glisten with a scheme.
“I have my ways,” she leans close to me licking her lips.
“This is going to be awesome,” Third chimes in, breaking my lock on those lips.
“So why don’t you wear glasses anymore?” she asks. This girl is freaking crazy! I spend the rest of the day not concentrating on school, but how to get out of a deal I somehow got tricked into by the she-devil Barbie.
Heidi Acosta was born on Long Island, New York. Moving around a lot when she was younger, she has lived in New York, Arizona, New York (again), Washington, Georgia, and Florida, in that order. Each place offered her something special, but she will always consider New York her home.Heidi started writing as soon as she could spell. When she was three, Heidi’s mother gave her a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods; thus beginning her lifelong love affair with literature.Writing soon also became a form of therapy for Heidi, when she realized that no matter what was happening in her life, she could find emotional escape while writing. Some of her earliest stories featured her as a princess who explored new worlds with her horse Buttercup. If it sounds romantic, it wasn’t, there was no prince charming in those fairy lands (boys where yucky).Heidi now resides in Florida with her husband, very active daughter, one hyper Chihuahua, two sweet cats, and one very fat moody cat.
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