Jessie and Katie (in Friends and Lovers)

Chapter 73: Stomp With Me Baby

...written by TVM w/ CJ Ames...

Copyright 2004 2007


Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created by Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz and are copyrighted to them, with exception of the original characters that are credited to me. I am borrowing their incredible creation to tell this story. So any reposting or archiving without written permission is an infringement on the copyright of this series. In other words You damn well better ask before you steal it.

Feedback: Every author in his or her own way makes it a point to ask for feedback when posting a story, well me I don't usually. But there are several reasons as to why a reader should consider taking the time to give it. The simple fact is that giving some form of feedback is truly the most important thing a reader can do after reading and enjoying a story. Hopefully in the process providing that author with at least one viable reason as to what you liked about the story. This small amount of time spent will no doubt inspire the author to write more and possibly at a quicker pace, knowing that they have a fan base who are waiting on their next works. So thanks for the feedback and please keep it comin.

Summary: In the ALL NEW 73rd chapter of Jessie and Katie in (Friends and Lovers), while spending time with Stephanie at Sarah's place, Jessie and Stephanie (special guest star Nikki Reed) have a showdown over Jessie's refusal to let Steph drive her home in the storm that's surging just outside the window. The next morning, Mandy (Camryn Grimes) gladly accept Lily's offer of hot coffee and a side of conversation. Meanwhile in Florida, Sarah and grace take a stroll along the beach only to meet an older couple, one of whom draws a great interest in Sarah's apartment building back in Chicago. Later, Mandy and Zoe arrive in the Upton-Sin Claire parking lot and Mandy dishes out some advice to an uncertain Zoe and Logan goes over the line in his attempt to get Mandy back.

Rating: PG-13

Added On: 10/29/07

Starring: Jessie Sammler (Evan Rachel Wood), Grace Manning (Julia Whelan), Sarah Grasser (Sarah Lind), Zoe Manning (Meredith Deane), & Lily Manning-Sammler (Sela Ward)

Special Guest Stars: Stephanie Dimitri (Nikki Reed)

Guest Stars: Amanda "Mandy" McCree (Camryn Grimes), Logan Turner (Mandy's friend), Derrick Seaver (Zoe's friend), Jamison Marsoon (Business Man on the Beach) & Anita Marsoon (Jamison's Wife)


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** ** ** Meanwhile @ Sarah's Apartment

"What are you doing?" Stephanie asked as Jessie stood in a chair searching through the books on the top shelf of Sarah's closet. Feeling Stephanie's hand laying now gently on her back, Jessie smiled down at her and asked, "Fraid I'm gonna fall?"

"You were there to catch me when I did" Stephanie said with a smile as Jessie touched her heart and stepped down and into Stephanie's arms as she kissed her softly.

"I love you" Jessie said as both smiled.

"I love you too" Stephanie said as she touched Jessie's chin and drew their lips together for a long moment.

"I was really looking for a book Sarah mentioned she had, it sounded interesting" Jessie said as a loud crack of thunder sounded outside, followed by a flash of lightning that looked almost to close for comfort.

"Well, you don't have time to read it anyway, cause I gotta get you home" Stephanie said as she picked the car keys up off the table by the window seat as Jessie followed her and stopped to look out the window for a moment, "I don't want your dad and Lily getting mad at me."

"It's really coming down out there...holy crap" Jessie said jumping away from the window as a huge bolt of lightning seemed to flash through the window. Followed by a loud a crack of thunder that seemed to shake the entire building as the lights flickered for a moment.

"That looks so cool?" Stephanie said as Jessie hugged her and said, "Yeh but I don't know if we should get out in that."

"No, it's cool I seriously better get you home before it gets any worse" Stephanie said, when something started to ping the window as Jessie moved close and noticed it was hail.

"I think it just did" Jessie said. "It's coming down in buckets out there, it looks nasty."

"Come on we'll be OK, I'mma a good driver" Stephanie said as Jessie stopped her when another flash of lightning seemed to almost crash into the building.

"Nooooo" Jessie said firmly, "I'm not getting out in that and neither are you."

"Jessie this ain't even a bad storm compared to what we have back home in Omaha" Stephanie said. "I can get you home, I promise."

"Well guess what? You're not in Omaha anymore, this is Chicago and the people here are a lot crazier than in Omaha, in a storm like this, I feel a lot safer here with you" Jessie said as she took the keys and tossed them on the bed. "I'm not worried about me getting home, I'm much more worried about you getting back here."

"I've done it before, and in a lot worse weather, we had a tornado touch down one night when I was out driving with Kyle" Stephanie said as she followed Jessie to the window seat. Taking a seat, Jessie glanced out the window and saw the rain come down harder as larger balls of hail began falling in faster and faster succession. Looking back at Stephanie as she took her hand. "We made it back just fine. This is like a summer rain shower at home."

"Yeh, and you never had me to love you before and I'm not taking a chance on losing you to some drunk driver or blown tire" Jessie said as she stood and touched her face and said, "You wanna fight about this? Cause I will."

"OK, OK" Stephanie said as she touched her heart and ran her fingers through her hair as she said, "Jessie, you win."

"Thank you" Jessie said as she kissed her softly and then hugged her. "And it's not about winning."

"I know that" Stephanie said as she hugged her. "You just showed me you care a lot more than Kyle ever did."

"I do" Jessie said, "And he's never getting you back to hurt you again either."

"He's not huh?" Stephanie asked with a playful smile. "You sure about that?"

"Positive" Jessie said, and loving Stephanie's playful expression as they kissed again. "You see what happens if you go back to him."

"Will it involve spanking?" Stephanie asked as Jessie blushed and remembered the incident in Stephanie's room when she slapped her on the butt.  

"Whips and chains too" Jessie said as both laughed.

"You better call Lily and your Dad and let them know what's happening" Stephanie said.

"Good idea, I'm sure they'll be cool" Jessie said as she dialed the number and found the other end of the line was dead. "Phone's dead."

"Spooky" Stephanie said as Jessie hung up and ran back to her side and said, "Protect me."

"What parts?" Stephanie asked as Jessie blushed and rolled her eyes.

"Why don't you just hold me" Jessie said as she moved in front of Stephanie and looked back as Steph shrugged and wrapped her arms around Jessie and kissed her neck. "You know I like this?"

"Me too" Stephanie said as her mind drifted to Indiana and what would happen when they returned.  

"You ready for the weekend?" Stephanie asked as Jessie took a deep breath and said, "As ready as I'll ever be."

"I can just see it now" Stephanie giggled, "You saying, Mom I'm in love with Stephanie..."

"I got this..." Jessie said in her best imitation of Karen. "Great now my faggot daughter has brainwashed Stephanie into thinking she's one."

"You let her call you that" Stephanie said with a growl to her voice as Jessie looked back, "I'm serious, you'll have to keep me from hurting her."

"It's just a word" Jessie said as she turned in Stephanie's arms and touched her face.

"Yeh and it was one I thought was funny till I met you" Stephanie said, "Now it makes me mad as hell, she used it before anyway."

"Yeh I know, when she first found out" Jessie said.

"No, she was down for the weekend a while a back and I was just coming in from a date" Stephanie said, "total loser."

"Good to know" Jessie said as both smiled.

"Anyway she was ranting on and on about this center, said they can fix...well you know and said, like my daughter" Stephanie said, "I lost it, I went running into the house and got in her face and we had this huge horrible screaming match."

"So you defended me?"

"Yeh of course" Stephanie said as Jessie kissed her. "August had to hold me back from punching her."

"And why didn't you tell me about this before?" Jessie asked as Stephanie smiled and shrugged.

"You were getting along with your mom and it seemed so unimportant, besides she apologized about 10 times" Stephanie said. "She was seriously calmer after that I think."

"Maybe someone getting in her face helped" Jessie said. "Thank you for defending me."

"I think I was already in love with you then" Stephanie said. "That whole stupid fight just got me to thinking about you and how much fun we had that weekend. And I just never stopped thinking about you from that day on."

"See I had a different reaction" Jessie said, "I didn't wanna think about you and start developing feelings for the straight girl in Indiana and believe me if I had let myself think about you as much as I wanted to for a while, it wouldn't have been so hard to figure out I was in love with you."

"Funny how life works huh?" Stephanie said. "We would have never met if August wasn't a horny old perv chasing after Grace."

"Ohmigod, you're mean" Jessie said as Stephanie laughed and kissed her cheek. "Thank god he did though."

"Mmmmm-hmmmm" Stephanie cooed softly, "I totally agree"


** ** ** Meanwhile @ Sammler-Manning Manor


"MMMMMMMMM god I feel like shit" Mandy said as she held on to the railings and walked down the main stairs at Sammler-Manning Manor. Looking down the hallway at the bottom and seeing a light on in the kitchen she decided to check and see who was up before leaving, as she had planned to do.

"Mrs. Manning?" Mandy said from the corner of the kitchen as she spotted Lily making some coffee.

"Well honey, you look like the cat dragged you in, are you OK?" Lily asked. "And it's Lily."

"I feel like shit...ummm, I'm sorry, I mean I feel like what you said" Mandy said and offering a sheepish grin. "Can I please bum you for a cup of coffee, I really need a kick in the a...butt this morning."

"Black?" Lily asked as Mandy sat down at the counter and said, "Strong and black."

"Now why does someone as young as you need coffee?" Lily asked as she sat it down in front of Mandy. Who quickly began sipping on it and breathed a sigh of relief as she began to wake up a little.

"My dad got me hooked on it when I was like 12 and now I have to have it" Mandy said, "I'm usually at Starbucks about right now, this beats paying 4 bucks for coffee that's not even this good."

"So you regret last night huh?" Lily asked as she joined her.

"What? No way" Mandy said with a smile, "We had a blast."

"Danced in the rain?" Lily asked as Mandy sipped on her coffee.

"We did" Mandy said, "It just started raining and I started it, I know I shouldn't have but I just started goofing and Zoe kinda followed my lead and then she did something and I did it. We sorta lost track of time."

"I don't think I've seen Zoe happier than she has been the last two days" Lily commented with a bit of worry in her voice, "She seems to think you guys are really friends."

"We are" Mandy said seriously, "Not like, my little buddy Zoe who I let hang out with me, it's like my best friend Zoe. I know it sounds goofy, but I think she's been better to me than all of my other so-called friends."

"But what happens when you meet some older friends?" Lily asked.

"To be honest with you, Lily, I don't abandon my friends" Mandy said seriously. "Besides all of my other friends are rich fucks...I mean, rich and just about everyone are on drugs or alcohol. I just got so tired of that scene."

"You've done drugs and drunk alcohol?" Lily asked as Mandy finished her cup and Lily poured her another.

"Thank you, and yes I have" Mandy said, "But I haven't done anything with Zoe with me, and I wouldn't either. When I'm with her it's like I don't need the drugs to have a good time."

"You know I appreciate your honesty" Lily said as Mandy began sipping on another cup of coffee, "And I think you're the first friend Zoe's ever had that called me and asked if she could go somewhere with them."

"Morning Princess Snores a lot" Mandy said as Zoe came into the kitchen wearing her seemingly ever present pink cowboy hat.

"I don't snore" Zoe said as she put the hat on Mandy's head and fell against her back and pretended to be asleep as she began to snore again as Mandy laughed and pushed her away. "See told you I don't snore."

"Can I have some?" Zoe asked as Mandy handed her the cup and watched her sip it and give a sour face. "Not bad but needs a little sugar."

"Zoe Manning you don't drink coffee" Lily said as she poured her a glass of milk.

"Yeh pour wittle Zoe a gwass of milky milk" Mandy said in a baby voice as she poked Zoe in the ribs and laughed as they started pushing each other.

"Stop it, you two knock it off" Lily said with a smile.

"She started it" Zoe said before realizing she was sorta of whining as she rephrased and said, "Sorry Mom."

"Hey, you wanna go to the batting cages after school?" Mandy asked as Zoe gave her a weird look.

"What do I know about baseball?"

"It's not baseball, hit a ball and run to a base" Mandy said, "It's more like, see ball, take out frustration on ball. It's fun and lots cute guys hang out there."

"You should go Zoe" Lily said as both looked to Lily in surprise. "Just back by 9."

"See you gotta a cool mom, she wants you to have fun" Mandy said, "My mom thinks fun is a sin, if I told her I was going to the batting cages she'd ask who I was screwing and if I was pregnant."

"I'm sure you're exaggerating" Lily said as she rejoined the pair.

"I wish I was" Mandy said, "Me and Shady, that's my infamous older sister, typically stay gone when she's home."

"Shady? Why is she infamous? She's always been nice to me" Zoe said, "Course don't get on her bad side."

"Exactly, you get on her bad side and she's a handful" Mandy said.

"Yeh she bout tore Logan a new one yesterday over you" Zoe said as Mandy looked at her as if this was news to her, "Yeh, she said if he made you cry again she'd make him a greasy spot in the parking lot. Logan was scared half to death till Katie showed up and backed Shady down, then Logan got brave."

"God he's a fu..." Mandy said as she pounded her fist on the counter and bit her tongue. "I hope she does."

"Loser" Zoe said as she formed an L with her fingers and put it to her forehead.

"You said that right" Mandy said as she stood, "You ready?"

"For what?" Zoe asked as Mandy laughed and said, "School? You riding with me, come on."

"What if I don't want to?" Zoe asked with a smirk as Mandy shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't remember asking."

"See you after school mom" Zoe said as she grabbed her back pack.

"Hey" Mandy said as she stuck her head back around the corner. "Thanks for the coffee and for listening."

"Your welcome, anytime" Lily said as Mandy exited again.


** ** ** Meanwhile on the beach in Naples, Florida


"So what do you think of...Jeffrey?" Sarah asked as her and Grace walked hand and hand along the water's edge. "You like him?"

"I love him, he's so much like you" Grace said, "Those jokes are killing me, it's getting to the point that I like them."

"Yeh he's funny" Sarah said, "Feels so good to know where I come from, even if I was a bastard."

"Sarah..." Grace said as she stopped and moved in front of her. "Why do you always balance out something good with something bad."

"It's true"

"OK, so you were the result of an affair" Grace said, "Your mother loved you and Jeffrey sure seems to be crazy about you. You were a child of a forbidden love. I sound like an encyclopedia."

"Hole lot cuter though" Sarah giggled, "OK, no more comments on me being a bas..."

"Sarah" Grace said in a warning fashion.

"OK, OK" Sarah said with a playful giggle. "I'm a forbidden love baby. Does this make me a hippie?"

"Jeffrey sure is one" Grace said with a giggle, "You hear him screaming at Fox News last night?"

"Was kinda funny" Sarah said, "He's so cool."

"Hi" Grace said as an older couple walked by slowly and seemed to be in awe of the two holding hands.

"Why don't you two look like the picture of young love" The Older Woman said with a smile. "Can I ask your names?"

"I'm Sarah and this is my girlfriend, and the person I am very much in love with, Grace" Sarah said as she squeezed Grace's hand.

"Well I'm Anita Marsoon and this bug eyed old fool is my husband of 52 years, Jamison" She said smacking his arm as he was openly gawking at Sarah and Grace.

"Well do you blame me, Anita?" He said, "You don't often see such lovely young ladies on this beach. Please pardon me."

"It's OK to look just don't touch, she's mine" Sarah said as she giggled, hugging Grace's arm as Jamison sure seemed to get a kick out of it.

"Are you from around here?" Anita asked.

"No, from Chicago, just visiting my...my dad for the first time" Sarah said.

"She just found out about him" Grace commented. "You may know him, Jeffrey K. Santzler."

"Oh my, you're one lucky young lady" Anita said, "Jeffrey is a fine man and wonderful piano player, we've had him over to the house several times to play for Jamison's business parties."

"And he never takes any pay" Jamison said.

"Mostly cause you're to cheap to offer any" Anita said as Sarah and Grace laughed.

"We're just sorta getting to know each other right now" Sarah said, "We have to get back to Chicago in a few days."

"Well you should consider moving down here" Jamison said, "A couple as young and in love as yourself, could do wonders in this climate out of that big ole city."

"Never really considered that" Sarah said as she looked to Grace. "I own an apartment building back home..."

"Why you're so young, how did you ever come to own a building?" Jamison asked with obvious interest.

"My step father, Eugene, left it to me when he and my mom passed" Sarah said.

"Well that must be murder to manage" Jamison said, "You know, I have been looking to get in on the real estate market in Chicago for some time."

"Jamison Marsoon, you leave her alone and quit pestering her about that building" Anita said.

"It's OK" Sarah said, "I really have no idea what I'm doing but I've never considered selling it."

"Well can I ask you the location of it?" Jamison asked. "I could simply make a phone call and have my flunkies check in to it."

"Mulberry Road on the north side" Sarah said as Jamison excused himself to make a phone call on his cell.

"My dear Jamison, I think he loves the thrill of real estate more than me" Anita said.

"I doubt that" Grace said, "52 years is a long time."

"Too long, I sometimes do think that" Anita said as Grace and Sarah both laughed.

"You love him and you know it" Grace said as Anita smiled as Jamison returned with a smile so wide it looked to be painted on.

"Can I ask your last name?" He asked Sarah.

"Grasser" Sarah said.

"Yeh you're her" He said, "Listen to this Anita, this young lady is about to be rich."

"I am?" Sarah asked as she looked at Grace.

"Your building is primed for redevelopment" Jamison said.

"What does this mean exactly?" Sarah asked.

"It means that some person or group has been buying up the land around your building and you are the last piece to that puzzle" Jamison said, "Sarah, I think you're about to be offered a substantial amount of money."

"For my ratty old building?" Sarah asked, "You've apparently never seen it. Moses helped build it."

"That's very good" Jamison said laughing. "But seriously, the building is virtually worthless, but...oh, but the land it sets on is worth it's weight in gold."

"Gold?" Grace asked. "How much?"

"Well I am not gonna pretend to be an expert on the area" Jamison said, "But I think you'd never have to worry about money again."

"Like 500,000?" Sarah asked.

"If you are properly represented in the negotiations" Jamison said, "I'm thinking, 7 figures."

"Millions?" Grace and Sarah asked in unison, both stunned almost to silence.

"As an opening bid" He said, "I would love to get back in the game for a few days and, well, if my lovely wife says it's OK and if you agree to let me represent you."

"Well I guess so, you've been a good boy for so long" Anita said softly as Jamison smiled and kissed her.

"I love this girl as much today as I did the day I met her" Jamison said.

"How much would you charge me?" Sarah asked.

"How about you and your lovely girlfriend join myself and my lovely wife for dinner tonight and we'll call it even" Jamison offered.

"No, I mean you deserve something for your trouble" Sarah said. "Something."

"Sarah, the thrill of the chase is far more satisfying to me than the eventual payoff" Jamison explained. "So you can pay me a token salary when the deal closes."

"OK" Sarah said as she looked to Grace. "What do you think?"

"Point us in the right direction and we'll be there at...6?" Grace asked.

"6 is fine, we'll have a little meeting before dinner and I'll lay out my proposal" Jamison said, "Then we'll set down to a hardy meal, bring an empty belly, cause Anita is a world class cook."

"I'd have to be to fill your belly" Anita said as Sarah and Grace laughed.

"This will give me a few hours to make some phone calls" Jamison said as he took Anita's arm like a gentleman and pointed in the direction of their house as he and Anita made their way home.

"My babies gonna be loaded" Grace said as she hugged Sarah.

"I'm gonna buy you everything you ever wanted" Sarah said with a soft kiss.

"You can't do that" Grace said with an adoring smile as she touched Sarah's face.

"Why not, with all that money I can pretty much buy anything" Sarah said.

"I've already got everything I ever wanted" Grace said, "My blue eyed angel is all I need."

"My Amazing Grace I love you" Sarah said, "But I'm still gonna spoil you rotten."  

"Spoil away" Grace said as Sarah laughed. "And I love you too."
 

** ** ** Later, @ Upton Sinclaire, parking lot


"I love it when people pay attention" Mandy said as everyone's head seemed to turn when they got out of the car. Talking a few steps before she stopped and looked at Zoe. Now clutching her folder nervously to her chest and looking around, just hoping people would stop staring. "What's this?"

"What I thought it looked OK?" Zoe asked as she looked at her clothes.

"No, Zoe it looks OK, I mean this" Mandy said as she took the folder and then pulling Zoe's back pack away and unzipping it, she stuffed the folder inside. "You act like you got something to be ashamed of."

"So?"

"Not with me, uh huh" Mandy said, "You're beautiful, why do you act like that?"

"Because I don't like people staring at me" Zoe said.

"Well, look I'm not afraid of what people think" She said as she pulled Zoe's arms away from her chest, "Push your shoulders back a little. Straighten your back a little. You got the looks to make people take notice."

"No I don't" Zoe said.  

"Listen to me" Mandy said as she moved in front of Zoe and put her hands gently on Zoe's cheeks and looked into her eyes and said firmly, "Yes you do Zoe. Now you gotta start believing that."

"You think I'm pretty?" Zoe said as Mandy smiled at her. For a moment, Zoe noticed Mandy looking intently into her eyes before she snapped back to reality and backed up a step and said, "Yeh I do."

"OK now, stop hiding behind these clothes and this damn back pack" Mandy said as she dropped it to the ground and thought for a moment. "You ever wear your hair in a ponytail?"

"Not much" Zoe said as Mandy reached into her back pocket and handed Zoe a flat scrunchie.

"Just try it and see how you like it" Mandy said as Zoe took off her cowboy hat as Mandy put it on. Zoe putting her hair into a ponytail as Mandy moved beside her and tied one side of Zoe's shirt into a knot and pulled it up.

"Sam does the same thing" Zoe said.

"No" Mandy said as she adjusted Zoe's skirt down a bit and exposed her stomach a bit. "You're belly ain't showing, and neither is your thong. Truth me on this, you wanna get a boyfriend, you have to do a little advertising. You're just showing a little skin."

"Yeh" Zoe said as she looked down and had to admit this was a lot better than what Sam usually talked her into. "Now look at me, you gotta walk with confidence, make eye contact. Even if they don't like you."

"Why?" Zoe asked.

"Cause I want you to feel as cool as you are" Mandy said as she playfully stroked her finger down Zoe's nose. "No walking with your arms folded across your chest and looking down. Show what your momma gave you."

"Right like there's anything there compared to you" Zoe said.

"Listen cutie, I'm not gonna listen to you run yourself down" Mandy said as Zoe blushed, "You got plenty to be proud of."

"Shut up" Zoe said as she felt like she wanted to crawl under a rock. "I just don't know if I can...act like you do."

"Remember last night?" Mandy asked as Zoe smiled, "We danced in the rain like a couple of love sick fools. People saw you then and you didn't care. You can do it. Just follow my lead. Now...stomp with me baby."

Zoe felt her body go flush as she thought Mandy wanted to start dancing right here, but she soon figured out what she meant as Mandy laced her fingers with Zoe's and pulled her along across the parking lot as Zoe grabbed her back pack. She watched Mandy wave to a couple of people and act like she didn't have a care in the world and decided to make an honest effort as she spotted two cute guys, really cute, she thought, checking her out and nodded casually as they walked by and was shocked when they nodded back and smiled. Feeling her confidence grow, she nodded to a girl she knew was among the popular crowd as she walked by and nearly fainted when the girl stopped and turned and watched her and Mandy walk away.

"People are taking notice" Mandy said as Zoe felt as if she could scream in excitement. "I saw you making eyes at those guys. Their seniors you know."

"Shit" Zoe said as Mandy laughed.

"No shit" Mandy said as they arrived at the front door. "Now let's walk in like we own the place."

"You act like you do" Zoe said as she noticed that Mandy was still holding her hand, and asked, "You know you're holding my hand and people are gonna think..."

"So?" Mandy asked with a devious grin as she moved close to Zoe, "So they'll be talking about the hot new couple at school, at least they're talking."

"But..."

"And trust me, once they start they don't stop" Mandy said, "Before you know it, guys will be begging for your attention. Girls too probably."

"Funny" Zoe said as Mandy laughed and asked, "So what do we say?"

"Stomp with me baby" Zoe said with a grin to match Mandy's and let herself be pulled along as they walked into the main hallway.

Mandy headed to her first class as Zoe stopped at her locker and checked the clock on the wall as she pulled her poetry book out and froze as she saw a building doubling as a student in front of her. She looked up and saw a gentle giant of a boy smile shyly from above her.

"Hi" Zoe said as her confidence seemed to return.

"My names Derrick Seaver, are you Zoe?" He asked in a deep voice that could be intimidating, Zoe thought, if he wanted to be.

"Yeh, nice to meet you" Zoe said as Derrick seemed to relax and shook her hand gently.

"Are you in poetry club?" He asked.

"Yeh see" Zoe said showing him the book of poems. "Why you interested?"

"Kinda, maybe" He said.

"We meet after lunch in the free period" Zoe said.

"Would you sit with me?" He asked, "I'm sorta new at this and you could help me understand it if I don't."

"Yeh I'd like that" Zoe said with a smile that Derrick thought just oozed confidence. "I'll help you anyway I can. Do you write poems?"

"A few" He said, "See I sorta discovered some stuff about myself and it helps to write it down."

"Yes it does" Zoe said, "We would love to have you. Not a lot of people come so it's usually just about 7 or 8 people."

"I'll be there" He said as she smiled and she watched him walk off.

"What do you want?" Zoe asked as Logan jumped in front of her. "Get out of my way."  

"You convinced Mandy not to see me anymore" Logan said accusingly. "What did I ever do to you?"

"You made Mandy cry" Zoe said as she glared at him. "And I didn't tell her not to see you anymore, I said I thought you were a jerk. And you're proving it now."

"God she's stupid for listening to you" He snapped.

"Don't you dare call her stupid" Zoe said dropping her back pack, "You ditched her and then hurt her feelings over it, you're a dumbass for acting like that."

"You know what, screw both of you, Mandy's just a stupid slut anyway" Logan said as Zoe saw red and smacked him.

"FUCK YOU, SHE'S NOT A SLUT" Zoe screamed in Logan's face as everyone turned to see what was happening. Logan look shocked as Zoe got back in his face and said, "SHE'S MY FRIEND AND YOU'RE NOT GONNA HURT HER AGAIN."

"Get off me skank" He said as he pushed her roughly and watched in shock as she tripped back and over her backpack and slumped to the floor. Tears coming to her face as she grabbed her arm. Logan froze as to what to do as he started to offer assistance when he felt a hand on his shirt, looking up he saw Derrick with rage in his eyes. Logan felt himself being lifted and tossed into the air, crashing into the lockers on the other side of the hallway. Falling to the hard concrete with a thud. Then seeing Derrick pick him up quiet easily by his shirt collar as pain shot through his entire body.

"ZOE IS MY FRIEND" Derrick boomed, "YOU HURT HER NOW I'M GONNA MAKE A TACKLING DUMMY OUT OF YOU."

"Dude it was an accident" Logan said he saw the anger in Derrick's face.

"Zoe you OK?" Mandy asked as she slumped to the floor after running the entire length of the hallway when she heard the noises.

"I hurt my arm" Zoe said as Mandy helped her up and hugged her, "I think I'm OK."

"You sure?" Mandy asked as Zoe smiled and said, "Yeh, thanks."

"YOU WANT ME TO HURT HIM ZOE?" Derrick asked as he pulled Logan across the hallway. "I'll make him wish he was never born."

"Derrick, thank you" Zoe said, "You're sweet, but it was an accident. He wasn't trying to hurt me."

"You better watch it little girl" Derrick said to Logan, "I'm..."

"Chill Derrick" Mandy said as she pulled him away. Logan smiled apologetically as Mandy's rage came rushing to the service and she grabbed him by the balls and pressed her body to his. Saying in a menacing voice at almost a whisper, directly into his ear so only Logan could hear, "I swear to god, if you ever look her way again, I'll make you disappear. And believe me I can do it, and they'll never find you. You don't know who my dad is. Fuck with Zoe again and I'll make your life short."

"Huh?" Logan asked in shock and feeling his heart nearly stop at the threat on his life. Then feeling Mandy squeeze as he screamed and fell to the floor in intense pain.

"You heard what I said, Logan?" She asked him as he squirmed in pain.  

"Yeh, yeh" He said as he tried his best to stand and get away.

"Thank you Derrick" Mandy said as Derrick blushed and said, "See you in Poetry club Zoe?"

"You bet" Zoe said as Derrick walked off.

"You sure you're OK?" Mandy asked as she touched Zoe's arm and checked it for bruises.

"I'm fine it just hurt when I fell" Zoe said, "What did you tell him?"

"To leave you alone" Mandy said simply.

"And that got him scared for his life?" Zoe asked as Mandy shrugged.

"Let's just say he won't bother my best friend again" Mandy said as she put Zoe's cowboy hat back on her head.

"Me?" Zoe asked as Mandy smiled and playfully stroked her finger down Zoe's cheek and said, "Yes, you Cutie."

"I have a best friend" Zoe said as she smiled and Mandy laughed.

"So do I" Mandy said, "And it's you."

** ** ** Later, @ Upton Sinclaire

"Bye" Zoe said to the small gathering of people in the meeting room for the poetry club. Hearing Derrick's voice as she stopped and turned as he said with a sweet smile, "Thanks for sitting with me Zoe."

"That's OK"

"I sorta got lost a few times" He commented.

"You did good, it's hard sometimes to understand the meaning of a poem" Zoe said before Derrick made plans for the next meeting and headed off to his next class. Zoe seeing Jennifer coming down the hall and not caring to talk to her really.

"Hey, so I'm sorry about yesterday" Jennifer said as she fell into step beside her.

"I don't want your apology if you gonna just get jealous again and start attacking Mandy" Zoe said coldly as Jennifer stopped and looked at her and asked softly, "Do you like her or something?"

"She's my best friend" Zoe said as Jennifer looked at her in shock.

"Right, Zoe" Jennifer said, "I'll just bet her little friend Zoe, is her best friend too right?"

"That's what she told me" Zoe said calmly and knowing Jennifer was desperately trying to get a rise out of her. "Sucks don't it?"

"Why are you being so mean?" Jennifer asked. "I was your friend long before you met her."

"Because in the last few days she's made me feel like she wants to be with me" Zoe said, "Unlike you. How many times did you promise to come over and never did?"

"My mom doesn't let me out sometimes" Jennifer said.

"Yeh and you could call and tell me that and I could come over to your house" Zoe said, "But for the last week, you blew me off to spend every minute with your new girlfriend."

"Shut up" Jennifer said in a hushed voice, "She is not my girlfriend."

"Do you want her to be?" Zoe asked as her anger subsided when she saw Jennifer cover her face. "I'm serious."

"Maybe" Jennifer said quietly. "She just wanted me for..well you were there."

"I don't believe that" Zoe said as Jennifer looked up. "I don't, honestly, Sam's not like that. She's pretty loyal for the most part."

"Could you please just by my friend?" Jennifer asked. "I'm sorry."

"It's OK" Zoe said. "I'll see if I can talk to Sam tonight. Me and Mandy got plans tonight and I'll make her call you and tell you something."

"Thanks" Jennifer said, "I hope we can be friends."

"ZOE" Will screamed from down the hall as Jennifer walked off. Watching him run up, she noted how cute he looked, "What about tonight?"

"What about it?"

"Our date? Remember you said you'd go?" Will said.

"Looking forward to it" Zoe said, "But I already made plans tonight, with Mandy."

"Ohhhh" He said with a disappointed look. "Who's Mandy?"

"My best friend" Zoe said as she smiled. "We're going to the batting cages, I think."

"You can't break them? That sounds lame" Will asked, "I can't get my mom to drive any other night, she has to work. So if we don't go tonight..."

"No" Zoe said firmly. "I'm sorry. And it does not sound lame."

"What's going on with you?" Will asked, "You seem different..."

"I don't know" Zoe said, "But I tell you what, you really wanna go out with me? Then you can wait a day and Mandy said she would drive, if your mom will let you go. OK?"

"OK I guess" He said, "I'd rather it just be me and you."

"Well it's up to you" Zoe said, "I'd like to."

"OK, OK" He said with a smile, "Whatever you want, it's cool as long as we can talk for a while. I don't know you that well and I'd like to."

"Me too" Zoe said, "I'm looking forward to it and maybe Mandy will get a date to so we could double."

"That wouldn't be too bad" Will said, "Can I call you?"

"Yeh, but after 9" Zoe said, "I have to be home by 9, so then we can really talk."

I knew you were cool" He said as he touched her hand and smiled as he walked off. Zoe smiled as she saw him disappear into the crowd. Laughing to herself as she said under her breath, "And boy you are fine."

To be Continued....

Preview of Chapter 73 (Come Hell or High Water): The bombshells drop on Casa Da August as Jessie and Stephanie return.