Song 6 ♪ Mystery Business

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Addy and I grabbed breakfast together the morning before our first class. We sat on one of the tables close to the buffet line, where nobody cool would ever be caught dead. I checked my phone, searching for a text from Leti that never came. I refused to let her tantrum ruin my day, though, so I put the phone away in my backpack.

"See that table over there?" She pointed casually to the middle of the cafeteria as she sipped on an orange juice carton that looked too small for her. "The one right under the third chandelier. Those are the queen bees of our school year."

The five girls looked like copies of each other. Same luscious hair in different colors, but same styles and definitely the same surgeons.

I saluted. "Roger that, avoid at all costs."

"It's like total cliche." She sucked the last few drops of juice, loud enough to attract the attention of a few people around, and grabbed a second carton. "The blonde one is the ring leader and this whole school bows down to her."

I looked at my roommate with a shrewd eye. "Do you also bow down to her?"

She flashed me a grin. "I pretend to."

Good tip, probably. I pulled out a notebook. I had to write all this shit down. "Okay, what's her name?"

"You're seriously gonna make notes?" She laughed. "Okay, fine. Her name is Madison Hollingsworth. She goes by Madison and will destroy you if you call her Maddy."

I sniffed. "Her name sounds expensive."

"She is."

Then she listed the names of the other girls. There was a Georgette, a Clara, a Natasha and a Belle. Isabelle. Whatever. I could just see the horror on their perfect faces once they heard I was called something as mundane as Vera Maria de la Cruz Vazquez. Get a load of that!

Addy grew too excited to contain it. "Oh, check that out. See the guy walking in with the letter jacket?" I did. He gave DeAndre a run for his money. All black and unapologetically delicious. He was actually the first guy of color I'd seen around. "That's Quinn Montgomery. He's the ace of the baseball team and up until last year was the best friend of the hottest guy in campus."

My eyebrows went up as I followed his trek to the buffet line. "You mean there's a hotter guy than him?"

But then the stupid idiot with his guitar came to mind and, yeah. That guy was made of the same things as lightning, cotton candy and sex. And I wasn't even into white boys.

Addy's grin reached all the way to her honey, almost yellow eyes. I followed where they stared at and saw him.


I pursed my lips, half expecting a spotlight to appear on him. And although that didn't happen, people did clear a path for him as he walked toward the queue. He stopped behind whoever the Quinn guy was and it was like he'd noticed the other boy for the first time. They both stared at each other and the air grew so thick with tension that even I had trouble drawing in a breath.

"What the fuck is going on?" I asked my new friend in a whisper.

"That, is high school drama." She sipped from her juice and pointed at my notebook. "You may wanna write this down. The new guy? That's Ashton Winters. King of the world. Until he was dethroned, that is."

"By..." I trailed off as I pointed at the other guy with my pen. She nodded. "And they were best friends, you said?"

What a shitshow. And here I thought barrio-type of problems wouldn't reach me here.

"Oh, it was incredible. You should've seen it." I could tell she was holding back her laughter by the way her eyes shone and crinkled at the corners. "Madison dumped Ashton in front of the entire school after a baseball game last year, turned and smacked her lips right into Quinn's. So the queen bee chose her new king and the old king became an outcast."

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