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Chapter Four: "Iris"

"And I'd give up forever to touch you
'Cause I know that you'd feel me somehow
You're the closest to Heaven that I'll ever be
and I don't wanna go home right now"

--Iris, GooGoo Dolls

   We had vehemently worked on our literature project. We had to reinact a scene from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Riven and I discussed, argued, and finally agreed that the scene where they met would be the scene we'd reinact.

   Imagine my surprise, though, when Stacy Milian showed up.

   "Ohmigod, Riven, is that you?" she squealed, eyes widening with false innocence. "What are you doing here?" She was completely ignoring my presence, which was completely fine with me.

   "I could ask you the same question, Stacy, isn't it?" He brought her hand to his lips, then smirked at me. He didn't see Stacy stared at him. Like she was a lion and he was a gazelle.

   "I'm just making fun of all the nerds," she said, looking at me pointedly.

   "I happen to find nerds...intoxicating," Riven murmured in his silky voice.

   Stacy's eyes snapped back to him and she backpedaled. "Ummm...yeah...of course. I've been known to be a little bit of a nerd." She laughed nervously.

   I rolled my eyes at how desperate she was. She probably didn't even know how to open a book.

   "Do you mind, Stacy?" I asked in a sugary voice. "We have a project to work on."

   She glared at me, then turned to Riven, smiling up at him sweetly.

   "Of course. I'll leave you to it then." One last glance in my direction before she flounced off.

  Riven chuckled as he turned to me. "Jealous, Lane?"

   I rolled my eyes and snickered. "As if. I just wanna get a good grade on this project. You're a newbie, so you don't know how crazy Mr. Mann can get when it comes to these things."

   Riven seemed to be holding back laughter. "Whatever you say, Lane," he managed to say.

   "Let's just do this stupid project," I grumbled.


   A few hours later, I realized it was 2:00 p.m.

   "Ah, crap." I cursed silently.

   Riven's eyes widened in surprise and he looked at me, his expression quizzical.

   "I have to get home," I said, hopping up.

   His mouth formed a little "o" of understanding. He stood.

   "Do you need a ride back?" I think I imagined the hopeful note in his voice.

   "Well, I need a ride back to the park. My car is there." I bit my lip at the thought of being alone with him some more. My heart raced.

   He smiled that famous half smile and jingled his keys. "Allow me to be your chauffeur, oh, gorgeous one."

   He gave a full grin as I blushed when he called me gorgeous.

   The ride to the park was anything but awkward. He managed to make me laugh as he mouthed the lyrics to Birthday Cake by Rihanna. I couldn't remember ever laughing so hard in my life.

   "Well this was fun," Riven murmured as he pulled the car to a stop.

   "Yeah, it was," I admitted.

   "Let's do this again sometime." He grinned cheekily.

   I rolled my eyes for hundredth time that night.

   "We're gonna have to do this again, stupid. We'll have to until this stupid project is finished."

   I opened the door without waiting for a response and climbed out of his Jaguar. From behind me, I heard him whisper, "God bless that stupid project."


   "Okay, spill," Josie said at my locker the next morning.

   "Spill what?" I questioned, looking at her incredulously.

   "Don't you play dumb with me. I know you had a study date with one of Craps High's heartthrobs."

   Carmella looked at me wide eyed and Madison's jaw dropped. Crap! How did Josie find out about that?

   I opened my mouth to ask her how she found out when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and was suddenly face to face with a gorgeous girl who looked exactly like Riven. She had dark, wavy hair that was long and stretched to her slender waist. She had full lips and olive-toned skin. She even had his gorgeous crystalline blue eyes. The only difference was their expressions. Where Riven wore a dark, brooding expression, this girl had an open, light, friendly expression.

   "You're Siberia, right?" she asked in a tinkling voice.


   The girl grinned in delight—looking unnervingly like Riven—and pulled me into a hug. Her embrace was surprisingly strong for someone as tiny as she was.

   "I'm Raveena Marx," she introduced herself. "I'm Riven's twin sister."

   The four of us gaped and stared at her as if she were an alien from another planet.

   "Riven has a twin sister?" Madison asked, adjusting her glasses the way she did when she couldn't believe what she was hearing.

   The girl laughed, a lovely sound that made my stomach curl in envy. "Yeah he does."

   "Okay, so let me get this straight," Josie said, her eyes narrowing as she got the scoop. "Riven is your twin brother and you're over here hugging Siberia like she's your sister-in-law?"

   "Correct," Raveena said, grinning.

   "I knew it, I knew it, I knew it," exclaimed Josie, jumping up and down with a gleeful "ha." Our fellow classmates looked at her with half amused and half "wtf" expressions on their faces.

   Raveena only smiled. She looked at me, her innocent smile turning mischievous.

   "My brother hasn't stopped talking about you since your date yesterday."

   Josie clapped her hand over her mouth to hold in her squeal. Madison's eyes bugged out of her head. Carmella—the poor girl—seemed to be beyond words and expressions. She just stared.

   I, however, was blushing madly over the fact that she'd said Riven thought of our awkward exchange as a "date."

   "It wasn't a date," I sputtered.

   Raveena raised an elegant brow. "Tell that to him." She jerked her chin and I followed her gesture to see Riven and two other boys. They were all hotness personified and all the girls in the hallway stared at them as if they were Armani underwear models.

   Riven smirked when he saw me staring at him with my mouth agape. I shut it immediately.

   "See you in class, partner," he said, winking as he passed by.

   My heart was pounding like crazy, my legs felt like Jell-O.

   I watched as his strong, muscular back disappeared along with his über hot brothers.

   Raveena looked at me with a look in her eyes that said she knew exactly what I was thinking.

   "Well, it was nice meeting you, Siberia," Raveena said, waving as she walked off. Every male in the hallway watched her go.

   "Did you hear that?" Carmella gasped, sounding like she was in complete shock. "You have a chance with Riven Marx!"

   "I wanna devour that guy like chocolate," Josie sighed dreamily.

   I rolled my eyes, trying to look aloof. Madison seemed to see right through me and she smiled. I knew she'd keep quiet while we were around the others, but she'd probably hound me about it later.

   "I'm gonna get to class,'' I grumbled, shoving by them.

   "Oooooooo, trying to hurry up and get to Riven,'' Josie squealed, laughing.

   I shook my head in annoyance as I walked away, hearing the sound of their laughter behind me.


   The bell rang after Mr. Mann's class. I bolted up and out of my seat, glad to be leaving. I couldn't take Riven's watchful gaze anymore.

   "Don't forget your literary projects are due next Friday and they are worth half your grade," he said warningly.

   I cursed silently. I'd forgotten that I would have to work with Riven again.

   Riven caught up to me like he had the last time. He walked beside me. Every girl looked at me in envy.

   "So, about that project..." he mused.

   I sighed. "We can work on it after school today."

   "Ouch," said Riven, grinning a full on grin. "It almost sounds like you don't wanna work with me, Angel."

   "I don't," I mumbled my lie, keeping my eyes forward.

   Riven laughed, a full blown laugh that seemed to last forever before he said, "Whatever you say, Angel."

   Angel? I thought to myself, my heart racing. Why is he calling me that?

   "See you later." He waved goodbye, winking and smiling as he disappeared classroom.

   Working with Riven Marx was hard, but the crush I was developing on him was gonna make things s lot harder.

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