Thanks to Seafoam Green under Twilight, Guest 1, Guest 2, and R'soriginalusername for reviewing the previous chapter!

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Chapter Two: Support the Cause

Hilary couldn't stop looking at the back of Kai's head during English. She almost dazed off just by looking at him. But she was the school captain. People expected perfect behaviour from her, and school captains did not fantasize about their crushes during important lessons. She mentally slapped herself, snapping out of her trance.

Judy Tate walked through the front door and stood in front of the class, a large red binder in her arms. "Good morning class. I hope you have all found the time to borrow Macbeth?" Simultaneous groans filled the room. Judy sighed. "I didn't think so. Well that's all right because I have stocked the back shelf with the play so you have no excuse not to read the first scene tonight. Grab yourself a copy now. You're going to spend the double reading." She beamed a smile.

Hilary straightened in her chair. She loved Shakespeare… not that she'd ever tell anyone that though. People didn't view her as a fan of romantic tragedies, but the truth was, she found them quite compelling. One by one, everyone stood up from their chairs and queued to grab a copy. Hilary was one of the last people to grab one.

"What sort of language is this?" Hilary heard Tyson whisper from the seat in front of her. They were sitting on the far right of the room where there were four rows of double chairs. She was sharing a table with Julia.

"It's Old English, Tyson," Kai explained.

Tyson stabbed his table with his pencil. "I hate reading. Reading is boring. They need to fill in these pages with pictures or something, then I'd be more interested. Pictures do say a thousand words after all."

"There is a movie version of the play," Hilary said.

Tyson turned around. "There is? I'd rather watch that than read this. I can't get my head around this Old English crap. It's making my head hurt. I can't believe people used to talk that. How foolish did they feel?"

"Probably not foolish at all Tyson, considering that was the normal way of speaking back then," Kai said.

Judy must have overheard their conversation because she suddenly called for attention. "I realize the Old English might take a little getting used to, so why don't you read in groups? Maybe you can take a role of a character and pretend to be them. Sometimes reading out aloud with other people can help you understand things better." She looked in Tyson's direction, and Hilary knew she was definitely referring to him.

"I don't mean to interrupt Judy, but not all of us can understand Shakespeare's works," Carlos said. Although he was speaking to Judy, he was looking at Tyson the entire time. Several students chuckled.

Tyson growled. "I'm not stupid, Carlos!"

Hilary felt a pang of sympathy for Tyson. He wasn't the brightest student around, but she suspected it was because he was really lazy and didn't want to learn. If he applied himself, she knew he would do a lot better. He needed encouragement. That was something she was afraid to give, in fear he would suspect she liked him. Which, of course, she didn't no matter what her friends believed. "Carlos, please keep your comments to yourself," Hilary said. Kai was more her type.

Carlos smirked. "Did I offend you by speaking the truth about your boyfriend?" he taunted, making kissy faces.

Okay, so it seemed like a lot of other people thought she liked Tyson. Where on earth did they get that idea from? She didn't like him. Honestly. "He's not my boyfriend, Carlos."

"Carlos! Hilary! Tyson! I will not tolerate arguing in this classroom! You are here to learn, not debate trivial matters with each other. Save that for the playground," Judy snapped. Carlos fell silent and turned his attention back to the play, although Hilary heard him mutter something about Hilary and Tyson kissing under a tree. Oh, he was so going to pay for that comment later, Hilary thought. With the powers invested in her as school captain, she was going to give him a detention for whatever reason.

"Save that for the playground. Does she think we're five?" Hilary heard Tyson mutter. Kai chuckled, then stopped upon receiving a glare from Judy.

"I will have complete silence otherwise I will keep you all behind for an extra fifteen minutes."

The class sighed, but they were smart enough not to anger Judy further.

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Julia sat across from the principal's table, hands resting on her lap. She was feeling a restless as she went over the proposal in her head several times over. Some of the state's leading fashion scouts were coming to the area in three months' time and Julia knew this would be her best chance to get her designs promoted. But she could only do that if Stanley gave her permission to use the school grounds to host it.

But it wasn't just his permission that she needed. She also needed to win support from the student council, which was headed by local millionaire, Robert Jurgen. It was always tough going up against the student council – they often turned down the suggestions and requests of their peers because it didn't match their vision for the school.

People like that didn't deserve to be in such a position of power, but the council was mostly made up of the highly intelligent, the rich and the gifted athletes. Her twin brother, Raul, sat beside her. "Everything is going to be perfectly fine, Julia. I'm sure you'll get your proposal approved by Stanley before he leaves."

She gave her brother a sideways look. "It's not Stanley I'm worried. It's the student council."

"You've got a strong argument why this event should go ahead. I can't see any reason why they would refuse. It'll bring the school attention, and it'll give students an opportunity to showcase their gifts," Raul reasoned.

"Try telling that to the council. I can't think of any student who has successfully pitched an idea to them," she muttered.

"Hilary and Max will support you." It was a requirement of the captains to attend the council.

"I know they will… but I don't think the other seven will support me." The other seven members were Enrique, Oliver, Queen, Johnny, Emily, Ozuma and of course, Robert. It didn't matter if she gained many of the votes. She needed the entire support of the council otherwise her event proposal would be turned down.

"Why do you need their support anyway? We can host the event ourselves down at the local park," Raul reasoned.

"This could be my only chance to be seen. I need to put on a good event. We need catering, cat walks, models, tables, chairs… and that all requires money which is something we don't have," Julia pointed out, giving her brother a flat look. "I appreciate your support, Raul, but we can't do this on our own."

At that moment, Stanley entered the room. He readjusted his moustache and nodded. "You may enter the council room now, Julia."

Julia said goodbyes to her brother and followed Stanley towards the council room. It was located at the opposite end of the hall in a relatively small room. The closer she came, the more nervous she felt. Get a grip, she scolded herself. I can't afford to show them I'm nervous otherwise they'll write me off immediately.

Stanley pushed the door open. Julia took in a deep breath. "Here I go," she whispered.

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Looking around the room, Mystel searched for the perfect spot. Normally, he sat in the back corner of the class so he could keep a close eye on all the pretty girls. Unfortunately, his preferred spot had been taken by a trio of rather wide guys. So, he looked elsewhere and noticed an empty seat next to a pretty pink haired girl. He immediately recognized her as the sister of that wild fellow, Lee. He glided over to the seat and sat himself down, giving the girl a cheerful wink. Sitting this close to the front made him uneasy, but at least he had a hot girl to keep him from dozing off.

"You're Mariah, right? I remember you from yesterday," he said, opening his modern history book to the very first chapter. The Cold War. Well, that didn't sound particularly mind stimulating. Mariah didn't say anything. In fact, it seemed like she was trying hard to ignore him. "You know it's rude to ignore someone talking to you."

Still, she did not speak. This was getting ridiculous. He wasn't used to girls ignoring him. Usually, they'd be fawning over his stunning god-like appearance. But not this girl. She was immune to his charms. Perhaps this chick was some silly nerd. Nerds were so dull. They had no personality. If she was, then it was a shame. What a waste. "I didn't get the chance to introduce myself properly to you yesterday, but I'm Mystel."

Now she decided to speak. She cast him an icy glare. "Why are you talking to me?"

"I'm getting to know my fellow classmates better. I didn't realize that was a problem."

"I don't open myself up to people who threaten my family and friends," she replied, turning away from him. "Now, if you don't mind, could you please stop talking? I want to listen to what Dr. Zagart has to say." The said teacher was currently pacing back and forth, blabbering on about the Cold War.

"Are you serious? You'd rather listen to this old fool blabber on about things that happened in the past than establish a friendship with your neighbour?" This girl surely had to be a nerd. She was so uptight and serious.

She nodded. "Yes," she said, speaking in a slow drawl. "He's got more to say than you have I'm sure," she added.

Mystel leaned back in his chair, placing his arms behind his neck. "You're upset. I can't say I blame you though, your brother is a bit wild."

"My brother is not wild," she hissed, turning back to glare at him.

Ah, now he was getting a reaction. He looked at her face carefully inspecting it. She was rather pretty. He didn't that much of her when they first met, but upon closer examination, he realized she was good on the eyes. Hazel eyes. Silky, smooth pink hair. Full lips. A cute button nose. And most importantly, a decent sized rack. "Who was the other guy with your brother? His boyfriend?"

Mariah's eyes almost turned into slits. "That's my boyfriend."

Darn, what a shame. The girl was hitched to some loser. Still, that wasn't going to stop him. He often convinced hitched girls to spend some time with him. Mariah would be no different. All he had to do was say the right words and soon she would be his. "He must be pretty pleased to have a girl like you at his side."

"And I'm glad to have him," she replied coldly.

Ouch. He could feel the sting in that one. The way she spoke made him wonder if she was the dominant type. He suspected so. She probably wore the pants in the relationship. She seemed liked the bossy, demanding and dominating type. He always liked those sorts of girls. The ones that would take control in the bedroom that weren't afraid to try new things. Sadly, this girl seemed to believe that Rei was the one. He'd shatter that illusion eventually though. He continued to look at her.

"Why don't you just take a picture?" she said.

Mystel smirked. "As tempting as that offer is, I'm afraid I can't. No camera or mobile policy, you see."

"You don't seem like the type to stick to the rules."

Wagging his eyebrows suggestively, Mystel came back with own comment. "There are a lot of things you wouldn't expect from me. I'd be willing to show you if you'd like."

"Are you forgetting that I have a boyfriend because he'll deal with you if I tell him you're harassing me," Mariah retorted.

"Hasn't stopped me from getting what I want before," he replied, giving her a toothy grin. He then winked. "You'll resist me now, but you'll come to me. They always do." His satisfied grin widened.

"I'm smart enough to not fall for a guy like you."

"Mariah! Mystel! I will have silence!" Dr. Zagart snapped. "If you interrupt class again, I will give you both a demerit!" The look on his face serious; Mystel suspected the guy loved handing out demerits. He looked like the type who enjoyed making students stay behind class. He grumbled.

Mariah faked a grin. "You heard the man. Shut up."

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They looked at her. She looked back at them. Their faces remained stiff. The lack of expression only added to her already nervous state. The only people who smiled were Hilary and Max. "Please take a seat," Robert said, tilting his head towards an empty chair. Julia grimly smiled and sat down at the circle in between Enrique and Johnny. "Why have you come?"

She opened her mouth to speak, but no words would come out. If only they would stop looking at her like that… Snap out of it, Julia! "I need your approval and support to host an event here on the school grounds," she spoke, careful to control her pacing. "Some of the state's leading fashion scouts are coming to the area and I think this is a perfect chance for us to host them. If we do then we can promote the designs of our fellow students which will heighten our profile." She exhaled. Well, at least she didn't stumble over her words.

Enrique nodded, flashing his pearly whites at the girl. "So, you'll have models, right? Sounds good to me!" Julia fought the urge to roll her eyes. Enrique was well-known for his interest in anything female. He was often caught spying on the women's swim team after school hours just so he could have a perve.

"Yes," she slowly replied. She'd agree to anything if it meant winning support.

Enrique rubbed his hands gleefully together. "Well, you have my support then."

"You're only saying yes because you want to look at girls," Johnny pointed out. He turned away from Enrique then looked at Julia. "I think it's a stupid idea." She bit back an angry retort knowing that would ruin any chance of getting approval. Johnny was known for being an asshole anyway, so she knew not to take his comments to heart. "What do the rest of you think?" he demanded.

"I think it's a great idea. It'll bring attention to our school and it'll give us a chance to boost our overall ranking," Hilary explained, giving Julia a wink. "Let's face it. Our ranking is dropping. We need to do something that'll make the community realize we're still a great school and capable of attracting high-ranking people."

Max nodded. "I agree. This could be our chance to prove to everyone else we're not just about sport." At that comment, Johnny forcibly groaned. Max ignored him and continued to speak, "We should get behind it. We have the right facilities to host this."

"It's going to cost us," Ozuma dryly responded, his arms crossed over his chest. "I, for one, do not wish to spend our savings on something that won't be a success." He glanced in Julia's direction and smirked.

"I would love to get involved!" Oliver exclaimed. "I could show off my latest designs as well! And ooh, I could cook for everyone!" He almost seemed to be glowing. "It's about time someone cared about the cultural side."

Johnny sighed. "How many people do you think are going to turn up for this event? Five? Ten? Perhaps we'll be the only ones there. What a great success that'll be!" He threw his hands up in the air dramatically, then continued, "At least sport can pull in a decent crowd."

This wasn't looking too good for Julia now. Although she had the support of four members, resistance was strong. She looked to the members that had yet to speak and hoped they would get behind her cause. "We'll have to charge guests otherwise it'll be a complete loss," Emily started. "I'm all for the idea, but we need to think smart about this."

Julia didn't have much to do with Emily. She hadn't even had the chance to carry on a normal conversation with her. Emily was often too busy running various activities and clubs to communicate with her fellow peers. She only had one friend from what Julia had observed. A boy called Kenny. Perhaps they were together or something as they both shared common interests.

"I agree. We will sell tickets and perhaps half of the profits could go to a local charity?" She'd love to take some of the money for herself, but she knew other people needed it more than her. Now she needed to hear the opinions from Queen and Robert.

Queen stroked her chin thoughtfully. "A fashion show does sound interesting… when would this event happen?"

"At the end of the term," Julia replied.

"And you would be the one promoting your designs?" Queen said.

Julia nodded. "I'd be one of them, yes."

Queen smiled. "That's a relief then. If you were the only one I'd be worried and a little embarrassed for you – I mean, judging by the clothes you wear outside the school grounds I can't imagine your designs would be any good," she chuckled.

Bitch, Julia thought. But that's exactly what Queen was. A real bitch. She was a parasite, thriving on the misery of fellow students. Every word that left her mouth was poison and full of hate. She spun tales and spread lies all for her own sick amusement. She was the queen of malicious gossip hence her name.

"Well, Robert, what's your decision? You are the only one that hasn't spoken yet," Johnny said. "Please tell me you're not going to support this shit?"

Robert turned his head slowly in Johnny's direction. "I will not tolerate the usage of profanity within this council room," he said. Johnny swore, but said no more. Robert faced Julia. "Your proposal has been put forth. I am sure that you are aware you will need the full support of the council for your event to go ahead. I will discuss the matter with the council in our next meeting. When a decision has been made a member will notify you of the result. Until then, you will wait. This meeting is now over."

That was it? She didn't want to wait another week to know whether her event could go ahead or not! "Max and I will do everything in our power to ensure you get the approval," Hilary said, as she walked towards the exit. Julia couldn't speak; she simply nodded. "Those who said no will eventually realize they need to support it. They'll come around. I'm sure of it."

Julia hoped Hilary was right.

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And that's another chapter down! As you are reading this, I am working on completing the next set of chapters. Reviews are greatly appreciated, as always! See you in the next one!