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"I declare this a ten-boy summer!"
Greta Crocker's voice rang through the bedroom, distracting Cassie Morgan from the late afternoon view of the Hollywood Hills, complete with Hollywood sign. The vista over her parents' backyard and across her posh Hancock Park neighborhood reminded her that she was finally back where she belonged. Home—where Siskiyou Academy gossip, especially the Cassie-specific item involving Daniel Fletcher and her broken heart, couldn't touch her. Or shouldn't, anyway.
Enough about Daniel. Cassie fiercely tried to shake off thoughts of him as he'd shaken her off because he "needed his space." Not that she was still bitter about it. It's summer. No ex-boyfriends or boarding school drama allowed. She'd left all that back in her Northern California dorm on the last day of finals.
She turned her back on the view—and on her downer thoughts—to face her best friends, Greta and Keagan.
"What do ten boys have to do with our reunion summer?" Cassie made a face at her oldest friend. The Crockers had moved in next door when the girls were both four. Greta was stretched out across Cassie's four-poster bed as if it were her own—as if it had been moments rather than months since she and Cassie had laid eyes on each other. She was dressed to lounge in low-slung blue L.A.M.B. sweatpants and a clingy green Amy Tangerine T-shirt, which made her pale skin glow. Greta's strawberry-blond curls fanned out behind her as she sat up, narrowing her hazel eyes at Cassie.
"It's time to take our game to the next level before senior year starts," Greta said firmly."Hence, ten boys."
Cassie had forgotten about Greta's bossy streak. The girls' families usually traveled during school breaks, so they hadn't actually hung out beyond very occasional coffee dates in years. E-mails and random phone calls just weren't the same as face time. But even after three years apart, they were slipping easily back into old middle school patterns.
"I was thinking more like the no-boys level," Cassie suggested, leaning back against the windowsill and smiling. "I'm ready to declare myself a boy-free zone after this last year. At least for a little while."
"Agreed." Keagan Ellison wrinkled her perfect little nose and looked up from the thick blue carpet. Cassie's second-oldest friend, whose family had moved onto the block when the girls were all six years old, had been checking out the iTunes library on Cassie's silver MacBook. She lay on her stomach, kicking her long, tanned legs up behind her. Cassie's father would have a heart attack if she tried to wear anything as short as Keagan's tiny white jean cutoffs. She loved that Keagan dared.
"I'm still recovering from the Zachary Malone disaster," Keagan said, absently pulling one of the strings on her black Ed Hardy hoodie. She shuddered dramatically, making her high, pale blond ponytail bounce. "Ugh."
Cassie had forgotten the full impact of Keagan's natural, blue-eyed prettiness, which screamed California girl. She ran a hand through her own darker, sandier blond mess, which she wore in a long, shaggy pixie cut. Never in a million years could she have managed to get her hair looking as smooth as Keagan's. She thought about the hated freckles that spread across her cheeks and defeated any makeup she slathered over them. She accepted with a sigh that Greta was the fashionista and Keagan the SoCal dream girl. Cassie would always look more athletic and tomboyish than her friends. Luckily, up at Siskiyou, most of the students dressed more Cassie than Keagan.
"Zachary Malone is a loser, not a disaster," Greta said, rolling her eyes. "He had asshat written all over him from day one." She looked at Cassie. "I met him once at a party. It was enough. He was vile."
"Yeah, but he's also hot." Keagan shrugged, as if she couldn't help herself. "Like, Wentworth Miller hot."
"Wentworth Miller hot is not the kind of hot you just get over, Greta," Cassie offered in Keagan's defense. "That's the kind of hot that requires a recovery program. Maybe even an intervention."
"I beg you," Greta said with a groan. "Don't encourage her!"
"What about you, Cassie?" Keagan asked, after sticking her tongue out at Greta. "How did your heart get broken? Vicious other woman?"
Cassie bit her tongue, feeling oddly hesitant. The three of them had been best friends before Cassie had gone off to boarding school, but their busy lives had intervened since then. Greta had had theater camps and drama club trips, and though she left long, rambling voice mails at random times, she never actually answered her phone. Keagan had joined the swim team at her school and was always traveling for meets—and even if she'd been around, she was terrible at keeping in touch. This was Cassie's first summer in Los Angeles since she'd left for Siskiyou Academy right before the ninth grade.
Cassie knew that Greta and Keagan saw slightly more of each other, since they still lived so close, but they went to high schools across the city from each other. They all e-mailed regularly, of course, and kept up on Facebook and stuff, but that was mostly commenting on pictures or status updates.
So how could she explain the agony and ecstasy that was Daniel Fletcher? He wasn't Wentworth Miller hot. He was . . . Daniel. He was kind of the guy equivalent of Mount Shasta, the snowcapped mountain that dominated the horizon at Siskiyou. Cassie hadn't e-mailed much about him because she didn't how to explain him. It was easier to talk to her school friends, who understood the Daniel phenomenon. He just loomed over all the other guys at Siskiyou, and Cassie had been in love with him since freshman orientation. All that wild, curly dark hair and eyes to rival the dark green woods that surrounded the school. That swagger and easy intelligence. His lazy, devastating smile. Daniel.Boy Crazy. Copyright © by Hailey Abbott. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.