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London Phillips needs a time-out from her mother's rules, and from her crazy clandestine romance with hottie Justice Banks. To keep her cool, and keep her secrets, she turns to her parent-approved billionaire fake boyfriend. But unexpected romantic sparks ...
London Phillips needs a time-out from her mother's rules, and from her crazy clandestine romance with hottie Justice Banks. To keep her cool, and keep her secrets, she turns to her parent-approved billionaire fake boyfriend. But unexpected romantic sparks ignite a firestorm of their own. . .
Rich Montgomery wants to start fresh with her true love. But the web of lies she's created is pushing her past the edge, spinning her into battles she can't afford to lose. . .
Teen TV star Heather Cummings never thought she'd land in rehab. Resuscitating her career means getting clean. Yet, she never thought she'd find a counselor who'd redefine what abstinence means. . .
Spencer Ellington is so done losing besties and boyfriends. Good thing she's been keeping track of a stash of scandals. Now she's ready to begin a media feeding frenzy even Hollywood High's in-crowd may not survive. . .
Who the hell needed enemies when you had hatin' media hoes and bloggers maliciously tearing you up every chance they got and a bunch of selfish, backstabbing whores as friends.
Oh no. My enemies weren't the ones I needed to keep my mink-lashed eyes on. It was the Pampered Princesses of Hollywood High Academy who kept me dragged into their shenanigans, along with the paparazzi that lived and breathed to destroy me. Hence why I was wearing a floppy hat and hiding behind a pair of ostrich-leather Moss Lipow sunglasses.
I was a trendsetter.
A shaker 'n' mover.
A fashionista extraordinaire.
I was London Phillips.
Not a joke!
And my name had no business being caught up in any of the most recent scandals with Heather's (aka Wu-Wu) Skittles fest. If she wanted to overdose on her granny's heart medicine, then she needed to leave me out of it.
My reputation of being fine, fly, and eternally fabulous was etched on the pages of magazines and carved in the minds of many. And I was one of the most adored, envied, and hated for all of my divaliciousness. It came with the territory of being deliciously beautiful. And I embraced it.
But being on top didn't mean a thing if you didn't know how to stay there. Reputation was everything at Hollywood High. And up until three days ago, I was perched up on Mt. Everest in all of my fabulousness, looking down at any- and everyone who followed me or aspired to be me, but could (or would) never be me. Yeah, it had been a cold-blooded climb to the top. But so what? A diva did what she had to do to get what she wanted and needed. And I had made it.
But I wasn't in New York anymore, reigning alone. No. I was in Hollywood. And I had to share the mountaintop with three skanks who were supposed to be the "It Clique." And they had been. And we had been. But now we were about to lose our crowns as the Pampered Princesses of Hollywood High if Heather, Spencer, and Rich didn't get it together—quick, fast, and in a hurry. Their antics were destroying my reputation. And theirs!
The media and bloggers were having a field day tearing us up in the headlines. Kicking us in our crowns and branding us last week's hot trash. Not respecting that we were the daughters of high-profiled celebrities. Naming us this week's flops. They really thought we had fallen off our white-horsed carriages. And from the looks of things, we had. Here I was, again, in the midst of Rich, Spencer, and Heather's bullshit. But enough was enough.
I was determined to handle Rich first. I had to get her focused. But this wench, who I thought was easy and gullible, wasn't playing along the way I thought. No, she was too busy chasing behind some boy whom she seemed obsessed with and hell-bent on being with. And that was a problem—for me!
Shoot. Can I get my life?
As I walked through the school's café doors, pulling out my cell, it was eerily quiet, but I had no time to figure out why. I needed to get in touch with Rich. where r you?
A string-bean-thin girl with a pink-and-black Mohawk, black eyeliner, and black lipstick stepped up to me and handed me a FREE WU-WU T-shirt being distributed by Wu- Wu's many stalkers, gawkers, and fanatics. I stared the walking toothpick down. "Beanpole, who told you you could get up in my space?" I snapped, tossing the shirt in her face. "Go hang yourself with it. And make sure you get it right."
Her eyes popped open.
I was sooooo not in the mood. I needed to know where the hell Rich and Spencer were. I already knew where Heather's wretched self was. But Rich and Spencer were both unaccounted for. This made the fifteenth time I had pulled out my phone today to check for any messages or missed calls from Rich because I had been calling her and texting her and leaving her messages since seven o'clock this morning. Sweating her; something I don't do. And still there was nothing from her.
Not a damn thing!
As I was walking and texting Rich another where-the-hell-are-you message, I couldn't help but notice the noise level in the café. Normally it was full of chatter and laughter and all types of music.
All I heard was a bunch of clicking from cameras. And a few comments like "Uh-oh, it's about to go down now" as I made my way farther into the center of the café. Suddenly I knew what all of the silence was about. There was a group of girls sitting at our table. You know. The one that has, or had, the pink tablecloth and a humungous RESERVED FOR THE PAMPERED PRINCESSES sign up on it. Yeah, that table.
Everyone knew on this side of campus that the Pampered Princesses were the ruling clique. And no one sat at our table. No one!
I pulled up the rim of my hat, inched my shades down to the tip of my nose, and peered at them.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The group of girls had on uniforms. And judging by the colors, I knew they absolutely did not belong on this side of the campus.
This has to be a mistake.
I marched over toward them, then stood and stared at the group of chicks who had foolishly parked their behinds and taken up space at our table. These preemies had our table covered with a fuchsia tablecloth. And they had the nerve to have the table set with fine china and a candelabra in the center of the table, as if they were preparing for some kind of holiday feast. And they sat pretty as they pleased, as if they owned the room.
They all wore their hair pulled back into sleek, shiny ponytails with colorful jeweled clips. I ice-grilled them, expecting them to scatter like frightened roaches. Not! They didn't budge. Didn't even blink an eyelash. Nope, those munchkin critters defiantly stayed planted in their seats and continued on with their chatter as if I didn't exist. And at that very moment, I felt like the whole cafeteria had zoomed in on me. I quickly glanced around the room to assess the situation. They had. And it was turning into a nightmare. All eyes were clearly on me! Cameras clicked.
I cleared my throat.
They continued talking and laughing.
Did they come here to bring it?
If I wasn't so pissed at their disrespect, I would have been impressed. And truth is, they were adorable. But that was not the time, nor the place, to give props to a bunch of bratty Beanie Baby sluts trying to serve me drama. I had enough of that with my own clique, so I sure wasn't going to tolerate it from a bunch of ninth-grade peons in navy blazers, green-and-blue plaid pleated skirts, and black Nine West pumps.
I picked up a fork from the table and tapped one of the glasses with it. "Umm, excuse you. Excuse you, excuse you."
The chick sitting at the far end of the table craned her neck in my direction and stared me down. She had beautiful skin and an oversized forehead. "The name's Harlow. H-A-R-L-O-W. And whaaat? You want my autograph? 'Cause I don't do groupies."
Oh no, now I knew that them being at our table was not a mistake. Those tricklets had strutted over to this side of the campus purposely to bring it. All in the name of getting it crunked.
Now, along with the media, we had teenybopper freshmen trying to bring it to us!
Oh, hell no! They really don't want it. Apparently they don't know what they're asking for.
I took a deep breath. Determined to keep it cute, calm, and collected. I couldn't afford to dish out another hundred grand for tearing up the café, again. Daddy would kill me for sure. "Sweetie, I don't know who misplaced your lunch period, and I'm sure this is your nap time. But this right here"—I patted the table—"is not for you."
She smirked. "And you are?"
I tilted my head. "About to become your worst nightmare in a minute if you-all don't get up from this table."
The four of them stared at each other, then looked around as if they were searching for something. "Umm, excuse me, Starlets," the Harlow chick said to her little Cheerios crew. "Do any of you see a name tag with the name Buffalo Hips on it?"
"Creature from the wild ...," the three others sang out.
"Is looking for someplace to sit," a golden-brown chick sitting next to Harlow added.
Let me try this again.
"Umm, where's your babysitter? Because apparently there's been an escape from the nursery; toddlers gone wild ..."
"Umm, excuse me, Miss London," one of the white-gloved servers said, coming to the table with two trays. I blinked. He set a platter of burgers and milk shakes in the center of the table, then walked off, eyeing me.
Then those little disrespectful chicks had the nerve to snap open their napkins and lay them neatly on their laps.
Oh, this had gone too far!
I placed a hand up on my hip and tossed my Fendi hobo bag in the center of the table, disrupting everything on it. They jumped.
"Did someone dump their garbage here? How gross is that."
"Isn't that last year's bag?"
"Exaaaactly, Arabia," Miss Forehead said, tossing her ponytail. "Old head's tryna serve us. Now get your fashion right."
Wait. Did Forehead just call me an old head?
They waved their arms up in the air and snapped. "Mmmph, exaaaaactly."
The other two sitting across from Harlow and the Arabia chick snickered, like two cackling backup singers. They really didn't understand. I was trying to spare them from a beat-down. Truth is they reminded me of me, and my old clique back in New York when we were their age. But that was then. And this was now! Still, they had heart. And they were sassy. Their diamonds sparkled. And one of them I knew for sure had money. I could smell it all over her. But that had nothing to do with all four of them being totally out of line.
I leaned in and spoke real tight-lipped. "I don't know if you four little bimbos are trying to be cute, or intentionally trying to work me over, or if you simply banged your oversized foreheads on the monkey bars during recess, but obviously you all missed the memo on which clique reigned supreme here."
They burst out laughing all hard and crazy, then stopped abruptly. "Hmmm"—they snapped their fingers—"Not!"
The Harlow chick turned to me and said, "No, ma'am, we didn't miss the memo. We didn't miss the blogs either. Let's see. If we're not mistaken, they all say"—she glanced over at her posse—"drum roll, please ..."
"Losers!" they shouted in unison.
The cafeteria erupted in laughter.
My face was cracked. I couldn't believe that a pack of toddlers in cheesy uniforms were trying to set it off and disrespect me to my face. Cute girls or not, this was a problem!
Cameras continued clicking.
The Harlow chick was clearly Miss Mouth Almighty— and the appointed ringleader. "Page twenty-seven in Hot or Not magazine"—she started flipping through the tabloid— "says that you gutter hoes have fallen apart." She eyed me, putting a hand up to her chest. "Oooh, look at Heather ..."
"Junkie," they sang out.
Another said, "Aaah, Wu-Wu's in the house."
"Not!" they all said, snapping their fingers again.
Harlow continued. "Black beauties, baby ..."
"Crushed and ready to go ...," the backup singers sang out. "Got it on lock ..."
The Arabia chick said. "Oooh-oooh ... don't forget about the fakest of 'em all."
"Who, Rich?" Harlow smirked.
"Boom bop, make it drop," they all said in unison. "Pop pop, get it, get it ..."
"Yeah, a baby," Harlow sneered.
"Clutching pearls, clutching pearls," her three cheerleaders mocked, placing a hand up to their necks.
The café went wild.
It was clear that these girls had been watching us hard. Mmmph, even the young broads trying to jock our spots.
Harlow rolled her eyes. "Oh, puhleeeeze. How tired is that? Clutching pearls. Who says that?"
"Has-beens," one of her giggling sidekicks snorted.
"Mmmm, exaaaaactly!" Harlow and the Arabia chick snapped.
"Oh, wait," Harlow stated excitedly, clapping her hands together. "Let's not forget Spencer ..."
"The dizzy chick," they said. "Smells like cat piss ... smells like cat piss ..."
"Down on her knees. Down on her knees," they all chimed in.
"Mopping the floor and making videos," Arabia added.
"Nine-one-one, this is an emergency ... this is an emergency ..."
I was hot! Rich was somewhere knocked up, Heather was somewhere drugged up or going through withdrawals, and Spencer was probably somewhere neck bobbing. And, once again, I was the one getting dragged—alone!
Harlow eyed me up and down, curling her lips up into a dirty sneer. "And you, London ..."
Ohhhhkay, here we go!
"Freak!" they all yelled out in unison. "Caught up in the matrix ... Caught up in the matrix ..."
And before I could catch myself, before she could get the rest of her sentence finished, I backhanded her so hard she fell backward. And spit slung from her mouth. They all screamed as I swung that little Gerber baby around the café and gave her the beatdown of her life. Then, in the midst of all the cameras clicking and tables being tossed up, the other three Romper Room hookers jumped up on my back and tackled me to the floor. And the only thing I could think about was being stomped down by a bunch of Crenshaw Crippettes in cheap, pleather pumps. This was a state of emergency!
I was clearly behind enemy lines. And it was all Rich's, Spencer's, and Heather's fault because they didn't know how to handle their scandal.
I couldn't sleep.
All I could do was think ...
And I didn't wanna think.
Thoughts, and memories, and maybes, and could've beens, would've beens, and should've beens were as useful as a pile of knockoff Louis V. bags. A bad attempt by my mind to redesign what I knew could never change. And no matter how hard I tried to hold back tears or swallow the ache in my throat, I knew that when the sun rose, my world would still be the same. Tumbling down.
I settled into the soft white Egyptian sheets that covered the hotel's king-size bed and did my all to outrun my thoughts ...
I prayed hard that I'd slept for more than two hours. But as usual my prayers failed me ...
And now I was having another round with coulda, woulda, and shoulda wreckin' my flow. Ugh! Feeling sorry for myself was so thirteen hours ago!
I was going stir-crazy. Insane. This was not where I was supposed to be. Not again. The first time maybe ... but not this time. This time, I was supposed to toss everyone who didn't agree with me the peace sign, while telling them to kiss my ...
I should leave ...
I sat up in bed. Walked over to my hotel suite's Juliet balcony and looked out at the crimson-clay colored mountains. I was in the middle of nowhere ... Population two hundred and eight. A three-hour plane ride away from civilization. The perfect place for affluent teenage girls—who didn't stick to their parents' scripts—to leave behind their most scandalous secrets on the town's only—and very well paid—ob-gyn's cold steel table.
Know what? Screw maybe.
I couldn't sleep at all last night. My thoughts were haunting me. This was so not the plan.
The plan was designer diaper bags, matching pink diamonds, Swarovski baby baths. The plan was blistering love between me and my man. Pushing a baby carriage. Having my publicist—something we all had for no other reason than to keep us relevant in the news—flood the media with pictures of my blue-blooded offspring. Maybe a shot at reality TV. Oh, and somewhere in between droppin' it and poppin' it and making my last rounds through a club or two was to be the royal marriage of the billionaire music mogul's princess and the low-money-millionaire commoner.
And no, I wasn't settling.
And yeah, I knew it sounded crazy.
And no, there was no way for me to help who I loved. Trust. My mother tried to stop me from loving him. And all it did was make me want my man more. Heck, I even tried leaving him alone. Twice. But all it did was leave me with two missed periods and two secrets to keep. So there was no fighting it. Knox was the only one I wanted. I had to have him. Period. No negotiation. No waving a white flag. I loved every inch of his six-foot, athletic-built, sexy-caesar, paper-bag brown deliciousness. And yeah, umm hmm, he was all of that.
Excerpted from Get Ready For War by NI-NI SIMONE AMIR ABRAMS Copyright © 2013 by Ni-Ni Simone and Amir Abrams. Excerpted by permission of Kensington Publishing Corp.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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