Chapter   Four

"Okay, AJ. You're welcome. Bye. Oh, tell the other guys I said hi.... Okay.... Bye." Rae laughed as she hung up the phone.

"What was that all about?" Julia asked, looking at Rae curiously. she was at Rae's house along with Todd and Chris Hamilton, Julia's boyfriend of two months. They were having a group study session, even though Todd and Chris were in high school. End-of-the-year tests were coming up, though, and everyone thought it would be good to study and quiz each other.

"That was AJ, a very excited AJ at that, calling to tell me that he and Marisa are the newest happy couple," Rae said. "And, Todd, he told me to tell you thank you for lending him your girlfriend."

Todd shook his head. "Everybody just wants my girlfriend. First Nick, now AJ."

"Anyway," Rae rolled her eyes. "It's been exactly three weeks since our sharade started. Marisa's been on tour with the Boys for two days."

"Wow," said Chris. "This AJ guy works fast. How old is he?"

"Sixteen," Julia said. "Same as you."

"Is he the guy who writes to you every week? Chris asked her.

"Yeah, whether I write back or not. But AJ's cool. He supposed to be at Kennedy at the end of July. You'll like him."

"And don't forget Nick, Kevin, Howie, and Brian. You'll like all of them, Chris. They're a lot like us," Todd said.

"Uh oh," said Chris. "That means they're all crazy people." He laughed. "Just kidding. What are they like? I want specifics so I can be prepared."

"Well," Rae said. "Nick would have to be the one closest to me out of all the guys. He's fourteen with blond hair and blue eyes. He's Indian, Spanish, and white. Nick has on brother, four sisters, and loves video games. He took up the drums a few months ago, no doubt driving his parents crazy. He also loves basketball, football, and baseball."

"Next is AJ," Julia said. "He's closest to me out of the guys. He's sixteen with brown hair and brown eyes. He's Latin and white. He's an only child, loves playing billiards, acting, dancing, musical theatre, and now singing. His parents divorced when he was four and he hasn't seen his dad in ten years. He likes shopping, silver jewelry, and girls. He's definitely the flirt of the group, but repects girls a lot. He's quite the romantic gentleman."

"And now I'm glad he's taken," Chris said, putting his arms around Julia as she laughed. "Who's next?"

"That would be Brian," Todd said. "I consider him to one of my best friends. He's nineteen with brownish-blond hair and blue eyes. He has one brother, he's Kevin's cousin, Rae's cousin's boyfriend, and Nick's other best friend. Brian loves to sing, playing basketball, telling jokes, making people laugh, and his life. Brian was born with a heart defect, but so far so good for him."

"Now for Howie D," Rae said. "He's the peacemaker out of our crew, he's AJ's best friend, and a complete sweetheart. He's twenty going on twenty-one with brown hair and brown eyes. He's half Puerto Rican, half Irish, has three sisters and one brother. He loves to dance, sing, act, go clubbing, although his choices are limited 'cause he's not legal yet. But he does have his crazy moments. He's cool."

"And finally, Kevin," Julia said. "He's 'Mr. Serious' of the group, but gorgeous to the extreme. He's fun to be around when he's in one of his playful moods. He's twenty-two going on twenty-three with black hair and green eyes. He's half Italian, half Cherokee Indian. He's got a nice, muscular body, too. Anyway, Kevin has two brothers, and he's Brian's cousin. Sadly though, Kevin lost his father to cancer in 1991, when he was just nineteen. He's been kind of shy after that from what Brian says. Kevin is like the father of the crew since he's the oldest. He's sensitive, too, a real southern gentleman, being from Kentucky, as well as Brian. Kev loves to lift weights, surf, play football, sing, dance. He's cool and fun to look at."

"You got that right," Rae agreed. "But I like him because he's caring, sweet, great personality, good conversationalist. Not like I'd have a chance with him anyway."

"Why not?" Chris asked. "Because of Todd?"

"That and he's ten years older than me," Rae said matter-of-factly.

"Oh please," Julia said. "If what you told me Nick said about him at the airport is true, age is not going to matter. In the famous words of AJ, 'Age is just a number'."

"Well, it might matter to Kev. Another thing is it's illegal. Kevin worries about stuff like that, as he should or else we'd be in trouble." Rae gave Julia an end-of-discussion look.

"Alright, you two," Todd broke in. "Let's get back to studying. We've been sitting here for an hour."

"Yeah," Chris said. "You can argue over Kevin later."

Both girls smacked Chris on the head and laughed. Then they all went back to studying.

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