The Prickled Heart

If there is one girl any guy in Westerfield High is afraid of, it's Jesy McKinnley. Forget the fact that she may as well be the hottest chick in campus, she's off limits; and not in the way that you might think.

When the resident school magazine is one scoop away from completion (a.k.a. 'The Hottest Scoop of The Year') it's up to the not-so-awesome Rhys Miller to save the day with the hottest topic the editor-in-chief could come up with. Unluckily for him, it just had to be Jesy.

Rated [Yellow] for future scenes.


9. The Regal Deal




It was Friday again.

Jesy was about to enter her vehicle when Rhys shouted her name. Looking peeved at the boy's audacity to even call her in front of everyone again, she turned towards the sound— slamming the door of her black Nissan as she did. From around her, several students winced.

"What do you want now, Miller?" she asked with her arms crossed as he stopped in front of her. Rhys took a minute to catch his breath, ignoring her cold tone. He was starting to get used to it now.

"Do the interview…" he tried to say in between wheezes. Never again was he going to let Chris drag him to one of his Computer Club meetings –which was in the other side of the school- when he had more important things to do— like finishing his interview. He was lucky he even caught up to her; Rhys didn’t want to go to her house or bail on Chris again. It would definitely look suspicious if he decided to spend another Saturday with her and his mother tomorrow.

"I told you already-"

"No…" Rhys said, cutting off her spiel. He took a deep breath as he stood straighter. Jesy narrowed her eyes at him. "I know. I'm not planning to ask you about your love life, I promise. You're right; I couldn't care less about that. I’m ‘Plant Guy Miller,’ for goodness’ sake. But I still have to do this feature article on you, so I am proposing a deal."

"What kind of deal?" Jesy asked, trying to hide her intrigue as she raised an eyebrow.

Rhys cleared his throat, looking around the parking lot. There were people who were openly looking at them now, but unlike the last time, they were only a few. Most had either gone home or where hanging out with their friends in the mall, not wanting to waste another minute inside the school premises on a fine Friday afternoon. But even so, it seems that the Cactus Queen will always draw attention, no matter how small it may be.

"Two weeks. Let me hang out with you for two weeks..." He started, making Jesy scoff.

"And what good will ‘hanging out’ with you do for me?" The deal sounded like a lame attempt for a date. Rhys winced as the thought crossed his mind. He’ll surely get a whack on the head if he ever voiced that out to her.

“I’ll be off your back after the said time period.”

“So? I already told you that you weren’t the only one to ask for such. What difference will this deal of yours make?”

"Everything, Miss McKinnley. Because the ingenuity in this, whether you believe in it or not, is that people will digest anything that has to do with the Cactus Queen. You don't even have to give me something personal. Just an insight on what people had been wondering about ever since you step foot in this place."

"I still fail to see how this deal will benefit me," Jesy points out.

"When you let me do this, Yana Prinsloo will have no reason to think I didn’t do my job— not just the way she wanted it though. I will officially the last pesky journalist you'll ever come across with. No more risk of people knowing who you really are. Your privacy will remain intact because well…" Rhys hesitated, "… You’ll get read the article before I submit it for publication."

Jesy seemed to consider what he said for a moment.

"No more journalists?" she repeated. Rhys nodded.

"Yes," he promised. "No more."

"And I get to read what you write," another nod.

Jesy pursed her lips together.

“What if Prinsloo doesn’t like the article? What then?”

“I’m planning on submitting the article on the deadline itself. Yana wouldn’t be able to have a say on it if I did.” Rhys was fairly confident he could give Yana the slip until the due date. He had done it before with the previous editor-in-chief. He just had to make sure Jesy would agree with him.

"I'll do it on one condition," Jesy said.

"What is it?" Rhys, who was feeling elated at the probability of the Cactus Queen agreeing, suddenly felt weary.

"You have to tell me what Yana Prinsloo's hold on you is."

“How did you…?” Jesy rolled her eyes as if it was obvious. Rhys looked like he swallowed something bitter when he said, "Deal."




This blog has been rated as CONFIDENTIAL.


9/17/ 2010


A deal with the Queen…

Was it worth it? I hope so.

It’s not like I made a deal with the devil itself.

I just hope I’d be able to pull this off.

I hate to imagine everything I’ve worked hard on going down the drain just because my ex (yes, I know; shocking!) decided it was time to flush me down. I’ve worked hard on getting myself booked by a publisher. That and I’ve spent so much just so I could hire Barbra Langley— she was the only agent willing to even take a teen like me on. Writing, for what it’s worth, is my life now.

And I don’t think I want that to change any time soon.






“Are you sure about that, mate? I mean, you’re like selling your soul or something…” Rhys placed the phone in between his left ear and shoulder as he took his shoes off.

“I know what I’m doing, Chris. And besides,” Rhys used his right hand to transfer his phone to his other ear. “Making a deal with Jesy McKinnley is better than getting sold out by Yana Prinsloo. I’ll never hear the end of it, if so.”

“I can’t believe you even tried to date the girl, she’s as crazy as they come.”

“That was five years ago, Christoff. Let it go.”

“Never, mate.” Chris followed his words with a chuckle. Rhys groaned.

“I was stupid to even think Yana was worth the time, okay? I get it. I have bad taste in girls.”

“You won’t, if you admit you like Jesy.”

“Not a chance. Jesy is just as crazy as Yana, if not less.”

“Exactly my point then,” Chris said in a factual tone. Rhys gave out an annoyed sound.

“Sod off, mate.”


“Whatever, man. I’m going to shoot some guns—“ Play a videogame full of artillery and machine guns— “Feel free to call again when you finally want to admit your crush on her.”

“I don’t have a crush on Jesy, damn it!” he wanted to yell out onto the receiver. But it was already too late. Chris had ended the call without waiting for his reply. Rhys groaned again, throwing his phone onto his mattress.

He had gotten home after sealing his deal with the Cactus Queen. Jesy had claimed that she had work to do and was going to be late if he did not stop pestering her; her words. Rhys who sensed that he was haphazardly approaching her limit backed off without another word.

Now he was in his room with nothing to do but wait and probably do some chapters for his book until his mother calls him down for dinner. Neither Laura nor he had mentioned anything about the elephant in the room when he got home earlier and he was happy for that. Rhys was not ready to talk about anything relating to Gabriel Miller— a man he may or may not consider to be his father.

He had too much stuff going on.







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