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Rebecca had never guessed that she had been Jodie’s object of scrutiny, and lust, for their full four years at Linville High. Rebecca had always been the sexiest girl in school. She had never dated a freshman, even when she was a freshman, and her boyfriends had all been jocks. Her current beau, Michael Standish, had been an All-State football player. Jodie didn’t understand football, and she didn’t care to. All Jodie had understood was that Rebecca Drysdale wore a tight cheerleader outfit at the school’s varsity games and showed skin. That was enough for Jodie to go to all the varsity games—football, basketball, soccer, you name it. Jodie’s friends were mystified as to why she attended so many games, but they did not dare to ask her why. Jodie possessed a commanding, intimidating presence. She had openly dated girls at school, but the bigot bullies left her alone—Jodie’s tough reputation preceded her. Which made her all the more attractive to certain kinds of girls.

Except, Rebecca Drysdale was not that kind of girl. Preppy, moneyed, Republican, boring. Rebecca had made it no secret that her only goal in life was to marry and have four children before she turned 30. Naturally, she might leave for college, but she had no desire to ever move away from Linville. On the opposite spectrum, Jodie couldn’t wait to get out of the town she felt was small-minded, provincial, and just plain stupid.

Tonight celebrated the last Saturday of the seniors’ high school lives. They graduated Monday. David Velacruz was throwing a party for the entire class in his gigantic home, which most of the seniors—particularly “outliers” like Jodie Underwood—had never seen. David’s parents were among the few Linville citizens even richer than Rebecca’s. (Conveniently for the party, Mr. Velacruz and his wife were out of town.) The Velacruz home impressed everyone. The living room alone was big enough to land a small plane in. And one wouldn’t even have to move the Steinway grand piano.

Jodie studied Rebecca. Usually, Rebecca moved in a big circle of cheerleader friends. These Heathers walked through the school and the town in a migrating-bird formation: a big V, with Rebecca at the tip of the spear. However, tonight, Rebecca’s friends had peeled off one by one as various boys had approached them with some drunken variant of “Hey, I wanna talk to you.” The boys had led the girls outside, downstairs, upstairs—anywhere with a little privacy. Everybody knew what was happening. Tonight was all about getting it on, last-chance hook-ups…

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