Chapter 5


	Chris opened the back door; Lisa stepped through, helping him
with the bike.  They sat it in the storeroom, brushed themselves
off, and smiled.  Chris looked through the doors leading out
front.  Then, turning his head to look at Lisa, he spoke,
	"You gotta meet Joe today, huh?" Chris asked her with a smile. 
Somewhat confused by the smile, Lisa looked at the office, the
blinds that said 'WORK!' on them, and back at Chris.  Smiling,
despite her confusion, Lisa answered,
	"Is he nice?" she asked in hopeful tones, "I mean, he pretty
much hired me without even knowing who I am... so probably, huh?"
	"Joe is THE best person I've worked for in my life, Lisa... and
he has ways of knowing a person before hiring them," he chuckled
to himself, and started towards the doors to the front, "you
coming?"
	"I guess so," Lisa answered, wondering when the boss would be
getting here today.  Following Chris up front, past the stairs to
the second level, and up the main isle to the counter, Lisa a
virtual congregation of people.  They were all chattering
together, waiting for the first customers to arrive.
	"'Dierex' it's called," Mark said in a state of glee, "It was
Warren's idea, pretty cool, huh, hmmm heh heh?"
	"Not too bad," Chris interjected, "sounds like a couple of
European bands I know," he laughed quietly.  Gina snuck around
the counter and stood next to Chris, asking him,
	"How'd things go?  Like the shirt by the way," she smiled. 
Chris smiled back and put his fist out in front of him.  Then he
stuck his thumb up with a big grin.  "Great!!!" Gina exclaimed,
jumping on his back, as she waited for her daily piggyback ride
on Chris' shoulders.
	"Where to, milady?" Chris said in a mild British accent and a
big grin.
	"Oh nowhere, I just need a better seat... put your head down for
a second... no keep it still.. watch out!  If I fall you're dead
big-guy!"  She said as she precariously attempted to climb up
onto Chris' shoulders.  Once firmly in place, she marveled at the
view, "Wow... this kicks ass!"
	"Uh... Gina," Chris began in a mild tone.
	"Yes?" she asked, still looking around the store.  I can almost
see the entire upper level on his shoulders! She thought to
herself in amazement.
	"I can't see..." was all he said.  Looking down, brows furrowed
in the puzzling statement, Gina blushed a deep red.  Her nice
brown dress was over top Chris' head.  She could see him looking
at the floor, shaking his had, and laughing quietly.  Making sure
nobody was looking, she whipped the dress above and back around
his head.  Looking down at Chris with pleading eyes, he simply
looked up and said, "don't worry I didn't peek."
	"Sure yah didn't," Gina laughed the blush away, "not that I'd
care, Stud!" she teased with a squeeze of her legs around his
head.
	"GINA!!!" Chris exclaimed, it being his turn to blush. "Behave
or I'll drop you," he laughed, while Gina was beginning to
straighten his dreadlocks.
	"So," Mark interrupted the two playing friends, "Gina can sing,
I can sing a bit, plus I'm pretty good on lead guitar, uhhhh hmm
heh.  Does anyone else want in?" the spindly youth asked the
group, which now consisted of Chris, Gina, Mark, Lisa, and Debra,
who'd just arrived, and was looking up at Gina with a wry smile.
	"Well," Deb began, "I can play bass, rhythm, and lead guitar. 
Plus some piano and the harmonica," this statement brought quite
the reaction, as everyone stared at Deb in amazement.  Looking
around, as if it were nothing, she simply explained, "once you
learn how to read music, it's pretty easy to pick up an
instrument, get the feel for it, and start playing."  With that,
she smiled, shrugged her shoulders, and folded her arms behind
her.  As if on cue, Chris revealed his secret talents as well,
	"I... um, I can play the keyboard, piano - they're kinds the
same thing - a bit of guitar - just power cords for my band -
and...
	"Your band?"  The entire group said in unison, all looking at
the young man with the gorgeous blonde on his shoulders; not a
bad burden to carry, Chris thought.
	"You have a band, Chris?" Gina, looking down from her perch,
stopped straightening his locks, and pulled his head back so he
was forced to look up at her.  Ignoring the stinging, Chris
smiled in an almost apologetic fashion, and attempted to nod.
	"You never told us that," Debra, brows furrowed, berated him,
"Who's in it and what's it called?" She pushed on, stepping in
front of him, her arms folded in front of her this time.  Mark,
also confused and bewildered hopped up on the counter for a
better seat.
	"Well, heh..." he tried to laugh, "It's just me.  I call it
'Grey Matter'.  I use five synthesizers, two samplers, two
sequencers, an eight-track mixer-board, a voice distorter, a bass
distortion box, a fender guitar and bass, a set of drum pads, and
my computer.  I don't need anything or anyone else for the music
I make," he simply shrugged.
	"Holy, man, you have all that gear at home?" Mark spat out
incredulously.  Chris nodded.  Smiling, Mark asked, "do you want
to be in our band too, or is yours kinda full-time?"  Lisa moved
around and was standing next to Debra, when she piped up,
	"All that gear, huh," she began, "how are you going to play it
live?"  Lisa's smile grew as she saw Chris' sheepish response. 
Shrugging again, he just gave an
'I-never-thought-about-it-before' type look.  "I thought so,"
Lisa continued.  Moving to stand closer to Chris, the young
brunette began, "lucky for you I'm good with electronics,
computers, sound equipment, etc. or you'd be S.O.L., pal" she
giggled.
	"Yeah, I do kinda need help with the set-up and with some of the
bugs in my sequencing programs," Chris nodded, hand covering his
chin in thought.  He looked at Lisa and smiled, "wanna join 'Grey
Matter' vs. 'Dierex'?"  Lisa laughed and nodded in excitement.
	Gina looked down at everyone, saying, "Okay, so Mark and I'll
split lead vocals, we have Deb on bass, rhythm and lead guitar -
if we need her on lead - I can play a bit of acoustic, mostly
just cords, Mark on lead guitar - that's two if we need them,"
she rested her elbows atop Chris' head pondering.  Thinking out
loud, she exclaimed, "Chris can play keyboards with Deb and Lisa
- if we need either of them - Lisa can handle keyboards and
obviously some programming with Chris."  She sat back up,
smiling, and began again, "that's a LOT of options, not even
including Deb's harmonica, Lisa's clarinet, and my minor acoustic
ability.  So all we need is a drummer," everyone smiled when she
said those words, they all knew who that would be.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

	Sitting on the patio of the pizza shop Eddie worked at, Lucas
marveled at the soft, western breeze, the scent of leaves and
fresh-cut grass, and let the sun rain down on him like the fire
of the Gods.  He was waiting for Eddie to come out and join him
for lunch, quietly taking in the marvels of nature and mankind as
he looked about the lovely boulevard.  Finally, Eddie
half-stumbled out the door with their pizzas.  Smiling as he sat
across from Lucas, Eddie handed him his pepperoni and mushroom,
before diving into his bacon and onion with extra cheese and
anchovies.
	"Eddie?" Lucas remarked in an inquiring tone.
	"Yeah, man?"
	"You play the guitar, don't you?" Lucas asked the young
musician.
	"You bet, dude!  I have these grade-A fenders with full
pick-ups, two of those, plus a seven-stringer for that extra-low
power cord.  Let's see," he pondered between bites, cheese
stretching from lips to slice, "I also have two pedals, a
distorter, five amps - though one's kinda blown right now - and
two bass guitars, one with a fifth string for that killer
'Godflesh' or 'Misfits' sound!"  Eddie trailed on oblivious to
the grin he was creating in Lucas.  He'd been asked earlier by
Gina if he'd known any instruments or sound gear.  He knew both -
then she asked the question "Yah, but can you play them?"  That
was a different matter entirely and he wondered why she didn't
ask him in the first place.  Lucas marveled at how strange some
people could be.  Eddie, now realized Lucas was lost in thought
and not listening to him anymore, waved Lucas' pizza in front its
owner's face, back and forth... "Lucas, man, you in there?"
	"Eddie, of course I'm 'In here', that isn't the question posed
us, is it?"  Lucas said in a tone Eddie picked up as almost
matter-of-fact (which fact, Eddie could only guess at).  Eddie
wrinkled his face in confusion,
	"What question?" he wondered, completely confused by his friend.
	"Whether or not we, that would be you and I, Eddie, whether we
should join the band, of course," was Lucas' answer.  What band
is he talking about? The young guitarist wondered at?
	"Lucas, dude, could you, like, come back to Earth for just a
second and explain what the fuck you're talking about?"  Eddie
said when the enigma got too much for him to handle (I need a
toke, man, this is too heavy).
	"Eddie, haven't you been listening," Lucas asked, moving both
sets of fingers around his ears as he asked.  Putting them back
down, he continued, "Do you think we should join 'Dierex'?" 
Lucas was looking intently on the young pizza-man's face. 
Eddie's only answer seemed logical enough for most people in his
situation,
	"What's a 'Dierex' and why should we join... whatever IT is?" 
He stared back at Lucas, both eyebrows up wide in a questioning
manner.
	"The band, of course," Lucas reaffirmed.
	"What band?" Eddie volleyed back.
	"THE band, Eddie" Lucas said in mild, unfrustrated tones.
	"And THE band is what?" Eddie top-spin-lobbed the verbal tennis
ball into Lucas side of the court - getting a headache in the
process of this slightly unusual conversation.
	"It's the band, Eddie, the one Mark and Gina want us to join? 
You know, Dierex?" Lucas looked at Eddie in amazement as if this
had all happened before and Eddie wasn't there for it.  "Didn't
Mark ask you?"
	"Ask me what!?"  Eddie, now getting annoyed AND frustrated,
smashed the ball into Lucas court, left side.
	"If you wanted to join 'Dierex'..." Lucas made the jumping save,
as the ball tipped over the net into Eddie's court.
	"I need a brownie," Eddie lamented, as the ball touched down and
he missed it after the first bounce.  One point Lucas, 15 luv,
Lucas' serve.
	"It's all quite simple Eddie," Lucas tried to cheer up his
obviously tormented friend (hmmm... why is Eddie so confused?),
"when Warren came up with the name for Gina and Mark's band, that
name being 'Dierex' for many obvious reasons, they asked everyone
what instruments each person could play, and if said person would
like to be in the band.  I happen to be quite good with
percussion instruments, specifically the drums, while Chris is
more of keyboard, programming, sampling, synthetic expert.  Then
we come to you, Eddie, who is a natural guitar player, with
plenty of his own equipment.  So where to we stand from here?"
Lucas asked the almost crying Eddie (brownies... brownies...
sweet and tasty brownies...).  realizing he'd just been asked a
question, Eddie rose his head slowly, replying,
	"So, lemme get this straight, Mark's starting a band..." he
began.
	"And Gina as well," Lucas piped in, making sure the lad had all
the correct information before processing a decision.
	"...and Gina," Eddie looked at him, aggravated at being
interrupted again (brownies how I love you...), "are starting a
band called 'Dierex' and they want me to play in it?"
	"Exactly!" Lucas exclaimed happily, the sunlight flashing of the
single ring on his right hand, a gift to him from AJ when he left
for art school.
	"WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY SO IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!"  Eddie screamed
at Lucas.  Somewhat taken aback by Eddie's sudden outburst, Lucas
said simply,
	"I did, Eddie.  Have you taken on Warren's hostilities for
yourself?" Lucas asked in highly serious and concerned tones. 
His answer, which confused the night manager profusely, was
almost gibberish,
	"Brownies...." Eddie said softly, his head resting in his arms
on the table next to a half eaten pizza slice.
	"I'll take that as a yes, Eddie, but you must learn to vocalize
your feelings in a more constructive manner," Lucas shook his
head at his friend's sorry state, and started into his slice of
pizza with great enthusiasm.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

	"OH MY GOD!!!!  THEY KILLED KENNY!!!" a voice penetrated the
room as Corey got home from school.  Her new decision fresh in
her mind, she had to run it by the jury and see what he thought
(AJ never applied for the position, he just seemed to be
appointed to it - against his will, he might add).
	"YOU BASTARDS!!!" piped in another voice, followed by the sweet
and rough chuckling-type laughter of Corey's reason for being. 
Slinging her bag over the coat rack in their apartment, Corey
knew exactly where to find her AJ.  Turning a corner into the
living room, Corey saw AJ lying down, head propped up on one
arm.  Every now and then, the television would be interrupted
only by AJ's laughter, as he watched his favorite show.  Corey,
not wanting to interrupt, and not being a big fan of this
particular show, went about her way, putting the few groceries
she'd purchased on the way home.  Lucky, Corey thought to
herself, we were almost out of milk, and I cannot go without my
Fruitloops in the morning.  Quietly turning the corner, AJ was
now sitting cross-legged in front of the TV, a smile pasted over
his face like paper mache, as he watched the end of his show.
	"He was a good friend," one voice piped up sadly.
	"He risked his life so that Mephesto could live," another,
slightly higher voice, lamented.
	"Yeah," said a VERY strange, whiney voice, "and now he's a
'Freezy-Pop'"
	"Dude!" exclaimed the second voice, "do you think if we hit him
with a shovel he'd shatter?!"
	"I don't know, dude," said the first voice, excitedly, "let's
find out!!!"
	AJ rolled over with laughter as he turned the TV off, and
noticed Corey looking at him in that "I'm-living-with-child"
look.  AJ just ignored it and smiled.  Standing up, stretching
the circulation into his muscles with a big yawn added, he walked
into the kitchen after Corey, came up behind her, and kissed her
neck, softly.  He was resting his head over her left shoulder and
had his arms wrapped around her tiny waist, as he rocked,
side-to-side.
	"So how did Physics go today?" he teased playfully, blowing her
hair into her eyes.  Giggling, Corey reached back and tickled his
stomach: AJ's one "Achilles' Heel".  The tickling battle that
followed was bloody and war-torn, heroes were born, icons fell,
and in the harrowed aftermath, only one could survive this clash.
	"FINALLY!!!!" the victor yelled in glee, "I finally beat you!"
Corey announced to the throngs of imagined fans watching the
match.  AJ, pinned down with both arms above his head, just kept
laughing.
	"Okay, okay, yah got me."  AJ smiled up at her, "but don't think
for a second that if we weren't holding back, I could get outta
this mess!" AJ chuckled loudly.
	"Oh yeah?"  Corey challenged, "I'd like to see you try.  I have
both arms pinned with one of my hands, and I'm kneeling on your
tummy, with my feet braced against the floor... I don't think you
could do it if you tried... whooooo!!!"  Corey exclaimed, as
suddenly, and without any warning, AJ had bent his legs up at the
hips, folded his knees inwards, stretched his feet UNDERNEATH
Corey's arms, then with the heels of his feet, used them to grab
around Corey's arms, lifted her entire body backwards as he
straightened out (they kinda looked like an upside down "V"), and
used his new leverage to flip her over safely to his right.  He
then pounced on his amazed girlfriend, had both her arms, legs
and torso pinned in less than a second, and smiled.  Corey,
baffled and incredulous, looked at him in sheer amazement.
	"How... how'd you do that!?" she awed aloud, half startled, half
laughing.
	"I saw it in a comic book once, my favorite character did it to
an unsuspecting teammate in a false battle, great move.  Always
wondered if it'd work or not..." he smiled, leaned down, his
bangs brushing against her cheeks, and kissed her ever so softly
on the lips.  "I guess it works... huh?"  Corey just smiled, and
gave him that deep, blue-eyed invitation he always recognized. 
Crawling off of her, she rose and they half sat, half kneeled as
they kissed and caressed one another.  In her excitement, it was
ten minutes later before she remembered what it was she wanted to
tell AJ.
	"Oh yeah!" she yelled in mid-kiss (AJ thought she was trying to
blow up his head like a balloon for a second), "I have something
really important to tell you!"  Almost giddy with anticipation
now, Corey leapt up and went towards her school bag.  Digging
around, AJ heard an exclamation of victory, before she ran back
to where they'd been sitting.  "Recognize this?" Corey asked. 
But AJ already had recognized it, and by the look on his face,
Corey knew he wasn't going to like where this was going... but
Corey knew different she smiled to herself.  Sitting on a chair,
AJ prepared himself for excuses and rational which didn't
matter.  He was tired of this problem.  Her 'speed' use had
dropped, yes, but she still kept some on her, and she still
slipped up.  AJ just couldn't stand watching the person he loved
the most in his entire life, slowly kill herself, just to "please
daddy" (Fuck I hate that guy).
	Seeing most of this in AJ's unspoken language and his sigh,
Corey pressed on quickly.  She knelt down in front of him, and
brought his head up towards her with her finger.  Eye to eye,
Corey said simply, "I don't need them."  Maybe it was the tone in
her voice, or the seriousness he'd never seen in her eyes - a
determination and confidence he'd always thought lacking (SHE
FOUND IT!!!), but he believed her... he actually believed her.  A
muddled look formed from his face, but soon it gave way to a
smile.
	"Really, Corey?" was all he said, "REALLY?" he asked again in
excitement and almost disbelief, as a tear welled in his left
eye.  Corey saw the expression, felt her heart pound from pride
and love, and gently kissed AJ's tear away.
	"I smashed the container, the pills, the thoughts, everything. 
It was right at my lips, AJ, and then something inside me, some
kind of inner strength I never knew before stopped me.  That
strength came from watching you, AJ"  He glanced up at her, half
laughing and crying.  Hugging her in a smothering embrace, the
type one can feel the other's heart pound along with their own,
smell them with themselves, AJ just croaked out,
	"I'm so glad for you Corey!  I'm so proud of you..." he couldn't
continue as they both began to cry in sheer happiness together. 
AJ wondered at that moment... who ever said crying never did any
good.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

	Gina could swear she heard something, half asleep, she sat up in
her T-shirt and satin underwear, both white, but twisted up
during her sleep.  Adjusting her clothing, what little there was,
she heard her phone ring.  That's the sound alright.  She leaned
over her bed table and grabbed the phone,
	"Hmmmm..." she said in a daze "whoever you are, this better not
be a joke," she said, yawning.
	"I just needed to speak with my best friend is all," came a
faked-haughty voice over the phone.
	"COREY!!!" Gina yelled as loud as she could without waking her
mother, "Oh my God!  It's soooo good to hear from you!  I miss
you so much, Corey," Gina went on, starting to cry at the sound
of her best friend's voice.
	"I miss you so much, too, " Corey said, unable to contain her
own sobbing, "I wish you guys could be here - or Harvard over
there," she laughed.  Getting a hold of herself, Corey began,"
How's Debra?  I wanted to phone her so bad, too, but we can't
afford it... could you tell her I miss her so, and tell her
everything that I tell you, 'kay?"
	"Of course, in fact, she's going to sleep over next week, so we
can phone YOU and both talk to you!  Can you imagine?  Deb at a
pajama party?  Who'd have thought of that four months ago?" Gina
laughed out loud.
	"Not me," Corey laughed along, "but now, I can see it - just
picture Sinead O'Conner in '101 Dalmatians' pajamas with the
cutest nose ring," and at that image, both friends laughed.  "How
is she anyway," Corey asked, turning the conversation more
serious, "is she still..." Corey couldn't bring herself to speak
the words.
	"No I don't think so, but she had it pretty bad for him..." Gina
said softly.
	"I can't blame her.  He's so perfect Gina, and I was so blind. 
I'd hate me too if I were her," Corey replied in a subdued tone.
	"She NEVER hated you, and you know that!  She just didn't
understand why someone she thought was perfect - you - couldn't
see the other person who was perfect - AJ - right next to them. 
It baffled her.  Add the fact that she loved AJ so much, and
you've got one mean bald chick!"  Gina added with an attempt of
humor.
	"I still don't understand why she never told anyone but AJ, then
us when we all got along, after the Rex Manning Day fiasco,"
Corey wondered.
	"She's had a tough life, Corey, and she didn't trust anyone, not
even Joe!  I'm amazed she had the courage to even tell AJ!!!" 
Gina answered.  Hopping up to a sitting position, Gina asked,
"Where is AJ anyway?"
	"Oh," Corey explained, "he's asleep.  It was a very emotionally
draining day for both of us, but I couldn't sleep, and I've been
wanting to talk to you for awhile now."
	"Emotionally draining?  How?  Is it serious?"  Gina asked in
very concerned tones.  She always worried about the two of them.
	"Don't worry," Corey settled her by answering her mind's eye, "A
good draining, a VERY good draining.  I quit today, and I don't
mean school."
	"You... no way... you did?  Really?  How do you know you won't
fall back?"  Gina asked with suspicion and fear.
	"It's a long story I'll tell you in two weeks," was Corey's
reply.
	"Two weeks?  Why two weeks, why not now?  What's so special
about two weeks?"  Gina asked in consternation, why won't she
tell me?
	"Because, silly," Corey giggled, "in two weeks, AJ and I", she
paused for total effect, "ARE COMING HOME TO VISIT!!!"  The
effect worked.
	"REALLY!!!!  YESSSS!!!  ALRIGHT BABY!!!"  Gina practically
screamed, not giving two shits about her mom in light of this
festive news.  "Awesome!  You'll get to see everyone, and... oh!"
Gina stopped, "You'll get to meet Chris and Lisa!  They're soooo
cool and nice!"
	"Chris and Lisa?  Are they replacements?"  Corey asked.
	"Yup, not that you two could ever truly be replaced.  But get
this, Chris, this gorgeous black guy with dreadlocks, not long
and dirty, and a trimmed goatee, is the object of affection for a
certain short-haired young lass we both know."  Gina said in
teasing tones.
	"NO WAY!!!  Debra likes him?!?!  He MUST be great... next to me
she's the pickiest person I know," Corey and Gina laughed
together. "Plus, she has excellent taste in men!"  The two
friends laughed even harder now at the inside joke between them
and a certain shorthaired, gum-chewing, tattooed freak, they both
had grown to love.
	"Oh yeah," began Gina in excited tones, "we're starting a
band... and I'm one of the lead singers!!!"  Gina had forgotten
completely about her mother, not giving a shit any more.  I'll be
damned if I let her ruin this for me, the precious blonde girl
thought.
	"NO WAY!!!  Who's in it?" Corey exclaimed at Gina's revelation.
	"Who isn't?"  Gina laughed aloud, "I think if we ever get a gig,
poor Joe is going to have to close the store three hours early!" 
Calming down a tad, Gina continued, "well I'm lead vocals with
Mark, we're sharing duties, plus our voices work really well off
each other, which is really good for our duet of Pink Floyd's
'Mother'... We've decided that at each gig, we're going to do two
covers, different combinations and choices at any given
appearance.  So we're working on that song right now and... oh
yeah, I forgot to ask you.  Chris wanted to pass a question on to
you.  He wants to know if you still played your violin?"
	"Yeah, sometimes when the mood strikes me.  AJ loves to listen
to it," Corey smiled as she answered Gina's question, "Why?"
	"Well, Chris is an electro-freak.  He loves industrial music and
sampling, sequencing, etc. - I'm not too sure what all that is,
but - he also has a thing for classical music.  When I mentioned
that you had played the violin since you were five, he nearly
jumped outta his seat."  Gina smiled, remembering the incident,
"he then asked me if the next time I talked to you I could ask
you whether or not you'd be willing to play a few certain solo
pieces he'd come up with, and some famous ones as well.  He even
said he'd pay you if it wasn't too much trouble... the guy is TOO
nice.  Anyhow, he'd love to hear a tape, and he wants to know if
you'd mind if he samples the music to use in his music, which is
now OUR music since he's joined 'Dierex'," Gina finished,
realizing she'd just given the name of the band she'd been
keeping as a surprise.
	"'Dierex' is the name of your band?!?!  That's sooo cool," Corey
burst out laughing, feeling more at home with Gina on the phone. 
She just wished she could talk to Deb, too.  I'll phone her next
time, and she can give the info to Gina, Corey thought to herself
as Gina continued,
	"Yeah, WARREN thought of it... strange, huh?" Gina mused.
	"How is he?"  Corey smiled, she'd grown very fond of the young
mischief-maker before she'd left for Harvard.
	"You won't believe this," Gina began, "but he's become the
store's guard-dog!  He has caught more shoplifters since being
hired than all of us, aside from Lucas, of course, put
TOGETHER!!!  He and Lucas have this kinda tag-team way of
catching shoplifters, then they get Chris to act all mean and
stern when they're caught.  It is too funny, Corey.  Randal is
such a great kid."  Gina finished with a smile into the phone.
	"A great kid with a HUGE crush on a certain blonde lead singer,"
Corey teased, laughing.
	"I know, I know... but you know who I'm trying to snag."  Gina
said, sighing audibly.
	"He's probably the hardest person to read I've ever met Gina;
you have it tough there.  But I have heard stories about a
certain strange night manager liking a cute blonde girl..." Corey
left her friend hanging, smiling the entire time on the other
side of the phone.
	"WHAT?!?!!  Are you kidding?  You're just teasing," Gina said
irritably, "I can't be that lucky."
	"I don't know, AJ's his best friend, and according to that is a
reliable source," Corey encouraged her friend, "Lucas has only
one weak spot in that mystic psyche of his: YOU!!!"  She blurted
out, too loud, she didn't want to wake AJ; he had an early class
later today.
	"REALLY?!!?  Oh man," Gina worried, "this'll be the first time I
won't know how to handle approaching a guy.  I think I'll wait it
out in case AJ is just guessing."  Gina decided that was the
best, the safest, course to follow.
	"Do me a favor?" Corey asked with a grin.
	"Name it," Gina replied.
	"Don't use the 'underwear trick' on him when you make your
move," with that, Corey burst into unstoppable laughter, joined
in full force by Gina as the two talk on into the night.

************************ end chapter 5 ***************************


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