"What happened to your watch?" Mary Anne asked me as I sat down in front of her at our table. Claudia was still in line. "Cary Reltin." I grumbled, shoving a fork full of whatever was on my plate, in my mouth. Mary Anne giggled. "I saw him between third and fourth. My, how has he changed." "Whose changed?" Claudia asked, dropping into the chair next to me. "Cary Reltin. He stole Kristy's watch." Claudia smirked. "He's my English class. I do have to say. That boy has gotten cute." "Cute?" I asked, dropping my fork. "In no way, is Cary Reltin cute!" Mary Anne and Claud both nodded. "Yes he is, Kristy." Mary Anne said. She giggled again. Her giggling was really getting on my nerves. "And he's coming towards us." "What!" I exclaimed loudly. "Hi Cary." Mary Anne said, smiling sweetly. So much for some notice. "Ladies." He said, sitting down next to Mary Anne. "Claudia, Thomas." "Where's my watch?" I asked, cutting off Claudia before she could even get a vowel out. He smirked. God, I hate that smirk. It irked me more than him being able to get my watches off my wrists without me knowing. "Haven't you checked your pockets lately?" He asked. Mary Anne and Claudia turned to me, smirking and raising an eyebrow each. "Of course I have." I said, jamming a hand into my left pocket. Nothing. I shoved the other one in the right pocket and pulled out my black-leather strapped watch. I clenched my jaw shut. How had he got my watch into my pocket of all places without me seeing him? "How?" I asked. "I have my ways, don't you worry, Thomas." "One day, I'll work out those ways." I shot up quickly. "I have to… go." I walked away from the table as quickly as I could. The rest of the week went past quickly. I saw Cary Reltin only a couple of times and they always happened to be me, sitting near a window during class and staring out the window and seeing him sneak off grounds. Friday rolls around and the weather turns sour. I stepped off the bus - yes, I didn't have my license yet - and shoved my gloved hands into my coat pockets. No cars were parked out the front or no noise was coming from my house. I thought it'd be a good thing to be alone for a couple hours until I left for the party held by Alan Grey and everyone got home. I unlocked the front door and kicked off my sneakers. I stopped as I heard giggling. It sounded girlish, so that crossed out my mom and nannie. Karen was at her mom's house and Emily Michelle would be where ever nannie went. That meant one thing - they weren't a family member. I walked to the edge of the stairs and stopped. There, right at the top of the stairs was Sam, shirtless and Stacey, with a skirt and blouse on but with the buttons undone and her shoes in hand. "Sam?" I asked loudly. They broke apart quickly, both going red in the face. "Kristy!" Sam exclaimed. "What are you doing home so early?" He asked. I started walking up the stairs. "Ah, school's finished. Is this why I didn't see you during eighth period gym, Stacey?" I asked, smiling sweetly at her. So. That's whose Stacey's being fooling around with. I had heard rumours that she had a 'fuck buddy'. And now I knew it was my own brother. "Kristy!" She quickly started doing her buttons on her blouse up. "I uh… Sam, I'll call you later." She basically fled from the house. I turned to my older brother, crossing my arms over my chest. "How long?" I asked. "Since… half way through freshman year." He replied slowly. "That long?" I asked. I was surprised. They were just rumours after all. "Good for you, Sam." I said, stiffly and walked towards my bedroom. Alan Grey was famous for two things. One, his parties, that he held usually twice a month since sophomore year. And two, for proclaiming his "unedifying love for his Claudie." Yes, Claudia still dated that moron but I had gotten used to it. After all, she was his Claudie. Mary Anne had almost fainted in shock at the thought of Stacey and Sam secretly being lovers and in love behind everyone's backs. She then summed it up to be one of the most romantic things she's ever heard. Typical Mary Anne. Claudia had said it was odd, with Stacey's "reputation". Despite what she had said, I had the sneaking suspicion that Claudia knew of Stacey and Sam and what was going on. Hip-hop music played loudly, people were shouting at each other and beer was being sloshed everywhere - a typical Alan Grey party. I kept my eye out for anyone I knew throughout the huge masses of people downstairs. "Are you looking for Cary Reltin?" Mary Anne asked in my ear. I turned to her in shock. "Reltin?" I asked back, loudly. You had to shout to be heard. "In his dreams, Mary Anne!" A second later, Mary Anne has disappeared from my side and replaced by Cary. Talk about timing. "Oh, what do you want?" I asked. He really irked me. He gave me that famous Reltin smirk. "Drink?" He held up a cup of beer. I snatched it from him and skulled it all in one go. I'd need plenty more if I kept running into him. As we move with the crowd, I feel Cary's hand touching my back lightly, as if he'd lose me if he wasn't already so close to me. We found a table set up with more beer and in five minutes I drowned another six. "Whoa, Thomas. Calm down. Do I make you that nervous?" I glared up at him. Was he like, six foot two now? "No. You don't make me nervous at all." I replied, chewing on the rim of my half-empty seventh beer cup. "I like beer." I lied. Cary chuckled. "You're an alcoholic in the making." I swigged the rest and picked up another cup. "Maybe I should leave your aura then." "Maybe you should've realized that ten minutes ago?" I asked. When I realized that he hasn't responded, I follow where his gaze is. Dorianne Wallingford is giving Pete Black a lap dance. Every male in the room has their eyes stuck on Dorianne's chest, which is properly the size of Pamela Anderson's. I snorted. "Goodbye Reltin." I walked away, towards Alan Grey's kitchen. Standing there is Mary Anne and Claudia. "Finally!" I exclaim. "Why is all the boys heading towards the living room?" Claudia asks me. "Dorianne Wallingford is giving Pete Black a lap dance." I reply, taking a sip of the beer in my hand. "I think he's actually giving her money." I see Stacey following Shelia Macgregor and Andi Gentles. She catches my eye and gives me a small smile, which I return. It's the first sign of friendship in over a year. "That's just darn great." Claudia says, taking a sip out of her tequila bottle. Claudia always manages to get her hands on a bottle of tequila when a party is on. I don't like telling Claudia that in half n hour she'll be upstairs with Alan Grey. Alcohol is never a good thing in this town. It turns everyone into sex starved crazy loony who instantly regrets it. "Have you seen Alan?" She asks me. I shake my head. "No, he must be outside somewhere." I replied. Properly lighting something alight or doing a back flip of the fence. I don't say it allowed. It'd just scare the shit out of Claud, yet again. Claudia takes another swig at her tequila bottle and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand. "I guess it's time I go and find him." Mary Anne gives me a look. I get this look every time Claudia says this at a party. "I'll call you both tomorrow." She walks off towards the backdoor, taking another swig of the tequila bottle. Claudia's favourite alcoholic drink is tequila. "This happens every weekend." Mary Anne comments. Mary Anne never drinks. I rarely drink as much as I have tonight. Cary Reltin being back within Stoneybrook limits isn't calming my nerves. "She'll never learn." "I think… think you say this almost every time." I say, rubbing my temple. "I'm going outside to get some air." Mary Anne gives me a small hug and a smile. "See you Monday, Mary Anne." I have to scream at her as the next song is louder than any other all night. I follow Claudia's footsteps to outside. There is hardly anyone in the backyard, just a couple of people making out. Thank god I do not have the pleasure of seeing Claudia and Alan doing anything remotely sexual. I walk along the wet grass and sit on a stray bench. I shiver in the late night coldness and realise somehow, Cary Reltin has ended up next to me. "What are you doing?" I asked, annoyed. Can't he just leave me alone? Ever? "Just… hanging about." 'Hanging about' must translate 'smoking some pot' because I can smell it. It was like he was sweating the stuff. "Sure." I say, refusing to look at him. "Why did you come back?" I ask. I realised he never answered my question the other day. I was itching to find out. "My mother was missing Stoneybrook and she didn't want us transferring until Steig was going to be starting middle school." I wonder if this is a lie. "Seriously?" I ask, turning to look at him in the eye. He doesn't smirk, but he gives me a slight smile. "I don't believe you." "Of course you wouldn't. You wouldn't believe me if I said I never did hook up with Cokie Mason." I stared at him. I never forgot, coming back from the summer before ninth grade with a rumour of recently departed Cary Reltin and my number one mortal-enemy Cokie Manson hit third base in Rick Chow's basement. Something inside of me hurt when I found that out. "I could never believe that you didn't either. Nobody was there except you and Cokie." Images of Cokie and Cary making out. Cokie on her knees in front of him. My head started spinning. Everything began to get really hot. "Hey, Thomas, you alright?" Cary asks. I look into his eyes. I know he's lying about the Cokie thing. I feel his hand on my shoulder. I lean over and puke on my shoes.Disclaimer: I do not own the Baby-sitters Club or any characters. Changing Lanes. 1. Change. I, Kristy Thomas, hate change. I love patterns and normality. The idea of huge, dramatic changes scare me. When I was thirteen, I wanted to change something every five minutes but then we left middle school and moved onto high school and that's when my fear of change happened. That had been a huge change. I had to learn to grow up. High school was like another culture. My old club, the Baby-Sitters Club, disbanded in the June before hand and silly little me, thought that we'd hang out together in high school too. Claudia and Stacey ditched us before the day ended, hanging out with a more "popular" group than ours. Abby moved to where all the sportos where. It left Mary Anne and Me. For almost two years, that was how it was. Mary Anne and I studied together, ate lunch together and hung out after school together. Then one February day in Sophomore year, I walked into the cafeteria to where Mary Anne and I normally sat and found Claudia sitting there with no Stacey. I never fully found out the full story but I didn't mind the minor hiccup in our daily normal routine. So when I say, that I found Cary Reltin standing in front of the locker next to mine, I was surprised. He was so much more taller from the last time I saw him, which was properly after eighth grade graduation. His hair was a little bit longer. He was skinny and so pale, like he had spent three years in Alaska facing away from the sun. He turned around and smirked as he saw me. "Thomas." He said. "Reltin." I replied, walking towards my locker. Why was he back? Especially after so long. "Long time, no speak." He said, shutting his locker. He seemed to tower of me. I wonder if I even reached his shoulders. "Where were you?" I asked. "Pennsylvania. You look exactly the same." He inched closer. "Still the same-old short ass I've missed toying with." I bit my lip, trying to think of a good come-back. "I'll see you around." He turned around and walked away. My hands shook with anger. God damn him! I opened my locker and pulled a few books out. Only when I was walking down the hall towards homeroom, that I realized Cary Reltin was really back. My watch was missing off my wrist.