Authors: Francine Pascal
Dangerous Love (Sweet Valley High #6)
Playing with Fire
All night Long
WRITTEN BY KATE WILLIAM
Published by Laurel-leaf on imprint of Random House Children's Books a division of Random House, Inc.
Sale of this book without a front cover may be unauthorized.
If the book is coverless, it may have been reported to the publisher as
"unsold or destroyed" and neither the author nor the publisher may
have received payment for it.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents
either are the product of the author's imagination or are used
fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Text copyright © 1984 by Francine Pascal
Revised text copyright © 2008 by Francine Pascal
All rights reserved.
Originally produced by Cloverdale Press. Originally published by Bantam Books, New York, in 1984.
Laurel-Leaf and colophon are registered trademarks of
Random House, Inc.
Sweet Valley High® is a registered trademark of Francine Pascal.
Conceived by Francine Pascal.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Dangerous love / written by Kate William; created by
Francine Pascal.-its Laurel-leaf ed.
p. cm.-(Sweet Valley High ; 6)
Summary: When Elizabeth's boyfriend Todd buys a motorcycle, she follows her parents' strict rule against riding until her twin sister fails to pick her up for a party one night and she insists Todd give her a ride.
ISBN 978-0-440-42274-7 (pbk.)
[1. Motorcycling-Fiction. 2. Conduct of life-Fiction. 3. Twins-Fiction.
4. Sisters-Fiction. 5. High schools-Fiction. 6. Schools-Fiction.]
I. Pascal, Francine. II. Title. PZ7.W65549Dan 2008 [Fic]-dc22
Printed in the United States of America
First Laurel-Leaf Edition
Random House Children's Books Supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.
"I DON'T UNDERSTAND why you suddenly have to take over the Jeep again," Jessica Wakefield grumbled, dropping into the passenger seat of the red Jeep she shared with her twin sister, Elizabeth. "Where's Todd? I was getting used to driving myself to school."
"Todd has... Other plans," Elizabeth replied, placing her bag in the back and blatantly avoiding eye contact. "And besides, I need the car after school. I'm covering a story for The Oracle."
Elizabeth slid into the driver's seat, checked all the mirrors, and started the engine. Instantly, the radio blared to life and Elizabeth jumped in surprise. She hit
the Power button to silence the loud dance music Jessica had been listening to on every ride to school for the past two weeks.
"Does it have to be so loud?" Elizabeth admonished her, hand on her heart.
Jessica rolled her eyes. "Whatever, Grandma."
She turned the rearview mirror to her side and checked her makeup. Jessica had been running late and had dashed out of the Wakefield's split-level house without having time to perform her usual ritual in front of the bathroom mirror. Not that she really needed it. With her tan skin, naturally blond hair, big blue-green eyes, and athletic body, Jessica could go entirely without product and still be the hottest girl at Sweet Valley High. Or so her friends were always telling her.
"So, what's the big story?" Jessica asked. She actually had zero interest in her sister's journalistic pursuits, but they had to do something to fill the silence. She rummaged in her leather bag for her makeup kit and applied some blush to her cheeks as Elizabeth pulled out of the driveway.
"Can I please have the mirror back?" Elizabeth said testily, readjusting the rearview while Jessica was in mid-brush-swipe.
"God. You're obnoxious this morning," Jessica said. "So are you going to tell me, or not?"
"Tell you what?" Elizabeth asked as she came to the stop sign at the end of Calico Drive.
Jessica sighed impatiently. "What the story is about."
"Oh. I'm covering the reopening of the Valley Diner," Elizabeth said. "I figure I'll be able to pull double duty, since I'm running low on info for The Insider this week and a lot of people from school are going to be there."
"Yeah. All the losers," Jessica said, wrinkling her nose. "Everyone knows that Casa is the cool hangout now. The only people that are gonna be at the opening of that fat fest are the freshmen who are too intimidated to come to Casa del Sol, and the chunkies who have been salivating for the diner's chocolate milkshakes and cheese fries."
"One of your favorite meals until the place closed for renovations, as I recall," Elizabeth pointed out. "Are you calling yourself a chunky?"
"Liz! Take that back!" Jessica wailed, horrified. "I'm not chunky!"
"Hey, you said it, not me," Elizabeth replied with a short laugh.
Jessica slumped in her seat and stared petulantly out the window at the Pacific Ocean in the distance, the waves glinting in the sun. Even though it was only eight o'clock, the air was already pleasantly warm and a breeze
raffled the palm trees. This is so unfair, Jessica thought. First Liz commandeers the car keys, and then she refuses to put the top down so as not to mess up her responsible pony tail; then she vetoes my music, and now she's picking on me. She could have killed Liz's boyfriend, Todd Wilkins, for having "other plans."
"Hey, Liz. It's totally gorgeous out. Let's stop and take the top down," Jessica said.
"No. We'll be late," Elizabeth snapped.
"Jess! Give it up already!"
Jessica's jaw dropped. "Okay. What is with you this morning? It's a beautiful day and I'm just trying to have some fun before we're stuck in class for the rest of it! Why do you keep biting my head off?"
Elizabeth simply glowered out the windshield, and the answer hit Jessica like a brick to the head. Something was up between Elizabeth and Todd. Not only was he suddenly not picking Liz up for school, but a rift between the two members of SVH's ubercouple was pretty much the only thing that could put her sister in this foul a mood.
"Liz, is something going on with you and Todd?" Jessica asked.
"What? Why do you say that?" Elizabeth asked, her voice tense. Tense enough that Jessica knew she had hit the nail right on the head.
"What happened? Did you guys break up?" Jessica asked, concerned. Even though she often teased Elizabeth about her lovey-dovey relationship with the school's basketball and football star, she knew that Todd made Elizabeth happy, which made Jessica happy. Of course, if he hurt her sister, she would have to kill him, but that remained to be seen.
"No. Nothing like that," Elizabeth replied quickly, turning onto Main Street.
"But there's something," Jessica prompted.
Elizabeth heaved a sigh and looked at Jessica out the corner of her eye. "He got a motorcycle."
"What?" Jessica blurted out, turning sideways in her seat. "No. He didn't. He's not that stupid."
"Apparently, he is," Elizabeth said through her teeth. Then she quickly backtracked. "I mean, he's not stupid. It's just... he's wanted one forever. He doesn't see them the same way we do. He thinks it's just going to be so much fun riding it up and down the coast. ..."
Jessica shook her head. If Todd thought a motorcycle was fun, then he was totally clueless. Motorcycles, in her opinion, were nothing but death traps.
"Anyway, he's driving it to school today," Elizabeth finished.
"Sometimes I really don't get that guy," Jessica said. "He's always walking around, talking about how much
he loves you, but then he goes and puts his life at risk by buying this thing that he knows you can never be a part of. He didn't sell his car, did he? You guys will never go out alone together again!"
"I don't think he's sold his car yet," Elizabeth said. "And, Jess, he's not as heartless as you think he is. He doesn't know about me not being allowed to get on a motorcycle."
"What? Why not?" Jessica asked.
"Because I didn't tell him yet. He thinks I'm as excited about the bike as he is."
"What?" Jessica cried. "Liz! You have to be kidding me! How could you?"
Lying was not a foreign concept to Jessica. She often stretched the truth when it served her purposes. She just couldn't believe that Liz had felt the need to lie about this, of all things, especially considering that lying usually was a last resort for her super-honest and respectable sister. Jessica would have expected her to be particularly forthcoming about this issue, considering what a huge one it was for their family. Jessica would love to see every motorcycle in the world banned from ever hitting pavement, and she had been sure Elizabeth felt the same way. Until now.
"Liz, you're not going to get on that thing, are you? I mean, after what happened to Rex-"
"I know, Jess. And trust me, I have no plans to go anywhere near the bike. We made a pact, remember?" Elizabeth said firmly. "I mean, honestly, it makes me sick to even think of Todd driving around on one of those things, but what was I supposed to do? He's been dreaming of buying a motorcycle since he was a little kid. I couldn't just shatter his dream."
"Oh, so you'd rather he shatter his body, then?"
Elizabeth smirked sadly.
"What?" Jessica said.
"You sounded like me just then," Elizabeth pointed out.
"Well, good, for once," Jessica said, crossing her arms over her chest. "I just hope you still find it amusing when Todd ends up like Rex."
"Jessica, don't say that," Elizabeth snapped, tears welling in her eyes. "Never say that."
"Sorry. I just... God, I hate even thinking about it," Jessica said.
Three years ago, after months of begging, the twins' aunt and uncle had finally caved and given their cousin Rex a motorcycle for his sixteenth birthday. He went out and got his license and bought a helmet and took every precaution, just like the responsible guy he was. Everything was fine until three weeks later, when he lost
control of the bike and was killed in a head-on collision. His death had been a devastating shock to everyone, but especially to Jessica, who had adored Rex almost as much as she did her older brother, Steven. After the funeral, Jessica's parents had made all three Wakefield children swear that they would never get on a motorcycle, and they had all agreed. It was one of the few household rules that Jessica obeyed willingly.
"I know, Jess, but I couldn't tell Todd not to get the bike. I'm not going to be one of those girls who goes around telling her boyfriend what to do," Elizabeth said as they approached Sweet Valley High. "It's just not me."
"Even if it means you have to worry about him all the time?" Jessica demanded. "Even if telling him about Rex could, like, save his life?"
"He would have gotten the bike anyway," Elizabeth told her sister. "You know how guys are. He would have just said 'That's horrible, but it's not going to happen to me.' They all think they're indestructible or something."
"So what are you going to do when he asks you to go for a ride?" Jessica asked, curious.
"He already did. He wanted to pick me up this morning," Elizabeth replied.
"And? How did you get out of it?"
"I told him I felt a cold coming on and it wouldn't be good to expose myself to the wind," Elizabeth said.
Jessica smirked. "Oh. So that's why you don't want to put the top down. You're backing up your lie. Not bad, Liz."
"Well, I did learn from the best," Elizabeth said with a sidelong glance.
"Ha-ha. Well, that's fine for today, but what are you going to do tomorrow? Or the next day? Develop a permanent cough?"
Elizabeth's hands gripped the steering wheel. "Look, I know I'm going to have to tell him the truth eventually. I just... I don't want to disappoint him."
Jessica studied Elizabeth's face. She looked genuinely distressed. "You know, Todd might not be my favorite person in the world, but I know he loves you. He's not going to let some stupid bike mess up your relationship."
"You think?" Liz asked uncertainly.
"I know," Jessica said with confidence. She shook her hair back as Liz pulled into the SVH parking lot. "And besides, if there's one thing I'm an expert on, it's guys. And if you keep telling him you're getting a ride with someone else or you want to drive yourself, he's going to start thinking you don't like him anymore. And that would not be good."