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From Here to Sweet Valley: Part One

Hello everyone! As promised, here is the Sweet Valley High fanfic I wrote for NaNoWriMo back in 2002 when I was a mere child of 27 (see the photo below, which was taken around that period). In fact I was younger than the Sweet Valley characters I was writing about! This is but a fraction of the whole thing – which I must tell you know remains unfinished FOR NOW. But there’s still a few thousand words more of this nonsense so if you enjoy it, more will be forthcoming. Enjoy!

She wouldn’t call herself a diva, exactly, but she certainly was a star. Ever since she’d won a competition to guest star on her favourite soap opera The Young and the Beautiful, all of America had known her name. She was America’s sweet heart, a pop princess, a five-foot six inch burst of energy, an archetypical California girl, with blonde hair like spun gold and eyes the colour of the pacific ocean. She’d come a long way from the small Southern california town where she’d grown up. A long way.

She smiled and reclined her seat still further. She always liked to travel by private jet whenever possible. And these days, it was alwyas possible. A flunky, clad in the uniform worn by all her staff – a satin hot-pink jumpsuit – discreetly offered a glass of champagne. She took it with a smile, enjoying the feel of the bubbles against her nose. This was the life she’d always dreamed of back when the only mode of transport she had was her Fiat Spider.

Soon she’d be there. Back with her family. Back with her friends. Her old friends. It had been a while. A long while. Too long a while. She was 28 now, and she hadn’t been back to her hometown in nearly a decade. Ever since she and her sister had become such successes in their very different fields, her parents and brother and sister-in-law had spent every alternate Christmas with each twin in their respective mansions. She lived in New York. Her sister lived in Dublin, Ireland. Both were rich. Both were beautiful. Both were stars.

The jet began its descent over south California. She tensed in her luxurious cushioned seat. She was almost home. She hoped the limo would be waiting for her, as she had commanded. She hoped her parents wouldn’t turn up in their Saturn. She liked to travel in style.

The plane shuddered and bumped onto the tarmac. She was there. A few minutes later she was striding across the runway to the limo which was, she was relieved to notice, waiting for her. A uniformed driver saluted as she approached.

“Hi,” she said, a merry smile playing on her perfectly formed lips. “I’m Jessica Wakefield.”


Elizabet Wakefield looked up from her desk and sighed. She could feel it in her bones, in that part of her that was a twin. She knew that something important was happening to Jessica.

Then she remembered. Today Jess was flying into Sweet Valley. She was coming home. And Elizabeth wouldn’t be there.

Elizabeth Wakefield had left California a long time ago. She had always wanted to be a writer, ever since the days when she was a star reporter for her high school newspaper, the Oracle. As the Oracle’s gossip columinist, writing a weekly piece called Eyes and Ears, Elizabeth had been able to hone her fine writing skills. The Eyes and Ears column was the most coveted post in the newspaper, and Elizabeth had been its finest occupant. No one was surprised when she left college with a degree in creative writing and swiftly began working for an LA paper. She started out researching gossip items for the senior gossip columnist, and soon started filling in when that illustrious person was away recovering from her latest drug-fuelled manic-episode.

She was an instant sensation. Filled with glitzy tit bits, discreetly phrased – “Tom C has been taking a certain Nicole K. to the movies. Is this a dream match between two actors?”, Elizabeth’s column was acclaimed as a magnificent step forward for celebrity journalism. She soon took over the column full time, and about a year later was poached by a leading London newspaper.

It was a dream come true. She’d always wanted to travel; indeed, when she was 16 she had inexplicably become obsessed with switzerland, and was only prevented from attending a school there by the emotional blackmailing of her friends. She loved London, and it turned out that London loved her right back. The jaded London scene was delighted by what one admiring journo called her “faux naive, ironically cheesy style”, even though she hadn’t quite understood that particular review.

But the world of blind items and who-took-who-to-the-Dairi-Burger was starting to lose its charms for Elizabeth. She was tired of keeping up with all the latest gossip. She started to wonder if she had it in her to write, not just a 300 word story about Ben Affleck’s toupee, but…a novel.

And so she left her job at a London broadsheet, and bought a large Georgian townhouse in Dublin. She’d never been to Ireland, but she’d heard a lot about it, and liked the sound of the quaint people who lived there, riding around on their donkeys, telling stories by candlelight. She’d heard that the Irish believed in fairies, and that some of them even spoke a language called gaelic. Ireland sounded like a magical place to Elizabeth. A place where she could go and immerse herself in beauty. A place where she could forget…

Todd. Even now, just thinking about his name brought back so many painful memories. His big brown eyes. His tousled locks. The way he ran across the basketball court, waving up at her in the bleachers. Elizabeth’s lovely eyes filled with tears. Would she ever be able to forget about Todd Wilkins? Would she ever be free? She had thought that coming to Ireland would be the way to forget him, but Ireland wasn’t the way she had thought it would be. There were no pixies. The people didn’t believe in magic. They spoke English, in a way. They had electricity. And no donkeys. And it rained all the time. She had been fooled!

The first few months were the worst. She had stayed secluded in her large 18th century house, which she had gutted and made to look like the split level house in which she had grown up, complete with spanish-tiled kitchen. She had even painted the walls of one room brown, just in case Jessica ever visited. But when the decorating was over, she realised that she couldn’t stay indoors forever, even if it was always raining. She had to go out, had to make friends. She had to forget. But it was hard. It had been ten long years since she’d seen Todd Wilkins. They’d had a passionate, if chaste, romance throughout high school. Even Todd’s departure to far off Vermont was only a temporary glitch in their love story. And then…

And then Todd had fallen in love with someone else. With Elizabeth’s best friend. With Enid Rollins. Elizabeth couldn’t even say her name without feeling her eyes fill up with even more tears, tears she couldn’t bear to shed.

“Damn you, Enid Rollins,” she whispered. “Damn you.”

She looked out the window into the rainy Dublin night. In sunny California, Jessica was probably arriving at the Wakefield’s charming home. While Elizabeth sat and wept softly into her tea, Jess was probably racing around saying hello to their parents, the almost supernaturally youthful-looking Ned and Alice. Alice was sometimes mistaken for the twins’ sister, an occurance that was becoming just a little disturbing. Elizabeth could almost see Jess’s homecoming in her mind’s eye: her parents hugging Jess; Prince Albert, the twins’ elderly labrador, leaping up from his bed and running over to hump Jess’s leg.

That was when the tears started to fall….


“Get this mutt off of me!” screamed Jessica Wakefield.

“Sorry, honey,” said Ned Wakefield, apologetically. “Prince Albert, heel!”

The labrador waddled back to Ned. Jessica threw him a foul look, and then turned back to her parents.

“It’s so good to be back here, Dad,” she said. “I can’t believe it’s been so long.”

“We can’t believe it either, Jess,” said Ned, shaking his dark-locked head.

“We thought you were going to stay in New York forever,” said Alice.

Jessica supressed a rare twinge of guilt. She had, of course, made plenty of movies in L.A., just a few hours away by car, but had never dropped in on her family. She prefered to have them visit her in her Manhattan apartment. And so she had told them that they never actually made movies is Los Angeles; any place that looked like L.A. was actually part of Toronto. Ned and Alice, eager to believe that their daughter hadn’t turned her back on her home, didn’t doubt this.

“So,” said Ned. “What are you going to do today, Jess? You want to drop by Fowler Crest and see Lila?”

Jessica’s face brightened. She hadn’t seen her best friend Lila Fowler in months.

“I might just do that, Dad,” she smiled. “But first, I want to hit the mall. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Lisette’s. I wonder if I’ll be able to afford that aqua satin halter-neck and matching over-sized vinyl belt now?” She threw back her head and laughed in a manner that could almost be described as…evil.

Evil. Like Jessica Wakefield’s true nature.

Jessica had always been a little…selfish. Some might say spoiled. Some might say ruthless. Some might say a big hypocritical tart. During her tempestuous teenage years, Jessica had tormented fellow students, driving at least one, Annie Whitman, to attempted suicide. She had despised Annie for dating lots of different boys, failing to see the similarities between the girl and herself. She had also bullied a girl called Robin Wilson, but justified that one to herself by the fact that the bullying had caused Robin to lose a lot of weight. And time and time again, she had taken advantage of her twin.

Of Elizabeth.

Jessica smiled to herself, remembering her twin’s gullibility. Liz had never refused Jessica’s demands, whether it meant compromising all her beliefs by parading down a catwalk in a beauty pageant, or spending the summer looking after a spoiled brat in Malibu. Whatever Jessica wanted, Jessica got, and the only words of recrimination she ever heard were the wistful ones, “Oh, Jess…”

But words meant nothing to Jessica. They couldn’t hurt her. If Elizabeth had beaten her at her own game a little more often – she’d tried it once, an action which led to Jessica being thrown into the pool, and for a while Jessica had feared that her twin was becoming as devious as she herself – if only she’d kept that up, Jessica might have thought twice about fucking her around. But Elizabeth had stayed loyal to her evil sister; all it took were a few tears, and then Elizabeth would say “oh Jess, I can never stay angry at you for long.”

No one could. It was why Jessica Wakefield had become such a star. And such a dangerous bitch.


Elizabeth sighed. She had been trying to work on her novel, but she couldn’t concentrate. She kept feeling an urge to wear eye-catching black silk stirrup pants and an oversized shirt, accessorised with a hot pink scarf. “Jess must be in Lisettes,” she thought sadly. “If only I were there too. Or if only she were here…” She gazed at the calender on her desk. How the years had flown, how they had trickled through her fingers. It was ten years since she’d left Sweet Valley High. Ten long years, sometimes exciting, sometimes dull. Ten years.

Suddenly, she had an idea. The perfect idea.

It was time for a Class Reunion.

She gazed at the calender, a smile forming on her lips. It was the perfect plan. She could go home, see Jess, see her old friends.

See Todd.

And Enid. That vile hag.

Elizabeth shook her head. She shouldn’t think bad thoughts about anyone. Not even about the friend who had betrayed her so horribly. Maybe it would be good to see her again. To see her with Todd. To see the two of them. To see the two of them together. Maybe she could close the door on her tragic past. Maybe…maybe she could even learn to love again.


She shook her head. She had no time for self pity now. She had to get organizing. She felt more excited than she had in months. There was so much to do! And it would be so much fun. She couldn’t wait to see the olfd gang again. She wondered had they changed much. Would Bruce Patman still be cruel and arrogant, moving with the grace of a young lion? Would Olivia Davidson, her old pal, still be the artsy poet she was as a teen? Would Winston still be something of a clown? She couldn’t wait to find out.

Slowly she walked to the window that overlooked a gracious Georgian square. Yes, the newspapers were right: rain was falling all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the roof of the spanish-tiled kitchen and higher up in the house, against the windows of the room where Elizabeth sat. Maybe it was falling, too, upon every part of the Wakefield house where her family were relaxing. Maybe it lay in puddles in the patio and around the pool. Elizabeth’s soul swooned slowly as she heard the rain falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.


The lime-green triumph pulled up at the site of the former Dairi-Burger. Where once Sweet Valley’s teenagers had sipped innocent shakes and gorged on burgers, and sometimes run gambling rackets, now stood La Belle Maison, a stylish restaurant.

The door of the Triumph opened, and two long, silk-stocking-clad legs swung out from the driver’s seat. The legs were topped by a tight fitting Versace suit, and a strangely pinched looking face, surrounded by glossy light-brown hair.

Lila Fowler. Jessica Wakefield’s greatest friend. And greatest rival.

These days, of course, both girls had changed. A lot. Jessica was a world-famous actress, just as she’d always dreamed, and Lila, well, Lila was still one of the richest women in California. Her father had died when Lila was just 21, leaving her his millions, as well as his computer company, which was now run by a team of loyal minions. Lila had plenty of time to spend with her husband, Winston Egbert – and she also had plenty of time to visit her surgeon.

Lila had been under the surgeon’s knife more times than she now cared to remember. Her formerly pleasant but unremarkable features had been transformed. Her eyes were enormous, and permanent contact-lenses had turned them a shocking bright purple. Her cheekbones were so high they were almost in her forehead. Her mouth was a perpetual enormous pout. Her nose was a tiny button. Her chin was a pert bump.

She looked freakish.

And she loved it.

Lila had always wanted to be more than just George Fowler’s daughter. And while a lesser, less imaginative woman might have decided to develop her own talents, to go to college and study something new and fascinating, Lila decided on something a little more – unusual. She’d make herself the most beautiful, head-turning woman in America. As far as she was concerned, her unusual looks were exotic and charming.

They made children cry.

Humming a hit by the Droids, her old classmates who were now America’s hottest band, Lila sauntered across the Maison Belle parking lot. Suddenly a huge limo swung in front of her. Jessica Wakefield got out.

As usual, Lila grudgingly admitted, Jess looked sensational. Her naturally wavy blonde hair was teased into a halo of curls, reminiscent of the outrageous perm her twin Elizabeth had got many years ago. She wore an aqua-blue miniskirt with matching tights and red sparkly sandals, topped off with a teal batwing sweater. Her cruel face hit up when she saw her old friend.

“Lila!” she shrieked, embracing the girl in a warm bear hug. Psychotic bitch Jess may have been, but she had always genuinely liked Lila. Lila had always been a worthy rival. And in many ways, she still was.

Lila giggled. “Hey, Jess. It’s good to see you. How was your flight?”

“AS ever on the Hershey Bar, it was great”, Jessica replied. The Hershey Bar was what she called her jet, whose inner walls were inexplicably painted a horrible brown colour. Jessica loved it. Her jump-suited staff felt it was like working in someone’s bowels. “Come on, let’s eat.”

The duo’s entrance caused uproar in La Belle Maison. All heads turned to see the superstar and her freakish companion. Everyone knew Lila Fowler in Sweet Valley, but her odd appearance always caused comments. Lila took these as her due. She always assumed they were praising her unique beauty. The awe-struck hostess showed them to their enormous table, where Jessica swiftly ordered a large bottle of Cristal.

“So,” she said. “How are you? How’s Winston?”

“Winston’s just great,” said Lila.

“I can’t believe you married that nerd,” Jessica grumbled. “You could have had any boy in the school. You could have had Ken Matthews, or even Jeffrey French after Liz tossed him to the kerb. Why Winnie the Pooh?”

“Winston has always been something of a class clown,” said Lila. “But beneath the jokes he’s shy and gentle. When we first kissed after the prom, I knew he was the man for me.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, it was a rhetorical question,” said Jess. “Ah, the champagne. Cool.” She took a long draft of the sparkling liquid. “I can’t get enough of this stuff,” she giggled.

“Wow, Jess,” said Lila. “You’re turning into quite the lush.”

Jessica’s lovely features contorted into a hideous grimace.

“Shut it, Fowler,” she snarled. “Jessica Wakefield is not a lush. She’s a sophisticated woman who likes her champagne like she likes her men – expensive and bubbly.”

“Why are you referring to yourself in the third person?” said Lila nervously.

Jess shook her her head irritably, and when she next looked at Lila her gaze had softened.

“I’m sorry, Lila,” she said. “I don’t know what came over me. Have some champagne. Ah, here’s the waiter. Do you want to order first?”


Elizabeth Wakefield cleared her throat nervously. She hoped her old mentor wouldn’t mind her calling him out of the blue. But he was the only way she could think of getting in touch with her old classmates.

She dialled the number and listened as the phone rang once, twice, three times, four…

“Hello, Roger Collins speaking,” said a voice like molten honey.

At the very sound of it, Elizabeth smiled.

“Mr Collins? I hope you don’t mind me calling. It’s Elizabeth Wakefield.”

“Elizabeth!” cried Sweet Valley High’s popular English teacher. “It’s great to hear from you. How are you? Last I heard you were in London.”

“Well, I’m in Dublin now,” said Elizabeth. “But I’m thinking of coming home for a while. And I need your help!”

“I’ll help you in any way I can,” said Mr Collins, who had the strawberry blond and wrinkly good looks of Robert Redford. “Just name it. As long as it’s, you know, legal.”

“I want to organise a school reunion,” said Elizabeth. “I thought you might be able to get the alumni records and see where all the old gang is now.”

“Well, those files are meant to be confidental,” said Mr Collins. “But, what the hell! I’ll do it. Anything for the Oracle’s best writer.”

“Thanks Mr Collins!” cried Elizabeth. “I’m going to try and get over to Sweet Valley very soon. I’ll see you then.”

“Bye, Liz,” said Mr Collins. He replaced the receiver, a fond smile on his face. He’d always liked Elizabeth Wakefield. She was a good kid.

“Who was that on the phone, honey?”

Mr Collins turned to see his wife enter the kitchen.

“You’ll never guess,” he said. “It was Liz Wakefield. She’s organising a class reunion!”

Cara Walker gasped. “But I can’t… I can’t see the twins!”

“You might have to,” said her husband gently. “If you go.”

Cara sighed. “They’ve never forgiven me for marrying you. I guess they always hoped I’d go back to Steven, their brother. But it’s you I always loved, Roger.”

“I never noticed you as a woman, Cara,” said Mr Collins. “I saw you as a child. But that day two years ago, when we met at the rally to prevent the closure of the Dairi Burger…”

“It was a magical moment, “ Cara agreed. She’d been back in Sweet Valley for a few years then, after a long time spent in London, and had got back togetehr with her old boyfriend, Steven Wakefield. But when she and Mr Collins saw each other outside of the classroom, there was an instant attraction. Both were powerless to resist. They had married a year later, and now Cara taught french at Sweet Valley High. She had worried about taking up the position. Mr Collin’s ex-fiance, Ms Dalton, was also a french teacher at the school, but the two women had become firm friends. Sometimes Cara felt older than her years. And sometimes, although she would never admit to darling Roger, she wished she could act her age. She was only 28, but hanging around with an older crowd made her feel about fifty sometimes. The thought of a school reunion was exciting – even if it did mean seeing her old friend Jessica Wakefield. At least she’d get the chance to act her age again.

And maybe, just maybe, she could make piece with her old pal.

She smiled. This reunion was going to be fun!

Chapter Two

The sun shone down on Sweet Valley, and Jessica wakefield was soaking up the rays. The weather was nice in New York at this time of year, but nothing beat that California sun. And Jessica Wakefield was the epitome of the California girl. She loved working on her tan, and refused to believe the news that prolonged sun exposure was unhealthy.

“Everyone looks better tan,” she declared. “It looks great with my gold maillot swim-suit.”

Now Jessica was relaxing by the Wakefields’ pool. She was going out for dinner with her parents later on – she refused to dine in the house, knowing that she would be forced to help chop vegetables, and there was no Elizabeth on whom to foist her chores.

Jessica Wakefield didn’t do chores.

She sighed with pleasure and turned over so that the sun could caress her lithe frame. It was good to be home. Even a crazy evil monster could miss her mom and dad. She was drifting off into a daydream when the phone rang. She reached out an exquisitely manicured hand and answered it.

“Hello?” she murmured.

“Jess! Hi, it’s me!”

“Oh, hi Lizzie,” said Jess. Even though she had always ruthlessly exploited her sister, she still had a certain icy fondness for her. She felt that strange twinnish link to her, and sometimes found herself feeling weepy, thinking about dumb basketball players.

It was strange.

“Jess, I’m coming home!”

“You are?” said Jessica. This was an unexpected, and pleasurable, surprise. Jessica and Elizabeth together gave the evil twin the opportunity to induge in some high quality schemes. She knew that she’d be able to convince Elizabeth to pretend to be her so that she could get out of some unpleasant situation. “Cool.”

“I’m organising a class reunion, Jess,” said the excited columnist. “I want all the gang to get back together and have a big party!”

Jessica sat up on her velvet-covered lounger, which was impractical for beside the pool, but which she had brought over on the Hershey bar. She was a girl who liked luxury at all times.

“That sounds like a great idea, Liz!” she said. She meant it. It would be cool to see all her old friends and rivals. She wanted to flaunt her outrageous success. She wanted to show everyone that Jessica Wakefield wasn’t one of those girls who are popular in high school and who then become sad, pathetic freaks living off their old glories. Jessica had been the star of Sweet Valley High, and now she was a star of the screen.

And she couldn’t wait to rub that into everybody’s faces.

The excited Elizabeth warmed to her theme.

“It’ll be so great, Jess – we can rent the gym at Sweet Valley High, have a big party – I can’t wait! Maybe the Droids would perform.”

“I’m sure they would,” said Jessica, although she wasn’t so sure about having a party in a gym. A fancy restaurant up the coast would be more her style. Still, a part of her felt a strange pang of nostalgia thinking about the gym, the scene of some of her greatest teenage triumphs. Here it was that she had left her official date for evening, Winston, and joined Bruce Patman, then the object of her lust, in a sensuous dance that climaxed with Bruce lifting her up and holding her over his head, spinning her round in time to the music. One of her finest hours, even now, after all these years. Bruce had been a fabulous mover. Jessica licked her lips. Maybe it would be fun to see her old rival. There had always been a real heat between them, even after their short but passionate romance.

“So anyway, Jess,” said Elizabeth, “I know it’s short notice, but I wanted to hold the reunion in two weeks. Will you be hanging around that long?”

Jessica pouted. She hadn’t thought of staying nearly so long. But something in her icy, cruel soul liked the thought of being at home, being at rest. Even if that meant spending her evenings trying to stop Prince Albert from humping her shins. It was hard being the most famous woman in America, maybe even the world. Although she would nrver give up her luxurious lifestyle, she thought she might like to live the simple life for a few weeks.

After all, she had the Hershey bar. She could escape from Sweet Valley any time she wanted…


Elizabeth felt like a new woman. The reunion had sparked her imagination. As she browsed the internet, seeking her former classmates, Elizabeth felt her soul wake up again, gradually crawling out of the chrysalis of despair she had woven around it since Todd and Enid’s betrayal.

Their betrayal.

Elizabeth paused, one hand on the mouse, as she remembered the horrific moment when she had found out that her beloved boyfriend and her boring best friend were secret lovers.

”Elizabeth, I’m sorry…

Todd’s half-arsed apology still echoed in her ears. It was a hollow sound. Like a bucket being hit with a stick, again and again and again. She sighed. She remembered that day like it was yesterday, But in fact, it was nearly ten years ago. The day after graduation…

She had been so happy. It was the greatest day of her life, graduating as Sweet Valley High’s valedictorian. And yet her happiness was tinged with sadness, for she was saying farewell to the place that had been her second home for so many years. While her family and classmates milled about the lawn of the school, Elizabeth softly stole back into the school. She wanted to say goodbye to Sweet Valley High.

She wandered the corridors, pausing as the memories took hold. The cafeteria, where Jessica had cooked up a hundred crazy schemes, where Winston Egbert had impressed them all with his merry pranks. The darkroom, where she had developed the photographs which had helped in the capture of a dangerous criminal. Her stomach churned as she passed down the halls towards the room that would always have an important place in her heart.

The Oracle office.

How many evenings had she spent, debating what gossip items to include in that wonderful column of hers? Working away on her trusty typewriter, laughing with Olivia and Penny Ayala. She even had fond memories of John Pfeifer, the sports editor who had turned out to be a scary would-be date rapist. He had been a decent guy, once upon a time. it was pity he’d turned into such a psycho. She sighed wistfully as she reached out a hand to open the door.

it was then that she heard the voices. Someone was in the office. More than one person. She thought it might be Olivia or Mr Collins, but then she heard one of the people, a girl, say “Oh god, this is so bad – but I love it!”

“That’s Enid’s voice!” thought Elizabeth. “And it sounds like she’s in the middle of a private moment. I’d better leave her…”

Then she heard the other voice. “I love it too – like I love you, you enchanting temptress!”

Elizabeth stood there in shock. She knew that voice. How could she not?

It was Todd.

Todd Wilkins. Star basketball player of Sweet Valley High. The love of Elizabeth’s life. Even though he had moved to Vermont for a few months, during which time he and Elizabeth had both dated other people, they had got back together soon after he moved home, and had been inseperable ever since.

Until now.

Hardly able to breath, Elizabeth opened the door. A horrific sight met her fearful eyes.

Enid and Todd were entwined in a passionate embrace – more passionate than any Todd and Liz had ever exhanged. Their pants of lust echoed around the empty room. And they were draped over what was, to Elizabeth, the most sacred part of the Oracle office.

Her typewriter.

With a strangled cry, Elizabeth backed towards the door. The lovers stopped their grunting and looked around at her.

“Oh my God!” screamed Enid. “Liz!”

“Don’t speak to me,” Elizabeth said in a choked voice. “I’m going. And I never want to see either of you again.

“We can explain -” began Enid.

“Don’t say anything,” said Elizabeth. “I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear your voices. I don’t want to see you.

”Elizabeth, I’m sorry…” cried Todd.

“Todd,” said Elizabeth. She looked at him, her aquamarine eyes brimming with tears, tenderness shining through the pain. “Go fuck yourself.”

With that, she ran out of the offices. She had never seen either of them again.


“So,” said Lila, “do you think Cara will turn up to this reunion thing?”

Jessica made a disgusted face.

“She’d better not,” she said. “I can’t believe she chose that geriatric over my brother. And after all the effort I put in getting them together!”

“I see her every so often, you know,” said Lila. “I mean, I don’t arrange to meet her or anything. But sometimes I drive along and see her strolling around with Mr Cradle-robber Collins.”

“Ugh,” said Jess. “So when’s that husband of your coming along, then, Li?”

“He should be here any minute,” said Lila. “Honestly Jessica, sometimes I don’t know what gets into him. You’d think he’d be grateful for his job at Fowler Electronics, but he keeps saying he wants to leave and go back to college. Like he has to!”

Jessica shook her head in sympathy. Like Lila, she couldn’t understand anyone wanting to work hard for a living. If it didn’t mean sacrificing her place in the spotlight- almost as important to Jessica as her sumptuous riches – Jessica would never work again. Even when she did, she liked to insist on five hour working-days, max. And because the world loved Jessica Wakefield, no director dared refuse.

But here was Winston Egbert, fixed up with a cushy no-work token-job at his wife’s firm, and he wanted to work? Jessica couldn’t understand it. But then Winston had always been a little bit crazy. Jessica had been shocked when he and Lila had got together. But then, she had been even more shocked with Liz and Todd suddenly spilt up without warning and Todd and Enid both vanished. It didn’t really bother her. Jessica never thought about anyone else for long. If it didn’t directly concern her, she didn’t care.

“Ah,” Lila cried, a touch of relief in her voice. “Here he comes now. Winnie!”

Winston Egbert groaned silently as he crossed the floor of the chic eatery. How had his life turned into this? The former clown of Sweet Valley High had become a dull drone, bossed around by his wife and without a life of his own. Why had he married Lila Fowler?

The last few years had gone past in a kind of haze. Ever since that drunken night, when he and Lila had exchanged their first tentative kisses, his life had changed, changed utterly. A terribly beauty had been born. His and Lila’s marriage.

He knew they’d been wed too young. But Lila had given him little choice. He lacked the willpower to stand up to his haughty new bride. She wanted to be married, and she wanted to have lots of cosmetic surgery. And there was nothing Winston Egbert could do about that.

He had loved her. God, he had loved her. He hadn’t been able to believe it at first – this giggling, kittenish beauty in his arms was the rich diva of Sweet Valley High? But Lila’s warm and gentle side was as shallow as her rich bitch persona, and just a few months into their union Winston was living in a nightmare.

He knew it was his own fault. He had been blinded by Lila’s more obvious charms. And he had let her boss him around. Their marriage should have been a partnership of equals. They should both have been learning new things, inventing their own lives. Instead Lila spent all her time in the surgery and he spent his in his luxury office, doing his make-believe job. He couldn’t bear it anymore. He was really freaked out by Lila’s constant modifications to her features. But he lacked the courage to make his escape.

“Winnie” Lila greeted her husband with a peck on the cheek. “Look who’s here!”

Winston leaned over and pecked Jessica’s powdered cheek.

“Hi, Jess,” he said. “Boy, you look great.”

Jessica preened. She was always eager for compliments, even if they came from Winston, the boy who had been her biggest high school fan. Then he had been a mere annoyance. But every morsel of adulation was important. Besides, he was right. She looked sensational, and she knew it. A skin-tight pale pink sheath dress showed off every trim curve of her perfect size six body, while oversized gold jewelry and gold lame tights completed the outfit. Jessica knew she was the epitome of European chic.

“You look good too, Winston,” she said. To her surprise, she realised that she wasn’t lying as she mouthed the platitude. Winston had grown unto his gangly looks, filling out a bit and losing his stick-insect air. His black hair was carefully groomed. Suddenly Jessica started wishing she’d paid a bit more attention to him back in the day.

She shook her head. What was she thinking! To distract herself, she decided to tell Winston about Elizabeth’s big plan.

“Hey, Winston, have you heard the news? Liz is organizing a big Sweet Valley High reunion bash! In just a few weeks!”

Winston gasped at this glorious news.

“You mean, Liz is coming home? To Sweet Valley?”

“Well, she’s coming on a visit, if that’s what you mean,” said Jessica. “So anyway, if you’re in touch with any of the old high school gang, let them know. It’s going to be a great party!”

“I will, Jessica,” said Winston. He felt more cheerful than he had in months. A reunion might be just what he needed. Seeing all his old pals might be the thing to inspire him to take charge of his life. Yes, this was going to be good. Maybe things were looking up for Winston Egbert….


“Todd, I think I’m hallucinating!”

The man who had once been known as Todd Wilkins threw a protective arm around the woman he loved.

“Don’t call me Todd in public, sweetie,” he said. “You know that.”

“I’m sorry,” said the lovely young woman who had once been Enid Rollins. “But I swear I just saw Elizabeth come out of that restaurant across the street!”

Todd started. Ever since the moment that Elizabeth had caught him and Enid romping passionately on her desk, he and Enid had lived like fugitives. They knew that all of Sweet Valley would turn on them if they knew what they had done to Elizabeth. Elizabeth was the most popular girl in town. By the time she finished high school, she had offered helpful advice to just about every family in town.

Whoever broke her heart would find no welcome in Sweet Valley.

So Todd and Enid fled, into the Los Angeles underground. With the help of a gang of renegade mercenaries led a cigar-smoking control freak, they forged new identities. They had left their families, their friends – their lives. They knew even their own parents would never forgive them for what they’d done to Elizabeth. No one would. Ever.

They were outcasts. Doomed by a love they couldn’t hide.

Well, they had to hide it, but they couldn’t deny it. They donned disguises and started new lives. L.A. became their home. They were happy. They had each other.

Then the dreams started coming.

Enid kept waking from a dream in which Elizabeth appeared before her, clad in white robe.

“Come home, Enid,” said the spectral figure in Elizabeth’s dulect tones. “Come home to Sweet Valley.”

She’d had the dream three times before telling Todd about it. He was shocked and amazed.

He’d been having the same dream.

“I don’t believe in magic, except the magic of our love,” said Todd. “Oh, and those crazy card tricks that Murdoch used to show us in the van. But I think these dreams are a sign. I think they’re telling us something.”

“We have to go home, Todd,” said Enid. “We have to return from here to Sweet Valley.”

The couple had packed their bags the next day. They were now staying in the poshest hotel in town. The years had been kind to Todd and Enid. Todd, under his new name, Kenny G, was a successful businessman. Enid also ran her own business, under the name Celine St. Claire. They could afford any luxury now. But they’d have given up their fancy hotel room with its gold-plated bath and duck-feather quilt in a second if they could just stay with their families.

But they couldn’t. Their horrific act of betrayal had put paid to that. Or so they thought. They didn’t know that Elizabeth had never told a soul about what she had seen in the Oracle office.

“That’s not Liz,” said Todd. “I’d know. I see her every night in my dreams, beseeching me not to betray her.”

“It must be Jessica!” Enid gasped. She looked at her handsome paramour. “Todd, I think I have to talk to her.”

Todd stared.

“Enid, you can’t…”

“Todd, I have to. I just have to.”

And with that, Celine St Claire marched across the parking lot to the limo into which Jessica Wakefield had just climbed.


Elizabeth had never felt so alive. She’d spent the entire morning on the internet, looking up old friends. She’d even talked to a few on the phone. It had been wonderful to talk to people like Olivia and even her old love Jeffrey again. She was sitting back in her seat for a moment’s happy rest when the phone rang.

“Elizabeth Wakefield!” she chirped.

“Liz? Hey, it’s me, Winston Egbert!”

“Winston!” cried Elizabeth. “It’s great to hear from you! How are things? I can’t believe it’s been so long.”

“Well, you kind of disappeared after graduation, Liz,” said Winston, and Elizabeth could hear the rueful smile in his voice. She bowed her head in acknowledgement of his truthful words. She had fled Sweet Valley, going to the small town where her new college was situated to work in a summer job at a hotel. Jessica, who heard that a famous movie producer had a holiday house in the area, had come along too. Apart from the odd single day, Liz hadn’t been at home since. Her family had, at her request, spent Christmas with her in her college dorm. Jessica hadn’t been pleased, but after the first year she had been living it up as a famous star, and for every Christmas after that the family had stayed in her luxurious New York apartment.

It had been too long since she’d seen Winston’s cheerful face.

“So how are you, Win?” she said. “How are things with you and Lila? I’m so sorry I missed your wedding.”

“That’s okay, Liz,” said the former class clown of Sweet Valley High. “And…yeah. Things are…things are good.”

Ever sensitive to the needs and feelings of others, Elizabeth noticed the hesitation. But she decided not to press it. If anything were wrong with Winston, she knew he’d tell her eventually. There was something almost magical about Elizabeth Wakefield that caused even strangers to confide their problems in her.

“I hear you’re working for her,”she said. “That must be exciting. I never saw you as a man of business.”

There was a long pause. Eventually, Winston spoke.

“Well, neither did I,” he said carefully, as if scared he would give something away. “But I didn’t call you to talk about business – I just found out that you’re planning a class reunion!”

“It’s true,” said Elizabeth. “I hope you’ll be there, Winston.”

“Not only will I be there,” said Winston, “but I’d like to offer my services as MC!”

Elizabeth gasped. Winston was the archetypical showman. He’d make a perfect host for the night.

“Oh Winston,” she cried. “I can’t wait to come home!”



Jessica Wakefield paused before closing the door of the limo. She usually ignored autograph hunters, but this was her home town. It was probably someone from school. She always liked to flaunt her fabulousness in front of old friends.

But she’d never seen this woman before. A willowy beauty with straight blonde hair stood before Jessica, stylishly clad in a batwing satin blouse and tan skirt. Still, Jessica had no time to admire the fashion sense of a stranger.

“Sorry,”she barked. “No autographs.”

“Jess,” said the woman, and now her voice sounded familiar. “It’s me. It’s Enid Rollins.”

Jessica gasped. Enid had certainly changed. In fact, she was almost unrecognisable. Even her nose was different.

Boring Enid has had a bit of work done, Jessica thought, amused.

Enid Rollins was nervous. Very nervous. Even though Jessica was a cruel and heartless she-devil, her one weak spot was her sister. Jessica may have exploited Liz at every opportunity, Enid mused, but she had also been genuinely distressed – or as near as Jessica ever came to that state – if Elizabeth was in serious trouble. Enid knew that Jessica would turn on her like a vicious python. But when?

“Oh, hi, Enid,” said Jessica. “Long time no see. Did you move away or something?”

“Yes,” Enid began, Her voice was shaking. What was Jessica’s devious game? When was she going to start shrieking like a banshee?

“Oh, right. Hey, have you been talking to Liz lately? I don’t know if you guys are still in touch.”

“Uh, no,” said Enid, bracing herself for the surely soon-to-fall axe.

“Well, she’s organizing a school reunion or something. I don’t know the details, but I know she’s going to put an ad in the Chronicle. So look at for it. Hey, I gotta go, but it was nice to see you.”

And with that, the most famous woman in America got into her limo and drove away.

Enid stood stunned for a moment. She was sure Jessica was playing a game with her, but her lack of malice had seemed totally sincere. Jessica wasn’t that good an actresss – anyone who had seen her films knew that. So that meant….

Enid turned and walked across to where Todd lurked outside their hotel.

“Todd,” she said. “Todd. She never told anyone. Liz never told anyone about us!”

Todd gasped.


“It’s true. Jess didn’t seem to know that there was any bad blood at all between me and Elizabeth. She seemed sincere. Todd, Liz never told anyone!”

Todd bowed his head.

“I didn’t deserve her,” he said softly.

“Neither of us did,” said Enid in agreement.

The glamorously dressed couple stood for a moment in silent contemplation of the girl whose life they had destroyed with their uncontrollable passion. The girl who had once meant all the world to them both.


Todd’s warm brown eyes grew moist as he remembered how Liz had made his life such a wonderful thing. She had stayed loyal when he went to snowy Vermont. She had taken him back when he returned.

Enid remembered how Elizabeth had stood by her when Enid’s crazy druggie past threatened to destroy her new life. And she wept.

“Todd,” she said in a choked voice. “We have to ask her forgiveness. We have to go to the reunion. We need to show Elizabeth how sorry we are.”

Todd nodded.

“You’re right, Enid,” said the burly man. “You’re right.”


Saturday night in the hottest venue in L.A.

The world’s hottest band on stage.

The Droids.

Lead singer Dana Larson took a swig from the bottle of Evian she was carrying as the band prepared to lanch into their latest hit, “The Right Girl.” Dana had always been a distinctive dresser, and she had lost none of her unique style over the years. For this special gig, she was wearing an oversized man’s striped shirt over a tight gold miniskirt. Eye-catching earrings made from guitar picks completed her outfit. Her bandmate Emily Meyer was wearing a velvet blouse and white satin pants, while Lynn Henry, the lanky honey-blonde who co-wrote a lot of the group’s songs, was wearing a blue silk jump-suit. The male contingent were wearing leather jackets, skinny ties and drainpipe jeans.

They looked cool.

Dana looked round at her bandmates and nodded, and the song began.

Someday you’ll find

The one you’re waiting for

Someone who’s kind

The girl who you’ll adore.

Maybe it’s crazy

But I think it’s true

The Right Girl

Is waiting for you…”

The crowd went wild. Dana, Lynne and Guy Chesney’s thoughtful, poetic lyrics had always been a huge part of the band’s appeal.

They finished the song, and as Dana acknowleged the crowd’s near-hysterical applause, she hear a faint ringing noise. It was her cell phone, tucked into the pocket of her shirt. Without thinking, she answered it.


“Hey, Dana? This is Elizabeth Wakefield.”

Dana nearly dropped her phone. Like everyone in Sweet Valley High, she had really liked the thoughtful Wakefield twin, and had been distraught when she disappeared ten years ago.

“Liz! How are you?”

“I’m fine, Dana. I just wanted to tell you about the class reunion I’m organising. Can you and the others in the band make it home in about two weeks?”

“You can count on it, Liz,” said Dana with a smile. “Hey guys!” she called out to the crowd. “The Droids are going to our school reunion! Go Sweet Valley!”

The band and their audience joined together in a hearty cheer.

Chapter Three

Cara Walker stared at the poster on the wall of the library foyer.


Cara read it again and again. Could it be true? Were all her old friends coming back to Sweet Valley? Even though she’d long lost touch with just about all of them, she hoped that they were. She was happy with Roger, of course she was – she didn’t even mind being a stepparent to Teddy, Roger’s obnoxious now teenage-son. But sometimes she longed to hang out with people of her own age. Maybe the reunion was just what she needed.

And maybe Jessica would forgive her.

Cara didn’t think that Jessica cared so much about her brother. It was more her sense of haughty pride. She had engineered the match between Steven and Cara, and she felt Cara’s rejection of her brother as a personal insult. She looked again at the poster, noting the date at the bottom. The reunion was only a couple of days away! Taking out pen and paper from her purse, Cara scribbled down Liz’s email address and the date of the reunion.

This was one party she wasn’t going to miss.


Elizabeth Wakefield took a deep breath as the plane touched down in Sweet Valley airport. Her sister had offered to send the Hershey Bar across to Dublin to collect her, but Elizabeth had refused the extravagant offer.

First class was fine by her.

And now, she was here. She was home. She was back in Sweet Valley, the scene of all her greatest joys – and greatest sorrow.

Todd and Enid…

She wondered would she see them. Would they still be together, flaunting their torturous love? Would they be married? Would they – would they have children?

She guessed she’d soon find out.

With a sigh, Elizabeth gathered her hand luggage and moved towards the back of the plane. A few minutes later, her feet touched sweet Valley tarmac. She was truly home.

Her parents were waiting to meet her. It was a joyous reunion. Ned and Alice had wondered what tragedy and driven their daughter away from the town she loved so much, but she had always refused to tell them, reassuring them, however, that it didn’t involve anything illegal or violent. No, the only wounds Elizabeth had suffered were on her heart. And her soul.

But ten years was a long time. And she realised just how long as the Wakefields drove through the quiet sunny streets. Things had changed in Sweet Valley. Not a lot, but enough to remind Elizabeth that everything in the world hadn’t just stopped the day her heart did.

The car soon pulled up at the cosy split-level ranch house that was the Wakefield home. Elizabeth’s heart soared as she got out the car, and for a few moments she forgot all about her secret sorrow. She was just glad to be home, with her family and –

“Hey, Prince Albert!”

The lovable labrador waddled over to her and rolled over at her feet. Strangely enough, he was only annoying when Jessica was around. Elizabeth dropped to her knees and rubbed the dog’s stomach. Then she looked up.

“Hey, Mom, where’s Jess? I thought she’d be here to greet me,” she said.

Her mother smiled.

“Go inside, dear,” she said.

The cosy sitting room of the Wakefield residence was dim when Elizabeth entered. The drapes were drawn across the large picture window. Liz was just reaching for the light switch when….


A horde of voices rang out, startling the jet-lagged Liz. There was Jessica, looking great in a hot-pink off the shoulder gown, accessoriesed with a luminous green chiffon scarf. She was beaming at her sister with a warmth that seemed actually human.

“Welcome home, Lizzie,” she said, wrapping her toned arms around her sister in an affectionate hug. “The gang’s all here!”

Well, almost.

There was Ken Matthews, once Sweet Valley High’s greatest football player, now a national football star. With him was his wife, Terri, who managed his fnacy successful team. There was the artsy Olivia Davidson, wearing her usual indian cotton print dress, a paintbrush stuck in her frizzy hair, a smile on her face. DeeDee Gordon, Bill Chase, Patty Ayala, Aaron Dallas – they were all there.

But two familiar faces were missing.

Todd and Enid. Of course.

In the joy of reunion, Elizabeth almost forgot her sorrows again. She was chatting to Olivia and sipping a glass of wine when she felt a tap on hershoulder. She looked around to see a handsome blonde young man wearing a buttondown shirt, chinos and deck shoes. Her favourite look. And once, her favourite boy.


Elizabeth’s face lit up at the sight of her old love. Once the two had been inseparable. They’d got together after Todd had moved to Vermont. But once Todd’s family returned to Sweet Valley, Elziabeth had tossed Jeffrey aside like a used candy bar wrapper.

But now it seemed like he was willing to forgive and forget.

“Liz, it’s great to see you,” he said with a warm smile. “It’s been so long. I can’t believe you haven’t been home.”

“I had a few things I needed to sort out, Jeffrey,” Elizabeth said.

“Well, I hope you’ve sorted them out,” siad Jeffrey kindly. “For your sake.”

Elizabeth sighed.

“You know, I’m not sure I have. But I figured the only way to do it was to come back here. And I’m so glad I did. It’s so good to see you again.”

“We had good times together, Liz,” said Jeffrey. “You broke my heart. But I forgive you.”

“Thankyou,” said Elizabeth sincerely. The stereo began to play some Pat Benetar.

“May I have this dance?” asked Jeffrey, his voice low and husky.

Elizabeth stared at him. She felt a strange feeling in her heart – as if a tiny chick were hatching out of an egg and stretching its fluffy wings and crying “chirp! Chirp!”

It was…..desire.

Elizabeth wakefield hadn’t felt like this since Todd. She’d gone on a couple of dates over the years, but really her heart and her loins still belonged to Todd. Not that she’d ever let him go near the latter, but that was just as well, she thought, when she thought of what he’d done to her heart. But now she felt the faint stirrings of lust. And they were stirring in the direction of Jeffrey French.

“I’d love to dance,” she said, her voice’s husky tones matching Jeffrey’s own.

“Okay then,” he said with a smile, and then he swept her off her feet.

The attractive blonde couple flew around their room, their movements in perfect harmony. Other couples stopped and stared at the graceful pair, who seemed to define the term “poetry in motion.”

Finally, the strains of ‘Love is Battlefield’ died away.

The crazy, beautiful dance was over. Breathless, Jeffrey and Elizabeth stared into each other’s eyes.

“Liz, I thought you were gone forever,” said Jeffrey, his eyes never leaving hers.

“I was,” said Elizabeth softly. “But now I’m back.”

In the car across the street from the Wakefield’s house, Todd Wilkins and his love Enid Rollins stared at the brightly lit window. The party was spilling out into the Wakefield’s garden, and the curtains had been opened to let more air into the sitting room. From their anonymous rental car, Todd and Enid could see the party in full swing. All their old friends were there. And the temptation to join them was huge.

“They’re playing Pat Benatar,” Enid whimpered.

“Be strong, Enid,” said Todd gently. “We’ll be among them soon. But not yet. It’s not fair.”

“I wonder… I wonder has Jess said anything to Liz about us being back?” said Enid timidly.

“I doubt it,” Todd scoffed. “Jess probably forgot about it the mintue she drove off in her limo. Look at her partying away…”

He gestured towards the window, but the words died on his lips as he saw what was going on in the Wakefield sitting room. There was a Wakefield twin, standing in the centre of the room, her arms around a familiar blonde young man. She was laughing, almost flirting – typical Jessica Wakefield behaviour.

Except this wasn’t Jessica Wakefield.

Jessica would never have worn the conservative pink cotton blouse, with its striped bow tie, and straight knee length yellow skirt.

Elizabeth would.

“Enid,” Todd gasped. “It’s her. It’s Liz. She’s back already.”

“But the reunion isn’t until next week!” Enid said, shocked.

“Looks like she arrived home early,” said Todd, grimly. “Enid, what are we doing?”

The couple had been driving past the Wakefield home every night, unable to stop looking at Elizabeth’s old home. Their guilt drew them there, but it also tormented them once they’d arrived. They would park across the street, gazing in mute agony at the split-level residence. Now, however, they’d seen more than they’d bargained for.

“Todd, is that who I think it is? Is that…”

“It’s Jeffrey,” said Todd, instantly recognising his old – vanquished – rival. Suddenly a memory came to him, of the moment when Elizabeth chose him over Jeffrey. He thought about how happy he had felt. He thought about how much he had loved her. A thrill of pain ran through him, a pain unconnected with his guilt.

I miss you, Liz, he thought. Maybe I always will.

He sniffed. So did Enid. Without another word, she started the car. Sniffing back their tears together, they drove off into the darkness.


“This is a great party, huh?” shrieked Jessica Wakefield into Bill Chase’s ear. His girlfriend Dee Dee Gordon glared at her. She hadn’t forgotten Jessica’s devious attempts to woo her beloved away from her back in high school. But Jessica wasn’t interested in Bill tonight. She was just on her way to answer the front door bell.

It was Lila and Winston. The two women greeted each other with their usual air-kisses. Winston gave Jessica a friendly wave and strolled into the sitting room. He was looking for Liz, but he soon found plenty of old friends, all of whom were delighted to see the irreverant joker who had made their schooldays so jovial. He soon got into an excited conversation with Roger Patman and then…

“Hi, Winston.”

He hadn’t heard that voice in so long. Not since she had seen his and Lila’s first passionate kiss. Not since she had run away in tears.


Winston’s first girlfriend now stood before him. She had barely changed in the ten years since he’d last seen her. Her back curls fell softly around her beautiful facce. She wore a tight red lurex dress and blue heels.

“Maria,” he said softly. “It’s so good to see you. It’s been so long…”

“I know Winston,” said Maria Santelli. “I know.”

“I’m…I know it’s ridiculous to say it now, but Maria, I’m sorry for what I’ve done.” Winston’s voice trembled with emotion. An emotion he had forgotten. His love for Maria.

Maria’s lovely face glowed. “Winston, I…”

But she was interrupted by Lila, who strode up to her husband with a proprietory air.

“Winnie, darling, there you are. And who is this?” The heiress turned to Maria and looked at her with disdain.

“It’s Maria, Lila,” said the girl softly. “I was in your class. You threw a party for me in your house when I was engaged to Michael Harris.”

Lila’s puffed lip curled.

“Ah yes,” she sneered. “You. And you used to go out with my Winston, did you not? Well, he could do better than you. And he did! He got me!”

Maria stared at the freakish young millionairess. Then she did something astonishing. She made a sound Lila Fowler hadn’t heard in many a year.

She laughed.

“Yes, Lila!” she cried. “And what a prize you are!”

Still giggling, she turned and went into the kitchen. Lila brought a hand up to her scupted features. What was that little slut talking about? Of course Lila was a prize! She was beautiful! More than that – she was magnificant! And it was she who had power over Winston. He had wanted to go to college, but she had thwarted his dreams. He had wanted to develop a career of his own – she’d stopped that too. Enslaved early on by her sexual powers, Winston was now trapped in Lila’s gaudy web. And nothing – including that little tart – was going to free him. Nothing!

“Come on, Winston!” she barked. “We’re going home!”

Clenching her bejewled hand into a fist, Lila stalked out into the night. It wasn’t until she was out in the car that she realised Winston wasn’t behind her….


Elizabeth’s head was whirling as she and Jeffrey sat in a secluded corner of the Wakefield’s garden. She had never dreamt, when this day began, that it would end with her falling in love. But it looked like it had, and she had.

In love again.

With Jeffrey French.

She could barely understand it herself. But she couldn’t deny it. She’d fallen in love. And it looked like Jeffrey felt the same way. He gazed at his old love with a tenderness that reminded Elizabeth of days gone by.

Maybe I should have stayed with him back then, she thought. If I had, I’d never have witnessed that horrible sight in the Oracle Office. And her mind raced, thinking of how different her life could have been.

Her feverish dreams of the past were interrupted by Jeffrey.

“Hey,” he said. “Penny for your thoughts?”

“I was just thinking,” she said softly. “Of how badly I treated you. And how wrong I was.”

Jeffrey smiled, and his face was full of love.

“Well, we’re together now,’ said the former Sweet Valley soccer star. “And I’m not going to let you go again.”

And he placed his lips on hers in a tender kiss.

Elizabeth responded passionately, her body pressing against his lean frame. Jeffrey’s arms wrapped around her, and his hands traced erotic patterns on her back. Elizabeth moaned softly.

Then she felt Jeffrey’s hands reach under her blouse, and edge up towards her bra strap. Shocked, she pulled away.

“I’m sorry, Jeffrey,” she said. “I just don’t think we’re ready to tkae our relationship to that level.”

Jeffrey nodded, his handsome tan face flushing with embarrassment.

“I’m sorry, Liz, I shouldn’t have pushed you so far,” he said apologetically.

“It’s okay,” said Elizabeth, gently. “Maybe we should go back inside.”

“I think you’re right,” said Jeffrey. “Come on, Liz, let’s go inside.”


Winston Egbert stood in the centre of the room, his face hot, his mind awhirl. What was he doing? Why hadn’t he followed out Lila when she commanded?

Had the worm turned? Had Winston finally rebelled? He barely knew himself. He just knew that he could smell something new in the air of that packed room.

The sweet smell of….freedom?


Maria Santelli was trying to talk to Patty Ayala, but her thoughts were elsewhere.

On Winston.

It had been so long since she had seen him. Since Prom Night. She and Winston had arrived together – but they left seperately, Maria alone, Winston with his new lover, Lila.

Winston had always been unlucky in love. Maria had been his first girlfriend. And when Lila turned on her considerable charms, Winston had let himself be tempted. Maria had discovered the pair in a passionate embrace by a post-prom campfire. She had fled, horrified, and avoided Winston for the rest of the summer. he had called her many times, begging for forgiveness, but Maria had refused. She was a dignified girl, and the public humiliation had hurt her badly. She wouldn’t fall for Winston again.

Soon after his last tearful phone call, she heard that he and Lila were going out. Shortly afterwards, they were wed. Maria had gone to college in a faraway town, where she now lived, and although she had been back to Sweet Valley to visit her family and other old friends, she had carefully avoided Winston.

It wasn’t hard to do that. Rumour had it that Lila kept her husband under her close guard, and it seemed that that was the case. No one ever saw Winston, although the increasingly odd looking Lila was sometimes seen at Sweet Valley’s fanciest restaurants and designer boutiques. Winston, however, was never out in public, although it appeared he had some sort of token job in Lila’s business. For severla years, Maria had been glad that her former love was leading what was obviously a bizarre and probably unpleasant life, but gradually she came to feel sorry for him.

And now she’d seen him again, her old feelings came flooding back.

She was remembering the night she and Winston had got together – ironically enough, she thought with a rueful smile, it had been in a party at Lila’s house – when a tap on her shoulder disturbed her thoughts.

“May I have this dance?” said a familiar voice. Maria’s heart soared.

“Winston!” she cried. “I thought you’d gone with Lila.”

“I couldn’t,” said the former class clown. “I couldn’t do it. Maria, I hate her! Our marriage is a loveless charade. She ensnared me with her charms at the beginning, and before I knew what was happening I’d given up my plans for college and got married to her! As time went on, I felt so demoralised I couldn’t even consider escaping from her. But now I’ve seen you again, I know I want to live. Whether you want me or not, Maria, I’m leaving Lila!”

With a whoop of joy, Maria embraced her old paramour, who swept her into his arms for a giddy dance. All eyes were on the handsome pair, whose skillful steps showed that Winston had grown more graceful over the years.

Suddenly the music stopped, and a cold wind rushed through the room.

All eyes turned to see the terrifying figure of an enraged Lila Fowler standing in the doorway, the plug of the stereo clutched in her glittering hands.

“What is the meaning of this?” she shrieked, and all who heard her voice shuddered. “Winston! Why do you…you dance with this floozy? Are you some sort of performing monkey?” Her voice became taunting. “Dance, monkey, dance! Where’s your waistcoat and tiny hat?”

Her already grotesque face contorted still further into a hideous mask of rage, Lila advanced towards the cowering couple.

“Winston,” she growled, in a voice that seemed to belong to some demonic monster, “you’re coming home with me. NOW!”

Winston quailed before this vile creature, but when he spoke his voice was firm.

“No, Lila,” he said. “I’m not.”

Lila Fowler’s already enormous eyes widened still further at her husband’s defiant words.

“Winston! What is the meaning of this insolence?” she cried, her voice a hideous shriek. “Come with me at once!”

And the heiress stamped a Jimmy Choo-clad foot.

Winston quailed before this tantrum, well aware that his horrible wife was only warming up. The worst was yet to come. But he stood firm. The worm had turned, and he wasn’t turning back.

“No, Lila, I won’t,” he said quietly, his voice nevertheless full of determination. “You can’t boss me around anymore.”

All eyes turned to Lila. For a moment she was silence. Then she spoke, and when she did so her voice was ominously soft.

“Oh, okay, Winston,” she said gently. “I’m sorry. I’ve been too hard on you. I expected you to leave a party with your wife and not stay flirting with some townie bitch you used you go out with ten years ago.” Now Lila’s voice was rising. “I expected you to keep your marriage vows! To love, honour – and obey!”

Lila’s high-pitched, icy tones struck terror into the partygoers’ hearts. Somewhere in the back of the room, a girl started crying.

The Fowler heiress strode towards her spouse, her spindly legs moving swiftly. She reached out a diamond-encrusted hand, and grabbed Winston’s collar. With one fluid movement, she held her struggling husband up in the air.

“Do not defy me!” she bellowed. And then she laughed.

It was a laugh from hell’s lowest depths. The room stared at the horrible scene, wanting to help Winston, but finding themselves unable to move. Finally, Elizabeth Wakefield found her voice.

“Lila, let him –“

“Silence!” shrieked Lila, turning her grotesque features towards her best friend’s sister.

Just then the struggling Winston managed to free himself, and dropped gasping to the floor. He lay there for a second, catching his breath, and Lila’s attention returned to her husband.

“Now,” she said triumphantly. “Are you ready to go home?”

Winston turned to her, and slowly rose to his feet.

“Never!” he gasped. “Never! Do you hear me Lila? I’m not putting up with your crap anymore!”

It was if an evil spell had been lifted. A murmur of agreement ran around the room, and then Elizabeth Wakefield began to clap heartily. The rest of the room joined in, and soon the rafters rang with their cheers of support.

Lila looked around, stunned. No one had ever resisted her manic rages before. But she knew, with the instinct of a predatory beast, that she had lost this battle. With one last inarticulate cry of thwarted rage, she feld to her car, which sped off into the night.

Back in the Wakefield sitting room, Winston stood dazed. Had he finally done it? Had he finally defied Lila?

Had he finally…left her?

He thought he had.

Then he felt Maria’s loving arms reach around him, and he heard her tender voice in his ear.

“Oh Winston,” she said, turning him to face her glowing smile. “I love you.”

“I love you too, Maria,” he said. “I think I always did.”

“Oh Winston, I…” Maria began, but her words were lost in a sweet and tender kiss.


Jessica Wakefield didn’t know what to do. On the one hand, she had truly thrown a party to remember! No one would ever forget the dramatic scene which had just taken place in the sitting room of the split level ranch house. On the other hand, her best friend had just gone crazy and then been dumped by her husband. In some part of Jessica’s icy heart, she knew she should feel bad for her friend.

But she just couldn’t. The party was buzzing!

Smiling broadly, Jessica danced out through the sitting room, meeting and greeting old friends. Her eye was caught by a dashing figure standing by the sterero. His classy cotton shirt, the pastel sweater flung carelessly over his shoulders, the perfectly pressed chinos, the slightly bouffant dark hair – they all spelled “SEXY” to Jessica Wakefield.

She didn’t recognise this mystery hunk, but she decided it was time she got to know him better. Shaking her hips, she strutted across the room on her sky high heels. No one walked more sexily than Jessica Wakefield. She reached the mystery hunk and stretched out a hand to tap his shoulder.

“Hello,” she said, in her huskiest voice. “Have we met?”

The hunk turned around, revealing an all too familiar visage.

It was Bruce Patman.

Jessica recoiled.

Bruce had once been the object of Jessica’s passion. She had pursued her quarry ruthlessly, treading on other people’s feelings – especially Winston’s – in the process. But after a tempestuous romance, Jessica had realised that Bruce wanted a girlfriend who acted like a willing slave.

And Jessica Wakefield was no man’s slave.

But she realised now that the sexual chemistry between them was still there. She wondered whether the change wrought in Bruce by his relationship with Regina Morrow had left any permanent marks on his tough heart.

“We know each other, Jess,” said Bruce with an easy laugh. “Although we never knew each other as well as I, for one, would have liked.”

Jessica paused for a second. She knew that whatever she said now could have a big effect on her life – at least for one night.

“Maybe it’s time we got to know each other all over again, Bruce baby,” she breathed.

Bruce smiled.

“Oh Jess. I could never resist you.” He took his car keys from his pocket. “And I remember the way to Miller’s Point….”