Gemini Night: Chapter 3

Gemini Night is the third book in the Star Crossed series by Bonnie Hearn Hill.  It was released October 18, 2010 by Running Press Kids.  This is the final installment on the Figment blog.

Background: Life is very average for Logan McRae, who tries her best to juggle the chaos of friends, guys, parents, and school.  That all changes the day she discovers a long hidden, dust covered book called Fearless Astrology in her attic and learns that the answers are in the stars… all that she has to do is decipher them.  Follow Logan’s STAR CROSSED adventures in ARIES RISING, TAURUS EYES and now GEMINI NIGHT as she uses her newfound knowledge of astrological signs and their influence on personalities and events to help her solve mysteries, bring her closer to her dream of becoming a writer and win at love.


CHAPTER 3

NOTHING ABOUT THE ZODIAC IS CLEAR-CUT. CARDINAL SIGNS ARE THOUGHT OF AS LEADERS, FOR INSTANCE, YET SOMETIMES THEY ARE SIDETRACKED BY A NEED FOR ATTENTION. ALTHOUGH FIXED SIGNS CAN BE STABLE, THEY CAN FREQUENTLY GET STUCK BY REFUSING TO LET GO OF THE SAME-OLD SAME-OLD. MUTABLE SIGNS POSSESS FLEXIBILITY, BUT TOO MUCH FLEXIBILITY CAN LEAVE YOU TIED IN KNOTS. REMEMBER THAT EACH SIGN HAS A POSITIVE AND A NEGATIVE SIDE. BEING AWARE OF BOTH WILL BETTER PREPARE YOU FOR SUCCESS.

—Fearless Astrology

Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable: Which are you?

CARDINAL: Aries, Libra, Cancer, Capricorn

FIXED: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius

MUTABLE: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces

I already knew I was a Fixed sign, and, yes, I was well aware that I had to get unstuck in order to have a chance at a column with CRUSH. Even the thought of it sent terror through me. And hope.

At least I really did know something about astrology now. When I first found the book, I was clueless about how to figure out a chart. Now I knew that with only the birth date, I could find out everything except a person’s Rising sign. Fortunately, Stacy had given me that too. Arianna was a double Gemini, with both her Sun and Rising in that sign of communication. Her Moon was in Aries, the Ram, as was her Mars. No wonder she went after what she wanted with little regard for anyone else. Her Venus was in Pisces, the sign of the dreamer who believed in Prince Charming and the fairy-tale ending. That was a surprise.

One thing I did well was focus on a task, so that’s what I forced myself to do, starting with some online research on Arianna. I didn’t have to go past her YUTalk page. Right there, it proclaimed:

Arianna Woods

Motto: Don’t even try it.

Hair: Fake

Eyes: Hazel

Sun Sign: Gemini

Music: Everything

Goal: Race the Death Machine all the way to hell

Now, that was an uplifting thought. It was followed by some pretty hot stuff pertaining to guys. A Mutable sign for sure, with some Cardinal Aries thrown in there. Would it help me or hurt me to suggest that Stacy try to get her to change the bio before Arianna showed up as the face of CRUSH’s first issue?

But at least I had figured out the mystery chart on my first try. Arianna was a Gemini, and probably a pretty messed-up one. Although she was only a couple of years older than I, the information on her site failed to hide how disturbed she looked beneath the makeup and the multicolored hair extensions. What was that race the death machine stuff all about? Was it part of the act, or did she mean it? And it was up to me to predict what would happen to her in the month ahead. I would attempt that as soon as I checked out the ephemeris and found out a little more.

EPHEMERIS

A Latin word that comes from the Greek “ephémeros, -on,” meaning daily. An almanac listing the positions of the planets and other data for any given time period covering six thousand years. A tool used by astrologers in forecasting. As with any tool, its effectiveness is based, in part, upon the skill of the user.

I sent Jeremy a text late Friday night after I had driven home.

call when u can

I need to talk

And I love u

Since he was a musician, he might know something about Arianna. Besides, he’d be happy that I’d found such an amazing opportunity, as Jaffa put it.

Right. I couldn’t lie about it to myself. It wasn’t Arianna or the internship. It wasn’t even the possibility of a column. It was loneliness. I needed to hear Jeremy’s voice, needed to hear him say he loved me.

By Monday, he still hadn’t called. Nor had he replied to my text. That was a first.

I tried to drive the doubts from my mind by singing louder than I could think in the shower. Channeled Beyoncé. Channeled Gwen Stefani. Even channeled Arianna Woods. “Love me just a little bit, a little bit, a little . . .” I showered in words, swam in them.

The steam didn’t do much for my out-of-control curls. My hair looked as if it belonged in a cartoon.

How could a guy like Jeremy fall for someone with a flat chest, a nonexistent butt, and hair like mine? It wasn’t the thought I wanted to think as I stared into the bathroom mirror. I closed my eyes and pictured the beach in Monterey, the two of us that last day at the airport.

Everything in life is action or distraction.

I could hear Henry Jaffa, could see that strange little smile. Beating myself up in the mirror was most definitely distraction. And so was daydreaming about Jeremy. I needed to focus today.

That meant wearing the new tank and jacket my mom bought the weekend of the GDA (Great Divorce Announcement). And the boots again. Yes, definitely the boots. I pulled my hair up in back with a little braid on the side, and I was ready to go.

When they picked me up for school that Monday morning, Chili and Paige said I looked hot. I realized that it was the first time in a long time that I had heard that from them. Maybe that’s because it was the first time in a long time that I had cared about how I looked at school. I had really hoped that Jeremy would show up and take me away at any moment. Now that he wasn’t answering my text, I could somehow see myself more clearly again. And I wanted to like what I saw. Today—my first Monday back from San Francisco—I did. Kind of, and for an Aquarius, kind of was just fine.

In journalism class, Snider asked us to work in groups of three to brainstorm story ideas. I started for a table but noticed that Chili was walking slower than usual. Sol, our editor, caught up with us.

“Like your hair,” he whispered.

Not what I wanted to hear. Not from him. He was a tall, soft-spoken Cancer who had moved with his family from Texas at the end of my sophomore year. Although I liked him, he was coming on a little too strong, especially for such an easygoing guy.

“Thanks.”

I glanced away from him and slid onto a chair.

“Mind if I join you?” He looked around at us as if not certain how to proceed.

“You’re the editor.” I didn’t mean to make it sound harsh, but it came out that way. “I mean sure,” I said.

“Have a seat,” Chili told him, in that hyperfake way she used when she was up to something.

I wasn’t certain what was going on, but I didn’t like it. I especially didn’t like Sol pulling up a chair next to me and crowding my personal space.

“We need to come up with a great feature story. Any ideas?” He gazed at me with that kind of cute lopsided smile, and I felt even more uncomfortable.

“People,” I said. “Kids always like reading about other kids.”

“We’ve got to do better than that.”

Chili and I exchanged glances.

“Sol, are you worried?” Chili asked. “Is it because the newspaper won all of those awards when Geneva was editor? Is the pressure on for you to come up with something extra outstanding?”

Go for it, Air sign. Speak first, think later.

“Well, sure, that’s part of it. But I’d also like to produce a newspaper that isn’t cookie-cutter high school, you know? Too bad we couldn’t have kept your astrology column, Logan.” He gave me that look again.

“Snider made it pretty clear that she doesn’t want to reinstate it.”

“I know that, but maybe we can come up with another column for you. After working with Henry Jaffa, you deserve it.”

I didn’t want Sol’s column, and I definitely didn’t want to owe him for any favors. “I’m going to be pretty busy with CRUSH,” I said.

“She might get a column there,” Chili said.

“What kind of column?”

I shot her a look, but all I got in return was that Gemini little-kid shrug.

“Well, I’m not really sure exactly.”

“That’s it.” Chili said. “That’s what she needs to write about, Sol, her internship, all of the famous people she’s going to meet at the magazine, all the parties.” She flashed him a confident smile. “She’s good friends with Henry Jaffa. He calls her at home. And she even knows Arianna Woods, kind of.”

“You know Arianna?” Sol asked.

“No, I don’t. I’ve studied her sign a little. That’s all Chili meant. She is going to be on the first CRUSH cover.”

“What sign is she? And is she really as clueless as she pretends to be?” Great. Now he thought I was the gossip queen of Terra Bella Beach.

“I have no idea.” As much as I needed to diffuse this conversation, I still wanted him to know that I wasn’t some phony. “She is a Gemini, a Mutable Air sign. Flexible communicator, okay?”

“What’s her Moon?” Chili chimed in. True to the information-junkie aspect of her sign, she would soon be discussing Arianna’s Mars and Venus.

“Aries.”

“What does that mean?” he asked. “My dad’s an Aries. What are you?”

No mistaking it. Sol was into me. And he was cute and nice. But he was not Jeremy, not even close. I ignored the question.

“An Aries Sun like your dad’s is different from an Aries Moon,” I told him. “And Arianna already has a Gemini Sun. Either way, it means fire and drive. The combination could make her even more out there than she already is.”

“What do you think is going to happen to her?” he asked. “Is she totally over?”

“I might be able to figure it out with the ephemeris.” Okay, I was showing off a little but I couldn’t help myself. “That’s what I’m going to do in order to get the column with CRUSH, try to figure out what issues she might have.”

“The ephemeris is a way of forecasting,” Chili told Sol before he could ask. “Logan can access it on her computer.” She grinned at me as if to say: Please just like this guy, will you?

I shook my head. “I said I was going to try to figure it out. I didn’t say I could do it.”

“Can you forecast anything for Cancer?” he asked.

“Maybe.” I reached for my phone, took it out, and hid it inside my binder.

A few taps on the keypad and I was online. A few more, and the ephemeris came up. Chili scrambled into the chair beside me. I held the phone lower and motioned to Sol. “Check it out.”

He slid his seat even closer to me. “What do all of those numbers and symbols mean?”

“The symbols at the top are called glyphs. Look, that’s Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars. The days are listed on the side.”

Chili beamed at him. “Didn’t I tell you she was smart?”

So that was it. Chili had said something to get Sol interested in me. How humiliating.

He nodded and moved closer to me. I pushed back my chair.

“What are you doing over here?” Snider’s voice was Capricorn cold. How long had she been watching us?

“We’re just discussing story ideas.” I pulled the phone closer to me.

“I warned you, Logan,” she said, looking at my phone. “How could you bring this stuff into my classroom?”

“I was just explaining something to Sol and Chili,” I said. “I didn’t mean to bring anything in here.”

“She’s going to work with Arianna Woods,” Sol said. “We were just trying to find out what was going to happen next with her.”

“On that?” Snider glared at my phone.

“Yes,” I said, unable to lie about the obvious. “I’m . . .”

“Turn it off.”

“That’s what I’m doing.” I reached to press the screen into darkness, and then I got a good look at the ephemeris. The prediction for Arianna Woods. The Aries Moon was squaring Scorpio.

“Why is this taking so long?” Snider demanded. “What are you looking at, Logan?”

“Nothing,” I said. But still I tried to make sense of what I was seeing. The Aries Moon would square Scorpio in Mercury, another Fixed sign, for two-and-one-half days at the end of October. I tried to remember what I had read in Fearless about Fixed squares. Secrets. Intense conflict. Frequently spells disaster.

“What is it?” Snider asked.

“Nothing,” I said. “I’m sorry.” My voice was trembling, because if what I saw was correct, Arianna Woods might actually be in danger.

NOTES TO SELF

So, this Aquarius is trying to save the world again, but I can’t help it. I’m a Fixed sign too, which makes me even more determined to find out the truth. Besides, maybe saving Arianna will keep me from obsessing about Jeremy.

Snider made me stay after class and reminded me—as if I need a reminder—that she could make my internship disappear as easily as she made it happen. Sol, of course, had tried to take the blame, which only made me feel worse. When I confronted Chili later, she denied trying to set me up with him, her lie as blatant as her grin.

A Snider assignment tonight, make that a punishment. I’m supposed to write a first-person account of how it feels to be back here after Monterey. It’s not even for the paper, just one of those finding-your-voice exercises she likes so much. “Define home,” she said. I’ll try to give her what she wants. But here’s what I really have to do. Find out everything I can about Arianna Woods, and not just to get the column now. I need to try to stop whatever “intense conflict,” maybe even disaster, that is heading her way. And I have to do it fast.

BEACH TOWN

By Logan McRae

Terra Bella Beach is like any other small town, except that it backs up next to the ocean. Somehow its lack of sophistication makes it cooler, more relaxed. Younger. Not that there aren’t a lot of older people here, because there are, but they are different old. Take Manny, the retired dairy farmer, who runs the ice cream shop on the pier. Or Joyce, the seventy-something lady who wears glitter in her dyed red hair. She says she was once on Broadway. Now, as she walks along the beach with her cane, she serenades anyone within hearing distance with her rendition of “Hello, Dolly!” and “What a Wonderful World.”

Going to school here means learning the language of the beach. Our favorite words are hella and dude, and we use them so often that I bet we’ll wear them out before another year passes. The language is part of being in the beach town club, though. It keeps us connected, most of the time, at least. Here’s a quick guide.

Freakin’ “That’s freakin’ disgusting.”

Ridiculous “That’s absolutely ridiculous.” Or ridic, if the goal is to convey even more sarcasm.

Hella “He’s hella hot!” Hella’s an adjective that makes any noun or adjective sound better.

Like “It’s like, something we do all the time.” My dad says they used this word in his day, so maybe it’s one of those terms like “cool,” that like never gets old.

Dude “Dude, what the hell is going on!?”

So much for the language. Except for some personal issues, I’m glad to be back here. The place has a rhythm to it, a sound that is partially the tide crashing in and rolling out and partially the cries of the gulls. It looks, smells, and sounds like home. I am glad it’s my home.

How dishonest is this? But at least I didn’t mention anything about astrology.

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