Best Friends for Never

A Clique Novel


By Lisi Harrison

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In the second book starring Westchester County’s most privileged middle schoolers, the Clique declares Massie a hero for hosting the first boy/girl Halloween party of 8th grade. Massie’s already hired Landon Dorsey, the hottest party planner in the 9-1-4 area code, but her parents insist she has to invite the entire class. Unfortunately that means everyone. Layne is bummed that the boys will be there — she IMs Claire that’s so “DESPR8” — as Claire wonders if maybe a boyfriend will make her happy.Meanwhile, Massie and the Clique are fighting over who gets to invite Derek Herrington. Dylan thought it was obvious that she was the one who danced all night with Derek at the OCD benefit last month, but says “Whatevs” when Kristen gets all weird about it. Fine, she can have him. He was a terrible dancer anyway and there will be tons of guys to choose from at the party….


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Table of Contents

A Sneak Peek of Revenge of the Wannabes

A Sneak Peek of Pretenders

Copyright Page

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7:45 PM

October 23rd

Massie Block hated herself for looking so beautiful. She angled a silver soup spoon toward her face and quickly glanced at her reflection. The new caramel-colored highlights in her dark hair brought out the amber flecks in her eyes and made them sparkle, just like her stylist, Jakkob, had promised. She was debuting a brown suede miniskirt that made her butt look even perkier than usual, and her arms and legs were lightly dusted with gold shimmer powder. Massie dropped the spoon and pushed it aside. She couldn’t believe she was wasting this redcarpet outfit on her father’s birthday dinner, especially since they were spending it at home with the Lyonses.

"Happy biiirthday, dear William, happy birthday to youuuuuu." The two families finished their song with a round of light applause. William’s face turned purple as he struggled to blow out all forty candles at once, and Massie couldn’t help giggling. It was the first time she had smiled all night.

They were seated around an elegant oak table in the Blocks’ dining room, unable to fully see one another because of the elaborate centerpieces that overflowed with seasonal fruits and flowers. The teardrop-shaped bulbs on the crystal chandelier had been dimmed. The soft warm glow from the red candles was the room’s main source of light.

Massie had been forced to sit between the two Lyons kids thanks to her mother’s need to micromanage. On her left, Claire was shoveling a massive piece of sugary cake into her mouth as if Cosmo suddenly declared "fat" was the new "thin." Massie turned away. To her right was Todd, Claire’s ten-year-old brother. Massie watched in disgust as he reached his icing-covered fingers over her plate to grab the pitcher of grape juice.

"Eew." Massie said under her breath.

She folded her thin arms tightly across her chest and shot her mother a sarcastic thanks-a-lot look. Kendra smiled back innocently. Massie rolled her eyes. But before her pupils could finish their journey, she was hit with a wave of grape juice that soaked the front of her skirt.

"Ehmagod!" Massie yelled. She pushed away from the table and jumped from her chair.

"Sorry." Todd shrugged his shoulders. "It was an accident."

He was fighting a smile and Massie knew he was lying.

"I swear, it’s like you were raised by a pack of unbelievably dumb wolves," she said, dabbing her skirt with a white cloth napkin.

"Massie," Kendra snapped. She looked at Judi Lyons and shook her head apologetically.

Massie blushed. She realized her comment was more insulting to Todd’s parents than to Todd but was too upset to apologize. If anyone should be saying "sorry," it was them. Ever since Labor Day, when the Lyons family left Orlando and moved into the Blocks’ guesthouse, Massie’s life had pretty much sucked. For the last two months Claire had been forcing herself on Massie. She crashed Massie’s carpool, followed her around at school, and even tried to steal Massie’s best friends. Lately Todd had been fighting for her attention too. The entire family was cramping her style and Massie was desperate to shake them. She hated that her dad chose to be "old college buddies" with Jay Lyons. Why couldn’t he have picked Calvin Klein?

Todd grabbed a napkin and started rubbing Massie’s skirt as if he was buffing the hood of a sports car.

"Lemme help you."

"Uchhh. Stay away from me, perv." Massie slapped his arm.

Massie saw her mother slide the diamond pendant back and forth on the platinum chain around her neck and shoot her husband a stern do-something look from across the table.

"Sweetie, relax," William said to his daughter. "Todd is only trying to help." His voice was firm and fatherly. "I’ll buy you another skirt."

"But he did it on purpose," Massie said. "I saw him tilt the pitcher on me."

Kendra lifted the dainty china bell beside her dinner plate and shook it until Inez, the Blocks’ live-in housekeeper, burst through the swinging door.

"Yes, Mrs. Block?" Inez smoothed the apron on her uniform, then cupped her hand around the tight gray bun on the back of her head. She liked everything in its proper place.

Kendra sighed and directed her gaze toward Massie.

Inez took one look at the stain and darted back into the kitchen. She returned with a bottle of seltzer water and a sponge. Massie lifted her arms out to her sides and Inez started scrubbing as hard and fast as her bony arms would allow.

"Todd, did you do that on purpose?" Judi Lyons asked her son. She popped a chocolate-covered strawberry into her tiny mouth and did her best to chew it with her mouth closed.

"Of course he did," Massie screeched. "He’s been staring at me with his big wet cow eyes ever since we sat down."

"Son, it looks like you’re about as charming as your old man." Jay Lyons smacked his big belly and let out a hearty chuckle.

Todd kissed his fingertips and winked. Everyone laughed except Massie.

"Congratulations, Todd. You finally got me to notice you," Massie hissed. "What are you going to do tomorrow when I forget about you again? Blowtorch my bedroom?"

Claire took the napkin off her lap and threw it on her plate.

"Well, at least it’s just an outfit, right?" Claire said. "It’s not like you were hurt or anything."

"It’s not 'just an outfit,' Kuh-laiiire." Massie pinched her skirt. "This is suede."

"Oh," Claire said. Then she chuckled to herself.

"What?" Massie snapped.

"I was just thinking how funny it is that, you know, clothes are sooo important to you. That’s all."

"Actually, Claire, I find it 'funny' just how UN-important clothes are to you. You’ve worn that poo-colored turtleneck three days this week. And for some reason, you think those thick cords are for girls, when they’re clearly for gangly dorks." Massie pointed to Todd. "You know, like your brother."

Massie moved away from Inez when she noticed how hard the woman was scrubbing. Chunks of yellow sponge had come off on her skirt. Massie was heartbroken. It was the most flattering skirt she had, and now it was destined to become a pillow for her black pug, Bean. She looked directly at Claire as if all of this was her fault.

"Hint, Claire. Next time you order your entire wardrobe from the J. Crew catalog, flip past the men’s section," Massie said. "The women’s clothes are always in the back."

"How would you know?" Claire said to her cords. "I thought you were waaay too fashionable to shop from a cat-a-log." She said "catalog" the same way she’d say "snot sandwich."

"Hey, whaddaya say we all take a trip to the mall and buy you a new skirt? It’ll be fun!" Judi Lyons clapped her pudgy hands and smiled as if she had just announced they were going to start celebrating Christmas five times a year.

Massie chugged her Pellegrino so she wouldn’t have to respond to the offer. She couldn’t imagine anything worse than having to wear something Judi Lyons picked out. The entire family dressed like tourists—oversized T-shirts, light wash denim, and sensible shoes.

"At least my entire life doesn’t revolve around what people think of my outfits." Claire reached for the bobby pin that kept her overgrown bangs out of her eyes and slid it out of her blond hair. She gathered the pieces of hair that hung around her face and repinned them on the sides of her head.

"Hey, I thought we were supposed to be celebrating," Jay Lyons said. "Last time I checked, this was a birthday party." He pinched a piece of yellow cake off his plate and held it under the table for Bean.

Massie watched with satisfaction as her fit and trim puppy turned her tiny black nose up at the offer. She patted her thigh and Bean ran to her.

"Daddy, I didn’t mean to ruin your party," Massie said to William. "It’s just that I take pride in the way I look." She reached down and straightened the drooping turquoise feather boa around Bean’s neck. "You taught me that, remember?"

"Of course I remember, honey," William said. "And you always look perfect to me."

"No thanks to him," Massie said, glaring at Todd.

Todd put his head in his hands and slowly rocked back and forth as if he was full of misery and regret. Massie knew he was faking, but Claire obviously had no clue.

"Massie, there is a difference between pride and obsession," Claire said. She put her arm around Todd’s shoulders and continued. "Once you start screaming at ten-year-olds over a skirt, it’s an obsession." Claire’s hand trembled as she reached for her glass of soda.

The room was silent.

"Claire has a point, sweetie," Kendra said. She ran her fingers through her silky brown bob. "You haven’t walked through the front door without a shopping bag since you were nine."

"That’s not true." Massie put her hands on her hips and stood tall.

"It is," Claire said. "In the two months I’ve been here, you’ve gone shopping in New York City four times. And what about all of the after-school trips to the Westchester Mall?"

"Clothes are a necessity," Massie said. "I can’t walk around naked, can I?"

"Says who?" Todd said with a devilish grin. "I think you can."

"Todd!" Judi snapped.

"He’s just playing, dear," Jay said. "Aren’t you, son?"

"No," Todd said. He winked at his father, who chuckled and shook his head.

Massie looked at Todd and rolled her eyes.

"You’re a shopoholic," Claire said. "I bet you can’t go an entire month without buying new clothes."

"Oh yeah? Well, you’re a repeat offender. I bet you couldn’t go an entire month without wearing the same outfit twice," Massie said. "Keds included."

"Massie!" Kendra and William exclaimed at the same time.

"Okay." Claire rose from her seat and stood to face Massie. "The first one to fold has to wear the other person’s clothes to school for a week."

Massie’s eyes widened with horror at the thought of having to wear high-waisted Gap jeans and sneakers to school.

"No way," Massie said. "You’d be lucky to wear my clothes. That’s not a punishment—it’s a reward. It’s got to be something bad." Massie twirled the charm bracelet on her wrist while she thought. "I know, the loser has to wear one of my old snowsuits to class for a week. That includes leggings, goggles, ski boots, gloves, and a hat."

"Massie, you’re being ridiculous," Kendra said.

Massie kept her focus on Claire.

"Fine," Claire agreed. She extended her arm and Massie grabbed Claire’s hand. They shook over and over again, because neither one wanted to be the first to bow out and let go.

"This is great, Claire, thank you," William said with a playful smile. "You just saved me a ton of money."

The parents chuckled. But Claire and Massie’s expressions didn’t change. Their mouths were tightly pursed and both had a look of determination in their eyes.

Massie finally tore her hand away to answer her ringing cell phone. She lifted it out of the Louis Vuitton monogrammed case that was clipped to the belt on her skirt and walked out of the room. Bean followed.

"Hello?" Massie said. She was pacing around the cream-colored rug in the living room.

"Hey, it’s Alicia. I have news that’s worth at least ten gossip points."

Massie felt her heart speed up like it always did when she was about to hear gossip. She knew Alicia Rivera wasn’t the type to ask for ten points unless she really deserved them. The Spanish beauty was a gossip expert and knew better than anyone that a decent piece usually earned about five points, max. This had to be big.

"Talk to me," Massie said. She sat down in the white wing chair beside the fireplace.

"I was in my golf class after school, right?"

"Right." Massie slipped out of the chair and started pacing again.

"And while we were stretching …"

"Yeah? Yeah? What?" Now she was bouncing on her toes.

"I heard Becca Wilder tell Liz Goldman that she thinks you are on your way out."

"Out?" Massie barked at her reflection in the mirror over the mantel. "What do you mean, out?"

"Becca thinks that you’re slipping and that you don’t seem as in charge as you did last year."

"What did Liz say?"

"Liz agreed," Alicia said. "But that’s nothing new. Liz always agrees with Becca. Anyway, they came up with the idea to throw an amazing boy-girl Halloween party so everyone would be talking about them and not you for a change. They even called it a Halloweenie party."

Massie was stunned. Her body felt frozen solid and burning hot at the same time. Her head was spinning.

Am I slipping? Are people starting to look at me as a popularity has-been? Why didn’t I pick up on this sooner? Are Becca and Liz the only ones who think that, or is the whole grade over me? Why didn’t I think of the boy-girl party? It should have been my idea. I always think of everything first!

"This can’t be happening," Massie heard herself say. She had meant to think it, but like everything these days, it hadn’t worked out the way she had planned.

"If you want, I can have my dad’s bodyguard scare the idea out of her," Alicia said with a soft giggle.

"No thanks, I’ll do it myself," Massie said. "I’ll show Becca and Liz and the rest of the grade that I’m not slipping. I gotta go." She was about to hang up when she realized Alicia was still on the line.

"Wait," Alicia asked. "What about the ten points?"

"This isn’t about points, Alicia," Massie said. "It’s about pride." And she snapped her phone shut.

Massie was about to walk back into the dining room but stopped when she heard her name. She crouched down behind the French doors so no one would see her and held her breath, trying not to miss a single word.

"I honestly don’t know what it is with Massie and Claire," Judi said. "I thought they would be the best of friends by now."

Massie peered around the door to see Claire’s reaction. But her seat was empty. She must have slipped out while Massie was on the phone.

"I agree with Judi," Kendra added. "I am so surprised."

"You don’t look it," William said.

Kendra shrugged. "Botox."

"Just because they live on the same property doesn’t mean they have to be joined at the hip," Jay said. "Maybe they need a little more time to adjust to each other. You know, like a couple of territorial house cats."

"Hissing cats would be a welcome change around here," Kendra said. She moved a half-eaten strawberry around her plate with a small silver dessert fork. "I’ve tried everything to bring them together. I am fresh out of ideas." She pushed her plate off to the side, moving the deep red herringbone place mat with it so the plate wouldn’t scratch the glossy oak table.

Massie stood up quietly, holding the dangling charms on her bracelet so they wouldn’t clang. She scooped up Bean and tiptoed up the stairs to her bedroom. She had a deliciously devious idea.

But before she did anything, Massie plopped down on her purple down-filled duvet and turned on her PalmPilot. Like other great historical figures, she had to sum up the latest events so future generations would have a record of her life.

Shoporexic Shopoholic
Halloweenie party Chic-or-treating
Claire Becca Wilder



8:22 PM

October 23rd

Claire was in her bedroom, sitting at the dark mahogany secretary by her window. The antique desk came with the room, along with the rest of the dusty old furniture that had once belonged to Massie’s grandmother.

"Okay, I know this is going to sound creepy," Claire said into the phone. "But my brother has a crush on Massie." She was talking to Layne Abeley, her first and only friend in Westchester.

"Isn’t she a little old for him?" Layne asked.

"Not if he’s looking for a babysitter."

Claire kicked off her white platform Keds and propped her legs up on the desk beside her unfinished fashion design homework. Even though FD was a required class at Octavian Country Day School, she had a hard time taking it seriously. How would an education in pattern making, sketching, sewing, and draping (whatever that was) possibly help her become a famous photographer? Her old school in Orlando would never offer a course about fashion. But then again, nothing about OCD reminded her of home.

"How was Mr. Block’s birthday dinner?" Layne asked. She was chewing right into the phone, but Claire didn’t mind. Layne’s new favorite snack was popcorn and mustard, and lately she made almost constant crunching noises. Claire was just glad Layne had gotten over the oatmeal, her old favorite snack. Popcorn might be louder, but it was a lot less mushy.

Claire had begun filling Layne in on the bet she made with Massie when she was distracted by a ding. Someone had sent her an instant message.


Claire’s insides froze. Massie’s bedroom in the Block residence faced Claire’s bedroom in the guesthouse, so there was a good chance she was being watched. Claire pushed her feet against the floor in a desperate attempt to slide her heavy leather upholstered chair away from the window.

Why did I open my big mouth during dinner?

"So wait," Layne said. "If you repeat anything, even shoes, you’ll have to wear a snowsuit to school?"


"That’s impossible. Why did you agree to that?"

"I’m tired of Massie thinking I’m a loser," Claire said, her voice drifting off. "I want to prove I can be just as tough as she is."

"Do you have any idea how many outfits are in a month?" Layne said.

Claire heard the rustling sound of a paper bag through the phone before getting an earful of Layne chewing her popcorn. It sounded like she was stomping on a pile of foam packing peanuts. Layne made a swallowing noise and then continued. "I’m sorry. That wasn’t helpful. I’ll bring you a bunch of clothes tomorrow."

"No, don’t!" Claire said. Layne’s latest obsession was secondhand old man pants and vintage concert tees. If Massie was embarrassed to be seen with Claire in this year’s Gap, how would she ever take Claire seriously in Salvation Army?

"I’m sure Nurse Adele will be able to give me a few things from OCD’s lost and found," Claire said. "Remember that great outfit she gave me when Alicia wiped red paint on my pants?"

"Yeah, but I have tons of great new clothes, so it’s no problem," Layne said. "You’d do it for me, right?"

"Of course I would." Claire meant it.

"Hey, did you take the Smile Much quiz I e-mailed you?"

"Yeah," Claire said. She twirled the phone cord around her finger and wondered if she was the only person in Westchester younger than eighty-five who still used a land line.

"How did you do?"

Claire turned to her computer and clicked on the quiz.

"I only scored a fifteen. According to the results, that makes me a 'Mopey Dick.'"

"Why so low?" Layne asked. "I got a perfect thirty. According to the quiz, I’m 'Happy as a Clam.' What did you pick for number four?"

Claire scrolled down.





"C." Claire sighed. "You?"

"A," Layne said. "What about the next one?"

Both girls read silently.





"I picked A and B," Layne said. "I’d miss you for both reasons."

"Me too." Claire thought it was better to lie than to hurt Layne’s feelings. If she had been with her Orlando friends, she would have answered A and B. But for now she picked C. She liked Layne but still secretly longed to be a part of Massie’s fabulous foursome, just like everyone else at OCD. Massie, Alicia, Dylan, and Kristen went to every party in town and wore the coolest clothes, and everyone at school referred to them as the "Pretty Committee." So what if they threw smoked salmon at her a few weeks earlier? She would be willing to put it behind her if they would. Fitting in with them meant fitting in with everyone, and who wouldn’t want that?

"What about the last one?" Layne said. "Once again I picked A."

Claire scrolled down to the final question.





"What difference does it make?" Claire said. "It’s not like we even have boys at our school." She wound the phone cord tightly around her index finger and watched her skin turn from pink to purple.

"Easy, Mopey Dick," Layne teased.

"All of my Florida friends have been e-mailing me about their latest crushes. Meanwhile, the only Westchester guy I’ve been hanging out with is Mr. Block. Don’t you ever want to meet cute guys and have crushes and get all nervous when they’re around?"

"No," Layne said. "I try not to want anything—that way I’m never disappointed."

"How is it possible not to want anything? What about that color printer you keep talking about?"

"It doesn’t apply to merchandise."

Claire heard a loud snap.

"Ow!" Layne said. "I think that kernel just broke my tooth."



"You okay?" Claire tried to stay focused on her conversation with Layne, but Massie was obviously determined to get her attention. Massie was switching her desk lamp on and off so quickly, Claire thought her room looked like it was caught in a severe electrical storm.

"Layne, can you hold on for a second?"

Phone in hand, Claire slid off her slippery leather chair and landed under her desk. If she was going to keep ignoring Massie’s cries for help, she would have to take cover. She couldn’t believe she had been reduced to hiding from Massie in her own house. It was beyond embarrassing.

Claire moved her hand across the bottom of the windowsill until she found the bottoms of the heavy beige curtains. She gripped them between her index and middle fingers and slid them shut.

"’Kay, I’m back, sorry ’bout that." Claire peered out from under the desk at the round chunky legs on her four-poster bed. They looked like something straight out of a knight’s castle. An ivory lace runner hung over the top of her dark dresser drawers and made her think of old ladies. All of the furniture in her room looked tired and unfriendly, like it would much rather be somewhere else. She missed the bright modern bedroom she left behind in Florida and made a mental note to ask her mother if she could remove the yellowed photographs of the Blocks’ dead relatives so she could put up some of her own shots.

"I want to find a boyfriend." Claire sighed. "Maybe then my life won’t seem so pathetic."

"You can’t expect someone else to make you happy," Layne said. Then she launched into a speech about boys and how much trouble they could be, but Claire was too distracted to pay attention. Someone wearing a pair of black pointy-toed boots was standing in front of her desk, tapping her foot. Claire’s heart started to pound.

"Layne, I have to finish my design homework. I’ll see you tomorrow in class," Claire said. She yanked on the phone cord until the beige base fell off her desk and landed on the floor in front of her. She pulled it toward her and quickly hung up.

"Why were you ignoring me?"

Claire craned her neck out from under the desk and looked up. Massie stood above her with her hands on her hips. She was snapping her Dentyne Ice.

"I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve been down here for like the last ten minutes, looking for my earring."

"When did you get your ears pierced? After dinner?"

"Is this about the bet?" Claire asked. "Are you mad?"

"No. I welcome the challenge. Now get up." Massie offered her hand. Claire took it.

The crown charm on Massie’s bracelet dug into Claire’s palm, but she didn’t dare complain.

Once they were face-to-face, Massie spoke.

"Claire," Massie said. Her voice was suddenly sweet. "Remember a few weeks ago you said you wished your parents would let you have a cell phone?"


"Well, I know how you can get it." Massie started pacing. "From now on, all we have to do is act like we’re best friends and our moms will give us anything we want."

"What are you talking about?" Claire asked.

"I overhead them talking about how badly they want us to get along, sooo, all we have to do is give them what they want and we’ll get what we want." Massie flashed a proud smile.

"But how—?"

"Look, you want a cell phone and I want a boy-girl Halloween party. Follow my lead and they’re as good as ours."


On Sale
Oct 6, 2004
Page Count
208 pages

Lisi Harrison

About the Author

Lisi Harrison is the author of The Clique, Alphas and Monster High series. She was the Senior Director of Production Development at MTV and Head Writer for MTV Production. Lisi is currently pretending to write her next novel.

Lisi lives in Laguna Beach, California.

Learn more about this author