"What do you think? I'm going for 'sophisticated celebutante.' "
Jessica Wakefield stood poised before the full-length mirror in her twin sister's bedroom, chin thrown back, her glossy blond hair tumbling over her bare shoulder.
Elizabeth glanced up from her computer, where she was working on her latest entry for her gossip blog, The Insider. She narrowed her blue-green eyes as she took in her sister's heavy makeup and not-so-heavy clothing. The pink minidress she was wearing was so light, in fact, it was barely even there.
"Sophisticated celebutante? As in those loser girls who are always on the cover of Us Weekly for getting arrested or starting fights in clubs or acting like total sluts?" Elizabeth replied.
"Liz--" Jessica rolled her eyes.
"Because if that's what you're going for, you've nailed it," Elizabeth finished, typing another line into her computer. "There's no way Mom's letting you out of the house like that. And didn't she already forbid you to go to this stupid party anyway?"
Jessica inspected her outfit from another angle. "Well, what she doesn't know won't hurt her, right?"
Elizabeth sighed and sat back in her chair, crossing her arms over her plain navy blue T-shirt. "So, what's your plan this time? Hide that outfit under something that actually covers some skin until you get out the door? Lie about where you're going? Or are you just going to sneak out your window and twist your ankle falling from the eaves again?"
"God! You're such a prude," Jessica complained with a pout.
"Yeah, well, whatever your plan is for tomorrow, don't include me," Elizabeth said. She was so over her sister's antics. For the last sixteen years, Elizabeth had found herself covering for Jessica practically every other day, and as of that day, she was done. Done.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Jessica said with an innocent smile--the same dimple-cheeked smile Elizabeth had, though Elizabeth's never looked as fake. "I'm spending the day with Cara tomorrow."
"Right," Elizabeth said sarcastically, glancing at her notes. "Since when does Cara have ill-advised facial hair and drive a black Viper?"
Jessica giggled. "Omigod. Cara would die if she heard you say that! Did you know she's been waxing her lip since seventh grade?"
Elizabeth's eyebrows shot up. Interesting. One of the most popular girls in school with a hidden 'stache? That might be a good tidbit for The Insider. But of course, she'd never be so cruel as to reveal something that one of Jessica's friends had worked so hard to keep secret.
"Come on, Jess. There's no way you're going to be able to hide this from Mom and Dad," Elizabeth said. "You can hear his car coming from ten miles away. And honestly? I agree with them. Scott is way too old for you."
Elizabeth had first met Scott Daniels the past weekend when he'd come to pick Jessica up at Casa del Sol, where they'd been hanging out with all their friends. It wasn't just his age that bothered Elizabeth. It was the insipid "twice as nice" comment he'd made when Jessica had introduced them--as if Liz hadn't heard that one _before. And the way he'd greeted their friends with an indifferent nod, checking the place out as if he was _looking for someone better to talk to. Plus he kept _spinning his keys around his finger and checking his T-Mobile for texts. It was as if he was already looking forward to his next stop or trying to find someplace cooler to be. Elizabeth was surprised that Jessica, who preferred to be the center of her date's attention at all times, wanted anything to do with the guy.
Except for one thing: Scott was drop-dead gorgeous, even with the scruffy blond stubble around his mouth. Tall and tan, with sun-kissed, shaggy dark blond hair and a smile that could melt a thousand hearts, he had made all the girls at Casa drool. Even Elizabeth had found him attractive--until he'd opened his mouth. Plus he was a junior at SVU and a member of Delta Epsilon Delta--supposedly the coolest fraternity on campus. Elizabeth couldn't care less about those things, but to Jessica, they were swoonworthy. She'd been head over heels for Scott since they'd met a few weeks before at the beach.
"Please. Could you sound any more like Mom?" Jessica asked, diving into Elizabeth's closet in search of a pair of shoes. "It's the fact that he's older that makes him so perfect," she shouted, her voice muffled as she tossed sandals and flats and sneakers--shoes that had been perfectly organized and stashed away--over her shoulder onto the floor of the bedroom at random. "No stupid, childish games. I am so over high school guys!"
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. If her sister thought that guy was more mature than the boys at SVH, the girl was totally blind. Liz was only four minutes older than her twin, but sometimes she felt it was more like four years.
Jessica had a talent for attracting trouble the way a magnet attracts metal. And more often than not, Liz was the one she turned to for help when she got in over her head. The problem was that no matter how much Elizabeth protested, Jessica knew that her sister would always end up helping her out. And she took advantage of that whenever she could.
But not this time, Elizabeth thought resolutely.
"This halter top would look so hot with my red skirt," Jessica said, flipping her hair off her face as she emerged from the closet. She held up a scrap of white eyelet fabric. "Can I borrow it?"
"Jess, that's a scarf."
"Yeah, but if you tie it like this, it's a halter top!" Jessica replied, quickly knotting the ends behind her back, over her strapless minidress.
"Uh, if you wear that around Scott, you might as well wear a sign on your forehead that says 'ready and willing,' " Elizabeth told her, hitting the Enter button to send her column to her printer so that she could read it over.
"There's nothing wrong with showing a little skin, Liz," Jessica said. "We're young. We're hot. Why not?"
Elizabeth tried not to gag.
Excerpted from Sweet Valley High #5: All Night Long by Francine Pascal. Copyright © 2008 by Francine Pascal. Excerpted by permission of Laurel Leaf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.