Well, even though its still the middle of my exams, I'm still back penning yet another chapter. totally hooked to writing stories, i suppose. thank you for all the reviews! gosh, i love people who review. whether its bad or good, just drop me a note!

To lonely cupid: thanks for the great review! i promise i'll go read your story in detail asap. damn my stupid exams. -whacks my teachers and textbooks- i've scanned through yours already, swear i'll read it more thoroughly and review! thanks for the good luck, i really think i'll need it. hahas. and i'd love to be friends with you. =]

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It was late at night, and the stars twinkled high above like diamonds gleaming on a sheet of dark velvet. Finn lay in bed, watching them, his arms crossed behind his head. He was exhausted, having marked a whole stack of exam papers, but he couldn't sleep. Not yet. He tried not to, but his thoughts kept drifting towards Kayline. The look of her when she smiled, the frustrated look on her face when she was stuck on a physics question, the bubbling cheerfulness that radiated from her when she was joking around with her classmates, well, almost everything about her. She was attractive, very much so for Finn. Tall, a good figure, not overly so, but just right. She never wore make up on her face, but the natural healthy look she had was enough to make it radiant. Her eyes were a sparkling brown and her lips were full, cherry-red. Long, pale blonde hair framed sharp facial features, and reached all the way down to her waist, where she'd left it hanging loose. God, how he wished he could run his fingers through her hair and breathe in its smell deeply. He wanted nothing more than her, and looked forward to teaching her class every single day. It was the only high point of recent weeks, he admitted to himself. A forbidden relationship that nobody would be able to condone. He wished he could be a student once again, to be her classmate instead of her teacher. But no, fate had been twisted, and he was a teacher when she was just a student. She had no idea what he thought of her, he mused. She was simply too innocent, too naive to understand the look he had when he looked at her. He'd tried to hide it, but couldn't. It simply wasn't possible to hide such overwhelming love. Sighing, Finn turned and stared directly into a photo he had placed at his bedside. It was a class photo taken at the beach, and he was standing beside Kayline. She was as wet as him, and he had hung his arm casually over her shoulder when that photo was taken. She probably hadn't felt it, hadn't even known it was there. But he did, and it gave him comfort whenever he looked at it. I'll see her again tomorrow, he thought sleepily as his gaze started to droop a little. Tomorrow.

Yet, when he arrived in school the next day, he scanned the auditorium, but saw no trace of Kayline. Frowning, he scanned the auditorium again, then again. Kayline was missing, and so was Leeane. Maybe they're just late, he assured himself, fighting down the worry that rose unbidden. They'll come in later, panting and rushed. But throughout the entire lecture, no one came in through the door. He began to worry, a line creasing his forehead. His heart wasn't in his lecture at all, and he often found himself stopping with no idea where to begin again. Damn it, Finn, he scolded himself, you're acting like an adolescent madly in love. Maybe he was.

"Sir? Mr Gerald?" Brian, one of his students, tapped him on the shoulder, and he jumped involuntarily.

"What? Oh, yes." Finn took the sheaf of papers that Brian handed him.

"Are you alright, Mr Gerald? You seem a little out of sorts today," Brian commented, cocking his head to one side.

"No, no, I'm fine..." Finn mumbled. "Do you happen to know where Kayline and Leeane are? They weren't in class today," he said, trying his best to make it sound casual, like a teacher concerned for the well-being for his students.

"Oh, the two of them," Brian grinned. "Yeah, both of them sick. Flu," he added, smirking a little. "They were playing with Leeane's younger brother in the rain yesterday, and went down sniffling today." Brian rolled his eyes.

"I see. Well, I hope they'll be back for lessons soon," Finn replied easily, though his heart sank like a stone at the thought of Kayline being sick. Sick at home.

"I'll tell them you said so, Mr Gerald. Bye," Brian called over his shoulder as he slung his bag over his shoulder and strode out. Alone inside the auditorium, Finn stared at his table, not knowing why the thought of Kayline being sick was so disturbing to him. He stayed in place for awhile, then gave it up, and picked up his handphone and dialled.

"Miss Janey? Could you take over my lessons for the day? Yes... I'm feeling abit unwell, thought I should go home and rest... Yes, yes, I'll take care of myself... Thank you, I will. Thank you... Bye." With that, Finn shoved everything back into his bag, and walked straight to his car.

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Finn stood outside Kayline's door, and squirmed. He never squirmed in his entire life before, but here he was, squirming like a ten year old boy under the scrutiny of his headmaster. He continued to squirm for awhile before he reached up, and hesitantly pressed the bell. It was utterly dark inside, he mused. Maybe she's out. Finn heard the echo of the bell ringing loud and clear through the house, and gulped. He was about to turn and leave when the door opened.

"Mr Gerald?" Kayline stood at the door, hair ruffled, wearing a sleepgown, obviously having just woken up from a deep slumber. "Why are you here? Don't you have school or something?" She asked, the confusion clearly reflected in her eyes, then sneezed a couple of times.

"May I come in?" Finn asked politely, ignoring the question.

"Oh. Uhh. I suppose so," she shrugged, then turned and walked back in. Finn followed her. The house was absolutely still, and the two of them seemed to be the only ones present. Kayline walked over to the light switches and flipped it on, throwing the house into brightness, while Finn stood there and contemplated her house. "So. Why are you here?"

"Visiting a student," Finn shrugged, and noted the bafflement in her eyes.

"I didn't know that it was the norm for teachers to visit students when they're sick." Eyes narrowed, Kayline peered at him, and executed a rapid series of sneezes. When Finn made no response, she asked, "Have you visited Leeane, then?"

"No. I believe that I do not have her address," Finn replied, though knowing that he had absolutely no intention of visiting Leeane. "Where's your parents?" He asked, hoping to change the subject, but was taken aback when Kayline froze in the midst of blowing her nose. Her easy posture immediately stiffened, and her eyes became carefully blanked out.

"Not at home." It was a snapped response, and she turned her back to him.

"At work?" He queried, alarmed at the sudden change in her. To his great surprise, when she spun back, her eyes were flat and blazing. "Kayline... What-"

"Don't talk about my parents," she said in a low growl. "Don't EVER talk about my parents." Finn took a step back, amazed. "Go. Go visit Leeane or something. Just leave me alone." Finn began to walk towards her, but she ignored him and ran up the stairs. He heard the sound of a door slamming and the sound of locks turning.

"Great. Just great. You fucked it up, Finn," he mumbled, and slowly walked back down to his car. But when he sat in his car, he didn't drive it out, but instead sat in there, his mind running through a million things at once. He'd go visit Leeane, he mused. And find out what had caused the violent reaction he had just witnessed. He swear that he'd get to the bottom of this mystery. He'd find out why Kayline was so touchy about her parents. Quickly, he pulled up his palm top, and scrolled down for Leeane's address. And almost smiled when he noted that it was only two doors away from Kayline's house. Finn started the ignition, and backed his car out of Kayline's house.

Far above, Kayline watched from her bedroom window, watched as Finn drove away. When she was alone, she let the curtains drop, crumbled onto her bed, and wept.