Summary: Our love burned with an abandoned and reckless passion that threatened to consume us whole. For sanity's sake, we decided to just remain friends, something that probably won't last long, especially since I think I'm falling for his twin brother.

Warning: Rated for language and adult situations

Chapter 1: Reminiscence

I could feel his arrival even before he step foot within my line of sight, a peculiar yet strangely reassuring aspect of our relationship that to this day I couldn't understand. For some unfathomable reason I was compelled to witness his arrival firsthand and raised my eyelids to half mast from my face up position on the grass, completely overlooking my clique of friends scattered around me to rest on the lean figure slowly approaching us from the west. Our eyes met and a rush of energy ignited the blood in my veins, setting it alight with an all too familiar fire. A small, yet noticeable smirk touched his beautiful, full lips, making my heart skip a beat in response.

Angered that he still had the same effect on my body that we had had when we were together, I shot him daggers through my glare and wretched my gaze albeit reluctantly from his flawless form in favor of looking up at the tree above me. Sighing as the fleeting surge of anger faded, I stared pensively at the dappled sunlight filtering through the leaves up above. Damn him and my uncontrollable hormones. We were supposed be just friends. Friends did not casually flirt on a regular basis and in front of their dates, they did not want to jump into each other's arms and ravage each other with kisses until they were breathless and flushed, and they most certainly did not harbor an insurmountable quantity of lust for each other.

I groaned and thrust my hands through my hair. Damn it all. There was not way in heaven or hell that I would be able to rid myself of feelings for him no matter how much I tried. Our magnetic chemistry is what drew me to him in the first place. I could feel a smile curving on my lips as I remembered our chance meeting in seventh grade, back during my late stages of my tomboy-hood. For a couple who were destined to be intertwined with passion, friendship, and love, we sure as hell didn't act like it in the beginning.

"I can't wait for the dance," Skye bounced with the excitement of a toddler on Christmas day as we walked to our homeroom, her eyes glazed over and cheeks flushed. "I hope Will asks me. I've been making a lot of hints lately."

"And if he's that slow that he doesn't ask after you sent him that long ass love letter that took a week to write, he's probably too stupid to pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel and doesn't deserve your attention," I retorted smartly and readjusted the strap to my backpack that was cutting off the circulation in my shoulder due to the number of books that resided within its depths. "Stupid Mrs. Henderson who doesn't have a life so makes ours hell because she can't get laid."

"It's not her fault Mr. Henderson left her for his busty secretary," Lolita snickered flanking my right as we drew closer to our classroom.

"I wonder when I'll become busty." Skye glanced down at her flat chest wistfully. "I'm like a negative A cup."

I rolled my eyes. She was such a girl sometimes. "You're just a late bloomer. You'll get them sooner or later."

"You can't talk with your big C cups, Angie." Lolita poked my arm and nodded at my modestly covered chest. "And if you'd stop wearing those baggy shirts, I'm sure that you would have all the guys in the school."

I crossed my arms self-consciously and refused to allow the heat I felt in my face to show. "It's a family curse," I muttered speeding up my pace to put some distance between myself and the two fiends I had considered my friends. They knew how much I hated the wretched things. Ignoring their comments on my gargantuan boobs, I passed through the threshold of my classroom. How was I supposed to keep up my tomboy façade when I had these things impeding my endeavors to remain as non-girly as possible?

And that's when I saw him, the new kid, sitting my chair, legs propped comfortably upon my desk and rocking his back and forth to the tunes emitting from his CD player, completely unaware of the blushing females gawking unabashed at the new, self-proclaimed rebel. My eyes narrowed in distaste. Not to be inhibited by his bad ass pretense, I boldly stalked up to my desk and shoved his dirty Timberlands off of my desk.

His eyes snapped open to reveal irritated, smoky blue pools, glaring at me as if I were the scum beneath his boots. "What the hell do you want?"

I bristled at this. "You're in my seat stupid."

He snorted and flicked me off, then proceeded to place his feet back on top of my desk and jam to his beats once more with eyes closed, seemingly unconcerned.

No he didn't just give me the finger. Not to be bested, especially in my territory, I pushed, or at least tried to push his boots off of the desk, but to no avail. He had firmly planted them in place, then had the audacity to crack an eye and stare at me with a smirk that I would one day come to adore and abhor. Anger shot through me at his blatant disrespect for both myself and my desk. Rage skewing my vision, I snatched his headphones from the CD player and his head, not hesitating to throw them out of the open window.

He flew to his feet, his lean, 5'11 frame easily dominating over my measly 5'2. Gray blue eyes spoke of fury and irritation that were all directed to me. Not a good thing, especially when I all I could do was glare at his chest. Swallowing my nervousness, I stared back at him defiantly. Where were my comrades when I needed them? Out of the corner of my eye I saw them talking to Will, their backs facing me. Memo to self: Kill Will and Skye and throw their bodies over a cliff.

"You're going to regret that little girl," he said in a voice only for my ears, his lips twisting into a sadistic grin.

I jutted my chin out stubbornly. "Oh really? What are going to do? Tell the teacher on me, snitch?"

"No." He took a step closer to me, so that we were mere centimeters apart. "I'm going to do this."

In a move that totally took me by surprise, he grabbed me by the shoulders and yanked me into his chest. Before I could get a word out or even think about doing anything in retaliation, I felt his lips crash against mine in a brutal kiss. It only lasted seconds but the effect was so profound, so overwhelming, that it literally took me a minute or two to recover. And when I did manage to regain my senses and saw him smirking haughtily down at me like he'd won some prize, my sanity snapped and everything went black. I don't remember much of what happened after that, but later I found myself in the principles office. They told me that I'd practically mauled the new transfer student and it had taken about four of my other classmates to get me off of him. Needless to say, I was given about a week of vacation time to 'think about what I'd done.' The bastard had stripped me of my tomboy-hood, and the entire class had been there to see. This asswipe didn't know who he was messing with.

I chuckled. Something even to this day I won't admit was that I kind of enjoyed the less than sweet kiss, but like I'd ever tell anyone that since I did bitch how he 'robbed me of my innocence and dignity' every time we argued. My amusement waned, leaving me to contemplate the query that was posing a hindrance on my ability to move on. But did I even want to move on? Perhaps that was the problem. Maybe on some subconscious level I liked the way things were in my comfort zone. It was a continuous cycle of repetition with us. We'd break up, try to remain friends, argue over how it wasn't working out, find ways to hurt each other whether it is with scathing remarks or flaunting dates in front of each other's face, then make up, and the cycle would repeat itself all over again.

The only qualm I had with our relationship was the inevitable path it would take. My heart couldn't take constant trampling, the contemptuous stabs and the possessive jealousy when we were apart. His mind set was fixated on his assumption that I was meant for him and him alone, that if he couldn't have me, no other guy could. I loved him, with all of my heart, but sometimes his actions made me wish that I'd never fell in love with him, that he had never spoken the heartfelt words that changed our lives forever.

"I want you to be mine."

My breath caught in my throat with the utterance of those three words, his eyes piercing my eyes with their beauty and intensity, his proximity entirely too close for my liking. I took a step back, my back meeting the wall behind me. He had me cornered. Why the hell had I agreed to stay after school to help tutor Jacoby's slow ass in Spanish? Damn me and my self-sacrificing complex. No doubt it would be my downfall. "What the hell are you talking about, O'Connell?" I asked, addressing him by his surname only when I was annoyed, and warily looking around, half expecting for his posse to jump out of the shadows and pummel me with water balloons like they had did in eight grade.

Even with the dark shadows of the semi-lit cafeteria obscuring the planes of his features I could still see the tense twitching of the nerve in his chiseled jaw, an indicator I had gradually become accustomed to in the years that I had known him as a sure sign of his nervousness or anger. Why he would be channeling either was completely unfathomable in my mind. I squeaked in surprise as he pressed his hard form against my body, his arms trapping me between both taut appendages as his hands braced the wall on either side of my head.

"Did you not hear what I said?" His warm breath against my ear sent involuntary shivers down my spine and I tried hard to focus on getting my next few words out.

"Did you not the get the memo declaring your mental instability?" I tried to bat away his arms so I could be released from the disconcerting prison that was throwing my whole thought process off. Growling when his limbs refused to budge, I glared at him with all the spite and indignation I had for him. "Get the hell out of my face before I break your jaw." The time for being civil was over.

"Angelface, you're not listening to me," he murmured and I stiffened, more so in shock than by his using the irritating pet name he had bestowed upon me, when I felt air being drawn from the surface of my skin. W-was he sniffing me???

"O-O'Connell, you're freaking me out." The thudding in my chest was prolonged for a moment in time as soft, supple lips planted tiny kisses along the sweep of my neck. I took in a sharp breath, my legs quivering beneath me as they gradually converted into a mass of jellified mush. Something stirred deep within the recesses of my body, something that ached for his touch, his warmth, his presence. My heart beat even faster than before, if that were even plausible at this point. What the hell was I doing? He was the enemy. I hated him. I wanted to stamp out his existence from the earth. He was a constant thorn in my side with his obnoxious, arrogant, hot-tempered, chauvinistic behavior, thinking he was God's gift to women.

My head snapped up in realization. This was probably some ploy conspired by him and his half-wit friends to show that he could get any woman he wanted. Eyes narrowing, I thrust him back with renewed vigor, satisfaction mixing in with the contempt in my sneer as he took a couple of steps back. "You fucking self-righteous pig. How dare you force yourself on me! How much money did they put up for you to get into my pants? You're an asshole, but this is a new low even for you."

"What the fuck Angel!" he blew up, the anger I was quite habituated with manifesting on his face and providing me with some semblance of normality. "You actually believed that I would do something as sordid as bet on your virginity!"

My face turned a nice shade of scarlet. How'd he know that I was a virgin? Thankful for the darkness and the fury clouding his face so he wouldn't see the embarrassment on mine, I crossed my arms over my chest and stared fiercely at him. "I don't know what the hell is going through the small brain of yours. Now if you'll excuse me, I have places to go, namely anywhere that doesn't include your company." I made a move to sidestep his seemingly immovable form, ready to make a hasty retreat, when his hand shot out of the darkness and latched onto my wrist.

"Wait." I froze at the barely discernable pleading tenor twined in his gruff tone. He thrust a hand through his thick locks, a hint of anxiety coloring his tone. "I meant what I said."

His self-consciousness pulled at my heartstrings and made something akin to affection tug the muscles in my face into a smile. He was so cute when he was uncomfortable. The flow of my thoughts halted. I did not just think that. "I have to get out of here," I mumbled, half-heartedly attempting to jerk my wrist from his grasp while striving to understand just what was going on with him.


"No!" I forcefully wretched my limb from his loosened grip and too a precautionary step away from him. "Stop with these mind games! I'm not one of those stupid, bimbo wenches from your fan club that you can treat however you feel-"

"Dammit Angel, shut the fuck up and listen to me!" he barked irately, his patience having worn thin. "I've never treated you like them! You're in a whole other league by yourself and that's what I love about you!"

Eyes widening in disbelief, my heart jumped into my esophagus, effectively cutting off the air to my lungs. For once, I had been rendered speechless and felt unable to stop the tide of emotion that came with his sincere words.

His temperature falling upon noticing my silence, he offered me a crooked grin. "You are like no other girl around here and that's something I've come to appreciate over the years. You're outspoken, brave, strong, intelligent, funny, don't take shit from anybody, and you are my equal in every way imaginable. And," he trailed off, and I was helpless to do anything but stare as he reached out and took a strand of my hair between his thumb and forefinger, "you're beautiful as all hell," he spoke softly, deserting the curly strand of hair in favor for lightly cupping my cheek and I couldn't but help but lean into the warmth of his palm.

'What if this is some kind of elaborate trap? What if I'm only digging my own grave? He's tricked me before and he'll probably do it again just to get under my skin. The little bastard.'

Going instantly on guard, I jerked away from his touch as if it burned. "This is some kind of trap, isn't it? Why this sudden soul baring confession? I bet you're just-"

Words being cut off he grabbed me by my shoulders and pushed me against the wall, his lips crashed down on mine before I could protest. Unlike the first time he had stolen a kiss from me in an immature attempt to impress me with his manhood and dominance, this time was filled with a desperation, a need, a fire that awakened dormant, deep seated sensations and had my body crying out for his in a way that no guy had yet invoked within me. Throwing caution into the wind, I wound my arms around his neck and allowed myself to be caught up in the whirlwind of emotion and feelings. I didn't care that he was my supposed arch enemy, that he had humiliated me in front of my classmates time and time again on numerous occasions, that we had physically fought each other more times than I care to count. Right now, here was a guy who was desperate enough to put down his defenses and break through mine just to get to my heart.

Later on when we broke apart and stared at each other while drawing in much needed oxygen to replenish our depleted lungs, I looked at him uncertainly, hesitant as to what I was supposed to do, how I was supposed to feel after what had just transpired. Would we go back to the ways things had been? Was I right and did I succeed in allowing him to exploit my undeclared feelings for him for a price?

Apparently he read my mind, because he scooped me up into a gentle embrace. "I meant every word I said here this night, Angelface. I want you to be mine." He smirked at my indecision. "And I won't take no for an answer."

I rolled my eyes at the memory. He never could take no for an answer. The bastard had pursued me for a week and a half after that night until I finally made up my mind to go out with him. And true to his word, there hadn't been any underlying motif in his want for me. From then on, our relationship had escalated into something of mass proportions. It amazed me still to this day how fast and hard I had fallen for him or how much he was willing to change in order for us to stay together. Up until then, he had mostly hung out with the school bad asses after being deemed worthy of being in their attendance ninth grade, and I'd like to believe that I had changed him for the better because after reeking havoc our freshman year and the first half of our sophomore, he began to tone down while we were together. So much in fact that he and his close friends increasingly started to integrate into my world of semi-preppiness.

My eyes drifted downwards and settled on my posse. There were my comrades in arms, of course, Skye, preppy girl to the bone, and Lolita, rebel turned cheerleader. Then there was Will, who needless to say had teamed up with us after going out with Skye throughout the rest of middle school and on into high school. They were still together after five years. How quaint. The two cronies that would follow my lover to the ends of the earth were Jack and Nicholas. Seeing as though there would be no more pillaging of the school after crossing over into our world, Jack had joined the football team to take out his frustrations with society. For someone who thought he would never amount to anything in life was sadly mistaken, especially after becoming star quarterback and earning a full year scholarship to his dream college, USC. Nicholas, not too keen on the idea of giving up his way of life, had managed to keep his punk fascia and had interestingly enough merged it with prep in such a creative way that had the entire school rocking his look. Try as they might, nobody could match his flare for style and originality.

Then there was O'Connell. My gaze skimmed over to the part of quad where he stood talking with one of the member of the hockey team, and enviously watched as one hand ran through his shoulder length ebony hair. How the hell he'd managed to get that glossy sheen a mystery to me even to this day. Prick. What I still found amazingly attractive about him was his ability to wear our style of clothing and maintain his bad ass appearance. Quite the turn on if I do say so myself.

I quickly turned back to the canopy overhead and shut my eyes, my veneer that of one napping. Seconds later I could feel his eyes roaming over my body. It was strange how we were so connected in every way conceivable. Our auras attracted and repelled and gave a new definition to the word magnetism. By some means, our friends had known that we would hook up sooner or later, even if we had pitted them against each other in a battle of the sexes. We knew each other inside and out, including our deepest, darkest secrets, ones in which we hadn't even admitted to ourselves. But in some ways I still hated him for reducing me to a fumbling schoolgirl every time he touched me, for retaining information about myself that I had withheld from my closest friends, for making me feel as though he was the missing piece of the puzzle to the completion of my soul.

A flurry of butterflies stirred in my stomach as I felt him approach, the deep, baritone pitch of his voice as he greeted our friends propelling a rush of excitement through my veins. Try as I might, I couldn't help the flood of anticipation that crowded in collaboration with the other rampant emotions that teamed in my body. I tried to anchor the organ that was currently doing somersaults in my chest, the warmth emitting from his body transferring to mine as he came to lie beside me under the tree.

"Angela," he sang song playfully as I felt him softly tug with a strand of my hair.

I ignored him and continued to feign sleep, concentrating hard on my breathing so it wouldn't look too obvious I was faking.

He shifted beside me, pressing closer against my side, his lips brushing along the shell of my ear. "I know you're not asleep, Angelface," he whispered huskily, the seductive undertones eliciting a none-too discreet moan on my part.

I rolled my head to the side and glared menacingly at the use of his beguiling mannerisms that were supposed to be off limits to the incredibly gorgeous guy propped casually on his side. "You bastard, you know that turns me on."

Blue eyes laughed at me, their silver flecks swirling with mischief. "That was the point." Nimble fingers trailed down the side of my jaw and I struggled valiantly with the urge to yank him into my arms and have my way with him. "Why are we doing this, Angel?" Seriousness etched onto the perfectly chiseled features of his face. "We both know this isn't going to work. Why put us both through this agony?"

I painfully tore my gaze away from him and stared once more at the leaves dancing to rhythm of the light breeze. "Devin," I dragged out his name slowly to emphasize the issue that clearly had not sunken into his thick skull yet, "we both consensually agreed that this was for the best. You know as well as I do the consequences of us being together on that level." I brought my gaze back to meet his solemn one. "It's not worth it, Dev," I said quietly.

Devin looked at me unconvinced and looked as though he wanted to argue more on the subject until he saw my pleading puppy dog eyes. Nobody could resist them, especially the one whose heart I held. Letting a sigh of exasperation, he muttered a few choice words under his breath before laying all the way down, his body spooning mine from the side. "I miss you in my arms," he murmured, his arm languidly draping across my waist. "These past two weeks have been hell for me. I want you so bad it hurts."

His words made my heart clench, for I was having the same dilemma. These days all I could seem to think about was him and why the hell we'd made this stupid decision to play it safe. I gave him a weak smile and threaded my fingers through his. "If it's any consolation, I can't stand not being with you either."

He picked up his head, hope shimmering within the depths of gray and blue. "Then why don't we forget this lets-just-be-friends bullshit and go back to how it used to be." He dipped his head and began to nuzzle my neck affectionately. "We've learned from our mistakes. We won't make them again. I'll never hurt you again, I swear it."

A part of me desperately wanted me to believe that the words of loyalty and love coming from his mouth and to give in to what we both wanted to badly, but the jaded, embittered part of my heart that had been burned one too many times told me to think with my head, that this was how it always was in the beginning, that I knew how it would end. I opened my mouth to object, fully prepared to count off all of the things that may and would come because of our union, that is until I felt a small, hard sphere glide along the expanse of my neck.

I ground my teeth together against the volley of desire that battered away at my conscious. He knew how to get me and I'd be damned if I say I didn't love it when he used that tongue ring of his. Oh, how I'd missed that little silver ball along my flesh. "D-Devin, stop it before we rip each others clothes and do it right here on the quad."

I felt him smile into my skin. "Don't you remember, angelcakes," he kissed my flesh, "we already did that,…five times."

My face flushed with the memory of our naked, entangled bodies making love in the courtyard of our school, the close calls with the officials only enhancing the experience. Yet another aide memoire that had to be added to the growing list of why we should just remain friends. I wriggled out of his arms and scooted away from him to put some much needed distance between us. "You're not making this easy O'Connell. We will not be going back on our promise to keep things platonic understand?"

He clutched his chest with mock pain and rolled on his back. "You're killing me with all of this talk of just being friends." He sucked in a harsh lungful of air. "Quick Angel, kiss me before I pass on to the afterlife."

I laughed as he puckered up, awaiting the kiss that would not be delivered anytime soon though I felt the urge to comply. "You're going to hell."

Dropping the act, he moved onto his side, his head propped on his hand as a he gave me a devilish smirk. "Don't pretend that you won't be sitting right next to me in first class. Your ass is just as bad as mine, maybe even more, putting me through all of this agonizing, torturous pain with this friendship shit."

I balked since he had also consented to this arrangement, angry retorts lining along the tip of my tongue, ready to be expelled like notched arrows but they slid to the back of my mouth and fell out of existence when he reached over to caress my cheek, the adoration in his smoky eyes causing my breath to catch. "But I guess I'll respect our decision," he smiled, the dimples in his cheeks making their acclaimed début, and in one swift movement that took me off guard, gathered me in his bronze arms and held me close to his chest.


"Shh," he cut off my gripe, "I won't try anything, I promise. Let me just hold you."

"Cocky asshole," I grumbled, but acquiesced to his wishes and instantly relaxed in his hold, the familiarity of his embrace and his enticing scent of the spices and cinnamon transporting me back to a time where there was only us, to a time where everything was simple and uncomplicated. I sighed and closed my eyes. But gone were those carefree days where naiveté and irresponsibility had governed our actions and everything revolved around us. If only things had been different. If only we didn't love each other with reckless abandon and an unparalleled ferocity. If only our fire didn't burn to the point of incineration. If only we didn't make one another bleed with our gutting jabs and sharp words.

My eyelids fluttered open and I studied his profile as he rested, heartening warmth overtaking my soul at his striking features. I traced a finger over the contours of his cupid's bow shaped lips and down to his stubborn chin. I truly did love him and it was taking all of the willpower I possessed not to deviate from the path I had set for myself. Smiling regretfully, I closed my eyes and joined him in the realm of sleep.

If only….

AN: So, should I even continue? Review and tell me what you think!