Finally Damien saw her again. It was right after ninth period and she was walking down the stairs, in the opposite direction he was going. He quickly ran through his options: go catch up with her, or hope to see her again. It was a no-brainer. He didn't have to catch a bus, since he walked home, so no worries there, and his mom always got home after him so he wouldn't be missed if he was a little late. He hurriedly changed directions and ran to catch up to her. When he got within a few feet of her he slowed down and tried to look casual. Now, should he go for the deliberate or just pretend to knock into her. She looked like the kind of girl who liked an upfront guy so he started to walk alongside her.

She looked gorgeous. She was wearing a blue skirt and ballet flats. The reflection of the fluorescent lights above made her hair shine.

"Hey," he said.

"Hello," she replied curtly.

"I'm Damien."

"Julia."

"That's a pretty name," he smiled.

She stopped abruptly and turned to face him. She looked at him carefully as if appraising him.

"You're new here aren't you?" she asked, and began walking again.

He hastened his pace to catch up with her.

"How'd you know?"

"Well you're hitting on me for one."

"Sorry, do you have some big popular boyfriend."

She laughed, obviously not because what he said was funny but because she thought it was crazy.

"No. Big, popular brother maybe, but definitely no boyfriend."

"Well, why not?"

But Damien's question was interrupted by a squealing little girl.

"Mommy, mommy!" the girl jumped into Julia's open arms and Damien's jaw dropped


Julia's POV

A boy Julia had never seen before started to walk besides her. She realized it was deliberate when he started talking to her. She kept her guard up; boys that talked to her weren't usually very nice, especially if they knew about Lucy. Some of them called her a slut, until they met Jason of course. Then he started flirting with her and she knew something was up so she turned to face him.

"You're new here aren't you?" she asked and started walking away. He caught up to her and, when she explained to him she definitely did not have a boyfriend, he wanted to know why not. By that time they had reached the school's daycare center, a lifesaver for Julia and his question was answered.

Lucy ran out to greet Julia and she twirled her around, smiling. Lucy laughed and started chattering excitedly.

"Today we finger painted and I made a picture to hang up!" she said in her sweet baby voice. Then she caught sight of Damien and stopped abruptly.

"Who's he?"

Jules set Lucy down, "Lucy this is Damien. Damien this is my daughter, Lucy."

"Is he a scary boy?" she looked at Jules then directed her attention back to Damien, "I don't yike scary boys."

"I'm not a scary boy," Damien assured her. He looked back at Julia, "So this is the reason…"

"No one hits on me? Yeah, Lucy makes the boys a bit…nervous, to say the least."

"Boys have cooties," Lucy proclaimed suddenly tugging on the hem of Julia's skirt.

Jules smiled, "Now where did you hear that?"

"Madeline told me so."

"Oh, well don't worry, I'm pretty sure Damien is cootie-free."

Lucy stared at Damien. "Okay," she said warily.

Julia turned to face Damien too, "Well it was nice meeting you. Sorry to let you down and all." She winked. Then she took Lucy's hand, "let's go home, Hon," and they began to walk down the hallway, hand in hand.

"Wait!"

The two girls turned around. Damien was still standing there, hands in his jean pockets.

"Can I walk you home?"

Julia raised a single eyebrow, "seriously?"

Damien nodded, "yeah."

She kneeled down and looked at Lucy, "Baby, is it okay if Damien walks home with us?"

Lucy removed her thumb, which she had been sucking on, from her mouth and appraised Damien in a similar way that Jules had when she first saw him.

"Okay."

Jules shrugged, "Alright, but you don't know what you're getting yourself into."