I glared at my step-brother. He could be so difficult sometimes, and other times I couldn't get him to stop being obvious. Right now, his gear was stuck on stubborn, though, and I was heating up, to say the least.

"Blake," I grumbled, "Admit it, admit you like her."

He rolled his eyes and went back to watching TV. The idiot wasn't giving me any information, and I had been at it for nearly ten minutes, now. I huffed away from him in irritation, my fingertips ablaze. He wasn't going to budge. Not today, and probably not any other day about this subject.

I slammed open my room door, grabbing my cell and dialing the numbers that I knew by heart. She answered after the first ring, not even bothering to say hello. "What'd he say?" Jess Bittyn snapped. I let out an exasperated sigh, and she knew. Boy, did she know. "He didn't answer you? Still?"

"Nope." I made my way over to my bed and collapsed onto it, staring out of the window to my other best friend's house. Bailor glanced out of the window and waved. I waved back. "Jess, he won't tell me a thing."

I could feel her anger through the phone, and it was sending a chill down my spine. Freshman year… by now, we should have figured out the crush between Blaze and Frost. But, no. Because Blake was an idiot, and Jess was too much of a wuss to find out for herself. We were getting nowhere.

Jess sighed again and then muttered into the phone, "So are you getting anywhere with your crush?"

My face heated up at the mention. I had a thing for the new kid at school – he called himself Torch, although no one had heard about him before this year. My fingertips had just cooled down from being mad with Blake, but now they were steaming a bit.

I stayed quiet and Jessie just laughed. I was the kind of girl that got a new boyfriend every once in a while, but people still managed to call me names, and I didn't appreciate most of them. I wasn't one for love exactly, but when I could have fun with a guy, and could still kiss him and do the puppy love thing… sure, I was all for it.

The thing was, this time it was different. Now, I'm not going to tell you that bells went off in my head, or my heart started beating faster, or slower. I'm not going to tell you that it was love at first sight, because, hey, I'm not going to lie to you. I hated the guy from the second I met him. And I hated him even more when he opened his mouth. He was sarcastic, but not in the cute way. In the kind of want-to-kill-him way. And yet…

The second day that I saw him through my Science class door-window, on his way to Detention, no doubt… I saw a spark of flame playing the tip of his fingers. Jessie saw it, too, and she had looked straight at me and not let me live it down since.

"Are you going to come over here or what?" I asked slowly, ignoring her remark and her laughing.

"Yeah," she was still forcing down a small chuckle, but I heard the click on the other line meaning that she would be joining me within minutes.

I stared across my room at all the different posters plastered on the walls, pictures in various frames around the room, and books upturned on my desk filled with random papers from school. I glanced out my window again to the Traxx's house. I had lived next door to Bailor Traxx for my entire life, and we were best friends, but of course not as close as me and Jess.

He looked up from whatever he had been working on right to me.

I blushed, the ends of my hair setting slightly ablaze. I grinned at Bailor and waved. He waved back, mouthing something that I couldn't quite decipher, but it didn't matter. Bailor was a joker, and he always would be, so I just laughed, acting like I knew what he had said, and he grinned slightly at the corner of his mouth, his eyes crinkling the smallest bit.

He shook his head to get his wet hair out of his eyes. I could tell he had just gotten out of the shower since his dirty blonde hair wasn't gelled and spiked out in the front like it normally was at school and any other time when he was in public.

I heard a knock on the door from downstairs and I rushed to answer it, but Blake was closer and he got to it first, opening it slowly and boredly, but stopped mid-yawn when he realized it was Jess. I stopped halfway down the stairs and Jessie stopped halfway through chewing some bubblegum which you never found her without. The moment was awkward, and I could feel the tension between the ice-former and fire-tamer from twenty feet away, so I made my way between them, dragging Jessie with me outside and closing the door in my step-brother's face behind us as we entered my front yard.

Jess continued chewing by the time we made it to the end of my driveway. "That wasn't weird at all," she groaned. I just rolled my eyes. You couldn't exactly expect Blake to be willing to talk to her. After all, it's not like she was being casual about him opening the door. They both had just kind of… stopped. No conversation, nothing. Which would make the rest of my life equal to being about the same if they didn't figure out that they liked each other and FAST. "Have you seen Brock lately?"

"Not since school this afternoon," I mumbled. "Why?"

Jess shrugged. "No reason… But I ran into him after school and he said something about needing to talk to you, but wouldn't tell me what, so you're pretty much on your own with that." She smiled.

We turned left at the end of my driveway and a door opened, Traxx walked out and started toward the street, falling into step with the two of us. "So what are you going to do about my idiot brother?" I asked Jessie, referring to Blake. He and his dad had been in my mom's, brother's and my life since Dex and I were 4 years old so it was natural to call him my brother. She didn't reply. Bailor simply stayed quiet. He knew when his input wasn't needed. He had learned that from living next door to me and down the street from Jess all these years.

I kicked a rock that was lying on the ground, and when we reached it again, Jess kicked it out from under her foot. I could tell she was irritated by the fact that Blake wasn't talking to her. It always bothered her, but she tried not to let it show. She wasn't going to let him get to her. He would have to talk to her eventually. After all, they were kind of destined for each other.

You would have to be in our little group to see it, though. The fact that Jess and Blake were in love, I mean. No one else really got it. They just knew that Jess and Blake had gone out once last year and been kind of an on-and-off love ever since. But no… I was the one to have to hear Jessie doubting herself every time she called me talking about him. I was the one who Blake came to every once in a while when he wasn't being a pain and he told me how much he cared about Jessie.

It was just that they were both so hardheaded.

We turned a the corner of the street and onto the main street of our little town. We were on the outskirts so there was basically only our neighborhood and then the few shops that we liked to walk to every once in a while. Pretty much every day, Bailor, Jess and I would walk to what was called Moe's.

Seriously, if you walked into this store, you would never know what you would find. Once, Jess swore that she found a cotton candy package from the 70's with cotton candy still in it, but it was when she was there alone, so Bailor, Brock, Dex, and I never really believed her. Anyway, so you can find anything in this shop, it's been proven.

For instance, today I ended up finding Torch.