In front of her was a tall, very handsome boy her age. He was over six feet tall, with short cropped honey blonde hair and frighteningly blue eyes. He was well-built, obviously from many hours of exercise. Since he was so tall, and Caelyn was on her tush from falling, she had to crane her neck in order to look at him, let alone talk to him.

"I'm sorry for yelling. I thought you were someone else." She apologized sincerely.

He chuckled, this mysterious Adonis. "Heh heh, it's all right. You were right to yell at me for not looking where I was going. I am the one who should apologize for my incompetence at walking safely through the halls."

"No, no, I'm sure it's my entire fault. I was the one running through the halls and not looking where I was going. To top it off, when I fell I tried to blame it on you, because I was upset about falling for the second time today." Caelyn blushed and added modestly. "I'm a bit of a klutz." For the first time Caelyn actually meant it when she said that. These days it seemed that Caelyn was nothing but a silly klutz, running into anyone and everything. She was beginning to wonder if by pretending for so many years that she was not very skilled at maintaining control of her body, that she actually began to believe it herself, and by default began to become a real one. She silently vowed to herself that she would pay more attention to watching where she was going.

The Adonis smiled widely, "That's all right. Run into me all you want. I don't mind bumping into a creature as beautiful as you."

Caelyn blushed heavily. Embarrassed, she hid her smile by ducking her head to pick up her books and letting her hair fall, shadowing her face. In a very cliché manner, the boy started to help pick up the books also. Of course, Caelyn got most of her books, but the strange boy managed to snatch one before she got it.

When Caelyn stood up from the ground, she noticed that she still had to crane her head in order to look into his eyes. She couldn't help but think that this was the only other boy that she ever met that was as tall as Wesley. She noticed also that so far he hadn't gotten on her nerves yet. Maybe not all tall, handsome boys are annoying and arrogant.

He was fiddling with her book, turning it around in his hands and not giving it to her. Caelyn held out her hand in a silent attempt to ask for her book back. He looked at her in a confused manner for at least fifteen seconds before he got an expression close to what most people would probably get if the light bulb finally turned on in their head. He smirked and handed over her book, "Sorry, I tend to get distracted sometimes and forget what it was I was doing. My name is Neal, by the way, I'm new here."

Caelyn smiled genuinely, part of the reason was because she finally had all her books back in her possession, but partly because he was being nice and he was so cute. She wondered just how intelligent he was though. He might be missing a few tools in the shed, especially if he can't seem to remember what he's doing two seconds later. "Hi, I'm Caelyn. That's cool that you're new. You'll love it here. Everyone is really nice."

"I'm beginning to realize that. Are they as beautiful as you are, also?"

Caelyn blushed again, "You tease." She gently nudged his shoulder with her hand in a flirtatious manner.

Neal laughed heartily. "I only speak the truth, sweetheart."

Caelyn couldn't come up with a snappy reply for the first time in her life. Instead she opted to just shake her head slowly from side to side in disbelief.

"Oh, gawd. I'm so sorry. I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I get away with myself. I don't know when to shut up or not. I also don't know what's appropriate. I'm really very sorry." He rambled on in a now extremely nervous tone.

Caelyn continued to shake her head, a little bit more emphatically now. "No. It's all right. I just don't hear that very often. I have a hard time believing it, and now I'm wondering if I have a hard time taking compliments also." Neal looked baffled. His confusion consequently confused Caelyn to no end. She continued in a rushed manner, "Are you feeling all right? I didn't offend you somehow, did I?"

It was now Neal's turn to shake his head emphatically, but he was also chuckling. "We just keep going in circles, don't we?"

It was Caelyn's turn to chuckle, "Yes, it seems we do. We're silly, aren't we?"

He smiled widely, "Very silly. But that's all right."

Just then the bell rang signaling that the last period had just ended, and everyone was off the for the rest of the day.

"Crud…" Caelyn said a little too loudly, she had intended not to say it out loud at all, but she accidentally almost yelled it.

She was looking around everywhere, in constant motion, literally freaking out. She was afraid she would get in trouble for skipping classes. She was also afraid of how in the world she was going to make up the work she missed in the classes that she skipped. Caelyn didn't have the first clue what to say to her teachers for why she missed class today. She was a straight A student, who never missed a class in her life.

Neal looked concerned, "What? What happened? I didn't keep you from your class or anything did I?"

"No, no. That's not your fault. I just missed the last three periods. Now I have to go back to those classes and make up some random excuse for why I wasn't there today… And I'm not that imaginative…"

He stared blandly. "You mean, basically you ditched your classes."

Caelyn stopped moving and looking around, instead she stared up directly into Neal's eyes and blinked. Then she responded, "Yes. I suppose you could phrase it that way."

"So what? It's just a few classes. It's not the end of the world if you ditch a class."

Caelyn got a bothered and snobby look on her face. Her mouth became pinched into a straight, almost non-existent line. She was preparing for a battle, "But I have a perfect, spotless record thank you very much. It may not be a big deal to you, but this is a major screw up for me. I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm not as easy-going when it comes to missing classes as you seem to be."

"You like to fight don't you? I'm sorry. You're right, I don't seem to be as into my 'education' as you. If I offended you by what I said or made you think low of me. I really wish you'd give me another chance to prove to you otherwise."

Caelyn smiled modestly and shyly, "We really do keep going in circles. Don't we? I guess I'm so used to arguing with a certain bad boy that I don't know how to act like a civilized person around the nice ones."

Neal didn't answer her. He was now staring past her shoulder with a sort of cocky grin on his face. He didn't even bother to give her an answer because he wasn't listening anymore. He was looking at something past her that apparently was much more interesting than herself. She was beginning to wonder if he had ADD or something and that was why he never seemed able to keep up with the conversation. She turned around and tried to figure out what in the world had distracted his attention.

Her first thought was that it must be Keira, she tended to distract boys with her curvaceous body and natural beauty. But she didn't see Keira anywhere in sight. Instead she saw a bunch of people filing through the halls... and Wesley.

Surprisingly, it wasn't the usual Wesley either. He wasn't walking through the halls with his arrogant stride and his usual cocky grin. Neal, instead, seemed to be the one wearing the arrogant look of the two boys. He was standing stock still, his face was red and he looked like he was going to hit something, anything, very hard. Caelyn had never seen Wesley look as upset as she had now.

"Yo, Hart! Long time no see. How's it going??" Neal yelled at Wes from across the hall.

Caelyn couldn't believe it but Wes actually went an even deeper shade of red. She wondered if he had stopped breathing also, because he was turning something of a shade of plum. She couldn't understand why in the world Wes was so upset at the sight of the boy that was new to the school. Neal seemed like a very nice boy.

Wes didn't even respond to Neal's seemingly buddy-like question. He did a complete 180 on his heels and rushed out of the halls as fast as possible.

Caelyn raised her eyebrows in confusion, shrugged, and turned back to Neal. "That was odd." She remarked to him. "How do you know Wesley?"

Neal laughed heartily. "Our mothers were friends while we were growing up. Consequently, we grew up together. I haven't seen him in years though. But I agree, that was very odd." His smirk never left his face.

"If you two grew up together, why'd you call him by his last name?"

"That's just how we are. We never really called each other Wes and Neal. It was always Montegomery and Callahan. Just the way things were. I never really questioned it." He replied indifferently, which acted as a signal that the conversation was to end.

Caelyn stared him quizzically, she couldn't seem to make out what was up with this new guy. She decided that since he had been nice to her, and Wes seemed to hate him, that he was an all right fellow. Caelyn would take any excuse to upset Wes. Although, she did have to admit to herself that his anger earlier was much different than the usual aggravated annoyance that she was used to. But she figured she'd take any excuse to wipe the smirk off her rival's face. She shrugged her shoulders in an effort to shrug off her concern for just how angry Wes looked. He was not her problem.

"Well, buddy, would you like a tour of the grounds? I seem to have an open schedule now. Seeing as how I missed a great deal of my classes, I don't have nearly as much homework tonight as I usually do."

Neal made a corny bow and arm flourish, "Lead the way, my dear."

Caelyn decided to go along with his exaggerated act, she held out her arm like she was going to escort him into a ball. Forcing him to be the woman in the situation.

Neal laughed heartily at this move. He did the same gesturing, offering his arm out to her. He raised his eyebrows suggistively and smiled encouragingly.

Normally, Caelyn wouldn't so readily submit to another person's act of stubbornness. But she was in a giving mood, plus the boy was cute. She decided she didn't mind so much with acting like a girl for once. She gave a short, staccato laugh and tucked her hand in the crook of his arm and began walking.

"Hey, Neal?" Caelyn asked after about thirty seconds or so. When they were close to the doors that opened to the outside.


"Do you mind if during the tour we stop by my classes so that I can pick up my homework?"

"Haha. You just can't stand the thought of missing out on some homework can you? I don't think it'll hurt your perfect record that much."

"I know. But it really was very uncharacteristic of me. So pretty please??"

"All right, all right. I think we can manage."

Caelyn looked up into his striking blue eyes and smiled widely. "You're such a gentleman."

"Anything for you, doll face. You're the one being sweet and showing me around. You're such a nice girl, and very pretty too."

"Oh goodness. We're back to the compliments again, aren't we?"

"Yes. We're back to the compliments because they are completely true, and because I think if I do it enough then you will actually begin to believe them. Positive thinking, honey."

Caelyn just shook her head and blushed. She couldn't believe this boy was real. She also felt that he seemed very much like the Masked boy from the dance. They both had very pretty blue eyes, pretty much the same color. Both Neal and this masked stranger were very tall and they also both talked the same, with the compliments and the flattery. She wondered if maybe she should play the question game with the Masked Stranger. Maybe he was not as creepy as he seemed to be...