Chapter 1

"Claire, are you ok?"

I looked back up at my best friend Rebecca. I sighed. She always knew what was on my mind. I mean, we'd only been best friends since we were born. How could I have been surprised when she could tell something was bothering me? Even though we'd been friends for our entire lives would she be able to handle my new found feelings for the school janitor? And I couldn't even say anything in front of Karen. I was only friends with her because she was friends with Rebecca. Plus, I didn't think she even liked me. We never even hung out together unless Rebecca was there. So saying anything at the moment would be out of the question.

"Yeah. Why wouldn't I be fine?" I said giving them a warm smile. Rebecca played along for now but I knew she'd ask about it later. She shrugged and turned back to her conversation with Karen. I sighed. That was a close one. I thought she was going to dig deeper than that. The bell rang and the three of us stood up and I swung my blue backpack over my shoulder. I waved goodbye to Rebecca and Karen before going my separate way to go to my English class.

"Claire! Wait up!" I turned around to see my other best friend, Benjamin Davis. Although, he preferred to be called Ben or Benny. I smiled at him and waited for him to catch up to me. Ben was a great friend. He always knew how to make me laugh no matter how much of a bad mood I was in. In the sixth grade he had a crush on me and in the seventh grade we went out but it never really worked out. So, we agreed to be just friends. I liked it much better that way.

"Hey Ben, how was lunch with Emily?" I asked with a huge grin on my face. Emily was his newest girlfriend. He didn't get girlfriends often and most of them I never liked. However, I definitely approved of Emily. She seemed like a really sweet person. And I thought she was a good fit for my little Benny. He blushed a little and ran his fingers through his blonde hair. His crystal-like blue eyes diverted somewhere else and I couldn't help but laugh.

"It was fine," he said shyly. I laughed and tugged on his arm to make him start walking. We got to the C building and my heart started to pound against my chest and my throat started to become dry. There he was. Apparently I stopped dead in my tracks because Ben waved a hand in front of my face. "Hey Claire, you alright there?" I tore my eyes away from the brown-haired hunk and turned back to my friend. I nodded and followed him as we headed to the classroom. Crap. We had to pass him. I gulped and took a deep breath. He glanced up and gave me one of his charming smiles and a nod. I smiled back and kept on walking. As I passed by him I could smell his cologne. I sighed dreamily as I smelled his scent. Who knew a janitor could smell so good? Not me.

Whoa. I definitely had it bad. It took all my might not to look back. I resisted the urge and it was very hard. We walked into our English class and took our seats. I actually loved English. It was one of my favorite subjects. Mrs. Johnson announced that we were going to be reading "Romeo and Juliet", a forbidden love story. Perfect. Something else to drag down my day. But here was the most interesting part about our section on Romeo and Juliet: we had to write our own forbidden romance story. A story about a love between two people that was frowned upon by society. I was actually very excited about doing that assignment. I had no idea what I was going to write about but I knew it'd be interesting.

"I'm going to do one about lesbians; that's hot," Richard Phillips whispered to his friend. I rolled my eyes. What a pig? I turned to Ben.

"What are you going to do?" I asked without trying to hold back the excitement in my voice.

"I'm not sure. I was thinking maybe a teacher and a student…" I thought about it for a moment before responding.

"Isn't that a little too cliché and played out though?" I asked him. He seemed to mull it over and shrugged his shoulders.

"I guess. Why? Think a girl and the school janitor is a little more interesting?" he said jokingly. My face lit up at his pure genius idea. He took on a serious facial expression and sighed with frustration. "Claire, I was kidding!"

"Well, I think it's a great idea. Mind if I use it?" He shook his head and I clapped my hands. "Thanks Benny!"

"Yeah, whatever."

Later on a strange feeling came over my bladder and I suddenly realized I had to use the bathroom. I raised my hand to go to the bathroom and Mrs. Johnson handed me the pass to go. I did my business and washed my hands. I glanced up at myself in the mirror. Ugh. I probably looked horrible. My dirty blonde hair was up into a tight bun and I hardly had ANY make-up on. How was Lance, or any guy for that matter, supposed to notice me like that?! I took out my bun and let my hair cascade down to my shoulders. I ran my fingers through it a bit and stopped once I was satisfied. I took out a tube of lip gloss and lightly dabbed some on my lips. I smiled at myself and figured there was nothing more I could have done. I walked out and accidentally bumped into someone.

"Oh, I'm really sorry-" I cut myself short when I caught sight of who I bumped into. I gulped and tried to hide the blush that crept onto my cheeks. It was Lance Mitchell. My heart did that thing where it sped up really fast and I wish it didn't. "Sorry."

"It's alright. I didn't break anything," he said with a slight chuckle. He had a really sexy laugh. Shut up, you stupid brain! I laughed a little too although it was a more nervous laugh.

"Um, I'm Claire," I said holding out my hand. He grinned at me and took my hand in his and shook on it. His hands were so warm and bigger than mine. My heart was beating so quickly I thought it was going to pop right out of my chest.

"I'm Lance," he replied with that sexy grin of his.

"I know," I said before I could stop myself. I immediately panicked and I wanted to bang my head against the lockers beside me. He seemed to laugh at my worried face. "I mean, s-so I've heard." He nodded his head and glanced down at our still shaking hands. I looked down and realized that I was still holding his hand. I quickly pulled my hand away and turned a deep shade of red. God, why was I such an idiot?! "So, where are you going?"

"The girls' bathroom."

My mouth dropped a little. I thought he was a guy! A MASSIVE HUNK!

"To clean it," he added quickly once he saw my puzzled expression. "I'm not a girl. I mean how could I with these amazing abs and no boobs? And let's not forget the male anatomy shall we?" He winked at me and I couldn't stop myself from giggling. Images of him naked started to fill my head and they just wouldn't go away. I was sure I was blushing so much I looked like a tomato. Fabulous! Real fabulous! "Are you hot?"

"Excuse me?"

"You're turning all red. Are you hot? I can turn down the heater," he said with concern. It just made me like him even more. He cared about me! Kind of. I smiled and shook my head.

"No. The temperature is fine," I replied. Except around you it's like as hot as the sun. Shut up thoughts! "Well, I guess I better get back to English now. See you around Lance."

"It was nice meeting you Claire. See you later," he said with a smile and a wave. Oh my god. It was nice meeting me? Did that mean he thought I was cute? Or did he like me too? Oh, I was for sure mental. He was a twenty five year old hunk! What would he want with me: a sixteen year old, not very pretty, dateless, loser? Eh, oh well. I stepped back into my English class and took my seat after handing Mrs. Johnson the bathroom pass.

XOX

"So, are you going or not?" I rolled my eyes. Rebecca was trying to convince me to go to the school dance that Friday night. And I didn't want to go. First of all, all of my friends had dates but me. I'd be the odd ball out. The third wheel so to speak. And the guy I did want to go with was so out of my league… Hence, me not wanting to go.

"Rebecca, please! I don't want to go," I begged.

"Claire, it's just one school dance. Would it kill you to have a little fun?" she said with her hands on her hips. That meant she was getting serious. Damn.

"I have fun! I just don't want to go," I said as I placed a notebook into my backpack from my locker. She rolled her eyes at me.

"Sweetie, how do you expect to get a boyfriend when you won't go to dances or social events?" I shrugged. "Come on! Just this once? For me? We'll go shopping and I'll give you a makeover and the whole she-bang!" I sighed. There was no end in sight.

"Fine. I'll go. But I won't be happy about it," I said shutting my locker. She squealed with joy and hugged me tightly. I smiled and hugged her back.

"Later Claire-Bear! I'll call you later!" she said running down the hallway. She waved goodbye and I laughed as I waved goodbye too.

I took out my iPod and plugged my earphones in. The song "Can't Catch Tomorrow" started to play and I danced along to the melody. "I'm sure I've seen this look before; Done a thousand times and a million more; How many lies did he tell this time; How many times did he cross the line." I turned around and stopped dead in my tracks. I gulped and unplugged my earphones and smiled sheepishly.

"I didn't know I had an audience," I said shyly. He chuckled at me.

"You were good."

"Lance, I was terrible," I giggled. He shook his head. He seemed to disagree. Was he jus trying to make me feel better? Probably.

"No, you were pretty good actually. And I like that song. You have good taste in music." I blushed. Damn me and my hormones. "Speaking of which, my band and I are doing a gig over at the Park. Want to come watch us play?"

Instead of screaming a "yes" like I wanted to…I blurted out, "You're in a band?"

"Yeah. What, you thought I wanted to be a janitor when I grew up? Hell no. This is just a side job until our band makes it to the big time." I smiled. There was a lot more to this guy than I thought. And there was still more to learn. "So Claire, want to come?"

"Sure. I'd love to," I grinned. He smiled at me and took out a sheet of paper and pen. He wrote down the time and the place and handed it to me. He bowed as a goodbye and I giggled and waved. Oh my god! He asked me out! Well, asked me to see his band. Did that mean he liked me? Ugh! I didn't know and I didn't care. All I could think of was what I was going to wear. I glanced down at the note:

Time: 7:30 pm; Saturday

Place: The Park

P.S. Can't wait to see you there, Claire.

XOX

"What do you want Claire?"

"Can't I just say I love you without wanting something in return?" I asked innocently. My father stared at me for awhile and then chuckled.

"Nope."

"But dad!"

"What does she want now?" Marissa, my older sister, asked. Marissa and I looked nothing alike except for our eyes. She had pin straight black hair while my dirty blonde hair was slightly curly. I was so jealous. Plus, she was more developed than I was. She was eighteen and even she had a boyfriend. I was amazed at that.

"Alright, can I go to a concert at the Park on Saturday night?" I pleaded. My dad seemed to think this over and he asked all the necessary questions. Like what time and when it would be over. But then he asked a question I couldn't answer.

"Who's going with you?" I gulped and smiled sheepishly at him. Crap. I was in a corner.

"Um…God? He's always there in spirit." He chuckled a bit.

"Nice try honey but I'm not going to let you go by yourself. Or with just Rebecca," he said, quickly adding that last part. I sighed and turned to my older sister.

"Oh no. Find someone else to bring you," Marissa said as she finished setting the table. I gave her my best puppy dog look and she rolled her eyes.

"Oh Marissa, just take her will you? She seems to really want to go to this concert," my dad chimed in. Way to go dad! Marissa sighed.

"Fine! But you owe me!"

I squealed with joy and hugged both my sister and dad. I gave them both a kiss on the cheek and ran all the way upstairs to my bedroom. I was so happy. I was going to see Lance on Saturday. A non-school day! But wait, what would happen if we bumped into each other? What would I say? What would I do? Crap. Well, it was only Wednesday…I had a few days to get myself together. I had other things to worry about first. Like the school dance. I wish someone would've shot me right then and there.


A/N: Hey people! Well, I actually finished this before New Years. However, I didn't post it because I had to leave for a trip to California. YAY! Anyways, I'm back and decided to finally post this. I'm breaking my new rule but I don't care. It's not like I'm going to ground myself or something. Haha. Anyways, I hope you like this chapter. I already started writing chapter 2. Enjoy and review please!

Julie