A.N.: Hello! My summary for this story sucked, so please give it a read and give it a chance. You may end up liking it, and then again you may not. I have no idea as to your preferences. Either way, this story started about a year ago where I wrote around 25,000 words to it and then I dropped it for a while and have come back with lots of new ideas. But, now I'm babbling, so please enjoy and give me your thoughts by reviewing!

Love to all,

S. White (Cayleigh)

Chapter One


I woke to silence.

The pale sunshine reaching across my room was a dead giveaway the weatherman had finally given up hope for any signs of clear skies, and with good reason. I had lost hope a long time ago; the day it rained on my sixth birthday party when the forecast had been clear skies. I was in for a normal day.

I yawned, stretching my arms over my head. Feeling a spot of ratted hair, I knew I was not looking forward to school, especially the Monday of review week. My teachers would be attempting to cram textbooks into my brain, and I knew before the last bell rang, I would have a serious headache or possibly an approaching migraine.

I groaned, sliding out of bed and catching a glimpse of myself in the dresser mirror. My first thought was 'ick' and, as usual, my unsatisfying appearance was even more so in the morning. I unsuccessfully attempted to comb through my hair with my fingers before deciding I was in desperate need of a shower.

Grabbing some jeans and a sweater, I tiptoed out of my room, and down the hallway. I slowly shut the bathroom door and undressed before stepping into the shower, to enjoy the hot water. Of course, with my luck, the stream turned icy after only ten minutes, and I was forced to step out shivering. I quickly dried myself off and dressed, pulling my blow drier out from underneath the sink. I was plugging in my straightening iron, when a knock shattered the silence; I jumped.


I rolled my eyes—more from annoyance than surprise--and sighed at the familiar voice. "Jill, are you in there?" He pounded his fist against the door. I jolted again.

"Who else would it be?" I asked rhetorically, picking up my nightclothes and throwing them in the hamper. "No one else lives here."

"Point taken," I heard him yawn, a low growling noise. "Sorry I bothered you, but you're going to be late for school if you don't hurry."

My eyes flew to the clock hanging on the wall, and through the foggy glass, I could see that he was right. It was already seven fifteen, and I only had half an hour before the first bell. Not nearly enough time to dry my hair, much less drive to school.

"Thanks for the warning," I told him honestly.

I heard his descending voice from the stairs yell something similar to "no problem"; I guessed he was making his way to the kitchen to scavenge for what food we had leftover from last night's corporate party.

Hastily grabbing my toothbrush, I scrubbed my teeth ruthlessly until I was sure they were clean. I brushed my hair and stared longingly at the drier, unplugging the straightening iron. So much for fixing my hair.

I flew to my room, gathering my various weekends' homework scattered around my bed. Stuffing everything into my backpack, and double-checking my desk for any papers I had missed. Throwing my I.D. badge around my neck, I dragged my backpack out the bedroom door.

I rushed down the stairs attempting not to trip, and was greeted at the bottom by my father, whom was holding a paper, brown sack.

"Lunch," he grumbled simply. "There's a granola bar in there in case you actually decide to eat breakfast," he encouraged. His concern flattered me, but was always unnecessary.

"No thanks, Dad," I rejected politely, grabbing the bag from him. "You know I don't get hungry in the morning," I reminded him.

He rolled his eyes and opened the door for me, managing to ruffle my wet hair before I could side step him. I grumbled an incoherent protest.

"I know you're starving at lunch," he hollered after me, still standing at the door.

I knew he was remembering when I was in elementary school and I had time to eat breakfast. Back then I would only eat half of my lunch but now I would return home empty-handed.

I guess being observant came with his job. Sometimes I hated having a lawyer as a father.

It was my turn to roll my eyes at him and I yelled, "Goodbye, Dad," as I stepped into my car.

Once I got the Camry up and running, I turned the heat on full blast. I had high hopes that it would make up for the crisp autumn air outside and maybe even dry my hair to a somewhat presentable state. Knowing my luck—and my hopes—my plan would fall flat without fail.

I made sure to pull out of the driveway slowly, knowing my dad was still watching me, but as soon as I reached the top of the street, and I knew I was out of his sight, I popped a CD into the player and turned the volume up almost all the way. The bass shook the entire car and made my ears sore, but nonetheless, I didn't turn it down any, because that was how I liked my music: loud. I concentrated on listening to the lyrics folded in between the guitar riffs, gliding toward the darkness of the bridge and leaping back into the chorus. It was violent, but beautiful.

By habit, I ignored the disapproving glares from adults at the stoplights, and drifted off into my own thoughts, hardly paying attention to the road since I knew the route to school by heart.

The morning was the same as any other; cloudy with varying ashen colors, a slight frost clinging to the patches of land and rooftops. Autumn was almost over which meant that Astoria was in for another long, brutal winter. I was looking forward to the changing of seasons, though, mostly because of the possibility of snow days. Hopefully there would be more than last year, which was a grand total of one, but the city had a dry spell the preceding summer. This last summer, however, had been lush with rain and storms, making for a promising winter.

Of course, there was still ten days until the actual start of the cold season. I sighed realizing that the first day of winter would be on the last day of midterms at Astoria High School. I grimaced at the thought, and reminded myself that as soon as midterms were over, winter break would start, which happened to be something I was looking forward to.

During break, my dad was flying to Detroit to meet up with my older brother, Caullin, so that they could visit my Uncle Trevor in the city. I was no longer required to visit, because of an attempted kidnapping in my Uncle's apartment building when I was younger. I didn't remember the incident too well, but I did remember that a woman turned violent against my father when she had claimed that I was her child, and he had politely told her she'd made a mistake. She was never caught and afterwards I had night terrors for a few weeks and my father thought it would be best for me to avoid returning for a while. I hadn't been back since, and I had no immediate plans to do so.

Neither my father, or Caullin, was too thrilled about leaving me in the house for two weeks by myself, but I had to constantly remind them it would actually be closer to one. My sister, Rochelle, was flying in from New York, taking a week off from her studies at Julliard, to see me. I was excited—to say the least—having missed her ever since she'd started college two years earlier and I hadn't seen her in around a year. We had four days to catch up on everything.

I jumped back to reality as I pulled into the school parking lot, noting that not only were all of the front slots taken, but also practically every spot was already occupied. I was obviously later than I thought.

Suddenly, my eyes locked onto a single slot right next to the back double doors. Quickly turning left, I scanned the lot for other cars that also might be trying to steal the spot and found none. I whispered a quiet 'woo-hoo' for my rare luck.

Out of nowhere, a black flash sped across my line of vision and directly into the front space. It took me a moment to register what had just happened and I realized my spot had just been stolen from me. I didn't recognize the car, and it looked too nice for a student to be driving. Of course, none of the faculty made enough money to afford a Corvette. Anger slithered through my veins and I let my road rage get the best of me by flipping the driver 'the bird' and adding an angry blare from my horn. I turned right to find a different spot.

It only took a minute, but I wasn't pleased at how far back I was. Letting out a frustrated sigh, I turned off the stereo, grabbed my backpack and lunch, and locked the car behind me in a hurry.

It wasn't until that moment that I realized how cold it really was outside. I could see my breath and a slight breeze was blowing, curling over my arms. In my rage I had very stupidly forgotten to grab my jacket from the backseat of my car and even though I had a sweater on, it wasn't keeping me very warm.

As I passed the Corvette, I glanced into the driver's side—squinting because the windows were so dark—and was unsurprised to find it empty. I muttered a few unheard curse words and continued, restraining the urge to kick one of the tires.

I hurried through the doors, glancing at the clock on the wall, unhappy to see that I only had two minutes to get to my first class. I reached my locker in record time and flew through the combination. I balanced my books in my right arm, and slammed the locker, suddenly thankful my first class was right around the corner.

As soon as I entered the room, I knew something was going on. Everyone was talking, leaning into groups of people, some whispering, and some not even bothering to keep their voices down. An air of excitement was suffocating the room.

I slid into my normal seat in the back of the room beside my best friend, Nory, who was deeply engaged in conversation with a group of girls. They all seemed to be giggling, blushing, or talking in high-pitched voices, and I tried to cue in on what they were saying, but it seemed almost impossible; words were flying in every direction. I finally gave up on trying to listen and tapped Nory on the shoulder.

"What's going on?" I asked her as she turned to face me.

Nory opened her mouth to speak, but one of the girls in the group—to my unhappy recognition, Savannah Williams—spoke first.

"You haven't heard?" She asked in arrogant disbelief.

I shook my head, ignoring her tone.

She rolled her eyes, a smug smile tugging at her lips. "There's a couple new students—brothers—and word is they're both pretty hot. And available." Her last words sounded like a warning; although why she would be warning anyone—especially me—was beyond my reasoning. She would probably have both of them on her arms by the end of the day.

"You mean you haven't seen him?" I questioned as her words sank in.

"I haven't," she replied, pompously. "But Brittany has. She saw them walk in." She tilted her head to the brunette sitting next to her.

Brittany took the gesture as a torch passing—she immediately began chattering away and leaned in as if to share a secret. "They're so gorgeous."

With that, the giggling fired up and I opted out, leaning against the back of my chair.

New students were mildly uncommon in Astoria, even though we were the best high school—out of two—in the district. Most of us figured the reason was because when people went out looking for a place to live, they didn't point at Oregon and say "Let's live there!" There was nothing special about Oregon, and I longed for a change. The crime rate was as low as the cheerleading tops, and interesting news was as short supplied as their skirts—if anyone dared to call them that much. Nonetheless, new students—especially the nicer looking ones—were always a topic of gossip for at least a few days. Chances were that I would have a couple classes with one of them. Astoria was an average sized school, but small in terms of classes offered.

None of it mattered to me, though. If the new brothers were as "gorgeous" as Brittany said they were, then there wasn't a doubt in my mind that by the end of the day both of them would have been pulled into Savannah's circle; the prettier half of Astoria High, which I happened to not be part of.

Mr. Gower suddenly called for attention at the front of the classroom, snapping me out of my thoughts.

"Settle down everyone!" He yelled, trying to be heard over the roar of voices. Almost instantly the buzz disintegrated to almost nothing. "Thank you," he managed, breathing hysterically. "Now, let's get started."

But none of us were listening to him. Every pair of eyes in the class was fixed on the person standing in the doorway. One of the brothers was lingering there holding a slip from the office. I couldn't even deny to myself that he was extremely good looking.

He was toned, anyone with eyes could see that, but he wasn't overly muscular. His hair fell in midnight strands over one side of his face, though he wasn't hiding behind the veil of wispy, wing-like tresses. His face was oblong, his jaw very cut. His skin was alabaster, pale and unblemished, and the only sign of color seemed to be coming from his thin, but shapely lips—a light coral—and his large, green doe-like eyes. His nose was centered perfectly, and I found myself lost in the deep, hypnotizing color of his eyes. In a nutshell: he was a god.

It wasn't until a moment later I realized we had locked gazes. He was staring straight at me, concentrating hard on something, and I could feel a pull drawing me to him like a magnetic force. No one seemed to notice he was fixed on me; all of the girls were gazing at him in awe—probably the way I was—and the boys were glaring at the obvious attention he was attracting from the females.

The room began shifting, and all of my muscles felt weak with the effort I was putting forth to tear my gaze away from his. I tried to remember how to breathe as nausea surrounded me and my lungs contracted, struggling for air. He suddenly, very easily, averted my eyes as if it had been a simple glance. The sudden weight was lifted as the electric charge he had on me was finally broken and as oxygen refilled my brain I realized that a glance had probably been all it was. My mind snapped back to reality when I heard Mr. Gower tell the boy he was going to spare him the long introduction.

I watched as he nodded gracefully—if that was possible—thanking Mr. Gower silently. I was convinced it would have been just as polite if he had used words.

Well, the only open desk is in the back, next to Jill," Mr. Gower stated, turning to face the board again. He didn't seem to be phased by the new student's presence.

The boy nodded again and my heart stopped. Jill was my name, I remembered stupidly. One glace revealed that, sure enough, the desk to my left was empty. My stomach suddenly felt like the home to a cave full of bats, and I was glad more than ever that I hadn't eaten breakfast.

Mesmerized, I watched as he swiftly made his way to the back of the classroom in record speed, but with precision in his step. The way he carried himself was unnaturally beautiful; he almost seemed to float.

He carefully let down his backpack, and placing it on the floor, before taking his seat next to mine. My eyes remained locked onto him until I realized I was staring, and I quickly drew my gaze away, unable to look at his angelic face any longer. I felt a pang of jealousy toward his beauty, but it vanished as soon as it had appeared.

The rustle of paper filled the room and I realized Mr. Gower had been saying something. It only took me a fleeting second to realize that I had left my only notebook at home on my computer desk. I heaved a sigh and was about to tap Nory on the shoulder to ask her to lend me some paper, when I suddenly found a blank sheet already on my desk.

My eyes instantly flew to the new student, and I had a feeling that he'd placed the paper there even though there was no evidence to suggest he had. To my surprise, he was staring at me and my breath caught in my throat. A half smile played at his lips nearly causing me to melt in my seat.

"Thank you," I acknowledged, gesturing to the paper. It was all I could manage being short of breath. I knew my face was flushed.

He merely nodded and stared at me a second longer before turning his attention to the front of the classroom.

As I took notes, I began to wonder if he ever spoke. Decidedly, it wouldn't lessen his extravagant appearance in the least, and I realized with a sinking feeling that I had no idea what his name was since Mr. Gower had skipped the introduction. But neither did anyone else.

Trying to be scarce, I slightly leaned over my desk, trying to catch a glimpse of his ID badge. He shifted his weight to the right and I noticed he wasn't wearing one. There was only a temporary ID sticker on his shirt—for those who were new to the school or left their card at home—but I wasn't able to read the name lazily scrawled on it.

My eyes wandered back up to his face, and I was met with his hypnotizing eyes. I instantly looked away, feeling a blush creep onto my cheeks. I thought I heard him chuckle quietly.

Mr. Gower concluded his lecture over the cell structures of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and reached for his attendance list. He scanned it up and down once before turning his attention back to the class.

"I'm going to pair you up," he told us. "You and your partner are to open your books to the review questions in the back of the book, and answer them on your own paper." He looked down at Savannah from behind his thin wire rimmed glasses. "No partner switching."

I stifled a laugh. Last time he'd split the class up into partners Savannah had been paired with Kevin—not someone she would normally associate with—and had almost instantly switched with one of her very close guy friends. Mr. Gower found out and confronted her after class, a conversation that I accidentally overheard. He told her that he'd paired her with Kevin because her grade was suffering and that she needed all the help she could get since she refused to have a tutor.

"You have the rest of the class to get as many questions answered as you can," he paused, placing the cap of a pen in his mouth and scribbling something on the attendance sheet. "The rest is homework. Let's see here…" His eyes moved down the list.

"Nory and David," he began. I watched my best friend eagerly, her expression lightening at the sound of her crush's name. Mr. Gower flew through most of the rest of the list and I kept trying to remember if he'd said my name yet, but he hadn't.

"Savannah and…" he trailed off, and I had a moment of panic. I prayed for her to be with anyone other than the new student. "Kevin."

I smiled to myself, watching Savannah's disgruntled expression as she risked a glance at Kyle, who looked just as unpleased as she did about the match-up.

"That leaves…" Mr. Gower went off again, running his finger down the list. "Jill and Mr.…"

"LeVeau," the boy filled the blank. His voice had a harsh quality, but at the same time it was glorious and smooth like velvet; it was an odd—but beautiful—combination. He was surprisingly quiet, but just loud enough to hear.

"Jill and Mr. LeVeau," the teacher confirmed, turning his gaze to me. "I trust you'll catch our new student up on everything?"

I nodded, my heart thumping rapidly at the thought of even looking at the boy. I couldn't believe my luck, because I was almost positive this was the first time I had any of the good kind.

"Alright everyone, move next to your partner and get to work."

I leaned over my desk and retrieved my Biology book, feeling my flush return, knowing my partners eyes were on me. When I sat upright again, I was surprised to find the boy's desk already nudged up against mine. I hadn't even heard him move. Before I could blink, his hand was held out to me and he was smiling; a god-like grin exposing his flawless teeth. I knew I was turning a deeper shade of red.

"My name is Gerard," he practically sang. His voice carried a melody even though he was only speaking.

Gerard. Not a name commonly heard today, but nonetheless beautiful. I decided it suited him well, and did justice to his appearance. I said it to myself again, surprised when I felt my heart race faltering slightly in consistency. How could a name have so much effect on me?

I took his hand, an electric charge passing through my veins. It wasn't painful, but my arm jolted slightly. I managed to continue grasping his hand and I realized with utter shock that it felt like ice, but he didn't appear to be cold. I shook his hand gently, still trying to remember how to suck in oxygen.

"Jill," I replied simply. "But I guess you already know that," I remembered out loud, releasing his grip slowly, wanting anything but to lose contact with his skin.

"Well, I can never be told too many times." He smiled, flashing his brilliant white teeth again. "I'm not good with names."

I smiled back, my heart swelling in my chest.

"You and I will get along just fine, then," I told him, unable to tear my gaze away from his captivating face.

He chuckled softly, his laugh like honey. He looked around the room before returning his gaze to me and leaning in closer. "Does she always stare at new students like that?"

He inconspicuously pointed across the room, where I saw Savannah ignoring Kevin's rambling and staring at Gerard with a dreamy expression plastered on her face. Jealousy snaked through my veins, flushing my skin. She threw a small flirty wave in his direction.

Gerard's face remained expressionless, his features set into stone. A corner of his mouth lifted—hardly enough to be called a smile—and he returned the wave in a smaller gesture than I thought possible; just a flick of the air. He looked at me confusedly before I realized that he was only being polite to Savannah, without giving her too much satisfaction. Of course, any gesture passed in my direction from Gerard would have given me some sense of victory.

"You mean Savannah?" I whispered, trying to conceal my hatred. "Not normally, but I'm sure you'll be getting a lot of that the rest of the day," I told him, scanning the room and noting that Savannah wasn't the only culprit.

"Great," he muttered sarcastically. His face suddenly creased in concentration. "Do I have something in my teeth?" He turned to me, exposing his pearly whites. Before I could answer, he looked down at his mid-section and launched another question, directed more toward himself than me. "Is my fly open?"

I laughed. "She's not glaring at you, Gerard."

My blood boiled at the sound of his name. What was wrong with me?

"Really?" He asked, deadly serious.

I had a small case of disbelief. He sounded as though he'd never been stared at before. I knew that couldn't be true; he was sure to turn heads anywhere.

"What is she looking at?" He inquired, half-smiling at me.

I somehow managed to find my voice. "Just at you," I whispered, barely audible, staring at my biology book with empty focus.

He miraculously heard me, and snorted in response, managing to morph it into a musical note.

"It's a bit disturbing," he complained, folding his arms over his chest and leaning back in his desk.

I was baffled, and I spoke slowly, still not believing what I was saying.

"You mean to tell me that you've never been stared at before? I mean the way Savannah was?" I risked a glance in her direction. "Is," I corrected.

"No," he replied honestly, raising his eyebrows. "Should I be?" Gerard asked again, noticing that she wasn't the only one gazing at him as he scanned the room with prowling eyes.

"It's only fitting," I muttered, smiling at him. He didn't respond, but the confused look on his face grew deeper. I let out a small sigh, trying to decide the best way to tell him he was "hot" without being so crude.

"You're…very pleasing to the eye," I finished quickly, the blush returning.

Surprise crossed his features and he laughed, the lightheartedness of his tone like liquid. "They're staring at me because they think I'm attractive?" He confirmed, chuckling between his words.

I nodded, astonished that he was taking this news with such hilarity. Maybe where he came from he was considered unattractive. He smiled again and I knew it wasn't possible.

Gerard finished his laughing fit with a sigh, and leaned in close to me. My throat closed up.

"Do you think I'm attractive?"

I was suddenly under the microscope of a very awkward situation. If I told him I thought he was attractive, he might assume I was just like the other girls—like Savannah—but I didn't want to lie. I let out a breath I had been holding.

"It only seems sane," I mumbled, embarrassed beyond belief.

To my great relief, he laughed again, a distinct sound that reminded me of bells. His doe eyes suddenly locked gazes with mine, and a lump formed in my throat, demolishing any chance I had of speaking.

"I'll take that as a yes," he finished, not tearing his gaze away from me. "It's nice to know I'm not unattractive."

My thoughts halted. He thought he was ugly? There wasn't a word to describe how utterly insane that notion was.

"You've never seen a mirror?" I joked.

His lips pursed into a thin snigger, as if he was remembering something.

"Not for a while," he responded, carrying along with my sarcasm, but for some reason I had the sense that he wasn't kidding. There was a pause and he seemed to be deep in thought.

"So," I started, feeling uncomfortable in the silence. "Where did you move from?" I inquired, my curiosity rising.

He hesitated, thinking his answer through.

"My family and I moved here from a town Michigan," he answered, his tone guarded. "It was small, probably only about nine hundred people living there."

"Oh," I nodded, sensing that he was leaving something out. Which I was okay with; I'd only known him for about fifteen minutes and didn't expect him to share his entire life with me in an instant. "May I ask why?"

He laughed. "I think you just did," he ran a hand through his black hair, still smiling. "My mom was just getting tired of the small town life, she said it was boring, and…I'd have to agree with her. My siblings and I were always trying to find something to entertain us, and were never able to." He risked a glance over to Mr. Gower's desk. "And being cooped up in a two bedroom house with your four siblings and mother, it isn't exactly the greatest thing in the world. In turn, my mom finally decided it was time to move and buy a bigger house. So, here I am."

"You have four brothers and sisters?"

"One sister, three brothers," he corrected, folding his hands together, and leaning in closer to me. My heart ran freely, beating as fast as if I'd just sprinted a mile, from the energy he was radiating.

"How does your sister fair?" I asked, not knowing what it was like to live with so many brothers. I'd only had one to deal with and he moved out of the house and started college before I even entered high school. I lived the majority of my life with my father and sister, but for the past two years, while she was at college, I felt like an only child.

Gerard chuckled. "She gets by. We make it a job to tease her to no end, but she can handle it. She's the spunkiest nine year old I've ever seen, and she's a hair-puller when it comes to wrestling."

I smiled, imagining normal, happy life Gerard lived, although…something vital was missing. The way his eyes held hesitant gates each time I posed a question left me with a sense of a deeper story. Boy, did I feel like a lawyer; I shuddered at the thought and pushed my speculating thoughts away.

"So, are you the oldest?"

"No," he answered simply. "I'm the youngest boy, actually. My brother, Simon, is oldest. He's…" he paused, his eyes rolling up, trying to remember something. "Twenty six I think. He's been out of college for three years now. And my other brother, Jeremy, is eighteen, then there's me, and Aimee."

I mentally counted and realized he had only mentioned two brothers. "I thought you said you had three brothers." It was more of a question to clarify than a statement.

"Well," he paused, surprised I caught his miscalculation. "I do, but…I'm not really sure what I would consider Liam. He's my mom's boyfriend," he hesitated, scratching the back of his head in complexion. "But I'd consider him a brother more than anything, because we're so close."

I raised my eyebrows in skepticism.

"He's not related to me," he corrected instantly, holding his hands out. "He's just been a family friend for a long time and he lives with us, so," he trailed off still unsure of his answer. He half smiled, and turned to me. I froze, unsure if I was still conscious. "You're very perceptive."

Familiar warmth flooded to my face, and I averted his burning gaze. "My dad's a lawyer," I answered. "I've been taught to be observant."

"Makes sense," he agreed, still watching me. I waited for him to avert his eyes, but he didn't. I cleared my throat under his eyes.

The moment was shattered by the bell. For the first time in my life, I was disappointed that Biology was over.

Gerard had already moved his desk back to its row, and stood up with his backpack in fluid motion.

It occurred to me that I hadn't said one word about biology. "Whoops," I muttered inaudibly.


My brain fizzled and I glanced up at him, momentarily stunned. How had he heard me?

"I forgot to catch you up on the class," I admitted, ashamed as I watched the rest of the room file out. Many of the girls—Savannah included—were staying behind, slowly gathering their belongings.

Gerard's expression didn't change; he was still smiling. "Don't worry about it," he replied casually before lowering his voice. "I actually aced this class back in Michigan."

"You're taking it again?" I asked, following his long, graceful strides out of the classroom. I struggled to keep up with him, even though he wasn't putting much effort into his speed. "I didn't think the school would let you do that…"

He threw me a sly smile, and winked—I had to steady myself, suddenly dizzy. "They don't."

I laughed, imagining him persuading the school counselor to let him change his schedule. Persuading her couldn't have taken much—maybe a few smiles and innocent glances and he could have asked her to jump off a bridge and she would have done it without a second thought.

"So, where's your next class?" I asked curiously.

He suddenly stopped, confused, and pulled out a folded piece of paper from his pocket. "I'm not entirely sure," he replied scanning the paper. "Where's History three honors?"

History III honors? I was stunned I had actually managed to hold a conversation with a junior all Biology, and that he was taking such a difficult class. From what I'd heard, History III honors was an early look at Hell. I realized his next class was directly on my route to French II.

"It's on my way," I told him, warily eyeing the group of staring girls gathering a few feet away. "I could show you where it is, if you want."

He looked down at me and I had to crane my neck back to look him in the eye. He was at least half a foot taller than I was.

"I'd like that," he approved, smiling slightly, waiting for me to lead the way.

Half way down the south hallway that I became aware of the same cluster of girls trailing behind us, close enough to eavesdrop. Almost instinctively, I leaned closer to Gerard, only a fraction of an inch remaining between our hands. My face fell when we reached his classroom, but I tried to be optimistic. I might have another class with him later.

We simultaneously stopped at the door.

"Thanks for showing me around," he said politely, placing his folded schedule back in his pocket.

"No problem," I replied emptily, still mesmerized by his lithe movements.

He smiled again.

" I'll see you later," he looked down, and I thought I saw disappointment cross his face before he returned his eyes to me. "If not, catch you in Biology tomorrow?"

"Definitely," I affirmed, dreading to leave Gerard, and go to French, but I would be late if I didn't get moving.

"Good." His eyes sparkled and he was beaming. "See you later, Jill."

My heart stuttered at the sound of my name rolling off of his silken voice. Color rushed to my ears.

"Bye," I managed, giving him a small smile before turning heel towards French class.