I walked into the school building and immediately noticed something different. One, Ann was seething at someone other than me, and two, she was protectively leading a gorgeous blond to the office, as opposed to her, 'back of, I wanna be alone' attitude most of the time. I smiled. Perfect way to get to the new cheerleader...and this was a cheerleader. I was sure of it.

I sauntered over to Ann and smiled at the cheerleader. "Hey there, gorgeous. Hi, Ann."

I tore my eyes away from Ann to see her smiling. Interesting. Normally she would have flipped out over something like that. Called it insolence or something. Instead she was pleased. I leaned toward the cheerleader and smiled at her. "Hey, you want to go out tonight?"

Her jaw dropped and her cheeks turned red. She shook her head, and then mumbled something to Ann. Whirling, she shot into the office like a cannonball. Ann chuckled. "Dustin, do you realize you just asked my sister out on a date?"

I looked at her in shock. The other girl was a tall, beautiful blonde. Ann was tiny and dark and mysterious. Hard to know. Not that Ann wasn't pretty, but she was just so small and so superior. A mighty sweet armful, granted, but she was hard to tame, and it would take forever for that sweet armful to get in your arms. "Oh, shit."

Ann smirked. "Kit is shy. She's also four years older than me. Three years older than you." A strange look flitted across her face. "But then, you like older women, don't you?"


I called myself a thousand kinds of a fool. I sounded like jealous girlfriend. Girlfriend. And what did I care that he was ogling my sister? He looked at me oddly for a moment and then he pulled me tight to his chest. "Now, you wouldn't be jealous, would you, babe?" he murmured in my ear, holding me close.

I think my heart nearly stopped. Why did he have to do that right when I was so vulnerable? I forced myself to breathe and I laughed, a high-pitched, nervous laugh. "Do you want me to be?" I purred, wrapping my arms around his neck.

His eyes widened a little. "No-o." Why does he sound so uncertain?

I tugged his head closer. Was I actually... Did I want him to... "Are you sure?"

I was. I did. I glanced at his mouth. He had full pink lips. Not puffy, just full. Just right. Abruptly, he bent and pressed his lips to mine. Still holding me, he murmured, "Did you like that, babe?"

I stiffened. Without thinking, I kneed him in the balls and fled his grasp. I cursed myself as I ran from him. For the second time, his flirtations had made me lose my cool.


That girl! So beautiful...so violent. I winced at the memory. I had made her uncomfortable. SHe had reciprocated. I had, I admitted to myself, started the whole thing. I shook my head. It was too early for class. Ann must be going to CHess Club or something geeky like that. I turned and went to the baseball field. To my surprise and dismay, Ann was standing there sweet-talking Coach. He looked skeptical, but he was nodding. Not good...

Suddenly, Coach saw me. I backed up a step when I saw the expression on his face. Uh-oh. Coach marched up to me and announced proudly, "Well, D, I just found you a batter. A good one too. A little young, and a woman, but still, she's in high school, isn't she?"