Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess in a mighty, yet empty castle. Each day she would call for her prince, hoping that he would come and end her loneliness.

He would come on a majestic white steed, carrying a large sword, his indestructible shield on his other arm. He would ride up to the castle wall and draw his sword, telling the princess of his everlasting love for her. The princess would come down from the Castle Tower and the two would embrace, promising never to leave one another.

And they would ride into the sunset, living happily ever after.

'Yeah right,' I scoffed as I slammed the book shut and shoved it away. I watched it slide off my desk and onto the floor with a muffled thump. 'Fantasy stories don't happen. Not to me at least.' My last boyfriend dumped me for one of the popular cheerleaders in the school, a common thing for many.

I wanted to date someone loyal, someone I could place my trust in—place my life—in his hands. I was acting like one of those make-believe, spoiled princesses again. Things don't happen like that today, just a mix of tangled lies that parents try to make us believe.

Someone bent down next to my desk and retrieved the book, dropping it on my desk, causing the entire desk to shake slightly.

"I thought you might want this back," the person told me.

"I don't think so," I retorted. "I'm not reading it. Even if it's for school. I know that fairy tales don't exist. Why are we even reading stuff like this?" I whipped my head up to view the offender.

My breath got caught in my throat. This wasn't a common computer nerd or math geek. If he was, then he did a good job of hiding it. No. The student in question was far better looking that a nerd or geek. He was right in the middle between the cool and the popular. And yes, there was a difference.

What would categorize him? One of the 'popular' guys that just looked good (being popular didn't necessarily mean you were hot)? No—he looked muscular enough to pass as one of the 'cool' ones (basically jocks). But then…he didn't look strong enough to be one of the higher males of the group. He looked too intelligent for that position.

"You don't need to believe in fairy tales to finish your school assignment, Mandy," he chuckled. I felt my cheeks burn.

"The name's Amanda," I told him hotly. The nerve!

"The pleasure's mine, Mandy," he kneeled down and kissed my hand.

I could feel my whole face burning, the entire class must have been staring at me by now. Here was this handsome boy kneeling in front of me, my hand in his own.

His milk chocolate hair hung over his eyes, I could see his eyes clearly at all, for they were still looking at my hand. He had such a lean figure, long, lanky, and muscular (again, not as much as a proper jock). His sky blue polo shirt was unwrinkled and crisp, neatly tucked into his dark blue jeans. The only item of clothing out of place was his shoes. They were slightly dirty and worn, though not worn out enough to look ragged.

My heart started beating furiously once he started to stand up. He still held onto my hand, but this wasn't the cause of my breathlessness.

It was his eyes.

When he lifted his head, I had the best view of his beautiful eyes. They were the darkest shade of brown, almost black. Though seemingly normal at first, I could tell that there was more than meets the eye. Completely mysterious, secretive, even…dangerous. But still beautiful. Those eyes were part of the reason why he was so gorgeous. Everything matched up so well.

I was too busy observing his features that I missed what he said next.

"W-what?" I asked stupidly.

"If you need help understanding the book. I could help you," he repeated, smiling gently.

"Uh…sure…thanks," I kicked myself for coming up with such a lame answer like that. The best-looking guy in the school had offered to help me! And my answer? To sound like I could care less about his offer!

But he looked unfazed, maybe even slightly happier. Maybe even triumphant.

"Good. We'll meet next week when a new chapter is assigned," he turned and moved quickly back to his seat to grab his things for his next class.

edited 10/16/08