summary. "I li—think your hair looks nice like that." And then my best friend chooses to stand up, looking like she was going to pee in her pants. "So, what do you say? Do you like her back?" Oh shizzletops.

I own nothing you notice, except the characters, the plotline, and um, my soul?

In Only The Best Way Possible
or, Liking Me Back, To Be Or Not To Be
Happy Valentine's Day!


"Come on, Tara! Go and tell him." I glanced at Ari, eyebrows raised.

"You really think I'm going to tell him I like him?"

Arielle grinned, flashing me with pearly whites and nearly blinding my retinas.

"Of course!" she cried. "You're brave. It's Valentine's Day, too," she added, thoughtfully putting her fingers to her lips.

"What?" I shot back, eyes wide and bugging out of my eye sockets. "I am not brave. I'm a wimp, a scaredy-cat! And I don't even enjoy Valentine's Day! I doubt any guy would even remember—I didn't…" When, of course, I did. Ugh. Curse my stupid romantic daydreams.

She laughed. "Oh, Tara," she tsked, and I stared at her, pleading with her silently to please don't make me do this!

Arielle, vicious best friend that she was, just grinned happily and shooed me over to where he stood, joking, talking, and doing man stuff with his friends. Brown-haired, blue-eyed and freaking gorgeous with a capital G, Colin Richardson was so out of my league. Why was I doing this again?

Oh yeah, because my freakishly evil best friend pushed me over with those ferocious hands of hers. I was so not a happy camper right now, nope. Not at all.

His friends glanced over his shoulder, smirked, and man-pushed him on the shoulder, all the while pointing at me, who was currently blushing, flustered, and so scared I was quivering like it was negative three hundred and thirty-four degrees.

It felt like an eternity, walking the few feet to where his posse was standing, but in reality it was only a few minutes, one tops. Sadly enough.

Colin—bless him—seemed unfazed by the current state I was in as I finally arrived to stand before his group. "Hi," he greeted me, smiling a friendly smile, and making my knees go weak.

I think a squeak escaped my lips when Colin spoke to me, but I couldn't be sure, you know? My heart was racing, I wanted to faint, and all I could reply was with a "Hi" back. Oh, God.

"Come on, Tara…" I heard Ari hiss from behind me, and I grumbled incoherently under my breath as I smiled brightly at the guy currently staring at me with confused, electric blue eyes—well, tried to anyway.

"Erm, hi Colin. Friends of Colin." I nodded at the three guys behind him, and they nodded their man-nod back. Oh, the wonders of boy language.

But, anyway: I sighed, bracing myself to say something normal Tara, and I do mean I, would never say. Maybe I was secretly drunk but I didn't know it. Except I was a good girl; I've never had a beer in my life and I was never going to.

I was really going to do this, wasn't I? Deep breaths, Tara, deep breaths.

His smile grew into an encouraging grin and I finally plunged myself into the freezing cold water, figuratively speaking. "I li—think your hair looks nice like that." Oh goodness gracious.

One glance at his face told me that he really wasn't expecting that most random comment, but, a split second later, I was distracted by Ari, my so-called best friend, jumping to her feet, and shouting victory. "So, what do you say!? Do you like her back!"

Oh, justkillmenow.

Did I mention "so-called best friend"?

His friends started guffawing hysterically, making my blush become more pronounced, even on my lightly tanned skin, but he, Colin, somehow looked different—like he was thinking about something super seriously… like he wasn't paying attention to reality and was in his own little world. Was it because of me?

I don't know. Maybe.

I really wanted to run, but my feet and legs—darn them—didn't feel like obeying my orders and instead stayed maddeningly glued to the ground.

Frantically, my eyes darted around the courtyard of our high school, looking for an escape, a distraction, anything.

So I did the next best thing: I plopped myself onto the damp, grassy ground and curled into a ball, opting to look like a stray basketball left behind. Except the thing is, I was wearing a deep blue shirt and really couldn't pose as a playground ball. Darn. Plus I was about three times as large curled into a fetal position anyway.

Pretty nice try, though, for some one who was mortified out of her mind and was almost ready to climb over the fence guarding the courtyard and running for her life. Skipping school, even. Yep.

Finally, finally, Colin snapped out of his reverie and glanced at me, electric blue meeting jade green. I couldn't read him. Blah.

"Erm…" Talk about awkward, much?

"Uh… am I hallucinating?" he asked himself, and I sighed, put out, and literally deflating… except I was getting taller instead of smaller.

Now I really wanted to run. I braced myself for the blow of his words, muscles tightening in case I needed to run for my life, my release from imminent embarrassment.

"I… don't… know?" I answered, and, catching sight of Ari's horror-stricken face, I realized then that she finally figured out what she'd done and hadn't been expecting to do it in the first place. I smiled at her, but inside my stomach was churning like a washing machine washing… well, clothing (a lot of clothing), waiting for his answer.

His hand suddenly came up, and my heartbeat accelerated, but he only ended up scratching the back of his neck, awkwardly shifting his feet.

"Er…" he copied me, and I gulped. "This is awkward, isn't it?"

"Heck yeah," I squeaked in reply.

"Um, are you hallucinating?" he asked me, and I shook my head furiously up and down and side to side. His eyes turned all… sparkly and I realized that I—Tara Mackenzie Michaels—amused him. "I don't think so," I said, finally becoming coherent.

"Hm, neither do I. So, now, the question is if your friend's sudden… question is a good thing or not."

I held my breath for a painful few seconds and finally found the guts (and my voice box) to croak out, "Is it? Bad or good?"

"I'm still deciding," he told me seriously, amusement and sparkles gone, all the while stepping one step forward, towards me, and making me step back one, instead.

The weirdest, most awkward dance ever.

"Erm, have you finished deciding yet?" I was getting uncomfortably warm around him, his chest so close to mine, because, as my luck would have it, I was now pressed against a tree and couldn't step back anymore. Ooh how fitting, I'm cornered.

Sometime before all of this, our friends had scrammed, and now I was searching desperately for an escape route but my eyes were only met with Colin, Colin, and more Colin. I liked the guy and all… but this, this was just too much. I liked it anyway, of course, except I was just getting too embarrassingly flustered to form any more coherent thoughts besides ohmygodohmygodohmygod.

I was embarrassing myself to the highest degree, yeah, I know.

"Yeah," he said, surprising me entirely and making me stop dead in my tracks. Except, oh yeah, I had no more tracks to stop from.

"Oh," I breathed … well, breathily. "What's the verdict?"

It was like an eternity passed by, I swear, before I finally heard his response. Talk about suspenseful.

"It's a good thing," he finally grinned, making me grin myself, almost splitting my face in half. Of course, I just had to be staring at the floor, and, in my excitement, accidentally flung my head up so fast I smacked him in the jaw line. Oh crap.

I finally get a guy to admit he likes me back and I end up injuring him. Oh double crap.

"Colin," I gasped, mortified as I brought my hands to his face, probably making him cringe in fear of me hurting him some more.

So imagine my surprise when he only brought his hands to cover mine, a smile still on his gorgeously gorgeous face. Whoa.

What? He was smiling? Even after I'd potentially injured that gorgeous jaw line of his?

"Why are you smiling?" I cried out, turning my hands around so he could lace his fingers with mine. Still, a smile played on my face as I finally got used to the fact that he liked me back.

"Hey…" I said, not letting him answer, almost whispering now. "You like me back."

"Yeah?" he questioned, smiling. "Took you a while, didn't it?"

"Mhhm," I agreed, but then started blushing again. "Does your jaw line hurt? Is it temporarily incapacitated?"

He shook his head, dragging my hands along with the motion of his face as I refused to disconnect our fingers. "Nope."

"That's good," I smiled, feeling brave and powerful in his most trusting gaze as I leaned my face towards his. His eyes were sparkling once again as he comprehended (his poor jaw…) what I was about to do.

"Oh God, I really hope I don't hurt you…" I mumbled before his lips met mine. I melted into his kiss, and I do mean literally melted, like stumbled into his chest, making him chuckle into my mouth as he propped me up sweetly.

"Does—your jaw—hurt?" I whispered worriedly as his lips traveled up and down my neck, making my words sound short and clipped. I blamed him.

"Nope. It feels better already." He smiled, stopping his movements, and I immediately craved more. "Thanks for worrying so much."

"No problem." I grinned at him, pulling away reluctantly, and distantly hearing the muffled ring of a school bell. "It's in my nature, and, anyway, I am your girlfriend now…. Right? I'm entitled to worrying."

He laughed, pulling me to him again and capturing my lips with his for a while.

"We're gonna be late," I finally gasped, escaping his hold—once again, reluctantly.

Colin chuckled, enclosing my hand in his as, leisurely, we walked to the steps of the school.

"So you're sure that your jaw's okay?" I asked once again—possibly annoying him, but he only smiled, stopping the two of us on the top step with his eyes sparkling and intense and just gorgeous.

"Of course," he replied, demonstrating that, indeed, his jaw was in proper working order.

In only the best possible way of course.


notes. Tell me what you think, if you please! In only the best way possible of course: in a review. :) HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, EVERYONE!