Chapter 1

"Eight!" James shouted as he nailed the open 15-foot jumper.

"Nice shot JT," he heard Chris add as he hopped back to half court area and waited for the ball to be returned to him. It was Thursday afternoon and he was in the middle of one of the pickup basketball games he played regularly before his evening college classes. He took a few a few lazy dribbles and found Chris with eyes on his left side. They exchanged a brief glance and in a split second James guessed what Chris was going to do. Chris sprinted towards the goal at the same time that James delivered a perfect chest high pass and the ball was in the basket before the other team could react.

Every game went basically the same way. James would give Chris good safe passes and watch him blow by whoever was guarding him for several easy lay ups. Eventually Chris would start getting doubled teamed, leaving James open for easy jump shots. It was simple but effective. James loved playing 2 on 2 basketball games with Chris, even though on the court they made for an odd looking pair. James was 26 years old, white, barely 5' 7" and weighed 150 lbs. only because he worked out enough to be in good shape. Chris was 6' 4", black, well built and also fast on his feet. James guessed he was about 30 but he had never bothered to ask.

They both played basketball in the afternoons at the gym as part of the workouts even though Chris was more dedicated than James was to it. A chance pairing for a pickup game ended up turning into several wins in a row that only stopped when James had to go to school. They had been partners ever since.

This game would be no different. Needing one more basket to win he watched Chris force a double team and James ran to his favorite spot. A short jumper later and it was over.

"I need to get to class, I'm late," James announced as he checked his phone. After quickly saying good bye to Chris he headed towards the locker-room. After a quick shower and putting on his jeans and a black t-shirt, James looked in the mirror. His hazel eyes appeared to be green at the moment, but everyone swore they changed colors every time they saw him. He finished drying his short dark brown hair and put a black baseball cap on before leaving the gym.

"Hey James!" the voice called behind him as James grabbed his backpack from the car. He turned to see Abby standing several feet away from him. Is she really waiting on me to walk her in? He thought to himself as he walked in her direction. Half way there she hadn't moved. Guess so.

"Hey Abby," he greeted her as he came up next to her. Abigail Garcia was James's classmate and friend. As they walked and he listened to her talk he couldn't stop himself from thinking how beautiful she was. Abby was blessed with warm dark brown eyes, a lovely light brown complexion, long black hair and a smile that could melt any guy's heart. She was naturally thin with a figure that would have made her a perfect runway model if not for the fact that Abby was 5' 3" in heels. If she was aware of her physical charms, James had never known her to show it. She dressed in a classy, adult manner despite being only 18 in her first year of college.

"And then he told me that he was in love with me, and I got so mad at him. I've been friends with Matt forever and now that he's single again he decides he's in love with me," she was telling him about another guy confessing his apparent love for her. James smiled to himself thinking that although love was probably not the emotion Abby's friend really felt for her, he believed her account. James had heard every man in their class, including the newlywed Jeremy; confess to being 'in love' with Abby. James seemed to be the only one that had not fallen for her charms and he knew it was because he had been burned to many times recently. They had developed a relationship and routine based on a simple formula. She liked to talk and he liked being with her.

"I just don't understand why every guy I know thinks I should be with them. It's like they don't understand what just friends means," she declared as they stopped outside the classroom entrance. It wasn't a question but he knew from the expression Abby wore on her face that she was waiting an answer.

"It's because you are just so darn hot," he suggested only half joking. The glare he got in return made him add, "And because men are idiots when it comes to girls." A knowing smile formed on her lips followed by a quick appearance of distress in her eyes. For a few seconds they just looked at each other.

"Did you do your homework?" Abby asked, her cheerful disposition returning.

"Yes I did, I would ask you if you did yours but I already know your answer. You always say no and then I watch you copy my homework, every single time. What are you going to do if I ever forget?"

"Well I guess you better not forget then," she stated as she turned and entered the classroom. He started to respond but instead walked into class thinking Idiots for girls indeed.