A/N: I started this story with only one thought in my mind: Write a normal romance one-shot that doesn't revolve around any of my other series, and have the characters be named Casey [Brown] and Annabelle [Herring]. Those were the first two names that popped into my head. Don't know why they did, but they did. This is what I came up with. I do have to give credit to the name generator on the Seventh Sanctum website though. If it wasn't for that generator, I wouldn't have come up with Casey's and Annabelle's last names, and this plotline would have never come into existence. 0_0 *gasp*


I should have known that my name would bring me trouble. I mean, what do you expect when your last name is a northern Atlantic fish that only weighs one and a half pounds and (in my opinion) tastes, well, strange.

I should have known. Curse you, Casey Brown. Curse you and all your undeniable sexiness. Not that I like him, or anything. I'm just acknowledging his hot sexiness. There's nothing wrong with admitting it. You can still admit that someone's hot and sexy and just plain amazing and still not like them. Yep. You totally can.

Guess what?

I'm lying.


"Heeeyy Annabelle. Whatcha doing? Drawing? Well, that's boring. You know what I think you should do instead? I think you should…"

Exhibit A: Casey Brown. The bug on the windshield of my life that just won't seem to get washed off. No, scratch that. I've got a better example. He's the tick that decided to latch right onto my arm and never let go, no matter how many times I've tried to burn or pull him off. Sadly, he's been latched onto my arm ever since the beginning of high school when he transferred here. What's even sadder, is that I'm now a junior.

"…so if you think about it, watching me play soccer would be so much more… what's the word…interesting than just simply drawing on a piece of paper. Do you get what I'm saying? I hope you do because…"

Exhibit B: Casey Brown. Resident soccer star at my high school. Tall, tan, and blonde, he's the flirt with the big ego who all the girls fall for, and he's also the guy who decided that it would be fun to become my new friend and make fun of my last name all the time. I want to repeat that he chose to become my friend, not the other way around. I also want to point out that I did not approve of this.

"…hello? Anna? Annie? Belle? Belly? Heeellloo? Belle, look at me. Belle, look, I'm smirking at you. I'm sexily smirking at you Belle. I am throwing a sexy smirk your way. Look at meeeeeeeeeee…"

Exhibit C: Casey Brown. The guy who is the epitome of hot sexiness. The guy who is like, AMAZING. But don't worry, I don't like him. I'm just saying that he's the epitome of hot sexiness. I am just stating a simple fact. I don't like him. Nope. Nada. So not interested. I've got my eyes set on some other guys…who exist…somewhere… Okay, I'm lying. I do like him. I really like him. But I refuse to admit it. I'm in denial, you see. I refuse to give Casey the satisfaction of knowing that I like him, especially since he's made it his job to annoy the crap out of me, and make fun of my name. You see my problem, don't you?

"Sigh…it looks like I'm going to have to get my fishing rod Justin."

"Now, why would you need your fishing rod Casey?" hazel eyed Justin said as he grinned at his green eyed friend.

"Well, isn't it obvious? You just can't catch a Herring without a fishing rod! It's impossible!"

My pencil lead snapped, and both boys burst out into uncontrollable laughter.

I growled under my breath, pushing my red bangs out of my violet eyes as I furiously erased the dark dot my lead had created. You see? I have to put up with this every day! And because of that, I refuse to admit my feelings for him. I refuse to make his ego any bigger than it already is. I refuse to give him my heart and have him break it six months from now! I am a dignified person! I simply will not allow it! No matter how hot he may be, I refuse to give in!

My line of vision of trailed down to the floor where Casey was still laughing at his not so funny joke…He has the prettiest green eyes…and his muscles…and his voice…and his laugh…oh dear god.

I pulled back with a start, secretly chiding myself for my current thought process. No. Bad Annabelle. You are not allowed to think that way. You must not think of your tormentor that way.

The ringing of the bell broke me out of my thoughts, and before Casey could say anything, I grabbed my stuff, shoved it into my backpack, and ran out the door, intent on getting away from him.


My freedom was short lived however, when my peaceful lunch table was invaded by…the soccer guys. I didn't like the soccer guys. I especially didn't like their leader, who unfortunately decided to sit right across from me. Before I could escape, the rest of the group filled up the rest of the table, preventing me from escaping. They were all in it together, you see. They were all part of a much bigger plan: Make fun of Annabelle Herring's last name and continue to annoy her until she finally gave into her feelings for Casey Brown.

HA! Like that was going to happen. I wouldn't give in, because I, Annabelle Herring, absolutely, positively, despite all his hot sexiness, refused to admit that I liked Casey Brown, and I was going to do everything in my power to make them believe that there was not an ounce of good feelings towards him. I think I'm the only girl in the school who has resisted him. I'm quite proud of that. I am living proof that the average American girl can resist a hot guy!

I must have had a rather happy (it was triumphant, I tell you!)look on my face, because Casey took one look at me with his emerald green eyes and said, "So you do like it when I'm around!"

Wait, what? Oh heck no.

"What? Pssh. No. I don't like you. I was just imagining your demise. Did you know that you die because of a Popsicle stick?" I'm such a good liar, that deserves a pat on the back right there. Oh yeah.

"You're a horrible liar; you do know that, right?" Casey said as he flashed a perfect smile at me.

Aw dangit, I've been found out. Now my face feels hot. I better not be blushing.

I sniffed and turned my nose up into the air, ignoring the rest of the soccer team's ear to ear grins. Those devils. I refuse to give them what they want.

"Well, if you must know, I was thinking about how I am living proof that the average American girl can resist a hot guy. So I'm sorry if you thought that I was thinking of you specifically, but I'm afraid that's not the case."

As if on cue, the whole table burst out into VERY loud laughter. This of course only helped to bring the attention of the whole student body population onto my table, and I could feel my face burning as I felt hundreds of eyes on me. Oh lord, please end it now.

Their laughter died down however, when Casey started to speak, choosing to divert the topic for once, or so I thought.

"Well, it's such a shame to hear that. So…what are you having for lunch today Herring, fish?"

Oh no he didn't. I could feel my chest begin to puff up in anger as I glared at him. The whole table once again burst out into laughter at his remark. Seriously!? It wasn't even that funny! My face was probably redder than before, and I felt close to a point of figurative explosion. But exploding would only serve to satisfy him, for he and his friends seemed to get a kick out of me when I was yelling at them. No, it was time for something…more sinister. There was only one thing that could instantly turn the tables on a guy. If a guy made a girl cry…well…mehehehehehe.

I began to sniffle, my inner self grinning evilly at how realistic I sounded. Ha, take that Brown.The sniffle turned into hiccups, and my body began to shake as I prepared myself to let out a waterworks of tears. My eyes were glassy, and as my sniffles and hiccups began to get louder, the table slowly quieted down as some of the boys eyes widened. Yes, feel the power, FEEL THE POWERRRRRRR~~~…why am I not crying? NO! Tear ducts! Why must you fail me now!?

My mind blanked. Okay, onto plan B here. Wait, what is plan B? Oh, this is not good. Why was I born with horrible acting and lying skills!? In a state of panic, I stopped sniffling, took in a deep breath, and yelled out the first thing that came to mind.

"YOU-YOU JERK!"

So much for not exploding.

Faster than Sonic the Hedgehog on steroids, I ran out the lunchroom and all the way to the other side of the campus and proceeded to hide in the very last stall in the girls' bathroom. Oh, that was such a fail right there. I'm never going to let myself live that one down. I have now lost a piece of my dignity. And it hurts. Bad. Curse you, Casey Brown.


I was able to avoid Casey and his friends the rest of the day, and once school got out, I drove like there was no tomorrow out of the school parking lot to my most favorite fast food restaurant in the world: Jack in the Box.

As I waited in the drive though line, my mind went back to Casey. Why me, really? Why did I have to like him? Now if he was any other guy except a jock who likes to get on my nerves, then maybe, just maybe, I might admit my feelings for him. But really. Why, out of all the people in the school he could have made fun of, did he choose me? Yeah, there's my fish name, but honestly, that's mild compared to some other last names at this school. Yeah, I'm being harsh. Shut up.

My friends have always told me that some guys will pick on girls when they like them. Well, I don't know why they do it, because it obviously isn't attracting me. Jeez, you think they'd do the opposite when they like a girl, but I guess not when it comes to stupid, idiotic, egotistic, annoying, hot, sexy, Casey. Ugh, just look at me. I've fallen for a guy who likes to make fun of me. But I refuse to admit it, because I have pride, pride that I do not want to let go. There are other, better guys I could date. Guys who won't make fun of my last name.

"Um, hello ,miss? May I take your order?"

Uh-oh. How long has he been talking to me?

"Miss? May I take your order?"

Oooh, he has a sexy voice…

Wait. He's talking to me. Speak woman, speak!

"Uh, yes!" I said, giggling, "I'll just have a regular Oreo Cookie Shake." I giggled again. Wow, I've been reduced to a giggling mess just because of a voice from an intercom thingy. Way to go, Annabelle. You don't even know the guy.

"That'll be $2.95. Would you like a side of Herring with that?"

Would I like a side of Herr-oh no. Ohnononononononononononono. I can't believe this. This isn't happening. This is just a coincidence. Jack in the Box must have just decided that they also wanted to start carrying seafood. Yeah, that's it.

"Miss? You're holding up the line. Please drive up to the window."

Oh, I heard a laugh in there, oh yes I did.

Gripping the steering wheel tightly, I slowly edged my car up to the window, trying to delay my arrival as long as I could. It was inevitable though. As I finally pulled up (due to the car horns blaring behind me) I came face to face with the devil himself.

"Why hello there Miss. That'll be $2.95" Casey drawled as he grinned at me.

Boy, did he look good looking in that apron of his. Wait, ACK! NO! Bad Annabelle!

"Since when did you start working here?" I snarled at him, and threw in an extra glare in an attempt to cover my red face.

"Since I found out last week that you come to this place almost every day. I specifically requested for the drive through job." He winked at me as he handed me my milkshake, taking the money out of my stiff hand. "My my Belle, your face seems very red. Are you blushing?" He grinned cockily at me. Stupid male arrogance.

"NO! Of course not! My air conditioning isn't working, you idiot!"

He nodded his head slowly, a thoughtful look on his face.

"Ah, I can see that, especially with that one vent right there blowing your hair everywhere."

I quickly turned the vent in the opposite direction.

"Pssh, what, no, that was just the wind."

"Yeah, the wind's blowing pretty hard today," he said as he looked at the restaurant's flag, which stood still.

Someone shoot me now.

"Wha-wha-well, well you know what I think Casey? Do you really want to know what I think!?"

Casey leaned towards me, a seductive smile coming onto his face.

"Yes," he said suavely, "do tell".

A shiver went up my spine at his voice. No, ignore how your feel Annabelle, and show him your wrath!

"I-I think, I think that you made this milkshake wrong!" I yelled at him before smashing the goodness that is an Oreo Cookie Milkshake right in his face. Not waiting for a reaction, I slammed my foot down on the gas pedal and sped out of the drive through, cackling evilly to myself as I pulled onto the highway. Take that, Casey Brown. That's what you get for making fun of me all these three years. Revenge never tasted so sweet.


"You smashed your milkshake into his FACE!?" Marcy, my best friend, exclaimed over the phone.

"Yes, yes I did, and I'm quite proud of myself." I was lying down comfortably on my bed, a huge grin on my face as I replayed my victory over again in my mind.

"Wow Annabelle. I have to give you props for actually doing that but still, I can't believe you did that! What were you thinking!? He obviously likes you, and you like him!"

"First off, I don't like him. Secondly, I was thinking about how much I hate Casey Brown. Thirdly, I did it to get back at him for all the times that he has annoyed me and made fun of my name. It was very liberating. Too bad I didn't get to see his reaction. I left quickly so he wouldn't call the cops on me."

"…I still can't believe you did that. And stop lying; it's so obvious that you like him!"

I sighed, running a hand through my red hair. Why couldn't everybody just believe me when I said I didn't like him? Even if I turned red half the time he was around me, that didn't mean anything!

"For the last time Marcy, I don't like him. Why would I like an arrogant prick who likes to tease me? Come on now."

"You just keep telling yourself that Belle, even though your actions usually say otherwise. One day you're going to finally admit to the world -even though we all know it anyway- that you like Casey, but by then he's going to have gotten tired of your resistance and move onto some other girl, and you'll be left heartbroken, all alone in the dust."

"AHA! That is exactly why I refuse to date him and admit my hypothetical feelings, or so you say. Why admit these hypothetical feelings and just be 'left all alone in the dust' six months later!? I'm not going to take that chance, especially since the guy's a big fat flirt."

"Oh Belle, but don't you see? He's been following you ever since freshman year! If he really didn't like you, then why would he still be hanging around you junior year?"

I remained silent, irked that my best friend was (possibly) right. Ah, but my pride refused to back down. I have pride issues, you see.

"The only reason that he's stayed around is because he likes to tease me and make fun of my name, duh."

"You just keep telling yourself that Belle. I've got to go, see you tomorrow."

I frowned as she ended the call. Pfff. Like he really liked me. Yeah right. I'm not that stupid. But as I turned off my lights and hid myself under the covers, I couldn't help but feel that maybe, just maybe, Marcy was right, and I was wrong.


I drove into the school parking lot carefully the next morning, surveying the area to make sure Casey and his friends weren't around. After the incident yesterday, who knows what they would try to do to me. It was safe to say that I was, quite honestly, scared. Freaking. Scared.

You see, I had had a dream last night. A horrible dream that involved Casey, the soccer team, me, and llamas. I don't wish to relive the events of that dream, so I'm just going to tell you all right now that the end of my dream wasn't very pretty, and I wasn't able to sleep for the rest of the night.

Because of that dream, I was now convinced that some horrible, embarrassing fate awaited me through those scary steel doors that led into my high school. I remained rooted in my car, my eyes wide as I watched kids come in and out of the school.

A knock on my car window sent me screaming like a little girl, and I was just about to throw my car in reverse when I noticed that Marcy was standing in front of my car, with a very unhappy look on her face.

She pointed at me, and motioned for me to get out of the car.

Uh uh, there is NO WAY I am getting out of this car. There is nothing in this world that will make me get out of this car.

"Casey's headed your way Belle! Behind you!"

Except that.

I threw my car door open and jumped out, only to run into the one person I was trying to get away from. Before I could react, Casey had me pressed against my car with a very dark look on his handsome face, which only made him more attractive.

You know what? I give up. I give up. I can't resist this walking Greek God anymore. Like hell I'm going to admit it to his face though. He looks like he wants to kill me…Oh god, he's going to kill me.

I frantically looked at Marcy, who merely grinned and waved before walking off. Why that little…

"MARCY!? COME BACK HERE! SAVE MEEEEEEE!" I wailed. I didn't want to die! I was only seventeen! This wasn't fair! My eyes wide, I quickly looked back at Casey and nearly fainted. His eyes…they were smoldering. With anger or with something else, I didn't know, but personally, I didn't want to find out. My chances of survival still looked pretty slim.

I had to think fast. Sure, I had just finally realized that no matter how hard I tired, I wouldn't be able to resist Casey Brown, but, said person also looked like he wanted to do away with me.

Well, that's not very nice.

My eyes flitted up to his, and then down to his lips. No. Yes. No. YES. NO. YES. Just do it Annabelle. Kiss him, stun him, then hightail it out of there to Pre Calculus class. You can face your death later, you need to turn that project in. You also need time to write your will.

Okay, I can do this…I can't do this. Oh man I can't do this I can't-

"Annabelle?" Casey whispered.

My legs immediately turned to jelly at the sound of his husky voice.

"Y-y-y-y-yes?" I squeaked, my violet orbs staring back into his green ones. How in the world did I resist this guy for so long? Even I don't know the answer to that one. Strong will, perhaps?

"You were a very naughty girl yesterday at the drive though."

My heart began to beat faster as his lips got closer to mine. Oh man, I need to get out of here. This is a very dangerous situation. There is a very high chance that I'll lose all my dignity and make out with him if I don't get moving. What do I do? What do I do? Think think think think think. Ooh, I've got an idea that's sure to throw him off guard.

"Casey?"

"Yes?" he said, his lips nearly touching mine.

"Guess what?"

"What?"

I took a deep breath. Goodbye, dignity.

"CHICKEN BUTT!" I nearly all but screamed. Before he could even think to respond, I leaned forward, kissed him full on the lips (he tasted very good, by the way), and blasted out of his shocked grip and ran as fast as my legs to carry to Pre Calculus, adrenaline fueling me the entire way. (1)

As I collapsed into my seat, Marcy raised her eyebrow at me.

"What the heck did you do Belle?"

"I Chicken-butted him then kissed him full on the lips and hightailed it out of there."

Marcy started at me with an unreadable expression as she let what I had just said process in her brain.

"YOU IDIOT."

I winced. Okay, I deserved it. But hey, can you blame a girl for panicking when she was in a near death situation? A near death situation I tell you! What else was I supposed to do? Confess my undying love for him!?

"Yes, that's exactly what you should have done Belle," Marcy cried, holding her head in her hands.

Ahh, it looks like I've been speaking my thoughts out loud again. Wait, off subject.

I folded my arms against my chest defensively.

"Well, you can't blame me. I was totally unprepared! How was I supposed to know Casey was going to jump me once I got out of my car!? You should've seen his face Marcy! He looked like he wanted to kill me! Do you know how scary Casey can be when he has a face that says he wants to kill someone? Until you've been in my shoes you will never fully understand my reason for being a complete chicken and putting off my confession to him!"

Marcy gasped.

"So you finally admit that you like him!"

Oh boy, just what have I gotten myself into?

Marcy's face lit up like a Christmas tree, before frantically waving to someone behind me. What the heck--

"Oh Caseeeeeyyy!"

Oh holy freaking pineapples that come from Mars. No. NO. She didn't. He didn't...I think I've just seen my life pass before my very eyes.

Before I could kill myself with Marcy's pencil, two tanned arms snaked their way around my waist and grabbed my hands, preventing me from moving.

"Yes Marcy? You called?" A familiar voice spoke against my neck, his hot breath sending goose bumps all over my body.

"Well, Casey, I just wanted to know if you just happened to hear our little conversation over here," Marcy grinned sweetly at me.

A chuckle came up from out of his throat.

"Why yes, yes I did," he said as his grip tightened on me.

I involuntarily let out a pathetic whimper. This wasn't fun.

"You're mean Marcy," I whispered, my eyes glaring daggers at her.

She just smiled back.

"Well, how else was I going to get you to confess your feelings for Casey? You seemed pretty intent on hiding them, I might say. But all you needed was just a little…push. Or fright of your life, but the point is, it worked!"

She hopped up from chair.

"Bye guys! Have fun!" She said as she flounced out of the room.

My jaw dropped. This so wasn't happening.

I immediately began my struggle to get out of Casey's grip, but it ultimately crashed and burned. And why weren't my classmates and teacher noticing any of this? Hello? A little help here!

"Belle…you've been a very sneaky girl lately, haven't you?"

I huffed.

"I plead the fifth!"

Casey grinned, burying his head into my hair.

"You know that only incriminates you more, don't you?" He mumbled softly.

A wave of exhaustion took over me and I closed my eyes, sighing. Denying your love for someone and then suddenly declaring it can be very draining. Trust me on this.

"Yeah yeah, I know."

Casey remained silent for a moment, and I took the chance to try and fall asleep on him.

"If you'll be my girlfriend, I'll stop teasing you."

I cracked an eye open. Now that, my friends, was a very appealing offer.

"Well, …I…I guess…"

Casey snorted in disbelief. And into my hair. Oh, eww.

"I guess?"

I opened both eyes and gave a dramatic sigh, but I couldn't help but allow a smile to come onto my face.

"Oh fine. YES. I'll be your girlfriend. Happy now?"

A grin came onto my Blondie's face (oh great, now I'm giving him nicknames and using possessive pronouns).

"Very," he said, before swooping down to kiss me.

Well, I guess my last name didn't bring me much trouble after all.

"Hey, I just realized something!" Casey exclaimed with wide eyes as we broke off from the kiss.

"And what is it? That I'm the hottest red head you'll ever meet? Because, ya know I am."

"No, of course not!" Casey said before slapping a hand to his forehead.

Oh dear boyfriend, you better watch what comes out of your mouth.

"I just realized that you're a double red herring! Not only do you try to divert attention away from the main subject at hand, but you also have red hair and your last name is Herring! Herring! I can't believe I just realized that!"

You know how I said I guessed my last name didn't bring me very much trouble after all?

I was lying.


A/N: Whew. And that's a wrap! This was my first normal romance one-shot, and I ended up rewriting it several times, so if you could tell me what you liked and disliked, that would help me a lot when it comes to writing more romance one-shots in the future. :) Thank you.

(1) - Thank you, dear Kristen (Netty-chan) for introducing me to this phrase. I say it at least once every day now.