Synopsis- Being fifteen sucks, a lot. Better synopsis to come, please R&R!

A.N.- So after I posted the first chapter I realized 1) That I put my actual name instead of my fictionpress i.d., yeah… 2) I "*" some of the swearing… no idea why I did that but I don't think there's any asterisks in this chapter. 0_o;





I stood in the middle of my floor, covered as it was in clear plastic drip-cloth, surveying my handiwork, "One wall down, three more to go," I said aloud to myself, setting down the roller. I hadn't accepted the fact that this was my new room just yet, but I was getting sick of the faded white walls. At first I wanted black, to suit my mood, but my Mom thought I was joking so I chose a light blue that almost perfectly matched my favorite pair of jeans. Taylor Swift blasted from my stereo, singing in her chirpy voice about the trials of young love. I know, I know, technically she's country, but she's kind of a guilty pleasure of mine, I adore her.

"Bea..!" My Mom's voice called up the stairs, echoing oddly through the empty house, we'd managed to move most of the boxes in, ok some of the boxes, but hadn't as yet unpacked anything but the kitchen and bathroom essentials.

I flicked off my stereo, "what's up?"

"Mrs. Holt is here!"

"Uh…ok be down in a sec!" Why did that require my presence? I wiped my hands on my already paint-stained shorts and headed downstairs, into the kitchen. Mrs. Holt had the same green eyes as Jesse and I liked her instantly in spite of myself, "hi there, it's Bea right?"

"Yeah," I smiled back, "hi."

"I'm Janet, Jesse's Mom."

"Pleased to meet you, I'd shake your hand but mine's covered in paint," I said, holding up my palms as proof, they were also kind of scraped up from yesterday and criss-crossed with band-aids.

"Bea will be a sophomore this year," My Mom put in, because it was so important to mention.

"Jesse's a junior, I'm sure he'd be happy to show you around Bea, it can be kind of daunting, starting a new school."

"I've still got to get her enrolled, when does school start?"

"September 3rd."

I felt my stomach churn, only two weeks away, "Wow."

"Yeah, pretty early around here, but they get a week off at the beginning of October, its called Harvest Week."

What kind of backwater am I living in? Harvest week…seriously? I'm was just about ready to excuse myself when the screen door slammed and in walked Jesse, laden down with a crinkled looking paper bag, a cucumber sticking out of one corner. Suddenly I've become painfully aware that I was dressed in a ratty white cami (that you could probably see my bra through) and cut-off jean short. As if that wasn't bad enough every inch of was splattered with paint, including my face and hair, pulled back in a messy pony tail… I'm not a prissy girl or anything but I mean, seriously.

He looked me up and down, his mouth twitching the way it had the day before, he was laughing at me again, "Hey Bea…painting?"

My eyes narrowed, it wasn't like he was dressed to the nines or something, a grey sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off and worn-out jeans was hardly much better, but somehow he made them look good…Really good. "Yeah, my room."

"Why don't you show him?" Was my Mom seriously telling me to invite a guy up to my room? Apparently that was part of the new lifestyle too; I could feel a blush creeping over my cheeks.

"Go on Jesse, you can help."

"Er…if you want to," I wonder if he could tell I was mortified.

"Sure," he followed me upstairs and into my room.

"This is it…" I said, gesturing with my arm around the empty half painted room, "sorry about my Mom."

"It's cool, I've always wanted to see what it looked like in here anyway."

"In my room?"

He smirked, "It wasn't always your room ya know, I meant just the house in general. It's kind of famous."


"Yeah, the Confederate Army--."

"Used it as a hospital after a battle, my Mom told me."

"It's been empty ever since I can remember and there's all these stories about it being haunted and stuff, me and my friends tried to sneak in once when we were kids but we chickened out."

I laughed, it was funny to think I was living in the local 'haunted house', I hoped I didn't fit the part of the witch that usually resided in them, "well that do you think? Spooky?"

He laughed and suddenly I was reminded just how cute he was, "not even a little." He stooped, picking up the roller, and started on the next wall.

"You don't have to…"

"Sure I do, chivalry isn't dead yet."

I laughed, picking up a paintbrush to get the corners, "no, it's just hiding in Hesperia."

"Exactly," he glanced at the stereo, "what'cha listening to?"

"Oh um…nothing…the radio…"

He leaned down for a closer look, "It's on pause."

I felt my ears going red, "oh…well…"

He hit the play button and Taylor Swift's voice suddenly filled the room. There was that twitch again at the corner of his mouth, I wish he'd just laugh and get it over with, he stood straight and cocked a brow at me, "I thought you were a city girl?"

"I am," I went back to painting, avoiding his eyes and the fact that he was grinning widely, partly because I was embarrassed and partly because more than anything I don't want to get a crush on Jesse Hale.

He let it go at that and we continued painting in companionable silence for a while before he suddenly burst into song, singing the chorus along with Taylor,

"He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar,

The only one who's got enough of me to break my heart,

He's the song in the car I keep singing,

Don't know why I do…"

I couldn't help but laugh, watching the intensity on his face as he belts out the lyrics, an octave or two lower but not entirely out of tune.

"He's the time taken up but there's never enough,

And he's all I need to fall into.

Drew walks by me,

I fake a smile so he won't see…"

I flicked my brush at him, splattering paint on his dramatic face, laughing when he opened his eyes, a mixture of amusement and shock in them, "ooh, you're gonna regret that," he laughed brandishing the paint roller at me.

"I thought you said chivalry wasn't dead!" I cried, cringing away.

"I said it isn't yet, I think it just died!" Jesse charged at me. Laughing too hard to really see where I was going I dodged around my room, trying to escape him, it's a wonder I didn't knock over the paint can or the tray or fall into one of the wet walls, that would have been so typical me.

Instead he trapped me finally into the corner between the two wet walls, "back, back!" I flicked my brush at him again, splattering him with more paint. He laughed wickedly, running the roller over my face, painting my cheeks and nose faded-jean blue. That was something no guy in Rockport would've dreamed of doing to a girl unless he wanted her to never speak to him again.

In Hesperia I just laughed and rolled my eyes, "very nice."

"It looks good," he teased, picking up the roll of paper-towel by the paint can and tearing one off. Instead of handing it to me, like I expected, he stepped closer, wiping the paint from my cheeks gently.

"Thanks…" Why was it suddenly hard to breathe?

"Any time," He finished and went back to painting. I know I must've looked like a Smurf but for some reason I just didn't care, I dipped my brush back in the paint tray and went back to filling in the corners. By the time we've finished the other two walls it wass dark out and we've covered Taylor Swift, The Killers, Muse, and pretty much all my other favorite bands, the majority of which he seems to like too. He does listen to Garth Brooks but not as much as I thought and he does drive a truck, but his Grandpa gave it to him.

"Thanks for your help," I said, standing at the screen door, fireflies danced out on the lawn and for half a second I was tempted to go chance them, just like a little kid.

He smiled, his eyes shining in the front-porch light, "no problem, if ya'll need help moving boxes just let me know."

For a split second I get a mental image of him leaning in, kissing me, but it passed as quickly as it came and I smiled back, nodding, "sure, see you around Jesse."

"See ya," he headed down the steps but turned once, half-way across the yard to smile and wave. Yeah, I've fallen, hard…damn it.