Chapter One

Cade Thomason was the kind of guy that the majority of girls swooned over in the hallways. He was the type of guy that girls daydreamed about. He was the type of guy who could get away with almost anything because of his looks. Cade was the guy that dated the prettiest girl and had the best abs and had the best everything.

Cade Thomason was the kind of guy that I wanted to punch in the face.

Most girls would think, "Oh, he's hot. I want to date him. Just because he treats me like shit won't mean a thing to me." Well, that wasn't my case. My case was that any guy like that deserved to be punched in the face by yours truly or to be stabbed by yours truly. Just saying.

To say that Cade Thomason was hot was an understatement. I'll be the first to admit that he was pretty damn sexy. But those looks seemed to give him a pathway to being a jerk. I'm saying a pathway. Not a right.

I never once thought about dating him. I wasn't like normal girls, I guess. I'm not saying that I'm a lesbian, but I'm just saying that Cade wasn't the kind of guy I was attracting to. Look-wise, yes. Personality-wise, no. He was the guy who dated the "pretty" girls or what I liked to call Barbies.

The Barbies of our school were basically girls who dyed their hair a way-too-fake shade of blond, spray-tanned so much that they looked like carrots, and wore skirts and shirts that either showed too much skin or were cut way too low. And when I mean way, I mean like boobs falling out.

That didn't seem to bother Cade, though. Oh, no. He liked that kind of stuff. It's sad that I knew all of this about him. It was incredibly sad. I wasn't a stalker of Cade. Why the hell would I stalk that?

Anyway, like I was saying. Cade was attractive – I admit it. That didn't mean I had to like him. I wasn't one of those girls who cut out pictures of him from past yearbooks and taped them on their locker doors. I wasn't the type of girl who followed him around, asking him if he wanted to come to their parties or whatnot. Of course, they thought that they were the Barbie rank if he actually came to their parties. The majority of the time, he didn't go, and the girls would cry their butts off because of that. Losers.

I wasn't ever going to fall in love with him. I didn't have that low of self-esteem to do that. I didn't have the bleached-blond hair or the super-short mini-skirts or the shirts that showed so much cleavage that you were basically topless. I was just…normal.

"Conner Anne Michaels! What did I tell you about cleaning your room?" my mom yelled from my room. I sighed as I turned off the TV. Yes, my name was Conner. Yes, it was a boy's name. Yes, I was a girl. My parents were so dead-set on having a boy for their second child that they didn't even consider the fact that I could be a girl. My mom had told me that since it had taken my parents eight months to settle on the name Conner, they were just going to make it work for a girl, too.

I was the second oldest of the family or the middle child. I was the icing on the Oreo. I was the awesome child. There was my older sister Avery who was twenty-one and supposed to be in college. But no. She failed out the first semester and whined about how it was too hard, so Mom and Dad decided that it was okay if the wimp stayed here and lived with us for the rest of her damn life. I hated that. Because it was already agreed that I was smart enough to go to Dartmouth, so that was where I was going. I hated that my life was already set in stone whether it was my decision or my parents'.

Truth be told, I wasn't smart enough to go to Dartmouth. I'd probably end up like Avery, living with her parents while she had no future or life. Of course, she dated, but they were never good enough for her "standards." Of course, her standards were basically that they had to be rich. She didn't have a college degree, so she was never going to get a good job, so why not marry rich?

Mom and Dad thought it was ridiculous since she could always go into modeling or acting since she was "pretty enough." Avery was pretty, but she didn't have the height or weight to go into modeling, and she couldn't act if her life depended on it. When we were growing up, I was the one covering for Avery because I could make the waterworks happen whenever I pleased, and I could lie like no other. That usually resulted in Avery giving me her allowance since she couldn't lie if her life depended on it, so I had a lot of money saved up from the childhood years.

But I loved Avery. She was my sister. She might be stupid as hell, and she was definitely one of those people who annoyed me to no end, but that didn't take away from the fact that we were blood-related, and she was kind of a good person to go to about friendship or guy troubles. I typically only went for friendship troubles since she didn't necessarily give the best advice on guys, but she still made me feel better.

Then there was Eli. He was my younger brother but only by two years. He was like a miniature Cade. He had the looks, the body, the attitude, etc. It's not like I'd actually seen Eli naked, but he was always showing off his abs. And in my opinion, they were pretty awesome.

He and Cade were pretty close. Don't ask me why or how, but they were always working out with each other and talking about girls and all of that stuff guys talked about. If Eli's abs could look like that and Cade's biceps looked like he was in the NFL or something, I knew that his abs had to be even more amazing than Eli's. It's not like I got turned on by abs, but they were definitely a nice attribute to a guy's body. Just saying.

If Eli hadn't been so close in age, we would probably get along. To me, he was the demon child. He was the kid that was the "accident" or the "unplanned-pregnancy." Of course, Mom and Dad vehemently denied that, but that still didn't keep the doubts away. I thought he was, and Avery agreed with me sometimes.

Eli was the popular freshman kid. He always had a girl over unless he was with Cade or Levi, Cade's little brother who was the same age as Eli. I think Mom and Cade's mom planned Levi and Eli since their birthdays were four days apart and their names weren't that much different. I thought it was stupid, but Eli and Levi were best friends or pretty close to that.

The only way I knew Cade's mom or Levi or Cade's dad or anyone in Cade's family was because Cade was my neighbor. My neighbor.

"Conner!" Mom screeched from the stairs again. I snapped out of my thoughts and went upstairs to see what she wanted.

"Look at this, Conner. Look at your room!" Mom spat, putting her hand in front of her like she was Vanna White from Wheel of Fortune.

"Mom, calm down. It's not like you actually come up here," I grumbled. My room wasn't even that messy. It just had clothes all over the floor. No big deal. I liked to try on multiple outfits in the morning, and the ones that didn't make it usually ended up on my floor.

"No, Conner, I want this cleaned up now," Mom snapped. I rolled my eyes as she stalked out of my room and down the stairs.

I turned and faced the window and saw Cade sitting at his desk, his black hair falling in his eyes. He was writing something at his desk that was facing my window. I noticed that he seemed to be spending more and more time there.

I typically kept my blinds closed but whenever Mom came up here, she would open them to "let the world see Conner's room." Her words, not mine.

As I started cleaning up, I noticed how my eyes kept flickering over to Cade's concentrated figure. I didn't like him, but it was interesting to see him out of his manwhore and asswipe façade.

I don't really know what got Cade and I started on the never-ending battle of hate. I personally think it was just because I liked him one time in first grade, and he had rejected me on the playground, but I knew that wasn't really it. I didn't know what it was, and I kept thinking about it more and more as the days dragged on.

I started picking up my clothes and hanging them up in my closet. As I turned around to pick up more clothes, I noticed that Cade was looking through his window at me. I scowled at him, and he scowled back, shutting his blinds in the same moment.

I sighed and pulled out my third grade yearbook. I flipped to Mrs. Middleton's class where me, my best friend Lynn, Cade, and his best friend Spencer were.

I liked Spencer. He was the nice one out of Cade's little group of people. He talked to me whenever I was outside doing something and he was over at Cade's. We weren't necessarily friends, but it was nice to know that there were some normal people in that group.

When I got to the page, I touched my picture. I had frizzy, curly hair, and my two front teeth were missing. My eyes were closed because I was smiling so hugely, and I was wearing a pink t-shirt with lady bugs on it.

Lynn, of course, had her hair curled with a bow on top of her head. She had that gorgeous brown board-straight her, but she liked to curl it. I had no idea why, but it looked good on her. She had those fake diamond earrings in her ears, and she was looking up towards the top right corner of the camera. Typical Lynn.

Spencer was that little boy that was so…goody two-shoes. He had the bowl cut, and he was wearing the sweater vest. But it was so…Spencer. Of course, he outgrew that stage, but it was still nice to go back to those days when Spencer was that good child rather than Cade's best friend.

Then, there was Cade. He had that curly black hair that he still had and those ice-blue eyes. He was such a demon child. He was frowning in his picture, his arms crossed over his chest. I bet that the poor photographer couldn't do anything to get him to smile.

But that was typical Cade. He hated people unless they were girls who had no self-respect whatsoever. He'd been like that since elementary school.

I don't know what got Cade started on that. His parents were happily married, and his brother was nowhere near that…disgusting. It was just Cade. And Cade's mom was such a sweet woman, too! How could she allow that in her house?

I touched Cade's picture before I closed it and put it high up on my shelf where I wouldn't be able to find it for awhile.

At school the next day, Lynn was waiting at my locker, arguing with the guy who had the locker next to mine.

"It's my locker, and I need you to move!" the guy yelled.

"Shut up, douchebag." Lynn rolled her eyes and moved. Then, she saw me. I walked up and spun the lock around, momentarily forgetting my combination. Yes, that tends to happen sometimes.

"God, Conner, you'd think you'd be able to control your friends," the guy muttered.

"Just because you don't have friends doesn't mean you can hate on mine, Todd," I sighed.

"She doesn't move!" he argued.

"I don't want to get into this." I held my hand up and turned away from him. Lynn was smirking. I finally remembered my combination and unlocked my locker, pulling out my history textbook. Todd stalked off, and I turned to Lynn.

"He's so cute, Conner!" she whisper-shouted.

"Todd?!" I shrieked.

She clamped her hand over my mouth and slammed me against the lockers.

"Ouch, Lynn!" I cried, rubbing my head.

"Don't yell!"

"That doesn't mean you can shove me against the lockers for no reason!"

"But I clearly like him, and you have to go blabbing it off to anyone who will listen."

"I was just shocked, Lynn. You do realize that you called him Todd the Toad in third grade and kicked him in the shin, right? And then he went crying to the teachers, and you had to go to the principal's office, and you hated him from then on."

"That was eight years ago, Conner. I'm over it," she sniffed.

"Lynn, you have Trenton Reynolds chasing after you, and you go for Todd Carrington!"

"I like Todd's awkwardness. It's cute."


"Shut up, Conner. We don't all live next to Cade Thomason."

I was flabbergasted. "What does me living next to Cade have to do with anything?"

"Um, the fact that if you would open your blinds, you would have a chance of seeing him shirtless!"

"Because he just lounges around his room all day shirtless. Of course."

"You don't know that. You don't know him well enough to make those decisions."

"Okay, Lynn, here's the thing. I hate Cade. He hates me. The end. I'm not going to go around leaving my blinds open just so that I can be a peeping tom and try to see Cade shirtless."

"I would," she grumbled.

"Come on, we're going to be late for first period."

My first period was chemistry, and I had it with Lynn. We had to do a lab today, and I really wasn't looking forward to it. We took our seats, and Lynn being Lynn took out her spiral. She took notes over what Mrs. Montgomery was saying, and when we started our lab, she brought the notebook over.

"Wow, Lynn."

"What? We wouldn't have known what to do."

"Just plug in the hot plate."

Lynn plugged it in, and we started measuring the liquid that we were putting in the beaker.

"I don't want to do this. It's going to blow up in my face," Lynn whimpered.

"That's why you measure it correctly and follow the instructions."

"Shut up, Conner. We need more of the green liquid."

"And you can't go and get it?"

"No. What if something happens to the hot plate?"

"You act like you're two!" I yanked my goggles off and sat them on the table before going into the huge storage closet that was behind the room. When I got in there, Cade had some random chick whose name was Gemma pressed up against the shelf, his tongue shoved halfway down her throat.

"Oh, that's just disgusting!" I cried. Cade slowly unraveled himself and glared at me.

"God, just go away, Wellington."

"I actually need that stuff behind Gemma's head," I snapped.

He pulled it off the shelf and shoved it into my hands.

"The other one, Cade."

"Why are you so difficult?!" he yelled.

"Why are you such a dick?!" I shouted angrily. I handed him back the liquid that he had given me, and he nearly threw the other liquid at me.

"Grow up, Cade," I spat, storming out of the closet.

"Jeez, Conner. What's wrong?" Lynn asked when I got back to the table.

"Cade Thomason is the most immature, annoying, jerkish guy on this planet, and I want him to die in a hole."

"Right back at you, Wellington," Cade said as he brushed past me, Gemma in tow.

I had to grit my teeth together to keep myself from screaming profanities at him.

A.N. So, Baseball is going nowhere for me, so this idea just popped into my head, so I'm turning it into a story, hahaha. So, I guess, review if you wish! I'd love to hear your feedback!