CHAPTER ONE : Meet Your Partner

"... I' m still so mad at myself that I turned down his offer at a drive!" my friend Josey said to me. "Not only is this the only time that he has really talked to me, but we would have been alone for at least fifteen minutes." I love my friend, I really do, but sometimes her single goal of getting a guy is boring. Her insecurities of herself would go on forever if I asked her to make a list. Sadly I'm not much better, but I try to keep them to myself. No one has to hear how insecure I really am and how I, just like my friend that I was just complaining about, want a guy. But the likeliness of that happening for any of my friends, with the exception of a few, is minimal. It's not that my friends and I are bottom rung of the social food chain, it's more that we don't even exist: right in the middle were you are too normal to be a loser and too boring to be popular.

It does have its upsides though. We get left alone and rarely get made fun of and we know that we can trust our friends. Although the only girl I would trust with my life is Beatrice. She is beautiful, smart and talented, so I am really clueless as to how she is single and how any other female has a chance if she hasn't had a boyfriend yet. That's when Josey's hands woke me from my train of thoughts.

"What?" I replied slightly guiltily.

"You were kinda zoned out there. I know that my story isn't that interesting, but could you at least pay attention?" Josey asked with a glare, while pulling at my bed spread to show her distaste.

"I was paying attention, Josey, really. I was just thinking of ways to give you another shot at getting a drive," I quickly lied. Josey can have a temper and she doesn't need to be told her story is boring: she said so herself. She really just needs to let off steam.

"Really," her eyes brightened at this. "So what's your great idea?"

Racking my brain for an idea, I finally thought of something.

"Just stay after band practice and tell him that you need to get a drive home, but your parents are out and no one else can give you a drive."

Okay, so it wasn't the most creative plan, but at least I tried. She seemed to buy it though, because she started up about his charming smile and toned muscles. I listened as much as I could, but I soon got absorbed back into my thoughts. As much as I love wasting my last day of March Break, soon I would be back in class with no free time. I should enjoy it while it's here.

"Listen up class! Because you guys worked so badly in pairs the last time you were paired up, I'll be the one to choose your partners. Please be pleasant," Ms. Vander, my biology teacher, said as the class gave a ceremonious groan. Trouble is that all the average people who would normally go together still do. It's just the smart ones who get broken up and put with the 'less successful', as Ms. Vander would put it. I'm no genius, but I knew that she'd put me with a slacker, somehow all the teachers think I'm really smart, despite only getting low 90s and high 80s.

Listening to her voice drone over who would be partners, the tension started to rise in class once people realized that their friends were already taken. Soon there were only six people left in the room. That's when she finally said my name.

"Lenette and Darion, you two will be doing phylums and taxonomy."

Damn. Once I heard his name I realized that I was stuck with the school badass. The guy who got away with coming late into class and taking his motorcycle to school, despite the fact that they were banned since an incident a few years ago, was going to be my partner. Did I mention the fact that he was gorgeous? This would be great for any girl but me (after all I thought I would be stuck with the jock who didn't know what to string a sentence together), but I have an issue with talking to people that I'm not close with. All of my friends have approached me first or are friends of friends that I somehow ended up befriending. Beyond five or so people I can barely speak, not unlike the jocks.

Darion looked over at me, unimpressed written all over his face. He quickly looked away once he knew who he was paired with and started starring out the window. That's another thing he got away with: not paying attention. He was right beside the window so he had the best view. The sun shined on his blond hair and accented his angular haircut, a slight sidebang that the druggies wore, but somehow looked almost preppy on him. I'm not going to hate him just because I'm stuck with him. But that doesn't mean I can't hate his good looks.

"Lenette, please pay attention," Ms. Vander snapped briefly and then returned to the whiteboard. My face reddened. I'm not normally the kind to get in trouble or noticed so when I do, I have the unfortunate reaction of turning tomato red. Thankfully no one noticed, it seemed like everyone was too caught up whispering about their partner or actually paying attention. At least that's what I thought.

Getting into the small locker rooms during break is a hard task, so once I finally got in I let out a sigh. Then I saw who was at my locker. Clothed in slim jeans, an unbuttoned navy blue dress shirt, and a white shirt was Darion. And he looked irritated.

"So when do you want to do the project?" he asked, his green eyes showing impatience, "I have a meeting soon, so make it quick."

"T- tomorrow?" I managed to stutter out. How I was supposed to work with him if I couldn't even make a sentence?

"After school, at my house alright?" He stated. "I can drive you after school, so just meet me in the parking lot." I nodded my head, too nervous to say anything. He started to leave, but then turned to me with one last comment.

"Hey, next time you're in class staring at me, try not to look so obviously. With a face that red, your thoughts must have been... interesting." Darion said the last part with a smirk on his face and then left without giving me a chance to reply.

Anger and embarrassment filled me. I knew it would be like this. He would mock me and I would do the project and we would share the grade. I hate guys like him: they take easy targets, like myself, dish their hearts out, and then laugh when we finally get fed up and crack. It was a game for him, one that he probably knew well and one that I was completely untried to. There was nothing that I could do but hope it somehow would get better. With these cheery thoughts in mind I went to the parking lot and waited for my Dad to come pick me up.

It was then I realized that I had no idea what my parents view on me going over to a guy's house would be. This could be bad.

"Beatrice! I don't see how you think this is good?" I complained to my best friend. It had been a long day, and I knew that she would want to hear about this, so I gave her a call.

"Just think about it," She said, "This might be a good chance for you to get out of your shell. Socializing with such a hottie should boost your confidence too."

"Did you forget the part where I become a complete idiot in front of anyone I'm trying to impress?" I said sadly.

Beatrice laughed, "You would be fine if you weren't so worried, and do you really want to impress him? Besides, you said that he's probably brainless, which means that you will do most of the project by yourself right?"

"You know I try to impress everyone!" A smile creeped onto my face, "you're right. I should worry less. But what should I do?"

"Don't worry about him." Beatrice replied, "You still have to tell your parents right? They are going to be the bigger problem if they are anything like mine."

"Oh shit! I should tell them now while they are still too drained from work to care. Thanks Bea, bye!" And with that I hung up the phone, realizing that Beatrice was probably right and that my parents might completely reject the idea. I don't imagine that Mr. Ego would be so pleased if I didn't show up after school to meet him. Even though I don't want to be working with him, I also don't want to make an enemy of the schools biggest badass. Or asshole. I'm still having trouble choosing the right descriptor.

"Hey, mom. Can we talk?" I asked her. She didn't seem too busy, but maybe if I'm really polite she will ignore the fact that I'm asking to go to a guy's house. Alone. Okay so I'm sure that it won't change anything, but anything to give me even the slightest chance of doing this project without complications.

She looked up from her book, "Sure, now is as good a time as any. What do you want to talk about?"

"Please keep an open mind at this, it really isn't as bad as it sounds." She raised her eyebrow when I said this, but nodded so that I continued.

I started talking, "I have to go over a boy's house to work on a project. It won't be for long and I promise there is no interest for either of-"

"Lenette, it really is no big deal. It's good that you are finally getting experience with guys. Honestly, if it wasn't for that one boyfriend you had we would have thought you had no hormones." She laughed as she said this.

"Mom I am interested in guys, there are just none specifically that I would want to date. Including this specific guy," I groaned.

"It's fine dear, just have a good time and don't stay over too late," my mom started, "I trust that you won't do anything. Just make sure that his parents are there and know your limits."

This was not going to be fun if we had to get together more than once. My mom thinks that I have no social life and that I should party and hang out with masses of people, like my older brother. And she thinks I somehow am at the stage of life where I could have a rampant sex life.

"Listen mom," I started, "I don't need this turning into anything bigger than it is. It's one project that we will hopefully finish in one night. That's it. Okay? And his parents will be there"...I hope.

She gave me a disbelieving look, "Alight, whatever you say. I am glad that you are getting out of your comfort zone though, it's good for you."

I groaned inwardly. For better or for worst I have permission... Now all I have to do is make it through the project.

A/N: This is my first attempt and fiction in years. I've pretty much been restricted to essays and very very short stories. This is not up to par, but this is just me trying to get back into writing so don't expect greatness from this story. Any kind of improvements or mistakes please let me know! I am learning again so be patient with the story. I posted this on fictionpress so that I have a sort of obligation to continue it - even if it is burning.

Let me know if you like it though! I will be sure to update faster if I know anyone is waiting. Thanks for reading.