"Seriously? How long has it been since you've cleaned your damn room Missy…" Luke throws some empty cans into a trash bag.

"I don't know," I shrug.

"Missy that's gross-when I visit you, you better fucking clean up your place before I get there."

I roll my eyes, "Seriously that's your biggest concern? Wow Luke."

"Hey we both know that I really hate your messy habits."

"Yeah yeah," I wave off and hang some shirt I don't remember buying.

"Missy oh my god-"

"I get it! You think I'm a slob can we just-"

"No not that. I just found a list of bets you made back in freshman year." He laughs as he continues reading it.

"Oh my god!" I rush over, knocking some stuff over and jump on my best friend.

"You know a lot of these are still going. We haven't graduated yet."

I snort, "Yeah as if. These were from freshman year."

"So? Look! This one says that if Cameron Hair and David Franco didn't date by the end of high school then you have to kiss Brian Davenport."

"Cameron and David graduated last year." I give Luke a look.

"Yeah which means you have to kiss Brian Davenport."

"Brian's gay."

"So?" Luke stares me down and I groan.

"Fine I'll kiss him."

"Sweet!" Luke fist pumps, "Let's see what else you have to do."

"I must have had a bet with you." I get up and look for my phone.

"Not a chance bitch. I was smart enough to not bet with you. Oh hey Aubrey lost a bet with you. She has to dye her hair any color of your choice."

"Sweet!" I perk up, "Okay maybe I like this list. What else is there?"

"Sucker," Luke smiles to himself.


He gives me an amused yet apologetic look, "You have to make out with Merrick McDonald."

My jaw drops, "What! No-no way possible."

"I, Missouri (Missy) Bishop bet with Ellie Polone that I won't get asked to go to Prom. If I do then I will have to make out with (the jackass) Merrick McDonald." Luke cocks an eyebrow and looks at me, "And if I recall you did get asked to Prom all four years of high school."

"Damn it!" I groan and roll around.

"Karma's a bitch. So let's see…you also need to go camping with Rebecca Rosewood."

"Fuuuuck-ers." I hiss.

"What else…ah ha you've got to kiss Merrick's brother Mike as well as Lory Truesdale and Daniel Kim," Luke snorts, "Good thing it's just kisses."

"Hey," I point at him, "Now can I just die already? Both McDonald brothers? Merrick of all guys and then his sweet brother." I shake my head.

"I know I think Merrick just might kill the young one." Luke and I fake sniffle.

"Rest his soul!" We shout.

So there's this secret thing between me and Merrick. So maybe he had a girlfriend in freshman year and maybe I- in Luke's works- 'seduced him, took his virginity and ended up breaking his heart'. But that's just one stupid boy's opinion.

But to be fair he has my virginity.

Of course my best friend Ellie has a similar opinion. But Luke and Ellie don't favor each other too much.

"This is stupid," I groan, "He's gay he doesn't want to kiss me."

"It's not like he's going to punch you." Luke rolls his eyes.

"You don't know that maybe he will punch me."

"Just go." He pushes me in Brian Davenport's direction.

Back in freshman year Brian was straight at least he was 'straight'. I thought he was totally fab- he could wear fitted almost skinny jeans with a nice button up or sweater and ugh. Seriously the way he dresses should be in a magazine. Which I guess should've given me the idea that he was gay.

In my defense he never gave off any vibes.

Brian is sort of mean. I'm mean too, but I've never made a girl cry because she confessed her feelings for me.

"Hi Brian." I smile and sit down at his library table.

"Hey Missy."

I tap on the table and touch my dirty blonde hair.

Brian just gives me this soul breaking stare, "You know you're really pretty."

"O-oh." I stand up and put my hand on the back of his neck. "Sorry about this!" I quickly fuse our lips together, but to my surprise he kisses me back. That sends me into shock and I quickly pull away.


"Bye Brian!" I yell, run away and grab Luke.

"I got a picture, Missy are you turning gay men straight now because if you are-"

"Shut up Luke! I don't even know what happened back there." We both run downstairs hoping to make a nice getaway.

"Maybe Brian knows."

"About our way of getting some sort of cheap thrill out of me paying my dues for being such a better back in freshman year? I don't think so." I scowl.

"Don't forget that I'm blackmailing you to do it."

"Yeah some best friend you are…"

"A great one. At least when you look back you'll see the list of your stupid bets and know you actually came through."

"Whatever- I wish you never took psych."

"Hey I found my calling that way."

I roll my eyes, "Well see how long your desire to be a psychologist lasts."

"Want to bet on it?"

"No. Now can we just get the rest of this over with?"

"Fine. You have to make out with Merrick next. Then after you get to dye Aubrey's hair."

I make a pained face, "Seriously? Can't I do Merrick last?"


"Ugh fine." I shove Luke and head off to my first period, "But after class- actually after school."

"I have your keys Missy, you can't fool me!"

I give him the finger and walk off.

It's not like Merrick is a bad kisser- hell he's a damn great kisser. But I don't want to kiss him let alone make out with him. I've done pretty damn well at avoiding him.

See after he told me how he felt I might've told him I felt the same.

Then proceeded to sleep with him…and then ignored him and told him I hated him…and asked him to leave me alone forever.


You see my dilemma now?

After that he tried to talk to me a few times but then eventually he gave up. We pretended that neither existed.

It's been going really well actually.

But you know I still do feel bad for fucking up his life.

"Oh come on Miss, you don't have to do it."

I sigh, "I know I don't but Luke's right. It's closure in a way. Except with Merrick it's like reopening a once festering wound. I promised myself I'd do this back in freshman year- I was so confident I'd win…but I didn't. Might as well pay my dues."

Ellie groans, "Luke is an idiot. And although I would love you to make up with Merrick and end up with him only to have a great life with beautiful children- I don't want you to do this because Luke says you have to."

"And he's blackmailing me." I add.

"Exactly! He's an idiot. Sure you two get your kicks out of whatever shenanigans y'all have…but seriously you're just going to hurt Merrick even more."

"But what if he doesn't like me? What if he doesn't care anymore and realized that he never cared at all." I give her a look while nodding-aren't I just a genius?

"The boy looks heartbroken every time he sees you."

"No Ellie that's just his face."

She gives me a 'oh please' look.

So maybe Merrick is close to being-uh what's the word-godly?

He's lightly tanned with freckles, has dark hair, dark eyes, a perfect smile with dimples to boot. He's athletic with a swimmer's body. He isn't abnormally tall. Back in freshman year he was kind of short- a bit taller than me so now he's like average.

But his height is the only average thing about him.

"Maybe he's heartbroken over some other girl."

"I doubt it."

"Is Ellie trying to talk you out of it? You should really take that stick out of your ass." Luke sits down with a tray covered in food. Stacks of fries, a muffin, a chicken sandwich and much more.

"Shut up Luke."

"Look if Ellie actually cleaned her room then maybe she would've found the list before and completed her bets. But she didn't and it's in writing. We found it and now she's completing the bets. Aren't you the one who believes in the honor code Eleanor?"

She gives Luke a dirty look.

"You're just speechless because you know I'm right. Now can you just make out with Merrick so we can move onto the next guy?"

"You're such a jackass. You of all people know that Mer-"

Luke rolls his eyes, "I know. It's fun though. Might as well stir up the old feelings before they head off to college so maybe Merrick would grow a pair and confront Missy. That way we all can find out everyone's true feelings."

"Oh shut up Luke you're not a real psychiatrist so don't even act like one."

"Ellie just go away."

I sigh, "Can you put your hate aside and help me complain about my freshman stupidity?"

The two just glare at each other.

Luke and I met in pre-school and were best friends until fourth grade. He wanted to hang out with the guys-because ew I was a girl and guys and girls couldn't be friends; plus it was also our awkward years- and I wanted to hang out with girls. Ellie and I became best friends then. When seventh grade came around Luke and I rekindled our best friendship.

Ellie and I stuck through no matter what. My friendship with each of them surprisingly lasted no how much Luke and El hated each other. It's simmered down though. They were a lot worse back then.

"Missy just fucking mount him and stick your tongue down his throat." Luke pushes me but I cling onto the door.

"No way! I'm not trying to fuck him again."

"I'll bet you anything that you'll end up sleeping with him."

"I thought you didn't make bets;especially with me."

"I'll make an exception."

"Fine. I can control my hormones. If I win you have to make out with Ellie."

"If I win you have to tell everyone about what happened between you and Merrick via the school paper."

"Deal." I spit in my hand and shake his.

"Ew nasty Miss."

"Pansy." I walk out the door and see Merrick sitting on a lone bench presumably waiting for his brother. Mike is a sophomore and slightly resembles his brother. They both have the same coloring-eyes, hair, skin, freckles, etc- but they have completely different faces and physiques.

Mike is tall and skinny. Plus Merrick has more angles to his face while Mike is more round.

I swagger on over, still a bit sweaty from practice but still working it.

I sit on his lap completely straddling the poor boy and fix my long hair pulling it to one side. I lick my lips and grab onto the hair on the back of his head pulling him into a kiss.

Man he's gotten better at kissing-like phenomenal.

He immediately kisses me back and grabs onto my torso. He's just grabbing up and down my waist and rib cage- like he's holding onto dear life.

Out of habit I press my body closer to his. Merrick bites my bottom lip while I let out a moan. I stick my tongue into his mouth licking everywhere. We play around with each other's tongues and he grunts when I pull mine out. We return to closed mouth kisses and he moans.

I stop and look at him. His gorgeous face...his lips are swollen and wet. I try to climb off over his as fast as I can but he grabs me right as I'm about to get away. Damn him.

One strong rough hand holds my hand while the other arm is wrap around my torso. Huh he's a couple inches taller now.

"Missy." he says curtly and looks me in the eye. I feel like he's staring me down so I look away. I glance at the concrete floor but he presses his forehead to mine causing me to instantly look up. My face heats up.

My lip trembles a bit. He's the only one who's ever made me feel like this.

"Missy." he says again but softer. He intertwines our fingers and gives me a slow...passionate...perfect kiss.

Our lips just move together like they're dancing. I stretch up on my tippy toes while my empty hand grabs the hem of his jeans. He let's go of my waist and cradles my face, rubbing my cheek with his thumb.

I sigh into the kiss and I feel him smile.

Shit no I can't do this. I already did the deed so now it's time to jet.

I pull away and try to run, but I forgot that we're holding hands. Man I'm an idiot.

As I make my get away I feel a tug on my arm and practically trip over myself. But Merrick wraps his strong arms around me.

"Missy I'm not letting you run away."

"But I'm so good at it."

"I know."

Yeah he'd definitely know.

"Merrick let go of me...please?" I feign a smile and he gives me an 'oh please' look.

"Oh come on!" I whine.

"Missy we need to talk."

Maybe if I cause a distraction...

"And you can't cause a distraction." Did he just read my mind?

"Merrick don't you have-"

I hear someone clear their throat and Merrick let's go of me.

"Merrick," Coach Guernsey curtly nods. This man is an angel.


"Coach Guernsey right? Your wife teaches lacrosse? Since she's sick and all do you think I could have a word with you? To give her some messages."

"Yeah of course."

I trail after him and avoid looking at Merrick. I know he won't follow me just yet.

"So can you tell Coach that we have a new goal keeper? We're making her a card and we'll send it later. Okay see ya!" I bolt and head to the girl's locker room.

So maybe Ellie's right...and maybe Luke's right too. I really hope Merrick doesn't try to talk to me again. Except it'd be good that he wants to talk right? Closure and all before we depart ways. Because that's what this is all about right? Closure...for some reason though I don't want closure with Merrick. Is that so wrong?

"So does this mean I won our little bet?" I ask while I fiddle with his car.


"What! Why not? I didn't sleep with him."

"Yet, I'm holding you to this until we all go off to college."

I scoff, "Fine, but I exhibited how much self-control."

"Very true and I'm proud. But it's not gonna last Missy. Especially when Merrick hunts you down."

"He's not going to. I'm the master of running away as well as hide and seek."

"Didn't you say that you're the master of bets too?"

I wave him off, "Pish posh. Are you SURE that Mike is home alone?"

"Definitely- Merrick is at Valerie's party. Would I set you up for disaster?"

I eye him wearily, "Maybe...so is that why we're going to that kid's party in Woodbridge?"

"That and because your next kiss, Lory, is gonna be there."

"Man Luke you should work for the FBI or something."

Mike is a nice kid, doesn't get in trouble, barely dates and gets good grades. Some nights he does go out and party, but tonight is not one of those nights. So with Luke's snooping skills we found out the perfect time to visit Mike without running into Merrick. Because no matter how much Luke loves to see me suffer and not run away from things, he wants to avoid this whole Merrick disaster…until after I've kissed everyone. If Merrick knew he'd stop me from completing my consequences of losing my bets.

Luke really likes me to face the consequences of my actions.

Something about responsibility or whatever.

And then Merrick…even though we haven't spoken in three-ish years I know that he hates me with other guys.

I also found that out from Luke.

Luke pushes me away from his car, "Just go. Kiss the poor boy and jump in my car after. For the love of Merrick McDonald, please don't jump his brother's bones. I'm warning you Missy Bishop-"

"One-" I hold up a finger, "I'd never do Michael McDonald. And two Merrick doesn't-"

"Stop lying to yourself and just go."

I pout and drag my feet to the door. Luke is already fastened into the driver's seat.

I hold my breath as I ring the doorbell.

So help me if anyone else is home besides Mike then I'll kill someone.

Mike slowly opens the door and looks startled, "Hey Missy…what're you doing here…?"

"Oh I was just…dropping by."

"Merrick isn't home if-"

"Why can't I want to visit my favorite little sophomore?" I nonchalantly stroll past him and enter the all too familiar house.

The McDonalds are both doctors so they're constantly working or on call. Back in freshman year I'd come over a lot and Mike was always still at school so we'd get plenty of alone time.

"Since when was I your favorite?" He slowly closes the front door.

"Since always! God Mike you have no faith in me."

He rolls his eyes and I slowly turn around observing the old familiarity. Pretty much the same; expensively furbished with leather couches, nice pieces of artwork, glass and whatnot. Mrs. McDonald has really great taste. She's just a fabulous woman.

"Of course I'm glad to see you Missy, but-"

"You know Mike I should take you to a party. Luke and I should show you how to loosen up a bit."

"Uh huh yeah," He says dully, "If I wanted to party like that I'd go find Kesha."

"So you know her?" I joke.

Mike gives me a look, "Anyway do you want something to eat or drink?"

"No I'm good…so Mike how's your love life?"

"It's the same as always…"

"No girlfriend?"


"Good," I grab his shirt and jerk his face down level to mine. I expertly capture his lips and I meekly look up from my luscious eyelashes. Mike's eyes are wide open but slowly flutter shut. He puts a hand on my hip and I close my eyes. He's-for lack of a better word- a cute kisser.

I pull away and blink a lot. Mike's not blinking though, but his mouth is opening a few times. He touches his lips and puts a hand on the kitchen counter.

"What was-?"

I hold my hands up and slowly head for the door.

"Mike!" My eyes practically bulge out of my head.

I turn to Mike and he just shrugs.

"Uh- in here Mer." Mike calls back. I hear Merrick's heavy footsteps and I run over to Mike. Before I could get there though my heart stops.

"Missy fucking Bishop."


I sprint over behind Mike.

Merrick runs over and I push Mike towards his brother.

"Back the fuck away Merrick."

"Missy I just want to talk to you." He pleads and makes a step towards me despite that Mike the giant is in his way.

"Missy isn't available right now please leave a message after the beep!"

"Wait why are you here?" He looks confused and stops completely. I stop too.

Mike turns his head and looks at me. We both silently freak out.

I'm pretty sure Mike doesn't know about me and Merrick, but damns know well enough to not bring me up around him.

"What?" Merrick asks.

"Uh-nothing." I shrug. Play it freaking cool Missy.

"Missy did you kiss Mike yet-oh." Luke stops as he sees the three of us. Luke looks panicked too.

"What?" Merrick's tone is deadly now.

"Um come on Luke let's go!" I try to make a run for it, but Merrick catches me. Damn he smells good.

My mouth is agape while my nose touches his. My arms are squished against his hard torso.

"Mike uh want to go out-away?" Luke nervously suggests while he touches his hair.

"Yes! Yes fantastic idea." The two boys run out as fast as they can.

Neither Merrick or I move. Only my nervous breathing can be heard. Damn you can't even hear him breathing. Is he breathing?

"…Merrick?" I quietly ask. Is he okay?

He doesn't reply.

"Merrick are you…breathing?" I don't want to ask if he's okay because he'd probably blow up.

"Missy if I put you down will you run away from me?" He whispers.

"Will you chase after me if I do?"


He puts me down and just stand there. Merrick looks me in the eye, puts a hand on the counter and touches his hair with the other.

"I kissed Mike." I awkwardly shift my weight to the other foot.

"Are you going to break his heart too?"

"I don't like him." I quickly defend myself and sigh.

Merrick touches my hip and I instinctively take a step back.

"Why'd you kiss him then?"

I don't say anything.

"Do you enjoy fucking with my mind and heart? Never mind, stupid question. Of course you do Missy. It's probably your damn hobby."

I scoff, "Now you're finally letting your feelings out."

"I let my feelings out three years ago Missy. You're the one who just runs away from everything!"

"I'm not running now am I?" I shout. He shuts up.

"And we both know that I can' damn well run away even if you chased after me. But I'm not running, so please Merrick, inform me of all your damn feelings. Tell me how much you hate me and how you wish you'd never met me."

"I love you Missy and I meant it every time I said it. I mean it now and I'll always mean it."

My breath hitches and I panic. I don't run, but I walk towards the door.

"Missy," Merrick calls.

"Missy," he calls again as I get closer to the door. Merrick's following close behind, but he isn't running.

"Missy," He says one final time as I try to open the door. He puts a hand on the door right as I get it open and slams it shut.

I just stand there staring at him and he's staring back. His brown eyes make me melt and I start to count his freckles again.

Back in freshman year I could just lay there with him for hours. We could easily just stare at each other. Sometimes when he was asleep, his hair disheveled from our previous activities. He'd be a little sticky from sweat and his face had that gorgeous glow. His tanned skin would camouflage a few freckles making my count change from time to time. I'd run a finger over the bridge of his nose and his lips.

Merrick grabs my waist and I wrap my arms around his neck. We roughly kiss each other for dear life and he presses me up against the door.

I feel like I need him more than anything right now.

It's all skin on skin and his tongue and mine are all over each other's He lifts me up a bit and I instinctively wrap my legs around his body.

"Merrick…" I sigh and clutch onto the back of his shirt. He hoists me up a bit higher and presses me even closer to the door. God this man.

I take one hand and grab into his hair as he kiss down my neck. He inhales rather deeply and pulls away. Merrick just looks at me, so I kiss him once more. It doesn't take long for him to return my ksis with just as much vigor as I have.

I unwrap my legs and slide down the door a bit until my feet touch the floor.

Merrick moans and crouches so he can get his face as close to mine as he can. He taunts me with his lips. I desperately grab onto his shirt and sigh when he presses our foreheads together. Then the bridges of our noses touch. Our eyelashes graze each other's.

This is torturous, haunting, amazing and heartbreaking all at once.

My heart aches and my eyebrows knit together. I pout and bite my lip. I want to run away, but then I don't.

My natural instinct is to flee, but it's like my wings won't seem to work. Well actually my legs too feel like jell-o . Merrick's clutching onto me-supporting me and somehow supporting himself too.

I'm not sure if I'm imagining it, but my bottom lip starts to tremble. Merrick lightly kisses me and carries me up to his room.

Has any other girl been to his room? In his bed?

I know he's had one girlfriend since…the thing. He dated Molly Shepard while I was with him. Of course we never dated. Then sometime last year he dated Vanessa Woodson. But then who knows if he's been with anyone else. He surely didn't fuck Molly since he was too busy with me…

Merrick and I started out as friends. He was in my history and math class so we knew each other. Then when he got moved to the seat next to me we became fast friends. And it was all it was, friendship, at least to me. Plus I knew he was dating Molly- he told me- so I didn't think anything of it.

But then he was so attractive and charming. What can I say I wanted to be with him. I was a virgin at the time and it was so easy to just be around him. When we spent enough time alone at his house I spotted a great opportunity.

"Merrick?" I put my pen down and awkwardly fiddle with my hair.

"Hm?" He finishes writing something then finally looks up at me.

I look down, "Nevermind."

"No seriously Missy, what?" He looks a bit concerned. Merrick McDonald has this innocent look to him. How could I want to get rid of it? But then he's just too attractive. And I was innocent so I mean I could trust him with my innocence right? Except the main problem arises once again, his girlfriend.

I take a deep breath, "This might be a weird thing to ask considering that you have a girlfriend, but do you think any guy would want to have sex with me?"

Merrick looks a bit flustered, "Y-yeah why wouldn't they?"

"Just curious," I shrug and tuck a strand of hair behind my ear.

"So…you haven't-?"

"No," I admit, "I just don't think-"

"Don't think for one second that you're not pretty enough or anything like that. You're amazing Missy."

I just shrug, "I guess I should go now-"

"Why?" He looks adorably perplexed.

"I just think I should go-"

"Missy," He grabs my hand and I sit back down, "Don't leave."

I blink a few times and lean in to kiss him. Merrick surprises me by leaning as well. I put a hand on his thigh and he caresses my cheek.

Our lips softly touch until the kiss get increasingly rougher. My lips were swollen as were his, and our hair was messed up.

I left his house with a smile.

All it took was that little make-out session.

The next day Merrick came to me and said that he was going to break up with Molly. He didn't want to be with her and that he wanted to be with me. I told him that it wouldn't work out that way. I said I just want to be friends right now and that we should just wait.

And he did.

Gradually everything just became more though. Our friendship, our feelings and everything we did. Two weeks after our little affair started Merrick broke up with Molly. I told him that he shouldn't, because I still wasn't looking for a relationship.

But he did. Merrick didn't like hurting Molly even if he didn't care for her that way.

Merrick was in essence the good guy. Of course I was the one whoring around with him.

Except I wasn't whoring around with him entirely.

After he broke up with Molly I slept with him a week later. He was loving, awkward and desperate to please me.

It was perfect despite the pain and overall awfulness of losing one's virginity as a female.

We didn't have sex for a bit after that. He wanted to be lovey dovey and coupley with me, but I didn't want that. .

We kept everything a secret, because that's what I wanted.

Merrick always did everything to make me happy and he did make me happy.

It scared the living daylights out of me.

"Missy," He breathed. Both of us were panting and heat just radiated off us. My hands traveled up his perfect chest.

Merrick was breathing heavily and clearly a bit tired. He supported himself on his forearms to make sure he didn't crush me.


"I love you." He strokes my arm with his thumb and looks me dead in the eye.

I feel a shiver run down my spine and I let out a testy breath. God why is my breathing so unsteady?

Merrick just accepts my silence and kisses my cheek. He tangles his fingers into my hair and stretches out.

I sigh and kiss the nape of his neck.

We just lay there on our sides- Merrick plays with my hair while I look up at him. We both definitely have grown up within those three years-almost four years.

I can't believe graduation is coming up.

Merrick gets up and searches for our-er his- blanket. When he finds it be covers us both with it. He's cuddles up next to me completely in spooning mode.

"You never told me why you kissed my brother." He murmurs.

"Maybe I never will."

"I could always get it out of Luke." He gives me a knowing look.

"Merrick have you slept with anyone else? In this bed I mean."

He smirks, but it turns into a mischievous half smile, "Are you-"

"No I'm not jealous." I try to turn away, but Merrick gently turns my head so I'm looking at him.

"It's okay if you are," He smiles as he kisses my cheek, "But no I haven't. Just you."

"I was just curious, can't a girl be curious?"

"Sure she can. And you of all girls can be as curious as she wants, but since according to you I can't be curious. "

"You can be curious I just won't answer all your questions."

"Why can't I know why you kissed my brother?" He intertwines our fingers.

"You know that I don't like him and Luke was involved. That's all you need to know."

"For now," He twirls a strand of my hair, "Doesn't mean I won't stop asking later. He's one lucky bastard though, because he's never kissing you again or I'll kill him."

"I expected you to say that much."

"I've missed you Missouri." He smiles.

"Don't call me that." I poke his chest.

Oh shit. I just slept with Merrick. Well okay we had sex for quite some time but still. We slept together. Luke fucking won our bet. That jackass.

And since he won that means I have to tell everyone about us.

I'm definitely not mature enough for this.

Fuck my life. Sure it may not be the worst thing to let everyone know that I've been involved and snagged the amazing Merrick McDonald; and that we have sex and are in love-I mean he's in love…with me…because I'm not in love with him. Not possible. No way.

"I can't believe you!" Ellie gushes and slaps my arm.

"Stop hitting me," I whine.

"Yeah because I'm sure Merrick banged you enough in one night-"

"That is stupid and has to relation to you hitting me."

"Fine whatever, but seriously Missy-you haven't spoken to him since? And then you went and kissed Lory Truesdale! Now Merrick is looking for him and you. Except Merrick wants to smother Lory with an angry rage while he wants to smother you with a passionate love filled rage." Ellie feigns a 'oh poor baby' look.

"Just relax Ellie. It's all part of-"

"The consequences," She drones, "I know all because of stupid Luke and your stupid shenanigans."

I shrug, "We shenanigan-it's what we do."

"Yeah well-"

"And because of a bet with Luke- surprise I know- I have to tell everyone about…me…and Merrick."

Ellie's smile is huge.

"I have the perfect way to do that."

"Oh dear god." I cover my face with my hands.

Ellie, being the overachiever she is, has connections. She's always doing stuff. Yearbook, newspaper, tutoring and loads more. So when she gets 'ideas' then it's definitely…big.

"I hate to say it, but Ellie's idea is brilliant. This takes our shenanigan to a whole new level. But anyway let's get your last kiss over with so you can clear this up with Merrick. You know he's getting ready to murder Lory if he doesn't find you."

"Oh really?" I question.

"Yeah he's giving the boy sometime until he sees your first."

Lory used to be a nice guy, but well now he's the type of guy that fucks girls like it's his hobby.

I'm not sure if he knows about Brian's kiss, but I mean Brian's gay so I mean whatever. Rumor has it though, Brian's questioning his sexuality.

Only this would happen to me-well because of me.

"I'm surprised he didn't beat his face the moment he saw him."

Luke shrugs, "Aren't we all. Merrick gets pissed when he plays a team with a bad attitude and looks like he'll murder anyone that brings you up. Then when you kiss Lory the playboy-"Luke sucks in some air.

"Let's just shut up. How about we discuss my plans for college, and yours."

"Well you're going to college, I'm going to college and we're all be successful people. It's been discussed now let's get back to the real topic."

I shake my head.

Luke and I are going to colleges about two to three hours away from each other. While Ellie is going all the way to the other side of the country, but she says that she'll kill anyone that tries to take her place as my best friend.

"Hey Miss," Lory grins. I can feel his breath tickle my cheek. He does smell nice.

"Lory," I flip the pages of my textbook. The quiet chick next to me shifts away from us.

"So that was a pretty nice kiss. I heard you were fantastic, but I didn't know that you were that fantastic."

"Rumors you know- turns out you weren't that great of a kisser as people said."

Lory laughs, "So tell me when did Merrick McDonald become your boyfriend?"

"That's none of your business."

"So he is your boyfriend? Because you know either way I wouldn't mind hooking up with you."

I slowly close my eyes in an annoyed manner.

"Don't think so." I stand up and grab a wad of paper. I stroll on over with my paper wad in tow right to the door. I toss it away and look up only to find Merrick walking down the hallway. My eyes widen.

I turn around trying not to be seen by him.

But of course he sees me, "Missy," he whisper yells.

"I don't know any Missy…"

I hear him scoff so I turn around and giving him this fed up look.

"Stop stalking me." I pout.

"I was just trying to take a piss," He assures me, "But now that I know you're here this is saving me time. I need to talk to you."

"Missy," Mrs. Wiggins looks at me skeptically.

I roll my eyes, "Can I go to the bathroom?"

"Sure, take a pass." She boredly flips through her newspaper.

I take one of the whiteboard and head out.

Merrick is standing there with his arms crossed waiting.

"Testy," I tease.

"Well the woman I love keeps running away from me and kissing other guys. Including this scummy womanizer, my brother and a gay guy who's apparently rethinking his sexuality. I have the right to be."

"Man this girl sounds like a bitch."

"She is," He admits, "But I love her all the same."

I blink a few times and start to walk down the hallway. Merrick follows me and puts a hand on my lower back.

"Lucky girl…" I look up at him, "You know Lory is in my class."

Merrick tenses up.

"He thinks I'm more than a fantastic kisser-he wants to sleep-"

Merrick practically growls. I pull him in for a kiss and he wraps his arms around me. We have some hardcore frenching going on, just hands grabbing everywhere.

I pull away and he sharply intakes a breath.

I keep walking and Merrick follows closely behind.

"You're evil," He grabs me and nuzzles his face into the nape of my neck.

With my thumb I rub his Adam's apple and along his jaw as he rests his forehead against mine.

"I miss this…"He looks at my eyes then to my lips. I feel his eyelashes graze my skin and I nearly shudder.

"Merrick…" I slowly lean in and kiss him. My tongue runs along his teeth then his tongue dominates mine. I bite his lip and moan-pushing him away.

"I'm kissing one more guy."

"What?" He looks slightly angry as well as perplexed.

"I have to kiss one more guy…and then I'll tell you why I kissed them all…and I have to go camping with Rebecca Rosewood but that isn't relevant."

He gives me a look and raises an eyebrow, "Is that why Aubrey's hair is bright orange?"

"Maybe…" I drag out.

"Fine," I think Merrick leaves it alone but he doesn't, "I'm going to be there though."

"What?" I sass.


"Merrick you aren't my boyfriend." I run my tongue along my bottom row of teeth.

"Aren't I Missy? Arent' I?"

I make a face, "Do you need to repeat it?"

"It's for emphasis, but anyway I'm going to be there. Luke will get a kick out of it anyway."

"That jackass…" I mutter.

Merrick kisses the top of my head, "Plus I won't have to hunt you down, so I can find out why you've been such a kiss whore lately."

"I've always been a kiss whore." I say like it's the most obvious thing.

"More than usual."

I give him an innocent look and shrug. I make my way back to class and Merrick possessively kisses me at the door.

I kiss more than I fuck-which I'm sure is why I'm known to be such a great kisser.

Let's just say I got my kicks by making out with guys in front of Merrick. Of course I 'didn't know he was there' most of the time.

One time I was making out with a guy from Merrick's baseball team. That was the last time any guy from his team tried to get with me. The guy ended up with a bloody nose and broken jaw. Of course I didn't see it happen, but when the kid came to school with his jaw wired shut obviously I knew well enough.

Merrick is really good at being protective without actually being there to protect me. Same goes for the whole possessive thing.

For some reason it makes me feel…good. I love that he gets jealous.

"He has a girlfriend." Merrick tries to reason with us.

"Yeah and you had a girlfriend when I kissed you."

"When we kissed each other," He corrects, "And this is different."

"How?" I put my hands on my hips.

"Because we're in love." He puts his hands on top of mine and gives me a gentle kiss.

"What makes you so sure?"

"I'm terribly in love with you and have been for a good four years now. You go out of your way to avoid being I love with anyone but you can't avoid being in love with me."

I scoff and put a hand on his chest, "Okay there Mr. Know-It-All has Luke been teaching you phycology?"

"No I just know you and I know myself. That's all I really need to know."

Luke claps, "How cute, but can we get this last kiss over with? Merrick promised to not interfere."

"Fine." Merrick and I say simultaneously. I head in through the heavy library doors and Merrick follows behind.

I took long strides over to Daniel. He's sort of like Mike, a studious nice guy. Except Daniel is really funny. Like seriously one funny kid.

Daniel's got on hand in his hair and the other holding onto his book. Quietly I sit down next to him and move his arm. He looks up at me and smiles.

Poor boy.

I quickly give him a peck on the lips.

Good job Missy, way to keep it G-rated.

"What was that for?" He asks amused.

Merrick plops himself down across from us, "Yeah Miss enlighten me."

Annoyed I grind my teeth, "Merrick I said I'd tell you, but now-"

"-Is the perfect time." He gives me a smug look.

"I thought there was an 'anti-Missy and Merrick' policy going on." Daniel quirks an eyebrow.

"Well," Merrick smiles at me, "There's a recent development that's changed that."

"Which is something I don't want to not discuss right now," I fold my hands, "Look I've been kissing people because back in ninth grade I really liked to make bets with people."

"I remember that," Merrick interjects.

"Fantastic, anyway before Merrick rudely interrupted, Luke was helping me clean my room. I'm a slob whatever. He found a list of my old bets and well he thinks it's great for me to make good on my bets. You know closure or whatever."

"Aw and to think I thought you wanted to kiss me." Daniel teases.

"Missy just breaks hearts left and right." Merrick teases me too.

"I thought you'd be pissed?" I give Merrick an apprehensive look.

"I'm just glad that you aren't messing with me for fun."

"Not everything is about you honey."

Merrick smirks, "If it's about you then it's about me."

"Was that supposed to be cute?" I give him a look.

"Quite frankly anything about us is cute."

"That's true," Daniel nods, "You two are cute together. Since when were you two-?"

"It's complicated." I hold a hand up, "Now I'm just putting this out there, but if you do tell your girlfriend that I kissed you then –"

"It was hardly a kiss. She wouldn't mind too much plus I'll just tell her about Merrick." Daniel snickers.

I shake my head, "Okay well I'm going to go, because I can't handle enough of this talk."

I get up and Merrick does too. He wraps his arms around me and kisses my cheek. I meekly look down and avoid eye contact with him.

If I look into his eyes then I swear I won't be able to resist him. He takes my hand and we leave together.

I can hear Daniel cooing in the background, "You two are so damn cute!"

I had a boyfriend or two and had no problem with being affectionate with them. It was easy to be lovey dovey and gush over each other. But I mostly did it for fun.

Being a couple was just something fun to do. Another shenanigan and I never was interested in them too much.

"So the only reason why you kissed me was because of Luke?"

"Well made out with you…but yeah."

"I have to thank that boy." Merrick smiles as we walk out of the coffee shop.

"How is that a good thing?"

"Because then you would've avoided me until the end of time."

I toss my coffee cup away before I climb into Merrick's car.

"Speaking of which this doesn't mean that I'm going to stop avoiding you entirely."

Merrick lazily turns his head to look at me, "I'm really starting to wonder who's who."


"Who's the cat and who's the mouse."

I roll my eyes, "Do explain."

"Well you just love running away from me like a mouse and I chase like a cat. But you're like a cat. You can easily start and end the chase-"

"No that means I'm like a mouse. If I stopped running then I could easily let you catch me."

"But I've already caught you." Merrick says.

"Oh really?"

"Mhm hm."

"I feel like I keep asking this, but why are you so sure?"

"Because it has to be true."

I don't say anything.

"If I'm not confident that someday we'll end up together then there's not much for me."

I bite my lip.

"I could spend forever chasing after you even if we're old and you're married to some jackass. I'll still be confident that we'll end up together."

I used to wonder what it was like being Merrick McDonald's girlfriend. Then at some point I pictured us getting married.

It was near the end of sophomore year.

We were in the same science class. We both sat in the back-he was at one side of the room and I the other. Henry Gladstone sat next to me and was my lab partner.

I'd chew my gum a lot in that class and didn't pay much attention.

Except I'd steal glances at Merrick. His partner was Jessica something. I hated that bitch.

She'd always fawn over Merrick like he was some sort of magical creature or something.

God I hated her face and everything about her. Seriously even her gums bothered me. She was a fucking horse face. I half expected her to neigh whenever the teacher called on her.

Ellie said I was jealous. Luke said I was right, she was a horse face.

I didn't think I was jealous though. I was thinking about trying to fix things with Merrick. I wanted to be his friend again.

But he didn't need me as a friend because he had plenty of other fucking options. Fucking Merrick McDonald and his damn charm and his fucking options-so why would he need me as an option? I supposedly stomped on his heart.

And when I say supposedly I say it because it never seemed like it to me.

It didn't seem like anything fazed him-except when he got angry or jealous. He didn't seem sad at all.

So I left him alone because really if he didn't need me I didn't fucking need him-as a friend I mean.

I could always find a way to hate Merrick, but he always made me feel bad.

"Ellie," I sigh.

"What! Don't sigh at me. What's so wrong about me dating a Catholic school guy?"

"He's from Canterbury! Like ninety-percent of those guys are jerks and the other ten are religious freaks. You're atheist too Ellie so I'm sure you're not dating a religious freak."

"Okay so maybe he doesn't have the best character-"

"Exactly my point." I put some sugar into my coffee. Who knows why I drink coffee at night. I sleep well enough with all the caffeine in my system though.

"Look chances are it'll just be a little end of the year-summertime fling. I'm heading off to the other side of the country anyway."

"Don't remind me. I'll be stuck with Luke."

"I feel for you sweetie ," Ellie sympathizes , "But you'll manage."

"I know, but imagine all the college shenanigans we'll get into." I smile.

"Now you don't mention that. If I turn on the TV and find you two on the national news then I swear-"

"Relax, shenanigans are quite a bit different than breaking-the-law-igans." The doorbell rings, "Hey hold on a second."

I jog on over to the front door and open it without bothering to check.

My eyes widen and I try to slam it shut but good old Merrick keeps it open.

"Missy Bishop you've managed to avoid me for about a week now."

I don't answer and let him in in the form of me walking away. Of course he's wearing a cardigan over a loose v-neck with fitted jeans and of course he looks gorgeous in it despite that fact that he's wearing a cardigan. I mean seriously it's a bit silly, it suits some guys, but still Merrick the athlete? Not exactly the best fit. At least that's what I thought.

"You look silly." I deign and head back to the kitchen. I place my phone on the counter and sip my coffee.

"Is that all you have to say?"

I notice Merrick's hands on either side of me-his hands clutching the countertop. I whip around and find him looming over me.

God he's sexy.

But now's not the time to think about that.

Except I can't, so I reach up and grab his neck. I attack his lips and he practically ravages me. When we cool down a bit I bite his lip and pull away slowly. Both of us are panting and there's virtually no room between us except for our clothes.

He presses his forehead against mine and runs his nose along my skin.

"I love you Missy…please," his voice is far too desperate, "stop running away from me." He stresses every word.

I grab onto his t-shirt and don't reply.

I open my mouth a few times but close it all together.

"Please," He puts a hand on my neck.

"Can you say something?"

"Why can't you ever leave me alone?" I let go of his shirt.

"Is that what you want?"

"Maybe-maybe not!" I shout. Okay maybe I didn't need to yell.

"Missy I'm not your toy-I'm not a fucking yo-yo." He raises his voice a bit.

"Actually you are."

Cold one Missy.

Merrick pushes himself off me and grabs his hair.

"That's fucking right Missy I am. Mind taking a break playing with me every once in a while?" He snaps.

"Mind leaving me alone? Because you know even when we stop talking you still shove your way into my life."

Merrick's eyes bore into my soul.

"Why do you want me to leave you alone so bad?" He shouts still clutching onto his hair.

"BECAUSE," I scream completely unsure of what to do with my hands-I just want to throw something.

"I just need to be with you Missy. I hate being without you." He growls. I can see that his eyes looks glazed over-moist.

"Just-just stop!"

"Missy tell me-do you want me out of your life? Tell me and if you do I'll walk away. I'll leave you forever. You won't ever have to talk to me again and the next and last time you'll see me is at graduation."

I don't say anything. I look at him then look at the ground.

Merrick gives me the most heartbreaking look in the whole. How is it possible for someone to look so heartbroken and yet still be alive?

He just waits for what seems like forever until finally he turns around. I want to stop him but I don't.

I just pitifully listen to his footsteps until I can't hear them. I start to panic.

"Merrick wait!" I manage to squeak out.


"Merrick please!" I start to get hysterical.

"I love you!" I shout as loud as I can, "Please don't leave me."

I sniffle and rub my cheek with the sleeve of my oversized plaid shirt.

I can't be crying over Merrick McDonald.

My chest constricts and I get that awful feeling you get when you cry-the deep hollow pang in your chest. I lean with my back against the counter and just touch my forehead. I take some deep breaths.

I deserve it.

"Do you mean it?"

I look up and sniffle.

I slowly nod my head.

"I…I meant it the first time too."

Merrick has this goofy smile and rushes over to me. He wraps his arms around me and kisses me-he just kisses me all over-kissing the tears away.

"I know," He rubs his forehead against my cheek and I melt.

I wrap my arms around his neck and he hoists me up on the counter.

"You know it'd be easier if you let me go-to just forget about me."

"I don't want easy. I want to be with you and I could never forget. I've tried."

I softly smile and nuzzle my face into his shoulder.

"I love you." I mutter.

"I love you."

After out moment of blissful silence we separate. I hop off the counter and drink my cold coffee and decide to check my phone. Uh oh.

I slowly bring the phone to my ear, "Ellie?"

"Missiour Diana-fucking-Bishop I heard the whole thing. We are talking about this tomorrow." She hangs up and I place my phone onto the counter.

"Ellie heard everything."

"Good, I have a witness when you try to deny your love for me again." He smiles.

"I won't deny it anymore, promise."

Merrick rests his body against mine and holds a pinky out. I smile and hold mine out too. We interlock pinkies and kiss.

"Hey did Luke tell you?"


"Me and him are going to be roommates this fall." He grins.

"Lucky him. Does this mean you'll be nagging me about my messy room too?"

"Nah-I can nag about other things."

"Fun." I roll my eyes.

I take his hand and lead him upstairs.



"I'd never leave you forever."

A/n: Awwww how sweet.

If you listen to the song Arms by Christina Perri then that's pretty much a good summary of Missy's feelings.