Precious Rose

Chapter 1

I felt like I was grabbing the sun.

Yeah right, as if that could happen.

I put my gloved hand to my side. It was a bit chilly that morning in San Francisco. And I wasn't used to cold. That's inconvenient, I tell you.

And now I'm regretting not riding Kevin's car.

But then, it's either walking two miles on a chilly morning or seeing my brother and my best friend make out.

Yeah…I'd rather walk.

As much as I love my brother and my best friend, you have to admit, it'd be pretty weird to see them dating, much less making out.

And how many years have I endured this torture? 3 years?

I sighed and stopped walking. I looked at my watch: 7:14 am. Huh, there's ample time for a detour…I'm AP in all subjects but like every other student in school, I hate it.

I mean, who doesn't?

I huffed.

Then a car, a Mercedes- Benz, I think (Ok, so I'm AP in all subjects but Garage 101, if that's even a subject. I mean seriously, cars are so not my forte) sped through but stopped when it reached me. The window opened and I saw the driver. He was a handsome man with deep, dark, beautiful eyes and dark hair.

"Hey," he said, grinning.

I raised an eyebrow and he chuckled, "Hey, can you give me some directions? I'm headed to Harlington High School."

"Go straight ahead, turn left at the next corner then turn right at the second intersection. It's a big place. You won't miss it…New student?" I inquired.

"Thanks." He smiled. "And yeah. How did you know? You go there? Why don't I give you a ride?"

I'm not the friendliest person I know but it's common sense not to talk to strangers. I mean, parents already implanted that fact on their children's brains since they were two. And I'm seventeen. I think I know who's a stranger and who's not. And this guy's counted as a stranger.

Ok, so I answered the "Can you give me some directions?" but that's just plain courtesy. Letting him give me a ride on the other hand…well, let's just say I don't do those stuffs.

I stared at him. "No, thank you."

He looked at me as if I just turned down a million bucks. Well maybe, I just did, in his book. Wow, even if he didn't look like it, I think he's a player.

Then, he smiled.

Sure, I admit, his smile's too charming for every girl's own good but I'm so not going to fall for that.

Definitely a player.

And as I looked at him more, I felt something. It wasn't a heart-racing moment, mind you. But more like, it was like facing a façade or mirage of some sort. I didn't know…it was as if I was being lied to, that kind of feeling. Then I realized. That smile…it's fake, wasn't it?

He's kind of like me. I could see it in his face. He looked reliable, dependable, responsible, optimistic…everything that a perfect student is. I bet he's all A's and a quarterback, too. Just like I said, he looked perfect, the 'looked' emphasized, by the way. Like me. Seemed like me, to be specific.

Based on this situation, our difference would be one thing: he smiled.

I smiled, yes. But not always. I'm more of a stare-observe type of person. Yes, I'm reliable. Yes, I'm dependable. Yes, I'm responsible. Yes, I can be trusted. But smile all the time? Yeah, not so much.

And he's playing it, I think. How intriguing….

Then I walked away.

But he's persistent, it seemed.

I stopped; knowing running away would be futile. I'm no athlete. And even then, I doubt one could outrun a Mercedes, a normal person anyway.

"Hey," he grinned, looking amused. "I'm not a bad guy. You can trust me."

I shook my head. "Sorry, but that'd be going against my principles."

"A woman with principles?" he looked thoughtful. "Nice."

"Are you implying that women don't have principles?" I crossed my arms.

"Oh, no. I don't mean that. I just admire those women who do have principles. You don't have to be so defensive," he answered, plastering that same fake smile.

I sighed. "Whatever."

And I walked away for the second time. But before I did, he suddenly got out of his car in one swift move. God, what was he? An alien from outer space? Or maybe…no, could he be a vampire? Please take note of the sarcasm.

"Wait." He said and I turned around.

"What?" I clutched my bag.

"I told you I'd give you a ride. You do go to Harlington, don't you?"

"I never told you I did and anyway, I already told you, it'd be going against my principles," I repeated.

"And I have principles too."

"Those are?"

"Repay every good deed."

"I only gave you directions. It's nothing special."

"I told you, didn't I?" he smiled. But I knew he's cracking. I didn't think he'd ever been rejected before or met someone stubborn who asked a lot of questions. "I'd repay every good deed. And even if you don't go to Harlington, I'll still give you a ride, wherever you go to."

"But I don't need a ride. Ok? So, it's fine."

And that's when he reached his breaking point. He took both my wrists in an instant and pinned me to his car, his face inches away from mine.

"I'm going to give you a ride." He growled.

So, this was his real appearance. I was right. It was only a façade.

Pity.

"And I told you I won't let you." I hissed back. "I'm not a damsel in distress. I have two legs. I can stand up and walk. There's no problem."

"You're so wrong, you know that?" he narrowed his eyes.

"Look," I snapped. I may be a straight A student but I'm pretty temperamental. "I'm going to walk. You're just a stranger who asked for instructions. And I'm just an innocent student walking past. You don't tell me what to do and you sure as hell don't order me around."

He chuckled. "You do know that a feisty lady is rather attractive…and do you know what else? I get everything I want."

"And let me guess. What you want now is…me?" I raised an eyebrow.

He grinned. "Yes, very good."

"Well, I'm sorry, but I'm the other kind of girl, the one who doesn't fall for empty flattering and sweet talk and I don't get swept off my feet easily. So, sorry to ruin your day. Why don't you go find a ditzy, vain woman to be your victim instead?"

It's true, though. Everything I said. I don't give a damn for sweet talk nor do I get swept off my feet that easily. That's the thing, I guess. I didn't date. I guess I'm immune to boys or something.

Ok, maybe not. I've got close friends who were of the male species, my brother included. I guess I just didn't care about dating that much than I'm supposed to be. I mean, I'm a teenage girl after all.

"Sorry, I don't think I'll go for the usual today. I thought I'd go for the other kind," He smirked.

Oh, god, this guy's so…

"As I said, today's not your lucky day," I shook my wrists from his grasp and stalked away, leaving him laughing.