I, Alexia, feel like my life should be a movie. You know, one of those romantic lovey-dovey crap films that include every cliché in the book: The nerd and the jock, the best friend's older brother, the bad boy and the good girl.

But this time everything's backwards. The guy in my story, Martin, is the nerd, and I'm the jock. He's not my best friend's older brother, he's my best friend's younger brother. And I guess you could say I'm the bad girl-what with all the classes I ditch and my problem with people telling me what to do-and he's the sweet, lovable guy.

You'd think because I'm a year older than him that I wouldn't be physically attracted to him, but I am. He's taller than me by like a foot, which is nice, and he has the biggest blue eyes and a mop of blond curls that always falls in his face. He's still got that boyishness when he smiles, which makes him look so adorable I could kiss him forever, and he's always wearing some geeky outfit complete with a button down shirt half-way tucked into his jeans and his blue-framed glasses sliding down his nose.

I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoy the color black and boots with five inch heels. My hair is dark as night, my eyes are a stormy grey, and when I roll on my shiny cherry lip gloss, I can make guys do a double-take with a simple sway of my hips as I pass them in the halls. And I'm the best goal keeper our school's girls soccer team has ever seen, which no one will argue.

So how exactly do we have anything in common?

We don't, not really.

But that doesn't seem to bother him, because he's so nice to me whenever I'm hanging with Jackie, his sister, at their house.

If he's watching something in the living room and I walk in, he'll silently hand me the remote and allow me to change it to whatever I want. If he's making himself lunch, he'll make a second plate for me, always getting it exactly the way I like it. And ever since he somehow found out that I'm secretly in love with romance novels, he's been bringing me one whenever he goes to the book store to get a new comic book.

Like I said, he's a total sweetie.

I should be completely turned off by that, considering I'm not always the nicest person and usually sweet people annoy the hell out of me. But for some reason I find myself falling more and more in love with the guy every day.

Unfortunately, Jackie isn't so approving of the idea of us being anything together.

Just last week she caught Martin staring at me across the cafeteria from where he sat with the rest of his little junior friends, and it hadn't turned out to well.

**(the week before)**

Jacked laughed mockingly and pointed her yogurt-covered spoon at me. "Oh my God. My little brother is so freakin' in love with you, it's ridiculous."

I looked down at my chicken burger in an effort to avoid her piercing blue gaze. "Yeah? How do you figure that?"

"Seriously? He does stuff for you all the time and he's always staring at you. His face even lights up like a Christmas tree when you walk into the room."

I felt my cheeks get hot but, thankfully, she didn't notice. She was way too busy making the rips in her jeans the size of her head.

I bit my lip. Did he really feel like that about me? Because it would be so goddamn amazing if he did. Before she said that, I never would have believed I affected him the same way he affected me.

Jackie snorted, jerking me out of my hopeful reverie. "It's really pathetic. I mean, how could he even imagine that you'd like him like that. He's such an annoying, immature little twerp."

I had no idea when my loyalty to Martin had surpassed my loyalty to Jackie, but I felt a strong urge to defend him. "I don't think of him like that. I actually think he's really cute, and he's sweet, and he's definitely not immature."

She gaped at me for a whole minute before leaning forward and flicking my nose.

I flinched back and scowled at her, rubbing the sore spot. "What the hell, Jackie?"

She stabbed her spoon into her yogurt with a splat. "Are you crazy? You can't like my younger brother. You guys have absolutely nothing in common."

I tried not to grit my teeth. "I don't see why that should matter."

"Are we seriously talking about you getting it on with my brother? That's so gross!"

I admit it: I lost my temper when she kept going on and on about how disgusting it would be and how stupid I was to even think about her dumb brother like that.

"You know what, Jackie?" I jerked my back pack strap over my shoulder and stood up with my trash clenched in my fist. "It's none of your business who I want to date or 'get it on with' or whatever. And you're being a real bitch right now. So when you decide to grow up and realize you can't control everything, call me."

With that, I'd stomped away and hadn't looked back.

**(the present)**

Jackie had been on a mission to pick a fight with me everyday since then. In fact, she had just tried again a minute ago, which was why I was, for the second time, storming out of the cafeteria. But this time, I only got fifty feet before a hand reached out and grabbed mine.

I scowled at Martin, who's backpack was thrown haphazardly over his shoulder, and shoved my hair out of my face impatiently. "What?"

"What's wrong?"

He looked so concerned, his baby blues wide, and I couldn't stay angry. Especially not at him, even though he was the reason I was in this mess.

I gave him a small smile. "Nothing. Don't worry about it."

He shook his head, his curls flying every which way. "You were fighting with Jackie about something, and you looked upset."

I had to bite my lip to keep from permanently attaching my lips to his. He's such a sweet heart. "It's nothing. Hey, do you wanna walk home with me today? My dad's car broke down again so he had to borrow mine."

His brow furrowed as he jammed his hands in his back pockets. I was distracted momentarily by the way his shirt pulled tight across his chest and abs, but I forced myself to pay attention when he said, "If nothing's wrong, then why don't you get a ride with me and Jackie like you usually do when you don't have your car?"

I dragged a hand down the side of my face and continued my walk out of the cafeteria, not checking to see if he followed.

A second later he stepped up beside me. "Where are we going?"

"My locker. Are you walking home with me today or not?"

He hesitated but then said, "Okay," and I think my heart skipped a few beats.

Martin was waiting for me when I pushed through the school's front doors. I froze for a second just to take him in.

He was leaning against at cherry blossom tree, his backpack over one shoulder and his curls windblown. My breath hitched a little. He was so beautiful.

I released a stupid, girly sigh and tried to act nonchalant as I walked up to him, boots clicking against the concrete. "Hey Martin."

He grinned and my heart sped up. "Ready to go?"

I nodded. We got out of the parking lot, past the first stop sign before I broke the silence. "So how's school been?"

He shrugged, checking for cars. "Fine, I guess. My grades could be better."

"What? Did poor wittle Martin get a B?"

He smirked. "Nah, I got an A minus."

I snorted, kicking a rock so that it rolled into a bush. "Dude, I'm lucky if I get all Cs."

"You'd have better grades if you ever bothered to show up. What do you even do when you're not at school?"

I stared at the sky and said evasively, "My grades are fine. I don't need all As to get a soccer scholarship."

He bumped my shoulder with his playfully. "I'm serious. What do you do when you ditch?"

"You really wanna know?"


As we turned the corner onto our street, I grimaced. "I don't actually go anywhere. I just sneak into the library and read books."

It took me a moment to realize he'd stopped walking. I turned to him quizzically as he gaped at me. "What?"

His mouth opened and closed like a fish before he finally mumbled, "You read instead of going to class? How does that make sense?"

I shrugged. "I like libraries."

"Whatever, Lex. I just hope you know that the whole liking libraries thing kind of ruins your bad girl, jock image."

"Ha, ha," I replied dryly.

He laughed and we started down the street in comfortable silence. His hand kept brushing mine, so I decided to be bold and slid my hand into his.

His expression was startled, but he automatically slipped his fingers through mine. "Wha-What are you doing?"

"Holding your hand." I gazed up at him through my lashes and flirted, "Am I moving too fast for you?"

He gulped and stared at me with wide eyes.

I couldn't help it. He just looked so cute. I laughed and buried my face in his arm, inhaling the floral scent of laundry detergent, and wrapped my other hand around our joined ones.

He stopped walking and I found that we were standing in front of his house. But I didn't want him to go. I wanted to spend more time with him, maybe find out if there was a chance between us.


His face was totally red and he was avoiding my gaze. "What?"

I lifted my hand up and cupped his cheek, forcing him to face me. Searching his eyes for any hint of what he was feeling, I hoped that the red streaking his cheeks was a good sign. "What are you thinking?"

He cleared his throat. "Not much. Do you-do you want to come inside?"

The brilliant smile he gave me in return to my happy "okay!" made me want to melt.

First thing we did was get some food. Once we had that, we plopped down side-by-side on the couch in the living room and turned the TV on. He handed me the remote, like usual, but this time I shook my head. "No, you always let me choose. It's your turn."

"But really, I don't mind-"

"You're going to spoil me," I sing-songed.

"I just like making you happy," he replied quietly.

I froze with a potato chip half-way to my mouth. What? I dropped the chip on the coffee table and turned to him curiously. "What do you mean?"

His expression turned humorously mortified. "Oh man, did I say that out loud?" I nodded and he stuttered, "It d-didn't mean any-anything. J-just never mind."

We sat in silence until I blurted, "I like making you happy, too, Martin."

"What do you mean?" he echoed.

I shrugged. Apparently, we were going to do this as opposite the norm as possible, and that meant the girl was going to make the first move. "I like you. A lot. And I'm not just talking the I-want-to-hang-out-with-you-because-you-do-nice-things-for-me kind of like. I'm talking about" -I took a deep breath and found courage in the way his eyes crinkled at the corners as if he was trying not to smile- "the I've-been-in-love-with-you-for-over-a-year-now kind of like."

He stared at me for what seemed like forever before grabbing me and jerking me against his chest. His lips were just a breath away from mine now, and his face was so close I could see the little specks of green in his eyes through his lenses.

"I love you, too, Alexia."

And then he pressed his lips to mine and I thought I'd died and gone to…wherever I was going when I died. Even if it was Hell, it sure felt like Heaven.

Right then, I was so high on the feeling of his tongue dancing across my lips, asking for entrance, to be anything but accepting of his demands. If he'd asked me to rob a bank for him in that moment, I totally would have.

He ran his hand up my arm, along my shoulder, and came to a rest with his hand cupping my neck, and it was so gentle and intimate that I gasped. He took the opportunity to slip inside my mouth, and I felt light headed at some of the things he was doing with his tongue.

For such a sweet, innocent boy, he could kiss better than all my exes combined.

We were just getting really into it when the front door slammed open.

Martin and I jolted away from each other, both breathing in heavy, shuddering breaths. I put both hands to my face and felt how hot my cheeks were, but my reaction to Martin was forgotten when Jackie just continued to gawk at us.

"Hey, sis," Martin said uncertainly.

I shook my head to get rid of the cobwebs. "Hi."

She didn't, or maybe couldn't, say anything.

So we all sat there awkwardly for a while. I really wanted to go back to kissing my new boyfriend, but I'm pretty sure it's frowned upon to ignore one person to make out with another. Pity.

Just as I was starting to work up the nerve to say something, Jackie broke the tension with a blurted, "Ohmygodican'tbelieveyouwerejustkissing."

"I told you earlier," I said, impatiently, "that I like him."

"You did?" Martin cut in, looking very happy. We both ignored him.

"Yeah, but-but" -she ran a hand through her hair, looking baffled for probably the first time in her life- "I didn't actually think you liked him enough to want to spend an extended length of time with him, let alone kiss him."

"Just so we're clear, I like him enough to do a hell of a lot more than that." I guess I could have just told her that I loved him, but I didn't think she'd believe me.

She blew out a big breath and grimaced. "Oh god. Whatever. I don't care. Just don't be all mushy in front of me, please, or I might barf on you." And then she disappeared into her room without another word.

I waited a moment, then tackled Martin back into the couch so that I was lying on top of him, my hair falling around us. "That went well."

He straightened his skewed glasses and smiled up at me, his hands rubbing up and down my back. "I guess. You know, I would've still asked you out even if she said she didn't want us to be together."

"Are you saying you want to go out on a date with me?" I asked playfully, running my thumb across his bottom lip.

He looked a little distracted when he answered, "Well yeah."

"Hmmm, I'll have to think about it. Why don't you show me how good your skills of persuasion are in the meantime."

Red filled his cheeks. "Yes, ma'am."

Oh, and persuade me he did.