This is chapter 2 everyone! Thanks so much to "Silence Is My Answer" for reading and reviewing :) I hope you like this chapter! By the way, there are some things that I'd like to clear here. In chapter one, if you observed carefully, I mentioned the words "barkada" and "fashionista" which are Filipino words. You guys might not have understood that, sorry. :) The setting of this story is in a Chinese community living in the Philippines. "Barkada" means 'clique' or 'posse', in short a circle of friends. "Fashionista" is like an avaunt guard in fashion, meaning, a fashion expert or enthusiast. The characters here are Roman Catholic, if it isn't obvious. Thanks again for reading! Don't hesitate to ask questions regarding my story or you may tell me comments too! If you want to know me more you could give me a Private Message, or probably check out my other stories. Okay, I know this is advertising :) I have to stop so anyways, enjoy! here it is~

HEARTBEATS OF CLASS IV-LOVE

By: MIYANO RAN

CHAPTER 2: PROTECTING YOU

Then, without warning, someone speedily punched all five of them in succession. "Dylan!" Hershey cried while covering her mouth. Dylan screamed. "You bastards don't ever touch Hershey!" Fortunately, Dylan was a black belter in taekwondo and he managed to kick them all, leaving them with black and blues. "We're sorry!" One of them moaned in pain while Dylan continued to punch them on the floor. "Hershey's just so sexy, you know!" "Shut up!" Dylan shouted as he threw another blow on their jaws. "She's a flirt!" The other one said a-matter-of-factly. "Don't ever say that! You don't know anything about her!" Dylan screamed while continuously punching them, kicking them and hitting their heads on the wall. "Stay away from her!" He yelled when he had enough of them. The five of them were so badly beaten up that they couldn't even stand. Hershey just kept crying. Dylan and Hershey ran farther away to a safer place. It was quite dark and the moonlight shone.

"Are you alright?" Dylan asked gently while giving her a tender embrace. Hershey could not stop shivering in his arms. "Am…Am I really like that?" She asked with a very hurt tone. "I… I'll just stop… I'm sorry, Dylan, I caused you… all… this trouble… and…" "What's important is that you are okay…" He whispered while she cried in his arms. "They… They held my thighs…and my waist… I was so scared… I thought…" "Hush, everything's alright now. I won't let anyone hurt you, okay?" Dylan said with caring eyes. Hershey just nodded and she was glad that she was safe in his arms. Dylan has always been there for her. She could still remember clearly the day she met Dylan when she was five.

Five year old Hershey was seated on a swing in a park while sobbing. A little boy on a bike approached her and asked. "Why are you crying?"

"I'm sad." Hershey replied while sniffing.

"Why are you sad?" The innocent little boy asked again while getting off his bike, sitting on the swing beside hers.

"My mommy's leaving. She's going to Taiwan." She wailed childishly.

"Why is she going there?" He asked curiously.

"She's going to work there as a professional chef." She replied.

The boy patted her back and consoled her. "She'll visit, right?"

Hershey sadly shook her head and said. "She said she will visit very seldom… She will be busy. She is going to work for a famous hotel."

"Oh, don't be sad. Here, eat this and you'll be happy." The boy grinned while handing her the brownie.

"Thanks!" She said while her tears dried. She took the brownie and ate it. It was the most delectable pastry she has ever tasted. It was sweet, moist, chewy, soft and quite nutty. It indeed made her smile. "It's so delicious!"

"I'm glad you liked it." The little boy said while smiling.

"Where did you buy this? I want to eat it again!" Hershey said cheerfully.

"Oh, that's not bought. My mom and I baked it together! When I grow up, I want to be a chef!" The boy said proudly.

Hershey got sad again, remembering her mom. Then, she asked. "Is your mommy a chef?"

"Nope, but she's really good in baking! I would be the first chef in my family!" The boy said excitedly. "I can bake you more."

"Oh, thanks! I'm so happy! You know, I want to be a chef, too, like my mommy, so that someday, I can join her in Taiwan." Hershey said. "Thank you because you made me smile today! From now on, we're friends, okay?" She said childishly.

"Okay!" The boy grinned. "Oh, I have to go home now; my parents might be finding me. They're over there!" He said while pointing at a couple in the distance. He rode his bike and prepared to leave.

"Wait!" Hershey called out which made him step on the brakes.

"Yeah, what is it?" He asked, turning around.

"What's your name?' Hershey asked curiously.

"I'm Dylan Liao!" He said with a sweet smile. "And you?"

"Oh! I'm Hershey Ang! It's nice to meet you Dylan!" She responded merrily.

"Wow! Hershey… sounds delicious!" Dylan said playfully while grinning.

"Well, my mom loves Hershey chocolate!" Hershey explained while feeling bashful.

Right before Dylan left, he said. "Let's always meet here in the park, okay?"

"Okay!" Little Hershey said cutely while looking at him with her adorable eyes.

"By the way, you're really cute!" Dylan said with a small smile right before leaving.

And who would have thought that those two lovable kids would be classmates up until high school?

Hershey started to laugh. Dylan smiled and asked. "What's so funny?"

"Nothing, just remembered the first time we met." Hershey said with a huge smile. "You called me cute!"

"Ah, well…" Dylan looked at her sincerely and gently said. "…you still are."

"Aw, I hate being cute." Hershey said with a pout.

"And why is that, huh?" Dylan asked with raised brows.

"Well, that's the reason why those guys attacked me a while ago, right?" She said sadly while looking down at the floor. "I'm too beautiful that the world gets dangerous for me…"

"Ah? Well aren't you just boastful? Whoever told you that you are cute?" Dylan asked with a grin.

"You did, just a while ago." Hershey said with a smile. "Thanks for saving me back there, Dylan…"

Dylan pulled her to an affectionate hug and said. "You're right; you're very beautiful. But, when I'm around, no one can hurt you and you will remain safe. I'll protect you… Come on, Hershey, I'll bring you home. Your dad might get worried. It's quite late already."

Hershey's cheeks glowed bright red upon hearing this. She took a deep breath and said with bravery. "Wait! Um…I've been meaning to tell you this for the longest time…I like you, Dylan. I mean, I think… I love you."

She was way too ashamed to look straight at his gentle eyes now. Her heart was thumping crazily and her breathings became faster. She heard Dylan giggle. Dylan held her chin and lifted it up so that she will be forced to look at him. Yet, her eyes looked away.

"Look at me…" Dylan whispered while Hershey bit her lip in nervousness, attempting to look at him. His stare just burns her eyes! "I love you, too, Hershey. I really do." Dylan confessed while having shades of pink on his face.

The two were very happy to find out that they felt the same way towards each other. Hershey smiled and apologized. "I'm really sorry for always messing with you. I made myself such a shame…"

"Hush, it is okay. I know that the real Hershey deep down is the sweet and innocent Hershey…who just acts a bit wild because… her mom's not with her to guide her. But I will always respect Hershey." He was just like the young Dylan who made her happy long time ago. He always understood her.

"Let's go home now…" Hershey said while tugging his sleeve.

"Wait." The nervous Dylan took a deep breath and had the courage to ask. "Can… Can I kiss you? Since, we both like each other. B…But if you don't want to, it's alright!"

Hershey was probably the happiest girl on Earth at that time. She didn't make a mistake. The Dylan she loved was a good guy who respected her. She slightly nodded.

Under the moonlight, Dylan gently held her waist and pulled her close to him. Hershey swallowed audibly and closed her eyes. Their lips clicked and they passionately kissed until they ran out of oxygen.

The following day at school, everyone in Class IV-LOVE already knew about their five classmate's assault on Hershey. This surprised Dylan and Hershey who they never even told anyone about it. The class condemned the boys who were truly sorry for their actions. The boys left people curious when they were seen with black eyes and wounds all over their body. It turned out that those boys got guilty and confessed what they did to the principal themselves and got a two-week suspension. Aside from that, their parents were also informed and they were also given conduct C's. The whole news spread like wildfire on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Everyone pitied Hershey and got mad at the boys. Even if Hershey was quite flirtatious towards Dylan, no one had the right to scare her and disrespect her like that. After all, she is still a girl.

Suddenly, one of the boys who attacked Hershey, Daniel, entered the classroom with a long face. Hershey looked frightened as she hid behind Dylan who shielded her with his protective arm. She still remembered how he touched her neck like that. The guys tried to push him away and the girls screamed at him. When he still insisted to enter, the strong Siegfried stepped in and pushed the door.

"Go away, Daniel. I never knew you were that kind of guy." Siegfried said in a disgusted tone. The girls sighed dreamily when the very intelligent and handsome Siegfried talked in such a cold manner while trying to push the guy away. He just looked way too cool for the girls to handle. Hannah was also watching what would happen next.

Surprisingly, Daniel started to cry while he pleaded. "I know I'm supposed to be suspended right now, but I just sneaked in. Please, just let me see Hershey! I want to apologize in behalf of all of us… for what we did! I'll leave right after!" The class fell silent as Siegfried slightly left the door ajar. "Okay." Siegfried said in a low tone while guarding his every move. "But, one misstep and I'll make sure we won't see your sick face again."

Daniel nodded and swallowed audibly. The whole class stared at him at the door. The others were still very angry while the others felt pity for a guy who just committed a mistake. No one is perfect, after all.

Daniel walked nearer towards Hershey and bowed his head in shame. Hershey looked at him in fear. "I'm sorry, Hershey." He sighed and stopped for a moment. Everyone waited for what he was to say next. "I know that nothing I say can justify what we did to you. But still, I'd like to apologize. We were wrong, we realize that now. You know… we weren't really gonna hurt you. You know…uh…it was like…um… puberty! Yeah… the hormones and all, really really sorry Hershey! " Hershey gasped when Daniel knelt before her and his forehead touched the ground. "Get up! Get up!" Hershey insisted while raising him up. As Daniel slowly raised his head, he asked hopefully. "Does that mean you forgive me?" Everyone watched with expectant expressions. Dylan looked at Hershey, curious of her response. Hershey slowly nodded her head with a small smile. "You're forgiven!"

"Oh, thank you! I knew you're a kind girl! And we really are sorry!" Daniel was so happy that he was grinning ear to ear. He was about to embrace Hershey when Dylan and Siegfried gave him 'the glare'. He immediately retreated away from her. "S…Sorry! That was supposed to be a friendly hug of reconciliation." Hershey simply nodded slightly.

When all that was to be said was done, Daniel left the school while everyone hurried back to their seats for their homeroom period. Before the teacher entered the classroom, Hershey stood up and faced everyone in class with a smile. Dylan guessed what she was about to do and tried to stop her while pulling her to sit down. However, Hershey whispered to Dylan. "It's okay, honey!" Dylan groaned since he was really the shy type.

"Hey guys! I'm really glad about Daniel being openly apologetic and all; I forgive all of them!" She said cheerfully. Then, she took a deep breath and said with serious eyes. "Classmates, I have an announcement!" "W…Wait!" Dylan nervously interjected while trying to stop her. The class listened intently. "Dylan and I are officially dating! So, to all the guys out there, sorry, but I'm taken!" "Aiiyyyyeeeeee!" The whole class made teasing noises and chatted around. "Congrats, Hershey and Dylan!" Someone shouted. The whole class went wild as they cheered while clapping. "The newlyweds!" Robert whistled. Siegfried stayed cool and composed in his seat but he had a small smile in his face. Hannah glanced at him and saw this which made her smile, too. Hershey's smile beamed so bright at Dylan who was blushing beat red in shyness.

The next morning, Hannah went to school especially early at 5:30 A.M. because she was the cleaner for the day. She wanted to clean up before her classmates arrive. The school was quiet and only a handful of people were there. She walked in the dim corridors and opened the classroom door. It was quite dark inside and so she flipped the light switch on. "I guess there's nobody in class yet." But then, Hannah's eyes widened when she saw Siegfried standing beside the window while looking at the hazy morning sky. He turned around in response to the opening of the light and was shocked when he saw her. Siegfried immediately looked away from her.

"Why are you crying?" It was the first thing Hannah uttered while walking towards him with concern. "And why didn't you open the light?" "I didn't bother." He managed to say between sobs. Hannah walked nearer and saw the pain in his countenance. "Why are you crying? Is everything okay? It's the first time I've seen you cry." Siegfried looked at her with tears in his eyes. The cool and composed Siegfried who usually wore an expressionless face had tears in his eyes! His lips were shaking as his breath trembled. "Hannah, today's my dad's death anniversary. It's been… four years since that day." Siegfried quickly wiped his tears and got back his emotionless expression. "I'm sorry you had to see this. Please don't tell anyone, it's so humiliating." He said coldly.

"Oh, Siegfried, you don't have to hide your feelings from me… I'm Hannah, your friend! I…I know I've been ignoring you, but…well, I still care about you. I was just scared." Hannah admitted nervously. Siegfried was surprised in what he heard. "Scared? Are… Are you scared of me? Is it because I slapped you two years ago? Hannah, I'm…" "No. It's not because of that. I…" Suddenly, Hannah couldn't control hot tears to form from her eyes. "Hannah, I'm sorry! I know I hurt you badly before…physically and emotionally… but I was just, at that time, angry and confused…" "Are you still mad at God?" Hannah took the courage to ask. She looked at his eyes expectantly.

"I…I don't know." Siegfried's voice fell as he glanced at her hurt expression. "Look, I know you're really religious, but it's nothing personal. I'm not mad at you for believing in God." "I know that. I just want you to be happy. You should realize… the important things in life. I know I can't force you to believe in God again, but I'm still hoping." Hannah's chest was thumping. She couldn't help but look away from his stare.

"I hope we could be like how we were before." Siegfried said. "I…don't know." Hannah whispered while looking at her feet which were shifting from left to right from uneasiness. "I really have to go clean now." She stated as she was about to leave. "Wait." Siegfried said while grabbing hold of her hand. "Thanks, Hannah, for your concern." Then, he pulled her into a warm embrace which left her stunned and unmoving in his arms.

"I'm not scared of you, Siegfried. I'm scared that if we become too close again, my wounds might reopen and I might fall for you again. No… my heart's still with you, until now." Hannah thought while resting her head on his chest. "I like you, Hannah." Siegfried whispered in her ear. That made Hannah shocked. She didn't want to think too much of what he said because she might just end up disappointed. Siegfried might just like her for a friend, and that was all. Siegfried was about to open his mouth and utter another word but chose not to. They silently stayed in that position for a while.

The door of the classroom was left slightly opened. There was a girl walking outside the corridors. Her name was Darlene Te and she was one of Elaine's groupies who belonged to Class IV-FAITH. She heard a faint sound from Class IV-LOVE and out of curiosity decided to peak from the door which was left ajar. She was so shocked when she saw Siegfried hugging Hannah tight. She knew that Elaine won't be happy when she finds out. She had to tell her.

Saturday August 27, 2011 2:30pm

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