"Hey, thanks for the help, Kate. I finally understand how to do it," Leon laughed, holding up his half dilapidated statue. He had tried really hard, but it didn't turn out as good as mine.

I blushed, he was actually thanking me. And he had asked me for help.

"It was no problem…" I gave me one last smile and walked off, leaving me flushed and excited. I couldn't wait to tell Jordan and Nicole what happened.

Being the artist that I am I couldn't stop looking at his nose the whole time… I wonder if he'd let me draw him? It was a long shot, though. And I could never get the courage to ask him that, it's kind of weird.

"Good job, Kate. Thanks for helping Leon out with his project, he seemed to be struggling quite a bit. You would be a really good art teacher, you know," Mrs. Cantrello commented as I was walking out of the art room. I smiled at her and clutched my books to my chest, still excited. Yes, I'm easily excitable. If you haven't already noticed.

"Thanks, and yeah. But the thing is, not many schools are hiring art teachers because of budget cuts and all, so it's not a very reliable job, if you know what I mean. Jordan wants to be a history teacher, though. I sort of think that's a good idea, too."

"Well, I guess you can do whatever you want. You have a lot of talent in art, though. And I'd hate to see it go to waste."

"Thanks!"

"No problem, have a good day! And good job on your statue, I can completely tell it's Elvis." I beamed at her and began walking down the hallways of Venice High School. Red lockers were being slammed shut on either side of me as I made my way down to the orchestra room for the final period of the day. Then I could spend hours on just drawing and talking with my besties.

Speaking of besties, my sister (honorary, no biologically) came waltzing up next to me, a big grin on her face.

"Hey, guess what Nicole told me just thirty point two three seven five one seconds ago?"

"That I had to help Leon with his art project?" I answered, smiling.

"YES! OH MY LOLLYPOP! THAT MEANS HE'S TOTALLY INTO YOU! YOU NEED TO ASK HIM OUT!" she practically shouted. My smoky blue eyes went wide and I glanced around the hallway, relieved to find it pretty much empty except for a few seniors who glared at us like we were bugs.

Jordan, being who she is, glared back.

Respect.

"No, he is not into me. At all. None. Zip. Zero. I'm merely a girl in his art class. Nothing more."

"When will you ask him if you can draw him?"

"Umm…"

"Kate?"

"Yeah?"

"Do it, or I will do it for you. And I think we both know how that will go." I shot her a glare of my own, starting to walk again while she put her shoulder length dark brown hair up into a messy ponytail.

"Why are you walking towards the orchestra room with me? You're in band."

"I have study hall and I got a pass to help."

"Help with what?"

"Stuff."

"What stuff?"

"Don't question it and just be happy that your dear, angelic little sister is going to be with you in class. And don't change the subject. Ask him. He's right behind us." I gave a little shriek when I turned around to see Leon walking right behind us and Jordan snickered. Curse her.

"Hey, long time no see," I joked lamely. He smiled and chuckled. HE CHUCKLED AT SOMETHING I SAID!

"Hey, don't you have something to ask him, Katy?"

"Um, yeah. I'm working on my realistic style of drawing, and I'm having some trouble with drawing guys. Do you think I could draw you?"

"Yeah, sure," he responded coolly, coming up to walk on the opposite side of me. Jordan was giving me that annoying smile that if Leon looked at, he could decipher everything I've told her about him in a second. I covertly elbowed her in the side.

"Cool, when do you think I can do it?"

"How does after school today sound?"

"Perfect."

"I'll see you in an hour, then."

"Yeah, see you." He turned left and we continued to walk straight in silence until Jordan started dancing.

"Shut up."

"I'm not saying anything!" she sang.

"Yeah, but that stupid smile could have given away everything."

"Dear, beloved Kate. Did you not see the way he was looking at you? He's totally into you, you just don't see it."

"For the last time no, he's not."

"Well, never mind helping out in orchestra. I have to tell Nicole that today's after school chat group in cancelled."

"Wait, you're not going to be there? WHY?"

"I have band practice."

"No you don't, today is the one day you don't have band practice. And why wouldn't Nicole be able to come?"

"I'm forcing her to help us move the pit instruments to the stadium."

"You don't even have band practice!"

"Toodles, and text me after the little 'drawing' session," she said over her shoulder, turning away from me.

"Wait! Jordan!"

"Lalalalalalala! Going to walk through the halls, looking for Nicole! Ladadadadada!" she sang obnoxiously, her hands swinging back and forth from extreme heights above her head. Dang it. Now I'd have to be alone with him and he'd see me blushing.

I sighed in retreat as I entered the room of screeching string instruments warming up.

After school I headed to the art room, hoping he knew that he was supposed to go there. I sort of forgot to mention it to him.

I grabbed my sketch book from my book bag and took down two of the chairs that were upside down on the table so the janitor could clean the floors.

Deep breaths, Kate. Just keep taking deep breaths. Don't be weird in front of him. You really shouldn't have had that chocolate for lunch, you're on a hyper drive. Calm down before he gets here to find you hyperventilating.

"Hey, Kate," a deep voice said from behind me. I jumped and swirled around.

Leon stood a good 5'll and he had dark brown hair that was in a military style buzz cut. He was in ROTC and had dreams of being in the Air Force. How did I know that?

Well, isn't Facebook a nice little website? Teehee.

"Hey," I responded after a moment of awkward silence. He smiled at me and looked around, stretching his long arms way up above his head.

"So, what do you want me to do?" he asked, smiling a little.

"Um, just sit over there in that chair." I pointed to said chair and he preceded me to the area I had cleared and took a seat. I sat in the chair across from him and began to sketch the shape of his face.

"Thanks so much for doing this, I'm sure you have better things to do than sit and do nothing."

"It's no problem, really. I've never been drawn before, it's really cool you can do stuff like that." I felt my face grow a little bit hot. So it began.

"Thanks, my friend Jordan is a writer and I like to draw her character, as well as my own."

"You write, too?"

"Yeah, a little?"

"Do you have anything that I can read while I sit here?" My head shot up. I wrote romances for the most part, and I only had my fluffy ones with me.

"Um, I don't have any right now. But I suppose I can tell you about one of them instead…"

"That sounds good, if your writing is half as good as you drawing, it will be amazing." I described to him for the next ten minutes or so the story I was working on about the cloud people and the dragon people and all that good stuff.

At the end of my little tale he was smiling.

"That was super unique, Kate. You have to give me a copy to read when you're finished writing it."

"I'm not sure that I'm ever going to finish it, though."

"Why not? It's really good and you seemed into it."

"I don't know, I just tend to give up on a lot of my stories. It happens to a lot of writers, though." I leaned in a bit closer to get a better look at his eyes.

"Well," he said, leaning in as well," I don't think you should give up." Ohmygoodnessgracious. Why was he so close? Why did he lean in? Whywhywhywhywhy?

"Why not?"

"I like it." Then he closed the space and kissed me. Like, a real kiss. On the mouth and everything.

Too soon, though, he pulled back. It was only a small peck, but it was my first kiss and it was with Leon.

"Why did you do that?"

"I did it because I like you. A lot. I love it when you blush like that, or when you look so serious drawing. Why, do you not like me?" His dark eyes filled with worry and I shook my head quickly.

"No, I do like you. I really do. I just didn't think that you'd ever like a girl like me." I ducked my head in embarrassment.

"A girl like you is amazing. I wish there were more. Hey, quick question."

"Yeah?"

"Why do you always seem to have your hair up?"

"It's easier," I replied quietly, still in shock.

He liked me.

Leon Austins liked me.

Me.

I felt his warmth as he leaned over me and gently tugged the blue hair band out of my thick blonde hair. I felt it spill out over my shoulders and his hands stroking it gently.

"Kate, will you be my girlfriend?" A big, happy smile stretched over my face as I answered.

"Yes."