A/N

Hi! I don't really have much of a profile, because previously I only used for one thing...reading and keeping track of the stories on my notification list. My dream is to become a writer. I want to become apublished writer. I will say I do not approve of plagiarism or any form of copying. Therefore, to ensure that my work isn't taken advantage of, I would like it to beperfectlyclearthat this is under a CREATIVE COMMON LICENSE.

/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Now that we have the ground rules down, I am really psyched to be writing for you guys, so I reallywant input, i.e. reviews! I understand if you don't want to review every time, but please take some time out to tell me what you would like to see happen, what you liked, and what you didn't like. I really want veteran writers as well as newbies to tell me what did and didn't work and how to improve my writing. I will respond to any and all reviews.

I'm sorry for going on and on (I'll try to keep my author's notes short and sweet in the future). Without further adieu...

Finishing Last

Chapter One: A New Beginning, A New Chapter

Kayle POV

I woke up to the sound of the phone in my room. I groaned, ignoring it, praying to God it would shut up.

"Kayle! Let me guess, you're still asleep! I will be there in ten minutes to take you to church and you better be ready, okay? Or I'll have to wake you up myself!" my best male friend filled the room with his laughter.

Suddenly inspired, I took a four minute shower, put on the clothes I had already ironed and picked out yesterday, and grabbed my purse and Bible just as Alexander Jacob Adams opened the door to my room.

"Glad to see you're up, Angel!" he grinned.

I'm Kayle Angelica Robinson, best friend of Alex, who is the only person allowed to call me Angel and I am the only person allowed to call him Lex. The rest of the world calls us Kay-Kay and A.J. or Kay and Al.

We met on the first day of preschool when he pushed me out of the sandbox when I got mad at him for taking my shovel. We both rolled out and down a hill. He landed a few feet from me. I put him in a headlock until he apologized for ruining my new clothes and my hair, which had grass and weeds in it. He did and I helped him up. Miss Cameron came and ordered us to together until we made nice. We eventually did. He picked the grass from my hair and gave me a flower he must've picked from outside. I thanked him. Now, years later, we're still best friends, though for a week in October we dated. However it just didn't work out. Some things are better left alone.

He had just broken up with a she-witch and we ended up suddenly kissing (my very first kiss, mind you) and we gave it a try. Mutually, we decided it was too weird. They got back together and once again, she went back to being a dictator. Suddenly, she's dictating when he canand can'tsee me. I almost hate her, but I must not. I must kill her with kindness albeit she's trying to push us apart! They've been going out since last August (sans the week-long break in October) and it's August again. Because of her, our friendship is fragmenting a little. He still picks me up, though.

"Angel?" he wagged a hand in front of my face.

"Sorry! I spaced," I locked the door.

My mother is a chemical engineer that went to work at six a.m. this Sunday, and my dad is a pastor who went to church at six-thirty a.m. I usually leave the house at about twenty-five before nine because I didn't have to go to both 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. services, but I did go to 9:45 Sunday School.

I opened the black car door to get in on my usual side, shotgun, but a gust of blonde hair and Barbie pink prevented me from entering.

"Hello, Kayle" Annalise "Lisa" Newman shot me the phony smile that she used in front of Lex.

"Um, hi, Annalise. Lex, explanation, por favor?" I narrowed my eyes at him.

"Oh, snap. Sorry, Angel! I forgot to tell you my Anna Banana needed a ride to the mall, but you can take the back? Right? I can drive you to church real quick," it was then that I took in that he was in casual, not dress clothes.

"Y-you're not coming?" I asked slowly.

"Sorry, Angel! I got you next time! We did hang out yesterday, didn't we?" he asked.

"We rode our bikes for a ten minutes then Annalise called, needing you. Just like the Saturday before that and the one before that and before that! Alexander Jacob Adams!" I glared at him.

"Alex!" Annalise whined, stepping out, her blonde hair perfect, her nails painted Barbie pink with stupid pink sparkles, her blue eyes shinning as she manipulated him and pouted.

"Look, are you getting in or out, Kayle," he snapped, making me feel angry and hurt at his use of my first name and his harsh tone, "I need to go."

Tears pricked my eyes, "Don't bother, Alexander."

I turned and went indoors. I had a little thirty second cry and thankfully I had no makeup to reapply since I deem makeup on an average day to be overrated. I grabbed the keys to my motorcycle and doubted for a second.

My dad didn't like me riding it to church, but he would be very disappointed and upset if I did happen to miss service. I sighed, but grabbed my helmet and went to the garage.

It took twenty minutes to get to church when ten by car or fifteen on my motorcycle in jeans or pantswould've gotten me there. I mentally scolded myself for wearing a dress when pants suits are allowed for women at my church, a privilege not allowed at some churches.

I pulled into the parking lot and took off my helmet and used my mirrors to corral my hair. My dad must've been by the entrance because he came and gave me a disapproving look.

"Before you say anything, Alexander had more pressing, blonder engagements and couldn't bring me here," I said.

He nodded and said, pausing to think first, as usual, "Alexander will learn. Come in. Sunday School starts in a little and there's someone I want you to meet."

I obeyed, although, don't get me wrong, I'm not a goody-two shoes just because I'm a preacher's daughter. I genuinely try to do right.

I was lead to the Sunday School room and I saw a new face. A handsome new face. I thanked God my tanned, African American skin hid most of my blush, though because I was lighter than most Black people, I had no idea how much it hid. It probably showed a little, but I felt better when he also blushed a little pink.

"Robert, this is my daughter, Kayle Robinson. Baby Girl, this is a new member, Robert Carter. He and his family moved to our little town from New York City. They joined last Sunday when you were sick, but couldn't stay for Sunday School. He's going to go to your school."
"Hi," I said.

"Hi," he smiled.

"Well, I have to go, but make sure he's okay and everything. His parents are staying through the next service, so when you sit in the pews, take him and his sister Molly who is in 5-7 Sunday School age group and his brother Daniel who is in 8-12, with you," he said, referring to the ages (nursery, 3-4 years old, 5-7 years old, 8-12 years old, and 13-18 years old).

"Okay, bye Daddy, have a great service," I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek, our pre-service ritual.

"Alright, Baby Girl," he smiled, showing the dimples I got from him and left.

"So, I'm Kayle, as you now know, and welcome to the Teen's Sunday School a.k.a. 13-18 age group Sunday School. Do you have a Bible with you?" I asked, and then noticed the Bible in his hand.

"Okay, dumb question," I said and he chuckled.

I noticed his chuckling was different than A.J.'s. It was deeper. I noticed they had a lot of differences. A.J. was less muscular with his blonde hair and green eyes. Robert had striking blue eyes that seemed warm, unlike Annalise's and black hair with perfect little curls. I had hazel eyes, and black hair with natural medium-brown highlights. My hair was naturally wavy, an attribute from my father's grandmother, who is White, and my mother's grandfather, who was Latino.

"Let's introduce you. Our teacher should be here any second," I checked my phone.

"'Kay, guys, this is Robert Carter, he's new here, so treat him well and let's give him a good ole Triumphant Victory Baptist Church welcome to Robert," I moved a side.

I noticed the gender spilt was perfect now: eighteen girls to eighteen boys.

The girls welcomed him with hugs and pleasant words, the guys welcomed him with "bro hugs" and handshakes.

Genie was as sleazy as she is at school to Robert.

Miss Lorenzo walked in and greeted him and the lesson began with prayer. The lesson was on peer pressure. I paid attention and thought how the situation applied to A.J. Peers told him he wanted a drop-dead gorgeous divalicious brat, so he conformed to that. Soon, the lesson was over and we prayed a second time before leaving.

"Alright," I navigated through the halls that I practically grew up in, "Molly should be here."

"Thanks, for everything, Kayle," he said.

"Oh, it's no problem, but call me Kay, okay?" I asked.

"Only if you call me Rob," he said and I grinned.

"Robbie!" A little girl hugged Robert.

"Hey, Molly! I wanna introduce you to someone, okay?" he said, his face very animated talking to this little girl, his little twin, minus the fact that she had blonde hair and had to be years younger than he was.

"Okay!" she grinned.

"Kayle, this is my sister Margaret, but no one calls her that," he picked her up.

"Hi, I'm Kayle, but call me Kay," I grinned at the little cutie.

"I'm Molly and I'm this many!" she smiled at me and held up five fingers.

"I'm ten more than that, fifteen," I grinned.

Her cute blue eyes bulged, "Wow! That's a bignumber. You're pretty."

"Thank you! You're pretty, too, Molly."

I laughed softly at her childlike innocence and turned to Robert whose blue eyes were set off by his black slacks and blue dress shirt.

"Let's go get Daniel?" I asked, more than said.

"Sure," he grinned.

We entered the room, but no one was there. Someone tapped me on my shoulder causing me to jump six feet in the air and gasp.

"Your eyes looked familiar. You're Pastor Robinson's daughter, aren't you?" a boy with Molly's blonde hair, Rob's hair texture, and the family trait of blue eyes asked.

"The one and only. Daniel, right?" I asked.

"Danny," he said.

"Kayle. Call me Kay," I said.

I smiled and checked the time.

"It's 10:25! We best get moving!" I commented.

"Robbie! I gotta go!" Molly tugged his shirt.

"Now?" he blanched.

"Now, Robbie, now! It's an 'merg'cy!" she cried.

"I can take her," I volunteered.

"Thank you!" he whispered looking super relieved.

"Go into the sanctuary - you know where that is, right?" he nodded and I continued, "Sit on the third row on the middle section downstairs towards the middle. That's where I usually sit."

"Thanks, Kay," he flashed me a perfect smile.

"Molly, you're big girl, right?" I asked and she nodded. "Good! I need you to go in the stall and I'll go in another one. Don't leave this bathroom, okay?"

She nodded and ran to the stall. We finished at the same time and she used the stepladder they have for little kids who can't reach the sink without an aide.

"Let's go meet your brothers," I picked her up and darted to the sanctuary. I made it to my seat just as my father took the pulpit and everyone began to stand.

"Good morning, Triumphant Victory Baptist Church family! Who's happy to be in the house of the Lord today?"

Everyone clapped and elderly people cheered and such.

"There has been a hole in our church family with the sudden loss of Assistant Pastor J.M. Greene five months ago, but today, we welcome Reverend Natalie Carter, our new Assistant Pastor!"

I looked at Robert and he nodded. It was his mother. She spoke a few words and we welcomed her with opened arms.

The choir kicked off, and then Daddy went to his pulpit.

He preached a good sermon on new beginnings; after all, it was the first Sunday of the year.

I was shocked at how attentive Robert was. A.J. always picked at something or checked his phone for texts and sports stats during church, but while Danny fidgeted, Rob's eyes remained perfectly focused. I'd never seen a teenaged guy focus so intently. He was raised in a good, God-fearing family, like me.

I smiled and thought of how the Carters' arrival feltlike a beginning, a new chapter of my life opening.

Robert POV

I had attended 8 a.m. service with my parents. It was pretty good. My mom had introduced us to the pastor who seemed very kind afterward.

"How old are you?" he asked us (Danny, Molly, and me).

"I'm going to be sixteen in March," I answered.

"I'm ten," Danny rocked from side to side.

"I'm this many!" Molly stuck a palm in his face.

"Wow," he smiled, "I remember when you, Robert, were about a year old and I believe Calvin was three?"

"I remember that and you brought little angelic Kayle! How is she?" my mom asked.

Kayle? Who's Kayle?

"Yes, not so little now! Kayle will be sixteen in March, too, Natalie. Marissa Grace's at work otherwise she'd be here," he said, grinning at his daughter's (?) name, but frowning, talking about shift work. Marissa Grace must be his wife.

"Yeah, Nathan started at Exxon Thursday and if I'm correct, Marissa Grace's training him. We got in Sunday morning a packed and unpacked until Wednesday. I will scream if I see another box," mom said, telling him about my dad and how moving sucks.

"You haveto do dinner with us tonight at eight! Marissa Grace will be home at six and Kayle can get dinner started," he offered.

"Well...we'll bring at least something and there's no use in arguing!" my mom said.

"Alright, Nat," he chuckled, knowing my mother not to be one to back down. I was shocked he used a nickname with my mom. Few people did that outside the family.

"Excuse me a second. I think I hear my daughter!" he left and my mom took Molly and Danny to Sunday School, saying the pastor wanted me to meet his daughter first.

"Robert, this is my daughter, Kayle Robinson. Baby Girl, this is a new member, Robert Carter. He and his family moved to our little town from New York City and they joined last Sunday morning when you were sick. He's going to go to your school," he returned with a girl that had his hazel eyes, long, flowing black hair with highlights, a faint blush tinting her cheeks, a great aura, and a nice figure. I blushed at her figure in the black dress with a pink bow on it.

Oh,this is Kayle.

"Hi," she said.

"Hi," I returned her smile.

"Well, I have to go, but make sure he's okay and everything. His parents are staying through the next service, so when you sit in the pews, take him and his sister Molly who is in 5-7 Sunday School and his brother Daniel who is in 8-12, with you," her dad said.

"Okay, bye Daddy, have a great service," she gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and I could tell they were close.

"Alright, Baby Girl," he smiled, showing the dimples identical to the girl.

"So. I'm Kayle, as you now know, and welcome to the Teen's Sunday School. Do you have a Bible with you?" she asked, then she looked down and saw mu black Bible.

"Okay, dumb question," she rolled her eyes at herself and I chuckled.

"Let's introduce you. Our teacher should be here any second," she consulted her phone.

"'Kay, guys, this is Robert Carter, he's new here, so treat let's give him a good ole Triumphant Victory Baptist Church welcome to Robert," she moved to my left.

Lots of peopled welcomed me, making me realize just how nice this church was.

The girl welcomed me with hugs and nice words, the guys welcomed me with "bro hugs" and handshakes. I don't know howmany people where there, but it was at least thirty people and I am so glad I had Kayle beside me through it all because I forgot some of the names, but some stuck, like Genie's whose name stuck for all the wrong reasons..

At first I wondered who would name their child Genie, then I tried not to judge, then she just sounded like a...well, not very modest female...to keep it Christ-like. Not my type of girl.

She sat in a group with other provocatively-dressed girls who were surrounded by guys.

The young teacher introduced herself as Miss Lorelei Lorenzo and the lesson began with prayer by someone whose name began with a Z. The lesson was on peer pressure. Miss Lorenzo raised some interesting points, if I may say so myself.

Soon, the lesson was over and we had prayer a second time before leaving by Genie.

"Alright," Kayle stood and navigated through the packed halls before turning into a room, "Molly should be here."

"Thanks, for everything, Kayle," I said.

"Oh, it's no problem, but call me Kay, okay?" she asked.

"Only if you call me Rob," we smiled at each other. I love those dimples!

"Robbie!" Molly clawed at my slacks to show me her colored picture of Jonah in the whale.

"Hey, Molly! I wanna introduce you to someone, okay?" I smiled at her.

"Okay!" she grinned, loving to meet new folks, especially since she misses her friend from NY.

"Kayle, this is my sister Margaret, but no one calls her that," I picked Molly up.

"Hi, I'm Kayle, but call me Kay," I could tell she already liked Molly.

"I'm Molly and I'm this many!" she smiled at her and held up a palm.

"I'm ten more than that, fifteen," she grinned.

Her eyes grew large, "Wow! That's a bignumber. You're pretty."

"Thank you! You're pretty, too, Molly," she gently tugged her pigtail.

She laughed softly and I was so dazed I only caught half of her sentence.

"Daniel?" was all I heard so I agreed, assuming she meant we should get Danny.

The room she lead us to was empty and we grew worried until someone tapped her on he shoulder and she jumped.

"Your eyes looked familiar. You're Pastor Robinson's daughter, aren't you?" Danny asked.

"The one and only. Daniel, right?" she asked.

"Danny," corrected said.

"Kayle. Call me Kay," she said.

"It's 10:25! We best get moving!" she checked the time.

"Robbie! I gotta go!" Molly tugged my shirt.

"Now?" I paled. I hated having to go with Molly because once in Walmart in NYC, she wandered away and ended up outside in the parking lot.

"Now, Robbie, now! It's an 'merg'cy!" she cried to me.

"I can take her," a voice offered. My angel!

"Thank you!" I thanked her.

"Go into the sanctuary - you know where that is, right?" I nodded and she continued, "Sit on the third row on the middle section downstairs towards the middle. That's where I usually sit."

"Thanks, Kay," I flashed a grateful smile.

"Do you like her?" Danny asked.

"She...she seems nice," I swallowed.

"That's a yes. Technically, you saw her first, so I'll let you have her," he joked.

"She's my age," I pointed out and we talked lightly until Molly and Kay returned.

"Good morning, Triumphant Victory Baptist Church family! Who's happy to be in the house of the Lord today?" her father asked and there was an abundance of noise.

It was a little better than 8 a.m., which is usually some form of a warm-up period, because 11 a.m. was more explosive.

I only looked at Kayle twice: when I confirmed my mom was the new A.P. and when she had this serene smile on her face. I didn't even notice our touching hands for a while, but I felt something surging through them...a new beginning, a new chapter.