Holding hands with someone in the dark had its advantages. You couldn't see the other person's expressions, they couldn't see the pink blossoming on your cheeks. They couldn't tell that you felt like a giddy little girl at the contact.

In the dark, cold air, with a million stars overhead, anything either of them could've said might have been romantic.

Kaily

"Something's different," Selena commented, sitting next to Kaily in their first period English class.

"What do you mean?" Kaily asked, tracing circles on her paper.

"You," when Kaily gave Selena a look, she just laughed, "What, you think I haven't noticed? I don't know you that well, but I know you enough to tell when you're different. You seem, I dunno, giddy."

Kaily felt both eyebrows raise. "Giddy? What the hell does that mean?"

"Oh, nothing" Selena said quickly on the defense, "You just have this... Starstruck look about you. I've never seen it on you before. That's all."

"Oh," Kaily muttered. She began tapping her pencil on the table. "I don't know why..." she stopped, seeing how a knowing smile was spreading on Selena's face.

"Kaily, did you go study with Blake yesterday?" she asked innocently.

"Um, yeah..."

"And you've been giving him guitar lessons?"

"Yeah... So what?"

"I've got it," Selena said with vigor, "Why you look all dreamy-eyed. You have a crush on Blake Hamilton."

"Shhh," Kaily hissed, "I do not."

Yes, she did. But if Selena noticed, who else did?

Blake

"Do you like her or something?" This time it was Aaron who came up to Blake.

Blake shook his head. "Who?"

"That one chick, Keely or whatever her name is."

"Kaily." This conversation seemed awfully similar to the one Blake had with his mother.

"Yeah, whatever. Do you?"

"Of course not," Blake said uncomfortably.

"Alright, well I hope not. You could get an STD from her or something."

Blake was silent for a moment. "I'm not having sex with her, you know," he said finally.

"That's not the point, Blake," Aaron said. "It's the idea of being with a girl like her."

"And what does it mean, 'like her'?" Blake asked casually, forcing his voice to be calm.

"You know..." Aaron started. He thought for a moment, then just said again, "God, Blake, you know what I mean."

"Maybe I don't."

"Jonah had a point when he said you were acting weird lately..." Aaron said, "You're defending her way too much. And you barely know her."

Blake shook his head, but was secretly wondering if liking Kaily was so bad.

He didn't think so. And just being here, walking around with his friend, felt surreal, almost, after the night before that he'd had with Kaily on the broken-down playground. Just laying outside, holding her hand.

Not to mention how incredible Kaily looked when she took her hair out of her braid finally. Almost like a different person. Not that she wasn't attractive before. But with her hair down, she looked less vulnerable, and more...

That was it. With her hair down, she just looked more. More confident, prettier, more herself.

Blake realized that he was thinking about her again. If only he didn't mind what his friends thought.

Kaily

She was too good at shutting people out, and she was doing it again. Blake came in to Anatomy, and she looked away, pretending to arrange her papers.

He sat by her on his stool, and she could feel the awkward in the air. At least, to her.

And Kaily was expecting him to say something, selfishly. It wasn't fair to expect Blake to say anything about the night before when she herself was acting as though nothing happened.

Maybe it wasn't a big deal to him. Maybe he was really like the rumors said; that he was a player.

She wanted to smack herself in the face for how stupid that was. They had held hands, and he hadn't even implied that he wanted to do more.

God, she didn't even know if he liked her. Maybe the hand-holding thing had been spontaneous.

But then, suddenly, Blake's hand brushed against Kaily's, he smiled at her, and said, "Thank you for dealing with my crazy parents. And thanks for taking me to that playground. It was really... It was really something else."

And Kaily could tell, he really meant it.

Joseph

Joseph sat the beer down with a thunk. What the hell were people doing, drinking at noon?

He was not in a good mood. He was worried about Kaily, actually.

He saw the signs, and he knew that she was falling for Blake Hamilton. Even if she didn't know it yet, he could tell. Sometimes, he felt like he knew his friend more than she knew herself.

But he was worried about her. Worried that Blake would break her heart. God knew it had been done multiple times already.

And... He knew what it was like, to be in love with someone like that. He had been, once. Charlotte Deleah. That girl was the one thing that Joseph had never told Kaily about, based purely on the fact that he did not want to talk about her.

Joseph's and Charlotte's father's had been friends, and that's how the then-teenagers had met. Charlotte, by now, would be an adult, like him.

Joseph had met her, and thought that she was the prettiest damn girl that he had ever seen: long, dark hair, ivory skin, and glittering dark eyes. In a way, she was almost a female version of Blake. Which could have been a factor in why Joseph hated him.

So Joseph had liked Charlotte instantly; after all, he was a hormonal male, and she was a pretty girl. Then he found out that it was about more than looks. This Charlotte was funny, smart, and most of all, liked Joseph, even though they lived on separate sides of the city: himself, the south, and she, the north.

Joseph realized that he had been scrubbing violently at the same cup for a while, just thinking about it. He put it down and started on another.

After two months, he had completely fallen for the dark-haired princess. They seemed to have it all. Joseph and Charlotte had sex for the first time on their two month anniversary. Soon after, Joseph told his girlfriend that he loved her. On that same day, just moments after his confession, Charlotte had openly admitted that she had been cheating on him the entire time they were dating.

Crash The glass that Joseph was washing fell to the floor, and he realized that his hands were shaking. He let out an apology to everyone at the bar and went to get a broom.

While he was sweeping, he tried to clear his head of memories of Charlotte. But damn it, he couldn't. And he couldn't stop the flow of regret.

Really, they had been so damn young. Only fifteen, two years younger than Kaily was now. He knew now that they had taken the relationship much too quickly. And now, six years later, Joseph still couldn't forget her, or erase the hurt.

He'd given Charlotte all he had: his love, his virginity, and she'd taken it and threw it all away, leaving him with nothing but regret.

He did not, absolutely did not want the same thing to happen to his best friend. A person could only take so much pain, and Kaily had already had enough.

He could see what happened to him repeating with Blake and Kaily. And he couldn't let it happen again.

Now you darn well know why he doesn't like Blake. But omigosh, it's so sad. I'm so mean to my characters. Unlike Joseph (lol), I think that 15-year-olds know when they love someone, depending on their maturity. Probably not most, but some. Considering how I'm not much older than that is probably why I think so, haha.

So tell me what you think of Joseph's little memory-thingy :)