Chapter 1. Introduction


The chatter of the lunchroom was loud. I couldn't distinguish any words from the throngs of obnoxious teenagers gathered in clusters around tables, screaming and shouting without pausing to wonder if the way they were acting was in any way indecent. I looked around me and watched the other kids laugh and flirt with each other, and thought to myself how immature they were.

I gazed out the large windows into the beautiful California sky. I've lived here all my life. Sometimes I feel like I'm not cut out to live here, where everyone is so much more willing to be friends with the other people here. Socializing is definitely not my favorite thing to do. I like to keep to myself, sit back, and observe. I'm not anti-social. I'm a-social. It's not that I don't know how to interact with others, I just choose to stay away from the children around me.

My best friend, Brooke, says I'm negative. I say things like they are, and I have my own opinions about everything. That doesn't make me negative, it makes me honest. She's always so happy, bubbly, hyper and optimistic, that it makes me seem a lot less happy by comparison. Her boyfriend, Dallin, is the one who told me this. I honestly like Dallin, which is weird, because I don't like most people in this school—or the world—but Dallin's actually a decent guy. He's the line backer on the football team, and he and Brooke have been going out since freshman year. I have no objections. Not that it'd matter much if I did, anyway.

I am probably one of the most observant people you'll ever meet. Brooke calls me psychic on a daily basis. I'm not though—obviously—I'm just really good at guessing. It's not hard when all you do is watch people. Pay attention to the way they act, and treat others. It's pretty easy. Most people can't do it, though. They're too focused on themselves. Honestly, when you've been doing it all your life, reading people is practically second nature. Brooke says there's no one that I can't read. And she's almost right. There is only one person that I've never been able to understand, no matter how hard I try.

Nicholas James McDaniel.

He's Dallin's best friend, and has been for years. His dad is an extremely famous actor in Hollywood, and Nick himself has had a few roles in movies and commercials, so he's occasionally followed around by paparazzi. He has dark brown hair, just a few shades lighter than his chocolate eyes. Tan skin. He's about 6 feet, and has tall, lean muscles. He's the quarterback for our football team, which only adds to his ego. He's the same as any other 17-year-old boy. Into sports, girls, and parties. And, in my—very educated—opinion, he's a conceited ass. Pretty much all of this can be found out just by looking at his Facebook, or spending just one day at our school. I still don't know anything about him. Nothing of consequence, at least, if there is anything to know. Sometimes after school, you can find the paps sitting outside in vans, lying in wait, just to get a picture of him. It's a bit pathetic, really. I just don't get what the big fuss is all about. He's just another stuck up, semi-famous rich kid.

I contemplated all of this as I stared across the lunchroom at him, laughing with his friends, his arm draped around Ashley Mills, a known slut at our school. She was giggling at him like he'd just told the funniest joke she'd ever heard. She's also one of the dumbest girls in this school. How can he stand her? I have an extremely low tolerance for morons. And fake people.

"Hello? Lexi?" Brooke's voice pulled me out of my reverie.

"What? Sorry." I apologized, and focused my eyes back on her and Dallin, who sat across the table from me. Dallin wasn't paying attention to our conversation at all, and played with Brooke's curled, natural blonde hair instead.

She glanced behind her. "Ahh. I see." She smirked at me. "Gazing at Nick again?" Dallin paused and looked up at this, his hazel eyes interested.

"No!" I ran my fingers through my long, dark brown hair. "I was just... Lost in thought, I guess." I didn't sound convincing, I can't lie to Brooke, she can spot a lie a mile away, especially since I'm the one who's lying. That's the bad side to being friends with someone since fifth grade.

She looked at me skeptically. "Riiiight. Dallin? What do you think?"

He laughed. "I don't want to get in the middle of this." Smart boy. But he was obviously interested, and was now paying attention. Nick was his best friend, after all.

I sighed, ignoring Dallin's curiosity, and looked back at Brooke. "What were you saying?"

She flipped her hair over her shoulder. "Well, I was just wondering if you wanted to have a girl's night this weekend. Since your mom's off in New York or whatever, pretending you don't exist." She rolled her eyes. "We could watch She's the Man. Staring at Channing Tatum's hot body always makes me feel better." She grinned.

"Hey!" Dallin said in mock outrage. "Is my body not good enough for you?" He flexed his muscles, showing off for Brooke. I rolled my eyes.

Brooke giggled and smiled at him, and bat her eyes flirtatiously. "Of course it is, but you have football practice all next week, and I need some girl time, too." She snuggled up next to him, looking even tinier than usual, because Dallin's so big, and kissed him on the cheek. He turned his head quickly and locked his lips with hers. They started having a full-on make out session right then and there. It's not really that uncommon to see them glued together like that, so no one even noticed. I sighed. Children.

I took this as my cue to leave, the bell rang just then anyway, and I stood up and started to walk towards the cafeteria doors. I gave one more glance at Nick's corner of the room.

He was already staring.

My eyes widened a tiny bit, and he smirked at me, a sexy half smile appearing on his face, as I blushed and looked away quickly. I headed through the doors and to my next class, in which I sat right next to Nick. Chemistry. Kind of ironic, right? Brooke's in our class, too and always makes annoying gestures at me to talk to him. What are best friends for other than to irritate and possibly embarrass you? Luckily, I didn't think Nick ever noticed. It astounds me how clueless some people are.

I made my way upstairs and down the hall towards chemistry. As per usual, I'm one of the first people in the classroom, Brooke usually comes with me but since she's occupied at the moment, that obviously didn't happen today.

I sat in my assigned seat in the back corner of the class, and pulled out my book as I waited for class to start. Brooke came in a minute later, a bit out of breath and flushed, wiping off a little of her smeared lip gloss. I sighed, but didn't comment. She sat right in front of me and turned around to face me with a knowing look.

"So," She began. "What was that, back in the cafeteria?"

"I don't know what you're talking about." I said, not looking up from my book.

She snatched it out of my hands. "Alexis, just tell me," She commands, exasperated. She only used my full name when she's trying to make me spill all of my secrets.

"Hey!" I protested. "Give it back, there's nothing to tell!" I tried to take it from her, but she held it out of my reach.

She ran her fingers through her blonde curls. "Then why was Nick staring after you as you left the cafeteria?"

"I... What?" I was confused, forgetting about my book for a second. I was surprised she even noticed.

She rolled her beautiful blue eyes. "He was staring. At you. Why?"

"Don't ask me. I have no idea." I said grumpily. "I don't know his motives."

"Oh whatev—" She stopped. "You don't know?" She asked, shocked. "What do you mean? Don't you like, know everything about everyone's life?"

"Usually," I grumbled. Humble, I know.

She was about to respond, when Nick walked into the room. My attention was diverted. He had some kind of... determination to his face? Well no, wrong word. More like... concentrated. Focused? No. I don't know. I wasn't sure.—Damn it. I hated this.—Like he was thinking hard about something. I couldn't tell. That bothered me, I was always sure. Just not with him. Why is that?

He came walking down the aisle with his usual confident, cocky look, smirking at all of the girls who giggled and blushed when he caught them ogling him. He sat in his seat with ease, flipping his hair. There was an almost inaudible sigh coming from all of the girls in the classroom. Nick wasn't paying attention to any of them. It looked like he was lost in thought.

When the bell rang a few seconds later, I snapped to attention and looked towards the front of the room, only to see Brooke, smiling back at me, like she knew something. I knew what she was thinking, and her assumptions were completely off.

I glared. "It's not what you think," I whispered. "He's a self-centered jerk and he thinks he owns the universe. So whatever you're assuming in that brain of yours, it's wrong."

"Whatever, Lexi." She smiled at me conspiratorially, and turned forward in her desk just as the teacher walked into the room.

Mr. Dean is possibly the craziest teacher I've ever had. He's in his early 40's, has wicked gray and black sticky upy hair, always wears varying shades of green dress shirts with one sleeve always rolled up to his elbow. Just one. He always has black slacks, dress shoes, and a pair of red nerd glasses. Don't even ask, he won't answer any questions about his wardrobe. Though I already know that he just thinks that dressing like a maniac will make students pay attention to him. It doesn't work. But it makes Chemistry more interesting.

"Settle down, settle down," Mr. Dean said cheerily. The class quieted. "We're going to be doing something new today, to celebrate something in the middle of September! Aren't you guys so excited?" He beamed at the class.

"What are we celebrating?" a student toward the front asked.

"Life my dear, life! It's just so fantastic!" Everyone exchanged glances, Mr. Dean gets excited and happy about the most random things, and really no one knows what he's going off about half the time. I do though, because, well, I'm me. And for some reason, I got the feeling I wasn't going to like what was about to happen. "I'm going to put you in partners, last time you didn't do as I instructed, because you were with your friends, and as much as you love your friends, you don't get your work done! Bit of a shame, really. So, I'll read off the list, and these were chosen randomly with my computer, so some of you might still be with your friends, and you are lucky. You will be working with the opposite sex. Oh yeah! This will be a permanent arrangement! No switching! It will be like this for the rest of the year!" He cackled insanely. "Ok? Good! Now..." He got out his clipboard. "Kevin Hansen and Sydney Star..."

I knew what was about to happen, I just knew it. I sighed, waiting for the inevitable.

"...Nicholas McDaneil and Alexis Evans..." I suppressed a sigh.

I looked over at my partner, and he looked over at me and gave me what I assume was supposed to be a dazzling smile. Which it was. But I wasn't going to fall for it. I grimaced back. This was going to be a long year...


Lunchtime. My favorite part of the school day. My arm was around the shoulders of another fake blonde, and I'd already forgotten her name, even though I was sure she'd told me at least three times.

"Hey guys!" Tony, one of my best friends shouted, walking up to the group. He had his arm wrapped around his girlfriend Stacie. She has dark hair, and she was a tiny little asian girl. I liked her. We're pretty good friends. She greeted me quietly. She's extremely shy, the complete opposite of Tony. He ran his hand over his newly buzzed head and ginned at me. "I heard that Walker's parents are out next weekend, and he's throwing a party! Are any of you going? McDaniel?" He asked me. Tyler Walker's parents are loaded. They're doctors or something. Tyler is well known for his parties. They promise ear-shattering music, loads of booze, and plenty of girls who aren't looking for anything long-term.

"Yeah, man, I always go to his parties," I said, the tone of my voice implying he was stupid for even asking.

He chuckled and was about to answer, when the blonde chick under my arm giggled loudly, and ran her finger down my muscled chest. "Oh Nicholas, you're like, so funny!" Her voice was super high and annoying. I winced. I hate my full name. It's what all of my little groupie fan-girls call me, in their squeaky little voices. Knowing my first name won't help you get anywhere.

Tony raised an eyebrow at the girl, and Stacie rolled her eyes, but neither bothered to comment. "What about the rest of you?"

I looked away then, bored, I didn't really care if anyone else was coming. As I glanced around at all of the tables, looking for Dallin, I saw her. The girl from my chemistry class, Alexis Evans.

She wasn't... normal. I saw something in her eyes that was uncommon for nowadays. Intelligence. She always hid behind a book, and her waist length hair, but saw and analyzed everything around her at the same time with those eyes. What color are they? I can never decide. Sometimes blueish, sometimes more of a greenish yellow. I don't know.

I didn't think there was anything she didn't miss. It's like she knows everything there is to know about everything and everyone. And she always does the exact opposite of what I expect. For as long as I could remember, she'd never liked me. Every time she looks at me, she has a slightly frustrated look on her face, but then she glances away, so I can never know for sure. And that makes her all the more interesting... Or irritating. Either one.

She was talking with her blonde friend, Brooke. Dallin was sitting next to Brooke, playing with her hair. Man, he is whipped. I saw Brooke turn her head towards him and plant a kiss on the side of his face, and then they were playing tonsil hockey within two seconds. I chuckled and looked up to see Alexis' reaction to this, thinking she'd be angry, since they'd obviously just been in the middle of a conversation. But she just rolled her eyes and stood up as the bell rang.

She grabbed her backpack and walked off towards the exit, and then turned her head, looking right at me, like she knew I'd been staring. My first instinct was to just look away, but then I'd feel like a coward. Instead I smirked at her in a way I knew drove most girls crazy. She didn't seem to be affected by it though, and she just turned her head forward and continued walking away and out the doors. I frowned. My charms didn't work on her, apparently. Well, I was going to have to do something about that, wasn't I?

Stacie chose this time to be paying attention to me. Usually she doesn't look at anyone but Tony. "Flirting won't work with her," She said matter-of-factly.

"Wh— I wasn't flirting with her!" I hissed. I looked around to see if anyone was paying attention. Tony was chatting away about that party still, and the blonde girl under my arm was staring my bicep, giggling. I tried to ignore her.

"Yes, you were," she said. "But it won't work."

"What do you mean?"

"Oh come on. She knows everything. She's like the smartest girl I know... Do you really think she'd even consider going out with you? I mean, you're kind of a player. It's not exactly a secret."

"Go out with me?" I laughed. "What are you talking about? It was just harmless flirting, it's not like I'm trying to date the girl or anything." Ridiculous thought.

"So you admit that you were flirting with her?" Stacie smirked at me.

Shit. "No, I—"

The blonde looked up at me in outrage. "But like, what about me?" She cried, interrupting me. "We were together for like, ten seconds, and you like, flirted with another girl? I so can't believe you!" She sniffed and threw my arm off her shoulder. "We're over!" she screeched, pouted her over-glossed candy pink lips, crossing her arms.

"Look, Blondie—"


"Whatever. We weren't even together, don't freak out on me." Women.

"Oh," She said. "Well good. Because you didn't even like, look at me really anyway." And with that, she flounced away.

Stacie looked after the girl. "Why do you even waste your time with bimbos like them?"

"Because they're hot. Why else?" They don't really care to find out the real me, nobody does, so I just use them like they use me. Not that I'd ever tell anyone that. It's just how life is for me.

We started walking to Chemistry. Stacie quickly kissed Tony as he split off for math and walked next to me. We have Chemistry the same period, just different teachers. Lucky for her. Mr. Dean's a whack-job.

Stacie glared at me. "And this is why you'll never have a real girlfriend. I'm positive Alexis can see right through you, otherwise she isn't as smart as I thought."

This annoyed me a little bit, but I didn't let it show. "Whatever," I said. I don't need a real girlfriend. All of the girls I've ever talked to have been fame whores anyway.

"See you later," She said, and patted me on the arm as we stopped in front of my classroom. "Stop flirting with her. It'll only cause you harm." A smile seemed to be pulling at the edge of her lips, but I couldn't imagine why. She was walking away before I had a chance to question her.

I sighed, and walked inside, thinking. Flirting is harmless, I thought. I looked up and saw some girls watching me, so I gave them a small smile. They all blushed and giggled and whispered to each other. See? No harm done, as far as I was concerned. As I sat in my seat, I decided to ignore Stacie's warning about the short girl with the intense eyes sitting next to me. I could do whatever I wanted.

Mr. Dean was chirping away about celebrating or whatever. I wasn't paying attention. Now... How do I get the attention of the one girl in this school who doesn't like me? I pondered that for a moment.

I caught the end of Mr. Dean's speech. Apparently he was assigning permanent partners for the rest of the school year. I grinned to myself. I already knew who I wanted. I glanced sideways at her. She was sitting in her desk with perfect posture, nervously and absentmindedly playing with her hair. And the expression on her face was like... she knew something no one else did. And she was dreading it.

"...Nicholas McDaniel and Alexis Evans..."

I grinned over at her mischievously. She frowned back, she didn't like me at all. Challenge accepted. This was going to be fun.








So that was my first chapter! I hope you liked it. This is my first story—ever—haha so bear with me, I don't exactly know what I'm doing. I just had this idea that popped into my head and I felt like writing it down.

You are merely a visitor in my domain, so if you don't like my story, then you don't have to read it. Obviously.

The more reviews I have, the more I know people will actually like this story, and if they like it, then I'll keep posting chapters. I'm writing the 2nd chapter now, so if you like this, I'll put it up!

So please read and review!(:

Dec. 5, 2012

I'm not sure why, exactly... but people keep skipping over Chapter 2. Really random, don't you think?

Well... what if I told you... that there's a make out scene in that chapter? Would that stop happening?

I guess we'll see(;