A/N: HELLLOOOOOO everyone! I'm baaaaack :D Hopefully for good this time... I know I've been on a PRETTY LONG hiatus, but I have much to show for it! I have been working relentlessly on new stories and new chapters of old stories so things should be getting pushed out pretty soon here. As I said before, I know it's been a while, but I just recently graduated from college and now working on my next degree, so I didn't have much time with school and work and family :/ (excuses excuses...) However, like stated before I have been working on everything (some more than others) and I really hope you guys don't hate me xP

I started this story in the beginning of this year and just left it as something I might come back to later... well, here I am... coming back to it... later. I've been wanting to work on a story that's more normal and just about young romances and first love (can you tell I've been pretty happy lately? :P). I wanted a story that I can practice my skills of character development and story development. I figured that a simple story like this would be perfect for it! and not only that after reading this first chapter over and over, I've grown quite fond of the characters and I want to finish their story.

SO WITH OUT FURTHER ADIEU! I present to you "Man card"! Hope you enjoy!


Chapter 1

Remember the time in high school; you were a freshman on your first day of the school year. You thought you were hot stuff with your Jansport backpack and the single middle school friend that was zoned for the same high school as you. Growing up, you thought high school was the crème of the crop, but that first day you step on campus you realize that you're still the small fish in a big pond.

But I have always been that small fish, waiting for a bigger fish to come around and bite off my fin. And I am perfectly fine blending in; being average, just get through high school without being thrown into the garbage is all I strive for. I'm just Micah Ledl, nothing more and nothing less. Sure, I've joined and left many different school clubs, yet nothing seemed to be my niche. I have a few friends, everyone does, and having a graduating class of about two-thousand made it pretty easy to find someone to hang out with. I didn't need anything more than an average education with my average friends. I was content.

Meet Kali, a Hawaiian goddess of extreme class and sophistication. Even though, she does draw attention with her good looks, she has no time for such trivial things such as boys or socialization. She has a Harvard application she needs to prepare - which is seventeen years in the making. I've known Kali since she moved here with her single dad from Honolulu, Hawaii. We were both ten in fifth grade, getting ready to be middle schoolers the following year. How did we become friends? She beat up my best friend Connor for stealing an animal cracker. We all got detention and remained friends ever since.

Connor was that awkward redheaded kid; a bright mind, but he doesn't really put it to good use. His personality is more that of a used car salesman, sneaky and manipulative. He tries hard to stand out, only falls flat on his face over and over. Though, I must hand it to him, he does keep getting back up and trying again. I just don't know how many times he'll keep that up before he finally throws in the towel.

My two best friends, Kali and Connor, are the coolest people I know (in my world anyways). Yet, when I look at the soccer team or the cheer leaders, I'm often finding myself jealous. They have the world at their feet, good looks, colleges and universities lining up to sign them on their teams for the next school year. Sometimes, I want what they have… but then I remember that with popularity comes a price, the price of gossip and lies. I don't need that. Not during my junior year.

The year is just starting; Kali is already at our locker getting things organized for the two of us to share. Connor and I watch the crowd of people swarm the halls, trying to make sense of everything. The freshmen are the worst, carrying maps and papers with their class list.

"Oh I remember the days," Connor shifted his backpack to his other shoulder, bumping into a smaller freshman. This year, he'd decided he wanted to be the bad ass, though with his flaming red hair, it was going to be hard for him maintain that image.

"It wasn't that long ago, Connor," I pointed out, "don't be getting so nostalgic."

Connor laughed, "Yeah, I know, but it seems like a long time, I mean come on, this year we're not a joke, we have some power behind us now! Watch this." He bumped into another freshman and dropped his bag.

"Hey man! Come on! Watch where you're going!" Connor screamed at him.

"I'm sorry! I didn't mean to!" the poor boy picked up Connor's backpack and handed to him before scurrying away.

"Must you be such a douche bag?" I rolled my eyes. Even though Connor could pretend all he wanted, he was still a nice guy at heart.

"I'm telling you, this year is going to be our best year yet. We have to set a name for ourselves now, that way starting our senior year we've got everyone at the palm of our hands."

"Great…" I chuckled, "And how do you plan on making a name for ourselves?"

We walked past a group of girls from the cheerleading squad, seniors with Playboy bodies. I saw as Connor gawked at the sight, he'd always had sex on his mind, in one way or another.

"We're going to get laid this year man… I don't know with who, nor do I think it really matters, but we're getting laid."

I laughed, he said this every year, and every year he came out disappointed.

The truth was though; I had already lost my virginity. I never told Connor about it, because it wasn't exactly with a woman. Kali was the only person I trusted with this information, because I knew just how fast something like that would spread if Connor found out.

His name was Jackson Mitchell, a junior from another state who'd come to stay with his Aunt during the summer last year. I was fifteen, just finished my freshman year. We'd gotten to know each other over those few months, Kali was away at some camp and Connor had been forced to go to see his Grandmother for the summer. Jackson and I had become extremely close; we were becoming really good friends. Which is why when he kissed me I was nearly in shock, I would have never guessed someone would want me in the way he did. The same day I had my first kiss was the same day I lost my v-card. We did it a few more times after that, though he'd made it clear we weren't doing anything more than having fun… there was no relationship. A month later he left to go back to Ohio and I haven't talked to him since.

"Micah, this is our year, the year we sleep with the hottest bitches in school," Connor went on.

"Excuse me?" We both turned to see Kali standing to our right, looking at Connor with disgust.

Connor smiled at her, "What? Don't want to be left out? Don't worry, we can find you a guy who's willing to fool around with a smart ass."

If looks could kill, Connor would no longer be with us.

As if on cue the bell rings and the people start to thin out, Kali and Connor head off, they have their first class together. I turn to the opposite direction towards my most feared class, geometry.

"Excuse me!" I hear from behind me, I glance back to see an older guy running down the hall towards me. By now, we're the only two people there.

"Sorry, but I'm a little lost, I'm trying to find this class room-" he shows me his class schedule, "you wouldn't happen to know where it is would you?"

His eyes are the greenest eyes I have ever seen, with specks of blue and gold. His blonde hair looked softer than silk, but didn't look like he'd spent hours before school to make it look that way. He must be new in town if he's a senior who doesn't know his way around school. I would have recognized someone like this before…

He has geometry, same class as me. Guess he's not a senior… Maybe this year won't be as bad as I thought it would be.

"Yeah, we're in the same class," I gave him a welcoming smile and turned back towards our class room. We walk down the hall, turn a few corners and we're almost there. I feel like I should say something to him, I didn't even mention my name… But we just kept walking in silence and by the time we made it to our classroom, it was too late.

He held the door open for me and we both walked in, the whole class looking at us before the teacher turned and scolded us for being late on the first day. But we took our assigned seats, opposite ends of the room, I in the back corner and he in the front.

The first week of school was just as boring as any other weeks, though all the freshmen are running around trying to make friends, join clubs, and try out for sports, and on top of that maintain good grades. This year, I've decided not to care about such things, just relax and breathe… until Connor opens his mouth.

"Alright, so I figured the only way our plan is going to work is if we make it on a sports team. Any team will do, so we can try out for everything," we were looking at the bulletin board looking at all the teams who were having try outs. I was never good at sports, Connor knows this too, but I still had no choice in the matter. Kali was lucky, being a girl, Connor left her out of his plot… plus she almost bit his ear off when he tried to hook her up with someone.

He'd decided on Soccer, Lacrosse, Track and field, and finally football; football being the prime choice.

Over the week, I would be dragged along to all the try outs, some went bad and others went worse. During soccer, I'd tripped and fallen flat on my face in a puddle of mud, lacrosse I whacked a kid in the face with my stick. Track was the only one that I did somewhat decent in, though I was behind the other runners tremendously. Connor's sport team plan wasn't looking too good for us. Why I had decided to go along with it? I couldn't tell you. Maybe because I didn't want Connor to feel lonely when he tried out? Who knows?

It came down to the last sport we had on our list; we knew we hadn't gotten into any of the other ones so this was our last hope.

Football.

We walked onto the track, the guys all started to stretch out their muscles. Connor pretended to know what he was doing; I just kind of stood there not caring if I died from cramps later on. The coach was discussing things with current the football players. The captain of the team held a clip board and started calling out names and handing guys numbered jerseys to wear. When he came around to me he gave me the once over and grinned.

"Good luck," he said, throwing me my jersey and rubbing my head with his hand.

I felt ridiculous, I wasn't put on this earth to be a football player. I'm a short, scrawny kid that can barely get out of bed without getting hurt. I have no place on any field or track. I almost left right then and there, Connor was begging me to stay and pleading.

"Just one more try out! We have this one in the bag! I just know it!" he pled.

But it wasn't his brooding and pawing that got me to stay. No, I saw him again.

That blonde hair, green eyed guy that left me speechless in the beginning of the week. Sure, I'd seen him around since we had geometry class together, but it was like we were on opposite sides of the world… I hadn't spoken a word to him since.

I make it sound like I've fallen in love with him, so let me get this straight. I find him attractive, yes. I find him interesting, yes. Have I fallen head over heels after sharing no more than four words? Hell no. He's new, no one knows him yet so there is an air of mystery to him and that is all. I've seen how the girls look at him and talk about him in our class. No one seems to know who he is, but they sure as hell want to get close and find out.

This is the first time I've seen green eyes out side of geometry, so I was a little taken aback seeing him out of where I'm used to seeing him. He started stretching next to one of the other guys, they shared a quick handshake and smiles… god; he really is attractive. The way he so effortlessly spoke with the other guys, it just seemed so natural for him to make friends easily. I could tell one of the guys was closer to him than the rest, no doubt a friend before today.

Connor was still trying to convince me to stay, but I had long forgotten about him. Before I knew it, my name was being called to line up to form my team. I couldn't just leave now that the captain has already started, so I fell into place and waited to see if I'd get the chance to talk to green eyes again.

Sadly, green eyes was not put on my team. Connor was also chosen for the other team, though he was more interested in getting on the football team than making idle chit-chat with another guy. The two teams played their hardest; each person was rotated around each position so that the captain and the coach could get a feel of who was better at what. Per usual, I wasn't good at any of the positions and obviously wouldn't be called back for anything more than water boy. Connor also did pretty bad, but he roughed it out and stuck to it.

But the one person I couldn't keep my eyes off of was green eyes. He wasn't better at any one position, he was great at them all. Better than anyone else could ever do, everyone was astonished, some even angry that they couldn't make that big of an impression. There was no doubt in my mind that green eyes would be chosen for the team.

It took nearly three weeks for the teams to be chosen, Connor would constantly check the bulletin boards to see if they'd been posted. We'd scanned the sheets that we knew we didn't have a chance at, such as lacrosse and soccer. When we got to the track team I nearly stumbled over a poor sophomore when I saw my name was on the list of the chosen. I never thought I'd see the day…

Connor was chosen to be bench on the football team, he was extremely happy with that. It meant that he could say he was on the team, yet not really participate. This was the perfect solution for him.

I tried to find green eyes, but he was nowhere to be found. I thought he would want to see if he placed or not, but he could be just as confident as I was that he got on. I would check the football list to see if he made it, but I still had no idea what his name was. This aggravated me more than not really speaking to him yet.

Kali, Connor and I went to a Sal's Diner a few streets down from the school. Connor kept going off about how the first few practices for football went. He told me all about the "great" things he's done and how he wouldn't be surprised if the coach bumped him up into the playing team. Track practice had started with me as well, but I had no interest in telling my friends about going around and around a track. What was there to tell?

Kali was busy doing her school thing; she'd gotten pretty busy with her AP classes and all the clubs she's in. Over the past few weeks I had barely seen her and those moments were usually passing by in the halls. I could tell she felt bad for not being around lately, but we all knew there was no helping it.

Kali and Connor got to talking, I stared out the window, pretending to listen but really thinking about other things… such as that green eyed guy. I wondered what he was doing right now, probably hanging out with new friends he'd made within these past few weeks. How did he get along with these people? Was he funny? Serious? Shy? Watching him from the back of the class room I had no idea what he was like. He never said anything during class and by the time I made it to the front of the room once class was over, he was gone. But first and foremost, what I wanted more than anything… was his name. I debated on whether or not I should ask Connor, he'd know, he was on the team with him. But I was scared that he might think I was a little too interested in him… and I knew that Kali would put two and two together. Maybe if I lead the conversation in that direction and make it seem casual…?

"Micah, did you hear me?"

I snapped back to reality and realized that both Kali and Connor were staring at me.

"Sorry, what?" I asked, embarrassed that I had gotten so wrapped up in my thoughts.

Connor's eyes narrowed, he was catching on to me… I could tell.

Kali smirked, she'd figured out that I had someone on my mind, she just didn't know who.

I sighed and before I could say a word more, Kali asked the simple question that I didn't know how to answer.

"Who is it?"

It was mid November, getting closer to winter break and even closer to thanksgiving. My parents had already told my teachers I would be missing a few more days of class so we could go see family up north, they had already gone up and left me here until it was time for my own flight. This didn't bother me in the slightest, I was happy with having the house to myself and being able to relax without the stress of the parental unites. I didn't tell Kali or Connor about my parents leaving; I know that Connor would immediately plan some sort of out of control party… not on my list of things to do.

The day at the restaurant was nearly four weeks ago. That conversation however, didn't go as I had expected it to go. I didn't know how to let Connor know that I wasn't as into girls as he was. So I didn't tell him, the only thing I let them know was that I was interested in someone but, I knew that nothing was going to happen and let it go at that. It would serve as a means to get Connor off my back but, still let Kali know that it was a guy that was on my mind. She wouldn't press until I was good and ready to tell her any details (though there were none to tell). Connor however begged for me to tell him and that he might be able to hook me up. I almost laughed at his suggestion, picturing in my mind him going up to green eyes and telling him that a guy had a crush on him.

I don't see that going over so well.

However, since then I've been pushing green eyes out of my mind, refusing to get obsessed over someone that I didn't even know their name. This whole thing just wasn't in my nature and I had no idea how it got so out of control.

Football season was coming to a close, Kali and I have yet to go to a game since Connor, we knew, wouldn't be playing. But the end of the year game was coming up and we promised we'd be there for Connor. Track was also ending soon and though I'd never been in a single meet, I'd become leaner from all the running and practicing, I felt better than I've ever been. I'd make a note to join up again next year.

"Micah!" Kali yelled from the other end of the hall as she turned the corner.

I smiled at her and waved, waiting for her to come running over, we'd planned to meet here just before Connor's game to go find a seat. She grabbed my hand and lead me up the stadium to get the highest seats, for some reason or another any time we came here she had to be at the top.

Must be an Asian thing.

We settled down between Joshua Cooper – he was on my track team, though we didn't get along really well – and Jessica Bortman – a senior with nothing special to her name.

Kali didn't so much as say a word to me until the game started; we had this kind of friendship where nothing needed to be said for us to feel comfortable. We both liked people watching and just enjoying each other's company.

I got more anxious by the minute; I knew that being here would mean seeing green eyes. There was no avoiding it; he was on the team with Connor. Sometimes I wish that I was actually chosen for the team, if anything to figure out his goddamn name. The team came out and everyone cheered as the players waved back. Kali and I looked for Connor and when we saw him running out behind the rest of the guys Kali let out a long, sharp whistle. Before I knew it, there was green eyes, running beside Connor and patted him on the back, gearing him up for the game. Connor smiled at him and then looked around for us; he looked back at green eyes and pointed toward Kali and me.

The crowd, though still yelling and cheering, seemed to go suddenly silent. From across the field our eyes connected and neither of us looked away. I knew I looked stupid to anyone who saw me right then, but I really didn't care. Those green eyes were staring at me… and only me. There was no doubt about this, we were having a moment. And just when I thought it couldn't get better…

I saw on the corner of his lips…

Just for a second…

A small smirk.

And then it was over, he looked away and the crowd's loud screams came back in a rush. From that point on I watched only him, nothing else mattered because I knew that if I let my eyes wander from him, I'll miss my chance to meet gazes again. But it never happened; he didn't once look back up even towards my general direction…

Once the game was over, Kali and I waited for Connor to finish showering off and changing so we could go out for a post-game celebration.

"So I think I found out who the guy is you have a thing for," she said out of the blue while we were leaning against the wall next to the locker room.

I chuckled, "Oh really now?"

She nodded, she liked to guess at my crushes, sometimes with serious guesses, sometimes just joking around.

"I think you have a thing for Joshua Cooper," she said smiling.

I laughed; she knew as well as anyone that Joshua didn't like me all that much.

"I'm serious! We sat down next to him and you went all stiff!"

She was onto something; I'll give her credit, though not close enough.

Connor walked out of the locker room, bag in tow and beamed at us.

"How did you guys like it?!" he asked all smiles. He was able to play on the last few plays due to one of the other players injuring their ankle, he made it out to be like he was asked to play in the NFL.

"Could have been better, I don't know why that one kid was put out on the field at the end, he was god awful," Kali teased him.

"Hardy har har, very funny," he rolled his eyes and threw his bag over his shoulder. We walked towards Kali's car so we could head off somewhere to eat.

"Oh, I invited one of the guys from the team to come with us, I hope you guys don't mind," Connor stated suddenly stopping in his tracks and opening up his bag.

We stopped and waited for him, "We don't mind," Kali said, "What are you doing?"

"Shit, I forgot my knee pads…" he said, "I must have left them on the bench."

"I'll go get them, they have your name in them right?" I said, Connor nodded, "Alright, go get the car and wait for me out front I'll be there in a minute."

I ran back to the locker room, the place was pretty much empty at that point. The students had been long gone before Connor got done showering off and by now the players were all surely gone. However, when I heard a shower still on, I was a little taken aback.

I went to go find Connor's pads, trying not to make much noise so not to disturb who's ever showering still.

I didn't notice when the shower turned off. I didn't notice the footsteps coming closer. I didn't notice the sound of water droplets on the floor behind me.

Until I turned around and saw green eyes standing there with a towel wrapped around his waist.

I was completely caught off guard and stumbled over my words trying to explain my presence.

"Sorry! I was just – I mean I was in here getting pads… Knee pads! Connor's!"

He just looked at me without really saying anything. I could feel my face turning red; it burned like I had been sitting out on Miami beach for forty-eight hours straight. I couldn't believe this was happening… of all the people to still be here, it just had to be him. I looked like an idiot…

I grabbed the knee pads from the bench and lowered my head, about to walk past green eyes.

"I'm sorry for interrupting your-" he grabbed my arm before I made it past him and he pushed me up against the lockers. I stood frozen, pinned between the lockers and him; he was so close to my face… I could feel his breath on my cheeks. The way his hard body pushed against me was almost too much to handle, knowing that the only thing keeping the rest of his body hidden was a thin towel… He held my shoulders in place with his hands and neither of us moved an inch.

He stared at me, I stared back.

And then he kissed me.

Tenderly at first, soft and sweet, but when I finally snapped out of my shock and kissed him back, we started getting more intense. Our tongues dancing around each other, our hands grabbing at anything we could get to, his hair was soft to the touch and I had no trouble running my fingers through it and grabbing it so desperately. I could feel almost an electric current or a magnetic pull run through our lips, if one of us broke apart it wouldn't be long before we came right back to where they belonged. We barely stopped to breath, almost as though if we stopped this would never happen again, we had to take advantage of whatever time we had left. Which both of us were fine with.

My first kiss with Jackson wasn't like this, the chemistry wasn't there, nor would it ever have gotten to this point. I felt like I was high, but with Jackson it was mainly nerves.

When we finally broke apart for good, we both stood there panting, trying to regain our breath. I looked up at him and he was looking back down at me with that same smirk on his face he had on before the game. I felt awkward all of the sudden… what do I do now?

"Thanks…" what a god-fucking dumb thing to say…

He chuckled, "Your welcome," at least he had a sense of humor about it.

We stood like that for another couple of minutes, just looking at each other. I guess trying to decide what we do from there.

"I'm Luke," he said finally.

I had a mini celebration in my head for finally knowing his name, though it was short lived because I needed to stay on track with keeping my head from exploding.

"Micah," I replied, smiling nervously.

"I guess I should have introduced myself before, hm?" he chuckled.

I chuckled in response, but didn't reply. I was so nervous; I was most definitely not experienced in this kind of encounter… My knees were shaking so bad I thought they would go out from under me and I'd fall to the floor.

"I'll let you get back to bringing those to Connor," he said and then moved away from me. I wanted so badly to reach out for him, not let him get away. I wanted more of what we just had.

But alas, he walked back to the other side of the locker room, changed quickly and left.

What the fuck just happened?


A/N: Thanks for reading! The second chapter is already under way and should be out within the next few days (or week...). I'm super excited about this project, but I do need some help along the way. I want this to be a story that you (the readers) help me with (though I will practice my right to say 'fuck that' in the case of bad ideas). SO PLEASE! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! REVIEW! Tell me what you think, what you want to happen, how you think I could improve. All in all, I need motivation! Some of you have contacted me on fictionpress or other sites and expressed your interests in my stories and I really want to thank you guys for it. You have NO IDEA just how much that impacts how fast I push out chapters.

SO KEEP IT UP!

I hope to talk to you all soon!

~Kirie