Chapter One

I tried not to show it too much, but I was practically bouncing off the walls I was so excited. I had to bite my lip to keep from smiling- that was how excited I was. But even that didn't even begin to describe it.

I was going to his house. Lenny Evenson's house.

Lenny was this guy that I had never talked to in my entire life before today. Well, it wasn't like I was stalking him- I swear, it was just because we'd been assigned a project that we were only given time to work on outside of class. As creepy as it sounded, I had had the hugest crush on Lenny since I saw him for the first time when we were in eighth grade. The thing was, I just never had the courage to talk to him.

Why?

Because Lenny was perfect. He was tall, athletic, had a lot of friends, and hell, he had better hair than I did. In fact he had better hair than most girls. . . .but that was beside the point. How could you not admire someone so tall with such amazing hair? He was on the basketball team and the lacrosse team, and he was always invited to parties. I was never invited to parties, but that was irrelevant as well.

Actually, none of it mattered because I was going to Lenny Evenson's house!

"Here's my address," he said, turning in his seat, so he could write it down on a sticky note for me. I nodded, unable to speak. I was such a loser.

And yeah, I sat behind him in class- even more of a reason why I was a loser. I had an entire semester full of opportunities to strike up conversation with him, and this was the very first time he was talking to me. It was almost magical.

"So, uh, f-five o'clock?" I stammered, trying to keep my cool as I verified our meeting time. He smiled this oh-so charming smile.

"You bet," he said, as the bell rang. "See ya."

I could have died of happiness.

And the events of that day's class were what led me to Lenny Evenson's doorstep. Nervous, I raised a shaking fist to knock at his door. My heart was beating as I went to make the first movement-

And then the door swung open before I had a chance to knock.

Lenny appeared in the doorway, looking handsome as ever, and shut the door behind him as quickly as he'd opened it, stepping out onto the porch with me.

"Uh, hi?" I mumbled in confusion.

"Hey," he said, suddenly flashing me a smile then glancing towards the window. Then back at me. Huh.

"Are we, uh-"

"Yeah, yeah, the project. Listen, can we do that tomorrow? Or somewhere else . . . this is a bad time," he said, his voice trailing off. It was weird because I had never heard him sound like that before. He sounded . . . unsure. Lenny Evenson was always confident.

"I mean, I guess," I mumbled, then daringly, "Is everything okay?"

He glanced anxiously back towards the window. "Uh, yeah. Everything's fine. There's a McDonald's up the street, you wanna just go there? They have wifi . . . you brought your computer right?"

"Yeah, I did. I guess we can do that," I shrugged, still feeling nervous. This was a very awkward conversation and, for the first time in my life, it wasn't even my fault. His smile returned, and he moved to walk down the front steps with me.

"Hey!" I heard an older male's voice call from inside the house. Lenny spun around, his eyes fixed on the window, which was now open. A man was sticking his head out, yelling something at him. "Where do you think you're going?"

"I have a project to get done with my friend," He said, defensively. I tried to not seem too pleased that he had just referred to me as a friend while he was being yelled at.

"Oh? So you can do that, but you can't cook me dinner like I asked ya to a damn hour ago?" he spat. I glanced up at Lenny, whose face was slowly turning red. I had never seen him looking embarrassed before.

"I have to go," he said, turning away.

"Dammit, boy-" he started to yell again, but Lenny grabbed me by the arm and started running up the street.

"Run." He told me, and I tried to keep up with him. It was hard since, you know, he was super athletic and had long legs. I wasn't athletic, and on top of that I had my heavy backpack strapped to my back.

We stopped running when we got to the end of the street, not far from the McDonald's he was talking about now. I stopped to catch my breath for a minute as he ran a hand through his golden hair.

"Sorry about that," he mumbled.

"No it's okay," I offered, even though I was extremely confused . . . and now exhausted.

"He's not usually like that, I thought it would be okay to- never mind, let's just go," he said, with an exasperated sigh. He almost made it seem like he was irritated at me. I didn't even ask him what that was about. In all honesty, I was kind of afraid to.

The thing was, I wasn't sure I was even allowed to ask Lenny any personal questions like that. For one thing, I barely knew him, and for another he was popular.

I know people always say that the whole popular thing is bullshit, but it was totally true. He was outgoing and had a lot of friends. I had maybe two good friends that were on the math team. ( I wasn't though- I was even the third wheel in my group of friends!). Not to mention I was Piper Pearson, or 'Pee Pee' for short ever since elementary school. You'd think that people would grow up and stop thinking that was funny, but no. If anything people got less mature in high school.

I didn't say anything else to Lenny until we got to the restaurant.

"Do you want a drink? It's on me," he offered, as I set my laptop up at the table we had chosen.

"Oh, no you don't have to-"

"No, I insist, it's only fair," he said. I sighed.

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure."

"Well, I don't know-"

"Piper, just tell me what you want to drink. It's like, a dollar, it's not a big deal," he said, slightly agitated with my stubbornness. I just felt like I should have bought my own. Oh well.

"Um, just a sweet tea, maybe?" I shrugged. He flashed me that charming smile of his and left to go get drinks. When he came back, we went right to discussing the project. We had to decide on some biological issue and research it, then do a presentation on it. It took us a while to pick out what we wanted to do, but we decided to research something in the field of genetics. It was for AP Biology.

After we decided on a topic and created a possible outline, I looked at my watch and determined that it was time for me to go home.

"You don't want to work on it a little longer?" he asked.

"It's seven thirty . . . we've been here for two hours," I pointed out. "That's a long time."

"Yeah, but," he mumbled. I raised an eyebrow at him, confused yet again. Were all popular people this confusing? "Nevermind- do you mind if I walk you home? Just to kill time?"

Then something dawned on me. I thought of how that man was yelling at Lenny through the window, and that perhaps he didn't want to go home. The possibilities swarmed through my mind and I just genuinely felt bad. I assumed that man was his father and I hoped to God that he wasn't, like, abusing him or anything.

"Hey, do you want to come over? My mom was making pie," I blurted out. I bit my lip, suddenly embarrassed for inviting him over when he smiled.

"That sounds great," he said, "Thank you."

I smiled again, but tried to stay cool and hide my excitement yet again. I couldn't believe this all was really happening. Call me stupid, but I almost felt star struck.

My dad came by to pick us up soon after that.

"Hey there, you must be Piper's new friend," he said, greeting Lenny warmly as he climbed into the backseat of the car.

"Dad!" I whined, hoping that Lenny wouldn't jump in and correct him and say that we weren't actually friends or anything. But he surprised me yet again by accepting my father's greeting it and returning it with his usual charm. He was just so polite and it kind of blew me away.

He struck up a conversation with my dad, admiring his car and discussing guyish car things. I had no idea what they were talking about but I was just so impressed with how nice he was. I knew Lenny Evenson was known for being a nice guy, but I didn't know he was this sweet.

We got back to my house and my mom already had her warm, homemade pie on the table. She greeted us at the door, still wearing her apron and an oven mitt. I swear, my mother acted like such the stereotypical housewife sometimes. It was almost embarrassing.

"Now, Lenny, is it?"- Lenny nodded-"I hope you're hungry, because I have a fresh blueberry pie waiting in the dining room. You're our guest so you get the first piece," she said, cheerfully, leading us into the dining room. It was just me, my mom, and my dad. . . and now Lenny. It wasn't very often that I had guests over, so my mom was extra thrilled about having a new face to feed.

"How big of a piece do you want?" she asked him, holding up her shiny pie cutter. He thought about it a minute and when my mom assured him that she understood that teenage boys could eat a lot and that she was okay with giving him a big piece, he asked for one that was almost a quarter of the pie. Damn.

"Thank you, Mrs. Pearson," he said, as she served the rest of the pie, and we all sat down together. I ate mine slowly, as per usual (I was a slow eater) and noticed that Lenny was just wolfing his down. I mean, he was a guy and an athlete and all, but still. It was pretty fast for all that pie. It was so sweet too.

My mom asked about the project, and I explained to her what we were planning on doing. I turned to Lenny to ask him something about the project, when I realized he was staring down at his plate, this pained look on his face.

"Are you okay?" I asked. Did he not like it?

"Y-yeah, I'm fine . . ." he mumbled.

"Is something wrong with the pie?" My dad asked him.

"No it was really- where is your bathroom?" he asked. I pointed towards the stairs and instructed him to make a right down the hall way and that it would be on his left.

I don't know what it was, but I was suddenly really worried about Lenny Evenson.

I mean, he was still hot though.

A/N: Okay, so this is my new story . . . what do you think so far? :)

Reviews are lovely things.