The next day, I woke to the sound of my phone screaming in my ear. I groaned and peeked my eyes open a little, tapping at my phone sleepily to turn off the wretched sound. A few seconds later, my room was once again mercifully quiet except for my iHome which was playing music from my iPod softly. I smiled and lay my head down again, closing my eyes.

Just a few more min-

"Ria!" I heard my mom call from down the hall. "Wake up! Are you up?"

"Unggggg," was my response.

"Are you?" she asked again, her voice getting nearer.

"Uh, huh," I mumbled, my eyes still closed. "I'm awake."

"Oh, no, you're not," she said, from right outside my door. She jiggled my doorknob which was locked. I always locked my door. Don't ask why. It's a long story. It drove my mom nuts, though. "You wake up right now and come out here, missy. You've slept through your alarm five times. Don't even try to deny it, because I heard iteach time."

"Ung," I moaned again.

"Alexandria!" she shouted, her voice getting agitated. "Out! Right now!"

I groan-yelled, and rolled out of bed onto my feet. I slowly shuffled over to the door, banging my foot on my desk on the way.

"Ow!" I screeched, my eyes opening wide. "That hurt like a mother-"

"Don't you dare finish that sentence, young lady," mom bellowed. I stuck my tongue out at the door, not caring how immature it was. I rubbed my throbbing pinky toe carefully.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I mumbled, standing up again and walking over to unlock my door only to see my dear mother with her hands on her hips standing there in all her 5 foot glory. She glared up at me. "Happy?"

"Do I look happy?" she growled. "Go get ready! I can't believe I still have to do this in your senior year. What are you gonna do in college?"

"I would've gotten up eventually," I murmured, stepping around her to the bathroom.

"Yeah, right," she said, sarcasm dripping from her voice. "And I'm Madonna."

"Really?" I gasped, turning around. "Damn, my momma's famous!"

"You're hopeless," she said, throwing her hands up in the air before turning and heading towards the kitchen. I grinned at her back before glancing at the clock.

"Crap!" I yelled. "I'm gonna be late!"

"Told you!" mom yelled back. I stuck my tongue out at her direction again before running to the bathroom and slamming the door behind me.

Fifteen minutes later, I was turning into the high school parking lot, quickly. Like, really quickly. Like, I'm cringing because that screeching sound that everyone just turned to stare at? Yeah, that was me.


As soon as I parked in my usual spot, I jumped out of the car, then turned around to grab the cup of coffee my mom had handed me as I ran out of the house. When I straightened back up, I bumped my head on the roof of the car, hard, jostling the cup in my hand. Thankfully, no coffee splattered on my beautiful shiny black Hyundai Sonata. Thank God.

Yeah, I know it's not the most incredible car in the world, but it was mine and it was my baby.

"Ow, motherfucker," I muttered as I stood up, rubbing my head with my free hand. I heard laughing come from my right and I turned to see Trent walking towards me leisurely. I rolled my eyes and slammed the door shut, jogging to the trunk to grab my backpack.

"I heard that, Ria," he teased, leaning against the car.

"Shut up, asshole," I grumbled. "I'm late. And you are, too."

"Yeah, but I'm late everyday," he shrugged. He picked up my coffee which I'd left on the roof of the car and took a sip. "Ew, is this black?"

"Don't touch my drink," I snapped, taking it from his hands after I'd locked my car. I slapped his arm and he winced, rubbing his bicep. "And yes, it is black."

"You drink black coffee?" he asked, walking beside me. He was walking at a regular Trent pace while I was basically jogging, and yet we were both going at the same speed. Damn short legs.

"Only when I'm desperate," I answered. By the we were on campus, walking to first period which we had together. "I had a late night."

"Doing what?" he asked, a teasing note in his voice. "It's not like you have a boyfriend to have a late night with."

"Shut the fuck up," I muttered. "Some of us actually take hard classes because we want to get in a good college, and those hard classes have shit tons of homework."

"Touchy," Trent laughed, raising his hands in the air innocently. "Don't kill me, please."

"No promises." He didn't reply.

A few seconds later, we arrived at our first class, AP Psychology. Trent shoved the door open, making a grand entrance as he strode into the room.

"I'm here, I'm here," he announced. I rolled my eyes as I walked in behind him. Everyone turned to look at us including our teacher, Mr. Wilson. "The party can start now."

"Trent, Ria, I get that I'm a super fun teacher so my class may seem like a party," Mr. Wilson started, smirking, "but this is actually an Advanced Placement class and I'd appreciate it if you'd show up on time." Trent and I grinned at him. Mr. Wilson was super chill, so he never really cared if we showed up a few minutes late. I just freaked out about being tardy because I'm a nerd and I hate everyone staring at me when I walked in. It wasn't so bad with Trent there, but just because most of the attention was on his charismatic form.

"My bad, Mr. Wilson," Trent said, plopping down in his seat with me following suit right behind him. "I always forget because of your cool-ness."

"Understandable," Mr. Wilson said, nodding. "Anyway, I'm assuming you all know who B.F. Skinner is?" Everyone nodded, but when Mr. Wilson opened his mouth to continue speaking, the door swung open once again. The whole class turned in sync to stare at the stranger bursting through the door. My eyes widened.

Wow, he's attractive was my first thought.

Holy coconuts, who is he? was my second thought.

Oh, dear Jesus, shut up, Ria, was my third thought.

I shook my head to clear the haze that had just creeped in. I was Ria Franklin. I did not get drool-y over boys.

"Hellooooo," Mr. Wilson said, dragging the word out. A few seconds, his eyes went from confusion to recognition. "Ooh, you're my noob, right?"

"Yeah," the guy nodded, looking a little winded. He ran a hand through his brown hair and grinned, showing off a set of perfect teeth. "Sorry, I'm late. I'm Landon, Landon Gates."

"Yes, another victim!" Mr. Wilson said, dramatically, thrusting a fist in the air. Chuckles rang around the room as Landon raised one eyebrow.

Damn, I've always wanted to be able to do that.

"Well. Go ahead and sit in that empty seat there, right behind Ria," Mr. Wilson pointed in my direction. "Ria, raise your hand, would you?" I waved, at Landon, smirking. He grinned at me, and I felt like someone hit me over the head.

What in the freakin' world?

Landon made his way over to the empty chair next to me, his eyes not leaving me the entire way over. I plastered a smug, I-don't-give-a-crap look on my face and looked towards the front of the class when he sat next to me, still smiling at me.

"Hi," he said. "I'm Landon." I glanced over at him and saw he was holding a hand out to me. I looked around the class and saw everyone staring at us, including Mr. Wilson who had not yet started talking again.

"Uh," I said, amused, reaching out to shake his hand. His grip was warm and firm. "Ria Franklin."

"Nice to meet you," he said. His smile never faltered, and his eyes never left mine. I bit my lip and gave him a sarcastic look.

"You, too," I said, swinging my head back to look at Mr. Wilson. "Now, Mr. Wilson, please. B.F. Skinner?" The class laughed, and Mr. Wilson smiled, pointing at me and nodding.

"That's right. B.F. Skinner. Freakin' weirdo, am I right?"

When the bell rang, I quickly picked up all my stuff and walked out of the classroom, talking to Trent the whole way. When we were almost out of the quad, I heard someone call my name.

"Ria!" I stopped and turned, searching for the source of the voice. I saw Landon pushing his way through a group of girls to reach me. "Wait up!"

"I think new dude has a thing for you," Trent said, sounding amused. I scoffed.

"Ha. That's funny. Yeah, right."

"You're right," Trent said, and when I turned to look at him, he was nodding gravely. "What bonehead would like you anyway?"

I growled and reached up to slap him on the back of the head.


At that point, I felt someone touch my arm. I whirled around, feeling like electricity had shot through my arm. Landon had his hand on my shoulder and he was grinning at me.

"Hey," he said. "Thanks for waiting."

"No problem," I shrugged, starting to walk again. Trent snorted and held his fist out to me.

"See you at lunch, Ria," he told me. I hit his knuckles with my own and nodded.

"Later." I watched as Landon stared off after Trent curiously.

"Boyfriend?" he asked. Now it was my turn to snort.

Real attractive, Ria.

Wait, when did I start caring about being attractive?

"Hell, no," I said, shaking my head. "Just a buddy. What's up?"

"I was just wondering if you could tell me where my next class is," he said, smiling kindly.

"What am I, your one-woman welcoming committee?" I teased. He opened his mouth, looking like he was about to protest. "I'm kidding. Where you headed?"

"Calc BC with Mr. Patterson?" he said, pulling out his schedule. His forehead wrinkled as he looked down. I smiled at how cute he looked.

Holy hell, pull it together, Franklin. You're best friends with seven hot guys, get over this guy.

"Oh, damn, what a coinky-dink," I said, laughing. "That's where I'm going."

"Really?" he asked, looking up happily. "Great."

We walked in comfortable silence for a few seconds before I spoke again. "So where are you from?"

A beat passed before he answered. "Uh, Maryland."

"Oh, no shit?" I asked, nervously.

"Yeah, why?" he answered, sounding nervous, too, for whatever reason.

"Nothing, I just – I have family back that way," I explained quickly.

"Oh, cool."

"So this must be a pretty weird change, huh?" I said, trying to keep the conversation going. "Maryland to California?"

"Yeah, it's pretty nutty," he said, sounding normal again, albeit quieter than before. "Certainly different over here."

"I bet," I said. Silence followed again until we got to our next class. When we walked into Mr. Patterson's room, I called out, "Hey, yo! Mr. P! You've got a new student!"

My calculus teacher looked up from a pile of papers on his desk. He didn't look like a typical stuck up math teacher, and he didn't act like one either. Mr. Patterson actually looked like an old surfer dude, if I'm being honest. He had long dirty blond hair that fell to his shoulders topped by a hippie rainbow beanie.

"Oh, hey, man," he said in his low, slow voice. He stepped around his desk and walked towards us, holding out his fist. "I'm Mr. Patterson."

"Landon Gates," Landon introduced himself, fist bumping Mr. P. "Nice to meet you."

"Likewise," he said before stepping back, looking around the room. "Just sit wherever and if someone says you're in their seat, say you're kicking them out, Mr. P's orders." Landon gave a surprised laugh.

"Definitely," he chuckled. Mr. P gave us one more nod before turning back to his desk. I went off to sit in my usual seat and Landon followed me.

"Mind if I sit here?" he asked, gesturing to the seat next to mine.

"I don't," I laughed. "Grant will."

"Well, whoever he is, I'm kicking him out," he grinned cheekily before pulling out the seat and sitting down. He crossed his arms. "Mr. P's orders."

"Teacher's pet," I retorted.

"Ooh, ha ha, very original," he said, shaking his head at me.

"Who's this asshole?" I heard Grant's familiar voice say, grumpily. I looked up to see him standing next to me, frowning at Landon.

"Landon Gates, new guy," I answered. "Landon, this is Grant Collins, angry guy."

"You're in my seat, Landon Gates," Grant said, sitting in some other what's-her-name's seat on my other side.

"Take it up with Mr. P," Landon shrugged. Grant scowled.

"Forget it," Grant said and I laughed at his unhappy face.

"Someone wake up on the wrong side of the bed?" I asked, snickering. "Want some coffee?" I held my half full, lukewarm coffee cup to him. Grant grabbed it greedily and took a sip. A few seconds later, he started coughing dramatically. Landon and I burst out laughing.

"Is this black?!" Grant asked, sounding more shocked than mad. I nodded and he stared at me like I was crazy. "What in the hell is wrong with you?"

"A lot, apparently," I said, smirking. "Since I'm friends with you."





"Okay, let's calm down, shall we?" Mr. Patterson called from his desk. I glanced at him, grinning. "Or I might just give you a detention."

"And how many detentions have you given out in the ten years you've been here, Mr. P?" I asked.

"One," he answered, still shuffling papers. "Kid stole my red vine. Little asshole." I burst out laughing, knowing full well he would never give me a detention. The guy was too chill of a teacher for his own good. Honestly, he was more like our friend than our instructor.

Landon looked between me, Mr. P, and Grant – who was chugging water, trying to get the black coffee taste from his mouth – incredulously before turning to me and blinking once.

"I think this is going to be an interesting year," he said. I stared back in his hazel eyes, getting lost in them for a millisecond before snapping out of it. I grinned at him while I chastised myself in my head.

"I think so, too, Landon. I think so, too."

Author's Note:

Hey, guys, thanks for reading chapter two of One of the Guys! Be sure to leave me some comments in a review! It'd mean a lot! Thanks so much!


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