Chapter 1

It was a normal day at school; I had ditched my friends to follow him. Chase Ferreira. He had been my one and only crush since I’d first saw him my freshman year. With his piercing eyes and commanding aura I had hopelessly been under his spell from the beginning. He had an arresting and well defined figure, a mess of curly brown hair that made me want to run my fingers through it, and a golden complexion that gave homage to his Latin roots.

He was walking gracefully down the hall with his backpack slung over one shoulder and his hands in his pockets. I was walking behind him, it always seemed as though people stayed out of his way. He didn’t have to push people out of the way or bump into others, they just made way for him. We had the same class so I didn’t mind, but sometimes I followed him to class and my class is next door.

Suddenly he turned around and stopped in the hallway, his eyes zeroed in on me making me stop.

“Will you please stop following me?” he called to me.

I was shocked that he even knew that I followed him around and, as pathetic as it may seem, it actually made me happy. He wanted me to stop following him, although that didn’t make me happy at least he’d spoken to me! Then a crazy thought hit me…

“Okay I’ll stop following you,” I responded sheepishly.

Without another word to me he turned back around and I ran to catch up to him, grabbing a hold of his arm before I could change my mind. He didn’t have too much of a reaction other than turning to look at me. No shrug, no startled jump, nope instead nothing, no reaction at all. He just turned back and kept walking until we got to class.

The door was wide enough so we went in together; the room itself was rather large for a classroom. It was adorned with rows of desks to the left, the teacher’s desk, and board to the right. The rest of the room was taken up with bookcases that were filled with various books we’d use throughout the semester. Sprawled on the walls were grammar posters, writing guidelines, and such obviously giving away the fact that you were in an English class. The one thing that I found ironic about our classroom was one wall of the classroom was dominated by seven windows. They made for the perfect distraction sometimes and eventually led me to start daydreaming about everything but English.

All of the people in the room were staring at us together, we walked to my desk and I let go of his arm. He didn’t say anything he just continued his walk past me and all the way down the row to his seat in the back. Even after we had sat down they were still staring at us but soon the bell rang and class started.

I stayed true to the stereotype that when you sit in the front row you actually pay attention to what’s going on in class. Class wasn’t boring but I was itching to turn around and look at him. I felt eyes on me and I knew they were his because it felt different when it was his eyes watching me.

When the bell rang I gathered my things slowly so that by the time he passed by my desk to leave I was ready to go and I grabbed his arm again. Again no reaction at all but I didn’t say anything about it and just considered it a victory for me.

As the morning drew on I walked with him to our other classes, only separating when we didn’t have the same class. At lunchtime though I walked into the cafeteria by myself feeling slightly lonely and confused which was at odds with the euphoric high I’d been on all morning. I’d sat at my usual table with my friends.

“So I’ve been hearing some rather disturbing news,” Jennifer announced catching my attention.

“Oh what is it?” I asked.

“I’ve been hearing this rumor that I know has got to be fabricated. They’ve been talking about you and a certain guy getting together…” She left off there, looking at me pointedly, waiting for me to confirm or deny.

“As a matter of fact I think I've heard something to that effect as well, but I’m not sure if I heard them quite right…” inserted Sophie both looking at me, waiting.

“Um… no, we’re not going out,” I confessed, feeling embarrassed I averted my gaze and my eyes met with Chase’s across the room.

I was immediately sucked into a world that consisted only of me, him, and his deep green eyes. Even from across the room I felt sparks between us and my skin prickled with awareness. As adrenaline rushed through my veins my heartbeat picked up and my hands felt clammy, I had to dig my nails into my palms to remind myself that this was really happening. A hypnotic pull kept me from looking away and the tingles running up my spine made me not want to.

For the second time today I was moving before I realized what I was doing and started getting up. It was then that a brunette with naturally curly hair, pulled back in a ponytail, came to sit at his table and obstructed our view of each other.

I planted myself firmly back in my seat, “Brooke,” I heard Sophie yell getting my attention.

“Yeah,” my heart started calming down but I was still in a high alert phase. My friends looked at me awkwardly, “what?”

“I’ve been calling you for like the past five minutes, what were staring at?” she asked.

Jennifer made a face, meaning she knew exactly where I’d been looking. I blushed, quickly glancing in his direction again but his attention was focused on the brunette girl in front of him. I knew who she was, his best friend, Amanda Hines, she was also the star of the girls basketball team, and if what I’d heard can be believed, she was his girlfriend…

“I know who she was staring at,” Jennifer announced with a knowing smirk.

“Really Brooke? You quietly crush on him for three years and suddenly this, what’s gotten into you? Did something happen and why didn’t you tell us? We’re your best friends we ought to know first,” Sophie asserted.

“I know but I don’t even know why I did it either, he surprised me this morning when he told me to stop following him and I just did the first thing that popped in my head,” I said more to myself than to them.

“So you stop following him… and started walking with him,” Jennifer laughed.

“That was a rather odd time to go with a sarcastic remark in your head, Brooke,” Sophie commented.

“Yeah, as far as sarcastic thoughts in your mind go there are certain things you say and others you do, as a prank, but you took a sarcastic comment and acted on it.”

“Brooke you’ve got to stop this,” Sophie warned.

“She’s already made him think she’s wacko, Soph, why not continue to mess with him a little?” Jennifer argued.

“You don’t know, Jen, she might still have a chance to change his mind,” she offered uncertainly.

Jennifer snorted, “highly unlikely, and you want to know why that is, because she can’t stop looking at him,” suddenly her voice rose at the end as she’d caught me.

My eyes had started wandering back to his table where he sat not looking at me anymore but I quickly turned my attention back to them.

“Even at times when it’s weird…” she added pointedly looking at me.

“She has ditched us to follow him in the hallways to almost every class they have had together since we started high school. And most importantly, she is tired of seeming like the crazy stalker chick just because she’s too anxious to go talk to the guy. Especially now, she can’t just start acting normal around him while he thinks she’s crazy, she’d never get a date.”

“Well she’ll never get one if she doesn’t do anything to change his opinion of her,” Sophie pressed.

“Obviously we know she’s not cracked so I’m sure he’ll eventually see that she’s not. Keep doing what makes you happy,” she said.

“But-” Sophie started but was quickly interrupted.

“Look some guys need a girl who can get their attention. Take my brother, Griffin, for example is like Chase he’s very focused, driven, strait-laced guy and a workaholic. His girlfriend, Nina, is an expert at figuring out ways to get his attention and the first time he met her he thought she was mental,” she concluded just as the bell rang.

The rest of the day passed by much slower as I continued thinking about everything that had happened, could Jen really be right? As I turned it over in my mind with still no solution the school day eventually ended. I rushed to my locker to put my things away before Chase came so I wouldn’t have to see him, since his locker was next to mine. Luckily I didn’t see him as I quickly packed away books, took my homework, then got to my car and went home.

I put my things down and went to the kitchen to make myself food since I sent all of the maids, butlers, and cooks on vacation. I was alone in the house but I didn’t mind, everyone needs a little alone time.

2: Chapter 2
Chapter 2

The next few weeks flew by and we continued to walk together. It became easier to talk to him and everyone finally got over it. A normal day consisted of us walking down the hallway and me happily chirping about whatever I felt like talking about for the day.

We walked together to all of our classes before lunch and at lunch I kept myself from looking at him because of my previous embarrassing incident. Then after lunch, since we didn't have any classes that were even remotely by each other, we would have to part ways until school ended and we were leaving. Since we had adjacent lockers we'd see each other one last time before we split again for the day only to see each other the next day or that next week.

One random day Chase approached me in lunch, in order to eliminate the chance of another embarrassing stare down I'd decided to sit with my back to him, I didn't mind because I had a rather sexy back, it seemed like a tease, and the first day I tried it he came to the table.

"Hey look, prince charming is approaching," Jennifer announced sarcastically.

"Really," I was curious but I forced myself not to look, "I knew he couldn't stay away," my friends either laughed or rolled their eyes which made me laugh.

Suddenly his hand was on my back and he'd brought those delicious lips, that I've only ever kissed in my dreams, to my ear. His warm breath fanned the side of my face, sparks were running up and down my spine making me shiver. Then he started whispering in my ear and the rush of air into my ear tickled making me laugh I grabbed his arm for balance then peeled over in a fit of giggles.

"Hold on," I managed through my laughter, when I finally recovered I straightened, "okay I'm ready go ahead," he pulled out the empty chair next to me and sat down, scooting in closer to me.

"My birthday is in two weeks and I'm in inviting you to come, you can bring your friends if you want, you could even invite the whole school," he whispered. He pulled away so he could get my answer.

"I'm flattered but why do you sound as if I couldn't do just that even if I wanted to," I crossed my legs and leaned back into his hand that was on the back of my chair. "Oh boyfriend of little faith," I pinched his cheek then patted it, "apparently you haven't seen what I'm capable of have you," I told him.

He just laughed heartily, best sound I'd heard in my life it's so sexy, I smiled, proud that I'd made him not just smile but laugh. When he was done laughing he smirked challengingly at me daring me to try, well if that's the case, I pulled up my legs and folded them so I sat Indian style in the chair, challenge accepted.

"Do you have someone doing it for you?" I asked. He was confused for a moment,

"Someone doing it for me?" he repeated furrowed his eyebrows. He looked cute when he was confused... but I have to focus. Darn him for looking like a cute lost puppy.

"You must be doing it yourself then," he still was a bit confused. I pulled out my phone from my back pocket, started making a new contact, then I handed him the phone. "By the way put your number in my phone and you can text me the information," he took it and did what I said.

"I could totally help you plan like how far have you gotten with the planning?" girls are supposed to be naturally party planners, right? So I can do this right?

He just shrugged and I knew, I shoved him with my mouth agape,

"Are you serious, so what were you going to do?" he shrugged again. He gave me a dazzling smile and returned my phone back to me, I shook my head at him. "That's just sad," I giggled while he started chuckling.

"Well hey I don't really do parties," he tried to explain.

"That's not even an excuse because there are people who plan events for a living that you could have gone to," I wasn't taking any of his excuses.

He sighed.

"So the party's at your house I'm assuming," he nodded so I continued, "well I'm going to have to go to your house after school today to see what we have to work with. We have to decorate and see about food, for that we need to know where we're going to set up," I told him seriously.

"Not anything expensive or extravagant, I want something simple," he emphasized.

"And you'll get simple, we'll talk about the budget when we see what we have to work with," and he nodded.

He seemed like he was dreading this, working with me, so I decided then to try to do my part as if I were being paid.

I have to be friendly but not pushy or flirty and at the end not too touchy, maybe a hug with a quick peck on the cheek. Maybe not even the peck on the cheek just a business like hug and I'll wish him a happy birthday, that's it. That's all I'll do. Nothing extra, he already thinks I'm going to annoy him. I have to at least prove to him that I'm apparently not the girl he thinks I am. That would mean no flirting or what he might think of as being overly touchy.

"After we go to the house I'm going to start getting some prices together for you to look at," he nodded again then the bell rang. I uncrossed my legs and got up, "well I'll see you after school," I told him in a business like tone and started a brisk walk to class.

"Oh God now he's got her started when she starts acting like that there's no reasoning with her," Sophie groaned and stomped her foot.

"You've let her loose and we're not helping you deal with her," Jennifer sassed Chase.

"Is that a good thing for me?" he asked confused and I knew Jennifer rolled her eyes at him.

"If it were only her pulling off superhuman tasks, and multitasking out of this world, sure. However, since she tends to obsess over things like this, maybe not so much. I mean, you barely see the girl but when you do all she has to talk about is how well it's going and what's done so far. The worst part about it is she's perpetually moody and at times she'll smile at you but you already know it's probably fake. She will never relax until it's completely over because she has this thing about seeing things through. But whatever, you'll see for yourself," Jennifer ranted, making me giggle a little.

I walked away without listening to his reply, it didn't matter what face he made or what he said because, like Jennifer said, he'd see. By my study period I went and sat at a table outside Indian style, with my hair pulled up into a ponytail, and my glasses were perched on the edge of my nose.

I started writing down places we could go for a catering service or a birthday cake and I kept adding ideas. After school I got a list from the attendance office of all the students enrolled in our school. Then I made my way to my locker,

"Where were you? I've been waiting for you," Chase said when I got there.

"I apologize for my tardiness I was retrieving an enrollment list," I spoke as I busied myself with with my locker. I saw him raise his eyebrow at me from the corner of my eye. "Now I was looking over a few aspects for the event and it came to my attention that you haven't set a time, so when would you like that to be," I stated seriously.

I finished with my locker then opened my portfolio, when he didn't answer I look up at him,

"How about five," he suggested.

"Alright fi..." I paused faltering just a moment, oh no I ... no nothing personal, if I were getting paid that kind of thing wouldn't matter, would it? I just need to have the same attitude. I said I would do it so I have to stick with it, I can't back out now if I've committed to it I have to stay and if anything happens I'll have to just face the consequences that come afterward.

"Is there a problem with that time, Brooke?" he asked seeming a little concerned but that's all I needed to bring me out of my private thoughts. I didn't say anything in answer to his question.

"Five o'clock," I just noted it then closed my portfolio. I nodded, "let's not delay, we have property to inspect," I flashed him a warm smile in an attempt to be friendly and polite.

As I strode past him, I heard him walking behind me, I went out to my car and I assume he went to his. Since my car was close to the exit I sat and waited until I saw him in a black Infiniti pass by in my rear view mirror. I turned on my car, started backing out, and followed him out of the school parking lot, then all the way to his house.

It was a modest home, maybe if we're talking about for a family of fifteen but it was a little too big for a person who lived by himself. We didn't go into the house we went into the backyard through a wooden door at the side of the house, the backyard was huge, might I add.

I walked in and circled around getting a feel of the venue before choosing what I could do to decorate. Since we were having so many people we really didn't need that many decorations even though his backyard obviously had the occupancy for it. Even though the room was there we didn't want it to get too crowded, that way people won't start knocking things down, to avoid that the less decorations the better, that's good news for Chase.

Whether we set out food or got a catering service they'd need some space to set up out here and it'll take up room. If we got a catering service the best way would be if we could give them access to the kitchen then all we'll have to do is set up a table or two and put the food out.

There will be a dance floor going for most of the time but we'll at least need a few tables to the side where people can sit when they're tired or if they get food and don't feel comfortable standing up eating.

I noted all of this in my portfolio while he just sat at the one and only picnic table in the backyard watching me walk around jotting down notes. Finally I came over to share and discuss with him the ideas that I had come up with so far.

"Look, I've been brainstorming and I want to run by you what I've come up with so far. Luckily for you, I think it isn't necessary that we have too many, if any, decorations. I was contemplating putting more tables in this area for people to sit while they eat. The remaining space will be for people to kind of stand around and socialize. We'll also need some tables to put the food on and I was thinking it'll be better to have an open buffet where you can serve yourself." As I explained he just nodded and I was starting to wonder if he was even listening to a word I was saying. Maybe I was too long winded. "As a matter of fact what did you have in mind food wise? Did you want a certain type of food or did you want a little bit of everything?"

"I don't really know..." He answered scratching his head.

"Well if we get a catering service to do the food we may need to use your kitchen, in case it requires extra space to put their things, so they won't take up more room then they need to. We'll need all the room we can get since we'll have the whole school plus other people that you choose to invite as well." He was once again back to simply nodding along but not really seeming to be listening so I figured it was time to wrap things up here.

"If that sounds okay to you so far then I'll be leaving. I'll get you more information on catering services that and maybe some other options. So I'll start trying to get some stuff for you to look over tomorrow," I told him in my business tone as I packed up my things and got up.

He looked shocked as he stayed sitting down, watching me. I'm guessing he expected me to linger around a while longer before leaving and it hadn't occurred to him that I would do what I needed to quickly and just go.

"So you're done already?" I could hear the amazement in his voice as I was walking away but turned around to face him and saw his confused face.

"What, you thought I would try to stay over or something? I'm not that kind of girl," I thought aloud, a little offended if it was true. By the look on his face my comment might have at least been half true and that hurt.

"No, I just didn't think-" but I interrupted him because again by his facial expression I could tell a cover up when I came across one. I was hurt more by the fact that apparently he thought I was stupid and it left a lingering sting.

"It would be so quick, yeah... I think I know better by your facial expression. But it was a good cover up though," I turned around to continue leaving when I heard him getting up, trying to call out to me. "No, don't worry about it. I'm not offended. Had it been someone else, probably so, but I feel like you don't don't exactly know me yet. When I think about it, that fact alone would help anybody to let it go. You don't have to worry over it -but what am I saying- you probably wouldn't have worried too much anyway so..." I started leaving again when he caught up to me at the gate to the backyard.

"Look, I didn't-" he started, grabbing a hold of my arm and exciting my senses. No, stop it. Control yourself! What happened to being professional? This is not it! I needed to find a way out of this situation, fast.

"I got you, didn't I? I am a good actress," I laughed turning around so he could see I wasn't upset. I saw him visibly relax but he was searching my eyes, "oh clueless boyfriend of little faith. You're going to have to work with me for two weeks I can afford to take my time," I pinched his cheek then patted it, smiling brightly at him. "I told you not to worry about it, I'm fine," He smiled down at me, releasing my arm, as soon as he did I dropped the smile and quickly started walking away, "I'll see you tomorrow at school," I called over my shoulder at a very bewildered Chase.

"Bye Chase," was the last thing I told him and as I got in my car I thought I heard him say,

"Bye Brooke," but I shrugged it off as my imagination. I got in my car and drove away with Chase still standing in the gate to the backyard watching me leave.